Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sat., Oct. 27, 2012)

The Saturday opener is a below par race for the level and a little will go a long way. #1 Mending Wall has the blinkers-off angle and has back numbers that can win race like this. She figures to be prominent through slow early fractions and she continues to look pretty good in the morning. This will be her second start off a layoff and the daughter of Broken Vow should step forward considerably. In a race in which the first two favorites are suspect, she offers value at 9/2 on the morning line, and at that price we’ll make her a straight play and rolling exotic single.

The second race is a maiden juvenile dash and attracted only five starters, including the logical favorite, #5 Shakin It Up. The Baffert-trained colt adds blinkers following a strong runner-up effort behind stablemate Super Ninety Nine, who will be seen next in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint. Drawn comfortably outside, the son of Midnight Lute should have every chance. We’ll also include #4 Caballo Del Cielo, logically the controlling speed after leading the way into the stretch in the Del Mar Futurity. Back with maidens and now in the Asmussen barn, the son of Songandaprayer will take some catching. We’ll give slight preference to Shakin It Up but we’ll use both in our rolling exotics.

#1 Arabian Storm, claimed in his last three, shows up in the Knapp barn today while drawing the rail in the third race and is actually dropping a notch despite good recent form. Combine this with the fact that he’s been away since early September and you can envision a somewhat unhealthy picture. However, according the private clocker Andy Harrington, he’s looked fine in the morning in recent weeks, so we’ll include him in our rolling exotics. #3 Hidden Blessing, third in a similar spot here earlier this month, switches to Talamo, gets off the rail and should be on or near the lead throughout. He’ll get top billing in a lackluster affair.

In the fourth race, #6 Unusual Hottie continued her improving pattern with a solid third place effort on Cal Cup day and returns to conditioned allowance company while retaining Gomez. With clear sailing in the lane she’ll be difficult to contain. #7 Missdealornodeal, runner-up in the softer of the two Cal Cup Distaff sprints, always gives her best and will be firing late as usual. We’ll give ‘Hottie a slight edge while doubling the race in our rolling exotics.

#7 Where’s Henry takes a dramatic drop in class in the fifth race and appears to have found his friends. The Bonde-trained gelding was a short horse (and in too tough) in his recent comeback but that effort, combined with the easier task, should allow this speedster to get control early and keep on going. The pace scenario in this abbreviated dash for bottom rung maiden claimers looks made to order. He’s a straight play and rolling exotic single in our book.

#1 In High Regards stretches out in today’s sixth race for the first time while landing the rail and seems sure to attempt gate to wire tactics. A couple of solid works since raced should have this Warren-trained colt on edge, and his pedigree suggests that a mile will be within his range, especially in a “lone f” situation. #4 Winds of Dubai didn’t break well, lost ground and never really got into the race when fifth vs. restricted $25,000 claimers over this course last month. He switches to Gomez, has plenty of room to improve and is a fit on numbers. There’s some value here at 6-1 on the morning line. #9 K Js Maddog is stuck outside but has a look for Mullins if you highlight third place effort going long on the lawn at Hollywood Park last summer. Baze probably will take him back and try to produce a late run. Let’s go with Winds of Dubai slightly on top while using all three in our rolling exotics

#2 Tip Your Hat overcame a stumbling start to rally and finish a respectable third vs. similar in her comeback earlier this month and with a clean start in today’s seventh race the Mitchell-trained filly should be along in time. A couple of nice easy breezes since that race indicate she came out of the ordeal in good shape and Garcia stays aboard. This extended sprint distance shouldn’t be any issue, either. Let’s make her a straight play and rolling exotic single at anywhere near her 3-1 morning line odds.

The featured eighth race is the Autumn Miss Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on turf. #3 Charm the Maker was highly regarded as a two-year-old and seems to have returned to her best form. A mile on turf hits her right between the eyes and the McAnally-trained daughter of Empire Maker should draft into a lovely second flight pace prompting position. We’re expecting Blanc to have her along in time. #6 Lady Ten and #9 Best Present Ever help make it a deep and contentious affair. Lady Ten is thoroughly genuine and consistent and while winless in four starts over the course she’s finished second in all four outings. She’ll be in the battle again. Best Present Ever, a strong runner-up vs. state bred company on Cal Cup day while sprinting down the hill, is equally effective over a distance of ground and figures to be prominent throughout. Use all three in your rolling exotics while pressing just a bit with Charm the Maker on top.

#1 Turn On the Brites has little to beat the nightcap, a bottom rung maiden claiming abbreviated sprint, and if she leaves cleanly from the rail she’ll be hard to deny. Second in a fast race for the level earlier this month, she returns for Chew in 15 days (hope that’s not too quick) and looks much the best on paper of a weak lot. She’s a rolling exotic single and she’ll probably go a bit lower than her morning line odds of 5/2.