Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Thu., March 22, 2012)

There’s a $94,093 Pick-6 carryover to make the Thursday program enticing.

The opener looks chalky with #3 Si Mar’s Dear and #6 Memo to Kathy likely to get the bulk of the action. The former returns to her claim level after failing as the favorite without mishap against $10,000 sellers last time out and may not be one to trust, though she clearly has back numbers that would win in this league. The latter hasn’t been punching it in lately but hits the bottom today and looks like a player by default. There’s not much to work with here.

The second race should boil down to #3 Ramona’s Ride, a first-time-in-a-claimer play for Ted West and getting a break in the weights with the switch to bug boy Flores, and #8 Lady Vivian, another class dropper who should enjoy an easy pace prompting trip outside. The Pick-6 sequence looks much more attractive.

The third race probably requires a spread as maiden claiming sophomore fillies compete at a mile on turf and anything can happen. We’ll use three and hope that’s enough. #2 D’princess is a blinkers-off play (love that angle), stretches out, tries turf for the first time, draws a nice inside post and takes that all important drop from straight maiden to maiden claiming. She’s a “must use” for obvious reasons. #6 Cavalletta adds blinkers and has a few back numbers that make her a fit despite the raise in class; she’s also a first time turfer and Smith stays aboard, so we’ll toss her in as well. #8 Trois Aureole didn’t run badly down the hill in her local debut and we’re assuming she’s going to move forward for the Sadler/Rosario team. She’s bred to run long on the lawn (English Channel), so we’ll put her on top and press a little bit in the straight pool.

We’ll double the fourth race, a maiden special weight sprint for 3-year-old fillies. #2 Potesta has trained like she’s fit and ready for Mitchell and with Rosario up should take a ton of action. She’s the one to beat but we’ll also include another first timer, the Marty Jones trained #3 Toto Cor. Bred to be quick (Exchange Rate) and training like she’s got some talent, she lands Bejarano and figures to come out running.

We’ve always liked #1 Crossing the Line and we’ll put him on top in the fifth race, a downhill turf sprint for $25,000 claimers. He’s a deep closer and usually needs help up front but he always lays his body down and with good luck he can get there in time. #4 Muny has been a little stale in recent races but he’s worked better of late and might be set for an improved effort. He’s more than good enough to win if he’s right. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics; you might find the need to go deeper.
Trainer Bob Baffert has the sixth race surrounded with the comebacking #4 C J Russell and the class dropper #6 Centralinteligence and we’re kinda expecting them to run one-two. C J Russell can fire fresh and has worked like his old self for his first outing since October, while Centralinteligence, away since opening day, earned a triple digit Beyer figure two runs back that would bury this group.

Today’s feature looks pretty solid with #5 Irish Art and #6 Obviously on our ticket. Irish Art backs up in trip and may be most comfortable as a turf sprinter; he certainly gets ideal conditions today and we’re expecting him to produce the last run. We’ll also use the stranger danger, #6 Obviously, an Irish-import from Mitchell’s barn with a good work tab and Bejarano. He won a pair of big field races overseas and did so with an exceptional late turn of foot. We’ll be surprised if he doesn’t fit very well in this league.

The finale lost a couple of contenders due to late scratches so we’re left with #9 La Sancha and #13 H. J.’s Kitty as the ones to beat in this abbreviated (five furlong) maiden claiming sprint for sophomore fillies. La Sancha is a first time from the Sadler barn (strong with debut runners) and has trained like she’s got some speed. H. J.’s Kitty has had major issues in both of her lifetime starts but probably hasn’t shown her best yet and at this shortened trip deserves another look with Chantal staying aboard for Bernstein.