Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Thu, Feb. 7, 2013)

Not much will be needed to win the Thursday opener. Cat’sdoubledaygirl is making her first start since being claimed by Spawr and switches to Bejarano; the work tab looks okay and she’s shown she can fire fresh. We’ll make her a rolling exotic single but not really with a large degree of confidence.

J J Be Chillin won his debut in game style but didn’t break any stop watches in the process. However, he’s likely to improve for Mullins and is realistically spotted in the second race, a soft $16,000 affair. That being said, Second Ovation is our top pick and one to beat. The Miller-trained gelding takes as significant class drop, switches to Maldonado, and has maintained his sharpness in the morning since his last outing. In this league he looks hard to contain. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets with Second Ovation on top.

Yankee Rebel won his only start last summer in a high priced claimer and then disappeared. He returns in the third race, a first level allowance event (a good sign), and has worked like he’s fit and ready for Hess. With Bejarano aboard, he looks like a live item. Will True Up exits a pair of very tough stakes and tackles a considerably easier group today. He’s backing up in trip, has proven winning form over turf, and is reunited with Talamo, who has won on him in the past. Both should be used in your rolling exotics with preference to Will True Up.

R Doubleday seeks her third straight win in the fourth race and looks well spotted to extend the streak. She’s being wheeled back quickly following a sharp score with a career top figure, so there’s always the worry of a bounce, but against this group she should be set for another winning effort. There’s probably not a whole lot of value here, so we’ll make her a rolling exotic single with getting terribly involved.

Back to Bako failed to run to his sharp comeback works in a hot main wet fast sprint recently but he’s going long on the lawn in today’s fifth race and that’s what he’s bred to do. The Heap-trained son of Aragorn should very much enjoy the stretch out in trip as well, and in a below par field of state bred sophomores, he deserves top billing as a straight play and rolling exotic single.

Rossie Reserve is genuine and consistent and returns in the sixth race to the bottom rung after a solid runner up try against $10,000 company last month. Gryder knows her well and should have this Hess-trained mare on or near the lead throughout as a no-value, short priced rolling exotic single.

Motown Man ran well under similar circumstances here last month, has trained nicely since, and should fire another big shot for Eurton in the featured seventh race. Bejarano stays aboard. Our Boy Benjamin adds blinkers (he wore them one time in the past) and might be a late threat with Leparoux staying aboard. Ride Along beat claimers recently with a sharp number, one that makes him a fit in this league. He has a good stalking style, retains Baze, and has held his form in the morning. We’ll go three deep in our rolling exotics and then press with Motown Men in the win pool.

In the finale, I’ll Run the Show has low profile connections but drops for the money run and has the kind of speed that can handle this below par maiden claiming group. The Los Alamitos shipper should be the controlling speed and has a very good chance to keep going. There’s some value here at anywhere close to his morning line odds of 3-1.