Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Thu., June 12, 2014)

The Thursday program begins with what appears to be a very chalky early daily double. In the first race, #2 Missing Groom returns to state-bred company after exiting a pair of tough open events and should find this group well within his abilities. A recent bullet six furlong work indicates fitness and we’re expecting Nakatani to have him along in time.

The second race finds #4 Mensa Heat listed as the 3/5 morning line choice and on paper he looks every bit the short priced favorite that he’ll be. Genuine and consistent and with a pair of much better than par speed figures in his last two starts, the West-trained gelding seems logical but offers no wagering value in this bottom-rung router. However, you may choose to use the son of Unusual Heat as a rolling exotic single.

The Pick-6 begins with the third race, a straight maiden sprint for juvenile fillies. #1 Slew’s Charm finished a distant fourth in her debut but didn’t run badly considering the strength of the race. This is a much easier group of state-bred fillies she’ll be facing, so we’re expecting the daughter of Roi Charmant to improve considerably. Baze rides her back for Harrington. #4 Line Leader flashed speed in her debut before weakening; she, too has a right to improve but the feeling is that Slew’s Charm is exiting a much stronger heat. First timer #8 Luv Is I is bred for speed (Stormy Jack) and the Miller barn is exceptional with debut runners, which often perform better than the moderate workout times might indicate. She’s worth tossing in if you’re playing any rolling exotics.

The fourth race is a difficult-to-project second level allowance affair over a mile on turf that finds the speedy #1 Oliver’s Tale stretching out for the first time. Fresh from a fast, highly-rated downhill turf win against lesser in mid-April, the son of E Dubai should be able to carry his speed this far and from the rail Talamo can be expected to try gate-to-wire tactics. #4 Super Ability has been away since July of last year but has trained like he’s fit and ready for Gaines and probably will draft into a stalking position, though it’s possible he’ll outrun Oliver’s Tale to the lead if he breaks sharply and if ‘Tale is rated from the gate. It’s an interesting pace scenario that could determine the outcome of the race. The only true closer in the field is #2 Jules Journey and if the speed-types hook up early – and they might – then this Cassidy trained gelding could wear them all down in the final furlong. We’ll prefer Oliver’s Tale on top but you should feel free to spread the race if you can afford to.

The fifth race is an abbreviated maiden claimer for bottom-rung sprinters and lacks depth and quality. #3 Gospel Music, a route-to-sprint play, looks capable of handling this assignment with a repeat of his race before last. We’ll also use #8 Omar Little, first off the claim for Puype but dropping somewhat suspiciously from $30,000 to $20,000 after missing at 3/5 in his last outing in mid-February.

The sixth race brings together high priced maiden claiming fillies and mares and debuting #8 Streamliner should get plenty of action in an unclassified field. The Jones-trained daughter of Lone Star Special has done plenty of good work in the morning at Los Alamitos and seems fit and ready for a huge run first crack out of the box under Talamo. She’s drawn outside (a good place to be on the Hillside course) and may come up a hot item on the tote. #4 Bird In Love drops in for a tag for the first time and removes blinkers after one race wearing the hood. She has numbers that make her a fit in this league. #3 La Pequena Gigi adds the shades after a decent but somewhat troubled run over this course vs. slightly stronger foes last month. She figures to be a late factor. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics while preferring Streamliner on top.

#7 Let’s Get Crackin was overmatched in the San Carlos Stakes in early March but after a brief freshening the Spawr-trained gelding seems well-placed in the seventh race, a $25,000 claiming six furlong sprint. Though he’s always preferred to run second or third rather than win (three career victories, 13 placings), the son of Eddington is strong in the speed figure department and Delgadillo knows him well. He’s always been best from a stalking position and we’re expecting him to be along in time as a straight play and rolling exotic single. The morning line odds of 5/2 seem about right.

The finale is a highly-competitive grass affair for California-bred first-level allowance sprinters; we’ll go three deep and hope to get by. #2 Boozer has been beaten as the odds-on choice in his last pair though he hasn’t run badly, earning strong numbers in better-than-par races. He should fire another big shot under Talamo. #5 Pressure Time looked good sweeping to a sharp maiden score under a mild hand ride over this course and distance last month and if his improvement continues the Mullins-trained gelding will be tough right back. #3 Mal Verde won at first asking under these conditions in late April and has trained well since for Sadler at San Luis Rey Downs. He should be competitive despite today’s stiffer task.