Santa Anita News
Jeff Siegel's Prime Picks for Thursday, Feb. 12
This is a typical mid-season Thursday card – not a lot of quality – but with more than $90,000 carried over in the Pick-6, the program becomes pretty interesting. The early Daily Double looks chalky and not terribly attractive. #2 Imforeal was beaten as the choice in a similar spot last month but earned a solid figure for the level and really doesn’t have much to beat. She figures to be less than her 2-1 morning line odds. In the 2nd race, #3 Tommys Luck is 8/5 on the morning line and he, too, should go lower. The Mullins-trained gelding, second in his last pair while earning good figures, should enjoy a second flight trip and then produce enough of a late kick to be along in time. The Pick-6 kicks off in the 3rd race, and as this is penned it is uncertain whether this maiden event for older fillies and mares will remain on turf. In any case, the Frankel-trained #7 Solo Piano looks like a single (she’s 8/5 on the morning line). The daughter of Empire Maker has run well on synthetic as well as turf, has improving speed figures and a bullet work since raced. Bejarano should have her within striking range throughout. Older maiden fillies and mares compete in a bottom level ($25,000) contest the 4th race. #3 Silent Western adds blinkers and is a first-off-the-claim for Periban (zero-for-19 according the DRF stats). She’s got plenty of speed, though, and might soften up those that try to challenge her early. The beneficiary of a hot pace should be #5 Stylin Deputy, who exits a pretty fast heat in her comeback and does her best running from off the pace. With any kind of improvement at all, she’ll be able to wear down the speed and if you’re looking for a second single, she’s a logical candidate. The 5th race is another turfer that could be transferred to the main track. #8 Grace Anatomy had a prep down the hill last month and should be ready to stretch out and return to top form in what appears to be a below par field for the level. She ran with good ones last year as a 3-year-old and appears to outclass this bunch with Gomez riding her back for O’Neill. She looks best on either surface. The 6th race is another maiden claimer and this one you might want to spread. #4 Barney Bess hasn’t done anything in the morning to indicate any real ability, but with Gomez up in a soft field, you might want to toss him in. #6 Hammurabi adds blinkers for new trainer Carava and probably can improve in this, his third career start. He, too, is eligible for a forward move. #7 Swinging Jim showed a bit a spark in his recent comeback and won’t have to improve much to be a strong factor with these. And, of course, you have to use the Mullins first timer, #9 Jayden’s Hope, who has worked fast enough to warrant a big look first crack out of the box under Tyler Baze. The 7th race marks the return of #7 Deputy Flyer, an impressive debut winner here in late December for Ellis and reportedly working exceptionally well since. He probably didn’t beat a great group in that maiden affair but traffic trouble in the lane reduced the margin of victory and he was much more dominant than the raw chart indicates. This isn’t a one horse race, though. #5 River Echo is a strong fit on speed figures and exits a powerful heat in his comeback. If he moves forward at all, he’ll be right there. #9 Pack Your Bags doesn’t win too many but has a good recent effort over the track and probably is worth using in the exacta and trifecta. The 8th race is a mess. You can’t have much confidence backing any of these restricted $12,500 distaffers but you should use #1 No Cream Or Sugar, #3 Saucy Officer, #5 Miss Anziayan, and #8 Likely a Star if you’re playing any of the rolling exotics.