Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Fri., April 19, 2013)

A whopping $370,763 double Pick-6 carryover makes Santa Anita’s Friday program a “must play” for serious punters.

Courageousandbold just crushed a softer field with a sharp figure and if she can duplicate that effort for her new connections in the opener she’ll win right back. However, she’s even money on morning line, so there’s certainly no value here. Use her as a rolling exotic single or better yet simply pass the race.

Atta Girl Alma was visually quite impressive breaking her maiden down the hill last month and did so in a manner suggesting she’ll have little difficulty stretching out. She’s tackling tougher in today’s second race but she’s a fit on numbers and likely has plenty of improvement in her. Let’s make her a straight play and rolling exotic single.

The Pick-6 double carryover sequence begins in the third race with a five-runner low-level claimer; we’ll double the race and hope that’s enough. Buds Pal beat a softer field in gate-to-wire style recently and seems capable of repeating on the raise for the always potent Canani-Pedroza team. He can win on the front end or from a stalking position. Aqua Fever could be the controlling speed while stretching out again for Mullins and if he’s not pressured early he could get very brave late. We’ll use both but prefer Aqua Fever on top.

Princess of Pearl drops into an expensive claimer for the first time in the fourth race and a repeat of her last race should be good enough to beat this field. Baze stays aboard for O’Neill and we’re expecting him to have her along in time. However, she’s not quite single material so we’ll also include on a few tickets Mille Luna (good recent effort down the hill and may have found a home on grass) and Lord Kitra (fifth in the same race ‘Pearl exits and eligible to improve with added experience and distance).

Bluegrass Ellie, third in her local bow in a pretty tough spot, seems sure to improve a bunch in today’s fifth race for Bonde and in a below par field for the level looks quite capable of earning her diploma. Baze rides her back. We’ll try her in the straight pool as well as a rolling exotic single.

In the sixth race, Mr. Bossy Pants always gives his best and should be set for another big effort, rail and all. Maldonado should have him within striking range throughout. Distort This has been tackling tougher and will appreciate this realistic class drop. He’s a fit on numbers and is another who should draft into an ideal second flight spot. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics while slightly preferring Mr. Bossy Pants; big ticket players may find the need to go a bit deeper.

A Drop Dead Diva made a forward move when second at this level last month after winning a hot maiden affair two weeks earlier. She likely has further improvement in her and with Baze staying aboard the Cassidy-trained filly should be tough to beat in the featured seventh race. We’ll prefer her on top but also use Peppy Bolly, beaten a head in a productive heat recently and with speed figures that continue to rise for Gary Mandella. She looks like the best of the closers.

We’ll go two-deep in our rolling exotics in this eighth race grass grab bag; you may feel safer by spreading. Indian Gods is a solid fit in the speed figure department and likely has further improvement in him. The Becerra-trained colt should be prominent throughout. Copper Bay could be the most dangerous of the late-runners and this first-time-in-a-claimer move coupled with the switch to Bejarano makes him the likely choice, one to beat, and our top pick in the race.