Santa Anita News
Jeff Siegel's Prime Picks for Thursday, March 12
Today’s early double doesn’t look very attractive. #3 Kicken Vixen figures to be an odds-on winner in the opener, and #3 Rare Nugget and #5 Wood Art look like the main contenders in the 2nd race. That adds up to a pretty chalky payoff. The 3rd race kicks off the Pick-6 and presents a fairly attractive exacta/trifecta opportunity. The three that we’ll use are #2 Swingin Jim; #5 Unusual Harry, and #8 Zephaniah. Swingin Jim has improving speed figures for Kruljac and with another forward move should be in the thick of things throughout. Unusual Harry is a first timer with good enough works to act at this level, and at 8-1 on the morning line represents some value. Zephaniah switches to Rosario after a much improved effort and he should enjoy a nice pace prompting trip outside. The 4th race seems made to order for #1 Sorry Baby, who lands the good rail while retaining Rosario. However, the class drop following a good effort is a tad suspicious and we’re not quite sure we trust her. Play her if you like; we’ll take the conservative approach and sit out the race. The 5th race looks to present another good exacta/trifecta play, using #2 Speedski, #7 Flew First Class, and #10 Wild Apart. Speedski crushed maiden claimers in good style while earning a powerful figure and a similar try today will make her a strong threat right back. Flew First Class ran well at this level two races back and her numbers continue to move in the right direction. Rosario stays aboard for Koriner. Wild Apart was visually impressive beating Speedski on Jan. 30 and was flattered when that one came back to win. Further improvement is likely for Walsh and Smith should have her in an ideal pace stalking position outside throughout. #9 Eddie the Hat looks like the logical pick in the 6th race, but he's not really our kind of horse. The Gary Stute-trained colt really should beat this field, but he always seems to back up under pressure, and he’s not really the type we’d take a short price on. We’ll pass. The 7th race looks like a graded stakes masquerading as a $63,000 allowance race. #1 Mast Track has trained like he’s fit and ready for Frankel and last year’s Hollywood Gold Cup winner can handle any surface. #5 Madeo was pulled up in some distress in the San Fernando in January but has trained well since and we assume he’s just fine. He was beaten in a photo in the Oak Tree Derby in his only prior start over this turf course. We’ll also double the 8th race using #6 Joint Agreement and #13 Miss Cherry. The former, second in her last pair vs. similar, may finally have found a field she can beat, but she has to worry about Miss Cherry, from the hot Walsh barn, who was nosed out in an abbreviated sprint last time out and today gets an extra furlong to work with.