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Jeff Siegel's Prime Picks for Sunday, April 12 at Santa Anita
Happy Carryover Easter Sunday! More than $121,000 already is in the Pick-6 pool, and we’ll concentrate on the 4-through-9 scheme today after passing the first three “no value” events.
We’ll start things off using three horses in the 4th race - #2 Saint’s Crown, #5 Tizzy Salsa, and #7 Xtraordinary. Saint’s Crown, in the money in her last pair and a solid runner-up in a similar spot last time out, won’t have to improve much to earn her diploma. Bug boy Arambula should have her on or near the lead throughout. Tizzy Salsa adds blinkers for the first time in her debut for new trainer Lloyd, gets Bejarano, and is the one to beat based on speed figures. Xrtraordinary removes blinkers, exits a productive race, lands the comfortable outside post and is worth using in a soft field.
The 5th race is a typical open turf affair that probably requires the serious player to “spread.” For the purposes of our relatively small ticket, we’ll try to survive using only #4 Janzig Moon and #5 Sunny Peace. Janzig Moon had a nice sprint tune up down the hill in her first start following a long layoff and seems sure to improve considerably while stretching out to a much more favorable trip. Blanc rides her back for Zucker, who does extremely well with second-off-layoff runners. Sunny Peace looks like the controlling speed again and is a threat to take this field gate to wire just as she did twice earlier this season.
We’ll use three in the 6th race, a competitive maiden dash for 3-year-old fillies. #4 She’s Borracho, a promising fourth (beaten less than a length) in her debut last month for Mullins, is very likely to move forward today and she should enjoy the extra half furlong. Talamo rides her back. #7 Gumption, fourth in a productive heat last time, continues to impress in the morning and won’t have to improve much to be a strong factor. She switches to Smith and should be prominent throughout. #8 Ride Me Fast flopped at 7/5 last time out but ran very well in her debut and rates a big look if she can snap back to her best.
The Las Cienegas Handicap occupies the 7th race and while this race is full of contention, we’ll take a stand and single #3 Tuscan Evening (3-1 on the morning line). Already a two-time winner down the hill this meeting, the Hollendorfer-trained filly steps into stakes company today but she won’t be outclassed, having finished second in the Grade-1 Irish 1000 Guineas last year. She looks very much like the controlling speed once again.
We’ll single the 8th race as well. #1 Witty was very impressive breaking her maiden at first asking in fast time for Mandella despite a slow start and she seems more than capable of winning right back in this entry level allowance race. The rail is of some concern, but if she leaves cleanly today, she should be able to exert her superiority at 3-1 on the morning.
The 9th race is a better-than-par turf miler for maidens and we expect the winner to come from one of three: #1 Hidden Trail, #4 Renegade Storm, or #8 Prevailing Wind. Hidden Trail, making a comeback for Frankel, has been working like he’s fit and ready and could be a better type this time around after showing a tad of ability as a 2-year-old. He has a right to move up on turf, too. Renegade Storm ran very well to be second over the course in a solid race for the level last month, adds blinkers today for the first time and switches to Bejarano. He represents extreme danger from off the pace. Prevailing Wind, a closing fourth in a decent U.S. debut a few weeks back, switches to Smith and should make a major forward move for a barn that excels with second-off-layoff runners.