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Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sat., June 14, 2014)
An excellent Saturday program features a nine race program with two Grade-1 events, the Shoemaker Mile (7th race) and the Vanity Stakes (8th race). First post is 1 p.m.
The opener is a contentious seven furlong restricted (nw-2) claimer for fillies and mares; we’ll go three-deep in our rolling exotics. #5 Corinthian Melody has the proper style for an extended sprint and this turn back in trip should suit her just fine. She switches to Desormeaux while remaining well above her claim level in a sign of confidence and continues to look sharp in the morning for Pender. #1 Adriatic Skye got burned up in a hot pace down the hill vs. tougher recently but should stick much better at this level with the return to the main track. #4 Tough Business crushed a weak maiden claiming field last month in just her second career start and with another forward move could fit with this group.
We’ll double the second race, an abbreviated sprint for bottom-rung maiden claiming fillies and mares. #9 Swiss Heart, comfortably drawn outside, seems the best of the known element but is a nine race maiden and may be a tad difficult to trust. She’s a solid fit on speed figures and a bullet workout since raced is cause for optimism. #4 Lustrous Suances is a sneaky first timer from the Vienna barn; she’s worked better than the raw final times would indicate and obviously won’t have to be a world beater to act in this league.
#7 Could Be Trouble deserves a slight nod on top in the third race, $50,000 claiming turf miler for fillies and mares. First off the claim for Dollase following a clever score down the hill, the daughter of Ministers Wild Cat stretches out again to a distance she’s won at in the past and seems primed for another big effort. #1 Plaza de Indias lands the favorable rail and should move forward in her second off a layoff for Miller while gaining Rosario. #8 Flashy Dame might be worth tossing in as well, although the veteran mare is much more likely to settle for a minor award rather than win.
The Pick-6 begins in the fourth race, a strong seven furlong straight maiden event with a few nice prospects. #3 King Ptolemy has done excellent work in the morning for Baffert and acts like a colt with a strong late kick, perfect for this extended sprint trip. He should fire a big shot right off the bat. Comebacking #1 Candy’s Shoe has worked like he’s fit and ready in his first start since September for Hollendorfer and could easily be a better type this time around. #2 Midnight Storm, a route-to-sprint play, adds blinkers for the first time and has improving speed figures. Talamo stays aboard for Guitierrez.
The fifth race is a difficult entry-level allowance sprint down the hill and is another race probably requiring a bit of a spread in rolling exotic play. #4 Bettys Bambino looked quite good winning over this course and distance two races back but subsequently flunked his route test; he shortens up today and his best race makes him the one to beat. #6 Circa’sgoldengear is a veteran hard-knocking turf sprinter dropping a notch and switching to Baze; he’ll be dangerous from off the pace. #11 Lil Bit O’Fun, away since October but training nicely for D’Amato, has won over this course in the past and should produce a strong effort off the bench.
Restricted (nw-2) $12,500 sprinting fillies and mares meet in the sixth race; we’ll take a stand here and single the recent Glatt claim #8 Brandon’s Princess. In a rather shallow affair, the daughter of Exchange Rate is listed as the 6/5 morning line favorite; she’ll probably offer very little in the way of value, but certainly seems like the logical pick. This shortening up a half-furlong will help, and the switch to Baze is significant.
#1 Obviously is the one to catch again in the Shoemaker Mile, but he may be pressed throughout by the designated rabbit #6 Pulpit’s Express, who shares common ownership with the dangerous late-closing eastern shipper #2 Jack Milton. Obviously can take the heat, though, and is the one to beat. Jack Milton packs a powerful late kick and any help he receives up front will significantly aid his cause. #5 Summer Front, another classy eastern-based turf specialist, can really turn it on late as well, especially at a distance that has seen him win five of six races lifetime against similar high class competition.
We’ll prefer another invader in the Vanity Stakes, #3 Grace Hall. An excellent second in the Ruffian Stakes at Belmont Park last month in her first start in more than a year, the Mott-trained mare brings Rosario with her and is more than capable of winning with her best effort. #4 Let Faith Arise was an extra game winner of Adoration Stakes last month and should once again draft into an ideal second flight, stalking position. We’ll try to get by in our rolling exotics using only these two.
The nightcap is a tricky straight maiden sprint down the hill for fillies and mares. #5 Shysheisnot makes her first start since December and has been training like an improved sort for Sadler; she attracts Rosario and figures to fire a huge shot based on her steady San Luis Rey Downs work tab. We’ll put her on top but also use #4 Tangelo, a second-time starter for Cecil following a solid third place debut performance over this course and distance last month, and eligible to improve considerably with that race behind her.