Jeff Siegel's Analysis for Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010

The main track was in surprisingly good shape yesterday after the week-long heavy rains and seemed to be bias free. There was no turf racing, but for this writing we’re going to assume that the races will remain on grass for the Sunday program.

Today’s first race is a maiden affair over a distance of ground and we’re expecting either #5 Exfusion or #8 Ivory Fudge to win it, and we’ll use them both in our rolling exotics. Exfusion has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern for Hollendorfer, retains Smith, and has the pedigree (Tiznow) to move up considerably around two turns. Both of his sprint races were solid and he’s come back to train in very sharp style, so today could be his day. Ivory Fudge failed as the favorite in a similar event Dec. 30 without any apparent excuse, but his numbers are solid and he should be comfortably placed outside stalking the leaders. Today we’ll find out if he’s going anywhere or simply leveling out.

The second race is an extended sprint restricted to 4-year-olds and looks pretty wide open. We’ll go three-deep and cross our fingers, using #2 Albacore Bob, #5 Brave Justice, and #8 Cowboy Heart in our exotics. Albacore Bob takes a slight drop in class for his second start off a layoff for Craig Dollase, retains Talamo, and seems sure to improve at this trip. Brave Justice beat a softer field in fairly game style, clearly is partial to the Pro Ride surface and warrants a chance right back. Cowboy Heart earned a decent fig with a starter’s allowance win up north going long on the lawn but could be effective in this league shortening up and switching to the main track for clever trainer Miyadi. Go deeper if you can afford to.

#4 Sister Dawn has trained like a pretty nice prospect for John Sadler and looks very live in her racing debut in today’s third race, a straight maiden abbreviated sprint for 3-year-old fillies. The daughter of Indian Charlie has done everything right leading up to her first outing and this stable knows how to crank ‘em up. The best of the known element would seem to be #6 Win for M’lou, a promising second (beaten a neck) in her comeback here on New Year’s Day. Any kind of forward move today will make her strictly the one to beat.

The Pick-6 begins in the fourth race and we’re going to single #9 Rose Catherine in this overnight stakes down the hill for 3-year-old fillies. Rose Catherine is clearly most effective on turf, gets her preferred surface and is back sprinting where she belongs. A recent sharp workout should have her on edge, and the daughter of Speightstown should surely out class this field with a repeat of her runner-up effort in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf a few months back.

We’ll double the fifth race, a mile affair restricted to 4-year-olds entered to be claimed for $40,000. #6 Temerity seems the solid choice, having beaten a similar field last month at Hollywood Park. Solis rides him back and the Ellis-trained gelding should be prominent throughout. You should also consider #4 My Man Sumo, freshened since early December and back on the Pro Ride, a surface over which he graduated last year. My Man Sumo exits a tough affair sprinting and is back around two turns where he is most effective.

Maiden claimers at seven furlongs usher in the late Pick-4 and we’re expecting to get by using #1a Warren’s Priceless; #3 Veecu, and #10 Alley Hondro in an exacta or trifecta box and in all of our rolling exotics. Warren’s Priceless, in the money in all three starts has the right style for this distance, switches to Espinoza, and is comfortably drawn outside. Veecu was beaten at odds-on vs. similar recently but removes blinkers and ran arguably his best race without the hood during the Oak Tree meeting. Solis stays aboard, so we’ll give him one more chance. Alley Hondro is better than his debut shows (slow start), has trained nicely of late and switches to Quinonez. From his outside post, the Stein-trained gelding should enjoy a lovely trip and have every chance in a somewhat open affair.

The seventh race is a restricted non-winners of two $25,000 claimer for 4-year-olds only, and we’re expecting #9 The Final Roar to control this race from gate to wire. The Miller-trained gelding exits a very fast, highly-rated and productive race, has worked well since at San Luis Rey Downs, and switches to Rosario. He appears to be extreme value at 6-1 on the morning line, and will be a rolling exotic single on all of our tickets.

The San Marcos Stakes gets a reprieve on today’s program, having been postponed from last Monday, and goes as the eighth race. #6 Loup Breton has two sharp races under his belt for Julio since arriving from France and won’t have Proudinsky to worry about today. He appears to out-class this field, but might prefer firm ground, and no doubt will have to deal with a course over the softish side today. We’ll use him, for sure, but also protect with #5 Muhannak, a former Breeders’ Cup Marathon winner who can be effective on turf when he feels like it, and #7 Dynamic Range, an uncoupled stable mate of Loup Breton who has gone through his conditions in good style recently and could be dangerous if he has further improvement in him.

Today’s nightcap is an older maiden claiming extended sprint and has three main contenders. #5 Oh Now is back in a bottom rung claimer and is back sprinting where he belongs. In this league, he’ll be very dangerous with a repeat of his good runner up try two races back. #12 Horowitz takes a nosedive in class from straight maiden to M25,000 and may have sprung a leak. Rosario rides him back for Mitchell and could very well end up much shorter on the tote board than his 5/2 morning line odds. Especially intriguing is #14 Bolinas, a first timer from the clever Sadler outfit who gets Gomez and an outside box following a string of sharp drills at Hollywood Park. He looks very live and is a “must use” in all of your exotics.