Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Fri., March 15, 2013)

The Friday opener is a weak maiden claimer and might be best left alone. Those wishing to delve into the rolling exotics should consider singling Shackbamalama. He lands a cozy outside box, drops to his proper level, retains Pedroza and removes blinkers. Today looks like his day.

The second race presents a total standout. War Academy didn’t receive any trouble notations in his last trip but he really didn’t have clear sailing when attempting to rally into the lane and lost his momentum. We’ll give him a chance to make amends today and we’re fully expecting the Baffert-trained colt to make the most of the situation. Smith takes over and should have this very promising son of Giant’s Causeway along in plenty of time as a strong straight play and rolling exotic single.

In a Wine Tizzy has been knocking on the door and appears ready to graduate in the third race. Despite low profile connections, the gelded son of Cee’s Tizzy has improving numbers, a comfortable inside draw, and a solid race over the course. Let’s make him a straight play and rolling exotic single.

In the fourth race, Hidden Blessing gets the best of the draw and is racing in good form. The veteran gelding likes to win and should fold over into an ideal pace prompting position. You may decide to spread this race – there are plenty of question marks among the likely contenders – but we’ll take a stand and see if we can get this Heap-trained veteran home as a straight play and rolling exotic single.

The fifth race is a typical grass grab bag and requires a spread. Disko Dasko was a stakes winner in France last fall and arrives fit and ready to fire a big shot for Cassidy. What a Spot graduated at first asking and while the number wasn’t fancy the daughter of Arch looked pretty good. Gomez should have her rolling late. Malibu Honey was a debut winner for a high priced tag and was promptly claimed by Sadler. She can be dangerous right back with Garcia staying aboard. Let’s put the import Disko Dasko on top while using all three in rolling exotic play.

A Drop Dead Diva was visually impressive breaking her maiden first crack out of the box and may prove to be a clever claim by Cassidy, who wheels her back on short rest in today’s sixth race while retaining Baze. Could Be Trouble also was quite sharp breaking her maiden recently and today joins the Miller barn while switching to Stevens. A bullet workout since raced indicates she’s moving in the right direction. Sprint Gal has improving numbers and a cozy outside post. She switches to Talamo and with another forward move she’s right there. Let’s use all three in our rolling exotics and then press a bit with Could Be Trouble on top.

The seventh race is another messy turf sprint; we’ll go three deep and hope that’s enough. A Toast to You is genuine and consistent and should fire another big shot for Miller. Garcia should have him in an ideal pace prompting position coming down the hill. No Silent usually lands in the frame and figures in the picture once again. He’s reunited with Bejarano, who won on him two races back. Sweet Swap has won over the course in the past and has been working lights out for his first start in a couple of months. The switch to Maldonado could make a major difference. We’ll give a very slight edge to Sweet Swap and you may want to buy a few extra tickets with him on top.

In the finale, Fireandesire isn’t fast on numbers but he seems like a trier and should enjoy this seven furlong trip. We’ll use him but prefer Penrose, a route to sprint play for Mullins and with back figures that are good enough to win in this league.