Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Fri., Feb. 3, 2012)

The Friday program begins with an early daily double that doesn’t offer much in the way of value. In the opener, #4 Summer Movie drops from the Native Diver Handicap all the way down to a $25,000 claimer; who knows what kind of shape he’s in. The same can be said for #6 El Martillo, another ex-classer who continues to plummet following a series of dull races. This race might be best left alone.

The second race isn’t any better. Baffert has the two favorites, #2 Indian Firewater (6/5) and #3 Tweebster (9/5) in a five horse field. Neither one is trustworthy but both are capable of winning. Pass.

The third race begins the Pick-6 and things get a bit more interesting. First time starter #7 Jammied Up has trained well enough to warrant a look in this moderate maiden claiming sprint for 3-year-old fillies and probably should be included in rolling exotic play along with the logical #8 Pool of Fire. Away since July but training like she’s fit and ready, Pool of Fire should be a better type this time around and may have enough early speed to take control early and keep on going.

The fourth race is a bottom rung maiden claimer for older fillies and mares and has little in it. #8 Candy’s Girl is an 11-race maiden and probably isn’t one to trust, but she’s never had an easier chance. Now in the Mitchell barn and making her first start since August, the daughter of Candy Ride has been showing spark in the morning for her new trainer and seems likely better than shown. She’ll have clear sailing outside and have no excuses.

Restricted (non-winners of two) $25,000 claimers go a mile on turf in the fifth race and we’ll try to survive going two-deep in our rolling exotics. Class dropping #3 Lodi Red adds blinkers, retains Bejarano and has numbers that can beat this field, though his 4-0-0-0 record over the Santa Anita turf course is a cause for concern. #4 Geniality is a filly tackling the boys but at this level, who cares? She can improve if held up early and allowed to run late; she’s been fading on the front so we’re anticipating a change in strategy.

The sixth race is a pretty decent entry level allowance sprint for fillies and mares and we’ll be using #4 Top Debutante and #8 Izzy Rules in our rolling exotics. Top Debutante is developing into a useful late running sprinter and should enjoy this extended sprint trip. This will be her third start off a layoff and it should be her best. Izzy Rules looks like the controlling speed once again from her cozy outside post and if she repeats the big figure that she earned when trouncing a lesser field here last month she’ll be hard to catch once again.

# 1 La Sombre looked sensational winning a first level allowance turf sprint last month and should be tough right back on the raise under similar circumstances in today’s seventh race feature. The daughter of Unusual Heat towers over this group on numbers but she is catching a bit more heat today than she saw in her previous outing. The good news is that she’s not a need-the-lead type, so Garcia has the option of tucking in and stalking rather that just blasting off. She continues to look sharp in the morning, so we’re expecting another blockbuster effort.

The finale is a moderate nine furlong claimer that probably requires a bit of a spread. We’ll go three deep and hope that’s enough. #4 Way too Much, first off the claim for Metz (strong stats with this maneuver), loves to win races and is in excellent form following a game score against bottom-rungers in late December. He’s not fast on numbers but his winning spirit must be respected. #7 Capture the Call had a tightener up north and should stick much better with that effort behind him. He’s often tough to catch when allowed to control the front end and he should get that kind of trip today. Another plus is that Pedroza has won with him in the past. #8 El Merito is a big dropper in the Mitchell barn trying conventional dirt for the first time. If he takes to the surface he’s more than good enough to beat a field like this.