Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sat., Oct. 20, 2012

Today’s opener is a second level allowance sprint for fillies and mares, and #2 Distracting is even money on the morning line and probably will go even lower than that. The Baffert-trained sprinter won in her comeback here late last month with a strong figure and looks more than capable of repeating on the raise against what looks to be a below par field for this level. You can pass the race or use her as a rolling exotic single.

In the second race, #5 Irish Presence was beaten less than two lengths in a turf sprint here two weeks ago and a slow start and some traffic trouble in the lane didn’t help matters. Talamo stays aboard for Harty and this daughter of Midnight Lute should move forward considerably. In a below par field for the level, she looks ready to graduate and we’ll make her a rolling exotic single.

The third race, a maiden juvenile dash, is comprised strictly of first time starters. #1 Really Mr Greeley has shown enough in the morning for Baffert to be used in the exotics; he’s done everything right in the morning without really being asked much and deserves strong consideration in an unclassified field. #2 Cruise Director has been impressive in the morning for Ellis; the son of Pulpit looks plenty fit for a trainer who normally doesn’t ask his young stock for speed in the morning. #4 Z Big Apple, the second Baffert entrant in the field, lands Bejarano and has shown plenty of ability leading up to his debut. #7 Russdiculous is another with a promising work tab and should come out firing. These are the main contenders and they’re tough to separate, let’s put Cruise Director on top simply because he has the most attractive price (8-1) on the morning line.

#9 Sean S was nowhere in a very hot turf sprint vs. tougher earlier this meeting but drops for the money run in today’s fourth race and may have found her friends. She’s won half of her four outings over the downhill course and looks capable of regaining her good form after a pair of below par efforts. #11 True Expectations won vs. a similar field at Pomona with a good stalking trip and should have the athleticism to handle this tricky course. Her only prior turf race was a two-turner in Florida that doesn’t equate to what she’s being asked to do today. We’ll double the race in our rolling exotic play with preference to Sean S.

An extended mid-grade claiming sprint is restricted to 3-year-olds is carded as the fifth race. #1 Rich Kid is fresh from a clever score at Pomona, picks up five pounds off that win and tackles a similar group today on the big circuit. The rail shouldn’t be an issue; the Repent gelding has enough tactical speed to gain favorable early position. #6 Idontrollonshabbos, first off the claim for Victor Garcia, is wheeled back quickly after a solid runner-up effort against a lesser group 11 days ago. He was much farther back than expected in that race yet came home very strongly; we’ll assume Baze will have him within range throughout today. Let’s give Idontrollonshabbos a slight edge while doubling the race in our rolling exotics.

The sixth race is a difficult, contentions downhill turf sprint for entry level state bred sprinters; we’ll go four deep in our spread and hope to catch a bit of a price. #2 Mint Humor has run well in all three of his downhill turf attempts without winning; most recently he scored at Del Mar in a five furlong dash and has trained steadily since for Gaines. Nakatani should have him on or near the lead throughout. #4 Classic Bobby, second off the claim for Glatt, should be a pace prompter throughout and though winless in three career starts on grass the son of In Excess shouldn’t be at a disadvantage under these conditions. #5 Blue Jay Attack likes to settle and blast home and there should be enough pace in here to give him a legitimate chance to wear down the speed. Bejarano stays aboard; this gelding’s 4-0-0-0 record over the Santa Anita turf course is a major concern but at 6-1 on the morning line he’s worth tossing in.

#2 Hidden Blessing won against bottom-rungers at Del Mar two races back and returns to that level in today’s seventh race while being reunited with Bejarano. Fourth in a hot, productive race at Pomona last time out, he should regain his best form today in this easier affair and there’s plenty of value here at 3-1 on the morning line if we can get it. Let’s make him a straight play and rolling exotic single.

#1 Missdealornodeal knows how to win races, likes this turf course, and always gives her best. She’s been stuck on seconds lately and this quick turnaround (one week) off a hard race in the Cal Cup Distaff might have a negative effective on her form. We’ll use in today’s eighth race feature, the Senator Ken Maddy Stakes, but prefer #6 Byrama, the late-charging filly in Callaghan’s barn. A winner of the Unzip Me Stakes over this course last month, she’s done well in the morning in the interim and should be primed for another big effort.

The nightcap is a low level maiden claiming miler and looks made to order for both #1 Marv and #4 Won Won Oh Five and we’ll use both in our rolling exotics. Marv lands the good rail in his first start for Mullins and has rising speed figures following a nice pair of runner-up efforts at Pomona. On pedigree, he should handle the added ground. Won Won Oh Five, in the money in his last pair, is a blinkers-off play (love those) and switches to Talamo. The Dollase-trained colt should be moving in the right direction late and is the one to fear most.