Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Thur., April 11, 2013)

The Thursday opener offers little value; any one of three can win. Rolanda takes a substantial class drop while switching to Bejarano should improve a bunch in this league. She’s the likely favorite but we’ll also include in our rolling exotics Norma Reese (second in her last pair but with weak figures) and Tiz Anna (closing style suits this extended sprint distance).

Granny Calling won at this level two runs back and all of her recent efforts chart well in this second race modest spot. Talamo stays aboard for Carava and should have this filly on or near the lead throughout as a short-priced straight play and rolling exotic single.

Hidden Blessing, first off the claim for Dollase and removing blinkers, has good recent form and really won’t have to improve much in the third race to beat this bottom rung field. Maldonado should have him within striking range throughout. Warren’s Dr. Boo is sharp and a threat right back after narrowly missing in a good race for the level last time out. Both should be used in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets with Hidden Blessing on top.

The fourth race is a weak maiden claiming extended sprint and appears to have two main contenders. Amulay was nosed out in a similar spot two races back and was overmatched in her most recent outing. She’s back where she belongs and returns to sprinting on the main track. Alissa G. is a route to sprint play with a good effort at the level last time out, and with continued improvement should be right there. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll prefer Amulay on top.

In the fifth race, Idontrollonshabbos drops below his claim level after a pair of below par efforts and should snap back to life in this league. Talamo stays aboard. Kurzo is our top pick and one to beat. In the money in his last pair with numbers that fit, he makes a pivotal rider switch to Bejarano and is overdue for a win.

The sixth race is a very strong maiden sprint for sophomore fillies and it will take a nice prospect to win it. Tiz Midnight has done everything asked in the morning and looks fit and ready for a big try in her debut for Baffert. The edge, though, goes to Regime; she was a good runner-up in a fast, highly-rated debut and it will take something pretty good to deny her today.

The featured seventh race is a contentious turf affair for fillies and mares and probably requires a spread. Top Kisser is improving with every start and looks well placed while seeking her third straight score. Today we’ll find out if she’s a need-the-lead type; our guess is that she isn’t. Miss Well Molded can be dangerous from off the pace and is better than her last shows. Miss Pippa gets the worst of the draw but her recent numbers are strong and she switches to Gomez. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics while preferring Miss Pippa on top.

In the nightcap, Talk of the Town has shown enough in the morning to warrant a huge look in his debut in this very soft maiden claimer. Spawr usually sends out his first timers fit and properly spotted. J Man may be the best of the known element, although that’s probably not saying much.