Handicapping with Jeff Siegel
The Sunday program looks highly competitive; there are no slam dunk singles that we can find. With a pick-6 carryover in excess of $166,604 the pool should exceed a million. First post time is the usual 1 p.m.
The opener finds #3 Eltoninadress moving up a notch following a sharp bottom-rung win for new trainer Diodoro, who had this mare a few races back and obviously knows her well. In the money (with four wins and four seconds) in all 11 starts over the Santa Anita main track, she looks tough once again and rates top billing but doesn’t really offer all that much value.
The second race is a bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint for fillies and mares; we’ll go three-deep without getting too involved. #1 She’s Discreet was beaten as the favorite in a similar spot earlier this month after a fairly decent debut effort at Del Mar. If she runs back to her race before last she can win, but that’s a question mark. #9 Here’s Bella dropped to this level last time out and ran well to be second; a similar effort today puts her in the fray. First time starter #10 Twenty Eleven shows up cheap for Hofmans and obviously isn’t well thought of by the barn but how good does she really have to be? The works aren’t bad and she’s drawn comfortably outside.
The third race is a moderate claiming router that appears to have two main contenders. #6 Chicsdigtheshark got away with easy splits on the front end and won from a bit tougher field recently; he drops a notch for Spawr and may have to work a bit harder on the front end, though on paper he’s not facing much heat once again. We’ll put him on top but also use #2 Fly Blue, in good form for Sherman but one that usually prefers to finish second or third rather than win. He’ll be running on late and would appreciate at least a decent pace to chase.
The Pick-6 begins in the fourth race, a maiden nine furlong turf event. #3 Decisive Edge has been burning money and stuck on seconds lately in New York and may be a hard one to trust, but he’s making his first start for Hollendorfer so he’s very likely to show big improvement. We’ll put him on top. #2 Yes Yes Yes is an eight race maiden and is another one that seems to lack a winning punch, but the Eurton-trained gelding exits a highly-rated race and he is runner-up try two races back charts well with these. #5 Native Ride isn’t particular fast on speed figures but is lightly raced with a bit of improving to do and could be a factor from off the pace. Best advice here is to use as many as you can afford to.
The fifth race is another difficult maiden event, this one for juveniles on the main track. #2 Pioneerof the West didn’t run badly against Stakes Company on turf and should find this maiden field considerably easier. He’s drawn inside and should enjoy an ideal pace-prompting journey. We consider the switch to Nakatani to be a strong positive. #3 Madiba has improving numbers for Hollendorfer and also sports that two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern that we like so much. With the blinkers going on for the first time, the Candy Ride colt almost assuredly will display improved early speed. #6 Prospect Park, a distant second behind top prospect One Lucky Dane in a powerful maiden race earlier this month, certainly doesn’t have anybody that good to contend with today and is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.
Entry-level fillies and mare sprint down the hill in the sixth race, another affair that may require a spread. #7 Heavens Stairway won twice over this course and distance in strong fashion and we’re willing to forgive her disappointing run over the all-weather at Del Mar. She switches to Baze and should regain her best form today. #3 Doctor Glynis, second in her last pair, moves up from the claiming ranks but has figures that fit and with another forward move could make her presence felt at 6-1 on the morning. The switch to Talamo is a positive move. #9 Yana broke her maiden down the hill vs. state-bred foes last spring and then was stopped on; she appears to be working quite well for Spawr for her comeback and could be a better type this time around. She has plenty of zip and figures to draft into a nice pace prompting position from her extreme outside draw.
The seventh race is a claiming affair restricted to 3-year-olds. #3 Presiding Justice won a starter’s allowance $40,000 at Del Mar last time out and today surfaces for $18,000; that’s hardly an encouraging pattern. However, all three of his previous runs over the Santa Anita main track were quite good, so you have to use him, especially at this extended sprint distance that will compliment his late-running style. #2 Compulsive looked decent winning a restricted (nw-2) $12,500 claimer here a few weeks earlier and really won’t have to improve much to be tough right back. #10 Echo Zulu gets the cozy outside post for his comeback and has trained well enough to be considered dangerous for a trainer that does pretty well with layoff runners. He’s a little slow in the speed figure department but we’ll use him in a field loaded with nothing but question marks.
The feature today is the Lure Stakes over a mile on turf; this another event that could be won by any one of a half dozen or more. #5 Pure Tactics was a closing fourth down the hill in the Eddie D. Stakes last month and should find this stretch out to a mile well within his range (he fact, he might be more effective around two turns). Bejarano should have him well positioned, ready to pounce. #8 Artest won over this trip two runs back so he, too, can be dangerous with the stretch-out angle. There’s some value here at or near his morning line odds of 6-1. #9 Boyett gets the worst of the draw but he’s tough as nails, loves this turf course and will be hard to beat if he can secure a decent trip from the extreme outside post. He doesn’t need the lead to win, so Smith has the option to tuck in and settle should situation require it.
The nightcap is a high-priced maiden claiming sprint for juveniles; this is another event that looks completely wide open. #1 Sky Heart must overcome the rail, but if the Sadler-trained colt breaks cleanly he could be the controlling speed and be tough to catch. #2 Oh Newman shows up for a tag for the first time is exiting a pair of killer straight maiden races. He’s a fit in this league based on numbers. We’ll use these two but spread if you can afford to.