Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Friday, February 9, 2018
Santa Anita Park
There’s an nine-race card today at Santa Anita Park, with a first post time of 1:00 PM PST. We’re happy to have Ken Cupples (@KennyCupp) providing horse-by-horse analysis of all the action. Ken’s been a newspaper handicapper in the past, covering northern California racing. He’ll be covering Santa Anita every Friday during their winter meet. Be sure to give Ken a follow on twitter.
Good luck to everyone playing along!
An allowance race for 3y/o fillies is the showcase for Friday’s card at Santa Anita. The field consists of four fillies who won their debut and make their second start today, a filly (Secret Spice) who ran third behind two graded stakes winners in her last start, and Show It N Moe It – who has quietly banked well over $150k while knocking heads against some of the toughest Cal-breds in this breeding cycle. This is the first nine race Friday card of the meet, so check out all the different wagering options.
Best Bet: Pasadena Princess (Race 2)
Longshot Play: Gray Admiral (Race 7)
Race 1 – 1 mile, turf. 4y/o+up. Mdn Spc Wt.
- Combat Zone (Van Dyke) – has carved out a nice living running against maidens; he’s come alive since Prat jumped on, but curiously, Prat is absent today; he’s going to have a big say in the outcome today.
- Street To Indy (Baze) – hasn’t shown too much on his limited efforts on turf, and they were against weaker competition; hard to endorse in this spot.
- Cascade Rock (Nakatani) – chased a good one in his last runnerup finish; he’s continued improving and Corey stays on; we will likely see the very best this guy has in the tank today; the pick.
- Gosilently (Bejarano) – always seems to be knocking on the door; showed a lot of heart against state-breds in New York; will likely appreciate the firmer going today and is another one who’s going to be around there late.
- Frankincense (Smith) – wasn’t embarrassed in his debut, only losing by slightly more than a length to a couple other entrants today; Smith stays aboard and this guy has really been firing in the AM; another contender in a deep race.
- Papa Jazz (Elliott) – shown little in both of his starts thus far; however, he makes his first start for Baltas; he’ll outrun his odds today, but this race is too deep to endorse him.
- Ziconic (Espinoza) – even casual fans will recognize his family lines, but unfortunately, that’s where the positivity ends; he’s had many chances and just never seems to break through; leaning against.
Race 2 – 6 ½ furlongs, dirt. 3y/o, fillies. Mdn Clm $50k.
- Whatyouciswhatuget (Frey) – toss out the grass experiment going long and she returns back at a level she wasn’t too far away from; will need some pace up front but a small field suits her running style; not out of the question.
- My Scarlett (Baze) – faded badly in debut and comes back in a week for another try; Baze stays aboard and if you view that first effort as merely just a glorified work, then maybe you can make a case for her to hit the board.
- Pasadena Princess (Bejarano) – good debut against tougher then promptly went on the shelf; seems to have solid spacing between her drills for her return; she’ll appreciate the class relief today; the pick.
- Sunny Sweet (Franco) – stone cold dead on the board for her debut and ran like it; returns at a lower level today and has had one uninspiring drill since; looking elsewhere.
- Flammetta (Quinonez) – yet another in this field with a debut flop; 15-1 as a first time starter in a field of 11 isn’t a bad thing; and with the class drop, strong connections, and experience? Should show big improvement today.
- Tacy (Conner) – first time starter for a trainer who carries 12% winners from that sample size; finds a soft spot and a small field for debut; exotics potential.
Race 3 – 5 ½ furlongs, dirt. 4y/o+up, f+m. Clm $6.25k
- Southern Treasure (Hernandez) – If you look at her form, you’ll see her worst races have been at this track; you have to wonder if she’s been overmatched or if she just really doesn’t like the surface; tough call here.
- Stately Command (Aragon) – hasn’t dented the board across town against weaker; she now finds a weak bottom level group today; this still seems like a tough task for her.
- Irish And Lucky (Arias) – crushed a similar group three back and should be close early after facing quarter horses in her last; all it takes is anything close to a repeat of that aforementioned race and she’ll get her picture taken; the pick.
- Just Bookin (Sanchez) – takes a pretty significant class drop; retains the top jock at the nighttime LosAl meet; getting class relief makes her a major player today.
- Kiss My Lulu (Ceballos) – has been unsuccessful since leaving Washington; Morey looks to be pulling out all the stops to recoup some of his claim; she’s been supported at the windows in her CA efforts; she’s not without hope.
- Paschalitsa (Pedroza) – beat a pretty tough bunch back in June 2017, but something must have went amiss because she hasn’t had much luck staying at the track; the cutback in distance combined with those early fractions last time seem to indicate this would be her level; a contender.
Race 4 – 7 furlongs, dirt. 4y/o+up, f+m. Mdn Clm $20k.
- Majestic Design (Elliott) – takes a big drop and goes from turf to dirt; Baltas is 18% turf to dirt; finds a good spot for her return today.
- Angela’s Rose (Pena) – had every right to need that last race, considering it was her first in 15 months; she hasn’t shown much interest in the AM, however; leaning elsewhere.
- Miz Tianjin (Franco) – found some life on the dirt in last when that race was taken off the turf; another taking a significant drop, however, she has actually showed interest at that higher level and is now making a slight cutback in distance; the pick.
- Dressed In Prada (Quinonez) – hasn’t been too far away against similar foes, but she’s had plenty of opportunities to fire and hasn’t broken through yet; exotics contender.
- Dadlani (Sanchez) – shortens up a furlong and returns for the same level; gave a strong effort in her last and has done good work in the AM since then, a contender.
- La Juve (Arias) – debuts today; despite Vallejo’s 32% win percentage, this is his first debuting entrant; I’m willing to watch one first.
- Veiled Heat (Ochoa) – made a big drop last time and flopped just like in all the previous efforts; she throws the shades on today, but if that was going to make much of a difference, you’d figure they’d have tried it before now; pass.
- Eye Of The River (Fuentes) – woke up in her last and fired a big shot, even beating a rival today; definitely a sentimental choice given her trainer; not without a chance.
- Curlina Curlina (Bejarano) – seems like she’s been at this level forever; gets a big positive jockey switch; but I’ll be playing against her.
Race 5 – 1 1/16 miles, dirt. 4y/o+up. Clm $16k.
- Saint Dermot (Conner) – since dropping to this level, he’s really turned the corner in his career; confidence appears high and he always gives a solid effort; out of this group, he’s really the only horse that doesn’t have or make excuses; deserved favorite in this; the pick.
- Awe (Bejarano) – well supported in his SoCal debut last time out and didn’t lift his feet; it was his first race in six weeks however, so perhaps there’s a small excuse there; despite that, I’m still looking elsewhere on the front end.
- Storm Comin Thru (Pereira) – really disappointed in his last, however, he’s picked it up in the AM since then; tough to figure here.
- Dukes Up (Solis) – gets reunited with the pilot who won two in a row on him; he’ll need some pace to unleash his rally and there doesn’t really seem like much in here; he’s been claimed from some high profile trainers with middling results; exotics contender.
- Southern Freedom (Gutierrez) – what to do with this guy; he drops from a conditional $32k claimer up north on the turf, and while the talent level is certainly more comparable now than what it used to be, he hasn’t ran on dirt in about 20 months; another tough call here.
Race 6 – 6 ½ furlongs, dirt. 4y/o+up. Mdn Spc Wt.
- Easter Morn (Prat) – made his return after a 22 month break and made a great appearance of himself; has had three works since that effort and should be ready to roll again today; the pick.
- Anziyan Cat (Garcia) – poor turf effort last time but back on dirt today; beaten by a long way in a claiming debut; looking elsewhere.
- Wild Lando (Gonzalez) – hasn’t missed a check yet in four starts; chased hot fractions but wasn’t able to close into them last time; interestingly they took him to Del Mar to work between starts where he stayed in Arcadia previously; options here.
- Tribute To Oscar (Fernandez) – been beaten badly in all starts; faces tougher and going further than he’s ever gone; pass.
- Air Jockey (Quinonez) – finds a reasonably soft spot for a debut here; sports multiple 6f drills to prep for today; watch and see.
- Tatar (Gutierrez) – has been setting the pace going longer, but the fractions he’d been setting are average for this distance/level; his only effort on dirt was disastrous and required a year away; pass.
- Duke Of Fallbrook (Sanchez) – back on dirt after a mediocre turf effort; shortens back up and has been working reasonably well; he’ll outrun his odds today; may hit the board with his best shot.
- Animo (Desormeaux) – took all the money and did none of the running in his debut; Kent stays aboard and he’ll have a good attacking spot; given the AM sparkles, I’m willing to give him one more shot.
- Gutsy Effort (Elliott) – another one who fired a second in a return of a year or longer in his last effort; four drills since that effort, so like Easter Morn, he should be fit and ready to go here also; a major player.
Race 7 – 1 mile, turf. 3y/o. Mdn Clm $75k.
- Onde Ah Mo (Franco) – gets blinkers and Lasix in an effort to change things up; he’s shown nothing so far, so if you’re backing him; you’re placing a lot of faith in those two factors.
- Cash Pilot (Evans) – been beaten badly going short, long, turf or dirt; steps up in class today; obvious pass here.
- Gray Admiral (Fuentes) – non threatening 5th in his debut; now stretches, adds grass and jumps in class; sire is 18% on turf, so he’s not without a chance.
- Cosa Nostra (Puglisi) – made a nice run against a couple of solid of runners in his last; drops a level and Iggy stays aboard; every right to improve today; the pick.
- Lord Charles (Pena) – stretches and tries turf; Flatter is only 9% on grass; looking elsewhere today.
- Lauderdale (Van Dyke) – he was dead on the board in his debut, and when you see that from a Gallagher runner on the grass, you have to be concerned; he catches a much softer field today; but you still have to tread lightly given how badly he ran in the debut.
- Chop Chop Charlie (Conner) – colt sold for only $12k as a yearling despite the stud fee costing over 4x that; shown mild AM interest; at least he catches a soft spot for the debut.
- Studly Perfection (Bejarano) – he responded much better when he was stripped of his “studlyness”; there’s very little in this race and he showed some good heart in that last race; he’s a major factor today.
Race 8 – 6 ½ furlongs, dirt. 3y/o, fillies. Alw Opt Clm, $75k.
- Secret Spice (Desormeaux) – chased a couple of absolute monsters in her last; was freshened and returns in a softer spot; she’ll be forwardly placed and looks to be a big factor today.
- Show It N Moe It (Bejarano) – take out the dismal turf effort and her efforts look much better; been running against some of the best statebreds, but is in today against open company; a contender.
- Streetwithnoname (Van Dyke) – gets away from graded stakes company, but she hasn’t really shown much in her other efforts against non-claiming company; looking elsewhere.
- Ahimsa (Smith) – won like she was supposed to do against some soft straight maidens across town; returns after a freshening in a good spot; a contender today.
- Highland Lass (Conner) – similar to Ahimsa, won impressively against maidens across town and returns after a freshening; similar speed figures to that rival as well; she also projects as a contender in a deep race.
- Emboldened (Talamo) – crushed straight maidens here after taking heat early and still having plenty in the tank late; Talamo’s aggressive style suits well here and she should be ready to fire right back; the pick.
- Ms Dupree (Nakatani) – was well supported and set faster fractions than Emboldened, although she was carrying five pounds less; that weight break disappears today with Corey on her back; still should be a major threat.
- Allianna (Prat) – failed the class test in her last; Miller can’t be ignored with anything he saddles, but she’s got a lot to prove given the competition here.
Race 9 – 1 mile, turf. 4y/o+up, f+m. Clm $25k.
- Pirate Flag (Blanc) – she’s still struggling to find that competitive level; her last race of any consequence was four back, sprinting on dirt – and that’s not what we’re doing today; pass.
- Hope She Will (Quinonez) – no turf in her pedigree and she’s trying it today; beat bottom level maidens in her last effort; she’ll have to improve markedly to get there today.
- Agent Nine T Nine (Prat) – takes the hood off today, perhaps in an effort to relax a bit more early; fantastic effort first on the turf last time, and adds Prat today; very dangerous.
- Road Test (Gutierrez) – her last race wasn’t as bad as it appears, as the winner was dropping in for a tag for the first time and ran them off their feet; this persistent bridesmaid will need to take another step forward to win.
- Lethal Legacy (Van Dyke) – makes her third start in 19 days today; she makes a big drop in for a tag today and has been showing some mild improvement; you have to wonder how much she has in the tank with this active race tab.
- Mizzen Glory (Pereira) – D’Amato is hitting at a whopping 30% with claimers; and given that this miss is taking her first stab at that type of competition, you have to figure she’s going to be very live here; the pick.
- Hotsy Dotsy (Franco) – ran admirably in her last, her first start against winners; fires right back for the same price, but will be without the weight break she has enjoyed in her last four outs; a contender.
- Empress Rules (Martinez) – her two turf starts were dreadful, and now she’ll be adding the uncertainty of routing to that equation; she’ll be on the early pace, but I can’t see her lasting there when it matters.
- Subic Bay (Maragh) – Jacobson with yet another claim and drop; she finds a reasonably soft spot for her first out against winners, but she was walking on the front end in her last and that won’t happen today; a contender.
- Oh Scatty Oh-AE (Ceballos) – enjoyed the grass up north, and appears to have been way overmatched when on the lawn previously in SoCal; she’ll have to find another gear to get there today.
- Wicked Old Fashion-AE (Fuentes) – that race three back is just as good as most any of these, if not better; she seems to be in fine form and if she gets in, she’ll be a major player.
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