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Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sun., March 23, 2014)
The Sunday program begins with a maiden special weight two-turner for 3-year-olds that has two main contenders and little else. #1 Rprettyboyfloyd and #6 Party Time both exit the same race and are hard to separate, though the latter, with only two career starts, may have a bit more room to improve. Let’s pass the race and wait for better opportunities.
The second race should belong to #6 Warrenspoweroflove. Stretching out for the first time with a running style and pedigree that suggests she’ll improve considerably over a distance of ground, the Lewis-trained filly gets a big break in the weights with the switch to Van Dyke and really has very little to beat. We like her strongly on top at anywhere near her morning line odds of 5/2, and as a logical exacta partner #4 L X Sunrise can be used on a few tickets in rolling exotic play as well. A solid runner-up under similar conditions earlier this month, the Miller-trained filly is another with further room to improve.
#5 Unusual Way should be a short priced favorite to capture the third race, the Dream of Summer Stakes for state-bred fillies and mares. She’s most effective on the front end and can’t help but inherit an easy early lead in this paceless affair. She continues to look sharp in the morning for Bonde and is a standout on speed figures. Alas, she’s even money on the morning line.
The Pick-6 begins in the fourth race. #3 Baruta was well-meant in her U.S. debut but settled for second in a similar turf sprint despite having every chance from the furlong pole to the wire. She continues to look sharp in morning drills for Mandella so we’ll anticipate a forward move by this Brazilian import. Stevens takes over. Exacta players may consider #2 Velvet Mesquite; she’s undefeated over this course and distance and is back where she belongs after producing no run going long on the main track in her most recent outing.
The fifth race is a tough middle distance main track affair for fillies and mares; we’ll use three in our rolling exotics. #1 Include the Cat lands the good rail, switches to Talamo, and appears to be rounding back to top form following a sharp runner-up try vs. similar last month. Another forward move is anticipated with the switch to Talamo. #2 Proud Vixen, a beaten favorite in the same race Include the Cat exits, is capable of better for Cerin and retains Nakatani. She should settle in the second flight, ready to pounce. #8 Legacy broke her maiden in solid style and then was third in the common race of Feb. 23, beaten just under two lengths. With a bullet workout since raced at San Luis Rey Downs, she has every right to step forward and be dangerous.
The sixth race is extremely difficult and probably requires a major spread in rolling exotic play. The two we’ll prefer are #3 Square Dancer and #8 Lucky Primo but you should feel free to add as many as you can afford to use. Lucky Primo gets a slight edge; the Litt-trained gelding drops to his lowest level ever and has plenty of back numbers that are good enough to win. Obviously, there’s a question of condition but this seems like a realistic spot. Square Dancer, in the money in his last three, is solid in the speed figure department and should settle into an ideal pace prompting position.
#5 Brown Is Beige and #1 Eltoninadress finished one-two in a similar $8,000 claiming sprint last month and the two meet again in the seventh race at six and one-half furlongs. There really doesn’t seem to be much reason to expect a different result; ‘Beige has trained well since her win and shouldn’t be inconvenienced by the extra half furlong. Eltoninadress is a first-off-the-claim for Mullins, so a forward move can be expected. We should be able to survive and advance using just these two.
Starter’s allowance foes meet in the eighth race down the Hillside course and the recent bottom-rung maiden claiming winner #2 Remind Mee looks intriguing despite the rather substantial raise in company. He returned off a long layoff to win a very fast heat in visually pleasing style and today tries his luck on turf. The son of Peace Rules should be on or near the lead throughout and offers value at 6-1 on the morning line. #1 Fighting On, in the money in his last four, is overdue for a win and should have every chance despite the inside draw.
The finale is a weak bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint for older fillies and mares and looks like a set up for #3 Fast Moka Too. A decent fourth after leading the way into the lane in her recent comeback, the daughter of Decarchy should be fitter and tougher today and looks likely to dominate throughout. However, at 6/5 on the morning line, the Ellis-trained mare offers very little in the way of value.