Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Thur., Feb. 28, 2013)

The Thursday program begins with a modest maiden claimer that might be best left alone. Cold Bay is a 12-race maiden and certainly not one to trust, but he’s a major contender pretty much by default. A repeat of his last race might be good enough. Gifted Prince has been away forever but returns in an extremely soft spot and attracts Bejarano. Unlike the rest of these, he’s pretty much unexposed. You can usee both in your rolling exotics or simply pass the race.

The second race is a two-turn maiden special weight affairthat has a number of contenders; we’ll pass the race in the straight pool and go four-deep in rolling exotic play. Spirited Touch is improving with racing and should produce another forward move today for Baffert. Garcia should have him within range throughout. Consurgo has been impressive in the morning for Mitchell and may be cranked up for a big effort first crack out of the box. Toss him in. Mesaru closed a gap sprinting in his debut and is bred to run long and improve with experience. Nakatani rides him back for Asmussen. Python, another Asmussen entrant, exits a fairly strong heat and has every right to improve in his second start.

Ubelongtomemissy was overmatched in the La Canada but realistically spotted in today’s third race, a starter’s allowance affair. Talamo rides her back and a repeat of her race before last can beat this field. We’ll use her in the straight pool and as a rolling exotic single.

In the fourth race, Solar Rocket take a nosedive to the bottom, always has liked this track, and figures very tough if he has one good one left. At this level, though, current condition is more important than past class. Vaundell has both, having won a similar claimer here about a month ago. Bejarano rides him back for Gaines; he’s another on shaky pins but with plenty of back class to continue winning against this grade of competition. We’ll use both in our rolling exotic.

The fifth race is a better than par race for the level and contention runs deep. Sarangani had a brutal trip in a race in late December and hasn’t been out since. He returns with a series of steady long drills for Headley and should be cranked up. With a clear trip he’ll be right there. Sanibel Sid prepped down the hill in his comeback and ran well despite a poor trip. He stretches out and has plenty of room for improvement with Talamo staying aboard. Baby Blake gets the worst of the draw but retains Bejarano and should at least get a piece of it. Of the three we’ll slightly prefer Sarangani on top but use all three in our rolling exotics.

Luckarack returns to the claiming ranks in the sixth race and should fit much better at this level. He’s a real pro who loves to win races and has the right style for this extended sprint distance. Macho Dorado is a “must use” as well. Claimed out of a recent winning effort and strong on speed figures, the consistent gelding lands Bejarano and should draft into an ideal pace prompting spot. We’ll give a slight edge to Macho Dorado but include both in our rolling exotics.

Willyconker is a past-classer that hasn’t been up to his usual stuff of late, but he surfaces in a high priced claimer in the featured seventh race and appears quite capable of bouncing back. Gomez should give him the patient ride he needs. Causeithertz is improving with every outing and is fast on numbers. He’s tackling tougher today but with another forward move he can win again. Let’s double the race in our rolling exotic and then press a bit with Causeithertz on top.

In the finale, Zippingaroundtown, freshened since December, is a fit on numbers and probably capable of improving. Let’s see if Baze can keep him together at this extended sprint distance. Primed and Ready has that powerful blinkers off angle going for him plus a nice, cozy outside draw. The Miller-trained gelding likes to settle and make a run and should have every chance today in his first start since early Decmeber. He ran well under Bejarano two runs back. Both should be used in your rolling exotics; we’ll slightly prefer Primed and Ready on top.