Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Thu., Oct. 25, 2012)

The eight-race Thursday program offers a few challenges for rolling exotic players and contains a couple of price opportunities in the Pick-6 sequence.

In the opener, #4 Stanwyck has been a money burner so far in her brief career and very likely will be a short priced favorite again today. Giacomo’s half-sister will try conventional dirt for the first time and there’s no reason she won’t handle it, but at 4/5 on the morning line there’s very little value to be had. #5 Kelsa was far back in her only outing but reportedly has looked much better in the morning since that race for Mullins. She has potential that most of the others in here don’t have, so let’s use her in our rolling exotics along with the favorite.

#2 Zoom Bag didn’t earn a fancy figure when winning his debut and the runner-up was well-beaten in his next outing, so we’re not quite sure what to make of what was otherwise a fairly decent maiden claiming win. However, the rest of this second race starter’s allowance group looks ordinary at best, so let’s stick with Carava’s colt and hope that he can produce the last run once again.

The morning line favorite in the third race, a one mile turf affair, is #5 Money Talker and he certainly can win, but he’s a six race maiden so let’s try to beat him with higher ceiling-types. #3 Song of Honor is a first timer bred for turf on both sides of his pedigree, and a recent fast gate drill indicates her has at least some ability. At 8-1 on the morning line he’s worth tossing in. #4 Mr T Bird is improving with racing, has worked nicely since his last outing and figures to make another forward move today. Nakatani should have him on or near the lead throughout. #6 Tiznow Or Then is a first time Lasix user trying turf for the first time and is another very likely to improve for good trainer Ellis. He exits a pair of productive heats and seems better than the lines will show. Let’s slightly prefer Tiznow Or Then on top while tripling the race in our rolling exotics.

In the fourth race, #3 Dylan Donnelly drops into a claimer for the first time and looks ready to graduate. He’s a strong fit in the speed figure department and continues to look sharp in the morning, so we’re expecting the Mitchell-trained gelding to produce the last run. We’ll also toss in #5 Bipartisan, first off the claim for Hendricks and showing a bullet six furlong work for his new connections. He’s also a second-off-a-layoff play and has the style to improve over a distance of ground.

The fifth race is a lackluster bottom rung claiming sprint for older fillies and mares; nothing in here can be deemed trustworthy. We’ll go three deep and hope that’s enough but if you’d like spread even more, go right ahead. #5 Memo to Kathy looks off form but she’s adding blinkers for the first time so maybe that will wake her up. On her best day, she’s more than good enough. #6 Warren’s Passion ran away and hid from maiden claimers at Pomona and earned a nice figure doing so; if she can duplicate that effort on the big track she’ll be tough right back. #7Ebo’s Lover chased tougher recently and should improve enough in this softer spot to at least pose a threat. We’ll put Warren’s Passion on top without any great conviction.

#1 Jay’s Firetruck is a nine race maiden but he did perk up to finish second in a bit tougher spot at Del Mar and has been freshened since then. He’s been looking good in the morning and in the sixth race should draft into a favorable ground-saving, pace-stalking position. Let’s put him on top but also use #6 Surely Swift, a first time blinker play for Gallagher and fresh from a runner-up try with a career top speed figure here last month, and #8 He Makes It Rain, a class dropper from the Gaines barn and stretching out for the first time.

In today’s featured seventh race, #5 Smokey Lonesome, a solid second under similar conditions here last month, has trained well in the interim and should be primed for another big effort. First or second in four of six starts over this course, he’ll be doing his best work in the final furlong once again. However, we’ll strongly prefer#6 Sweet Swap, who was an eye-opening winner vs. softer down the hill last month and has trained splendidly since. He’s a full brother to Sidney’s Candy) and we’re expecting him to be a stakes type in due time.

#4 R Doubleday has little to beat in the finale, a bottom rung abbreviated maiden claiming sprint for fillies and mares. Freshened since early August but training like she’s fit and ready, the Pender-trained filly has hit the board in all three starts and has earned speed figures better than par for this level. Talamo returns and should have this daughter of Five Star Day on or near the lead throughout as a short priced rolling exotic single.