TODAY’S BEST (Jan. 21, 2011, Santa Anita)

SEVENTH RACE - #4 DAHOUD x #5 BRING IT HOME x #7 ALLEY HONDRO
This is a challenging first level allowance affair at a mile on turf and there are a few price possibilities to consider. Dahoud makes his second start in the States for Hollendorfer (excellent stats with second-off-layoff runners) and after getting his tightener at Hollywood Park last month the New Zealand-bred gelding should be set to stretch out and show us what he can do. He exits a live race, retains Rosario, is drawn comfortably inside and has come back to work very well recently. He’s been placed over a mile and three furlongs so the added distance won’t be an issue. Bring It Home has been off the track since August and he hasn’t been overly impressive in his comeback drills, but despite his 1-for-15 lifetime record he’s probably worth using in the exotics at 8-1 on the morning line. In the money in all four starts over the Santa Anita turf course, the Gonzalez-trained gelding has back figures that put him in the fray and Smith should have him running on strongly late. Alley Hondro isn’t particularly fast on numbers but he’s genuine and consistent and likely has further room for improvement good trainer Ellis. Clearly Rosario opted for Dahoud, so Talamo picks up the mount and he should have this Skimming gelding within striking range throughout. His morning line odds of 4-1 seem about right. If you need to go deeper in your rolling exotics (Pick-3, Pick-4, Pick-6) you might want to consider #10 Rauchenberg, who seems to be improving with racing for Jones. The outside box does him no favors, though he did break his maiden from the nine hole two races back at Hollywood Park. Tough race, to be sure, top to bottom a chance.

EIGHTH RACE - #2 FRIGID BRIDGET x #4 EXCESSIVELY TRICK x #6 BATHING BEAUTY x 8 SCREAMING REGAL
State bred maiden 3-year-old fillies contest this one mile nightcap and there are a few different directions you can go. For price players, consider #2 Frigid Bridget at 12-1 on the morning line. She has the classic stretch out pattern – two sprints with improving speed figures – and a pedigree that should allow her to enjoy the extra ground. She’s back with Flores, lands a comfortable inside post and continues to work like a filly who has more to give. Excessively Trick retains Rosario so we’re thinking there may be more than meets the eye. She also has a pair of sprint efforts underneath her and likely will try gate-to-wire tactics; her pedigree suggests she might be challenged by the two-turn trip but controlling speed is very dangerous on this track and her morning line odds of 8-1 are enticing. The logical favorite – she’s 9/5 on the morning line – is Bathing Beauty, a closing third in the productive California Breeders’ Champion Stakes and with a pedigree to suggest she’ll enjoy the stretch out in trip. Her speed figures have improved markedly with each outing and Gomez rides her back, so we expect another forward move today. Screaming Regal hasn’t been showing any gate speed and it’s possible – being by Old Topper – that she might be more comfortable as a late running sprinter but if she can project her one-turn form at this mile distance she’ll have a strong look with Espinoza staying aboard. Hard to say what the blinkers will do for her. We suggest you consider all four in your rolling exotics; clearly Frigid Bridget and Excessively Trick will offer the most value on the tote board.