Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Thu., Jan. 10, 2013)

The Thursday opener finds Tiz a Minister looking very much like a no-value single at 4/5 on the morning line. A closing fourth in the King Glorious Stakes last month at Hollywood Park, the Aguirre-trained colt surfaces in a starter’s allowance (nw-2) event and should out class this group. A repeat of his highly rated maiden win two runs back would be more than good enough.

Indycat is double jumped in class in the second race following a nice sprint win vs. bottom rungers last month at Hollywood Park and the Carava-trained mare looks quite capable of repeating on the raise. Bisono stays aboard and can be expected to have this veteran mare on or near the lead throughout. A nice recent half mile work over the track should have her right on edge.

Parliamentarian launches a comeback in the third race after finishing third in a hot maiden sprint here about a year ago. The works are sharp and provide hope that the Headley-trained gelding is fit and ready. We’ll give him top billing but also consider Valley of Kings, runner-up in a similar state bred sprint last month in his local debut for Hess. With only slight improvement, he could earn his diploma.

Half Dome Dude was visually impressive beating a bottom rung field here last month while earning a nice figure in the process, and in a sign of confidence is triple jumped in class in the fourth race by new trainer Mulhall. This late-running sprinter should be very dangerous from off the pace and deserves top billing right back. Bet on Victor, away since mid-November and dropping two levels in class, loves this track and certainly has a right to regain his winning form for Glatt. He has a good stalking style and should always be within striking range. Max Cooper likely will be on or near the lead and could stick around a long time while returning to his winning level for O’Neill.

In the fifth race, Madeoffforthemoney shows up for a tag for the first time in her first start in two months but the works indicate she’s fit and ready for high percentage trainer Miyadi. She’s unproven on turf but if she can transfer her main track form to this downhill course she’ll be hard to beat. Blushing Martha is most effective as a late-running sprinter and gets ideal conditions in a field with enough early speed to set things up for her late kick. She beat a similar field over the Hollywood Park lawn in November and Bejarano rides her back. Forbidden City is lightly raced, bred for turf, and adding blinkers for the first time. She has numbers that make her a strong threat and she could be the speed of the speed.

Tribal Custom seeks her third straight in the sixth race while moving up from starter’s allowance company and she appears well placed to continue her winning ways in this first level allowance sprint for state bred fillies. She’s the best of the speed types and will enjoy this abbreviated trip. There’s value here at her morning line odds of 7/2 if you can get it.

Hoorayforhollywood makes his first start on turf in today’s featured seventh race and if he can duplicate his main track form over the lawn the Baffert-trained speedster could be hard to catch. He continues to impress in the morning, switches to Leparoux, and looks like the best of the speed types. Willyconker is strictly the one to beat. He should have plenty of pace to set things up for his late kick, has looked very sharp in the morning since his disappointing third place performance last month across town, and is a Grade 1 winner over this turf course. We’re expecting Pedroza to have him along in time.

We’ll go three deep in the finale, a bottom rung maiden claimer, and hope that’s sufficient. Mending Wall drops to the bottom, has a few back numbers that would beat this field and should be within striking range throughout under Maldonado. Pure Blush stretches out again and a repeat of her race before last – a decent third place effort vs. straight maiden types – makes her extremely dangerous in this league. Lady Shazzam ran well over this track during the Autumn meeting and has looked pretty good of late in the morning for Sadler. She should draft into a nice pace stalking position under Garcia. We’ll give a slight edge in a tough race to Pure Blush.