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Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sun., Feb. 2, 2014)
The Super Bowl Sunday eight-race program begins early with an 11 a.m. first post.
The known element isn’t much in the opener, so we’ll go with #2 Mahogany Run strongly on top. The Spawr-trained gelding finally makes it to the race at age four and it seems significant that he shows up for $50,000, rather than at the bottom ($20,000). The works are solid and the barn does well with first timers. Let’s make him a strong straight play and rolling exotic single at anywhere near his 2-1 morning line odds.
The second race, a starter’s allowance downhill turf sprint for fillies and mares, appears to have two main contenders. #6 Lake Maracaibo crushed bottom-rung maiden claimers recently despite a slow start; she was claimed by Carava, who protects her while switching to Nakatani. We’re expecting her to be along in time. We’ll also include in our rolling exotics #1 Amanda, a route-to-sprint play with numbers that make her a factor. Talamo knows her well and should have the Smarty Jones filly in a good tactical spot throughout.
The Pick-6 begins with the third race. #5 Putahexonder closed a little bit of a gap in her sprint debut after a slow start, has trained well since that race, and stretches out to a distance she should appreciate. We’ll put her on top. #2 Room for Me has worked sharply since her debut as a non-factor in November; she drops to the bottom today and deserves another chance. #6 Visions of Candy is a one-paced, no-style filly but she’s hit the board in her last pair and really won’t have to improve all that much to beat this group. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics; we might press a bit with Putahexonder on a few extra tickets.
The Palos Verdes Stakes goes as the fourth race and looks to be a match affair between #2 Sahara Sky and #4 Secret Circle. The latter has worked superbly for his first start since his Breeders’ Cup Sprint score and has a tactical advantage over his main rival. ‘Sky launches a comeback and though he’s a top class sprinter six furlongs might be a tad sharp for him at this stage of his career. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.
Maiden claiming 3-year-old fillies sprint six and one-half furlongs in the fifth race, with #4 Moscato Girl appearing ready to graduate. She’s a first-off-the-claim for Sadler (21%) with back figures that can win, and really has little to beat. She’s looked good in the morning since switching barns and seems set for forward move. We’ll make her a strong straight play and rolling exotic single.
The sixth race is a turf raffle over nine furlongs; best advice is to use as many as you can afford to. We’ll go three deep and hope that’s enough. #9 Te Rapa is a non-winner over this course in eight starts but he exits the best race, makes a positive switch to Smith and is more than sufficient in the speed figure department. If he can negotiate a good trip from his outside draw, the Zucker-trained gelding will be right there. #2 Depreciable is worth tossing in; the Mullins-trained gelding is in good form and has excellent tactical speed. #5 Tiz Dynamic may prefer the main track over turf but he, too, is in sharp form right now and his one try over the local lawn wasn’t horrible.
#3 Cat Burglar was an excellent second in a similar affair behind Appealing Tale and was flattered when that one scored yesterday. The Baffert-trained colt is lightly raced with plenty of upside and after a strong recent workout the son of Unbridled’s Song seems set for another forward move in today’s seventh race. #7 Got Even has plenty of early speed and might get very brave if left alone up front.
The nightcap is a maiden special weight turf affair for state-bred 3-year-olds. #7 Unusually Green has much in his favor and we’ll make him a strong straight play and rolling exotic single. He’s a blinkers-off play while trying turf and stretching out for the first time, and he’s been working like a very good colt of late, giving indication that he’s better than shown. He offers extreme value at 8-1 on the morning line, though we doubt we’ll get it.