Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sun., March 24, 2013)

King Maya probably beats the first race field if he’s ready in his first start since September but at 6/5 on the morning line there’s not much we can do with him. And, quite frankly, we’ve seen better 6/5 shots. Use him in your rolling exotics if you’d like, but also include Congregationalist; he’s a nine-race maiden but has improving speed figures and was a decent third vs. tougher last time out. Both contenders are trained by Cerin. This might be a race you opt to sit out.

Copper Bay tries with blinkers on in today’s second race and gets an extra furlong to work with after rallying too late to be fourth in a similar maiden turf affair last month. Perhaps the hood will help get him into the fray earlier today. Just Fishin is even money on the morning line and really shouldn’t miss, although he’s a six race maiden and may not be entirely trustworthy. Stevens stays aboard for Greeley; there’s a bit of a question whether this colt will improve or regress at nine furlongs. We’re thinking the winner will be one of these two but neither really offers much in the way of value.

In the third race, National has been quite popular at the claim box lately and was re-claimed by Kitchingman last time out, always a positive sign. He’s won two-turning in the past, though a case can be made that he’s more comfortable as a late-running sprinter. At 6/5 on the morning line, he offers little value at any rate. We’ll use him in our rolling exotics but we’ll actually prefer Arcodoro, a class dropper in Carava’s barn with dangerous speed, though he’s never been big on winning and is switching from turf to dirt. Not much of a race, for sure.

Chinese Praise is winless in 10 starts at Santa Anita and must leave from the rail in the fourth race, so already he has two strikes against him, yet the O’Neill-trained gelding is racing in sharp from and drops to the bottom for the money run while switching to Pedroza. With good racing luck, he should be able to handle this task. We’ll use him as a rolling exotic single, but at 2-1 on the morning line there’s not a whole lot of value to be had.

Madre Luna makes her third start off a layoff in the fifth race and with another forward move should be tough to handle. She’s reunited with Pedroza, who has won with her in the past, and the Canani-trained mare looks primed for her best. Marinda is moving forward as well and should be in the thick of things throughout. The Mandella-trained filly switches to Gomez and is a “must use” in all exotic play. Lemon Hero has a good late kick when she’s on her game and should enjoy this return to turf. Toss her in. Of the three we prefer Marinda, so you may want to use her on a few extra tickets.

Ten Tequilas is improving with racing and seems best of the known element in the sixth race, though this modest affair could easily be won by a newcomer. Both Real Deal Appeal and Tizaplayer fit that mold. The former is bred for speed and has trained well enough to warrant a look while the latter looks cranked up and ready to roll for O’Neil and lands the comfortable outside post. We’ll go three deep in our rolling exotics and then press a bit with Tizaplayer on top.

Lady of Shamrock, freshened since a respectable fifth place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, has trained like she’s fit and ready for Sadler and should be able to produce the last run in the featured Santa Ana Stakes. This is a competitive field, however, so we’ll also toss in Quiet Oasis (away since July but a quality mare with an impressive work tab for Cecil) and Tiz Flirtatious (genuine, consistent, and solid on numbers).

Master Chef is back at his claim level and back on the main track in the eighth race. He has the ideal pace stalking style and Pedroza stays aboard. Free Time is plenty quick and will take them as far as he can. He’s protected today, a positive sign, and Baze has been aboard for his last two scores. We’ll double the race in our rolling exotics while preferring Master Chef on top.

Lakeside Bride finished a useful third in her recent comeback and very likely will step forward in today’s nightcap. She’s had 10 chances but really won’t have to improve all that much to beat this modest maiden field of fillies and mares. Atta Girl Alma missed as the favorite in her recent turf debut but ran quite well and retains Talamo. We’re expecting her to be along in time. Both should be used in your rolling exotics; we’ll press with Atta Girl Alma on top.