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Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sat., Nov. 3, 2012)
Breeders’ Cup Saturday offers a spectacular 12-race program with plenty of money making opportunities.
In the opener, #1 Bares Tripper is back sprinting on conventional dirt where she’s clearly most comfortable and a repeat of her very impressive Barretts Debutante Stakes victory two runs back should beat this field. She switches to Gomez and should draft into a comfortable pace prompting position while saving ground. Let’s use here as a rolling exotic single.
The second race is a deep and competitive downhill turf dash for juveniles. #2 Upward Spiral was competitive in Group-1 company in England so she should fit very nicely with these. Bejarano gets the call and should have this filly always within striking range, ready to pounce. #3 Snow King was a very impressive debut winner for Gosden last month at Ascot in a tough, grueling, straightaway seven furlong maiden dash and arrives fit and ready to continue his winning ways in this turf sprint for juveniles. The son of Elusive Quality has plenty of upside and may out class this field. #5 Gabriel Charles had a very impressive recent workout over this turf course and may have found a home on the lawn. He’s got plenty of talent – more than shown – and offers long shot value at 20-1 on the morning line. We’ll give Snow King a slight edge.
The third race is a tough affair, we’ll go three deep in our rolling exotics and hope that’s sufficient. #3 Politicallycorrect arrives fresh from a nice score in the Oklahoma Derby at a mile and one eighth but this return to seven furlongs shouldn’t inconvenience him at all. Rosario should have him within striking range throughout. #4 Mile High Magic missed at 2/5 in a small stakes at Pomona but he earned a triple digit Beyer figure in his previous start at Hollywood Park and a return to that form today puts him right in the thick of things. He’s reunited with Bejarano, a major plus. #7 Sir Bond is a very talented colt with a chance to develop into an outstanding older runner. He missed the bulk of his 3-year-old season after breaking his maiden impressively in New Orleans in February and came back strong with a troubled runner-up effort behind Saratoga Stacks in a hot mile affair at Belmont Park last month (Graydar was behind him). Leparoux rides him back for Asmussen and with a clean start today he looks capable of settling early and producing the last, winning run. The edge goes to Sir Bond but all three should be included in your rolling exotics.
The fourth race showcases a very strong edition of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf; the European contingent numbers several extremely talented colts. #2 Artigiano likes to be fairly close up throughout and from where he’s drawn he should fold into an ideal ground-saving, second flight journey. The son of Distorted Humor earned strong Racing Post speed figures during his English juvenile campaign and if he reproduces that form today he’ll be right there. #3 George Vancouver, an excellent third in the Dewhurst behind champion Dawn Approach, reportedly is a first ground specialist and was brought to California specifically for that reason. His European form is good, but he may be a much better type under the conditions he’ll see at Santa Anita. He’ll be a bigger price than he should be. #6 Dundonnell is a terrific prospect from Roger Charleton’s barn and we’re going to put him right on top. He broke the course record over the all weather at Lingfield earlier this year and then was a group stakes winner at York over firm ground. He lost little in defeat when an excellent second to unbeaten Toronado and arrives ready to regain his winning form. #9 Noble Tune, two-for-two in New York and the best North American-based juvenile turf performer this year, should love the Santa Anita table top turf course and owns a wicked turn of foot. We’ll go four deep in our rolling exotics and then come back and press a bit with Dundonnell on top.
#3 Dust and Diamonds continues to improve with each and every outing and in her most recent victory, the Gallant Bloom Handicap in New York, she showed the ability to sit off the pace and then take control in the lane. She continues to ascend in the speed figure department and local workouts have been impressive. Is she good enough to beat Groupie Doll in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint? Maybe not but she’s good enough to beat the others. Groupie Doll is even money on the morning line and she appears to have no weakness. Unbeaten and untested in four starts since blinkers were added, her recent blowout over this track was eye-popping. She didn’t need any help at the draw but got it, anyway, securing a comfortable outside post. If you’re looking for a rolling exotic single, #9 Groupie Doll is highly logical, though you may want to include Dust and Diamonds on a ticket as a saver.
The strategy here is to try to beat #6 Shackleford in the sixth race, the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. He’s the morning line favorite who probably would win this race if he were to run back to his superb Met Mile score earlier this year, but he hasn’t won since, and was defeated without apparent mishap in his most recent start, the Kelso Handicap in New York. #5 Fed Biz will need the race of his life, but the Baffert-trained colt is immensely talented and has trained in superb style over a track that he’s undefeated on. Back with Talamo, who on him at Del Mar, the son of Giant’s Causeway should draft into an ideal second flight stalking position. #7 Emcee is the one to beat. He stretches out to a distance he’s bred to love, he is powerful in the speed figure department, and is fresh from dominating victory in the Forego at Saratoga. Reportedly, his recent workouts have been tremendous.
This BC Turf Sprint, carded as the seventh race, kicks off the Pick-6 and looks like a raffle; you could use four or five in your rolling exotics and still not find the winner. Rather than spread the race, we’ll simply take a stand and single #9 Bridgetown. Back in his finest form for Pletcher, the son of Speightstown has learned to stalk and win rather than just busting out on the front end, and since he ran so well over this course at a mile as a two-year-old, we’ll assume that he’ll be especially effective over this very firm turf. He was very impressive in a half mile breeze around dogs a few days ago while displaying all of his speed and talent. We like him at 9/2 on the morning line and hope to get close to that price.
#4 Shanghai Bobby hasn’t been two turns yet but that shouldn’t be a problem in the BC Juvenile. Undefeated in four starts in New York including a runaway score in the Champagne Stakes, the son of Harlan’s Holiday doesn’t need the lead to win but is plenty quick and probably can be placed just about anywhere Rosie wants to be. #9 Power Broker was a runaway winner of the FrontRunner Stakes with a legitimate speed figure and if he continues to advance at a similar rate, he could be any kind for Baffert. The outside draw shouldn’t be a problem; in fact, he may enjoy the same type of pace prompting outside journey that produced his impressive FrontRunner score. Shanghai Bobby will have to buck the home court advantage that the Californians enjoy but he simply might be good enough to do just that, so he gets our top preference.
In the BC Turf, #1 Point of Entry has strung together five straight victories and we don’t believe he’s done improving. The son of Dynaformer lands the good rail and should draft into a ground-saving, second flight position while having every chance to continue his championship run. #5 Shareta is a tremendous European invader; she finished second in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last year and her form in 2012 was every bit as outstanding except for her most recent start at Longchamp over a course that was extremely soft and heavy. She’s more than good enough to win.
The BC Sprint is another talent-laden affair; the three we’re listing above should run their best races but the contention certainly can, and does, go deeper. #4 Coil was a 7-1 upset winner of the Santa Anita Sprint Championship earlier this meeting but it was no fluke; the son of Point Given shortened up, was re-equipped with blinkers and parlayed a good stalking trip to a narrow score with a strong number. He’ll be dangerous from off the pace again. His Baffert stable mate, #6 Fast Bullet, is undefeated and untested in two starts and wouldn’t be in this race unless his trainer thought he belonged. His comeback works indicate he has all of his speed; make no mistake, this is an exceptional racehorse. #11 Amazombie is the defending champion and while he was a disappointing fourth behind Coil last month he is more than capable of regaining his top form today. Because he’s a juicy 12-1 on the morning line, Fast Bullet gets our top preference.
#2 Wise Dan has developed into a terror on turf and can hold his own with any grass miler in the world not named Frankel. Perfectly drawn inside in the BC Mile, the gelding should draft into a perfect second flight position and have every chance to unleash his devastating late kick. Obviously is the controlling speed, no question about that, and if he’s not respected he could take this field a very long way. He has won six of 11 career starts so it’s possible he has further improvement in him. #5 Animal Kingdom launches a comeback and can fire fresh. He has a wicked late kick over a turf course kind to closer and if they go too fast early he could be heard from late. If it wasn’t for the presence of Frankel, #6 Excelebration would have won his last eight starts. Not that he needs it, but he’ll get Lasix today for his U.S. debut and the O’Brien-trained colt should give Wise Dan and everybody else in here all that they can handle.
#5 Game on Dude practically owns this track and has never looked better in the morning. Capable of adjusting to any type of pace scenario and benefitting greatly by the switch to Bejarano, the son of Awesome Again has been listed as the 9/5 morning line favorite in the BC Classic and would be good value at or near that price. We’re not going to try to beat him; instead, we’ll make him a rolling exotic single.