Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Thursday, December 29, 2017
After a brief break, Danonymous Racing is back! Today, we’re going out to Santa Anita Park, where they’ve got an eight-race card, with a first post time of 12:30 PM EST. The headliner is the Eddie Logan Stakes for two-year-olds on the grass.
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 Park, December 29, 2017.
Best Bet: Oiseau De Guerre, race 3
Longshot Play: Rolls Royce Deal, race 4
Race 1 – 6 Furlongs, dirt, 3yo+up. Mdn Clm 20k.
- Thankful Every Day (Elliott) – been improving with each start, coincidentally, as the quality of the competition has softened; set hot fractions two back in San Diego, but will need to show speed here from the tough rail post; the pick.
- Soft Trip (Linares) – failed to threaten in two starts since his return to the races, third start off the layoff so fitness shouldn’t be an issue, plodding sort will need to have things fall apart for him, hitting the board would be a success.
- Insubordination (Baze) – finds his lowest level yet, he’s hit the board once with Baze on his back; they’ve tried him short, long, on dirt and turf and nothing has happened yet; I’ll lean elsewhere especially given his presumed shorter odds.
- Chrisiscookin (Gutierrez) – another class dropper, but he’s been beaten 42 lengths in two starts in Arcadia; your probable favorite, but a tepid one at best.
- Am I Blue (Payeras) – his morning enthusiasm hasn’t translated over to afternoon success; had legitimate trouble in both starts and finds a soft bunch here; not out of the question.
- Majordomo (Roman) – disappointed in his first start with the permanent equipment change, failed to make much headway in his return and hasn’t shown up in the AM since then, I’ll pass.
- Mintenized (Werner) – makes his return after being away for approximately 9 months; of his best three efforts, two of them came on off tracks which he won’t encounter today, no thanks.
- Tiz The Ticket (Maragh) – returned across town three weeks ago and put in nice effort versus similar foes; gets a significant pilot upgrade and some extra ground to cover; a threat.
- Taco Tuesday (Gonzalez) – has shown little in the AM; this $16k auction purchase has his work cut out today.
Race 2 – 6 Furlongs, dirt, 2 yo fillies. Opt Clm 40k
- Lady Phyllis (Prat) – keeps Prat aboard, shortens back up and gets back on dirt; clearly been facing the best competition of the lot; adds the shades to ensure forwardly placing from the rail, the pick.
- Girlsintheoffice (Elliott) – has done nothing wrong so far, but the competition she faced in her debut was far worse than what she faces today; consistent work tab since the debut, but she’ll need to improve a lot to win today.
- La Chepis (Desormeaux) – showed serious heart in her last race, giving the winner all she wanted every step; another improving sort who can’t be eliminated; has a shot.
- Mis Viola (Gutierrez) – that last race really raises some questions; she hasn’t really lit up the mornings to prep for a return; I’ll make her beat me here.
- Kiss Of Dahpespe (Roman) – she inhaled them in her debut despite slower fractions being set up front; she’s been freshened, shortens up, has strong connections and is bred for speed; would not be a surprise.
- Krissys Manicure (Bejarano) – had to work really hard in her last to get her picture taken; place horse in her last shipped to AQU and flopped in a starter allowance last weekend; takes a definite step up in class here, I’ll lean against her.
- Baytown Juliet (Evans) – finally graduated in her most recent start, but she seems to be in way over her head here, no thanks.
Race 3 – 6.5 Furlongs, turf, 3 yo+up. Mdn Spcl Wt.
- Shaky Alibi (Bejarano) – has shown plenty of pace going longer and cuts back today; take a look at the sizzling AM efforts since the last start; a prime player.
- Air On Fire (Prat) – his best effort so far came on this downhill course, albeit versus cheaper; gets an upgrade to Prat on the lawn, but it would still be a big surprise.
- Star Spangled Kid (Elliott) – this $90k yearling purchase finally makes his debut as a very late 4yo; I’ll want to watch one from him first.
- Oiseau De Guerre (Stevens) – was gelded and moved west and saw instant improvement versus a tougher group; freshened and been uber sharp in the mornings; the pick.
- New Dancer (Gonzalez) – one-run type hasn’t been disgraced since moving to the lawn as a gelding; seems like an exotics contender that would need everything to fall right to get his picture taken.
- Factorial (Conner) – another east coast shipper; perhaps the change in scenery will wake up this $600k yearling purchase; faces a salty bunch in his western debut; mixed signals.
- Conquest Smartee (Maragh) – can’t fault his efforts down the hill as he’s hit the board in all three starts; threw in a clunker in his last, but that was his first start in about 5 months; can’t ignore.
- Zipman (Van Dyke) – another one who seemingly has tried every surface and track in an effort to graduate; well-supported in all starts as you’d expect from a Baffert trainee; however, he’ll need to put his best effort forward today.
- Pure Pursuit (Talamo) – came from off the pace in his debut and didn’t get there, then showed speed in his second start and wilted; based on the drills, you’d expect him to show speed; looking elsewhere.
- Mesut (Roman) – came from the clouds in his last effort to run second behind Little Juanito, however, Oiseau De Guerre beat that rival in a prior effort; further improvement would be expected here, however, I’m looking elsewhere on the win end.
- Cascade Rock (Nakatani) – excluding the race where he was interfered with, he’s hit the board in his last three tries; marooned out wide today but cuts back in distance; another with a shot in a highly contentious field.
Race 4 – 1 1/16 Miles, dirt, 3yo+up. Allowance.
- Closing Time (Baze) – big closer going short stretches out to a route; his only try routing was victorious; would need some serious pace to implode ahead of him, but considering how many horses are adding blinkers here today, it’s not out of the question.
- Fire To The Wire (Frey) – tries routing for the first time while adding blinkers; wasn’t able to score against much cheaper but is second off the claim today; exotics possibility.
- Lovely Anzi (Bejarano) – another one trying a dirt route for the first time while adding blinkers; fitness should be no issue but I lean against 6 year olds trying something new in an effort to find a winning level.
- Popular Kid (Desormeaux) – 1 win in 23 starts doesn’t inspire confidence on the win end; competed admirably in Del Mar against similar and reunited with jockey whom he’s done the most damage with; another board hitting possibility.
- Nap Lajoie (Franco) – his return in November appears to have just been a leg stretcher; yet another adding distance and blinkers; should be ready to fire a good effort today; tested for class.
- Lymebyrd (Pedroza) – his career switched for the better when he started being more forwardly placed early; proven routing on dirt and has shown heart in every recent try; the pick.
- Rolls Royce Deal (Ochoa) – if you take the stance that maybe he just doesn’t like Del Mar, you’ve got a horse that can complete exotics at a price, or perhaps even steal it on the win end; gets added ground and projects to have pace to run into; dangerous.
- Desert General (Prat) – will have to be used to get position early as so much speed exists inside of him; can’t fault his recent efforts competition-wise and gets a return ride from Prat, with whom he almost scored three back; a possibility.
Selections – 6-1-7-8
Race 5 – 1 Mile, turf, 2 yo. Eddie Logan Stakes.
- Magic Musketier (Roman) – finished behind most of these in his last effort; hall of famer saddling him seems to be the main positive; pass.
- Ayacara (Nakatani) – chased some stone cold runners two back in a G1, then just missed in a minor stake up north; tries grass for the first time but seems to have a running style that would appreciate it; note that Kent goes elsewhere though.
- Choo Choo (Smith) – all sorts of trouble in the Cecil Demille and despite it all, just missed hitting the board; appears to have come out of that race in good shape considering his work tab; gets Money Mike for a big shot today.
- Inscom (Prat) – was more forwardly placed than others in the last effort, but was flat late; he has appreciated the Arcadia lawn in his two efforts and retains Prat; will need to bring a top effort here.
- East Rand (Van Dyke) – Mullins won a grass race on opening day and comes right back with another big chance here; fired two bullet drills since that last effort; should be ready to take another step forward.
- Hardboot (Elliott) – improving sort finds a tough spot for his first start against winners; his time in his debut win compares similarly to many of the others in this race, however, most of those horses were compromised; worth a look at a price.
- Pubilius Syrus (Desormeaux) – followed an absolute monster in his last, but was clearly second best; if he shows up with a strong effort, he will be tough to deny here.
- Blended Citizen (Pena) – has really taken to the grass, but like Hardboot, finds a tough spot for his first try against winners; blazed a quick time in his last, but figures to find some traffic trouble unless he stays very wide; consider.
Race 6 – 6 Furlongs, dirt, 2 yo fillies. Mdn Clm $30k.
- Boot Scootin Kid (Conner) – couldn’t make a dent up north; ships south, steps up in class and gets the rail; no thanks.
- Bragging Rights (Baze) – bought at auction originally for $80k, claimed out of her first start for $50k, then returns after a two month layoff for $30k; I’ll pass.
- Mariana’s Girl (Franco) – significant improvement in her second start; she keeps a steady work tab after that and returns in a pretty easy spot for the level; a contender.
- Sexy Star (Quinonez) – slow drills, unknown trainer; let’s see one first.
- Donteatmycookies (Arias) – taking a non-starter in a 14 horse field rarely feels right, but this is a really soft bunch for the level and she’s worked well; this homebred has done some quick work in the morning; only negative is Kent riding elsewhere.
- Jane’s Revenge (Werner) – first time starter, however, the trainer has a second place finish from her only charge to start; she’ll likely outrun her odds today.
- Empress Songbird (Martinez) – another who made big strides in her last effort, despite being wide the entire trip; not out of the question.
- Wild Edie (Desormeaux) – showed sharp speed in her last and just got worn down late; seems ripe to continue her improvement; trainer is 0-15 in recent stats, however has 9 second place finishes; the pick.
- Misty Slew (Bejarano) – hasn’t really threatened in her six trips to the post, finished 6 lengths behind her inside rival; pass.
- Parawan (Gutierrez) – interesting work pattern for a debut, solid sire comparatively as well; seems to have been more speed focused in AM, especially with a sharpening across town a week ago; intriguing for exotics.
- MD’s Jewel (Puglisi) – dead on the board in her debut and ran to those odds; not much to recommend here today.
- Celestial Music (Pena) – sluggish drills for debut and being hung very wide doesn’t inspire much confidence; pass.
- Venice (Pedroza) – chased La Chepis last out, and she’s turned out to be a solid filly; a step forward here makes her a really strong contender in a deep field.
- Uno Trouble Maker (Roman) – takes a monster class drop today and wasn’t totally ignored at the windows when running for straight maiden; she’s done no favors with the post draw but finds a good spot; who knows how good she is?
Race 7 – 6 Furlongs, dirt, 3yo+up f/m. Opt Clm $40k.
- Discreet Senorita (Bejarano) – has disappointed significantly since being claimed; makes the move west with the Jacobson stable; if you’re backing her, you have to be hoping that change of scenery does her good.
- Ruby Trust (Baze) – she’s had trouble staying at the races for any length of time; it makes it difficult to guess what kind of performance you’ll be seeing today; pass.
- Kentan Road (Talamo) – graduated in her last and held well despite setting some hot fractions on the lead; will need to take another step forward to compete here though.
- Time For Ebby (Frey) – hasn’t given a strong effort on a fast dirt track in almost 9 months; comes into this off a 6 week freshening, but I’m playing against her.
- Late N Left (Elliott) – this miss seems to need the lead in order to run her best; considering that she’ll be facing some fast splits inside of her, I’m leaning elsewhere.
- Lake Time (Nakatani) – late running plodder seems to make up just enough ground to hit the board; she had a nice work 10 days ago, but figures to need a pace meltdown to get home.
- Meet And Greet (Roman) – won for fun in her debut, then came right back and showed it was no fluke by gamely prevailing in a first level allowance; logical next step for her here; major player.
- Dalsaros (Prat) – she freaked in her maiden breaking score, but she’s been on the sidelines for the 9 months since and she’s making her third career start as a very late 4yo; if she’s fit and ready, she’s the likely winner; the pick.
- Bad Ju Ju (Desormeaux) – at some point, you just have to wonder if her best days are behind her, especially now that she shows up for a tag; there’s no doubt that she’s been facing much better competition that anyone else in here; I’m willing to play against her and tip my cap if she wakes up and wins.
Race 8 – 1 Mile, turf, 3yo+up. St Alw $50k.
- Royal Opera House (Desormeaux) – still seems like he’s looking for his level, which isn’t the best scenario when buried on the rail with minimal speed; he did run OK at a higher level at this track three back; looking elsewhere.
- Red King (Prat) – hit the board in 3 of 4 starts since venturing west, but he’s burned a lot of money in that timeframe; he’s got the right jockey to work out a trip, but his lack of early speed will really force some creativity to get there.
- Curly’s Waterfront (Talamo) – had things his own way two starts back and still couldn’t hold off Red King; seldom too far away, but it’s a concern as to whether he’ll ever get the win at this level.
- Bacoli (Nakatani) – only finished a length behind some of his more accomplished rivals in the last effort; he will need to continue improving and get a good trip, especially with the abundance of closers here.
- Rainbow Squall (Bejarano) – 1 for 19 and hasn’t come close in quite awhile; comes back to turf after racing on dirt across town; pass.
- Pacific Coast Hwy (Pedroza) – gelded since his last, given time off and returns with a recent 3f blowout; I’m willing to look positively here in a wide open affair.
- Gosofar (Roman) – had to drop into maiden claimers at Los Al to break his maiden, but now stretches back out and gets on the grass again; seems a little cheap to score right back here.
- Uber Star (Franco) – another on/off effort type; should have some options as he closes from the clouds; minor award possibilities.
- Iron Alex (Elliott) – mid pack plodder seems overmatched in this spot; he’s taking a step up in class while others seem to be dropping from non-claiming events; looking elsewhere.
- Pocket Personality (Quinonez) – did nothing wrong in his debut, sitting off the pace smartly and rolling on by; gets tested for class here; but with so many horses already showing they can’t find a competitive level, why not give him a look on the confident step up in class?
- Lori’s Attitude (Baze) – carved out a really nice living running against maidens and now faces winners for the first time; should be prominently placed and you’ll have to catch him to get to the wire.
- Lauren’s Ladd *AE* (Bejarano) – will have a tough test even if he gets in; first start in 7 months and marooned out in the parking lot; this likely will be a leg stretching even if he runs.
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