Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sun., Jan. 27, 2013)

As this is written, we’re expecting the main track to be in an “off condition” for the Sunday program.

Black Witch is improving with race and looks ready to win the opener. The Baffert-trained filly missed as the choice last time out but earned a better than par figure in the process and with another forward move should be along in time. We’ll also toss in Iconic Sprint. She’s had a good foundation of three sprints under her belt and should be set to stretch out and improve big time for Sadler. Additionally, she acts like a filly that’ll enjoy a distance of ground.

Hidden Blessing crushed a softer field here earlier this month and is double jumped in class by Heap while seeking a repeat in the second race. He’s catching a bit more early speed today but has shown he can take the heat. In a race that doesn’t offer a whole lot of value, we’ll put him on top but probably will not accept anything less than his morning line odds of 2-1.

Grand Giant drops into a claimer for the first time in today’s third race and lands the good rail while retaining Bejarano. This group should be within his range and the Yakteen-trained gelding likely will enjoy a lovely ground-saving trip. Rob’s Pal, freshened since November and also surfacing in a claimer for the first time, has looked sharp in the morning for his return and will be the most dangerous of the closers. Both should be used in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets with Rob’s Pal on top.

Sassy Brunette is improving ever so gradually and may have found a field she can beat in today’s fourth race. The Sherman-trained daughter of Big Brown likely will be on or near the lead throughout. Miss Judged, first off the claim for Belvoir (strong stats with a flat-bet profit), seems sure to improve a bunch for her new connections and has looked quite good in the morning of late. She adds blinkers, stretches out, and should have no trouble with the two turns. We’ll use both in rolling exotic play while slightly preferring Miss Judged on top.

Field Report has much in his favor in the fifth race and seems like a logical rolling exotic single; though at 6/5 on the morning line he offers little in the way of value. A consistent sort and fast on numbers, he’ll be trying to make amends for his recent miss at odds on (though he was five clear of the rest).

Dynamic Host has been razor sharp in the morning since being claimed by Julio and seems sure to improve a bunch for his new barn. He likes to lag and cut loose late and given that kind of ride today from Baze he should be along in time in the sixth race. Conspiracy is worth using as well; the Baffert-trained colt adds blinkers for the first time and has been extra sharp in the morning since a less-than-ideal trip when unplaced in the Sir Beaufort Stakes. He returns to conventional dirt and retains Gomez.

Treasury Bill finished a willing third in his debut in November and in today’s seventh race returns with Lasix. Ellis is superb both with layoff runners and second time starters so this colt is very likely to step forward in a big way today. We like him on top but will also include Secretsatmidnight, a second time starter from Baffert’s barn and very likely better than his troubled fourth place finish earlier this month gives him credit for. He should have every chance from his cozy outside post and looks dangerous from off the pace under Leparoux.

In the eighth race, Egg Toss, away since June but training quite well for her comeback, always has been well regarded by Mitchell and hopefully she will be able to string a few races together this time around. She won her debut so you know she can run well fresh, and if she leaves cleanly from the rail she could be difficult to beat. Splendid Fortune rates top billing. The Baffert-trained filly crushed maidens in fast time last April and then disappeared. She has worked well enough to expect a big performance off the bench. Both should be used in rolling exotic play; we’ll have an extra ticket or two on Splendid Fortune.

In the finale, Prime Issue has improving numbers for a low profile outfit and with another step forward today he might be able to earn his diploma in a below par field of maiden claimers. Espinoza stays aboard. Tribal Money is another with an improving pattern and the Yakteen-trained gelding figures to be prominent throughout. In a field lacking in effective closers, he could stick it out. We’ll use both in rolling exotic play; in an open affair the best advice might be to include as many as you can afford to.