Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sun., March 30, 2014)

Sunday’s program offers a $96,562 Pick-6 carryover and it’s worth going after.

The opener is a five-runner field with a 3/5 morning line favorite, #5 Kafister. First off the claim for Hollendorfer, switching to Bejarano and landing the cozy outside post, the Kafwain gelding loves this track and is simply faster than his four rivals. There’s no value here so let’s pass.

The second race has two main contenders. #3 Senza Fina and #4 South Sound exit the same race, a $50,000 claimer earlier this month and both ran reasonably well, with ‘Sound finishing second and ‘Fina third. They’re hard to separate again, though ‘Sound seems to be a tad quicker and should appreciate this shorter trip. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics.

We’ll go three-deep in the third race, a $10,000 claimer that finds the big class dropper #3 Carbonite listed as the 9/5 morning line choice. This is the cheapest this gelding has ever run, and with declining recent speed figures he’s probably not one to thoroughly trust. However, anything close to his best race gets him home. We’ll also use #1 Change of Plans, first off the claim for O’Neill and partial to this main track, and #5 Newfound Gold, claimed in his last pair and capable of improving for Yakteen.

The fourth race kicks off the pick-6 sequence; we’ll double the race while preferring #4 Tommy’s Stylin on top. Fairly impressive in his debut when rallying after a slow start to finish a close third down the hill earlier this month, he stretches all the way out to nine furlongs today but his pedigree okay’s the trip and Smith stays aboard. This might be nice colt. #7 Kozani ran well two-turning over this course two races back but was disappointing when favored when shortening up to a hillside sprint last time out. Talamo takes over and likely will have this Sadler-trained colt on or near the lead throughout.

The fifth race looks like a spread; it’s a $12,500 claiming sprint for fillies and mares. Class dropper #8 Tribal Dress should be the controlling speed and at this level could get very brave if she can clear off early on. Freshened since January, the daughter of Tribal Rule has looked sharp and perked up in the morning of late. #5 Holiday N Newport has burned money in her last pair but retains Talamo and is capable of better. #6 Funny Gal was used on the pace and weakened late in her last start, perhaps with patient handling she’ll pose a late threat today.

Maiden claimers get a rare chance on grass in the sixth race and the class dropping #2 Big Medicine Man seems poised to take advantage. With better than par speed figures for this level earned against straight maiden company, the Harty-trained colt witches to Nakatani and shouldn’t miss this opportunity. You can also include #5 Street Haven on a backup; the Street Hero gelding is a first-off-the-claim for O’Neill didn’t run too badly over this course last year.

The Santana Miles goes as the featured seventh race; it’s a competitive affair that has a number of legitimate contenders. Top billing should go to #5 Fury Kapcori; the Hollendorfer-trained colt seeks his third straight score with numbers that can win, and while he has plenty of early speed he’s shown the ability to stalk and win as well. He’ll probably use those tactics because #2 Appealing Tale is a committed front-runner drawn inside, and he’s likely to be gunned from the gate by Espinoza. The Miller-trained gelding has never been better and is fast on numbers. #4 Cat Burglar also is worth of consideration; the Baffert-trained colt is lightly-raced and improving and can produce a late run.

The eighth race is a conditioned allowance mile affair on grass that seems made to order for the Mitchell-trained #4 Ready for More. Out of his element in the San Carlos sprinting on the main track last time out, he’s in a much softer spot today while stretching out and switching to a surface he’s shown he can handle. We’re expecting Garcia to put him on the lead. #1 Monastic likes to be on or near the lead as well and is adding blinkers today; he might be sent from the rail though it’s more likely that Stevens will attempt to settle in the second flight. #5 Spring Up has won four of 10 career outings and has some improvement in him for Sadler. Preference goes to Ready for More but we’ll include all three in our rolling exotics.

The finale is a bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint at five furlongs; the known element isn’t much so we’ll prefer the fresh face #2 Sweet Heat. She’s trained faster than most of these can run and with Bejarano taking the mount the daughter of Heatseeker should get the bulk of the play. #10 Nueva Fortuna didn’t run badly in her debut and if she moves forward and maintains a straight course today she’ll be the one to fear most.