Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sun., March 16, 2014)

The Sunday program begins with modest turf miler for older maidens. #1 Aqua Revelation tries blinkers for the first time since his debut and seems logical, though he’s certainly no great shakes. However, he gets the rail, retains Bejarano, and should enjoy a very soft, ground-saving, pace-prompting or pace-setting trip. He’ll never get more favorable conditions.

The second race, a maiden special weight extended sprint for fillies and mares, is another affair that offers little in the way of value. #4 Faith Hope Love, beaten as the favorite in her last pair, returns off short rest (eight days) and is a standout on speed figures. But is she trustworthy, especially at 7/5 on the morning line? Let’s move on.

#2 Tempe is double-jumped in class in the third race by new trainer Diodoro after winning in clever fashion over this track earlier this month. She looks very much like the controlling speed again, and with the switch to Talamo she’ll be tough to beat right back, though the extra half furlong does her no favors. #5 Miss American Pie exits the same race as Tempe and was beaten just over a length in her first start in a year, so she certainly has a right to move forward for new trainer Glatt (red hot lately with first-after-claims). We’ll use both in our rolling exotics.

The Pick-6 begins with the fourth race, an extended sprint for restricted (nw-3) $16,000 claiming fillies and mares. #5 Thermal Nermal drops for the money run and the Mulhall-trained mare retains Bejarano; she should enjoy seven furlongs but is unproven over conventional dirt. #2 She’s a Go Girl looks fairly solid at the level though she’s winless over the Santa Anita main track and her recent speed figures are a bit shy of par. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics while preferring Thermal Nermal on top.

Entry-level state-bred fillies and mares sprint down the hill in the fifth race, a contentious affair that probably requires a spread. #10 Mark of a Gem may have been a tad rusty in her comeback but shouldn’t be today; the Yakteen-trained filly has won over this course and distance in the past and she should be the controlling speed. #6 J and S Express has been in the money in all of her recent starts and retains Talamo; she’ll do her best running from a second flight or stalking position. These are the two we’ll prefer but feel free to toss in anybody else that catches your fancy.

#4 Divine Way finally broke her maiden in career start number eighth and if the light switch truly went on she can score right back in the sixth race, a moderate claiming sprint for 3-year-old fillies. Bejarano stays aboard and should have this O’Neill-trained filly in a comfortable pace prompting position. #7 Red Barris also just broke her maiden in fairly decent style though she didn’t earn much of a number. We’ll toss her in. #8 Salsita, yet another recent maiden winner, did so in a relatively slow heat but she has winning connections and back figures that would be more than good enough to beat this field.

The Santa Ana Stakes occupies the seventh race, and a pair of Florida shippers should dominate the proceedings. #6 Emollient, a close fourth (beaten one length) in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf last November, launches a comeback for Mott and appears to be training like she’s fit and ready to win off the bench. She can be effective from off the pace or on the front end, so Smith can play it by ear. #3 Emotional Kitten, a sharp stakes winner in Kentucky in November, has done plenty of good work in the morning for Ward and should produce a dangerous closing kick. These two should out class the local contingent.

The eighth race is a strong allowance race for 3-year-olds around two turns; Cerin’s recent maiden winner True Ten stretches out to a distance he’s bred to like and looks quite capable of winning again despite the difficulty of the task. He continues to impress in the morning and offers value at anywhere close to his morning line odds of 7/2. #1 The Admiral was equally impressive in his recent maiden victory but we’re wondering if he’d rather just be a one-corner colt. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets with True Ten on top.

The nightcap, another Hillside turf sprint, looks completely wide open and nothing would surprise us. If there’s ever a “buy” race, this is it. #3 Kilat, a way since June, surfaces for a tag and that’s hardly a healthy sign, though he’s more than good enough to win if he has one good one left. #9 Candy’s Sunrise, claimed in his last pair, has been working well at Los Alamitos for local trainer Treece and just earned a career top speed figure under similar conditions. Old pro #10 Mr. Bossy Pants disappointed in Phoenix recently but he’s back sprinting today and is more than good enough to beat this field if he’s feeling okay.