Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Thu., Jan. 2, 2014)

There’s a $71,475 Pick-6 carryover to spice up an eight-race Thursday program.

The opener looks chalky, to say the least. #3 Electric Eddie remains a maiden but has placed in two hundred-granders and looks head-and-shoulders the best over a modest band, hence his 2/5 morning line odds. #2 Oh Billy Billy may provide whatever competition there is; the Baffert-trained colt continues to impress in the morning and almost certainly is much better than his fading-fourth sprint debut indicates. The son of Unusual Heat seems like a logical exacta partner with ‘Eddie.

The second race is a five-runner allowance sprint for fillies and mares; #4 Socialbug appears well-placed to regain her winning form after a disappointing run in the L. A. Woman Stakes last October. Her previous effort – a sharp allowance score at Del Mar – earned the kind of number that can win at this level. #2 Zia Zia Zia, freshened since September, has looked good in the morning for Puype and can be expected to bounce back with her best race, which could be good enough to complete the exacta.

The Pick-6 begins with race three, a poor maiden claimer that looks treacherous. #7 Senor Pegasus finished a fair fourth in a similar spot across town last month and not much better will be needed to win today. We like him slightly on top but he’s hardly trustworthy; we’ll also toss in the 12-race maiden #1 Soul Saver. The Kasparoff-trained gelding has a race over this track three back that charts pretty well and a bullet workout last week catches the eye. We suggest you use these two and back-up with any of the others if you can afford to.

Low-level claiming fillies and mares sprint in the fourth race with the dependable #4 Eltoninadress getting top billing. She’s genuine and consistent and likes this track, so there’s no reason the Taylor-trained mare won’t be in the battle throughout. #2 Inner Groove, first off the claim for Hollendorfer (26% with a flat-bet profit), returns at the same level despite having won by more than eight lengths last time out, so this placement isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of her current condition. However, she’s clearly a “must use” and Bejarano stays aboard.

#5 One Time Only appears well-placed to graduate in the fifth race, a maiden turf miler for fillies and mares. In the money in her last three and nosed out in a similar affair last month at Hollywood Park, the daughter of Lemon Drop Kid sports a bullet workout since raced and can be expected to produce another forward move. She’ll be hard to beat, but cases can be made for both #6 Shrilanka (a decent third over this course two races back) and #7 Belonging (a dangerous comebacker in the Sadler barn with a healthy work tab).

The sixth race looks made to order for #1 E Equalsmcsquared. The daughter of Einstein is eligible to this starter’s allowance event because she broke her maiden for a tag at Lone Star last May; however, she has faced stakes competition in five subsequent starts while competing fairly well including a runner-up try in the Anoakia over this track in October. She’s not a quick sort and the rail is of some concern, but we’re expecting Smith to have her along in time as a straight play and rolling exotic single.

The seventh race is an excellent grass miler; #5 Boat Trip gets a chance to show again that he’s not just a high-class late-running turf sprinter. The winner of the Hollywood Turf Express with his patented furious late kick, the Pender-trained horse won the Tsunami Slew Stakes at this distance as a 3-year-old, so he shouldn’t be inconvenienced by the added ground. This is a tough group, though, so he’d better bring his “A” game. #4 Regally Ready has done most of his good work during a $1.2 million earning career running short on grass, but he, too, can get the trip, as evidenced by a nice score at Keeneland over a mile in October. With the switch to Smith, the Asmussen-trained gelding can be expected to fire his best shot.

We’ll go three-deep in the nightcap, a maiden claiming sprint for older fillies and mares. #4 Sidebar adds blinkers for her first start since August and if she returns as well as she left the Spawr-trained daughter of Closing Argument should have little difficulty graduating. She’s certainly a standout on speed figures. #5 Silk in Silver finished a decent second in her debut for $20,000 and tackles tougher today; she’s eligible to improve with experience. #2 Corinthian Melody is a nine race maiden and has been a money burner in her last two, but she has a few back numbers that could make her dangerous.