Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Thursday, January 5, 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!
Santa Anita, 1/5/18.
If you like sprints, then you’ll like today’s card at Santa Anita: six of the eight races are of the sprint variety including the first four. An interesting maiden race headlines the card today with a guaranteed $300k late Pick 4 and a $134k+ Pick Six Jackpot to add to the allure.
Best Bet: Singleforareason, Race 6
Longshot Play: Wicked Sunset, Race 8
Race 1 – 6 Furlongs, dirt. 4y/o fillies. Clm $50k.
- Lady Ninja (Van Dyke) – grinding type of runner; chased hotter fractions at a shorter distance in last; should be ready to roll late after the two on her outside throw it down; big threat.
- Go On Mary (Prat) – wired NW2L last time, although from an outer post at DMR; seems like she needs the lead to perform her best, and I don’t think she gets it today; looking elsewhere for the win.
- Moon Kitty (Roman) – won her last two on dirt, including a sprint here at SA in the early summer; will likely face inside pace pressure early and will have to hold off Lady Ninja late; still a big player.
- Adios Cali (Pereira) – doesn’t have the pace to stay with those to her inside; makes her second start off very short freshening; will have to improve markedly to score here.
- Sly Humor (Desormeaux) – sprang to life after being claimed, including a sprinting score here at SA three back; looks to get some revenge on Moon Kitty today with some pace to chase, the pick.
- You’re Late (Frey) – gets major class relief here, but we really have no idea how much is left in the tank; she’s been beaten badly in every start since her stakes winning score last July and now returns after a 6 month vacation; sharp AM work, but I’m still looking elsewhere.
- Vai (Baze) – returns to dirt after a miserable effort on the grass; third start off the layoff and if you’re of the opinion that these last two efforts were just for fitness, then she may offer some value.
Race 2 – 6 Furlongs, dirt. 3y/o fillies. Mdn Spcl Wt.
- Cowboytakemeaway (Conner) – nothing of note in the AM; well-bred filly is a half-sister to Union Jackson and is conditioned by a Hall of Famer; I’ll watch one first though.
- Mojgan (Frey) – shortens up and moves west; finds a pretty tough bunch of maidens to meet here and hasn’t inspired much hope from the AM efforts; pass.
- Fool’s Paradise (Gutierrez) – sharpened in the last effort a few days back, works are decent overall; dam is a 1 for 17 producer; I’ll look elsewhere.
- Emboldened (Talamo) – this filly is full of your typical Baffert bullet drills; one of the only other horses Talamo climbs on for him finished 2nd in the Breeders Cup; she worked in company with Hottalabamba and figures to be right there at the end with her as well.
- Sensible Thoughts (Bejarano) – dull AM drills; dam hasn’t produced much on the win end; looking elsewhere.
- We All Have Dreams (Prat) – first runner from her dam; a relatively shallow work pattern; I want to see one first.
- Hottalabamba (Van Dyke) – Collected’s owners send out this filly for the second time after buying her for $425k; she put a solid grinding run in the debut to gain some experience; she should have a dream trip from the outside; the pick.
Race 3 – 6 Furlongs, dirt. 4y/o+up f/m. Clm $25k.
- Christy Jackson (Baze) – her dirt sprints haven’t been too bad; she freaked in her last start here in Arcadia three months ago; intriguing at a price.
- Troublesome (Frey) – moved west and made an impact right away at an open $50k claimer; returns after a clunker for half that price, which begs the question as to why so low; if she’s right, she’ll be tough.
- Trap Queen (Maragh) – returned 6 weeks ago and essentially took a tour of the course and stretched her legs; figures to be much tighter today but there are many unknowns regarding her chances.
- Fly Far Away (Prat) – she hasn’t won in over two years, and that win was in Seattle; she shortens up off the mile effort last time, but this doesn’t seem like the soft spot she’d need to score.
- Ransomed (Ochoa) – takes a step up in class today off the Los Al effort in her last; not out of the question if the speed falls apart; exotics contender.
- Princess Dorian (Roman) – has hit the board in all four starts at Santa Anita, but like others here, takes a big drop in class; look for a big effort today with the return to Arcadia and the addition of Roman; the pick.
- Conquest Flatterme (Elliott) – has regressed continually with each race; this 6y/o makes her seventh lifetime start today; looking elsewhere.
- Foxy Fresh (Gonzalez) – returns to dirt sprints today, which is how she achieved her only victory to date, however, that was almost two years ago; makes her first start in a year and likely will need the race; pass.
Race 4 – 6 Furlongs, dirt. 4y/o+up. Mdn Clm $40k.
- Bob’s Bad Boy (Elliott) – improving sort takes a step down in class, however, so are most of the other entrants; you have to like his continued progression but he’ll have to continue stepping it up to get to the line first.
- Towards The Light (Roman) – gelded and then flopped on turf, returns to dirt sprinting today in a spot that seems much more palatable; should show up with a rock solid effort today.
- Williston Dude (Quinonez) – hasn’t done much on the grass in his last two, but he wasn’t disgraced with his dirt sprint efforts prior; should be fit enough; contender in a wide open event.
- Capes Hot Rocket (Pedroza) – makes his return after a 6 month layoff; showed little in his debut, albeit at the tough 7f distance; lets watch one first.
- Caray (Pereira) – not really lighting it up in his career efforts thus far; unfortunately for him, he’s already tried and failed at this level, whereas others are dropping to it; pass.
- Dominant Don (Conner) – gelded October 19 and raced October 20; claimed out of that race and promptly put on a strictly AM regimen; worthy of a look at a price.
- Sawbuck (Maragh) – seems to “cut” a slice of the purse money in every race; but it looks like we’ve seen the best he’s got to give, and it still hasn’t got him home yet; looking elsewhere on top.
- Exceptiontotherule (Gonzalez) – first time starter faces quite a few class droppers here; draws outside and should get a chance to settle in, but I’m looking elsewhere today.
- Cats Blame (Talamo) – been facing by far the strongest company lines of anyone else in this group; gets back on familiar dirt and looks primed to continue improving; the pick.
Race 5 – 1 Mile, turf. 3y/o. Mdn Clm $100k.
- Chieftain’s Lad (Franco) – showed little in his debut; stretches out, tries a different surface and faces a tough bunch; pass.
- Purr Cat (Gutierrez) – faced the same level two months ago and didn’t make a dent; went straight into AM work at that point and now returns; check the odds for an insight.
- Martin Riggs (Maragh) – been chasing some really solid runners and this is major class relief; sharp AM work; ready to fire; the pick.
- Minister’s Glory (Roman) – finished close to Hardboot in his turf debut, but that horse finished much further back against the runners that Martin Riggs faced; look for continued improvement and an exotics finish.
- Cosa Nostra (Puglisi) – well supported in stateside bow and did nothing; goes from Bejarano to Puglisi; pass.
- Holy Ghost (Desormeaux) – made some mild late gain in his most recent efforts on turf, however, that last race had insane fractions and he still couldn’t get there; he does take the mini drop in class and misses some of the monsters he’s seen; exotics play.
- Lauderdale (Van Dyke) – dead on the board for Paddy Gallagher in his debut, and he ran to those odds; another that takes the mini drop in class; looking elsewhere.
- Studly Perfection (Bejarano) – formerly a stud in his prior two starts; he now gets the permanent equipment change in an effort to improve on getting beat 42 lengths in two starts; showed speed and faded in those efforts, worth a look at a price on exotics.
- Mo Over (Talamo) – outran his odds in his debut; Simon is deadly on the lawn and Talamo comes right back aboard; he showed a lot of promise and wouldn’t have to do much more to graduate today; the main threat.
Race 6 – 6 Furlongs, dirt. 4y/o+up f/m. Clm $12.5k
- Candy Boss (Maragh) – burned a lot of money over the past five starts; she’s definitely a need the lead type and she doesn’t show fractions fast enough to get it here; no thanks.
- It’s Not So Easy (Roman) – another one finding this level and hoping it’s the right call; hasn’t made an impact so far here and it doesn’t look likely today either.
- Sharp Holiday (Werner) – hasn’t won in a year and a half; she’s already failed badly against cheaper; pass.
- Blissful Lady (Elliott) – another one who hasn’t threatened against winners; this seems like another tough spot for her despite it being a step down; looking elsewhere.
- Fashion Fair (Fuentes) – beaten badly in all starts since breaking the maiden, and again, I don’t see any reason things would improve today; pass.
- Todos Santos (Bejarano) – showed some pace in her last effort and was game to the end; gets a positive jock switch for an aggressive, capable trainer; a definite contender.
- All For Charity (Quinonez) – was last seen over a year ago and has sported very pedestrian efforts in the AM for the return; one positive is that of her three SA sprints, she’s hit the board in two of them; hitting the board would be a success.
- Singleforareason (Prat) – Been on the sidelines for 11 months and finds a very soft spot to return; set fractions in her last two that would easily gap her rivals here; if she’s ready to go, she wins by a pole.
Race 7 – 6.5 Furlongs, turf. 4y/o+up f/m. Allowance.
- Lethal Legacy (Franco) – comes in from a stronger circuit out east; should have plenty of fitness; negative here is the inexperienced pilot combined with the uniqueness of the course.
- Gotham Desire (Pereira) – was a monster up north, but quickly found out the level of competition in SoCal is much higher; hard to endorse in this spot.
- No Comparison (Quinonez) – ran well in her one trip down the hill here, however, that was 15 months ago; wasn’t disgraced in her return and comes right back with decent drills; a contender.
- Candy Ruler (Roman) – draws well and ran well on her turf debut last time; I like the weight break angle especially going downhill; not without a chance.
- Mizzen Glory (Baze) – shortens up off the route; however, she’s been beaten in that last by two other entrants today; needs another step forward.
- Speakers (Van Dyke) – solid effort against allowance company in her last; shortens up today but will be chasing faster fractions than she’s ever seen before; will be rolling late, but the concern is about how much work she’ll have left to do.
- Battleground State (Prat) – should be fit and ready for the cutback; will be prominently placed early and has strong connections; the pick.
- Laynee (Bejarano) – been prepping on the tapeta and showing strong pace while doing it; sire is 16% for turf wins; exotics play.
- Winemenow (Talamo) – four prior trips down the hill, so you know she’s not going to be surprised; she’ll need a very hot pace but has proven she can close into that; I just don’t know how hot the pace will actually be.
- Promnesia (Desormeaux) – just graduated but looked good doing it; Kent has hit the board in both starts on her; a contender with continued improvement.
- Rolling Shadow- AE (Gutierrez) – would be a very strong threat if she gets in; closed smartly into a decent pace last time out and finds a logical spot here for a first try against winners.
- Lady Espionage- AE (Elliott) – mid-pack plodder seems to find ways to pass tired ones; gets class relief today if she draws in.
- Briartic Gal- AE (Nakatani) – hasn’t done anything of note in any of her more recent starts; finds a much tougher bunch than what she’s seen lately; pass.
Race 8 – 1 mile, dirt. 3y/o fillies. Mdn Clm $30k.
- Tisn’t She Lucky (Blanc) – moves back to dirt after a mediocre turf try; takes a big class drop and has been having some speedwork done lately; the pick.
- Millie Joel (Van Dyke) – speed and fade vs. similar; been beaten significantly vs. others in here and would need more improvement to get her picture taken.
- Wannabe Solo (Evans) – did nothing in her debut and hasn’t done much in the AM since; would be a big surprise.
- Tapitha Bonita (Ochoa) – stretches out to a route after fading going shorter, she’s had some decent stamina-building drills for this; but she still appears too cheap.
- Cee Sam’s Girl (Maragh) – hasn’t threatened in any of her starts; gets a jock upgrade, but that’s about all the positives; looking elsewhere.
- Mischievous Lass (Conner) –has had some good AM quickness for a barn that doesn’t necessarily like to work them fast; hasn’t impressed much routing, however; would need improvement.
- Tizswift (Gutierrez) – you don’t often see a Tiznow baby selling at auction for $8k; her drills don’t really seem to indicate that she’s ready to go a mile; pass.
- Wicked Sunset (Gonzalez) – stretches out off of some OK efforts; trainer doesn’t them unless they’re ready to go; worth a look in a field like this.
- Sauce On Side (Roman) – Miller has been hitting with anything he saddles; chased quick fractions going shorter; should be forwardly placed and cannot be ignored at the window.
- Spiritualist (Baze) – hasn’t threatened in two starts despite the continual drops in class; looking elsewhere.
- Taylorealswift- AE (Bejarano) – persistent midpack finisher gets a jock upgrade if she gets in; hasn’t worked or ran here at Santa Anita, so there are many questions to answer.
- Artistic Ministry- AE (Franco) – made a nice improvement in her last, setting slowish fractions and holding the place; continued improvement gets her on the board again.
- Venice- AE (Talamo) – on and off production pattern; the Mulhall/Talamo connection has been very successful; but will still be hung wide even if she gets in.
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