Jeff Siegel's Prime Picks for Saturday, Feb. 7

A super card for a Super Saturday program with Pick-6 carryover of $85,768 – but as of this writing we’re not sure how many, if any, grass races will be staged due to the recent rains. In the 1st race, #3 Herr Mozart and #4 Millennium Lakes appear to lay over the field, with the connections of the former hoping the race remains on turf and the connections of the later likely preferring a switch to main track. Both are nice prospects and both should enjoy the nine furlong trip. Herr Mozart was wide throughout when unable to match strides with impressive winner Mark S the Cooler in a maiden turfer last month and actually ran better than the line will show. He switches to Gomez and continues to train well for Baffert. Millennium Lakes was victimized by a lack of pace when rallying to be second in a good maiden affair Jan. 17 and third place finisher Mr. Hot Stuff already has come back to frank the form. In the 2nd race, comebacking #5 Riley Tucker has been burning up the track in morning trials (he’s actually been a workmate of Pioneerof the Nile) and appears fit and ready for a big effort in his first start since finishing up the track in the Preakness behind Big Brown last May. He certainly can fire fresh. #6 A Lil Dumaani is the “now” horse and with strong recent speed figures to his credit should be in the thick of things throughout. I suspect the 3rd race will be taken off the turf, which may result in a number of scratches. We’ll sit it out. Several hot shot 3-year-old prospects make their racing debut in the 4th race, among them #5 Dixie Passion, who has been very impressive in a series of smart workouts for Mike Machowsky (solid with debut runners). He’s 5-1 on the morning line, lands Rosario, and is a “must use” in all exotic plays. Also showing ability in a.m. drills is #10 Supreme Summit, from the Doug O’Neill barn. Maidens from this stable often run better than they work, and this Cactus Ridge colt has enough foundation to expect a big effort first crack out of the box. The presence of Gomez in the saddle is further indication that he’s a live item in an unclassified field. The 5th race begins the Pick-6 carryover and is a spread affair. We suggest you use as many as you can afford to, with #1 Amybelle (burned up setting faster-than-par fractions in her last start vs. similar); #5 Thankfully (sharp recent works coupled with a class drop and a strong score two runs back) and #6 Cato Major (good enough to win but dropping again in class and looking a tad suspicious following a two month layoff) among those we would need on our ticket. Most Pick-6 players will end up singling #5 Stardom Bound in the 6th race. She’s probably not totally cranked up, but over a main track that was especially kind to rally-widers yesterday, the deep closing champion filly should have every chance to continue her winning ways in her first start as a 3-year-old. But this is no walkover. #7 Saucy Evening is a quality filly as well, as she has a recency edge on the heavy favorite. Her late running style also should be complimented by the track profile and represents excellent value at 8-1 on the morning line. If you can afford to use her, also toss in #6 Haka, who likely was best when given too much to do in the Santa Ysabel Stakes, eventually winding up second after being victimized by a slow pace. She switches to Bejarano and should be within striking range throughout. The Thunder Road ‘Cap goes as the 7th race and this is another affair originally slated for turf. Not sure if it will be transferred to the main track or not. #4 Monterrey Jazz is the need-the-lead type and won’t be rated today – he’ll establish the pace and hope to run his rivals off their feet no matter what surface. #5 Yankee Bravo can fire fresh, is undefeated on turf, and packs a powerful late kick. He’s worked like he’s ready but we suspect he’s turf only. #8 Becrux was very impressive winning an overnight race over this track during the Oak Tree meeting and must be given strong consideration if this race ends up on the Pro-Ride surface. The 8th race, the Robert B. Lewis Stakes, could produce a boxcar exacta or trifecta payoff if two logical favorites exiting the Cash Call Futurity - #2 Pioneerof the Nile and #4 I Want Revenge, aren’t quite cranked up in their first starts back. I’m not necessarily suggesting you omit them from your Pick-6 ticket, but we’re definitely going to use #5 Mark S the Cooler, #7 Brother Keith, and #8 Shafted in our vertical exotics. Mark S the Cooler was breathtaking beating maidens recently (yes, it was on turf) and has come back to train sensationally. He’s a comer for O’Neill. Brother Keith blew the clubhouse turn when off the board in the San Rafael Stakes but if he runs to his works and maintains a straight course, this Frankel-trained colt could be very dangerous at a price (he’s 10-1 on the morning line). And Shafted was visually impressive beating an overnight field over this track earlier this meeting (rallying strongly against slow fractions) and with another forward move today could throw his hat in the Derby ring. The Strub Stakes goes as the 9th race and three ex-grass specialists could dominate. #5 Gio Ponti clearly loved the Pro-Ride surface in his authoritative victory in the Sir Beaufort Stakes opening day at this nine furlong trip should be perfect for his closing kick. #7 Nownownow just won the San Fernando Stakes and there was nothing flukish about the win. He’s training unbelievable well for Biancone. And #9 Cowboy Cal just beat older rivals in extra game fashion in the San Pasqual ‘Cap and is back with his own age group today. He’s the best of the speed types; we’ll see how much other early heat he’s going to be forced to deal with. We’ll wrap up the day using three horses in our rolling exotics in the 9th race, a maiden claiming dash. #1 Hold This and #2 Thornmark both have credentials but we’re not wild about the inside posts. The former exits a hot race and fits well on speed figures, while the latter adds blinkers in his second start off a layoff for Bernstein and should make a forward move. At 6-1 on the morning line, #8 General Buffet appears to offer the most value. He’s a route-to-sprint play and switches to Rosario following a sharp recent work. We’d love to see him held up early and allowed to run late.