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Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Mon., Jan. 20, 2014)
A $92,243 Pick-6 carryover adds plenty of incentive to a strong Monday holiday program.
The opener, a middle distance claimer for fillies and mares, appears to have two main contenders, #1 Sister Glady Oh and #5 Amulay. The former drops to a realistic level, stretches out again and is overdue to regain her winning form. The latter has been popular at the claim box recently and could be dangerous if she can establish the pace without undue pressure.
The San Pedro Stakes is carded as the second race to avoid inclusion in the Pick-6 sequence. #2 Indianapolis was a visually impressive debut winner for Baffert in November and has trained in sharp style since. He looks like a quality colt and should be able to produce the last run at what surely will be a very short price.
#5 San Onofre appears to be a can’t-miss odds-on favorite in the third race, an extended sprint for first-level allowance horses. The Surf Cat gelding just annihilated a state-bred field with a powerful figure and he’s done everything in the morning since that win to indicate he still has plenty of improvement in him. Also, he figures to be even better at seven furlongs as he has been a six.
The Pick-6 begins in the fourth race and boils down #3 Big Medicine and #8 Bury Pacer. The former has finished in the money in his last pair and slowly improving, but probably can’t beat a real good maiden. #8 Big Pacer may be just that. He makes his sophomore debut for O’Neill following a promising run last fall at in England and his works since being imported have been better than the raw times would indicate. We’ll use both in the Pick-6 while strongly preferring Bury Pacer on top.
We’ll go two-deep in the fifth race, a seven furlong sprint for moderate claimers. #3 Senator Bob has never been all that keen on winning (4-for-36) but he has dangerous early speed, a couple of sharp recent works, and has Bejarano taking over. He’s a “must use” in the Pick-6 but we’ll prefer #6 Zuboff on top. The Miller-trained gelding has good tactical speed, continues to train in sharp style, and earned a giant figure when beating a similar field two runs back. Pedroza stays aboard and knows him well.
The sixth race in a downhill turf dash for $25,000 claimers and probably requires a spread. #8 Koast takes a two-level class drop after finishing off the board opening day; he’s worked well sine that race and looks dangerous in this softer spot. #11 Dixieland Blues has won down the hill in the past, finished a close third in a similar affair last month across town, and retains Bejarano. #12 Diamondsdiplomat, first off the claim for Hendricks and making his first start since June, is good enough to beat this field if ready and the works indicate fitness. These are the three we’ll prefer but feel free to include any of the others to solidify your ticket.
Maiden 3-year-old fillies sprint five and one-half furlongs in the seventh race and this trip should fit #3 Yana just fine. The daughter of Bertrando has plenty of early zip but missed at 30 cents on the dollar when worn down late across town in November. She shortens up a furlong today and might never look back. #9 Wonderful Lie has done some good things in the morning without tipping her hand and could be a lot better than her morning line odds of 12-1 might indicate. She’s worth tossing in at a price.
The eighth race, an allowance downhill turf sprint for California-breds, is another that looks quite difficult and may require the inclusion of several contenders on your ticket. For smaller players, we suggest you settle for #7 Pulpit’s Express and #12 Bros’ Bro. The former is a route-to-sprint play for Sadler and should be dangerous from off the pace, while the latter has plenty of zip and a good outside draw and could be tough to run down if he can shake loose early.
The nightcap is an extended sprint for maiden claiming sophomore fillies; we’ll go three-deep without a great deal of conviction. #7 Yesterday Sings chased a bit tougher in her debut after breaking slowly and could easily be better than that race gives her credit for. She retains Talamo and deserves another chance. #8 Perched is another class dropper worth considering; the O’Neill-trained filly has back numbers that are better than par for this level. #12 Singleinthelast shows up in a claimer for the first time, gets a break in the weights, and continues to train like she has some ability.