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Jeff Siegel's Analysis for Monday, Jan. 18, 2010
The rains came Sunday afternoon and haven’t stopped. In fact, it’s supposed to be a very wet week, so it’s possible that we’ll have little or no turf racing in the next few days. As of this writing, the races remain on turf for the Monday program, but that could, and probably will, change.
The first race, scheduled for turf, looks unappealing no matter what surface it’s contested on. #6 Cee Stone seems best on paper and she has won on synthetic in the past, so it probably won’t matter to Machowsky if the race comes off. However, at 7/5 on the morning line there’s very little value, so we’ll sit this one out.
#4 Sovereign Lord has been facing considerably tougher of late and this restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claimer in the second race looks made to order – until you realize he’s 1-for-17 lifetime and winless in eight starts over the Santa Anita main track. Ignoring that, he’s a standout and probably is worth a play at anything close to the 5/2 morning line odds he’s listed at.
The third race for older bottom rung maiden claimers has little depth and should allow #7 Smokey Beau to break his maiden in career start number eight. He’s back sprinting where he should be most comfortable and a repeat of his race before last would be good enough to beat this field. Rosario should have him on or near the lead throughout.
The fourth race – a maiden affair slated for turf – could very well be switched to the main track and if so, #6 Royal F J and #8 Outlaw Man both would be greatly inconvenienced. Both are more than capable of winning on turf, but are extremely suspect over the main track. Use them in your rolling exotics if the race remains on the lawn; otherwise take a close look at #1 Hockley as a likely rolling exotic single. The Harty-trained colt is a progressive sort who should adore the nine furlong trip. Ex-camel rider Ajebi pilots all of the Darley Stable runners while he remains in California during the winter, in case you’re wondering about the Harty’s choice of jockey.
#3 Temerity looked pretty decent winning a similar $40,000 claimer at Hollywood Park last month and could very well repeat in today’s fifth race, restricted to 4-year-olds. There’s not a whole lot of speed in here, so Solis likely will have this Lion Heart gelding close up throughout. #6 Paddy’s Magic is a versatile gelding exiting a fairly quick downhill turf dash and stretches out today to a distance and pace scenario that he should enjoy. His recent numbers are solid and this Wild Zone gelding should settle in behind the leaders and have every chance to make a winning move from the quarter pole home.
The sixth race, for maiden 3-year-olds around two turns, provides the promising #5 Exfusion a chance to stretch out following a pair of good sprint preps at Hollywood Park. He’s got the style and pedigree to improve considerably over a distance of ground and is strictly the one to beat. Also worth using are #1 Nextdoorneighbor, with that same two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern, and #8 Victory With Honor, a closing and fairly promising fifth in his debut last month and working well since for Harty. He might be a race away but is a nice prospect and could participate in the exotics. Two contenders that we are going to try to beat are #6 Ivory Fudge and #7 Brave Yourselves, both exiting the same race (won by debuting Take Control last month). Both had their chance and both disappointed in what I thought was a somewhat lackluster affair.
The San Marcos ‘Cap goes as the seventh race and may or may not be kept on turf. #1 Loup Breton is the logical choice on grass but I would be somewhat surprised if Julio keeps him in if the race is switched to the main track. On turf, he’s a single, but on Pro Ride all bets are off.
The Mike Mitchell-trained #1 Slews Copy didn’t get the clearest of runs and might have been a tad short anyway when sixth in her comeback against a similar field earlier this month. She sports a bullet blowout since that race and if she can avoid trouble from the rail, the daughter of Souvenir Copy will be hard to handle in today’s ninth race. The main threat should come from #7 Glow Girl Go, sixth of seventh vs. a much tougher field down the hill in her comeback but realistically spotted today with Bejarano riding her back for O’Neill.
The ninth race is a maiden claiming mess, with two main contenders and a number of question marks. #7 Sabino Storm drops into a seller, adds blinkers, retains Talamo and exits a productive race. He’s our top pick, but #4 Little Ruler, an okay fourth in a pretty strong race for the level, has every right to move forward and has worked sharply since his debut earlier this month. Among the newcomers who have shown enough in the morning to warrant a look are #5 Saltwater M D, bred for speed and training like he’s got some talent for Stevens, and #8 Cookie’s Jewel, who flashed some speed in a recent gate drill and gets hot riding Espinoza.