12/31/2016 10:31AM

Golden Gate analysis for Monday, Jan. 2, 2017


BEST BET: Jami Racer (3rd race)

First Race
1. Mojave Desert 2. Wake 3. En Avant

MOJAVE DESERT is making his first start in nearly 11 months. He's been working nicely and will be dropping for his comeback. Like the six-furlong bullet drill on Dec. 22 for barn that does show a positive ROI after long layoffs. Watch for him late under the leading rider from the fall meet. WAKE is winless here in 26 starts, but he merits a look based on consistent efforts. He has scored all three of his career victories at this distance and is coming off a decent effort. EN AVANT is basically cutting his claiming price in half here. He did run second in his first start over the main track here when running at the bottom level so the drop could be significant. Does have a decent half-mile drill since his last start.

Second Race
1. Go Mojave Go 2. North Pacific 3. Man From Lagos

GO MOJAVE GO hit the board in his past two starts at the bottom level and winds up in the bargain basement with today's slight drop. He was sinless last year, but he has enjoyed his best success here and has enjoyed good success at this distance. NORTH PACIFIC makes his third start since his return here from spending his summer at Emerald Downs. The races have been widely spaced. He didn't have enough in the tank to hold off the top pick last time and is losing the 10-pound weight break with today's jockey switch. MAN FROM LAGOS hasn't won in ages but has been a pretty consistent runner at the bottom levels. He has a nice three-furlong bullet at Pleasanton since his last start. Don't ignore him as a value play in your exotics.

Third Race
1. Jami Racer 2. Smiling Ann 3. Irish Luck

JAMI RACER comes north for the first time. She's had five turf starts but has yet to hit the board on the surface. She has run well enough, though, that she'll likely go off the favorite here. Her dam has multiple stakes placing on grass. All four siblings are winners, including a graded stakes winner. SMILING ANN has not missed a check in her career and has been the runner-up in both starts since stretching out. She's the first foal of a winless dam and is making her turf debut. Sire doesn't have strong stats with turf first-timers but has enjoyed some success with turf runners. IRISH LUCK set the pace in her debut when going one mile. She trailed two of today's rivals in that race but is capable of improvement here. Her Belmont-winning sire is a good turf sire.

Fourth Race
1. Allaboutaction 2. Hypnatique 3. Awesome Silver

ALLABOUTACTION may begin concentrating on sprints now. He's 3-for-6 sprinting, including a nice wire-to-wire score against easier last time after 11 weeks on the sidelines. He has good speed but doesn't need the lead. In fact he actually rated a bit in his lone victory at one mile. He's meeting tougher, but he has three maintenance drills since his victory. HYPNATIQUE has won at this level before and has proven to be a solid sprinter here. He hasn't done much in his past two starts after a freshener, but he should be set up nicely for this. His best probably wins, but he's going to have to show big improvement. The odds could merit a long look. AWESOME SILVER is a solid but underrated sprinter. He circled the field as he rallied for second at this level last time when returning from a three-month layoff.

Fifth Race
1. Ain't No Other 2. Cartoonist 3. Moonshine Bay

Past-classer AIN'T NO OTHER won at this level last fall and has followed up with a second and third, losing by less than a length both times. He likes this track and is a solid sprinter both on the main track and turf. Stalking style will have him in position throughout. CARTOONIST placed in stakes in three straight races on the fair circuit. It looked as if he was trying to steal a purse last time after a seven-week layoff. He set the pace early but had little left, although the race was better than it appears on the surface. He's capable of winning and has won four of seven starts here. MOONSHINE BAY has won since sitting out over a year after scoring his last win in 2015. He's getting a huge drop here as he makes his first start following a five-month layoff. Note, though, he lost to the top who was then his stablemate in a 2014 stakes and trailed the second choice in a Pleasanton stakes after running second in sprint stakes on the turf here last year.

Sixth Race
1. Gallant Heat 2. White Falcon 3. Iz Invincible

GALLANT HEAT makes his turf debut here as he makes his third start following a seven-week freshener. He tried two turns for the first time in his last start and closed nicely for second. He's by a turf sire who has good success with firsters on the surface. His stakes-winning dam ran all right on turf and two of her six foals who have run on turf have won. WHITE FALCON has hit the board in both starts since stretching out. This is his first try on turf, and breeding suggests top pick should like it more than he does. Dam was 0-for-3 on grass, and her two foals that have tried turf have not won on the surface. IZ INVINCIBLE ran fourth in his debut going one mile, finishing behind the second choice nearly two months ago. He has worked steadily of late, including a nice five-furlong bullet. His sire does well with first-timers on turf.

Seventh Race
1. Tony Tequila 2. Star Express 3. King's to You

TONY TEQUILA was dropped to this bottom level last time. He raced wide as tried to rally from the outside just as he is today. He hung badly in the lane, but he has a pair of works since then. He rallied wide when he earned his diploma and does seem more comfortable when outside rivals. STAR EXPRESS graduated at the bottom level in his debut here and was definitely overmatch with an aggressive placing against better in his first start against winners. He was a consistent check earner down south so expect him to be a factor in the lane here for high-percentage barn. KING'S TO YOU hit the board in his first two starts at this level before a disappointing try when favored last time. Blinkers come off here for the first time since his second career start.

Eighth Race
1. Jayhawker 2. Knust 3. Manitou

JAYHAWKER had been running well of late. He sat a little closer than he usually does behind a solid pace last time and fell apart late. Though he's winless on the turf, he has run decently on the surface and was second in his last grass start. KNUST moves back to the turf today. He graduated at this distance over this course. He stretched out last time after a pair of sprints following a 10-week freshener. He got fanned wide and made a big move into the stretch but hung late. Does have a decent work since then. MANITOU makes his third start following a layoff. He's been no factor at double-digit odds in those two starts after graduating in September. He should be set for a solid try here and can add value to your exotics.

Ninth Race
1. Barcelo 2. Pulpit Hanna 3. That's Your Story

BARCELO is bidding for a repeat after dropping to this level and winning at this distance. She sat back early and moved up steadily. She would not be denied in the lane, putting in a determined run that saw her inching away late. She seems to like this track, winning three of nine starts here. PULPIT HANNA had a good 2016 and has hit the board in her past eight starts. She's been part of the exacta in her past four starts for this tag including last time when she was run down late by the top pick. THAT'S YOUR STORY completed the trifecta behind the top pair last time and is capable of doing it again here. She has run third n five of her past six starts. The other start was a win. She'll be finishing late like the top pick who got first run on her last time.