Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Fri., June 6, 2014)

First post for the Friday eight-race program is 3 p.m. A reminder that the huge Belmont Stakes Saturday race card at Santa Anita – featuring 11 races – will begin at 12 noon.

Today’s opener is a five-runner restricted (nw-2) claiming router for fillies and mares. #5 Parada drops a notch and stretches out again and if her improving pattern continues she’ll be hard to beat. #1 Kid Rollins graduated in a slowly-run bottom-rung maiden claimer in mid-April and appears to be training well since, so continued improvement is possible.

The first maiden claimer of the meeting for two-year-olds is carded as the second race; the known element hasn’t shown much so let’s try the first-timer #2 Sacred Temple. The Kitchingman barn has excellent stats with debut runners and this son of Temple City has done some good work in the morning. Let’s make him a default rolling exotic single.

The Pick-6 begins with the third race and offers two main contenders. #6 Cee’s Tizzy Belle closed a gap in her recent comeback and should improve considerably today while stretching out to a mile. Blanc rides her back and will give the Jones-trained mare the patient ride she needs. #2 Mindfully flew home in her debut when second in an extended sprint; the Ellis-trained filly should have no trouble with the surface switch to turf or the two-turn trip and looms the one to fear most.

#3 Seeking the Sherif seeks his fourth straight win in the fourth race, a stakes-quality allowance sprint that features a pair of Baffert-trained comebackers, #4 Super Ninety Nine and #5 Castaway. However, we’ll prefer the “now” horse. Seeking the Sherif earned a triple-digit Beyer number when outrunning a slightly lesser field recently and an easy breeze since that race indicates the son of Officer has maintained his sharp edge. He’s clearly the controlling speed on paper. Super Ninety Nine and Castaway are stakes winners (both captured the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park during their respective 3-year-old campaigns) but we’re thinking they might need a race before being at their very best.

We’ll use two in the fifth race, a maiden special weight miler for fillies and mares. #3 Jennyway U Want It has burned money in her last pair vs. similar but this may be her easiest task yet, so we’ll give her one more chance. Maybe the switch to Nakatani will propel her. #5 Susan B Good exits a pair of maiden claimers but she’s competitive on speed figures and with only two prior outings probably has room for another forward move.

Bottom-rung maiden claimers meet in the sixth race; those that have raced are hard to like so let’s latch on to the first-timer with good Los Alamitos workouts, #6 Watch It Buster. The Puype-trained gelding gets Talamo and may be something in a nothing race. If he doesn’t win, any of these can.

Restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claimers meet over a mile in the seventh race; rolling exotic plays may find the need to spread in this wide open grass grab bag. #3 Fighting On seems as good as any; the Hess-trained gelding sports the popular blinkers-off angle and has hit the board in four of five career starts over the local lawn while retaining Talamo. He’s one-for-12 lifetime but they’re all one-for-something in this field. #5 Vibrato Jazz, first off the claim for Miller (20 percent with this maneuver), is another non-winning type (one for-23) but he’s a fit on speed figures, switches to Desormeaux, and seems capable of being a late factor.

The finale is an abbreviated maiden claiming sprint for California-breds and a little will go a long way. #5 Synnin and #6 Off the Deep End are a pair of first timers with credentials; the former is bred to win early (Tribal Rule) and has trained nicely for Zucker while the latter also has speed breeding (In Excess) and hails from a barn that does well with debut runners. #9 Antinanco chased much tougher straight maidens in his debut and seems sure to improve considerably in this spot for Headley. We’ll try to survive in our rolling exotic play using these three.