- The Racing Digest - https://racingdigest.com -

Santa Anita for Saturday 29 December 2012


Rain appears to be on the way which is seldom a good thing when it comes to an equal playing (neutral) racetrack. We shall see. I gave extra selections in the grass races if they are taken off the turf because quite a few of those off the turf picks will elect to scratch out.

Best of luck as always and that could start with Arcadia missing the rain.


race 1    slightly above average clarity   

2  Appealing Tale   earned very strong adjusted for trouble and/or pace figures in both lifetime starts......same effort/energy displayed today with a smoother journey and this colt will be difficult to overcome.....bred fine to get the mile

4  Mentor Case   good lifetime MSW debut for this Bob Baffert runner both pace and final time wise........good opportunity to build on the effort and go gate to wire in 2nd lifetime start.....also bred well to get the mile

6  Doctor Spin   late runner didn't like the AW in latest or the grass in his MSW debut 3 back......in between those 2 efforts he ran well on the conventional dirt at SA......late runner should be motoring down the stretch if the 2 and the 4 turn up the heat too much in the early stages

9  Inflamed Spirit

Long-shot possibilities:   10  Starzilla   broke a little slow.....ran a little wide.......and blocked a little on the turn......and still closed well to only get beat by 1/2 dozen lengths........and Sherman is dismal with 1st time starters and decent with 2nd time starters........also Sherman is good 1st time at a route........hmmmm


race 2    slightly below average clarity

1  Et Tu Walker   all four lifetime sprints are better than appear on paper......off since mid summer but drills suggest that O'Neill is bringing back this 3 year old ready

9  Traweek   long overdo drop to a more realistic level........appreciates the abbreviated sprint distance of 5 1/2F and appears to favor the SA dirt surface

3  My Last Tycoon   sure liked the conventional dirt surface albeit at Fpx.........needed his last 0ff of the 2 year layoff.......reassuring work since

7  Run For MIles


race 3    average clarity

7  Boller Bomb   fell off form in latest but given ample time to recover........sharp drills put in by Avila........1st time Bejarano.......and wisely runs at lowest level ever........seems ready to battle for the diploma

12  Katy's Star   disliked the sod and/or route in latest........ran her eyeballs out 2 races back veering badly about 10 lengths at the start ..........and still managed to run 2nd in a 12 horse field.........sharp reassuring work since her last

2  Medusalina   5 1/2 furlongs looks like a good fit........jockey upgrade from a cold jock to a hot one........love the decent 5F and 6F drills put into this filly which should help her endurance this afternoon

4  Miss Fun Run 


race 4    average clarity  

(if off the turf   way below average clarity  6-7-12-11-5-4)

5  Marcyjane   both lifetime SA hill turf races are better than par when adjusted for trouble and both are disguised by poor trips/position.......1st time Bejarano in an attempt to get it right.......and that is usually a good thing

4  Little Unusual    Abrams filly runs well with short rest.......13 days qualifies.......last turf sprint 3 races back was run off of short rest and it was a big effort and it was hidden by a poor trip-a-roo

11  Three Blondes   1st time running under the guidance of Clifford Sise and Sise is a very dangerous trainer bringing a horse back off of layoffs......fits fine if this filly is ready and if she is she most likely will be prominent from the get go

7  Peppy Bolly


race 5    average clarity

1  Pink Lollipops   seems like the best speed in this group especially if our 2nd choice takes back some as I expect he will......last win came off a 2 month freshening in a race at SA at 6 1/2 furlongs.....same scenario today

5  Teddy's Promise   seems best stalking the lead and has a good opportunity to do just that in this spot......2 for 2 at today's 6 1/2F distance......back to Espinoza who knows this filly well

8  Journaliste   last seems like the gimme to be at full throttle today in this fillies 2nd lifetime run in the good old U S of A.......impressive recent 111:1 6F work 

7  Snow Fall


race 6    slightly above average clarity  

(if off the turf   slightly below average clarity  3-4-10-5-2

8  Gabriel Charles   pounded at the windows in latest.......(as our top pick).......and ran like he was bet to win convincingly........that race was his 1st ever on the grass in a sprint.....bred fine to get 1 mile on the sod as well.......great chance to make it 2 for 2 on the lawn specially with Mullins (Mr. Turf these days) doing the training

1  Rising Legend   GB bred (2nd time out in the USA) colt just keeps getting better.......and better.......and better...........and...........

5  Under Review   strong grass race at AP in 2nd lifetime start........so........2nd out after a layoff seems like a good thing for this colt this afternoon

3  Ballard Ruler


race 7    average clarity

4  Dress The Part   significant forward move in last in breaking her maiden.......solid work series since........Proctor/Gomez with a seemingly very fit horse......that'll do

2  My Philly Girl   done little wrong in two lifetime races.........like her pedigree to handle a dirt racing surface with some degree of moisture in it and the rain appears to be coming 

1  Christmas Candy   on the right end of the learning curve with few reasons not to believe the positive trend can't continue

8  Magical Band


race 8    average clarity  

(if off the turf   average clarity  7-3-11-8-9)

10  Wilkerson   lifetime best in latest and it was 1st time for Mullins as the trainer......off since that race in May but working lights out for Jeff.....solid here if he repeats his May race and I think there is a good chance he will

7  Capital Account  has been facing some of the best dirt/AW sprinters in the USA.....1st on the sod but has an OK pedigree for it.......sure likes 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track so the SA turf hill distance seems like a good fit

3  Comma to the Top   four year old gelding loves the front end and might get it here........also runs OK from just off if which is an obvious plus if he isn't able to shake free in the early stages

4  Starspagled Heat


race 9    average clarity

8  Half Dome Dude   alarming drop (so was his last) but if he has one more race left in him he should be formidable here......last is somewhat hidden in that he was way too wide on a very good rail day

10  Afleet Deal   not much on the AW.....back to dirt should awaken to some degree......likes the 6 1/2F distance

3  Hidden Blessing   seems very sharp right now and will need his top form today as 6 1/2F isn't his best distance......tends to flatten late......but he is seemingly razor sharp and that makes him dangerous

5  Silencio Gato

2  Dance With Gable

6  Scofield Barracks