Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sun., Jan. 13, 2013)

A double Pick-6 carryover of $231,345 awaits players on a challenging Sunday program. A little will go a long way in the opener, a modest bottom rung maiden claimer, and Bio Pro seems the best of the weak lot. An improved runner-up in a similar spot last month, he has back figures that are considerably better than par and seems like a legitimate rolling exotic single.

The second race is a typically tough downhill turf sprint that requires a spread. Gnarly Dude has a good stalking style and if he can secure a decent position from his rail post he should have every chance to pounce on the leaders in the final furlong. Baze stays aboard and won on this gelding two races back. Relentless Heat loves this turf course and should bounce back to his best form. Talamo will have him rolling in the final furlong. Guest Star has rising speed figures, a comfortable outside post, and a strong, healthy work pattern. Espinoza should have him on or near the lead throughout. We’ll go three deep in our rolling exotics while slightly preferring Guest Star on top.

The Paseana Stakes is carded as the third race on the program. Distracting removes blinkers, stretches out for the first time, lands the good rail and catches a pace scenario that probably will allow her to become the controlling speed. The lightly-raced Baffert-trained filly missed at 3/5 in a recent sprint but probably was best. She remains well regarded and seems capable of winning this overnight handicap with the kind of forward move she seems capable of.

Demonic has done everything like a potential Derby type and has worked like he’s fit and ready to win today’s fourth race at first asking. He’s a big, impressive looking son of Bernardini and could be any kind. We’ll make him a strong straight play and rolling exotic single.

Exclusive Story in another one of those dangerous Calder shippers and arrives ready to win again in today’s fifth race after breaking her maiden in in late November. She has impressed in her morning drills since joining the Cerin barn and gets Bejarano. She’s our top pick but we’ll include in our rolling exotics Sultry Season (a fit on figures and stretching out for the first time) and Cavalla (strong recent maiden claiming winner also trying two turns).

Nicegirlsfnishlast closed with interest in her debut and has looked especially sharp in the morning since, so improvement is likely in today’s sixth race. Bejarano rides her back, and if the Eurton-trained filly can secure a decent trip from rail she should be hard to contain. Poster Girl is another progressive sort; she broke slowly and was a non-factor in the same race that Nicegirlsfnishlast exits but seems better than that. A bullet five furlong drill should have her on edge and she switches to Leparoux. Both should be included in rolling exotics; we’ll give slight preference to Poster Girl on top.

Arresting Officer just won a similar bottom rung claimer and actually drops a pound off that effort. If he can turn in two alike in the seventh race, he can win right back. Hidden Blessing got cooked on a hot pace last month and faltered; he may not have to go quite as quickly today and could stick much better. This is a very difficult race; we’ll try to survive using just two but we suggest you include as many as you can afford to.

In the San Gabriel Stakes, Slim Shadey gets ideal conditions; he seems partial to this turf course and shortens up after leading the way into the stretch in the marathon Hollywood Turf Cup last month. He looks his usual sharp self in the morning and is being reunited with Gomez. Chosen Miracle keeps improving with each start and should fit in this league. He likes the front end and if he can establish the pace with much effort (and he might) he could take this field a very long way. Jeranimo has plenty of back races that would beat this level of competition and after a nice recent drill and with the switch to Bejarano the veteran son of Congaree should be given strong consideration. We’ll give Slim Shadey top billing while using all three in rolling exotic play.

In the nightcap, Got Heem disappointed when blinkers were added for his last start across town but he’ll go without the hood today and could regain his best form. He ran pretty well for Leparoux two runs back while earning a number that might be good enough to beat this modest maiden claiming crew. Radar the Rat shows up for a tag today and seems sure to improve. The barn doesn’t win many but in this league the son of Street Cry must be considered a major player. These are the two we’ll use but this is another affair in which a spread might be required.