Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Friday, March 2, 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!
The feature race at Santa Anita is an Allowance Optional Claiming event with five different graded stakes winners/stakes placed entrants. Ten Blessings returns after over a year off, chasing Mind Your Biscuits and Sharp Azteca in his last; and Multiplier returns after his last being in the Belmont stakes where he took some action at the windows. The Pick 6 has a carryover in excess of $38k, and as always, the late pick 4 has a $300k guarantee. Best of luck to you today!
Best Bet: Save Ground (Race 1)
Longshot Play: Blondy’s Reward (Race 6)
Race 1 – 1 mile, turf. 4y/o+up. Mdn Spc Wt.
- Siege Of Vicksburg (Desormeaux) – faced a pretty decent bunch for the level last time, although he barely bothered to show up; he took a lot of money there and now stretches out and tries the grass; worthy of a look at a price.
- Accreditation (Franco) – tried claimers at this distance and surface last time and was nowhere to be found; steps back up today and loses the apprentice weight break; pass.
- Tribute To Oscar (Fernandez) – he gets Lasix today, but that looks like really the only main plus; he’s been getting lapped in all of his starts and there doesn’t appear like much of an opportunity to improve today.
- Wild Lando (Roman) – taken action in all of his starts, and he’s hit the board in all five; gets Roman back and has done some good work in the AM; not a lot of turf on the breeding but he looks like the type to run well today.
- Dial Me In (Espinoza) – flopped in last despite getting some money; Cassidy is 4% off of a layoff of this type; he’s eligible to improve, but he’ll have to make rapid strides of improvement.
- Hailey’s Kid Comet (Pereira) – another one who has done little of note; hard to endorse a horse who hasn’t been close in any of his five races.
- Save Ground (Gutierrez) – he’s been a hard knocker in all of his starts; his last start on this oval is plenty good enough to win here; all it takes is anything close to that and he’ll be getting his picture taken; the pick.
- Tatar (Fuentes) – had his speed sharpened in his last, and now returns to his preferred distance and surface; he would be much more preferable if Gutierrez was aboard, since he’s Reddam’s personal jockey.
- Son Of The South (Quinonez) – tries grass and takes the shades back off; he wasn’t close versus claimers and takes a big step back up; pass.
Race 2 – 1 mile, dirt. 3y/o+up, f+m. Mdn Spc Wt
- Tequila Sunrise (Desormeaux) – been facing some salty fillies in the maiden ranks; finished a nice third in her return to the races last out; fired a bullet on 2/22; a major player today.
- Malibu Model (Pereira) – comes back to dirt, where she was thoroughly unimpressive previously; she has improved while routing, although it didn’t take much to improve off of; pass.
- Tea For Tam (Espinoza) – fired a big shot in her return to the races and almost held on, despite having to show speed from the rail; gets a better post and should continue the progression; she’s the only true speed here; which makes her the pick.
- End Of Now (Blanc) – shortens up off her debut, loses Mike Smith, and tries dirt; she cost $230k at auction and is a sibling to It Tiz Well, so you have to assume she has some talent, but it’ll take a strong improvement here.
- Tell Your Mama (Maragh) – toss the turf start and toss the start in the Breeders Cup and she hasn’t been too badly beaten in the others; the filly who beat her in her last race flopped yesterday at odds-on in a first level allowance; exotics only.
Race 3 – 1 1/16 miles, dirt. 4y/o+up. Clm $25k.
- Topgallant (Van Dyke) – nonthreatening third in his first start against winners, although, the winner did come back to win again; gets a bit of a jock upgrade moving to Van Dyke; potential.
- Sagittari (Desormeaux) – aired against cheaper while breaking his maiden, and now tries a tougher level for winners; projects to be on the lead with the stretchout and make the others come get him; you have to respect the Desormeauxs here.
- Fire To The Wire (Gonzalez) – gets some class relief here with a pretty significant drop off of some first level allowances; having said that, this is his claimed level and he couldn’t even win there before; a tepid favorite at best, the reluctant pick.
- Southern Thunder (Prat) – steps up off a couple of board-hitting performances against cheaper; Prat stays aboard, which is nice – but it feels like he’s giving more away in the form of class than the others here.
- Many Treats (Espinoza) – John Martin is a heck of a trainer, and if he couldn’t get this guy to perform, I’m not sure how Calvario will do it; with that said, the multiple 7f works suggests that he may not just be here for a leg stretchening; watch the tote board.
Race 4 – 5 furlongs, dirt. 4y/0+up, f+m. Mdn Clm $20k
- Sonnet’s Joy (Harvey) – she’s ran nine times, and the closest she’s managed to be at the line was almost 8 lengths behind; pass.
- My Alchemist (Maragh) – haven’t seen her in 14 months, but she makes her return for a significant class drop from where she competed previously; maybe she just needed the time to develop, and if so, she could be primed for a good effort today.
- Jeweled (Roman) – speaking of significant class drops off a layoff, here comes a Baffert money-burner dropping from straight maidens all the way down; if she’s right, she wins by a pole – but is she right?
- Radio Chatter (Baze) – what to do with her? She appears to be her trainer’s first starter; she moves from the Baltas barn to this newcomer; but picks up Baze? Lots of things happening here.
- Prize Ticket (Espinoza) – beaten badly in all five starts with nothing to suggest improvement here; pass.
- Knowitallhousewife (Maldonado) – drops back to a more suitable class level; she doesn’t look like she wants to pass horses, which doesn’t bode well given the entrants to her inside; looking elsewhere.
- Louder California (Fernandez) – showed little thus far; she adds blinkers today in an attempt to change her fortunes; no thanks.
- Tenthousandreasons (Talamo) – returns off a 6 month layoff and in that race, the second place finisher came back to win; Dollase has no wins from a layoff of this size, however, he enjoys great success with Talamo; mixed signals.
- Angela’s Rose (Franco) – another one who’s been beaten badly in all her starts; gets marooned out wide today as well; pass.
Race 5 – 1 mile, turf. 3y/o fillies. Clm $50k.
- Holy Diver (Franco) – they had bigger designs for her given the company lines she’s kept; but she makes her first appearance for a tag today; this group isn’t too tough and if she’s not too mentally beaten up from all the losing, she could hit the board at a big number today.
- Silverspun Pickup (Franco) – stretches out off a really nice effort in her last; Machowsky isn’t bad at that angle and he’s 2-2 ITM with Franco on; consider.
- An Eddie Surprise (Gutierrez) – took forever to get there in her last despite looking like a sure thing the whole way home; pounded by Super Patriot two back who came back to fail to graduate at odds-on; tough to see winning here.
- Uno Trouble Maker (Roman) – marooned out wide last time, but it didn’t matter as she aired like a good thing; this is her first start for the Miller barn, and everything he touches turns to gold; another contender.
- Neon Gypsy (Desormeaux) – she’s stakes placed on the grass, which definitely is a feather in her cap against these; she missed some workouts after the last effort, which leads me to wonder if fitness will be an issue today.
- Empress of Lov (Pereira) – her one race on this oval was eminently forgettable; she seems to have tailed off in the last few months and this feels like a hope-and-pray attempt to get her on the right track.
- Mraseel (Quinonez) – chased some really salty fillies in that last effort for her first attempt in the US; she has every right to improve and stretches out with the class drop; the pick.
- Tapitha Bonita (Ceballos) – finally found a field she could hold on against in her last; she takes a big step up in class today and it looks like she’ll continue being at double digit odds like she has in every career start thus far.
- Dr. Ann (Prat) – crushed a maiden field on this lawn two back and looks like she’s well spotted again today; she’ll have to deal with a wide post and will likely be hard sent early; another contender in a deep field.
Race 6 – 1 mile, dirt. 4y/o+up, f+m. Clm $10k.
- Blondy’s Reward (Fuentes) – freaked from the rail in her last, and she’s on the rail again today; she’s got every right to be there against this mediocre bunch.
- Honor Maker (Payeras) – popular at the claim box in her last half dozen; couldn’t handle cheaper in her last and takes a bump up off the claim; preferring others.
- Jill Madden (Maragh) – has really regressed since that win for $12500 back in October; hard to endorse with the recent struggles despite the presence of Maragh.
- Ipray (Roman) – comes back in three weeks for a second start off a 6 month layoff; figures to have the right pace setup for her closing run; trainer has no starters off a claim and no winners second off a layoff of this amount; mixed signals.
- Forbidden Command (Baze) – toss her last on the turf and she looks really strong here; she’s smoked cheaper in open conditions earlier; she always shows up with her A-game and she looks ready to go here; the pick.
- Veronica Bay (Pereira) – done little versus cheaper and shows up for a higher price today; admittedly there isn’t a lot in here, but she hasn’t shown enough to warrant support.
- Hope She Will (Quinonez) – another one who needs a recent turf effort tossed to become more playable today; very productive maiden race three back led to a big performance two back; drops in class today and looks to be a solid contender.
- I’m No Patsy (Gonzalez) – hasn’t threatened against weaker and hasn’t shown anything in the AM to warrant a look; pass.
Race 7 – 6 ½ furlongs, dirt. 4 y/o+up. Alw Opt Clm $62.5k.
- Multiplier (Espinoza) – something went amiss during the Belmont last year, as this guy went on the shelf immediately after; he returns in a sprint, which he’s never done; this likely is an exercise effort today.
- Red Lightning (Desormeaux) – yes, it was a four horse field last time; but he wasn’t disgraced with that effort; seems like he’ll move forward off of that with the class relief today; major player.
- Rocko’s Wheel (Pereira) – made a nice comeback and promptly went into a work program; looks like he should be fit and ready to compete here; tested for his back class today.
- River Echo (Roman) – shortens up off the layoff; his only dirt sprint on his form was three back in a similar level at Belmont and he competed well there; exotics potential.
- Law Abidin Citizen (Prat) – put a beating on Battle Of Midway three back in a graded stake at a sprint distance; excuse the last as a fitness test and he looks like a big player here.
- Excitations (Smith) – the blinkers experiment lasted all of one race as he shows up today without them; another one with plenty of back class and he gets Money Mike today; draws well and should be ready to roll; the pick.
- Ten Blessings (Van Dyke) – look at his company lines in that last effort; he fired a bullet five days ago but the layoff has to be of some concern; I’ll play against him today.
- Dr. Dorr (Talamo) – should move forward off of that last race, but the group he’s in with today is pretty stiff; he should be able to get a good tracking trip and pick up a piece if he’s good enough.
Race 8 – 6 ½ furlongs, dirt. 4y/o+up. Clm $25k.
- Best Two Minutes (Bejarano) – this is Bejarano’s only mount of the day, in a middling $25k claimer? That must mean something; he makes a class drop and the last two times he entered for a tag, he won; strongly consider.
- Hitters Park (Ochoa) – disappointed since being claimed; takes a drop in class back to that level but it’s hard to picture a way this guy gets home first.
- Street Vision (Baze) – another guy who’s done quite well in his efforts against claimers; gets a good spot to track and attack; a contender.
- Native Treasure (Roman) – nipped cheaper Cal-breds in his last; keeps Roman on board but is likely outclassed here today; pass.
- Tough But Nice (Franco) – tried tougher in his last and got thumped; drops in class but finds quite a few that are doing the same while actually competing well at that higher level; pass.
- Madelyn’s Wild Max (Pena) – freaked in his last and could have won by much more; Vallejo is hot to the touch right now, especially with Pena; the horse looks outclassed but with these connections? Can’t ignore him.
- Gonna Fly Now (Maragh) – seems to be rounding into form after four years away; Maragh got him home last time and he stays aboard again today; another contender in a deep field.
- Papa Turf (Gonzalez) – ran second at this level last time out, although he wasn’t close to the winner; exotics potential.
- Boy Howdy (Talamo) – crushed against tougher two back but had the claim vet-voided; then blazed half a mile and threw in the towel against tougher; finds a softer comparable level today and should have plenty of time to get a good spot; the pick in a tough event.
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