Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Fri., Feb. 7, 2014)

There are a few interesting wagering opportunities on the Friday program for those who have the patience to wait.

The early daily double offers two races with five runner fields that offer little to no value. In the opener, #4 Oneandonlyloveman and #2 Taken by Surprise are preferred in that order but both will be short prices and neither one can be considered trustworthy. In the second race, #5 Justa Gusta gets the slight nod over #2 Fit to Rule and if you’re playing rolling exotics we would use both while trying to beat the morning line favorite, #1 Shoer High.

The Pick-6 begins with the third race and things become a bit more interesting. #1 Caribe d’Oro looks ready to stretch out and win; the Proctor trained filly should run long and handle the grass and from her inside draw figures to be on or near the lead throughout. She makes a pivotal switch to Stevens and we’re expecting a major forward move.

The fourth race, a moderate claiming miler, has six runners and three of them have a right to win. #6 Joe Carl has been looking good in the morning lately and this one-level drop in class might enable the veteran gelding to regain his winning form. He’s been first or second in more than 40 percent of his 51 career starts, an admirable record. #1 Unstopper Topper drops sharply in class, lands the rail, and clearly is the controlling speed, though his low profile connections don’t really inspire confidence. #3 Only the Gold is raised two notches on the class ladder but in his present form he must be given a look.

#1 Cernobbio returns to the maiden claiming ranks in the fifth race and seems well spotted to graduate. The Machowsky-trained gelding tipped his hand with a good runner-up try in a state-bred straight maiden affair over this course and distance recently and with only a slight forward move should be good enough to handle this task. In our rolling exotics we’ll also toss in #9 Friendswith K Mill, a stretch-out play for O’Neill with Smith riding him back. He looks like the most dangerous of the closers.

The sixth race finds the razor sharp #3 Fury Kapcori moving up a level to the three-other-than ranks and the son of Tiznow needs only to run back to his highly-rated middle distance win on New Year’s Day to score again. He’s looked quite sharp in the morning in the interim for Hollendorfer and given the likely pace scenario we’re expecting to Bejarano to have this colt controlling the race pretty much from start to finish.

The seventh race is a tricky maiden turf affair for 3-year-old fillies that might require a bit of a spread. We’ll try to survive using just two. #6 Euroclydon should be prominent throughout and with only a mild forward move looks capable of graduating. She’s reunited with Nakatani, under whom she ran her best race when nosed out in a similar spot two runs back. #2 Major Spot is stretching out for Palma and very likely will be on the lead; her pedigree suggests she can stay a mile and with Bejarano taking over the daughter of Papa Clem may offer some real value at anywhere near her morning line odds of 9/2.

The finale is a bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint for older fillies and mares. #1 Dream Baby has trained like a useful type and seems much better than what she showed in her poor debut run in Western Canada way back in July of 2012. She’s 12-1 on the morning line and we’re thinking she’s a lot better than that. We’ll put her on top but also use #5 Amina Perfect, slow on numbers but in good hands and getting a bit of break in the weights. She probably has a bit of improvement in her.