Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sun., Nov. 3, 2013)

Closing day has mandatory payoffs in all of the rolling exotics and will start early at 12 Noon due to the reinstitution of Daylight Savings.

The opener is a highly contentious starter’s allowance affair with three main contenders. #1 Muchos Besos has been facing tougher lately and should rebound at this level. He’s especially fond of the Santa Anita main track and has been sharp in the morning lately. #7 Half Dome Dude is in good form and has the proper style for this extended sprint trip. #10 Big Wags is tough at any distance.

The second race is a tough affair that probably requires a bit of a spread. #2 Danderek is a consistent type coming off a game tally over the course and should be prominent throughout once again. Bejarano seems to get the most run out of him. #3 Insideodoutside stretches out, drops in class, and seems sure to improve at this level. #10 Depreciable stretches out and loves this turf course.

#6 Crusher is intriguing in the third race, a weak maiden claiming miler. Well-beaten after a slow start in his only prior outing last summer, he returns for Mullins in a very soft spot and has trained like a gelding who can win in this league. We’ll like him on top but will also include in our rolling exotics #2 Anzeau, dropping drastically in class and switching to Bejarano.

There’s not much depth to the fourth race, a low level restricted claiming sprint. #9 Change of Plan drops while trying to find his winning level and may have located it. The Miller-trained gelding lands Rosario and should be double tough on or near the lead. #11 Turn On the Brites also tries an easier gang, should get clear sailing outside, and may be the most dangerous of the closers.

#2 Kathleen Rose catches a rather modest straight maiden state-bred filly and mare field in the fifth race and looks ready to graduate. A solid recent runner-up in a strong miler, she backs up in trip today and should have no difficulty handling the hill. Maldonado rides her back for Machowsky. #4 Lil Swiss Echo ran huge off the bench in a similar spot last month and will be tough if she doesn’t “bounce.”

The sixth race is a better than par straight maiden sprint for juveniles and it will take a pretty decent colt to win it. #7 Rough Passage was a $250,000 Keeneland two-year-old in training buy and has worked very well for his debut for Mulhall. He looks fit and ready under Talamo. #10 Beach Hut has done everything asked in the morning for Baffert. #3Smuggley Bear has the benefit of some experience.

#3 Ambitious Brew ran huge in a Del Mar state-bred stakes in August and returns in the seventh race for Jones in a first level allowance sprint down the hill. He’s run well on turf in the past, has looked good in the morning of late, and retains Smith. He’ll be hard to beat. #4 Life a Riley remains protected by Spawr and retains Bejarano, a good sign. #7 Free Time will take them as far as he can on the front end.

#5 Mum’s Truckee shortens up to seven furlongs in the eighth race while switching to the main track and picks up Bejarano. The Miller-trained filly has proven winning form over this surface and a repeat of her race before last makes her the one to beat. #3 Gifting should be forwardly placed and seems capable of sticking around for at least a share. #8 Conkate was overmatched last trip, isn’t today.

Today’s ninth race feature is the Goldikova Stakes for fillies and mares over a mile on turf. #5 Egg Drop and Appealing finished one-two in the Yellow Ribbon Handicap at Del Mar and there was very little separating them. The former must pick up seven pounds off that victory but she continues to look sharp in the morning and her tactical speed should insure a good trip. #9 Appealing will be charging late and is reunited with Bejarano. We’ll give her a slight edge.

In the season finale, we’re making an educated guess that #9 Educated Guess can run. The debuting Lion Heart gelding has trained better than his moderate workout times would indicate and he debuts in an extremely soft bottom-rung maiden claimer for Hofmans, who is clever with this type of runner. #3 Awesome Okee probably is better than shown. Use both in your rolling exotics.