Jeff Siegel's Analysis for Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010

Sunday’s program opens with a decent starter’s allowance dash for newly-turned 3-year-olds and #4 Winter Camp – if he can slow down just a tad early – looks capable of taking this field gate to wire. Pedroza stays aboard, and the Sise-trained gelding looks ready to resume his winning ways in a field lacking in effective closers.

#7 Makit Till Midnight lands the cozy outside post as she takes another crack at older bottom rung maiden claiming fillies and mares in the second race. This is her softest spot ever, and the Yakteen-trained filly switches to Bejarano while turning back in trip and switching back to the main track. She beats these on speed figures and could very well go lower than her 8/5 morning line odds.

The Kalookan Queen Handicap goes as the third race and #1a Free Flying Soul looks like another potential short priced winner. A surprising third in the B.C. Filly & Mare Sprint two races back over the Pro Ride surface, the Headley-trained filly verified the strength of that performance with a facile score in a subsequent overnight sprint stakes at Hollywood Park last month and should be odds-on to continue her winning ways over a track she’s won three times in four career starts.

The Pick-6 (no carry over) begins in the fourth race and we’ll go three-deep using #2 Crafty Hedger; #3 Driveliketiger, and #5 Roos On the Loose. Crafty Hedger, a troubled eighth (but beaten less than five lengths) in his racing debut vs. straight maidens in late November, takes a significant class drop for his second career outing and has trained like he’s ready to take a forward move. He switches to Gomez and figures tough if he leaves with his field. Driveliketiger, in the money on both of his starts, runs without blinkers today and switches to Baze. He’s got a bullet work down at San Luis Rey Downs for Miller since ran, and should be on or near the lead throughout. Roos On the Loose, freshened since Del Mar and tackling much easier this time around, figures to do his best running late and is worth using in the exotics.

#8 Paddy’s Magic is seeking his fourth straight win in today’s fifth race and we like him to keep his streak alive. The Wild Zone gelding came from off the pace with an impressive display of late speed to beat a softer field sprinting on turf at Hollywood Park recently and showed his affection for the local lawn when winning a mile affair from starter’s allowance company during the Oak Tree meeting. He’s got the ideal style for this downhill course and Talamo should have him along in time in what will be a rolling exotic single on our tickets.

The sixth race is a low level claimer for fillies and mares and #2 No Ka Oi, who has won at this seven furlong distance in the past, looks well spotted to regain her winning form. The Carava-trained mare went zero-for-13 in 2009, so she’s definitely overdue, but at this low level she’s likely to regain her confidence. You may want to also throw in #5 Primadonna Pearl, who also should be doing her best running late and may have found her proper level today.

The Monrovia ‘Cap down the hill for fillies and mares most likely will be won by #8 Tuscan Evening, a proven course specialist who ran perhaps the race of her career when second to Ventura in the Matriarch Stakes at Hollywood Park in late November. Bejarano should have her in an ideal pace stalking trip throughout before pushing the button in the final furlong.

The eighth race, a seven furlong restricted claimer for fillies and mares, appears fairly wide open once you get past the logical favorite, #7 Kimmyv. The Baffert-trained filly most recently finished second in a fairly decent starter’s allowance event but instead of coming back in the same race – and protected from being claimed – she surfaces on the drop. That’s a little suspicious, but she’s clearly good enough to win if she fires her best shot. Contenders include Bay Area invader #2 Southern Orchid, dropping into a claimer for the first time and catching a favorable pace scenario, and #3 Bella Bubbles, a route-to-sprint, turf-to-Pro Ride class dropper who won over this track during the Oak Tree meeting.

The finale is a downhill turf dash for maidens and looks fairly competitive, with debuting #4 Nefarious from the Mullins barn; #5 L’Enchanteresse, an experienced English invader making her U. S. debut for O’Neill, and #10 Tanda, a troubled fifth in her only start for Hendricks, comprising an attractive trifecta box.