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Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sun., Feb. 5, 2012)
A giant Pick-6 carryover of $353,248 makes the Super Bowl Sunday card especially attractive, and if you’re going to step up to the plate remember that first post is 11 a.m.
#1 Tiz a Trip and #4 Fordham Road meet again in today’s opener; they finished heads apart when both were in the money in a similar maiden turf event last month. Either one can win; you should probably use both in your rolling exotics.
The second race is a low level claiming miler for fillies and mares and appears to have two main players in #5 Roman Chic and #7 Pure Storm. The former is a first-off-the-claim for Mikus following an all-out score last month; she’s a threat right back if she goes unpressured on the front end. The latter, an $8,000 Diodoro claim when missing by a head to Roman Chic in that common race Jan. 14, should fold over into a nice pace prompting trip and have every chance to turn the tables this time.
The third race kicks off the Pick-6 and we’ll go three deep in this downhill turf starter’s allowance event. #2 Mint Humor will make the running and perhaps keep on going with the switch to Bejarano. #5 Stone Hot should be a late threat while switching to Quinonez and with another forward move could wear them all down. His numbers are going in the right direction. #7 Bull Dog, now in Pender’s barn following a $40,000 claim, earned a big figure when breaking his maiden last month and will be a strong threat right back if he can duplicate his dirt form on turf.
California-bred maiden fillies square off in the fourth race at six furlongs. #5 Briteness was a distant second in her debut and earned a pretty nice figure in the process; she’s come back to train well and seems sure to moved forward for Gaines (excellent with second time starters). Stranger danger comes in the form of #8 Fabulous Fashion, Carla’s other entrant and working quite well for her debut. They’re hard to separate so we’ll use them both.
The fifth race is a highly competitive starter’s handicap at seven furlongs and requires a spread. We’ll use four and hope that’s enough. #4 Hiatus is a route to sprint play and switches from turf to dirt for Hess while going to Talamo; he could be dangerous from off the pace at 8-1 on the morning line. #5 Gutshot Straight likes to win races, moves to conventional dirt and should draft into a comfortable second flight trip. He has back numbers that can win. # 6 Adriatic Moon switches to Bejarano and is more than capable of beating a field of the quality with his best effort; he should be running on strongly late. #7 Gatheratthealter is another turning back in trip and remains protected by Baffert while switching to Rosario.
The sixth race is another difficult affair and has a number of contenders. #2 Chasin Perfection seeks her third straight win while vanning down from Golden Gate Fields; don’t underestimate her, she can act with these. At 12-1 on the morning line she offers extreme long shot value. #6 Celestial Kitten, a good runner-up in the Megahertz Stakes, tackles a bit easier today while retaining Bejarano and should be a strong threat from off the pace. #8 Anniversary Girl is better than her last shows and will improve a bunch if she can settle early with cover and then produce her late kick.
The San Antonio Stakes , the featured seventh race, marks the return of last year’s Big ‘Cap winner, #3 Game On Dude, who reportedly has been training in spectacular fashion. He looks every bit the 4/5 favorite that he’s listed at on the morning line, and probably be a rolling exotic single on a majority of tickets. Total standout.
The finale is a bottom rung maiden claimer and we’re going to take a stand and single the fresh face, #10 Creative Writer. Finally debuting at age 4 for Marty Jones, the son of Bertrando has trained well enough to be fit to fire first crack out of the box and certainly doesn’t have much to beat. He looks very live under hot bug boy Flores and if he doesn’t win it, anybody can.