Updated on 09/15/2011 1:09PM

Santa Anita analysis for 10/05

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BEST BET: SILLIO SEASON (4th race)

First Race

1. STARSHIP SARATOGA 2. AMBER'S LOVE 3. STURGE WEBER

Trainer Bill Spawr's outstanding stats first-off-the-claim suggest STARSHIP SARATOGA is the right filly. Over the past 21 months, Spawr has won with 23 of 74 first-off-the-claim starters (31 percent), and the fact 'SARATOGA returns for a higher price than she was claimed for is a sign of confidence. She has enough speed to be within hailing range of the pacesetter, and can inherit the lead when than one falters. AMBER'S LOVE ran the race of her career last out, winning by two lengths with a relatively strong speed figure. She has won over a one-mile track also, and there is no reason why she can't bring her Fairplex Park form to Oak Tree. STURGE WEBER will lead as far as she can. However, she is already in for less than she was claimed for two starts back. The placement suggests she is regressing. The additional half-furlong does her no favors.

Second Race

1. FRAGRANT CLOUD 2. SURPRISINGLY 3. TOAST OF THE YEAR In a close call between two first-time starters, FRAGRANT CLOUD gets the slender nod over SURPRISINGLY. Trainer Paco Gonzalez is known for firing with firsters, and his rookie FRAGRANT CLOUD enters with a steady work tab. However, the workout pattern of SURPRSINGLY is impressive, and the daughter of Bertrando appears to have some quality. TOAST OF THE YEAR is bred for speed, and will impact the pace scenario. CHALIFIOUX looks to be a trial maiden. She has not made any progression since her debut four starts back, though she might wake up with blinkers-on.

Third Race

1. LARRON 2. MANLY VALENTINE 3. CAMPECHANO

LARRON is a win machine seeking his third straight. Claimed off a front-end win at Fairplex Park, he is quick enough to make the lead, and could be long gone first start for Barry Abrams. MANLY VALENTINE will motor late. He likes this track (5-for-19), and trainer Doug O'Neill has been holding a hot hand the past couple months. CAMPECHANO finished five lengths clear of third place in a highly-rated race at the Fair. A similar effort puts him right in the hunt, and he would be first over if the top choice fades. The outcome of this race will affect interpretation of race eight later on. Several runners in that race ran against several of the runners in this race.

Fourth Race

1. SILLIO SEASON 2. CHOICE CONNECTION 3. LUCKY MISTER K

SILLIO SEASON has speed to be forwardly placed, he'll be positioned right behind the suspect front-runners, and he can inherit the lead when the pace falls apart. The switch to Enriquez is a positive. CHOICE CONNECTION got his act together at Del Mar, finishing third and second in performances that compare favorably to these. LUCKY MISTER K is quick enough to make the lead. The front end is never a bad place to be in a maiden-claiming sprint.

Fifth Race

1. THRILLION 2. KING LA BOO 3. GATTO FORTUNATO

THRILLION turned around his career when dropped to the bottom and changing barns. The question is whether he can transfer his Fairplex form to Oak Tree. No reason why he can't. The gelding was bred to be a decent sort, and he has his confidence built up after two wins and a second on the bullring. Each start has been better than the one before. KING LA BOO has been freshened two months, and returns at his lowest level. Whatever his ability is these days, he is likely to show it first start back. Problem is, he is being managed as if his best days are behind him, yet bettors will wager on him expecting him to repeat past accomplishments. Bottom line - he will be underlaid. GATTO FORTUNATO will roll from the back of the pack. The fractions should be legitimate, so he will have his chance.

Sixth Race

1. FLEETING IDEA 2. COMMANDER LEE 3. TIMELY RUNNER

FLEETING IDEA is the field's only pure front-runner. He nearly stole a lesser race at the Fair, earning a decent enough speed figure after setting a wicked pace. If he can slow down just a shade early, he should be gone. The shorter distance helps his chances. COMMANDER LEE lost whatever chance he had when carried wide on the clubhouse turn. He did get back into the hunt, and did well to finish only four lengths back. He returns now to the track over which he ran his career-best race, and he will be running late. If the top choice cannot stay, it's anyone's race from behind. TIMELY RUNNER has never raced this cheap. Off since February, the gelding is likely to fire his best shot first start back. BALTIMORE exits a fast race. He fits well.

Seventh Race

1. EL CIELO 2. ISLANDER 3. KING SLAYER

EL CIELO is an absolute freak on this downhill course - seven wins and two photo-finish losses his last seven tries on this course. He runs well fresh, returns from an eight-month layoff with a string of sharp workouts, and he is simply the best horse in the race. The only knock is that his odds will be short. ISLANDER is eligible to get brave out front. He is the only true speed horse in the field, he has won down the hill, and his low-profile barn wins at a high percentage. KING SLAYER and STORMY JACK will roll from behind, though the pace is not likely to be particularly fast, and the speed types up front may have plenty left turning for home.

Eighth Race

1. DANCING AFLEET 2. LEAVEN 3. ESTRELLA PRISA

He might be completely shot, but class-plunger DANCING AFLEET may also have one more good one left. He has never raced this cheap, he has speed to be forwardly placed, and his effort one start back against $16,000 claimers would be good enough to beat this field of $10,000 claimers. LEAVEN finished a good third behind race-3 favorite Larron. The late-runner is in the hands of a hot barn, and will grind away late. If Larron won, give LEAVEN more credit. ESTRELLA PRISA returns to his proper class and will impact the pace sceanario. MYNAMEWASREJECTED won the highly-rated race from which race-3 contender Campechano exits. If that one ran well, give 'REJECTED more credit.

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