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Santa Anita for Friday 4 January 2019

OK card today. Let's rate it a 6 on the 1 to 10 scale of things. 

Best of luck as always!


race 1    average clarity

3  Taki's Choice   won the only time the D'A ran this fellow for a tag.......1st time blinkers that day and this gelding wore them until his latest where they were taken off.......back on today and in for a tag........hmmm

9  Exultation   needs plenty of time between starts and gets it today......needs to be ready as it likely will be quite some time before he can get back to the track.......rider upgrade helps especially for a race down the hill

7  Bellerin   major rider upgrade and a solid work regiment says this gelding is ready for a rebound following an "up the track" effort in his latest.......Gaines is decent 1st time in claiming and 3rd out after a layoff both of which are the case today

6  Ice Kat

2  Hollywood Square


race 2    below average clarity

6  Princess Leia   SCRATCHED OUT OF THE RACE  tepid top selection might be in a bad race / good race / bad race mode and if she is this is the desired side of the pendulum.....that and she is best on the SA dirt where she is 3 for 8

2  Miz Tianjin   3 for 6 at Santa Anita and 0 for 7 everywhere else......race 2 back which was her last endeavor at SA is much better than it appears as she broke poorly and ran wide

1  Smart Rachel   lead type only so far to date as both of her lifetime wins came the only two times she had the early her long seems like a good idea as it enhances her chances of getting a loose lead


race 3    average clarity

6  Normandy Beach   latest which was run off of a long layoff is nicely disguised in its strength.......dueled inside in a decent set of fractions on a dull inside..........predictably tired........5 works since........Jeff Mullins has been rather hot the last few months

4  Aggressivity   takes that magical drop from MSW racing to maiden claiming........seems slightly suspicious but Ellis is 23% with the move with his last 22.......blinkers on and with a big gate drill showing.........very dangerous if his good health is intact

3  Stonegate   another taking the MSW to MC plunge........again like our 2nd choice it seems slightly suspicious that Sadler is dropping this colt.......but very dangerous if he is still feeling OK

7  Paladar


race 4    average clarity

2  Foxtail   very good figure earned in her latest which was vs the boys........good last time a very good grass rider gets the call.......five year old mare has only run one dull effort the six times she has raced at one mile on the grass like today

8  Take a Leap   seems to slightly prefer the SA grass and appears to appreciate running fresh........8 weeks "fresh" today.......Mike Smith stays up........would have considered as the top choice if the rails weren't out 30 feet as the outer-most 8 post at 30 feet is awfully close to the 1st turn making it tough to get on over

6  Drift Away   filly has plenty of run but tends to find trouble but when she does get a decent (ground saving) trip she is formidable as in 12/31/17 - 3/3/18 - 7/4/18 - 8/5/18 (3 wins and a 2nd).......T C Baze likes the wood

7  Sugary

4  Trust Fund Kitty


race 5    below average clarity

2  Junior Gilliam   big race off of 47 days rest two back at SA........62 days rest for this afternoon's race and a very solid work tab.....that and this six-year-old is (13 4 5 2) racing on the SA dirt......drop to 25K doesn't concern me much as Hollendorfer took this fellow for 20K

3  Denman's Call   another who seems best at SA........gelding has seen better days so O'Neill and company see fit to drop again and why not as she has earned only about 5K since 11 March of 2017.......ouch

6  Big League   gelding is by far at his best on conventional dirt (19 4 5 2).....not sure why the connections see fit to race on any other surface.......1st start for Mike Puype.....that is often a good thing


race 6    average clarity

6  Omaha Beach   ran a very close 2nd in his last two grass races which produced two solid grass figs and those numbers were supported by the fact that the winners came back to win their next out.......1st on the dirt but owns a very good pedigree to handle it

7  Nolo Contesto   bad trip hides a par like MSW debut which was likely only a tune-up for today's route race.......and the connections didn't shell out $385K to own a since his debut are very stout......all systems go for Sadler and company

4  Asano   last which was his 1st at a route is better than appears in print (wide on the 1st turn to grab a fast paced lead).......switch to bug boy Espinoza who is by far at his best in dirt routes.......if this colt benefited from his last he can be very tough to wheel in today with the 5 lbs bug boy up

2  Railman

10  Green Fleet


race 7    average clarity

6  Travieza   very good history when today's rider Bejarano is up and that includes races down the majestic Santa Anita hill grass course (4 2 1 1).........Doug O'Neill appears to be in go mode and has a decent opportunity to keep the ball rolling here

7  Tonahutu   runs well fresh and this mare is 8 weeks fresh today........this 6 1/2 furlong turf race lacks early speed but that might be a plus in this affair with plenty of speed signed up........also signed up is top echelon rider Joel Rosdario

2  Okinawa   Baltas is red-hot and his hot streak might continue here with this five-year old mare who is training extremely well

3  A Little Bit Me


race 8    average clarity

7  Cylde's Pride   seemingly only one other speed horse to cope with who happens to be our 3rd selection........Hollendorfer has been a little chilly (by his lofty standards) to start the meet but might lite the fire here

5  Minoso   six furlongs seem best for this gelding who appears to have the best shot of the off pace runners in this field......connections will likely have their fingers crossed that the 7 & 8 duel each other into oblivion

8  Raul Rosas   very impressive MSW debut at four years of age way back in July 2017.......away since but working as if he is all heeled up from whatever was ailing him........this is almost like a 1st start all over again......and we know what he did in his MSW debut

3  Leroy

6  Cyclometric


race 9    below average clarity

9  Unusual Rider   strong route pace displayed by this colt in all three of his lifetime races two of which were on the grass.......these kind usually perform awfully well the 1st time they run on the SA hill.......Van Dyke wisely stays put

10  Brix   woke up some in his 2nd lifetime start and 1st out with Baltas as the trainer.......showed solid pace and held together much longer than he did in his debut.......but what I really like his pedigree to take to the far the trainer is making all the right moves this meet.......1st time racing as a gelding.......should be a price

6  Unusual Angel   only beaten by 1 1/4 for the win in his lone grass race which turned out to be a key one.......rider is often at his best with off pace turf types and this colt will be coming from the clouds here


11 AE  Trending Higher    SCRATCHED OUT OF THE RACE

8  Tiger Hunter

2  Vezuchiy




Posted on January 4, 2019 at 8:36 am by richs · Permalink
In: Free Information, Selections