Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Fri., Oct. 18, 2013)

A pick-6 carryover of $43,180 awaits players on a solid Friday eight race program.

The opener should showcase #5 Dragon Dance as a short priced favorite. Well-beaten in his debut in an extremely hot straight maiden race at Del Mar in August, the Sadler-trained colt takes a monumental class drop to the maiden $30,000 level while continuing to show ability in the morning. Bejarano takes over.

With stable mate #1 Heyyoucan a late scratch, #2 Tosheen will go it alone for the Miller barn. Third in a in a tougher starter’s allowance race earlier this meet, the City Zip gelding drops for the money run and looks ready to regain his winning form, but certainly won’t offer much in the way of wagering value.

The Pick-6 begins with the third race and small ticket players should take a close look at #4 Buckingham Bull as a possible single. A good second at Del Mar in a $40,000 claimer in her California debut while more than four clear of the others, she’s protected today by Cerin while retaining Bejarano and a recent strong five furlong workout should have her right on edge. She should draft into an ideal pace prompting position.

The fourth race brings back #4 One Firm Cat, a winner of two straight identical seven furlong $25,000 claimers, the most recent victory coming at Pomona last month with a career top Beyer speed figure. However, the Dollase-trained gelding isn’t being protected with a raise in class, so the barn obviously isn’t in love with him. Certainly he can win again if he has another good one left. #2 Money Cannon earned a giant figure beating a $12,500 group over this track last month and is the one fear most.

We’ll go three-deep in the fifth race, a maiden special weight miler for older fillies and mares. #5 Passionate Diva missed by nose in a similar affair over the Del Mar all-weather surface last time out while more than five clear of the others and looks ready to graduate today, though she’s unproven on turf. She’s held her form in the morning for O’Neill and is strictly the one to beat. However, both #1 Shrilanka and #8 Nicegirlsfnishlast have credentials and are worth using as well. The former has been away since being nosed out in a hundred grander more than a year ago and has worked well enough to be fit and ready for Mandella, while the latter was a willing third in her comeback at Del Mar and has a right to move forward while retaining Bejarano.

The sixth race sets up nicely for #1 Dolphin Shorts and at 8/5 on the morning line she’ll probably be a short priced rolling exotic single for many players. She drops to her lowest level ever for Mitchell while trying conventional dirt for the first time and from the rail in field with little early speed (or late speed, for that matter) she’s likely to establish the pace and keep on going.

The seventh race is a claiming miler on turf for $25,000 fillies and mares and the two main contenders are #2 Bares Tripper and #5 Tebowing, both of whom should be used in rolling exotic play. Bares Tripper has the blinkers-off angle working for her while switching to Bejarano, and she’s comfortably drawn inside in a field without a whole lot of early speed in it. She should be ideally placed throughout. Tebowing needs to be anchored and allowed to produce one late run and if ridden that way has a chance from off the pace. She’s back with Nakatani, who won on her two races back while employing that strategy.

The finale is a bottom-rung maiden claimer for distaffers and requires a bit of a spread. #9 Renegade Ride hasn’t shown much of anything in two starts against tougher straight maiden foes but she continues to train like she has more than enough ability to act with this type of field. Drawn comfortably outside, the daughter of Tiznow should have clear sailing and no excuses in this seven furlong affair. #2 John’s War figures to be running on late and should at least get a piece of it, while #7 Magic Number is re-equipped with blinkers and has an improving pattern.