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Jeff Siegel's Prime Picks for Thursday, March 19 at Santa Anita
We’ll begin our action in today’s 4th race using #4 Thelma Rose, #5 Moto Nui and #7 Miss Bodine in an exacta/trifecta box. Thelma Rose is ambitiously placed by Spawr in her first start since being claimed and we view that as a positive sign, as this barn generally runs ‘em where they can win. She has outstanding bloodlines for turf and could very well improve dramatically in her first start on the sod. Moto Nui figures to make the running and if her numbers keep improving she’ll be hard to catch for Mitchell. Miss Bodine fits at this level and should be forwardly placed throughout. She exits a very hot race in Phoenix.
The 5th race is a competitive maiden $50,000 claimer and offers some value in the exacta and trifecta. #2 Bagels N Bones is a first timer in the Mitchell barn (superb stats with debut runners) and she’s been training well enough to be tough at first asking in maiden claiming company. #3 She’s Icy Hot was likely best when beaten in her debut. She broke slowly and lost her position and then rallied determinedly to finish a solid third in a legitimate race for the level. She’s being raised in class – a sign of confidence – and she’s worked splendidly since her bow. #7 Multitasker adds blinkers in her first start for new trainer Sherlock and fits well on speed figures despite tackling tougher today. She switches to Rosario and should be on or near the lead throughout.
The 6th race brings together state bred first-level allowance runners and we’ll have to go three deep in our rolling exotics to feel comfortable. #1 Intermission disappointed last trip but gets the rail and deserves another chance. He’s a fit on numbers and has winning connections. #8 Unusual Smoke is genuine and consistent and continues to look good in the morning for Avila. He figures to fire another big shot today. #9 Unbridled Roman was overmatched in the Sham Stakes but earned a strong number when fifth behind The Pamplemousse. He’s a major player at this level and Smith should have him rolling late.
#2 Sugar Mint looks like a rolling exotic single in the 7th race. The Hollendorfer-trained filly missed when favored in a similar spot in late January but has worked strongly since and should be a short price to make amends from a good inside draw and with Bejarano aboard.
The 8th race is a moderate bottom-rung maiden claimer for older horses and any one of three could win it. #2 Mystification, in the money in his last four and beaten a head in a similar spot last month, should be very dangerous once again from off the pace. Solis stays aboard. #3 Hold This gets off the rail, fits on figures and should be a threat with the patient ride he seems to prefer. #10 Grand Turk tries maiden claimers for the first time and although he’s a nine-race maiden, he seems certain to improve a bunch in this soft spot.