Handicapping with Jeff Siegel
The Sunday program starts off slowly but picks up steam later in the day. The late Pick-4 looks particularly attractive.
The opener is a state-bred maiden mile turf event for fillies and mares and doesn’t have a whole lot in it. #8 Susan B Good is drawn a bit farther out than we’d prefer but a repeat of her last race – a decent second vs. similar at Del Mar – might be good enough to beat this uninspiring group. #1 Cee’s Tizzy Belle should be prominent throughout from her good inside draw and with only slight improvement could be good enough to graduate. These are the two we’ll use in our rolling exotics but we’re not planning on getting too heavily involved.
The second race looks like a rematch between #2 Gas Has to Like It and #4 Secret Ovation, one-two finishers in a similar $16,000 claimer here last month. They’re hard to choose between again – a half-length separated them last time -but we’ll give Gas Has to Like It a very slight edge in his quest to make it two in a row. However, there’s not much value to be had.
We find the third race impossible; it’s a bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint with nothing to trust. The only thing we’re sure of is that somebody is going to win. We’ll sit it out.
The Pick-6 begins in the fourth race, a turf miler for mid-grade claimers. #3 Buymeabond is a Bay Area shipper seeking his third straight win and on speed figures he’s a solid fit on this circuit. Drawn well inside, he’s capable of winning in gate to wire fashion or from off the pace, so Delgadillo has a few options. #4 Craving Carats puts blinkers on again today and is overdue for a win. He’s a fit on numbers and figures for at least a piece of it. The one we’ll prefer on top is #5 Jomelo, a strong closing third in a similar claiming affair last month over this course and distance. He retains Bejarano, continues to look good in the morning, and appears capable of producing the last run. All three should be included in rolling exotic play.
We’ll double the fifth race, an extended sprint for $16,000 claiming fillies and mares. #2 Quinnette finished a strong second in a bit tougher spot at this trip last time out and a repeat of that effort at this level should be good enough to get the job done. #7 J and S Express, fourth in the same race Quinnette exits, usually gets at least a share so we’ll use her as a saver, though her zero-for-seven lifetime record over the Santa Anita main track is hard to ignore.
The sixth race ushers in the late Pick-4. #1 Bolita Boyz makes his local debut after being purchased privately by Hollendorfer and his Florida form makes him a major player in this turf sprint stakes for 3-year-olds. He’s trained well since arriving in California, gets Bejarano, and should be very dangerous from off the pace. #3 Daraybi is a talented French sprinter with an excellent series of local drills. He looks fit and ready for a big effort. #5 Street Icon may have been a tad short in his recent comeback but won’t be today. He’s a perfect one-for-one over this course. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics and then press a bit with Bolita Boyz on top.
A strong group of maiden juvenile fillies sprint five and one-half furlongs in the seventh race; there appears to be three main contenders. #4 Windy Forecast was overmatched in the Del Mar Debutante but certainly isn’t today and the Callaghan-trained filly will be hard to deny if she repeats her promising debut performance vs. maidens at Del Mar. Her recent works over this track have been highly encouraging. #1 Cadet Roni is a fast-working first timer from the Glatt barn and if she leaves cleanly from the rail she could spring a surprise (she’s 8-1 on the morning line). #9 Girl Downstairs was beaten at the choice in her debut but removes blinkers for Baffert and second-time starters from this stable usually move forward.
The eighth race is a downhill turf sprint for entry-level allowance runners. #4 Smart Journey has plenty going for him and we’re expecting a huge effort. The lightly-raced 5-year-old just won two-turning but can sprint as well; if his improving pattern continues he can score right back. His morning line of 6-1 looks quite attractive and is fueled somewhat by the fact that Bejarano jumps off to ride #3 Law Dog. The latter is a contender as well; the Hess-trained gelding seems most effective sprinting and should draft into an ideal pace-prompting position. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics.
The nightcap is a bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint for older fillies and mares and has two main contenders. #7 Push Girl is a blinkers off, class dropper play and retains Pedroza. She continues to train like a filly with some talent and gets an ideal spot to show it. #8 Southern Owah was far back in her debut after a slow break and may deserve one more chance. She’s another that has shown some ability in the morning.