Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Friday, January 12, 2018
Santa Anita Park
There’s an eight-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!
Last Friday was all about speed, with six sprints – but today gets much more of a classic feel with a mixture of turf, dirt, routes and sprints. There is a Pick Six carryover exceeding $256k and a Super Hi Five Carryover in race 1, so there are plenty of opportunities to try and make a score at the Great Race Place!
Best Bet: Batiquitos (Race 2)
Longshot Play: Gio’s Gold (Race 4)
Race 1 – 1 Mile, turf. 4y/o fillies. Clm $50k.
- Aura Rose (Baze) – takes a class drop here today in an effort to find a better effort; has only flopped once in the last half dozen races, but that was on this oval and surface; give her another chance to rebound here.
- November Tale (Blanc) – done very little since coming to America, hasn’t shown any real speed early either; looking elsewhere.
- Midnight Lilly (Elliott) – has improved her way to midpack finishes of late; the only times she’s ran well at this course have been with the rails at 0, which isn’t the case today; class relief is your main hope if you’re backing her.
- War Moccasin (Bejarano) – another closer in a field chock full of them; she’s showed more late interest in most and has managed to linger closer to the lead in races with slower pace – like this one projects to be; not without a chance.
- Twirling Apples (Gutierrez) – tested for class today in her first start against winners; chased some fast fractions last time out and still had enough to get there in her routing debut; not inconceivable.
- Looking At Thelake (Prat) – similar running style to War Moccasin; she’s burned a lot of money since she last won in April; exotics contender.
- Candy Swirls (Van Dyke) – the only real speed in the race; but wow, if she doesn’t get the lead, she folds up badly; she’s 1 for 1 on this course; and with the rail out so far, it seems to really help the forwardly placed runners like her; the pick, but I can’t fault you for trying to beat her.
- Goseecal (Roman) – been nowhere close since breaking her maiden; the only benefit here is the weight break; pass.
- Zuzanna-AE (Quinonez) – done nothing since being claimed; takes another class drop here but so are many others; no thanks.
- Vasilikia-AE (Maragh) – makes the move west, but despite the class raise, she’s probably very well spotted here; competed valiantly against the claimers out east; ripe to win if she gets in.
- Cynthiana-AE (Evans) – will be hung wide if she gets in; has done much of her best work against faster paces than projected here; leaning towards others.
Race 2 – 6 Furlongs, dirt. 4y/o+up. Allowance.
- Batiquitos (Pedroza) – making her third career start and she’s fired every time; moves back to dirt onto the surface and post position she scored from in her debut; will only need racing luck to win here; fits conditions like a glove; the pick.
- Dangerously Close (Roman) – freaked last out after being claimed; but who’s the real horse here, the one who couldn’t beat NW2L 16k claimers? Or the one who scorched $50k Str Alw foes? Polarizing, and I can’t blame either stance you’d take on her.
- Briartic Gal (Nakatani) – raced exclusively up north until her last out, in which she basically took a tour of the surface; has shown sharp AM work since that race; should be ready to fire a good effort and it’s only a matter of how good she is.
- Betdesilvergold (Talamo) – caved in late after going along for a first half mile; Machowsky’s 20% off the claim, but this seems like a big ask today; looking elsewhere.
- Jill Madden (Solis) – she needs the lead, and she’s going to have to fight really hard to get it; her last effort here in Arcadia was nice, but she’s not going to be running a :50 half today; tough to endorse, especially on the stepup.
- Red Stich (Maragh) – has the right running style to take advantage of the cheap speed burning each other out; fits conditions well given the claiming scores; sharp work five days ago signals that she’s ready to fire her best shot.
Race 3 – 1 1/16 miles, dirt. 4y/o+up. Clm $20k.
- Saint Dermot (Conner) – takes a next logical step up in class and has relished this class relief over the last few outs; Glatt is 22% off of a 1-2 month layoff and this looks like a solid spot for this guy; consider strongly.
- Out of Patience (Talamo) – Mulhall is 40% off the claim, although, this claim is off of a Hall of Famer; faced tons of next out winners over the last few starts and only finished a half-length behind Saint Dermot in his last; the pick in a wide open event.
- Awe (Bejarano) – for as great as Hollendorfer has been, first off a claim has not been his forte; he takes this guy south for a run against some tougher company; looking elsewhere.
- Storm Comin Thru (Pereira) – versatile sort has run well against similar in the past, but past is the operative word, since this is his second start in the last 16 months; went right into works after that last start; tough call here.
- Gonna Fly Now (Gonzalez) – takes a mammoth drop in class here after barely showing up in his last two starts; took some money for those starts; fired a bullet of 113 on New Years Eve; this could be the spot if he’s ready to go.
- Raggheb (Elliott) – this guy got claimed for $62.5k and now shows up cross country for $20k; even more interesting, Maragh rode him out there and doesn’t ride him here; pass.
- Howdy (Roman) – takes the big drop down after taking money and flopping against allowance foes in last; he’s been on a steady workout path since that return in September; another one who could be prominent if he’s right and ready.
Race 4 – 5 ½ furlongs, dirt. 4y/o+up. Mdn Clm $20k.
- Contento (Arias) – hit the board in two of his last three, albeit against similar bottom level fields; he faces many droppers today and will need a sharp effort from the rail here.
- Dude’s Dude (Maragh) – takes the final drop in class; shortens up in distance to aid against a total fade late; will need improvement.
- June and Johnny (Garcia) – did nothing in his debut and returns at the same level; AM work shows only short efforts; looking elsewhere.
- Thankful Every Day (Elliott) – he’s continually improved with each race, and he fits well here also; the top two choices will have to be ready because he will; a definite contender.
- Pure Pursuit (Pereira) – takes the big class drop and gets an aggressive rider change; well supported in both efforts so far; looks the part to finally break through; the pick.
- Soft Trip (Linares) – never threatened in any of his eight lifetime starts; nothing to suggest improvement today; no thanks.
- Mintenized (Pena) – returned after a lengthy absence and promptly flopped; shades do come on and he’s done his best with with them in the past; will need a return to prior form.
- Impeachment Ace (Allen) – gained experience and little else in his debut at 98-1; hard to endorse in this spot.
- Gio’s Gold (Quinonez) – $75k purchase from two years ago debuts for the bottom today; he’s shown some good interest in the morning and has every right to throw a big shot right out of the box; a threat.
- Milhaud (Prat) – picking a 6y/o to win a bottom level maiden event is rarely fruitful; however, the owners are savvy enough to run them where they can win; he moves back to dirt and should be ready to put a big effort forth.
- Liberty Jack (Roman) – absent for 11 months and returns first off the claim; hung very wide today but has been prepping on the tapeta; not without hope.
- Magical More (Pedroza) – been off for a little over six months, and trainer is winless in that criteria; showed a lengthy drill set in the AM;
- Kaboom-AE (Fuentes) – showed speed and faded in his debut; another who returns for a tag off the layoff; another with a shot if he gets in.
Race 5 – 6 ½ furlongs, turf. 4y/o+up, f+m. Mdn Spc Wt.
- Wendy’s Back (Nakatani) – gets a tough rail post for her trip down the hill; she cuts back in distance from a fading effort last time; the Nakatani/Ruis combination hits at 50%, a contender.
- Zillinda (Blanc) – also cutting back from route to sprint; Headley won with his only other starter who did the same thing; however, she’s making her first start in four months; consider.
- Warm It Up (Linares) – has disappointed in her efforts thus far, however, she showed lot of fight in her one start down the hill last year; would need to improve to get the money.
- Biscotti Gal (Baze) – makes her return after a few months away; trainer is 1 for 25 and this seems like a tougher spot to improve that mark.
- My Aunt Tillie (Van Dyke) – another shortening up from route to sprint and making her return to the races today; fared well against straight maidens in some recent efforts; but I’ll have to watch one first from her.
- Lil Bit Dangerous (Gonzalez) – downhill is always a tough spot to make your debut; Cassidy does a good job with his charges and it wouldn’t surprise to see her outrun her odds today.
- Bella Sierra (Arias) – her one turf effort was abysmal, so to see her back here doesn’t inspire much hope; pass.
- Arunachala (Prat) – second race off a longer layoff for a sharp trainer and very accomplished jockey; Eurton excels off these mini-layoffs and I’d expect to see a big effort today; the pick.
- Get Yourself Home (Bejarano) – burned money as the favorite in her debut but surely gained experience in it; now shows up downhill in a softer straight maiden field; a major threat.
- Roseannadana (Iniquez) – beaten four lengths vs. some mediocre fillies in her last; returns after 6 months away with a lightish work tab; looking elsewhere.
- Radish-AE (Gutierrez) – this career bridesmaid finally finds a field she should get past; only problem is, she’s not in there yet; watch out if she gets saddled.
- Bissou Bissou-AE (Elliott) – Peter Miller takes a crack with this filly and she adds the shades; tough to figure if she gets in.
Race 6 – 1 mile, dirt. 4y/o+up, f+m. Clm $8k.
- Backintheacademy (Arias) – suspicious drop for a filly that just crushed open $12.5k claimers two back; if she’s right, she’ll be super tough today.
- Veronica Bay (Pereira) – midpack finisher hasn’t really showed up when it counts; hard to endorse in this spot.
- Yes Mongolia (Franco) – comes west after running in the Midwest to no avail; I’ll have to watch one to see how he can acclimate to this spot.
- Swiss Skimmer (Pena) – ran well in her last effort over this oval; if you are willing to overlook her efforts elsewhere, she fits here; an exotics capability.
- Forbidden Command (Baze) – popular in the claiming box; now she gets her second start for Mulhall after having some stability; a major player.
- Sheswildnfree (Fuentes) – found a field that collapsed into her pace two back, albeit at the LosAl oval; she figures on her best day.
- Optimistic Outcome (Roman) – hit the board in four straight, although in each of those races, she’s been beaten by a rival in this field; can’t endorse on the front end.
- Honor Maker (Van Dyke) – just missed the place vs. tougher in her last effort; she’s improved markedly since being claimed and definitely figures here.
Race 7 – 1 1/8 miles, turf. 4y/o+up. Allowance.
- Nap Lajoie (Maragh) – third race off a layoff, but he hasn’t done anything at all since returning; can’t endorse here.
- Dr. Troutman (Smith) – gets big class relief here and is Mike Smith’s only mount of the day; figures to throw a strong effort against this field; the pick.
- The Big Train (Nakatani) – has improved greatly since joining the Miller barn; should be fit enough and ready to continue improving; a contender.
- Hot Perfection (Baze) – seems hopelessly overmatched here; his was last at almost every call in his only turf routing try; pass.
- Six Point Rack (Prat) – has progressed nicely since being gelded; will need to stay close to the pace with the rails out and a relative lack of speed; another contender.
- Lord Admiral (Blanc) – takes on winners for the first time; showed a nice turn of foot in the last effort and was awarded the victory via DQ; needs further improvement here.
- Full Access (Desormeaux) – lone speed here; showed what he can do if you let him get comfortable on the front end; gets another confident class jump; catch him to win.
- Plain Wrap (Arias) – hasn’t been close in quite awhile; his best turf try was on this course and he pushed hot fractions only to fade late; looking elsewhere.
Race 8 – 5 ½ furlongs, dirt. 3y/o, fillies. Mdn Clm $30k.
- Atrevida (Blanc) – debuts for a 9% first time starter sire; will need a great effort from this tough inside post and this large field.
- Party At Midnight (Bejarano) – Baltas hasn’t scored often with first time starters; I’ll watch one first considering the lack of AM interest.
- Dialed To Go (Pereira) – just missed on this oval two back and finds a softer field today; two first-timers inside of her should allow her to get to the rail and lead; the pick.
- Silversonic (Gutierrez) – showed little against a filly who came right back and beat winners in her next start; looking elsewhere.
- Tiny Tina (Maragh) – shortens up off a downhill effort and finds a much softer field; has worked well since that race and comes back in a good spot; a threat.
- Mergie Troid (Arana) – beaten badly in both starts at LosAl; seems unlikely to improve in this spot; no thanks.
- Rossmoor Way (Werner) – finally gets drawn outside; she’d need to improve and need a tracking trip; not likely.
- Starship Treasure (Chaves) – done little in the AM but finds a soft spot for a debut; I’ll need to watch one from her first.
- Condi (Baze) – set a hot pace and faded badly in her last despite being well backed; takes another drop; if she’s going to do it, this is the spot; I’ll try and beat her on the win end.
- Mariana’s Girl (Roman) – faced another mammoth field in her last and put a respectable effort forward, losing to a big class dropper; she fits well here and could definitely do the job with another big effort.
- Who Loves Eddie (Talamo) – faded badly in her debut at LosAl; hasn’t really showed much to speak of in the AM; pass.
- Almond Bud (Conner) – tough draw for an otherwise interesting option; his drills are slow for a barn that hasn’t had many starters; however, his dam has thrown some decent runners; tough assignment.
- Tizswift-AE (Gonzalez) – scratched out of a route for a cheaper claiming price; now entered as an also in a sprint; you don’t see many Tiznows sold for $8k and that alone makes me wary.
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