Jeff Siegel's Analysis for Friday, Jan. 15, 2010

Friday’s opener looks well designed for #5 Milyone to earn his diploma in his sixth career start. The John Shirreffs-trained horse adds blinkers for the first time, and on paper clearly appears to be the controlling speed in this nine furlong turf affair. He’s never been one to give much off the bridle, but in a field lacking in effective closers, he might establish a comfortable early lead and simply keep on going. Espinoza rides him back.

#2 Familiar Shine looks like the right one in the second race, but like Milyone in the opener he’s listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite, so there’s not much value here. Beaten in his last pair as the favorite, the Paddy Gallagher-trained gelding isn’t one to trust, but somebody has to win and it may very well be him. If not, it’s anybody’s guess.

The Pick-6 kicks off in the third race and once again we’re stuck with the two favorites, #1 A Clever Ten (8/5 on the morning line) and #5 Quid Non (9/5 on the morning line). The former earned a big figure when beating starter’s allowance foes last month at Hollywood Park and should be a factor on the raise, rail and all. The latter is clearly the quickest of the quick and will take them as far as he can, but one dimensional speed types always are vulnerable over the Pro Ride, even in “lone f” situations. This is another “no value” affair.

Fillies and mares sprint down the hill in the fourth race and we’re thinking the 8/5 morning line choice, #3 Dash Dot Dash, might be vulnerable, having gone winless since September of 2008. We’ll try to beat her using #1 Salty Sarah, adding blinkers and retaining Gomez after a bit of a freshening, and #6 See N Win, in for a tag for the first time and potentially the controlling speed while returning to turf, her preferred surface.

The fifth race brings back another potentially short priced favorite, #8 Eternally Fast, who whipped a bit tougher field last month at Hollywood Park with a career top Beyer (83) by four widening lengths. But he’s dropping a notch off that win, and that’s not usually a healthy sign, so at 7/5 on the morning line he could be vulnerable and definitely offers no value. Single him if you like in your rolling exotics, but class droppers off a win are usually poor propositions.

The sixth race is considerably more interesting. Maiden 3-year-olds travel a mile on turf, and the two we prefer are #2 Lone Justice and #3 Alphie’s Bet and you can use them both in an exacta box and any rolling exotic you might be playing. Lone Justice closed a world of ground after a slow start in his racing debut, has trained well since, and gives every indication that the farther they go the better he’ll be. Gomez should have him rolling late and at 5-1 on the morning line he’s a “must use.” Alphie’s Bet is rounding to form for Barba, having finished a good closing second in the Cal Breeders on opening day, and the Tribal Rule colt adds blinkers so another forward move is likely. He’ll be especially tough if he can project his Pro Ride from to grass.

The seventh race, a first level allowance affair, is a tough, competitive heat and a spread in the rolling exotics might be the safe way to go. We’ll try to survive using #6 Universal Peace, #8 Acclamation, and #11 Snowmaster, and all three can be used in an exacta or trifecta box. Universal Peace is improving with racing for Drysdale but all of his previous runs have come on turf; today he gets a taste of the Pro Ride. Bejarano jumps off to ride Snowmaster, so this War Chant gelding could be every bit the 15-1 he’s listed on the morning line. That’s value. Acclamation, an excellent third in the San Gabriel ‘Cap on turf, shouldn’t be comprised by the return to the main track and this drop in class makes him the likely choice and strictly the one to beat. As for Snowmaster, he’s drawn a little farther out than we’d prefer, but his late running style is ideal for this surface and with a good recent tightener on turf, he’ll be on edge for a smasher today under Bejarano.

The eighth race looks to be a good spot for #2 Roos On the Loose to graduate. Returning off a long layoff, the Heap-trained colt earned a decent figure when third in a similar spot two weeks ago, and with Pedroza riding him back an improved effort is likely today. We suggest you also use #9 Mr. Braggadocio, who shortens up, draws an outside post and retains Flores. He should find himself in an pace stalking position outside, and if he runs to his works he certainly should outrun his 6-1 morning line odds.