Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis for Monday, Dec. 28, 2009

Monday’s program doesn’t have the quality of the first two days of racing at Santa Anita – how could it? – but there’s money to be made and we’re going to try to get our share. We’re passing the eighth race which precludes our participation in the Pick-6 and late Pick-4, so let’s hope we can tab a couple of those early rolling Pick-3’s to make the day worthwhile.

The first race is a soft maiden claimer for juvenile fillies and should be won by either #2 Lisa Lulu or #5 Miss Wined Up. Lisa Lulu has steadily improving form for Abrams and should be close up throughout in a field without a lick of early speed. Based strictly on speed figures, she’s the one to beat. Miss Wined Up continues to train well for Baffert, adds blinkers, and comes off a much improved runner up try at the level. She should be the controlling speed.

#2 Made for Magic has been chasing tougher of late and drops into a winning spot in the second race, a second level allowance affair for older fillies and mares. The Avila-trained filly is drawn well inside, should be close up throughout and quite frankly doesn’t have a whole lot to beat. Let’s try her as a rolling exotic single.

#3 Uffizi is sharp as a tack, loves this turf course and figures to fire another big shot in today’s third race, a high priced claimer on the lawn. He’ll have to beat #6 Yodelan Dan, a thoroughly genuine and consistent gelding who can be tough from a mile to 12 furlongs. These two pretty much lay over the field.

The fourth race is another modest maiden claimer and we’ll go three deep in our rolling exotics, using #2 Great Blind Date; #7 Irish Pepper; and #10 Scheme. Great Blind Date is a first timer with good enough works according to private clocker Andy Harrington to warrant consideration in a weak field such as this. Vienna has a superb record with first timers, and with Rosario taking the mount we assume she’s fairly live. Irish Pepper, second in her last pair, has worked nicely since raced and with another forward move today figures as the one to beat. Scheme makes her first start in nearly 14 months but hails from a barn that excels with comebackers and the works indicate fitness.

The fifth race is a starter’s affair for juvenile fillies and boils down to #1 Imperatriz and #5 Victory Dash, with preference to the latter. Imperatriz looked good graduating last time out and although she didn’t earn much of a number she should be competitive on the raise, especially if she can make the running inside without undue pressure. Victory Dash figures to be a strong late threat again – she was nosed out in a similar spot after rallying from far back following a slow start – and with continued improvement should be along in time.

Maiden state bred juveniles do battle in the sixth race and we’ll use #1 High Success, #3 Excusemecomingthru and #8 Golden Horizon in an exacta/trifecta box and in all of our rolling exotics. High Success, second in both starts to date, retains Bejarano and should be in the thick of things throughout despite the rail. Excusemecomingthru, a solid runner up in his only start, has every right to make a major forward move today and may be the one to beat. Golden Horizon, third vs. similar in his first two outings, won’t have to improve much to make a strong run for it all.

The Eddie Logan Stakes for juveniles going a mile on turf is a tough one to handicap, and the best we could come up with is an exacta box using #1 Alfarabi (exiting a pair of graded stakes races) and #4 Via Verde (a maiden turf winner at Oak Tree for Sadler and retaining Rosario). If you prefer somebody else in here, go for it.

The eighth race, yet another maiden claimer, brings together a poor bunch of older fillies and mares, none of whom are trustworthy. We’re passing.