Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Santa Anita Park
There’s a ten-race card today at Santa Anita Park, headlined by the Buena Vista Stakes! The first race is scheduled for 12:00 PM PST.
To help you out with all the action, we’re happy to have Robert Criscola (@itsgood2beking) providing FREE picks & analysis of the card! Robert’s been a Southern California handicapper on Danonymous Racing for a while now; be sure to give him a follow on twitter.
Good luck to everyone playing along!
A ten-race card featuring the Grade II Buena Vista Stakes is on tap this Saturday at Santa Anita. My picks and analysis for each event can be found below. First post at “The Great Race Place” is 3:00 p.m. Eastern.
Race 1: 3-8-1-4
#3 COOL YOUR JETS hasn’t shown much in the mornings but is intriguing based on pedigree as he makes his debut. He’s a full brother to five different turf winners, including $500k+ earner Bel Air Sizzle and $400k+ earner Starspangled Heat. Watch the board for a hint on this $85k son of Unusual Heat. #8 FAST AS CASS flashed brief speed before tiring in his debut in August. Unraced since then, he returns as a first-time gelding for Yakteen (who wins at a 23% clip with horses off 90-plus day layoffs) and lures Prat. Another son of Unusual Heat, FAST AS CASS will also be making his turf debut. #1 HUDDLE has been sharp in the mornings but draws the dreaded rail post for his unveiling. #4 CROISSANT races as a first-time gelding and upgrades to Nakatani after flattening out off a middle move last time out.
Race 2: 9-2-3-7
#9 DIZZY DIVA is eligible to improve off her uneven return off an extended layoff last time out. #2 SHINING ARMADA gave up the rail after dueling early last time out and it cost her; respect off back-to-back runner-up efforts. #3 YALLA may rally for a small share. #7 TENGA’S BEST GIRL has a modest worktab for her debut but doesn’t have to be much to hit the superfecta here.
Race 3: 3-4-1
#3 HOTTALABAMBA closed well to be second in her debut at Los Al back in December. She’s trained well since, so she’s the pick. #4 UPPERCUT, a $260k daughter of Discreet Cat out of a mare that’s produced four winners from as many starters, shows decent AM works and lures Smith for her unveiling. #1 RIA MUNK has been working steadily for her debut and gets Bejarano aboard, but the rail is a knock. Worth noting she’s a half to former stakes winner Alpha Kitten and has a half-sister in training named Downtown Mama who won her first three starts.
Race 4: 4-6-3
#4 JES JAA should be able to turn the tables on #6 FINALLYGOTABENTLEY, who topped him here on New Year’s Day. JES JAA has been freshened up since then and scales back a 1/16th, which should help. FINALLYGOTABENTLEY was third in a subsequent start, exits the Hollendorfer barn and loses Roman but must still be respected on speed figures. #3 WELL MEASURED will try to drop and pop after two lackluster starts in a row; Roman’s choice.
Race 5: 4-9-1
#4 UNUSUAL MEETING drops in class, scales back to a sprint and gets Prat aboard. He was third a similar spot back in July. #9 GENERAL IKE was a fast-closing second despite wide trip in a race just like this last month, but his tendency to settle for minor awards makes him tough to trust up top. #1 THEYCALLHIMTHEKID held off GENERAL IKE in that common start on Jan. 13 but has since left Falcone’s stable.
Race 6: 7-4-5
#7 SHARON’S FURY drops in class off a decent debut run in which he was fourth behind a next-out winner. Expect improvement and a score. #4 TRAPPER PEAK didn’t get much pace to work with against a short field off the bench last time out, which might explain his regression off a solid initial effort that would probably bury these. He also tries a new low today. #5 CURLY’S MARK has some encouraging works for his unveiling.
Race 7: 2-4-1
The Grade II Buena Vista Stakes
#2 MADAM DANCEALOT drops back into a Grade II after three straight ITM finishes at the Grade I level. She projects to get a similar setup to the one she received in the Grade II San Clemente, where she rallied into a fast pace at one mile. Corey Nakatani choosing this one inspires confidence. #4 MADAME STRIPES steps up slightly off a solid Grade III win in the Megahertz and retains Desormeaux; logical alternative. #1 INSTA ERMA loses Nakatani and exits a loss to MADAME STRIPES in the Megahertz; has competitive speed figures but is best used underneath.
Race 8: 1-2-5-8
#1 LOOKIE LOO walloped maidens off a long break in his latest effort; he’s stayed on point for Baffert in the mornings and looks poised to make it two straight with expected improvement. #2 SHEER FLATTERY is the victim of two straight “draw a line through it” results; he was carried wide after a slow start two-back and had the saddle slip before trying to rally wide last time out. Don’t overlook him as Smith gets back in the irons. #5 SIGUR ROS was flawless in victory at Golden Gate last time out and wasn’t too shabby in his debut at Del Mar two-back as he set a fast pace but held well for place. #8 SIR SAMSON ran like a horse that needed a breather last time out. The latest works say his batteries are fully recharged and then some, so don’t leave out this live longshot.
Race 9: 6-9-3
#6 BUILDER, like many in this field, drops in class today. He also tries sprinting for the first time. Tepid choice. #9 ROYAL TRUMP will likely try to wire them based on his latest effort. He drops in class but must negotiate added ground. #3 MESA JONES will do his best running at the end.
Race 10: 9-3-10-1
#9 OSCAR DOMINGUEZ goes first off the Sadler claim (20%) and returns to the exact conditions that he recorded his last win in early last year; look for him late. #3 SALTINI was a fast-closing fourth last time out and picks up an extra furlong; logical alternative. #10 GIO’S CALLING heads down the class ladder and attracts Bejarano while adding blinkers; should be close early in a race with no confirmed frontrunners. #1 EXCESSIVE KID is another that likes to come from off the pace and may appreciate the added ground.
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