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Santa Anita for Wednesday 26 December 2018

Opening day for the Santa Anita winter meeting is something special with great racing and that sure is the case today. OK card handicapping wise. Friday's card predictably falls off in quality but it sure appears to be a good one to play..

Best of luck as always!


race 1    average clarity

4  Taelyns Prince   never easy to tell which N Cal drop down in claiming invaders are here to be claimed or are here to drop into to easy spot to grab a win and get away with it without being claimed.......obviously I am leaning on the 2nd scenario

5  Twentytwentyvision   seven-year old gelding has seen better days but has enough time off in 8 1/2 weeks to get his act together physically speaking........and the fact that Rosario takes the mount supports the idea of a rebound of sorts today

2  Play Hard to Get   trainer is good with layoffs of 45 to 90 days........2 months since this fellow's latest which isn't bad.......and.......the last time he had a similar layoff (2 1/2 months) he ran a strong that he hasn't matched since

1  Fritz Johansen

9  Orchestral


race 2    below average clarity

5  Chatty   drop makes sense as this filly has not done a thing since graduation day on 16 September.......that and it is a good sign that Michael McCarthy legs up Johnny V who he likely has a solid connection with going back to when he was Todd Pletcher's assistant out East

6  Come On Kat   filly is on the right end of the learning curve and races 1st out for Jerry Hollendorfer following the claim........latest which was at today's same claiming level is better than appears in print and fits well here

3  Naughty Sophie   very dangerous speed type and seems to have about a 70% shot at snatching the front end.......and considering she is conditioned by Peter Miller that is a dangerous proposition for the opposition

2  Empress of Lov

8  Easter Dream


race 3    below average clarity

7  I Am the Danger   on the improve with each and every race since the O'Neill claim 3 races back........7F is a question mark but I like that the hot riding bug boy Figueroa is up for his lone mount of the day

1  Wilshire Dude   1 for 1 at the 7F distance.......lifetime best and a strong fit here was the only time this three-year old got to race on a fast rated main track.......and he did it in a one turn mile at GP........that bodes well for his chances of going 2 for 2 at the somewhat specialty distance of 7F

4  Rinse and Repeat   most of his dirt races since adding the blinkers eight races back fit fine here.......but he does tend to hang in the stretch

6  Shane Zain

9  Street to Indy


race 4    average clarity

3  Ms Bad Behavior  very solid when racing on the SA turf (6 2 4 0) and she is versatile as she performs well on or off of the lead......should get a nice trip especially with the more than capable hands of Joel Rosario at the controls

1  Amandine   very impressive in her 1st endeavor in the USA winning by a widening 3 1/4 lengths despite not the best of trips......the nw alw effort is very deserving at a shot in this small Stakes race

7  Streak of Luck  seems to show up every time and she has had very low percentage grass riders in 6 of her 10 lifetime grass races......not today with Smith sticking around for a 4th straight mount on her......last is her best ever and fits fine here

6  X S Gold

8  Love and Peace


race 5    average clarity

9  Scalper   6 consecutive gate works to finish up his a.m. preparation and the last three were very impressive (best of 60 - 2nd best of 61 - 2nd best of 69).......yet another Bob Baffert 1st time starter who appears meant and ready to roll in his MSW debut.........what's new

1  One Bad Boy   another who finished up his morning preparation with a flourish......back to back 111:2 6F works at slr......sure seems very dangerous and ready despite the fact Baltas is only 8 for his last 90 with MSW 1st time might hurt or would have considered him as top pick-a-rue

10  Jumpin Thru Hoops   Peter Miller 1st time starter appears rather wound up with his last four works spaced only 6 days apart......that interval training likely has this colt muscled up and ready for his debut into the wonderful world that is Thoroughbred racing

2  Ka'nah

6  Mo Mississippi


race 6    average clarity

5  Dream Tree   5 for 5 lifetime and consistently works like she is something very special.......and she has a nice stalking style which so many great runners hot rider/trainer combo in Van Dyke & Baffert as in 8 for their last 15......yikes

4  Emboldened   2 for 2 lifetime running fresh (a winning MSW debut and also won off of a 3 month layoff in May) and training as if she is deserving of today's significant step up into a Grade 1.......the Baffert "other horse" scenario

9  Spiced Perfection   nicely improved since the blinkers became part of her arsenal 3 races our 2nd choice she seems very deserving of today's step into the big time.........she should be motoring late

2  Mo See Cal   SCRATCHED

7  Hot Autumn


race 7    above average clarity

5  River Boyne   undefeated on the Santa Anita turf course with 5 wins and two of those wins were at today's 8F distance........continues to train like a happy healthy individual.......retains top turf jock Prat who knows him very well having been aboard for most of his 13 career races

10  Shivermetimbers   solid alw win in his latest despite a wide trip.....but what we want is his effort 3 back which is exceptionally good and disguised by a bad start and a wide trip up near the lead......earned 11L of trip adjustment and a Santucci fig that is about 4 to 5L better than par for today's G2 super.......1st on the grass but owns an OK pedigree for it......should be a price

7  Desert Stone   2 for 4 at SA on the grass......0 for 7 everywhere else.......lifetime best was run 2 back at SA where he was only 1/2 length behind our top pick at the our 2nd pick he should go off at a handsome price

3  Gidu

9  Gemonteer


race 8    above average clarity

2  Battle of Midway   ultra consistent when he stays put and races in S Cal instead of out-of-town.......(6 4 1 1) at SA and 2 for 2 at today's distance.........Prat rides him all the time so that should be a big plus........should be one tough cookie as usual

3  Dabster   nearly beat our top pick in his latest and continues to train awfully well.......that and Talamo appears to fit him as Joe is (4 2 1 1) on him since picking up the mount........this up and coming Baffert runner should be prominent from the get go

8  Air Strike   vastly improved since Phil D'Amato took over the training of this three-year old colt........only race run at SA is his lifetime best and the strength of the race will be disguised to most

7  Gift Box

9  Beach View


race 9    average clarity

9  Ax Man   1st time running as a gelding seems much more significant than it usually is......because.......for Baffert and company to geld this fellow with the ability he has already shown they must really believe it will help him immensely.......and his stout a.m. work sure suggests the surgery worked in a big way

3  Copper Bullet   (5 3 2 0) to start his career and he has handled 3 different tracks.....that bodes well for his chances of taking to the SA main track........just ran his lifetime best at CD in his 1st at the 7F distance.....and he did it off of a 15 month layoff

12  Kanthaka   3 for 3 at the somewhat specialized distance of 7 furlongs......and all of the wins were at was a G2 and another was a G3.........shoots for a G3 today off of some impressive a.m. work

14  Solomini

13  McKinzie


race 10    average clarity

4  Acker   four-year old has never been better and considering Peter Miller is the trainer he seems likely to hold form and might be up for even better......if he has held form he should be tough.......more would be icing on the already sweet cake

3  Shaky Alibi   four-year old gelding got away with such an easy paced lead that I doubt he exited the race in anything but great shape.......if that is so lookout out this afternoon.......Bejarano took our top choice but Mike Smith wants the mount

1  Cupid's Claws   on the right end of the learning curve and his recent aggressive (tightly spaced solid works) hint his positive trend can continue this afternoon

12  Avalanche

8  Lucky Soul

7  Erotic

Posted on December 25, 2018 at 8:47 am by richs · Permalink
In: Free Information, Selections