Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sat., April 12, 2014)

A nice Pick-6 carryover of $54,472awaits Saturday players on an excellent nine race program.

In the opener, #2 Divine Way resurfaces for $16,000 on the one-level drop following a Diodoro claim, so her condition is a question and she loses Bejarano. However, even without the healthiest of patterns she is good enough off her best effort to warrant consideration. #4 Time for Angie is a huge class dropper (from $50,000) but retains Bejarano so perhaps she may be a tad more trustworthy. At any rate, this is not a race we’re planning to play with any degree of confidence.

The second race is a low-level restricted claimer for older fillies and mare; the two we’re looking at are #1 Italian Baba and #6 Dream Baby and both should be included in rolling exotic play. Italian Baba, away since June and returning at her lowest level ever, won her debut so you know she can fire fresh and Glatt is pretty good with layoff runners. Dream Baby is a fit on figures and has recent form and good early speed, so she may be a tad more trustworthy.

We’ll go two-deep in the third race, a maiden turf miler for 3-year-old fillies. #7 Cryptic was a $225,000 juvenile sale purchase last May and makes her debut for a barn not known for winning with first-timers. However, the daughter of Indian Charlie has shown enough in the morning to warrant a strong look in an unclassified field. #9 Star Act is poorly drawn outside but the Proctor-trained filly gets a break in the weights and looks clearly like the best of the known element.

The pick-6 begins with the fourth race, a treacherous bottom-rung maiden claiming extended sprint. We’ll use three and hope that’s enough. #2 Profire has burned money as the favorite in each of his last three starts so he’s certainly not one to trust, but the Sadler-trained colt has back figures that can win and is a “must use” in a weak affair. #4 Ice Cream Truck is an 11-race maiden but has hit the board in each of his last five starts and really won’t have to improve much to finally break on through. #8 Slewissurfing adds blinkers following a fair fourth in his debut for Ellis and certainly has a right to produce a major forward move with that race behind him. The Surf Cat gelding retains Talamo and since he has the most upside we’ll prefer him on top.

The Las Cienegas Stakes for fillies and mares sprinting down the Hillside course is carded as the fifth race; both #4 Biorhythm and #5 Sky High Gal have strong credentials to win. Biorhythm beat a softer allowance field under similar conditions last month and earned a giant speed figure in the process; with continued improvement for Proctor she’ll be hard to beat right back despite the class hike. Sky High Gal won the Wishing Well Stakes in early February and has been kept on edge in the morning since then by Sadler; her last three workouts all have been fastest of the morning. We’ll use both in rolling exotic play while slightly preferring Biorhythm on top.

Entry-level sophomore colts sprint seven furlongs in the sixth race; it’s a strong affair with three major contenders. #6 Chelios has improving form for Proctor, most recently breaking his maiden in solid fashion, and appears to be a colt with a future. With Stevens out of town hot riding bug boy Van Dyke picks up the mount. #8 Top Fortitude was highly impressive breaking his maiden at first asking in November at Hollywood Park before going to the sidelines; he seems like he’s worked well enough to be fit and ready for Owens in his comeback. #9 True Ten returns to sprinting and has worked strongly for Cerin; he switches to Bejarano and a repeat of his highly impressive debut maiden win would probably beat this field.

Starter allowance fillies and mares sprint down the Hillside course in the seventh race; it’s an open affair that probably requires a spread. #6 Blake’s Magic, in the money in her last pair over this course and distance, should be a strong late factor and with good racing luck might tag the speed. #10 Intoxicating Move, second in the same race ‘Magic exits, is partial to this turf course and should fire another big shot for Machowsky with Bejarano staying aboard. We’ll try to survive using just these two but feel free to include anybody else that catches your eye.

The Portrero Grande, the eighth race feature, is a high quality sprint that brings back the second and fourth place finishers of the San Carlos Stakes from last month. #7 Big Macher is vastly improved and continues to lay his body down for Baltas; the ex-claimer lands a comfortable outside post and switches to Baze. He led the way into the lane in the San Carlos but was worn down late by Sahara Sky. #6 Wild Dude was part of the pace throughout and finished fourth but was beaten less than a length; the Hollendorfer-trained colt retains Bejarano and catches a favorable pace scenario. We’ll give ‘Dude a very slight edge on top but we’ll use both in our rolling exotics.

The finale is wide open maiden claiming sprint down the hill; anything goes in this mad scramble, #6 Cowtownmary tries maiden claimers for the first time and is very likely to improve for Machowsky; he’s a routes-to-sprint play and we’re expecting that he’ll enjoy this turn back in trip. #9 Distillery, in the money in his last pair and a troubled third in a similar high priced claimer last month, can improve with clear sailing for the hot Puype stable. #10 Robert E. Lee has looked sharp in his recent comeback workouts and very likely is better than his debut effort indicates.