Santa Anita News
Jeff Siegel's Prime Picks for Thursday, Jan. 29
#5 Dixie Hawks should be a short price to win the day’s opener and if you’d like to play the early daily double be sure to include #5 Extreme Notice in the second race. The Doug O’Neill-trained veteran does his best running when held up early and allowed to run late and if given that kind of ride from Valdivia he could produce the last run at a big price. Other contenders include #1 Wheaton Hall, a sharp sprinter in the Mitchell barn but stuck on the rail and coming back in just 12 days; and #7 Forest Phantom, first off the claim for Jennie Green and dangerous from off the pace under Bejarano. We expect #3 Captivating Lyrics to show vast improvement in the 3rd race for new trainer Brian Koriner. She exits a very hot race and has trained in smart style for her new connections while switching to Talamo. Debuting #8 Kentucky Nectar represents stranger danger from the Doug O’Neill barn. She’s trained like she’s got more ability than your normal maiden claimer and gets a comfortable outside post and Garrett Gomez. Looks like a cold exacta to me. #3 Sunny Peace has burned some money since being imported from England but she lands her easiest spot yet in the 4th race and she seems capable of controlling this race from gate to wire. The pace should be soft and the late speed doesn’t look dangerous, so maybe today will be her day. The 5th race is a contentious first level allowance dash and the main contenders are #1 Laureldean Gale; #3 Kula Girl; and #4 Cool Haleigh. Laureldean Gal exits the La Brea Stakes and while she was overmatched in that Grade 1 affair she isn’t today. With good racing luck from the rail, she’ll be a factor from off the pace. Kula Girl is a sharp ex-claimer tackling her toughest foes to date but Ted West must have confidence in her and if she can shake loose early without pressure she may keep going. Cool Haleigh always a produces a good late kick and she’ll be especially dangerous if the pace comes up faster than par. Pace players may be tempted to take recent state bred maiden winner Unbridled Story right back in the 7th race. The Jeff Mullins-trained colt scored gamely while on the front end in what already has been a productive heat and a sharp recent work since that event indicates he’s moving forward. #2 Danny Q has improving numbers and a good inside draw and figures to fire his best shot today. Rosario rides him back. #5 Unbridled Roman continues to impress in the morning and likely is better than his Cal Breeders’ effort indicates. With Unbridled on the bottom he should route and gets his first chance around two turns today. He’ll be rolling late. #11 Lunar City exits a pair of tougher events and drops for the money run today. She adds blinkers, switches to Gryder, gets a good outside draw and has very little to beat. Looks like a late rolling exotic single to me.