jsiegel's blog

A competitive $40,000 claiming downhill turf sprint ushers in a pretty good eight race Thursday program. There are several capable of winning but the preferred pair are #2 Luckarack and #3 Atta Boy Pete, one-two finishers in a similar affair here opening day. Luckarack exits a tough state-bred stakes races and returns to turf while making a pivotal switch to Bejarano while Atta Boy Pete disappointed up north in his most recent start but has trained sharply since for Hollendorfer and should bounce back.

The Sunday program begins with a difficult sprint for $12,500 claimers. #2 Keyboard Courage just earned a strong figure in beating $25,000 foes last month but today shows up for half that month. Baze, who was aboard for that win, opts for #7 Dunmore East, a winner of an $8,000 claimer last time out. #5 Senator Bob looked fairly decent beating a lesser field two weeks ago but joins a low percentage outfit. None are trustworthy but it will be only a mild surprise to us if the winner isn’t one of these three.

A superb 11-race Big ‘Cap program offers high quality of racing and a number of potentially lucrative wagering situations.

The Friday program begins with as five-runner bottom-rung router that looks made to order for Bay Area shipper #1 War Politics. He likes the Santa Anita main track, has winning connections, a comfortable inside post and recent speed figures that are better than par. #2 Londinium went on the vet’s list following his most recent victory but he’s trained well since and seems like a logical exacta partner with War Politics.

Big ‘Cap week begins with a decent Thursday program that offers a couple of rolling exotic single possibilities.

The main track very likely will be something less than fast for the Sunday program and there will be no turf racing.

A $72,912 Pick-6 carryover awaits players on a Saturday program that will be conducted over a very wet but probably very fast, sealed racetrack.

A wet Friday – heavy rain is expected throughout the day – makes the eight race program especially challenging, since many of the entrants have little to no form over wet surfaces.

The opener, a modest middle distance claimer restricted to 3-year-olds, should be won by the class-dropping Runaway Que at a short price. The Mullins-trained gelding has excellent off-track breeding on his dam’s side, and recent speed figures that are more than good enough to win at this level.

A pick-6 carryover of $198,609 looks quite enticing as Santa Anita begins another week of racing with a challenging eight race program over a track that took a considerable amount of overnight rain. Pay close attention to the early races to see if any track bias might exist.

The Sunday opener is a maiden $40,000 claimer that drew six entrants, including the two logical contenders, #2 Fast Moka Too and #3 Jetbird. Away since April of 2012 but training well enough to expect a top effort, the Ellis-trained Fast Moka Too makes her first start on conventional dirt and has only one way to go, on the front end for as far as she can take them. Jetbird should be pressing the issue as well, and in her first start for a tag, the Pender-trained filly will appreciate the class drop. However, they’re the two favorites so this race might be best left alone.