Santa Anita News
Jeff Siegel's Prime Picks for Sunday, Jan. 11
The card looks fairly chalky early on. In the first race #4 Superfecta is 9/5 on the morning line and likely will go lower. The West-trained gelding should appreciate this shortened sprint trip and can make amends for his recent runner up effort at 3/5 across town. If you’re playing the early daily double, focus on #2 Plug Me In and #5 Trimaran in the second race. The former ran like a short horse in his recent comeback and was victimized by a slow pace; he’ll be sharper and tougher today with the return to the high priced claiming ranks while retaining Bejarano. Trimaran, freshened since late October, has trained in sharp style for Frankel and was a clever winner over this course during the Oak Tree meeting. #4 Nima’s Pad should be a relatively short price to regain his winning form in the 3rd race. The Sadler-trained gelding has a bullet work over this track since his last race, retains Bejarano, and looks capable of producing the last run. The 5th race seems like a two-horse race on paper between #2 Elusive Pleasure and #4 Vital Force. Elusive Pleasure has solid figures for the level and a good pace pressing style for this extended sprint distance. Vital Force won on this track during the Oak Tree meeting and should be very dangerous from off the pace. #5 Miss Silver Book seems like the best of the newcomers in the 6th race, and the Canani-trained filly should be used in the exotics along with #6 No Saint But Sweet and #7 Black Magic Mama. The latter two have better than par form for the level and both are coming up to the race just right. In the 7th race, #4 Rumba Along and #7 Funny Me go at each other again and they could finish one-two again, just as they did in their last encounter Dec. 5 at Hollywood Park. Funny Me may rate a very slight edge today; with better luck he might have been able to beat ‘Along across town. The Santa Ysabel Stakes brings back #2 Haka, an effortless maiden winner last month at Hollywood Park. What I like most about her is her versatility; she won her maiden in gate to wire style but she was a fast closing third in her previous after rallying from 10th. Canani is getting a bit ambitious with stretching out #6 Lady Lumberjack, a maiden, who’ll take them as far as she can on the front end. If not respected, she’ll take them a long way. Toro Bonito gets the worst of the draw but she’s a proven class performer and should be dangerous from off the pace. The 9th race boils down to #3 It’s Partytime, beaten twice as the favorite at Hollywood Park but finishing well in her last start to indicate the extra furlong of today’s race might be of some help; and #12 Waddup G, a first time in a claimer play for O’Neill who fits very well in this league on speed figures and is the likely choice and one to beat.