Jeff Siegel's Analysis for Thursday,Feb. 11, 2010

A very nice Pick-6 carryover awaits Thursday’s players, with $77,870 in the pool and a difficult six race scheme to attack. We’ll pass the first two races – can’t really make heads or tails out of either event – and concentrate on constructing a competitive ticket that has the potential for a huge score if the right horses click.

We’ll begin in the third race using three horses - #3 Dance With Gable, #6 T. D. Vance, and #7 Gothic Samurai – but if you can afford to go deeper, do so, it’s that kind of wide open downhill raffle. Dance with Gable won his only start over this course at Oak Tree while on the pace throughout, but with other speed types in here he may have to assume a stalking position. He’s won that way as well, so Bejarano has a few options. First or second in 12 of 20 lifetime starts, the Machowsky-trained gelding is thoroughly genuine and consistent and recent works indicate he’s right on edge. T. D. Vance didn’t fire over a yielding course in Florida last month but Mott sends him back West and a repeat of his clever Hollywood Park turf win two runs back makes him a bold threat with these. He’s effective from off the pace and would benefit greatly from hot early splits. Gothic Samurai, boasting that dangerous route-to-sprint angle, makes a pivotal rider switch to Gomez and this might be what he’s always wanted to do. The Drysdale-trained gelding is a “must use” at 5-1 on the morning line.

The fourth race is an unclassified maiden dash for 3-year-olds and we’ll go three deep using #2 Screaming Destiny, #3 Canthavehim and #8 Golden Itiz and hope to survive. Screaming Destiny was nowhere at huge odds in his debut on opening day but has since worked extremely well for Harty and is very likely much better than shown. Bejarano takes the call and this stable seems to excel with second time starters, so beware. Canthavehim didn’t break well and didn’t show much in his only outing but he’s another who has been impressive of late in morning drills and deserves another chance while switching from the turf to the Pro Ride surface. Golden Itiz is working like he’s fit and ready for Ellis, who is superb with first time starters, and this son of Tiznow could be the goods from his comfortable outside post. He’s our top pick, but we’ll use all three in our rolling exotics.

The fifth race, another tough turf event, brings back three improving maiden claiming winners in #3 John Eli, #4 Red Door Drive, and #6 Bolinas, and all should be used in your rolling exotics. John Eli has rising numbers for McAnally and with another forward move today he could be dangerous right back. His one prior turf race wasn’t much, but he’s probably a better type now. Red Door Drive, first or second in each of his last five starts, should be within striking range throughout and Pedroza knows him well. He’ll fire another big shot today. Bolinas won at first asking and although it probably wasn’t a great heat the Sadler-trained gelding looked good doing it and has trained nicely since. Baze should have him on or near the early pace, which does not figure to be particularly fast.

The sixth race is another tough-to-handicap maiden dash for 3-year-olds. Our top three – and we’ll use them all – are #4 Beachrock, #6 Imperial Pride, and #7 Big Man Has a Sign, with the latter deserving top billing. Beachrock has trained like a nice sort for Harty, gets Bejarano, and seems plenty fit to be dangerous first crack out of the box. Imperial Pride showed some ability when second in his debut for Hess and figures to improve with that effort behind him. Big Man Has a Sign, a weakening sixth in a very fast, highly-rated race, should be much fitter and tougher today for Julio and Pedroza might be able to control this race from his comfortable outside post. Small ticket players seeking a single might want to look right here.

We’ll double the seventh race using #2 Church Camp and #6 Pink Blossom in yet another very tough heat. Church Camp won her only start at Churchill Downs for fun, beating little in the process, but she earned a dynamite number and may prove to be a shrewd private purchase by trainer Brian Koriner. Her local works are sharp and she should come out firing under Talamo. Pink Blossom won at first asking for Headley, lands the good outside post, continues to train like a very good prospect and is strictly the one to beat.

The finale is a bottom-of-the-barrel route affair for fillies and mares and looks treacherous. #1 Paloma’s Flight just beat a similar field and if she can turn in two alike she’ll be a strong threat right back. The good inside draw provides the opportunity for a ground-saving trip. #5 Pokomoke, a dangerous class dropper in the Mullins barn, has back numbers that would bury this group, but she’s winless in two years and is only 2-for-20 lifetime, so she may be a hard one to trust. #10 Recess, beaten at 2/5 when missing by a neck to Paloma’s Flight last month, makes her first start for Dominguez, retains Baze, and clearly has a good chance to make amends with one of her better efforts.