Santa Anita News
Jeff Siegel's Prime Picks for Sunday, Feb. 15
We’ve got yet another carryover in the Pick-6, with $145,478 already in Sunday’s pool. I have no idea what the record is for carryovers in one season, but whatever is, it will be broken this year. The Pick-6 begins with the 4th race and I’m tempted to single #8 Satellite. He’s a first-off-the-claim for Hollendorfer and despite being out of jail he’s being raised in class, a positive sign. Talamo knows him well, and from the outside draw he should have this veteran gelding settled early and prepared to rally late. Satellite is 2-for-3 lifetime at this distance and knows how to win races. At this level, that should be enough. The 5th race, a maiden claimer for 3-year-old fillies, is a typical wide open mess. You could make a case for the following: #2 Play Reveille (off slowly, speed, fade in debut, class drop); #6 Michelle Marie (clever barn excels with debut runners at a price); #7 Track Majesty (speed last summer at Del Mar, returns with Rosario, working better than the modest times would indicate); #8 Roll Model (flashed speed in debut, weakened, should be fitter, barn way overdue); and #9 Lunar City (modest form, but she’s a fit on numbers). If I had to use just three, I’d probably opt for Michelle Marie, Track Majesty and Roll Model and hold my breath. The 6th race is a replay of a virtually identical affair on Jan. 22. No less than six of the 10 runners exit that same very race, won by #8 Mini Do, who is seeking his third straight win for Canani. He could win again, but he certainly doesn’t have to, either. This is the kind of race I normally wouldn’t even bother looking at, but since it’s in the Pick-6 you have to deal with it. I tried. I can’t. I’m buying the race. The 7th race is a state bred maiden dash for fillies and from what I can gather the two best first timers are #6 Irish Pepper, who debuts with Gomez and has been working like she’s got some talent for Sadler, and #7 I Can Hear, from a stable that rarely wins with first timers but with a pedigree that screams speed and a work tab that indicates she’s fit and ready. Don’t leave out #4 High Note, who has the benefit of a previous race and could easily make amends for her 7/5 failure as the favorite last month. She’ll be fitter and tougher today. The La Canada Stakes goes as the 8th race and horse players who believe that weight is an integral part of the handicapping process will be certain to take a stand against the 9/5 morning line favorite, #9 Life is Sweet. The Shirreffs-trained filly was dominating in her El Encino ‘Cap victory but she must pick up eight pounds today while spotting weight to the entire field. Then there’s the bounce theory to consider. She was coming off a more than six month layoff in the El Encino and had to a produce a fairly taxing effort to gain the victory. So what shall we do? Well, I’ve never been a big weight guy, and I’ve always believed that the bounce theory affects cheaper horses more than the ones with class, so maybe we’ll go against the grain and simply single her right back. The two main contenders, #1 Bsharpsonata and #4 Magical Fantasy both have their own hurdles to clear; the former needs to prove she’s a nine furlong horse and the latter is more accomplished on grass. In a Pick-6 scheme that requires spreading several races, I’ve got a take a stand or two, so I’ll be sticking with Life is Sweet. The 9th race is another maiden claimer and if I get this far I’ll be fairly confident using #3 Nantucket Mist; #5 Katie G.; and #9 Minor Issues. Nantucket Mist debuts for Sadler and has worked nicely since being claimed. She switches to Bejarano and should improve a ton. Katie G. exits a hot race for the level, lands Rosario and has worked smartly of late over at Hollywood Park. She’s another who’ll move forward considerably today. Minor Issues represents stranger danger, having worked exclusively at San Luis Rey Downs out of sight of the sharpies. I wouldn’t want to get this far and not have her.