Santa Anita News
Jeff Siegel's Prime Picks for Saturday, March 28 at Santa Anita
The Saturday opener is a good downhill turf dash that should be dominated by #1 Ashton Girl and #6 Surfer Girl. The former has proven form over the course and is the one to beat; however she’s a non-winner in this country (1-for-10 lifetime) and probably will be a short price. Surfer Girl has been impressive in morning workouts leading up to her U.S. debut and this Brazilian-bred filly owned in part by Jim Rome looks cranked up for a big try first crack out of the box. We can’t make heads or tails out of the 2nd and 3rd races so we’ll jump ahead to the San Miguel Stakes, which goes as the 4th on the program. #3 Turk has only a maiden win to his credit but it was visually impressive and he has the makings of a talented sprinter for Baffert. He’ll be tough right back. #6 Charlie’s Moment is fresh from a sharp sprint stakes win up north and should enjoy clear sailing outside. He’ll be rolling late. We were impressed with #3 Shiksa’s debut and with any kind of forward move today she’ll be hard to deny. The main knock is the barn – Biancone has one win at the meeting from around 50 starters – but this filly should get him back on track. At 7/2 on the morning line, she’s a strong straight play. We’ll pass the 6th race and zero in on #4 Box Office Queen as a straight play in the 7th event. Freshened since January, the Shirreffs-trained filly has worked recently like she’s fit and ready and catches what appears to be a below par field for the level. She overcame trouble to finish a willing second in a similar spot over this course last time out in an effort that would be good enough to win today. The Tokyo City Handicap goes as the 8th race and the logical choice is #1 Big Booster, who finished a close-up third in the B.C. Marathon over this course last fall in his most recent outing. Obviously, he’ll be tough if ready but at 7/5 on the morning line he doesn’t present a whole lot of value. On the other hand, #4 Stream Cat, exiting the Big ‘Cap and having run well at this marathon distance in the past, seems primed for a smasher and represents strong value at 9/2 on the morning line. He switches to Talamo, removes blinkers and we’re hoping he’ll provide Biancone his second winner of the day. The 9th race is a downhill turf grab bag and if you’re playing the rolling exotics use as many as you can afford to. Our top two are #5 My King, who earned a career top speed figure when graduating last time out and likely with further improvement in him, and #12 Benezit, a lightly-raced Old Topper gelding who looked good breaking his maiden earlier this month, goes for O’Neill first off the claim, and should like the grass (Nureyev on the bottom). We’ll double the 10th race for rolling exotic purposes, using #9 Atta’ Girl and #12 Irish Pepper. Atta’ Girl showed some promise in her debut for hot trainer Walsh and has every right to improve with experience. Irish Pepper exits a powerful straight maiden state-bred event and should improve a ton in this much softer spot.