Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sat., March 23, 2013)

A pick-6 carryover of $191,838 provides considerable motivation to attack the Saturday Santa Anita program.

Hard Bill moves up a notch in the opener following a good runner-up try in his comeback for Puype in mid-January. He’s a late-running sprinter with a winning spirit and a preference for this track; with good racing luck from the rail he should be heard from in the final furlong. Afleet Cowboy, away since last July, returns in a realistic spot for Spawr and is another with proven winning form over this main track. He should be prominent throughout. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics while preferring Hard Bill on top.

Market Quote was a spectacular winner of her debut – she overcame a terrible start to win with an amazing late kick – and she’ll be a short price to repeat in the second race while returning from a two month layoff. Let’s hope she leaves with her field today. Top Kisser was second to ‘Quote and then franked the form with a nice maiden score on the front end throughout last month. She’s likely to employ similar tactics today. Market Quote will be hard to deny but we’ll use both in our rolling exotics.

Conkate, second off the claim for O’Neill, has rising speed figures and with another forward move in today’s third race should be hard to deny. She’s reunited with Maldonado, who won on her two races back. Splendid Fortune has been beaten as the choice in her last pair and may be hard one to trust, but she lands the cozy outside post and probably deserves one more chance. Top billing goes to Conkate but both should be included in your rolling exotics.

My Samurai Warrior ran quite well over this course in a recent $32,000 claimer, rallying strongly to just miss while earning a solid speed figure. A similar effort in today’s fourth race makes him a major player in this starter’s allowance affair. Baby Blake has been beaten as the favorite in each of his last three, but has run well in defeat and should be in the battle again today. Bejarano stays aboard and will have this colt running on strongly late. Let’s put My Samurai Warrior on top while doubling the race in our rolling exotics.

In the fifth race, Zee Bros was very well meant in his debut but had to settle for third after pressing a blazing early pace in a fast, highly-rated sprint. If he moves forward at all for Baffert he’ll be hard to deny and from the good outside post Garcia can go or stalk. Let’s make him a straight play and rolling exotic single.

Wednesday turns back in trip in the sixth race and should find this downhill turf sprint perfect for her style. She’s in good form for Gaines and switches to Bejarano. Charm Catcher, runner-up in both of her starts, has upside for McAnally and is the one to fear most. Talamo will have her rolling in the final furlong. Let’s go with Wednesday as the preferred play but use both in our rolling exotics.

The featured Tokyo City Handicap at 12 furlong main track stakes seems fairly unpredictable so we’ll go three deep and hope that’s enough. Oilisblackgold earned a career top number when beating a lesser field over this track last month and will be competitive if he can project his middle distance form at a marathon trip. We’ll toss in him. Richard’s Kid isn’t quite the same now as he was when Baffert had him, but the O’Neill-trained veteran always has to be respected in these second level marathon affairs. His effort in the Big ‘Cap, though non-threatening, was a bit better than the line will show. Calidoscopio won the BC Marathon over this track last fall and then disappeared. He’s clearly good enough to win if ready and you know he can fire fresh, so we’ll put him on top.

Drift King returns to the downhill turf course in the eighth race and ran quite well under these conditions two races back. He’s better than his last (main track) race shows and Bejarano stays aboard. Mr. Bossy Pants is a course specialist (six wins from nine starts) and should fire his usual good shot today from the comfortable outside post. We’ll double the race in our rolling exotics and then a few extra tickets with Mr. Bossy Pants on top.

In the finale, Tiz the Bliz didn’t get the best of runs in his debut for Bonde and is worth another look in his first try with blinkers. Jiggin’ With M K R has shown enough in the morning to warrant in inclusion for O’Neill. The reports say he’s pretty quick. Top Tizzy is a dangerous Bay Area invader showing up for a tag today and is a solid fit in the speed figure department. We’ll prefer Jiggin’ With M K R on top while tripling the race in our rolling exotics.