Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Friday, January 1, 2016
On Friday, we’re headed back out to Santa Anita where we’ve got FREE PICKS & ANALYSIS from returning guest handicapper Sebastian Piscuskas (@seabass912). Sebastian has written up a lengthy analysis to go along with his picks for every single race on the Santa Anita card!
We thank Sebastian for his time and effort. His California picks are posted every Friday on DanonymousRacing.com. We encourage you to give him a follow on Twitter when you get a chance. Take it away, Sebastian…
Race 1: #7 Burnaroundtheedges showed ability breaking his maiden on debut and was on the sideline out of that race for a year and a half before he resumed his career at Del Mar in November. After running well for such a long layoff trainer Kenneth Black stretches Burnaroundtheedges around two turns, and I think he’ll love it, being out of Vronsky and an Unusual Heat mare. Talamo stays aboard for the third time in three starts and that leads me to believe that he’s a fan of this guy. #8 Cowboy had to steady in the lane in his last start but showed a lot of heart in earning the victory anyway. Although he’s been off since then, he’s been working like clockwork in the morning and it appears that he has retained his edge. Grayson/Gutierrez are a sneaky combo and I wouldn’t be surprised if they repeated with Cowboy today. #2 Storm Comin Thru has been beaten in two straight starts as the heavy favorite and is winless since July of 2014. He’s a capable horse who, on dirt, is completely reliant on pace. His lone try on the turf was not a poor effort and with the addition of blinkers I think he might try to sit a little bit closer. Expect him to be rolling late. 7-8-2-3
Race 2: #3 Send Me a Sign will take a lot of money yet again but in order for her to succeed she’s going to have to overcome her glaring gate issues. In four career starts she’s failed to break out of the gate cleanly in all four starts. She’s clearly talented but leaves herself with far too much to do. Maybe with a clean break she can put it all together. #5 Twosome was bred for this. Out of Steven Got Even and a Siphon mare Twosome should love the route of ground on the dirt. We’re not sure of her running style yet as she’s failed to make up any ground on the turf. I think Nakatani tries to sit close up and will be calling on her going into the far turn. #2 Rastanora is my top pick. I loved her race two back at Keeneland as well as her running on dirt. Her three starts on dirt, and a synthetic start in England, have been the best of her career. Her front running style is an added plus. With little other speed signed on she might be long gone on the lead. 2-3-5-4
Race 3: #3 Unleash the Dream looks ready to roll based on works. He’s been drilling every 6-9 days since the beginning of October and the works have been of the “+” variety. His last work was quite sharp and it appears that he has a good handle of the surface. The Pedroza/Hollendorfer combo teamed up as recently as the Los Alamitos meet to win with a first time starter, so the combo is good. Very capable horse in a race like this. #4 One of the Greats broke his maiden only to be disqualified and hasn’t been able to find the Winners’ Circle since. His last start at Golden Gate wasn’t bad and now he drops in for 40k to get the win. He appears to be the speed, of the known commodity and will get the lead if he wants it. Espinoza is excellent on the front end and will be able to ration out his speed. Dangerous. #2 Hill Four Eleven has a relatively short work tab but is working quick. Gonzalez takes the call for this Tiz Wonderful colt’s debut, fresh off a natural hat trick to begin the meet. 3-4-2-5
Race 4: #7 Giant Ego scratched out of a 25k claiming event on Sunday to run in this spot, and is strictly the horse to beat. Two back he ran a winning race against stakes winner Chips All In and in his last put it all together at the 40k condition and now drops in for a win. Miyadi claimed this horse for 32k and is clearly dropping the horse for another win, trying to strike while the iron is hot. #5 Pure Loyalty adds blinkers for the first time in almost two years and has a victory with them on. Both of his wins have come on this course, with a victory down the hill, his most recent one, coming in late 2013. A late running type, Pure Loyalty should be making a lot of noise at the top of the stretch. #3 Smokey’s Legacy has run two winning races on this course, coming up just a head short in his last try. He finished behind a next out winner while in front of another next out winner. His company lines are strong as are his chances. 4-5-3-10
Race 5: #10 Two Ten broke slow and ended up fading in the lane on debut at high odds. He was given some time off since that effort and resumed morning workouts in late November. Since his initial work since his lone start he has worked a hole in the wind. He put in a sizzling workout on the 2nd of December in 46 flat, fastest of 49 for the morning. He’s worked consistently in the morning, and is working much better than prior to his debut. The light looks to have gone on. #5 Bolitar has some stellar connections and a jockey/trainer combo that hits at 20% at Santa Anita. He’s worked well since his debut and should be dangerous at the seven furlong distance. #3 Mountain Hero is fast but doesn’t have a lot of stick. Backers are going to have to hope that the added ground will allow him to go a little slower and save some for the stretch. 10-7-5-2
Race 6: If #7 Star of Munster wants the lead she will get the lead. She is commanding speed in this event with a decent enough passing gear. After dropping out of stakes company she’s been sharp and running with confidence. This will be her third race at this condition and she’s going for her fourth total win, most in the field. She’s the class. #6 Be A Lady blasted a Maiden 30k group then returned to break through the 25000N2L condition in her next start. She’s going for her third in a row, and her first in the Carava barn. Carava is just 1 for 21 in the last 2 years with his runners first off the claim so she’ll need to buck that trend but she’s the right form to do so. Bejarano sticks around. #4 Red Stich returns to the surface of her lone win, where she beat #2 Tiz Pleasant by almost seven lengths. Red Stich has run second in two straight at this level and finished just behind Star of Munster last time out. She’ll need a little help to turn the tables on Star’ but she’s a capable sort. 7-6-4-2
Race 7: #9 Pearl de Vere is a different animal down the hill and she showed it in her final start of 2015. Winning by five lengths, Pearl De Vere rallied wide and put lengths on her competition in a matter of a few strides. Eurton gave her a breather out of that event and has her working forwardly for today. She looks great. #7 Q’ Viva has won or placed in 6 of 7 starts down the hill, including her last 6. She’s coming off a win at the statebred entry level condition and returns to the grass. Bejarano knows her best and gets aboard her again today. She’s very live. #3 Grazenette is back in the D’Amato barn after a fairly fruitless experiment in the Miyadi barn. Grazenette is a hard knocking late running type with two wins over the Santa Anita turf including a win down the hill. Her works have been consistent and Talamo returns to the saddle, where he has been for all three of her victories. 9-7-3-2
Race 8: #12 Kafister is the epitome of a “horse for course” with 6 of his 9 lifetime victories coming here, he’s also one of the quirkier horses on the grounds. The key to this horse is the outside. He only wins when he’s wide. He does not perform well with a horse on his outside. It almost does not matter how wide he is going into a turn or coming out of it, as long as he is not on the inside of another horse he will fight to the wire. Well, he’s drawn to the outside today and he caught a budding monster for Baltas last time. Kafister is super live. #3 Oligarch has one way to go and that is to the front end. He’s making his second start in the Hollendorfer barn and returns to Southern California after a fruitless trip to Arizona in a stake. One has to hope he can maintain his fitness at 8 years old. #4 Papa Turf broke through at huge odds in October and he looks to repeat. He’s just like Kafister, he wants no part of being inside of horses. He’s drawn towards the inside of the field but has more than enough early speed to get to his preferred position. He won’t be 47-1 but he certainly is as dangerous. 12-4-3-7
Race 9: #6 Individual Design ran on well in her last effort and is slowly finding her level on the circuit. She’s caught a field with a lot of speed so she’ll have favorable conditions to run into. I expect Quinonez to sit around second flight and launch coming out of the turn. Big chance. #3 Flyin for a Livin caught a paceless field in her last and made her competition pay. She does not have the same luxury today but, what makes this mare dangerous is her tactical speed. She can sit just off the pace and pounce. She might just be the one to run down. Jonathan Wong is quickly becoming one of the better trainers in the claiming game and is entering #1 Bench Ruling first off the claim. Wong is hitting at a gaudy clip of 46% on dirt and has been spotting his horses well. Bench Ruling does not have much of a passing gear and there is quite a bit of pace in here but with such a sharp trainer in his corner he’s tough to rule out. 6-3-1-2
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