Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sun., Oct. 13, 2013)

A good Sunday nine race program is made more interesting by a $91,551 Pick-6 carryover.

The opener offers a 2/5 morning line favorite in the comebacking #6 Blonde Fog. A 12 length maiden winner in her debut and then second in the Gr. 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes last year, she returns off a long layoff for Baffert with a solid work tab, but offers no value in what appears to be an unplayable race, unless you think you can beat her. We’ll sit it out.

The second race for two-other-than fillies and mares appears to have two main contenders. #6 Warren’s Veneda exits a pair of listed stakes races and ran well in both; she has solid numbers for the level and will enjoy this added distance. We like her on top but you also may want to consider in your rolling exotics #2 Changethechannel, a decent third in her recent comeback in a stakes at Pomona. The caution is that she may be a need-the-lead type and may not get that kind of trip today.

Baffert has 40 percent of the starters in the third race feature, the Anoakia Stakes for sprinting juvenile fillies. #2 Spring Moon looked super graduating at first asking earlier in the Del Mar season but hasn’t been seen since. However, she trains like she’s fit and ready and figures to be a short price choice over stable mate #5 Cadron, who also won at first asking but earned a Beyer speed figure 14 points less than Spring Moon’s winning number.

#9 Joeandbetty’sbaby is a first-off-the-claim for O’Neill and is protected in the fourth race, an allowance turf sprint event, and that’s a good sign. She’s backing up in trip, has won over this course in the past, and with her powerful late kick she seems the one to beat. #8 Horsesanddivorces is a solid turf sprinter and should be prominent throughout. She has plenty of early zip but may prefer patient tactics.

The fifth race is an extended sprint for maiden juvenile fillies and should showcase #5 Wild Caroline. An event fifth in her debut at Del Mar, she’s trained like a much better type over conventional dirt and seems likely to produce a major forward move today. Bejarano figures to have her rolling late. #7 Salsita, a reasonable runner-up in her debut at Del Mar, finished well enough in that race to indicate she might really like this seven furlong trip. Both should be used in rolling exotic play.

Maidens sprint down the hill in the sixth race and that’s what #10 Lake Maracaibo really wants to do. She’s a route-to-sprint play for Spawr and should produce the last run under Smith. She’s burned plenty of money in the past but gets ideal conditions today. #3 Woodys Wharf and #7 Indygo F M A have credentials to contend and both should be used in rolling exotic play, or at least on back up tickets.

The seventh race, a low-level claiming sprint, looks like a spread with a number of contenders and question marks. #2 Half Dome Dude has won on this track in the past and has been freshened since a solid third place performance against and slightly lesser group in late August at Del Mar. He’s been looking good in the morning of late for Hess and is overdue for a win. #1 Ol’ Steely Blue should have enough early speed to use his rail post to good advantage and gets Bejarano. He’s been first or second in 10 of 23 career starts. #5 Bertran Hill likes to run second and third more than he likes to win, but he has back numbers that would bury this group and he should produce a forward move in this, his third start off a layoff.

#1 Journey On won both of her outings at Del Mar in visually pleasing fashion, one sprinting on the all-weather surface and the other routing on turf. She lands the favorable rail in today’s eighth race, continues to impress in the morning for O’Neill, and catches a favorable pace scenario that should complement her stalking style. We like her on top but will also include in our rolling exotics #7 Tangerine Tickle, lightly-raced with room to improve and the possible controlling speed.

The nightcap in an extended sprint for bottom rung maiden claimers and we’ll try to survive using three, including our top pick #5 Ice Cream Truck. A distant second in a fast, highly-rated race at Del Mar, he’s been kept on edge in the morning with a recent bullet five furlong drill and gets the bug boy to take some weight off. #4 Grant is plenty quick and could make the lead and never look back if unpoliced during the early stages of the race. #9 Warren’s Cliff S. has been in the money in four of his five starts and probably has a bit of improvement in him.