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Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Sunday, April 27, 2014)
The Sunday program begins with a $16,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares and finds #3 Sidebar listed as the 6/5 morning line favorite. She’s home free with anything close to her best race, though the big class drop is of some concern. #5 Queen of the Hill, first off the claim for O’Neill, is raised three levels off a highly-rated bottom-rung score and will be tough if Sidebar fails to fire.
The second race is a Hillside turf sprint and Sadler sends out the two main contenders. #6 Sunny Kat, away since last summer but training like a better type this time around, returns in a relatively soft spot and should fire a big shot off the bench under Talamo. #4 Mal Verde is a first-timer with a series of sharp drills at San Luis Rey Downs and this stable always has excelled with debut runners. As a son of Whatsthescript, he’s bred to love turf. Both should be used in rolling exotic play.
We’ll double the third race, a $32,000 claiming dash for fillies and mares. #1 Julio’s Gold is a speedy sort and is projected to make the lead from her inside post. Though she just defeated a similar field coming down the hill, she’s also won over this main track so the surface switch shouldn’t be an issue. #3 Vickie Victoria likely will settle into a stalking position and will be there to pick up the pieces should ‘Gold weaken in the late stages.
The fourth race kicks off the Pick-6. Comebacking #4 Gelila has low percentage connections but she seems to be working well at Los Alamitos, has a prior win over this course, and is returning at the proper level. She should be running on strongly late and in a weak restricted affair looks good enough to win with her best effort. #7 Visions of Candy also is worth using; the Bell-trained filly tries turf for the first time and her pedigree okay’s the surface switch. Her speed figures are gradually improving and Blanc should have her in an ideal pace stalking position.
Maiden claimers sprint six furlongs in the fifth race; it’s a modest affair made to order for #8 Fly to Freedom. With back numbers that can win, the Miller-trained mare has trained like she’s fit and ready and in a field without much speed she’s likely to be on or near the lead throughout. At anywhere near her morning line of 5/2, she’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.
A fairly competitive group of maiden fillies and mares sprint down the Hillside course in the sixth race and we’re looking at three major contenders. #5 Burning Arch is a first-timer from the Hollendorfer barn and has done plenty of good work in the morning for a trainer that excels with debut runners. The daughter of Arch lands Smith and reports indicate she could be a strong late threat. #3 Miss Super Quick ran well in her local bow for Mandella, retains Stevens, and has every right to step forward, especially with a bullet five furlong drill since raced. #1 Bird In Love ran well over this course and distance in her debut and if she can negotiate a decent trip from her rail post she could at least hit the board.
The two main players in the seventh race are #1 Peacenick and #3 Too Fast to Pass and both should be included in rolling exotic play. Peacenik earned a giant speed figure in beating $16,000 claimers recently and is triple jumped in class by Spawr in a sign of confidence. We’re not crazy about the rail post but if he breaks running the veteran gelding should have every chance to win right back. Too Fast to Pass was overmatched last trip but isn’t today and is reunited with Bejarano. He should inherit a perfect pace-stalking position and have every chance to repeat his sharp score of two races back.
The featured Wilshire Stakes for fillies and mares at a mile on turf is carded as the eighth race. Florida shipper #2 Parranda, already a winner of two stakes this year at Gulfstream Park, joins the Hollendorfer barn and lands Bejarano. She’s capable of winning on the front end or from well off the pace and this might be her favorite distance. A couple of good local works should have her right on edge. #1 Moone’s My Name was visually impressive beating a lesser field last month and with only slight improvement will make her presence felt at this level. She’s a versatile type with a favorable inside draw so Espinoza has a few options. These are the two we’ll prefer but there are several others capable of winning, so spread the race if you feel the need.
The finale is a maiden claiming bottom-rung sprint for fillies and mares; we’ll try to get by using just two. #9 West Coast Storm appeared to be a short filly in herdebut, has trained well since, and seems likely to move forward considerably for O’Neill. She exits a productive race and Baze stays aboard. #8 My Wish Comes True, a distant fourth in her debut, is another likely to improve as most Jones-trained second-timers will do. She gets an extra half furlong to work with today and could be the most dangerous of the closing-types.