Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sun., Oct. 7, 2012)

#1 Quietasacat ran very well in his debut last month at Del Mar and Gaines has an outstanding record with second time starters, so we’ll assume this son of Elusive Quality will move forward in today’s opener. The rail shouldn’t be an issue and neither should this extended sprint distance. # 6Super Ninety Nine was entered in a sprint stakes as a first time starter yesterday but opts for this more realistic spot. Clearly he’s highly regarded by Baffert and should come out firing. Preference goes to Quietasacat but both should be used in your rolling exotics.

The second race, a maiden juvenile filly dash down the hill, looks wide open; we’ll go two deep but you may chose to include a few more. #3 Travesura was beaten as the choice at Del Mar in her most recent outing but on numbers she’s a strong fit with these and if she moves up on grass she can be dangerous. #6 Jerry’shoneycarol backs up in trip and might be a tad more effective sprinting. She switches to Bejarano and could come running late.

The third race attracted just four entrants thanks to #2 Winding Way. She is unbeaten and 2/5 on the morning line after an eye-opening score at Del Mar in a race in which she appeared to be all but eliminated at the start. This will be her first start on conventional dirt and she is picking up nine pounds off her Rancho Bernardo win, but the feeling is that nothing is going to matter. She’s a no value single for rolling exotic players.

#6 Miss Oops, first off the claim for Dallas Keen, remains at her claim level in the fourth race after a series of strong, consistent races and anything close to her best effort should beat this field. Blanc should have her in an ideal pace prompting position outside. She’s 9/5 on the morning line and while there’s little value at that price it seems about right.

#2 Atticus Jack, second off the claim for Ted West and dropping below his purchase price, lands a comfortable inside draw in the fifth race and seems quite capable of returning to winning form. He’s dangerous on the front end but doesn’t need the lead to win, so Pedroza has some options. All of this gelding’s recent numbers have been quite good. #6 Euroglide likes the Santa Anita turf course and Bejarano should have him within striking range throughout. Freshened since mid-August and working well in the interim, the Eurton-trained gelding figures to fire his best shot. Let’s put Atticus Jack slightly on top while using both in rolling exotic play.

In the sixth race, #5 Almost a Lady takes a two level class drop following a convincing score at Fairplex Park and that’s not usually a good sign. Is Sadler trying to lose her or merely trying to steal a purse? Or perhaps he thinks she’s nothing more than a bullring specialist. In any case, she’s 9/5 on the morning line so there’s not much value, but this is such a shallow race that there’s really nowhere else to go. You can single her in your rolling exotics or simply pass the race.

#7 Secret Motive adds blinkers in the seventh race after drawing clear and then weakening late over the all weather surface at Del Mar last month. Both of her numbers in her first two starts were quite strong, better than par for this level, so she will be hard to deny today if she takes to the downhill turf course. Three workouts since her last race should have the daughter of Macho Uno ready to graduate, and there’s some value here at 7/2 on the morning line.

#3 Master Chef, claimed in his last three starts and today going for Dan Blacker, shortens up to six furlongs while returning to his favorite surface and track in the eighth race and should be primed for a winning performance. Talamo, who won on him two races back, stays aboard and the veteran gelding looks very much like the controlling speed over a track that has been very kind to front-runners.

#2 Porfido returned to winning form at Del Mar in mid-August and should be dangerous right back in the ninth race over a turf course he’s been known to like. P. Val always has gotten real good run out of the old-timer and stays aboard while landing a comfortable inside draw that should insure a ground-saving trip. #7 Te Rapa is a relatively lightly-raced gelding with some back form that makes him very dangerous if he cooperates. Always a difficult ride but talented enough to win a race like this if he decides to relax and switch off, he’s worth using while gaining Espinoza, who won with him three races back. A slight edge goes to Porfido but both should be used in you rolling exotics.

In the finale, #8 Somewhere With You is a sneaky first time starter from a trainer who does quite well with debut runners and in a rather shallow maiden claiming abbreviated dash, this juvenile son of Cahill Road deserves inclusion in rolling exotic play. #12 Our Trooper looks like the best of those that have raced; the son of War Pass retains P. Val after finishing a solid second in a slightly tougher spot at Del Mar a little more than a month ago (he was more than 10 clear of the rest). Let’s use both in our rolling exotics while slightly preferring Our Trooper.