Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sun., Feb. 17, 2013)

The Sunday program offers nine competitive races, including the featured San Vicente Stakes at seven furlongs for Derby-aged colts.

In the opener, Mind the Master was more than three clear of the rest when second in a similar spot here last month. The Eurton-trained gelding retains Talamo and probably won’t have to improve much at all to finally earn his diploma from this modest bottom-rung maiden claiming field. He’s 8/5 on the morning line so there’s not much value to be had; rolling exotic players may consider singling him but better advice might simply be to pass the race.

Sweet Red Cat looked fairly decent graduating at Hollywood Park in December and returns in the second race in a starter’s allowance affair with Gomez staying aboard for Sadler. This will be her first try over conventional dirt but she’s fast enough on numbers to win if she can transfer her all weather form to the main track. Once again we’re dealing with a no-value single at 6/5 on the morning line. Play if you prefer the action or wait for better opportunities.

In the third race, Misdeed earned a sharp figure when runner-up in a similar maiden affair here earlier this month and if he can build on that performance today he can win. The Mandella-trained colt retains Leparoux and should draft into a comfortable pace stalking position. Wine List ran well when beaten in a photo on turf last month; he’ll be tough if he can transfer that form to the main track. The Ellis-trained colt has improving numbers and retains Talamo. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics while slightly preferring Wine List on top.

The Pick-6 begins with the fourth race. Mum’s Truckee didn’t get the best of runs when second in a similar spot at nine furlongs recently; today the Miller-trained filly removes blinkers and shortens up a mile. With Gomez riding her back, the lightly-raced California-bred filly should be set for her very best and will be our top pick. Always a Chance is also worth including in rolling exotic play; the McCarthy-trained filly is better than her last troubled trip shows and with good luck she’ll be right there under Talamo.

Footbridge missed as the favorite in a similar maiden two-turner in just his second career start but we’re expecting the Harty-trained colt to make amends in today’s fifth race at a short price. The son of Street Cry continues to impress in the morning and rates top billing as a straight play and rolling exotic single.

Broker Brett missed as the choice down the hill last month but his numbers continue to rise so we’re expecting this Sadler-trained colt to graduate in today’s sixth race. Baze stays aboard the son of More Than Ready, who stretches out for the first time and should adore the extra ground. There’s some value here if we can get close to his morning line odds of 3-1.

Baffert has the featured San Vicente Stakes surrounded with three of the six entrants. Belvin may be his best. The son of Empire Maker earned a big figure when graduating in sharp style in late December and has trained in smart fashion since. This extended sprint distance appears made to order. War Academy won his debut like a nice prospect and he earned a promising figure in doing so. We’ll find out how good this son of Giant’s Causeway is today. Both should be used in rolling exotic play; we’ll prefer Belvin on top, rail and all.

Baby Blake, freshened since early December, returns in the eighth race for Pender with Bejarano staying aboard. He’s run well down the hill in the past and should fire his best shot fresh. Shame on Alex is the one to beat. The Ellis-trained gelding graduated in sharp style against moderate maiden claimers while earning a very nice speed figure, and he’s trained in smart fashion since. The progressive son of Afleet Alex could be the controlling speed and if so he may never look back.

In the finale, National just won from a tougher field and drops to the bottom for Kitchingman. He has his issues – don’t they all at this level? – but if he has one good one left he can score right back with Maldonado staying aboard. We’ll use him as a rolling exotic single but you may prefer to spread the race, or sit it out altogether.