Jeff Siegel's Prime Picks for Sunday, Jan. 18

Trainer Mark Casse’s Woodbine shippers have acquitted themselves nicely early in the meeting and the stable appears to have a live one in #3 Pool Play in today’s 1st race. The Silver Deputy colt ran well in his only turf start and he appears well suited for the 10 furlong trip. His most logical challenger is #1 Oceanography, who returns to the lawn following a decent runner up try at this level in an off-the-turfer here opening day. Both should be used in your rolling exotics. The 2nd race brings back #6 Trainspotting, a very impressive winner of a highly-rated $25,000 claimer that already has proven to be productive. Trainer Jack Carava appears to have made a timely claim and double jumps this gelding in class. The son of Northern Afleet seems quite capable of handling the class hike in stride. Moving down the ladder and arguably the one to fear most is #7 The Bat Signal, who looks like the best of the closers and a logical exacta partner with Trainspotting. Not much value in the 3rd, but if you’re playing any type of rolling exotic you’d have to consider #2 Trimaran, #4 Attempted Humor and #6 Safety Zone (another of Casse’s Woodbine shippers). Any one of the three could win and they’re tough to separate. In the 4th race, #7 Runway Starlet is the only starter among the field of 8 to have raced, and she showed some ability when last seen during the Oak Tree meeting. She’s okay, but a decent first timer can beat her, and #5 High Note has worked like a much better than average state bred filly. These are the only two we’ll consider, and if you need a single, High Note would seem logical. Not much value to be had in the 5th race, as ex-classer #4 Boule d’Or seeks his third straight win while not being raised in class. Mullins is just going to keep jamming him until somebody gets brave and claims him. His recent workouts indicate he remains sharp and ready to continue his winning ways. The 6th race is an abbreviated dash for bottom rung fillies and mares and #2 Ann’s Plan, who clearly likes the Santa Anita main track, should be set for a win after exiting a very strong race for the level in which she overcame a sluggish start to wind up third. Also worth considering in your exotics are #3 Centorbi, a sharp Northern California invader; and the class dropping #9 Asian Eyes, who comes from a barn that isn’t afraid to lose a horse. The Bobby Frankel-trained #6 Fluke looks interesting in the 7th race. Second in a Brazilian Grade 1 event last year, he makes his U.S. debut with Gomez and Lasix and a series of sharp drills. He’ll have to beat #5 Ghetto, who returns to the conditioned allowance ranks after tackling some tough stakes types in the fall, and the unbeaten but untested #10 Il Girasole, who’ll have to overcome the poor outside draw. #2 Country Star has been training like her old self for her comeback and rates top billing in the 8th race, the El Encino ‘Cap that surprisingly drew a full field of 12. The daughter of Empire Maker could not have been more impressive than she was winning the Hollywood Starlet Stakes as a 2-year-old, but problems curtailed her sophomore campaign and she managed to make only three starts. From where she’s drawn and with Bejarano in the saddle, Country Star will have no excuses. The two main threats are #5 Lethal Heat, extremely versatile and genuine and a most unlucky third in the recent Monrovia ‘Cap; and #8 Life Is Sweet, who makes her local debut for Shirreffs while impressing the clockers to no end. She could develop into a biggie this winter. In the 9th race, #6 Drama Cat, with two sprints under her belt and a route-type pedigree, gets a chance to stretch out for the first time and should dominate this bottom rung older maiden claiming field of fillies and mares. In both of her sprint races she’s broken a tad slowly, but if she leaves cleanly today under Gomez, she could be on or near the lead throughout. Today’s Showvivor selection is: #5 High Notes (4th race)