Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Fri., Jan. 31, 2014)

Pick-6 players will be enticed by a $70,442 carryover on a challenging Friday program.

The opener, a restricted (nw-2) claiming miler for fillies and mares, has #4 Second Time and #7 Secret Memo as the two main contenders. Second Time had a rough trip in her recent sprint comeback and did well to finish second in her first start since November of 2012; she should be fitter and stronger today for Cerin while stretching out to a distance she’s proven she can handle. #7 Secret Memo is suspect around two turns but she got loose on the lead when crushing a maiden claiming sprint field recently and if she can do so again today without undue pressure she might be able to see the trip.

The second race looks to have two major players. #6 Silk in Silver is 8/5 on the morning line and looks it on form; the Silver Train filly ran well at this level in her debut and then earned a fairly decent speed figure when fourth vs. $40,000 maiden claimers last time out. A bullet workout since raced indicates she’s likely to move forward again, so we’ll put the Grayson-trained filly on top. #4 Truly Beautiful, second in this league two runs back but overmatched when raised in her most recent start, returns off a two month freshening for Jones and is re-united with Talamo. She’s a fit on figures and the one to fear most.

The Pick-6 begins with the third race. #2 Koukla won at first asking in clever fashion; the Sadler-trained filly rallied wide to win going away with an okay number and today tackles first-level allowance foes, turf, and two turns all for the first time. That’s a lot of “firsts” for an 8/5 morning line favorite, so we can’t make her a single, but we have to use her. #4 Sheza Smoke Show was a clever turf maiden winner down the hill earlier this month and her numbers continue to rise with each outing. There’s no reason she won’t be able to handle the extra ground and with Talamo riding her back the daughter of Wilko may offer some value at anywhere near her 3-1 morning line.

The fourth race is an extended claiming sprint restricted to 4-year-olds and lost a major contender with the program scratch of #3 Too Fast to Pass. #7 Topper’s Ghost plummets in class for Sadler and looks tough from his comfortable outside draw. He’s a strong fit on speed figures, has won over this track in the past, and exits an infinitely tougher race. Small ticket players can consider using him as a single; if you wish to go a bit deeper you should find room for #5 Judge Carr, claimed in his last four starts and with figures that fit and the proper style for this seven furlong trip.

Older straight maidens sprint down the hill in the fifth race; we’re fairly confident we can get through this race using just two. #4 Gospel Music, a solid third in a strong straight maiden all-weather sprint at Golden Gate Fields in his debut, shows up in the Dollase barn today and seems likely to produce a forward move. He’s bred for turf on the bottom side of his pedigree and if he breaks with his field today (he didn’t up north) he should find himself in a good pace-prompting position. #7 Tizapalooza represents strong stranger danger. A series of sharp morning workouts has this four-year-old gelding fit and ready for a big effort first crack out of the box; with Smith taking the call the son of Tizbud is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.

Bottom-rung claiming fillies and mares sprint seven furlongs in the sixth race. Best advice is to spread as deeply as you can afford to. #1 No Tricks for Jack drops to her lowest level ever for Carava and must overcome the rail; however, she has figures that make her a major contender and she does like to win races (7-for-29). #3 Ralphy Girl hasn’t had a whole lot of luck over the Santa Anita main track but she’s a class dropper with dangerous early speed and may get brave if she can shake loose early. #7 Mary Contrary was beaten a neck the last time she competed for this price; she’s run well at this extended sprint trip in the past and is worth inclusion in rolling exotic play despite her low profile connections. These are the three we’ll be leaning on but feel free to use anybody else that catches your eye.

The featured seventh race, a turf sprint for entry-level fillies and mares, appears to be a proper spot for #7 Ultrasonic to register her first U.S. victory. The Baffert-trained filly didn’t run badly when fourth in the Monrovia Stakes over this course and distance earlier this month and has come back to work quite well since. She also has that powerful “blinkers off” angle working for her. We’ll put her on top but we’ll also include #9 Kinz Funky Monkey (dangerous speed, lightly-raced and a fit on figures) and #10 Could Be Trouble (a prototype late-running turf sprinter for Miller and training lights out for her first start since June).

The finale is a maiden claiming extended sprint for 3-year-olds; we’ll use two and feel pretty confident about it. #6 Rambling House is improving with each start and earned a career top speed figure when second (more than five clear of the rest) in a strong race for the level last time out. He continues to show progress in the morning for Pederson, retrains Pedroza, and seems the solid choice. The main threat comes from #3 Soooo Major, a late-runner from Hendricks barn. He switches to Talamo, returns to the $30,000 level and has steadily rising speed figures.