Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Fri., March 8, 2013)

Lord Vronsky seeks his third straight win in the Friday opener but is actually dropping a notch off a Spawr claim, and hasn’t had a registered work for almost a month. He’s 4/5 on the morning line, so regardless of whether he’s healthy or not, he offers no value. Cabo Chico was 4/5 against Lord Vronsky when they met last time out and wound up fourth, but today lands a more comfortable outside post and seems capable bouncing back. If you’re looking to play the race, he might be the safer of the two, though a better strategy might simply be to pass the race.

In the second race, Charming Candra adds blinkers, switches to Bejarano, shortens up, switches to the main track, and drops into a very weak maiden claimer. If she can run at all, this would appear to be a logical spot to show it. We can’t like anything else, so let’s make this Pender-trained filly a rolling exotic single pretty much by default.

The third race was originally slated for turf; we’re going to assume it will be switched to the main track. Always a Chance, Chimi Dee and Mum’s Truckee all have run fairly well in the past on conventional dirt, while My Cinsation, a winner of her debut down the hill in very impressive style, is bred for the main track and should like it. On either surface, we’ll put My Cinsation on top but it might be wise to spread the race.

Three Vases and Idontrollonshabbos both have a right to run well in the fourth race, a moderate claimer restricted to 4-year-olds, but neither is trustworthy and in a field with so little depth there’s really nowhere else to turn. We’ll use both in rolling exotic play but not with a very low degree of confidence.

In the fifth race, Secret Cove drops into a claimer and seems well placed to regain her best form. For the purpose of this analysis, we’re assuming the race will remain on grass and this Miller-trained mare always has liked the local lawn. Funny Belle earned a competitive figure when beating a $25,000 field last month and is raised considerably in class in a sign of confidence by new trainer Conlon. She has a good stalking style and recent numbers that make her a fit in this league. We’ll double the race in our rolling exotics while slightly preferring Funny Belle on top.

Saddleranch launches a comeback for Baffert in the sixth race and has shown the ability to win fresh in the past. The works indicate he’s plenty fit and he has back numbers that can win. Italian Rules is razor sharp and looks quite dangerous on the raise for new trainer Spawr. He’s strictly the one to beat. Both should be used in your rolling exotics; we’ll press a bit with Italian Rules on top.

We’ll handicap the seventh race assuming it remains on turf. Atticus Jack switches to Bejarano and should enjoy an ideal second flight, ground-saving trip. He’s never won on this turf course but he’s run well enough to expect a big effort today. Rock This Way drops to a realistic spot and looks dangerous in a pace pressing role. He’s back with Baze, who has won with him in the past. Let’s use both in rolling exotic play while preferring Atticus Jack on top.

Chila Ali, first off the claim for Mulhall, has looked sharp in the morning for her new connections and figures to produce considerable improvement in nightcap, maiden claiming sprint for sophomore fillies. She’s solid in the speed figure department and retains Krigger. Lets’ make her a straight play and rolling exotic single.