09/26/2013 2:10PM

Santa Anita: Closer Looks for September 27, 2013


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Race 1

Amy Jane
Quick breaker moves to the fence for the stretchout after showing some improved late interest when shades were added on the Del Mar main track second out; like almost all of these she'll try dirt for the first time here; SW dam did most of her damage at one turn so this may not be the trip at which she prospers, but she has only run twice and may prove to be the quickest of these early; they may have to run her down.
Like the way she recovered from some early trouble in her Del Mar sprint debut to pass runners late in that placing; her lone winning sib in the states was much better sprinting, but she's returned to work ok on this footing and have to think she benefits from the debut experience for a Baffert barn that excels with its second out runners; main danger.
Didn't take much money first out and the trip didn't help her much while tackling a trip that figured to be short of her best; lone sib to score in the states did so routing; expecting she'll have more to offer on the stretchout and this barn is profitable with its second out runners.
Lethal Story
Hasn't had much to offer in 3 synthetic spins and now she'll try dirt; works here are ok and she does have route experience under her belt, but this statebred looks to have a lot of improving to do to have a say in the outcome; kin to G1 SP, G2 SW and 655K earner Lethal Heat looms a long price of what she's shown thus far.
Lady Bugatti
She's the second runner in here for an outfit that hits at a big clip with its runners who have had a race; top half of her pedigree says the route will benefit her and she did return from the initial experience with a solid drill at Hollywood before coming here.
Loan Savant
Hood goes on for her second crack at the route after showing some late interest off wide, troubled trip first time going long at Del Mar; she's kin to a multiple route winner as well as juvenile SW and 134K earner Treadmill so maybe she's capable of taking a good step forward here; consider.
Be Proud
Third of the barn's runners in here is the only one in the heat who has run over a conventional dirt surface thus far and she was solid behind a speedy debut winner in that one; she's got solid tactical foot which figures to put her in a great spot early on the slight stretchout; they'll have her to beat.

Race 2

Eleven Zip
First foal out of a mare whose lone win came going long got off to a poor start in his debut and then made a nice move along the rail before flattening out late; he is certainly eligible to improve with a race behind him and could be a serious threat if he leaves there running.
Preacher Roe
Debuts for Miyadi who the past five years has a 14 percent strike rate with first-time starting juveniles; sire 2/19 with first time starting 2-year-olds; stakes-placed dam won 8 sprints earned $213K; sibs include a 2-year-old debut winner; would like him a lot more with at least one work over this surface.
Slewpy Again
He just missed the only time he ran for a tag and he is coming off a decent effort in his latest at Del Mar where he didn't get away that quickly but finished well; horse that finished first but was dq'd came back to win a Cal-bred MSW race at Del Mar with a 70 Beyer Speed Figure; consider for the exotics.
Oh Daddy Oh
He was sent off as the chalk in his debut but after showing good speed he came empty in the stretch; Miller has strong stats in all the relevant categories especially with horses going from MSW to maiden claiming and it is encouraging to see Gomez keep the faith; Grade 3 placed dam won going long and on turf; one of her first two foals is a minor winner; the pick.
Baffert a solid 26 percent the past five years with juveniles debuting in maiden claiming races; Heatseeker is 0/33 with debuting 2-year-olds; this is the first foal out of a mare that went unplaced in her only start; works just average but anything out of this barn has to be respected.
Johns Journey
Drops into a maiden claimer following a couple of decent efforts; horse that won his latest won the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity in his next start; the past five years Machowsky is 14 percent with horses moving from MSW to maiden claiming; like the fact that he's been here for a while; big shot.
Three solid races to begin his career and it won't hurt having Bejarano aboard for the first time; he broke a step slow in his latest and he also went pretty wide around the second turn which slowed down his momentum considerably; first foal to race out of a $272K Grade 2 placed mare looks like a major player.
He was sent off at 52-1 in his debut and after throwing his head at the start he never really got involved; all four sibs are winners the best being Kilat who has won a couple of races on turf and has banked $88K; looking elsewhere.
Time to Go Robo
He showed more when he moved to dirt but after pressing the pace he faded to finish fourth going about four furlongs; he'll have other speed to deal with here and it looks like he'll have a hard time keeping up with the added distance; only sib won the Barrets Juvenile but this guy needs to improve quite a bit to make an impact; passing.
He was right there in his first three starts in maiden claimers but then couldn't keep up when he jumped up to face straight Cal-bred maidens in the same race Slewpy Again finished fourth in; it looks like he wants to be involved right from the start and other speed in the field won't help his cause.
Code of Pleasure
HIs sire won the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint and is just getting started as a sire - 0/6 with first-time starting juveniles; this is the first foal out of a mare that won a single race going long; works are okay and note the strong stats Hoffmans has with horses debuting in maiden claiming races; don't be surprised if he comes out running.
He held a clear lead heading into the second turn but lost a lot of momentum when he blew the turn; only one turn to deal with here and it's isn't nearly as sharp; there is other speed in the field but he could be ready for a peak effort in his third start for a trainer that wins races at a high clip; contender.

Race 4

Navarre (GB)
His first start in America in his latest outing can be viewed in a positive light and now he shows up with Bejarano aboard; he's a full-brother to multiple G1 winner Proviso (9-23, $1.7 million, including 4 of 5 North American turf starts for 930k) and he's a 1/2 to G1 winner Byword (7-16, $1 million, including 0-for-1 over turf in North America).
Sire wins with approximately 12% of his turf starters and G2 winning dam won 4 of 23 starts for 251k, including 0-for-3 over turf; this colt is a 1/2 to Nandira (1-9, 39k over turf); he showed some early interest before tiring going a demanding distance at first asking.
Empty Headed
Half-brother to multiple stakes winner Mensa Heat (9-54, 516k, including 2 of 15 turf starts for 136k) has run well in his two starts at today's distance and it looks like there's plenty of early speed signed on to assist his late running style.
Maxx the Giant
He's still seeking his first career win in start number 13, but he has plenty of turf in his pedigree, and his improved recent form helps give him the look of a contender against these; that said, he might have a tough time avoiding an early pace dispute.
The addition of blinkers and move to turf seemed to really agree with this gelding at second asking and he's a 1/2 to multiple graded stakes winner Gotcha Gold (8-31, 933k, including 0-for-3 over turf); must consider.
Carlsbad Mountain
Sire wins with approximately 12% of his turf starters and dam won two of 10 starts for 70k, including 0-for-5 over turf; he has early speed, but turf and distance are concerns, as well as the time off he's needed between starts.
Seeking the West
Sire wins with approximately 16% of his turf starters and dam was unraced; he might be looking forward to a move to turf and this is a barn that can be ready for better the second time around.
Warrior's Ridge
He hasn't run a bad race through his first four starts, but with this being his first start in more than a year, it might not be a bad idea to just watch him today to try to figure out what he might be capable of going forward.
Power Ped
Respect the level of performance he showed up with in his first route attempt in his latest outing, but an ideal early pace scanario helped him along, and the early pace in here figures to be fast and contested.
Proven Warrior
Sire wins with approximately 8% of his turf starters and dam won 4 of 14 starts for 106k, including 1-for-1 over turf for 22k; winner from latest own next out at Dmr on 8/30 going 1m in a 100k stakes with a 92 Beyer and runner-up won next out at Dmr on 8/24 going 1 1/16m vs. MSW rivals with an 82 Beyer.
Boss of Me
He's basically been a model of consistency since his second career start, and he's clearly worthy of consideration underneath in the exotics, but he has been beatn by a couple of today's rivals in recent starts.
Ella's Kitten
East coast invader ran well in his first start for this barn after a claim in his latest outing and the runner up from that race returned to win next out at Bel on 9/20 going 1 1/16m vs. MSW rivals with an 81 Beyer.
Angel Charge
Half-brother to G3 winner Heavenly Landing (4-17, 244k over turf) needs to see a scratch from the main body of this race in order to draw in and the projected fast and contested early pace might play against his front running style.
Not wild about Bernardini as a turf sire and this gelding was much improved at second asking when placed over dirt; his dam was a G1 winner while winning 7 of 17 starts for 862k and he's a 1/2 to Blades Hill (7-29, 132k, including 3 of 10 turf starts for 88k).

Race 6

Ankeny Hill
Steps up to face older in his initial turf start after showing solid lick on synthetic footing at Del Mar; sophomore is by a sire who gets 7% initial surface winners from his offspring and the minor SW dam failed to hit the board in 3 turf spins prior to dropping a multiple sprint winner who never tried the footing; blowout earlier in the week suggests he'll be rolling from the bell and there doesn't look to be a lot to go with him.
Yankee Rebel
Goes back to Bejarano who was aboard for the near miss at the trip over this footing last winter; gelding did have some trouble on the Del Mar main last time and still wasn't beaten by much; lightly raced colt enters this on a Beyer upswing and has a right to keep improving; looms a threat.
Love de Car
Undefeated colt sped through quick splits in breaking his maiden against statebreds first time on the lawn at Del Mar and now he'll take on open company; he'll have added ground to deal with while making his first start over this tricky course, but it looks as if he'll have only the rail drawn runner to beat to the top in here; expecting he'll prove to be the one to run down.
Just missed getting to Cal breds when stretched back out on the Del Mar lawn last month; gelding returned to blow out well the other day and maybe that helps him be more alert early as he returns to a sprint trip; price should be right to give him an underneath exotics look.
U S Citizen
Didn't have enough late when sent long for the initial time at Del Mar, but now he'll turn back to sprint in his first start over the local course; colt has solid tactical foot and should find himself in a great spot just off the pacesetters from the bell; he's had trouble sealing the deal since moving in to face winners, but with a little extra to offer late at this shorter trip he could prove to be the one to beat.
Appealing Tale
Makes his surface debut off a solid third place effort over synthetic footing in his first start in 7 months; barn does well both second time off the break and with those moving to the green; sire gets 10% initial surface winners and the dam's lone foal to try the lawn hit the board just once in 9 tries over the stuff.
Just missed the last time he was on the green and his last effort over the course in the winter wasn't bad; gelding doesn't have much speed, though, and could need to overcome some traffic issues in order to factor in the outcome here; maybe for a share.
Unusual Heatwave
Had little to offer when stretched out on synthetic footing last time after returning from 11 months on the shelf in a shorter turf sprint than he'll try here; 4 year old was pretty good in stakes company last year and though it may not be his preferred footing, he clearly handles the lawn; barn's been blanked on the year, but returning to the course and trip of his maiden score he's one to consider at an improved price today.
My Samurai Warrior
Late runner has come up short in the lane in each of his last 2 route spins and now he'll turn back to the trip of his most recent score; don't know that the pace will be that hot in here, but he's run ok from out of it at this trip before; one to kep an eye on late.
On the Fence
Three year old ran out of ground after encountering trouble on the turn back to a shorter sprint trip last year; even at this trip the Cal bred figures to find himself well out of it early and could again find some traffic issues in a big field; he has worked well in the interim and should arrive on the scene late.
D' Obsession
Moved too soon in his first start in more than 4 months and paid the price for it late; expecting he'll be tighter with the try behind him and note that each of his 3 cracks at this trip was excellent; he's been working well in the interim for a barn that boasts sharp numbers with its runners second off the break; contender.
Blu Jon
Makes his return from 16 months on the shelf with a steady line of drills in tow; 6 year old ran well in both of his starts over the local course and he did break his maiden off a brief freshening; his best would put this sib to G2 SW sprinter and 227K earner Alpha Kitten right there but have to think he'll need at least one before we'll see the best he has to offer.
Solemn Oath
AE makes his first stateside start while tackling winners for the initial time for this new outift; he's been working pretty well of late on synthetic footing for this, but though he is kin to a surface winner he didn't have much luck on the lawn first out overseas; another who may be better with this one behind him.
Warren's Rail Bird
Rolled home to beat cheap limited winners at Fairplex a couple of weeks back and now he'll move back to the lawn; AE settled for a lot of minor awards prior to that and this will be the toughest bunch he's faced in a long time; can't use him if he gets to go.

Race 7

Tiz the Truth
First from Baffert ran off and hid the last time he was here but that was kind of a dull race in his latest at Del Mar in his first start since his impressive performance; he did break a step slow and had a wide trip, though; it's also possible he is just a better horse on dirt than on synthetics; half to Grade 2 San Rafael winner Notional could take a big step forward in his second start back; contender.
Second City
4-year-old is looking for his first win since he overcame a poor start to win the Grade 3 B.C. Derby at Hastings last year and maybe taking the blinkers off will help get him back on track; his only decent race he's had since he's been in California was on the turf so we're going to look in other directions.
Imperial Fortune
Second foal out of Grade 2 $989K House of Fortune has a right to be a good one and except for his debut he's fired every time; horse that beat him two back won the $100K El Cajon with a 92 Beyer Speed Figure in his next start; this guy was very game winning a maiden special weight race in his first try going around two turns and appears primed for a big effort; he also looks like the one they'll have to catch if he breaks alertly; the pick.
Soul Candy
Deep closer has run a few good races here including a fourth to Game On Dude in the 2011 Santa Anita Handicap so he won't mind the surface switch; his lack of speed isn't going help him in a race where they probably won't be going all that fast up front however; can see him getting up in time to pick up a minor slice but that's about it.
Planet Sunshine
Hard to knock a horse that has been part of the tri in 14 of his 17 starts and once again he was in the mix in the same race a few of these are coming out of; blinkers come off for the first time in his career and we're going to guess he wasn't wearing them when he fired a bullet across town on Sept. 19; no Espinoza but note the decent stats Delgado has riding for Sherman; contender.
Usbek Thunder (BRZ)
Avila has done well with horses shipping in from South America and he almost won a $62K optiional race at Del Mar with his most recent arrival from Brazil Holding Glory; he was coming off a win in a Grade 1 while this guy has been running in allowance races. the horse that beat him May 19 won a Grade 3 in his next start in Brazil; we're just going to watch and see how he fits.
He's had a hard time making it to the races this year and once again he is coming off a break; at least Pender has solid stats with horses coming back between 61-180 days; both of his wins came when he was coming back in a lot shorter time period, though; it also seems like he's better on turf or synthetics; prefer others.
Omega Star
Homebred had a nice run here last winter and spring and he could be coming up to a big race in the third start of his current form cycle; he also may have tipped his hand when he worked a bullet five furlongs in :58.80 second across town Sept. 19; no wins going around two turns but that was a pretty good second when he split Tiz a Minister and Surfcup in the $300K Cal Breeders here; strong connections add to his appeal; consider for the exotics.
Northern Iowa
Only two starts this year but he ran an improved race in his second start back and he could be sitting on a big effort; he was full of run when he finished second in front of Planet Sunshine in his latest and he came close to winning the Pomona Derby on dirt so he should be okay with the surface switch; he also has some tactical speed and if Gomez can get him into the race early he could make some noise late.

Race 8

Et Tu Walker
Tough to argue with anything he's done since being placed back over turf five starts ago, but if there is a negative to consider, he might be slightly sharper at distances shorter than today's 6 1/2f assignment; nevertheless, he merits contender status.
Respect the fact that this G2 stakes placed performer sports solid overall turf form, but this has to be considered an extremely tough spot for him to be looking to turn back to a sprint distance.
Multiple graded stakes winner has run some big races over turf in his career, and he's obviously capable of getting the job done if he's ready to return to action with a top try; however, that might be a lot to expect with this being his first start since January 2012.
Boat Trip
He's won four of seven since being placed over turf and he's won at distances ranging from 5 1/2f to a mile; however, he's going to need to produce a performance that earns him a career best Beyer Speed Figure if he's to come out on top in his graded stakes debut.
Unbridled's Note
All three of his starts sprinting over this turf course have been strong performances, and he won this event a year ago before being sent to post as the favorite in the BC Turf Sprint; he's proven that he can be ready to fire a good one when fresh and has to be viewed as being a top contender.
Handsome Mike
He's a graded stakes winner over synthetic and dirt and he has some fine turf form to look at as well; looking at this as a tough spot for him to try sprinting over turf again, but he did break his maiden over this turf course and at today's distance.
Rock Me Baby
Multiple stakes winner doesn't seem to know how to run a bad race, and when seeing what he did sprinting in his first few starts, the turn back in distance doesn't figure to bother him at all; his recent workouts look sharp and like to see Maldonado aboard once again.
Chips All In
A strong case can be made for this colt being better of sprinting than routing, and if he performs the way he did in his two starts over this turf course at today's distance, he'll be a legitimate threat to walk away with the top prize.
Stakes placed colt can put together a sharp 6 1/2f over turf on his best day, but he hasn't been on top of his game lately, and he can't afford to show up with less than his best against this tough bunch.
Like to see that this multiple stakes winner won his only start sprinting down the hill, but he's yet to run a race that is fast enough to suggest that he can get over on the top contenders in this spot; others entice more.
Sirocco Strike
One of two signed on in here for the Mullins barn and Chips All In appears to be the stronger of the two; not going to count out the possibility of this consistent performer giving a good account of himself, but prefer to look toward others for the top spot.
Snowday (FR)
He's a G3 winner sprinting in France and he's faced some good ones in his recent starts; Style Vendome has won 4 of 7 starts for 589k, Olympic Glory has won 5 of 9 starts for 772k, and Reckless abandon has won 5 of 7 starts for 574k; this is a very interesting import.
Majestic City
Grade 3 winner has been at his best racing over synthetic surfaces and this is a tough spot for him to be seeking his first 1-2 finish over turf; respect the presence of Stevens, but going to look in another direction.
El Mirage King
His form sprinting over turf hasn't been bad by any means, and he might own enough early speed to get himself involved in the running through the opening stages, but this looks like a very difficult step up in class for him; note that he has been beaten by a couple of today's rivals in recent starts.

Race 9

Fly High
He has the 2 races to draw from now since July as he shows in the career cheap spot; several winners in this $500K purchase's family but none were starts; runner can give up :45 flat speed if in the mood; don't ignore.
Running Water
Nice move on the 19th for this dropper; 1 for 5 dam earned almost 10 grand; 5 of 6 siblings won; top kin She's a Mugs took 3 of 9, earned over $100K; if he can run at all, he figures to show it here.
Jerry Franco
Joey Franco 6 for 39 with firsters; sire was third in only start at 2, took 8 of 17, banked over $600K; dam was unraced; 2 of 4 siblings won including full bro and near $140K 11-race winner Bobby Handy; could need experience.
Dani's Birthday
Probably not the best of signs that he lost at Ruidoso and Pomona twice; beaten over 17 in the lone local try; has some things to iron out.
Wave Catching
Route experiment lasted exactly one race; soph did close ground in the Inglewood finale and was forced to steady at the beach in last; 6th and 10th finishers in last took maiden claimers next out and the winner repeated in a $25K N2X at Pomona; look for him late if at all.
Neil Healy
No speed, no asset; what happened to the speed he flashed in that debut?; blowout Monday should have him on his toes; needs very best.
Only the 4th start and this $475K purchase shows for this cheap price; probably not the best of signs; place horse 8/10 took a MSW next out with an 82 Beyer; winner 8/10 took the $100K El Cajon next out with a 92 Beyer; 1 for 4 dam took a route; this is her first to roll; due.
Patriotic Lion
Runner has more speed than he flashed in last as original pilot re-hired; pretty nice spin on Monday is a positive sign; must be left in the mix.
Wildcat Candy
Runner has had some eventful trips this year; he got loose to kick off year, was off slow, then hooked 4 wide; 7/17 winner took a $40K starter next out with an 80 Beyer; connections would love to see him start acting like top kin Evita Argentina, a G1 winner and over $600K earner; backers have to hope they go bonkers early and the race falls apart.
Tale Be Told
He can be his own worst enemy with limited speed; place horse in the 2012 closer has won 3 times since, the last in an N1X at Turf Paradise; try to get a good look at him on the track before taking a swing.
Sheriff Hutton
Beyers going in the wrong direction but he did break in the air in last; runner has sneaky speed, but the 2 extended layoffs run up the obvious red flag; needs a rebound run.
Mary Helen's Storm
Off for exactly a year and the return less than stellar; Gryder was up for that career best Beyer; got a feeling this one will improve here.
Scatman Blues
Off slow as tepid choice, maybe he hated the rail; he has a ton of work to do to match top kin Stringtown Wonder, al near $400K player; grinder needs things to unfold just right.
Forced to steady in last but these things happen when a runner is speed challenged; would not want to jump on too short a number here.