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Jeff Siegel

'Prime Picks'

Handicapping with Jeff Siegel
Horse owner, breeder and HRTV analyst Jeff Siegel also happens to be Southern California's premier handicapper. Check his blog each day before you play!
May 24, 2015

There’s a $127,455 Pick-6 Carryover Sunday at Santa Anita.

The early part of the nine race program doesn’t offer many prime wagering opportunities, but the card picks up steam midway.  We’ll fiddle around early and then get serious late.  The opener finds #1 Dr. Fager’s Girl the even money favorite in a field of five first-level allowance 3-year-old fillies and while the Hollendorfer-trained daughter of Wild Desert offers no value at that price, she certainly seems the likely winner.  Her maiden sprint score was impressive and she galloped out strongly as if to indicate that added distance won’t be an issue.

The second race, a $12,500 middle distance claimer, will have a winner; however, we have little opinion as to whom that might be.  #3 When We Met comes off a win for $10,000 in mid-March and was claimed, but the claim was voided due to unsoundness and he’s been away for two months.  That’s not the kind of pattern you’d normally accept 7/5 on.  The others in the field look equally shaky, so rolling exotic players can choose to either buy the race or simply sit it out.

The featured Charles Whittingham Stakes is carded as the third race and drew a small field of five, with #5 Ashleyluvssugar the 6/5 morning line favorite.  Lightly-raced and improving with each start, the Eurton-trained gelding won the San Luis Rey Stakes in March over this course and distance and has trained superbly since, so we’re expecting a similar if not better effort today.  However, once again, there’s little to no value to be found.

The Pick-6 begins with the fourth race and now things get interesting. There’s no slam dunk single in the scheme, so if you do manage to hit the Pick-6 you will be handsomely rewarded.   Maiden claiming fillies and mares sprint six furlongs to kick things off, and if you can afford to spread a race or two in the sequence, this might be one of those races to do it.  #10 Exposure surfaces for a tag for the first time and could get very brave against this group.  She has some speed – cheap as it may be – and she continues to train well, so we have to include the Baffert-trained filly.  #7 Stella Moon adds blinkers for the first time and ran fairly well when third in a modest race for the level last month.  She switches to Bejarano and probably won’t have to improve much to win.  #6 Jazzed, first off the claim for Carava, has finished second in both of her starts to date and makes a major switch to Baze.  Her numbers are improving and she was five clear of the others in her most recent start.  Let’s try to survive using just these three, with Jazzed slightly preferred on top.  Big ticket players likely will find the need to add a few more.

Maiden special weight fillies and mares sprint six furlongs in the fifth race, another affair that has several contenders.  #7 Super Majesty is a first-time starter with a string of impressive workouts for Hollendorfer and gives every indication that she’s a real prospect.  Solis has been on her in the morning and the daughter of Super Saver looks fit and ready.  #6 Cadet Roni hasn’t yet run to her works, but she continues to impress in the morning and in her second off a layoff could move forward considerably for Glatt.  Blanc has gotten to know her in recent a.m. drills and we’re expecting the daughter of Colonel John to stick much better today than last time.  #2 Tiz Josselyn was an okay fifth in her debut, has looked quite good since with three solid workouts, and should step forward for Proctor.  She exits a live race and Van Dyke stays aboard.  These are the three we’ll prefer, with Super Majesty earning top billing.

The sixth race is an intriguing seven furlong affair for $20,000 claimers.  #6 Ranulf exits a very strong race – he finished well to be third and has looked sharp in the a.m. since – and seems ideally suited for this extended sprint trip.  There’s some value here at 4-1 on the morning line and Garcia will have him doing his best work late.  #2 Shame on Alex, fifth in the same hot race that Ranulf exits, is fond of this main track and should be prominent throughout in a race that likely will present softer splits than he’s been used to seeing.  The Ellis-trained gelding is a “must use” at 6-1 on the morning line.  #3 Jonny’s Choice just beat an $8,000 field and today – in a sign of confidence by Glatt – moves all the way up to the $20,000 level while retaining Talamo.  He may be most effective as a main track sprinter even though only four of his 18 career starts have been over conventional dirt.  In case you’re wondering, we’re not going to include the morning line choice #5 Brando the Birdman (9/5).  There’s no question he’s good enough if he’s feeling right, but we simply don’t like his pattern.  If he beats us at that price, he beats us.

The seventh race is a high-priced maiden claiming hillside turf sprint and is another fairly wide open affair.  #8 Roth is a first timer from the Mullins barn that has trained well enough to win at this level and offers considerable value at 8-1 on the morning line.  It’s been a slow year for this normally high-percentage barn, but this son of Discreetly Mine looks cranked up and ready to roll.  Of those that have raced, we’ll prefer #2 Lovenseek and #4 Nakamoto.  The former, in his first start since October, has the blinkers-off angle we always like and the workouts at San Luis Rey Downs for Miller look strong.  He showed ability last fall as a two year old and could easily be a better type this time around.  Nakamoto recently was gelded and is also adding blinkers for the first time, so he certainly has a right to improve.  Interestingly, this will be his eighth career start, but his first ever in a sprint.

Entry-level allowance sprinters meet over five and one-half furlongs in the eighth race with #6 Rule He Will the likely choice and one to beat.  If you’re in need of a single, he could be the one, though there are at least a couple of others in here that have a right to win, too.  The Glatt-trained gelding was a very sharp winner two runs back and then settled for second in another extremely hot race last month.  The son of Tribal Rule continues to shine in the morning and should fire another huge shot.  #7 Go First and #5 Gutsy Ruler also deserve some consideration.  Go First may have been rusty in his comeback but won’t be today and is re-equipped with the blinkers he seems to need.  He’s also a first-time D’Amato, so improvement is highly likely.  Gusty Ruler crushed a starter’s allowance field with career top figure earlier this month while employing a good, stalking style to win going away.  He will be dangerous right back.

The finale is a mile turf affair for older straight maidens; it’s a highly contentious race for the level  with at least three major players.  #7 Malibu Wood is rounding into shape for Drysdale and could be set for an explosion.  Victimized by a lack of pace against a similar group last month, the son of Malibu Moon kept to his task to finish a willing fourth (beaten two lengths) and can be expected to produce another forward move today.  He’s 12-1 on the morning line and, really, that’s too much to expect (but we’ll take it if we can get it).  #3 Architop, second when beaten a nose in the same race Malibu Wood exits, will be making just his third career start so he’s likely to improve as well.  The Prat-Mandella team is quite formidable and this gelding probably can be effective on the lead or from a stalking position. There’s nothing at all wrong with his 7/2 morning line odds if you like him. #10 Seve’s Road, first off a $50,000 claim by D’Amato, should get plenty of support (he’s 6-1 on the morning line) with Bejarano riding him back.  He took hold late when a fast-finishing second in a recent Hillside turf sprint and seems likely to very much enjoy this stretch out in trip.

 

 

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