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Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis (Fri., June 27, 2014)
The final Friday program of the season offers eighth races with a late first post time of 3 P.M.
The opener is a five-runner two-turn maiden race for fillies and mares and the two main contenders hail from the Baffert barn. #4 Tiz Midnight is the 6/5 morning line favorite; she’s making her first start since January but her winter form was good (second in her last two) and her comeback works are strong. #5 Little Miss S was well-beaten at odds-on in her debut sprinting earlier this month but she continues to shine in the morning and we’re going to assume she’ll show her true form today. You can use both in your rolling exotics but the race itself offers little or no wagering value.
$40,000 claimers sprint down the Hillside course in the second race; we’ll use two and hope to get by. #7 He’s a Dance Star looks pretty solid on form but he’s been away for nearly three months and he’s only had two works since. We’ll put him on top but not with a great deal of confidence. #2 Stormin Lute is moving up in class for Miller following a nice comeback restricted claiming win and he’ll need to improve in his first try on grass to repeat in this league. However, he’s only had three starts (with two wins) and the barn must think there’s some upside, so we’ll use him as well.
The Pick-6 begins with the third race and a logical single is the 6/5 morning line favorite, #3 Sweetrayofsunshine. The daughter of Benchmark is a real win machine, having taken seven of 12 career starts, and she earned a career top speed figure in destroying a state-bred field last month. She should be able to dominate this below-par field right back.
It seems a little early in the year for two-year-olds to stretch out to a mile but the babies get their first chance (and on turf, too) in the fourth race. #7 Sky Preacher has a been a tad disappointing in a couple of sprints, finishing second at 30 cents on the dollar in his debut and then fourth when well-backed again a month later. However, the son of Sky Mesa may prove to be more effective going long and he really doesn’t have a whole lot to beat today, so we’ll give him one more chance. #3 C’mon Sister was a distant fourth in his only outing but the O’Hara trained colt continues to impress in the morning so he’s probably worth another look.
We’ll double the fifth race, a five furlong maiden special weight sprint for California-bred juveniles. #9 London Legacy was a distant second behind a subsequent stakes winner in his debut and faces a considerably easier task today. He’s worked well since that outing for Solis and seems the solid choice. #3 Zinvor is bred to be very quick (Tribal Rule) and has shown some ability in the a.m. for Kitchingman, so we’ll include him in our rolling exotic play as well.
The sixth race is a contentious one mile first-level allowance turf affair for fillies and mares and probably requires a bit of a spread. #7 Wild Bella has been popular at the claim box lately and moves up in class for trainer Moger, Jr. She’s a veteran mare with a consistent series of good races up north and numbers that make her a fit in this league on this circuit. Her morning line odds of 4-1 seem about right. #6 Kukaluka is a 3-year-old filly tackling older for the first time and should be a late threat, while #9 Highly Rated seems like the most dangerous of the speed types, though she continues to be vulnerable in the final stages of her route races. However, she goes for new trainer Martin, whose record with first-off-claims (27%) is quite impressive, so the potential for improvement is there.
The seventh race is a $20,000 claiming sprint restricted to 3-year-old fillies; #6 Time for Angie seems well-placed for a major effort. First off the claim for Puype, she drops a notch for the money run and has recent form that is good enough to win at this level. We like her on top but we’ll also use in our rolling exotic play #3 Parada, a $12,500 Ellis claim with rising speed figures and a nice easy half mile work since her last outing. She’s had only five starts so better is likely and Perez knows her well.
The finale is a nine furlong maiden event; this looks like a bit of a grass grab bag so you should use as many as you can afford to. #9 Unusually Green, second in his last pair, is strong in the speed figure department and appears the one to beat despite a three month vacation. The work tab looks solid and Talamo stays aboard, so we’re expecting that he’ll pick up where he left off. #3 Storm the Channel was a solid second in his sophomore debut earlier this month and has every right to move forward for O’Neill, while #8 J Serino has two recent powerful speed figures and will be tough if he can duplicate those numbers on grass.