Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Wed., Jan. 2, 2014)

Happy New Year! And Happy Birthday to all of the thoroughbreds in the Northern Hemisphere!

Today’s opener offers little in the way of value; #4 Glad’s Gals just broke her maiden by more than 12 lengths with a good figure and anything close to that effort will land her in the winner’s circle right back. However, she’s 4/5 on the morning line so there’s not much we can do with her except single her in rolling exotic play.

The second race boils down to #1 Fury Kapcori and #5 Govenor Charlie with comebacking ‘Charlie training like he’s fit and ready therefor deserving of top billing. The Baffert-trained colt disappeared after his poor Preakness run but he’s extremely talented and should make a terrific 4-year-old. Fury Kapcori is a speedy colt with a good inside draw and should be set for his best. He’ll try to take control early and keep on going.

#2 Cook Inlet seeks his third straight win in the third race and is back with Bejarano, who won on him two races back. The Glatt-trained gelding is strong in the speed figure department, clearly likes this track, and has an excellent stalking style. The son of Candy Ride continues to hold his form in the morning as well, so we’ll put him on top again and make him a rolling exotic single.

Bottom-rung older maiden claimers sprint five and one-half furlongs in the fourth race, the first leg of the Pick-6, and we’ll go three deep in an open affair. #3 Warren’s Brother has shown enough in the morning to be included in a weak affair; the Lewis-trained colt certainly won’t have to be a world beater. #6 Grand Gambler has some early speed and may get brave against this bunch, while #10 Trando’s Tremor has low percentage connections but won’t have to improve much at all and should appreciate this shorter trip.

#7 Setsuko ran like a dead short horse in his comeback against tougher last month but should be much fitter today and tackles a considerably softer group in the fifth race. He continues to train sharply for Mandella and looks primed and ready for a major forward move. #6 Den’s Legacy is a one-paced grinder and hasn’t won since early in 2012 but always tries hard and should at least land in the frame.

We’ll double the sixth race while preferring #1 Ricspretentiousgal on top. She lands the good rail while dropping to a realistic spot and is back with Bejarano, who won on her two races back. #8 Boller Bomb loves this turf course and is a solid fit on numbers; she’s dropping for the money run and should be dangerous from slightly off the pace.

The seventh race is a wide-open maiden claiming sprint for state-bred sophomore fillies; best advice is to use as many as you can afford to. #1 Mudge has had a couple of troubled trips recently and strikes us as being a bit better than shown, so there may be some value here at 12-1 on the morning line. #4 Glance’s Rule has some early zip and could move forward after a speed/fade effort across town last month. This barn has good stats with second-time starters. #5 Betty Bing Bing drops into a claimer for the first time and seems sure to improve a bunch.

The featured Blue Norther Stakes marks the return of #5 Full Ransom, impressive winner of the Miesque at Hollywood Park in November. She’s looked quite sharp in the morning for Cassidy since that ace and should run at least as good if not better today as long as she gets the patient ride she wants. Bay area invader #7 Rever de Vous gets blinkers and Bejarano and should adore the grass. Be sure to use her at anywhere near her 6-1 morning line odds.

The finale is a tough maiden claimer for older $40,000 sprinters. #4 Goyan seems better than shown and gets a great spot to prove it. He’s in good hands, retains Espinoza, continues to train like he’s got some ability and catches a group he should be able to act with. There’s value here, for sure, at 10-1 on the morning line. #6 Alpha Bullet lost a heartbreaker in his debut and if he can improve just a little bit off that performance he’ll be a factor despite the raise in class. #9 Through My Eyes is a sneaky comebacker in the Mullins barn; he certainly trains like a better type this time around.