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A CLOSER LOOK at Santa Anita on 10/05
1st Santa Anita
At the top of her game currently, firing 2 big ones at Del Mar and showing some heart to hang in there despite pressing a very strong pace; draws the rail, takes a plunge in class and catches a paceless bunch; hard not to like her to wire this bunch based on last pair, the pick.
Popped a huge Beyer in the Fairplex win, which was the 1st start off the claim by winning barn that obviously has this win going better than ever; no 17-1's this time, but strictly the one to beat off the sharp score.
Barn excels in 1st-time off the claim winners; this maiden-only winner would need to run a career-best Beyer to be considered a major threat here; remembering in April off a similar layoff that Sturge Weber easily handled her.
Rough trip in latest and changes rides for 4th straight race; earned some minor awards trying to get through the claiming ranks and has played the role of beaten favorite 4 times in 11 races; will take some money again and should be rolling up late as usual, but record does not encourage for backing on top.
Santa Anita maiden win is surrounded by 4 poor races; 1st time in for a claiming price and sure looks like she has her work cut out for her based on last 2 dull Del Mar races.
Never like a runner with 3 and a half more 2nds than wins; won on the Santa Anita mud last spring and an off track moves her up the most here; could use some help up front with someone pressing Sturge Weber; minor award looming.
2nd Santa Anita
$50K 2yo purchase is by a sire which is ordinary with firsters and from a stakes-winning dam listing 3 winners from as many prior foals; barn is strong with both 2yo's and firsters while the works have been fairly ordinary; like fact that she picked it up a bit when working from the gate; consider.
Blinkers go on for this try after a runner-up finish in slow time last out; this one certainly owns an experience edge here and that coupled with her tactical speed may make her tough; still she's a bet-against prospect if pounded in the tote.
Sire is solid with firsters while dam lists 5 minor winners from 7 prior foals; like the work-tab in this corner and the bullet drills at tiny Sun Downs in Washington will make a believer out of most anyone - okay, not exactly; mixed signals.
Reine De Chateau
Pedigree leans toward distance with this one and those works seem to be those of a runner which will do best over a route of ground; don't see anything to indicate that she'll be with the leaders early and in this group she could drift well behind; outsider.
Limited, average data is available for sire with his debuters while dam's lone prior foal had not won through Y2K; strong human connections in this corner and the works are okay overall; maybe.
Toast Of The Year
Sire is decent with firsters while placed dam lists no winners from 2 prior foals; works have been sharp in this corner but only two of'em happened over this course; outside post may help her chances; not impossible in a race that something has to win.
3rd Santa Anita
Outrun by same group with Presidential Paul handling him by a dozen lengths; continues plunge, but 'Paul follows him down; couldn't be a worse try 1st time off the claim and outlook is dim.
No run when claimed away from Mullins; blinkers added today following 2 dull Del Mar races; away 7 weeks since last with blah works for reurn.
Argentina-bred showed he was competitive at a similar level when 2nd best at Fairplex and earning the best last-race Beyer; 4th start in USA for a barn that likes to win; winless on dirt thus far in career, but last was extremely encouraging and off that one must factor into exotics.
Can run near the front or off the pace, which is a dangerous combination; behind McAdam twice this summer, but clearly he has been the much better runner since; 5 wins over this strip and expecting him much closer to the front this time; the pick.
Speedball taken by good 1st time off the claim barn, but claimed from Mullins and we see how Brigadier Bill's form has tumbled since leaving the Mullins barn; the wins at Fairplex earned him a pair of very solid Beyers, his 2 best ever; the ability to handle Harbour Crossing from the gate is the key to success
Stretches out following a bland try at Fairplex in 1st start for new barn; should be a factor on the front end and should make life tough for Larron, who also wants the front; distance still a major question mark.
Should be a strong factor early and if he can stalk Harbour Crossing and Larron, that would be a dream trip; capable of throwing up an 80 Beyer and that figure wins this one; should be very tough at this level and has won over this strip; strictly the one to beat.
Take A Left
Pincay the most notable change as his claiming price doubles in price after winning a photo as the favorite; has fared well at this distance and was an upset 16-1 winner at Santa Anita in January; improving and have to include in exotics.
4th Santa Anita
Things weren't too pretty until he got a shot at FPX ? he appeared to like the bullring as he showed much more speed and actually stuck around; of course, we're no longer at FPX, he must step back up claiming price and meet tougher; shaky.
It's been pretty ugly so far; maybe you can excuse the first pair since one was his debut, the other came in the slop; then last time he came off the long layoff, with a lousy start, with blinkers for the first time; that being said, it's still tough to envision such a dramatic improvement this time around; longshot.
Seemed to be getting the hang of it at DMR; didn't try FPX but instead took a breather; good to see Pincay stay; certainly off his last 2 he's scary, and if he improves at all he's got a big shot.
Sire hasn't had enough starters to have any significant stats in terms of debut winners, according to DRF sire stats; unraced dam's 1st foal to race; it tells you something, too, when the horse doesn't make its debut until age 7, too; outsider.
Sire gets about 16% debut winners; dam's 2 other foals to race are both multiple winners; dam was 7 for 30 for about $62k on track; plenty of works, including some fast ones; worth a long look.
Lucky Mister K
It's Baffert so you expect he'll take some money; horse has speed, but gave way badly in most of his races; dropped to this level last time, was the 2-1 choice but faltered badly; of course, he had the rail and dueled, not a prescription for success at DMR; worked well since and Baffert skipped FPX with him; too early to give up on.
Yet to make much of a dent, and note his last 3 races, all at FPX, all came vs. weaker; these aren't monsters but they're better than those foes; longshot.
Got stuck on the HOL rail in his debut, was off slow, didn't do much running and hasn't been seen since; W. Stute can surely get them ready, and it's too early to say this guy doesn't have ability; works are decent, particularly as Warren tends to work them sloooooow; food for thought.
Flashed decent speed at DMR, then almost got the job done twice at FPX; figures to show his speed, and he just worked smartly here for Velazquez; doesn't hook much other speed, though Sillio Season to his right figures to press him from the get-go; scary if able to fend off 'Season because no one else in here has really shown all that much.
Debut at 39-1 when earning an 83 Beyer was excellent; didn't run badly at FPX but now returns to a big track; well drawn outside where his speed can either press Weeks Bay or if Enriquez wants, make the running; huge threat.
5th Santa Anita
You kinda wonder what happened; after all, last summer he looked like a comer, then he returned from a long layoff and picked up where he left off; however, he hasn't been nearly as effective since, at least until last time with a good run at FPX; but was that a sign of a turnaround or did he just love FPX? There's the rub; also doesn't have a ton of speed but his races have come vs. tougher; mixed feelings.
Considering he was gone a year and a half that return run wasn't bad; also note he took some money (11-1); still, it's tough to know where he fits vs. winners and remember his only win came going just 4fs ? sure he figures to show speed again but how far can he carry it? iffy.
U U Star
Last was much better after a couple dud; even though he beat $62,500 foes sprinting on dirt at HOL that level must be too much for him; did better last time on the drop and moves down another notch here; respect.
Yet to be effective vs. winners, but was it a case each time of being overmatched or in a bad situation? maybe this is the proper level, and maybe he doesn't want to route; throw out the routes and he doesn't look as bad; also good to see Solis take the call; can't dismiss, and the number may well tempt you.
Had been a serious disappointment for Ellis, but then found himself when Abrams took him to FPX; does it mean he's turned the corner, or did he just love the bullring? well, maybe it was a bit of both; if it a sign he's turned it around then he's got a shot here, particularly as he's shown some versatility of late; if FPX was the reason, well.
King La Boo
Has some back class and while he drops for this at least he doesn't drop through the floor and Spawr's main guy Laffit takes the call; Spawr isn't averse to dropping them a bunch, so the fact he didn't do it bodes well; certainly has speed and showed in June and July he has what it takes to handle this caliber if right ? though that's a mighty big 'if'; consider.
Went far too fast early last time at FPX and paid the price; before that he made a threatening move into a :44.60 half and paid the price; Tyler, who was up for his last win, takes the call here and knows if he can save something for the finish he's got a big player here; horse has speed and certainly fits but has been his own worst enemy of late; another good omen ? hot trainer Mullins saw fit to claim him back last time; very scary.
Pretty reliable as a closer, and note his lone win came here; just failed to tag Love That Lion Aug. 10 and that guy has since rattled off a couple more big wins, including a stakes at F PX; back at his claimed level for Hess Jr. who isn't against dropping them off the claim ? the fact he doesn't do that bodes well here; quite playable.
6th Santa Anita
Promise in debut, really has not run that well since; show horse 2 back won a maiden $20k seller in next by a half length; like the fact he was 5 clear in last; could get a slice again.
Troubled as beaten chalk; runner has enough speed to be in first flight; show horse two back returned to win a maiden $20k seller to bring his record to one for 10; winner of 1/27 race won a N1x in next for fun, then hit the bench; shot in weak affair.
Took a little action in debut, didn't run all that bad; tough to stable off the grounds and win on main circuit; it's just one more obstacle; trainer has done well with a small barn; has to hurry.
Tough to build a strong case off two dull Fairplex events; place horse in debut returned to win a maiden $20k seller by 5; gets a positive rider move to Garcia, still needs a major turn around.
Looks like the one to beat; he's been in the hunt a few times but hasn't been able to close the deal; works solid for patient trainer; love the blowout right on top of race; it appears it is his race to lose.
Had excuse of mud in debut; flashed :21 and change speed at Pomona, nailed real late; place horse in debut has won twice since, both up north; live rider helps chances; rates long look for all the marbles.
At least this guy is capable of flashing brief speed; his best Beyer came in a race off the bench; another in from Pomona; in light, backers should get a brief thrill at least.
Has trained okay for this but probably did before his debut as he went 6-5; wide from post 11 last time; check out the best of 18 move sandwiched between two dull moves; keep one eye on the tote with this guy in mind.
Figured to run better first crack for a price but still saw all the heels; now gelding hits rock bottom; off board in all three local starts, runner really has limited speed, tough to love.
Didn't break in bow, was wide in next; was a ice cube on the board in both outings; move on 9/28 can't really get the engine started; can't see it.
Was carried out at Pomona; place horse in May 5 fray won a maiden $32k seller in next, was off the board in 4 straight; show horse 4/14 came back to graduated vs. DQ and most recently beat a $25k claimer band at Mateo 9/8; lost heart breaker last time in Arcadia; repeat of that race makes him very tough.
7th Santa Anita
A stakes caliber 5 pack lines up for this one; this guy should take to hillside; he's chased some monsters like Caller One and outgamed pro Lexicon 2 back; pace duel sure would help chances; connections need to hope somebody duels Islander into the ground.
A replay of the 1990 San Simeon?; could be; both of the principals figure to get similar trips; chased a nice horse 7/27 as Spinelessjellyfish returned to win the Cal Cup Turf in a heater; he's hit board in every hillside outing; that's solid.
Has exchanged wins with foe on direct inside in the past; came from just off the pace in win on hill but would figure him to be on the lead today since he is so fresh; winner of 4/22 fray returned to win a $80k optional to bring his record to 11 for 24 and $406k bankroll; the bad news: he does have a tendency to get late.
Seven for 10 on the hill; enough said; place horse in 2001 debut returned to win a classified allowance and be stakes placed in Grade 2 company twice; show horse that day won a Grade 2, the Eddie Read, and was third in the Arl. Million on a course he probably didn't like; bullets loaded and aimed.
No clue in Triple Bend; winner returned to win the Kings Bishop and run second in the Vosburgh; he did face a nice runner in Paga; that guy has won the Osunitas at the beach and was third in the Grade 3 Violet at the Meadowlands 9/28; tough spot here, tab for later on.
8th Santa Anita
Improved in second off the layoff situation to open year at 12-1; winner of last returned to win on the drop by 2 lengths; won going away going short in local win; late threat if at all.
Forgive last; not many can get that trip even at Pomona; this is his favorite distance; runner brings a bit of back class to party, he beat double this priced runner in May; don't sell too short.
Pay the Premium
Won at this same level in spring here; his style is the concern; tough at any level to concede a dozen or so lengths; there is a little pace in here but it is not overly subscribed; figures to be coming late.
Been a long time between drinks for this guy; one of his best races showing was locally but in the mud in March; looking for an angle?; check out trainer's gaudy stats when he takes off the blinkers; rates longshot look.
Good barn, runner is sharp, and he made a clever move last time to control race around the turn; winner of Del Mar finale came back to win a $12.5k starter at Pomona; don't reject him from exotic consideration.
Gelding has more wins than anybody in cast, he surprised similar across town this summer, and he's got enough speed to gain good position; erase last, some runner just don't excel on a 5 furlong oval; interesting.
Only win this year was in Northern Arizona vs. soft group; the second in a live fray 7/29 gives him the credentials to fire here; he has not shown similar speed since; the trip will be everything.
Cee the Field
Back at claimed level, 2 for 28, and he has blanked this season; basically just runs around the track; checked and was climbing the day he was claimed; those are not the signs of a happy horse; tread lightly.
This is his league; he stopped the last 2 times at Fairplex, toss the race; like the way runners in company line in Del Mar finale were clear; Solis will send, will be hard to collar.
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