Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Fri., Jan. 18, 2013)

A nice $59,1616 Pick-6 carryover awaits players on a competitive Friday program.

The opener is a difficult; we’ll go three deep without any great conviction. Lord Kitra split the field sprinting vs. tougher in her debut and seems quite likely to move forward for Armstrong while stretching out and landing the good rail. She trains in the morning like a filly that will enjoy two turns and she’s bred for it. Sharp Bella returns to the main track while dropping out of straight maiden races and seems sure to improve for Biancone. She should be on or near the lead throughout. Tiz Anna returns to the claiming ranks for Cerin and is a fit on numbers, so we’ll toss her in as well. We’ll give a slight edge to Lord Kitra on top.

Spring Bloom is genuine and consistent and well placed to resume her winning form in today’s second race. Talamo should have her on or near the lead throughout. Her numbers continue to steadily ascend and another forward move is likely today. Let’s make her a straight play and rolling exotic single.

The Pick-6 begins in the third race. Melanistic drops a notch while switching to Maldonado and if she can avoid any kind of trouble from the rail she should be hard to beat. The Baltas-trained filly has the right style for this extended sprint trip and has won on this track in the past. We’ll also include in our rolling exotics Cupid’s Bling, another past winner over this main track and with the closing style that should be dangerous at this seven furlong distance.

Footbridge flashed extreme promise in his debut, closing with courage against the pro-speed bias without being knocked about in a fast, highly-rated affair. He stretches out in today’s fourth race to what should be a much better trip, continues to look good in the morning for Harty, and retains Gomez. We’re expecting this promising son of Street Cry to be along in time as a straight play and rolling exotic single.

Indecise has improved steadily with experience for Mandella and likely will make another forward move in today’s fifth race. She steps up in class following a sharp downhill turf score and might be more effective going short, but we’re hoping she’s simply a better type now and will be able to punch it around two turns as well. She’s a straight play and rolling exotic single at anywhere near her morning line odds of 3-1.

We’ll go two-deep in the sixth race, a moderate restricted claimer, and hope that’s enough. You may feel the need to spread considerably deeper. Fiesta Express takes a significant class drop while returning to the main track and switching to Pedroza. She’s 1-for-22 and clearly not one to trust but on figures she’s a fit and from the rail she should enjoy an ideal ground-saving, mid-pack trip. Sheeskey, first off the claim for Diodoro and switching to Baze, is a veteran mare with an atrocious 1-for-35 record during her career. However, in this league she actually looks quite dangerous. She should draft into a nice pace prompting position and have every chance from there.

In the featured seventh race, Purim’s Dancer is a perfect two-for-two on turf and is back on the lawn today after finishing a reasonable third in an off-the-turfer across town last month. She continues to look sharp in the morning for Proctor and has the perfect stalking style for this downhill course. Hidinginplainsight, second in the same race ‘Dancer exits, is another who will not be inconvenienced by the surface switch and should be on or near the lead throughout. Slight preference goes to Purim’s Dancer but both should be used in rolling exotic play.

In the finale, Unmarked Bills is an improving sort for Mandella and with another forward move, even if slight, makes him hard to beat. Talamo rides him back and the son of Posse continues to impress in morning trials. Whipstock is another with a strong series of recent workouts that indicate he’s ready to step forward big time. He’s a 6-year-old maiden but is lightly raced and seems better than shown. With back numbers that can win and with the switch to Gryder, this Jones-trained gelding deserves top billing.