Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sun., Oct. 21, 2012)

A nice $60,928 awaits Pick-6 carryover players on a typically challenging Sunday program.

The first race, from our perspective, is unplayable; there’s too many question marks surrounding the logical contenders, and in a six runner field there’s little value, anyway. #3 Max Cooper is cheap on paper but he’s always tries hard and seems pretty healthy. #4 Courtside, a former Cal Cup Sprint winner, returns to the claiming ranks and his current condition must be questioned. #5 Vaundell ran nicely off a long layoff for Gaines but it has taken seven weeks to get him back to the races. Best advice might be to sit it out.

The second race offers a good wagering opportunity. #6 Unusual Sensation made a left hand turn leaving the gate in her debut and lost all chance but did flash fairly impressive speed once straightened away and caught up to the pack before the far turn. Under the circumstance, it was a pretty nice effort and today – assuming she comes out cleanly – the daughter of Unusual Heat could be quick enough to outrun this high priced maiden claiming juvenile field. She shows a bullet workout since her race, adds blinkers, and switches to Tyler Baze. At 8-1 on the morning line, there’s some value here in the straight pool as well as a rolling exotic single.

The third race is another difficult affair and might be best left alone. #1 Tres Borrachos is winless in eight starts at Santa Anita but he can rise to occasion if he’s feeling good and he should draft into a nice pace prompting, ground-saving position from the rail. #3 Comma to the Top exits a tougher race and seems likely to try gate-to-wire tactics. He’s strictly the one to beat in his present form. #4 Shaun Washington looks like the best of the closers and if the other two hook up early he could be the beneficiary. You can use all three in your rolling exotics or simply pass the race.

#1 Megastar and #7 Green Secret meet again in the fourth race after finishing one-two in a $40,000 claimer earlier this month. Both drop a notch today, making this a tougher than par race for the level. Green Secret looks like the controlling speed again while Megastar should be the best of the late-threats. Not much value here.

In the fifth race, #3 Itsphun drops to her lowest level ever and ran well over this conventional dirt surface earlier this year; she should find herself in an ideal pace stalking or prompting position. A repeat of her race before last likely will beat this band, but to be truthful nothing in this affair is what you’d call trustworthy. We’ll put her on top by default, but this is hardly a prime play.

#11 Bwanadada, a promising third in her recent racing debut, seems sure to move forward for Mitchell in the sixth race while switching to hot riding Talamo. Her effort over the all-weather at Del Mar was solid; today we’ll find out if she can duplicate that kind of performance on grass. Nothing else in here excites us, so let’s try to get her home at close to her morning line odds of 9/2.

The seventh race is a tough straight maiden juvenile dash and requires a spread. #4 Lady Rosamond is a first timer from the Baffert barn and has shown plenty of talent in the morning. She looks cranked up and ready to go. #8 Truly Beautiful is a daughter of Jump Star from the Jones barn and has done everything right in the morning; she’s plenty fit and looks like a live item under hot riding Talamo. #10 Imwiththeblonde has the benefit of two solid efforts behind her and her experience could pay dividends today. She’s clearly the best of the known element. #11 Heartless is another debut runner from the Baffert stable and has trained like a very quick sort. She should be very dangerous at this abbreviate sprint distance.

#6 No Silent, with one win and five seconds, might be earning a rep as a bit of a hanger, but his numbers are above par for the level so it’s just a matter of time before he breaks through again. In today’s eighth race, he’s back with Bejarano and should draft into a nice pace prompting position. No excuses today.

First time starter #4 Moonlit Meteor shows up cheap in today’s nightcap so he must have problems, but the works indicate he has ability and not much more will be needed in this bottom-runger. He has clever connections and is worth using at 8-1 on the morning line. #6 Star of America, away since February, might have been a tad short when weakening late to finish second in a similar bottom rung maiden claiming sprint earlier this month but he should be fitter and tougher today. However, he has to negotiate an extra half furlong. #14 Awkward Monday should enjoy clear sailing from his far outside post and if he moves forward as expected he’ll have every chance to wear down the speed in the final furlong. He switches to Talamo and has two nice breezes since his last race. All three should be used in rolling exotic play with preference going to Awkward Mondays.