Jeff Siegel's Analysis for Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009

The final racing program for 2009 kicks off with a $25,000 claimer for juveniles and appears ideally suited for the class dropping #4 Cat Calloway. Unplaced in his last pair against subsequent stakes winner Caracortado, the Polanco-trained colt is realistically spotted and has little to beat. If he handles the extra ground – and he should – Cat Calloway should regain his winning form.

The second race is an optional ($100,000) claimer that gives the appearance of a stakes. Certainly #3 Tribesman and #5 Delta Storm have won their fair share of added money events and both should fire big shots today. Tribesman missed as the choice in a sprint stakes at Fresno in October, a disappointing effort that earned him a brief vacation. The Bay area shipper won on Cal Cup day last year and arrives following a bullet work at Golden Gate Fields to indicate fitness. Delta Storm missed by a neck in the Underwood at Hollywood Park earlier this month, worked :58 1/5 since, and should enjoy a trouble free trip outside under Rosario. The Mitchell-trained gelding is the likely choice and strictly the one to beat.

The third race begins the Pick-6 and the Mitchell dropper #4 Wicked Mischief beats this field if he has at least one more good one left in him. That may be a big if, though, as the lightly-raced gelding plummets in class after disappointing in a first level allowance at Oak Tree. He’s got his physical issues, no question, but his late running style fits the track profile and he has a healthy recent work tab. #3 Run Over You looks like the best of the rest and could take it all if ‘Mischief fails to fire.

A decent band of filly and mare maidens sprint six furlongs in the fourth race and #3 Fund Raiser and #7 Goodiemaker should get most of the play. Fund Raiser, in the money in all three starts, seems like a trial sort – she can’t beat a good maiden but it takes a fairly decent one to beat her. Goodiemaker returns for new trainer Mullins sporting an impressive series of works and very likely is much better than her only prior outing – a mile turf affair – gives her credit for.

We’ll double the fifth race using recent winner (and claim) #1 Warren’s Appeal and #6 Welken, up a notch following a clever score vs. slightly softer at Hollywood Park. She’s run well over this course, retains Rosario, and her good tactical speed should keep her free of trouble. As for Warren’s Appeal, half of her four lifetime wins have come over this course, she switches to Bejarano and should be within range throughout from her good inside draw.

A couple of fillies dropping into a claimer for the first time look well placed for winning efforts in the sixth race and both should be used in your rolling exotics. #3 Indiara had the misfortune of hooking subsequent stakes winner She’s Funomenal recently at Hollywood Park, couldn’t take the heat, and faded. She’ll have no such competition today and seems sure to bounce back with a big try. #4 Fair Chase failed at even money last time out at Hollywood Park but a repeat of her runner up try over this track at Oak Tree two runs back will make her hard to handle.

Today’s feature is a nine furlong turf affair and we’ll double this one as well in our rolling exotics, focusing on #3 Sartorial and #6 Art Currency. The Richard Mandella-trained Sartorial regained his confidence with a nice score vs. slightly softer across town and although winless over this turf course still warrants a look off his best effort. He’ll be running late under Smith. Art Currency does his best work near the lead and in a race without a whole lot of pace, the Mitchell-trained colt should have ample opportunity to repeat his winning Oak Tree effort today.

The finale for 2009 is an abbreviated maiden claiming dash for juvenile fillies and we’ll stick with the known element, using #3 Pat Olcott and #6 Cenizo. The former missed by a neck in a similar spot earlier this month at Hollywood Park and won’t have to improve much to graduate today. The latter takes the all important drop from straight maiden to maiden claimer for Julio, fits on figures, and switches to Pedroza. At 3-1 on the morning line she could very be long gone on the front end.