Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sun., Oct. 20, 2013)

The Sunday nine race program begins with a modest maiden claiming miler that could be won by almost anyone. #1 Crucero returns to the main claiming ranks and is a strong fit on speed figures. He should get a great trip from the rail. #3 Carlsbad Mountain switches to the main track and will take this field on the front end for as far as he can. These are the two we’ll be using; feel free to go deeper if you need to.

We’ll double the second race as well, using #2 Public Policy and #5 I’ll Wrap It Up in this high priced maiden claiming sprint for juveniles. Public Policy has shown enough in the morning for Sadler to warrant a strong look in this open affair, while I’ll Wrap It Up has the benefit of two prior runs and has speed figures that are rising.

The third race is a moderate claiming main track mile affair that has a number of possibilities. The two we’ll prefer are #1 Joe Carl and #4 Trulee Scrappin but this is another event that might require a spread. Joe Carl came against very slow fractions to finish a willing third against a slightly tougher field last time out and really won’t have to improve much to win. Trulee Scrappin makes his third start of this young meeting while stretching out for new trainer Miller and he’s had prior success two-turning, so don’t be concerned by the added distance.

The fourth race is another maiden claimer, this one for juvenile fillies. #7 Nancy Wake appears the best of the known element; she’s finished in the money in her last three and her speed figures aren’t too bad. Debuting #1 Diamonddusted has worked reasonably well for Miller, who has great stats with first-timers and she clearly won’t have to be a world beater to act with these. We’ll also toss in the Avila-trained #8 Capers N Wine, a first timer with a decent work tab.

Straight maiden juvenile fillies sprint five and one-half furlongs in the fifth race; there appears to be three strong contenders and we’ll use all three in our rolling exotics. #3 Abide in Me, in the money in both of her starts last summer, returns for Sherman and sports a solid and healthy work tab. She could be a better type this time around. #4 Taste Like Candy has trained like a runner for Hollendorfer and gets Bejarano; she could be a very nice prospect. #5 Midnight Dream is a fast-working Baffert first timer and is a “must use.”

The sixth race kicks off the late Pick-4 and is a grass grab bag for restricted $25,000 claiming fillies and mares. #4 Smart N Dreamy ran decently over the course last month when third and retains Talamo; she’s lightly-raced and likely has plenty of improvement in her. #7 Akiss Forarose was a fast-closing second in the same race ‘Dreamy exits and switches to Nakatani; the main concern is her 1-for-18 lifetime record. These look like the two logical contenders but nothing would surprise us in the open affair.

Big class dropper #1 Tribal Peace will be hard to beat in the seventh race if she fires her best shot. She was a nice entry-level state-bred allowance winner two runs back and then failed on open company; this drop into the $25,000 level is warranted and she’s reunited with Bejarano, who has won with her in the past. #4 Firendesire seems like a logical exacta partner with ‘Peace; she’s being raised in class in a sign of confidence after a clever win for $12,500 earlier this month.

The featured Uniformity Stakes for 3-year-olds down the hill looks on paper to be a battle between #4 Appealing Tale and #6 Tom’s Tribute. Appealing Tale flew home to miss by a neck in a hot allowance race over this course last month and he’ll be very dangerous from off the pace once again. Tom’s Tribute looked good winning a fast miler last month but this drop back to a sprint shouldn’t be an issue; he, too, can pack a good stretch wallop. We’ll give a very slight edge to Tom’s Tribute while using both in our rolling exotics.

The nightcap is a maiden claiming sprint for older fillies and mares; there’s not much depth here and the main contenders boil down to #4 Sophie’s Secret and #12 Angel’s Moon. The former just finished second in a similar spot at Del Mar and a repeat of that effort today probably will be good enough to earn a diploma. Angel’s Moon drops into a claimer for the first time, has figures that fit, and seems sure to improve in this much softer spot.