Santa Anita News
Happy Super Bowl day! Go Steelers! Does John Henry Johnson still play for them? Don’t forget early first post today, 11 a.m., and if you’d attending the races, come out early and say hello; I’ll be on the Fans’ Forum beginning at 9:45 a.m. We’ll start our action in the 4th race. #2 Icemancometh returns to turf and exits a graded stakes. He’s drawn comfortably inside while dropping into a starter’s handicap and in a field without an undue amount of speed, looks quite capable of controlling this race from gate to wire.
Yesterday's program wasn't nearly as tricky as I thought it would be and there were a whole bunch of carryover Pick-6 winners. Today's program looks challenging, so let’s dive in with several attractive rolling exotic possibilities to choose from.
Yet another Pick-6 carryover to attack today – there’s $74,682 in the till – and another difficult card to deal with. The sequence begins with the 3rd race and we'll use #5 Band of Thunder and #8 All Man. Band of Thunder returns to the high priced claiming ranks while retaining Bejarano and he’s also back on the main track, which is his preferred surface. His excellent tactical speed should keep him out of trouble and this extended sprint trip is ideal for his style. All Man lands the good outside post and keeps firing bullets for Canani.
#5 Dixie Hawks should be a short price to win the day’s opener and if you’d like to play the early daily double be sure to include #5 Extreme Notice in the second race. The Doug O’Neill-trained veteran does his best running when held up early and allowed to run late and if given that kind of ride from Valdivia he could produce the last run at a big price.
He’ll be too short to wager on, but #5 Red Sun seems like a logical ShowVivor pick – assuming you’re still in the contest – in today’s 1st race. The Carla Gaines-trained gelding was beaten a half length in his debut despite a slow start and has come back to train especially well, indicating a substantial forward move is likely. He doesn’t have a whole lot to beat in this straight maiden state bred affair and should go on to bigger and better things down the road.
One of the oldest axioms in racing is “pace makes the race.” The victory by Johnny Eves in Sunday’s 3rd race, the Palos Verdes Handicap, is a perfect illustration of how form can be drastically altered by early fractions and race shape. In his last start, the El Conejo Handicap, the 5 year old son of Skimming couldn’t cope with the blazing early splits dished out by Machismo (:21 1/5, :44 flat), got discouraged, and was virtually eased.