Santa Anita News
The early portion of the Sunday program doesn’t look particularly appealing. In the 2nd race, #5 Position A seems worth a straight play at 5/2 on the morning line while making his first start since late December. The Mandella-trained colt has trained like he’s fit and ready and should enjoy this downhill turf course. He switches to Bejarano and figures to be on or near the lead throughout.
The Saturday opener is a good downhill turf dash that should be dominated by #1 Ashton Girl and #6 Surfer Girl. The former has proven form over the course and is the one to beat; however she’s a non-winner in this country (1-for-10 lifetime) and probably will be a short price. Surfer Girl has been impressive in morning workouts leading up to her U.S. debut and this Brazilian-bred filly owned in part by Jim Rome looks cranked up for a big try first crack out of the box.
Today’s opener matches #1 Distinctive Afleet and #3 Lunch Time as the two most logical contenders and either one can win. Distinctive Afleet is shortening up in trip and we’re not keen about the rail, but the Ellis-trained gelding should be part of the pace in a field that doesn’t have a whole lot of zip in it. Lunch Time, likewise a route to sprint play, drops a notch and should be very effective in this elongated sprint. The Walsh-trained gelding is strictly the one to beat.
The first baby race of the season is a two-furlong dash for state breds and from what we understand, the two most precocious juveniles are #8 Turbo Time and #11 My Secret Life, with the latter needing to draw in from the also eligible list.
Today’s opener boils down to #1 Just Charmed and #5 Jan’s Ruling Angel and we’ll use both in an exacta box. Just Charmed flashed improvement when second in a similar spot last month, has trained well since, retains Gomez, and should be close up throughout from the rail. With another forward move today the Craig Dollase-trained gelding should get the money. Jan’s Ruling Angel has been chasing much tougher foes recently and is realistically returned to the claiming ranks. He’s a solid fit on speed figures and should be rolling late.
We’ll begin our action in today’s 2nd race, using #1 Dancing Erin and #5 Chalula One in an exacta box. Dancing Erin seems like the quickest of the quick and if she breaks running from the rail she could be hard to catch. Chalula One seems a bit better than shown for Mandella, continues to work well, and looks primed for her best effort.
The first race boils down to #6 Tap Tap I Win and #7 Forgive Your Sins. The former exits a series of competitive starter’s allowance events and should find this $25,000 claiming field more to his liking. He’ll be running on late. The horse to beat (and our top pick in the race) is Forgive Your Sins, in the money in two pretty decent sprints at the meeting and bred to run long. His one distance race (on turf) last fall at Hollywood Park was better than looked and he’s trained well lately for Vienna.
The Friday opener sees #4 Schill listed as the 8/5 morning line favorite, but we’ll try to beat her using #3 Quite a Stormkat and #5 Mini Do. The former moves up two levels in class following a sharp, highly-rated score and a similar try today makes her a bold threat right back. The latter returns to her claim level and can act at any surface. She’ll take them as far as she can on the front end.
The 2nd race looks like an ideal spot for #4 Flashover in her first try on turf (she’s bred for it).
We’ll begin our action in today’s 4th race using #4 Thelma Rose, #5 Moto Nui and #7 Miss Bodine in an exacta/trifecta box. Thelma Rose is ambitiously placed by Spawr in her first start since being claimed and we view that as a positive sign, as this barn generally runs ‘em where they can win. She has outstanding bloodlines for turf and could very well improve dramatically in her first start on the sod. Moto Nui figures to make the running and if her numbers keep improving she’ll be hard to catch for Mitchell.
The 1st race looks like a good spot for #4 You Is What You, who drops a notch after failing as the favorite in a $16,000 affair last month. On numbers, he looks pretty solid, but normally I won’t play a horse dropping in claiming value after winning (or in this case finishing second) for a higher claiming price in his last start. Many of them do win, but few offer wagering value. This Hollendorfer-trained colt is 2-1 on the morning line and likely will go lower.