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Santa Anita for Thursday 24 May 2018

Belmont is only 2 weeks and two days away and our special pub with full race card selections and comments will soon be available for purchase at a discount for a few days.

OK card to start the new week of racing which runs through Monday Memorial Day

Best of luck as always!


race 1    average clarity

2  Shanghai Fantasy   lone lifetime race at Kee was in a MSW affair and sure looks good at today's MC50K level......and why not race for 50K as this filly went for chump change at sale (only $5K).......and Nakatani was up in that Kee race and is up today for his only mount on the card......trainer has only 2 wins on the year but seemingly has a decent chance to make it number 3 this afternoon

5  Baby Frankie   Keith Desormeaux usually brings a baby around slowly but that might be the case here for this two-year old 1st timer.......works are numerous and the last two are out of the gate......and like our top choice he went for much less than today's claiming tag........in his case for only $10K

3  Irish Terrier   another 1st timer training well enough to be ready at 1st asking......new sire's only starter was winner (as of the writing of this comment)........going for 2 for 2 today.......owner is also the breeder so there is plenty at stake today


race 2    average clarity

4  Rocket Fuel   3 for 7 at today's 6F distance........0 for 10 at other distances........main man for Jacobson has been Pedroza and he is up today.........the "Fuel" drops below the level Jacobson claimed him for two races back........has some early speed in a race that lacks it

5  True Valor   very dangerous trainer 1st out following a claim in Miyadi.......4 year old colt seems best on the SA dirt.......last 4 of 5 races fit fine in this spot......dangerous sort

2  Matriculate   believe this fellow moves up quite a bit on off track surfaces....... but..... if that is not the case and he can run as well as he did in his last two sprints which were on off track........he is rated too low


race 3   above average clarity

5  Hard Arch   tailed off badly last fall and hasn't been seen since......plenty of time off to find his summer form......and his work regiment supports the notion that he will find that summer form........trainer has had a great year and might add to his 27% for the year win % here

3  Vegas Itch   three straight 2nd place finishes at SA at today's level and all three races fit well here.......if of course he is not turning into a hanger of sorts

6  Chiksika   needs a logical forward move 2nd out following a long hiatus from racing and then he will fit well here.......but where once you could go to the bank with a Kathy Walsh horse in this situation you can't these days

7  Herkimer Storm


race 4    below average clarity

1  Morgan S   MSW debut (which is as "fresh" as it gets) was a very strong race and his lifetime best.......so 1st out following 7 month layoff is likely a good thing especially for Hendricks as he is usually at his most dangerous off of 90+ day layoffs

6  Shades of Victory   1 for 1 on conventional dirt so Reed Saldana wisely races at SA 1st out following the claim that he made up north at GG......big step up but this doesn't seem that strong of a Cal-bred nw alw race

2  Smiling Angelo   bet hard and won his MSW debut by 4 1/2 lengths but the final time hints that he beat little.....but he did it rather easily so he likely will move forward today......definitely a major player


race 5    average clarity

6  Upo   gelding should win at today's lower maiden level if he runs as well on the turf as he has run on the dirt......but by my book he only owns an "average at best" pedigree for the turf

7  Conquest Smartee   colt owns the best turf credentials but it seems somewhat telltale that he has 2 2nd's and 4 3rd's in 7 grass races down the hill......as in might be a hanger of sorts

2  It's Alexus   filly vs. the boys but she just showed the best route speed of her life and she has put in two good-looking 4F speed building works since.......cut back in distance with route speed is often a good thing in the SA hill races........hot trainer/rider combo

5  Ivy Mike

3  Sun And Shadow


race 6    average clarity

6  Moonman   race sets up for a late runner like this gelding of Keith Desormeaux's who has run two straight way over his head........back to a 12.5nw2 where he fits fine......should be motoring late

5  Wise Curlin   (3 1 2 0) in his only 3 route races with the blinkers off......they remain off today........Pedroza has been a good fit the last two races and wisely stays up for today

2  Miracle March   speed of the speed and with a 7 lbs weight break for bug boy Figueroa in the saddle.......and the apprentice has been quite good in route races

1  Shakalov


race 7    average clarity

1  River Echo   lifetime best and his last win was run 9 races back one turf to one mile dirt........same scenario today.......1st time Prat up........seems well-meant and dangerous

5  Sorry Erick   plenty of speed can set things up for this late runner who seems at his very best competing on the Santa Anita dirt.......Desormeaux brothers are starting to heat things up as a family affair of late

4  Little Scotty  SCRATCHED OUT OF THE RACE  after going 3 for 25 on the grass in his 1st 25 races this five-year old has gone 2 for 2 on the dirt winning by 5 3/4 & 7 lengths.....big step up today but plenty of potential to handle it.....Stakes race up next if he does

6  Clear the Mine

8  Magic Mark


race 8    average clarity

7  Camps Bay   all four of his lifetime grass races look rather good at today's lower MC40K level and two of those races were down the hill........decent rider/trainer combo in Baze/Sadler......hard not to like today

1  Bob's Bad Boy   horrendous start in latest....toss the race out to some degree as he started from today's 1 post in a race down the hill like today.........rider knows him well so he will be well aware of the fact he isn't the best gate horse in the world........connections will have their fingers crossed he doesn't break any more than 2 lengths slow

2  Big Bad Gary  needs a rebound to his 2 Feb or 17 March form and the 2 Feb race was also down the SA hill turf course.......should be in the mix from the get go and be tough in the late stages if he provides a rebound in form

3  Courtship

6  Pastorelli