09/26/2013 2:48PM

Santa Anita: DRF Plus handicapping report for September 27, 2013


DRF Plus Preview

Race 1

Closer Looks >>

Race 2


Vulnerable Favorite

OH DADDY OH (#4, 7-2) could be tough with the high speed he showed in his DMR debut Sept. 1, having a race under his belt and today's significant drop in for a tag. That being said, it's a tad disconcerting that he hit the brakes so hard in that debut (finished 7th) and he faces some other talent here. -Michael Hammersly


Closer Looks >>

Race 3


Race 4

Spot Play

Like the debut run around 2 turns over Del Mar Poly for VALTARI (#2, 6-1). Showed speed & even when he gave it up he stayed on decently. Strong work pattern since, & decent chance he’s at least as well suited to turf as all-weather.- Marcus Hersh


Closer Looks >>

Race 5


Race 6

Live Longshot

APPEALING TALE (#6, 6-1) tries grass for the first time in a brutally tough race but those facts keep your price healthy and there’s talent here and every reason to believe he can show it in his first grass try. He’s by Tale of the Cat, who does just fine in terms of grass runners. This 3yo showed ample quality last winter (in his maiden win he beat Mentor Cane back into 3rd, that ill-fated runner was Grade 1-placed this summer at SAR), then faced quality 3yos Super Ninety Nine and Code West before over 8 months off. When he came back on DMR’s main track he was a superb 3rd. That was an ideal tightener, he’s worked well since, is bred for turf and Gomez stays put in a race where he surely had options. -Michael Hammersly


Closer Looks >>

Race 7

Spot Play

SOUL CANDY (#5, 8-1) has excuses for two races since he won three back at this class level with blinkers added. Two recent works over track. Chance three go for the lead here, which could lead to favorable setup. Have questions about the shorter prices. - Marcus Hersh


Closer Looks >>

Race 8

Eddie D Stakes Analysis

UNBRIDLED’S NOTE (#5, 7-2) loves the downhill Santa Anita 6.5fs grass course and obviously is the one to beat, and I figure he’ll be bet below his 7-2 morning-line odds. The nose victory last Feb. 23 over return rival Chips All In is a red herring: Unbridled’s Note was forced to duel on the pace from an inside draw that day, decidedly not his best trip. I have to believe connections have targeted the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint for months, and that his quiet summer came about accordingly.

That knowledge carries a further implication: This is a $100K race and the BC Turf Sprint is worth $1 million. In which race do you expect one of North America’s best trainers to have Unbridled’s Note peak? Still, with five weeks to recover before the big money, I’d expect at least a mildly representative showing from Unbridled’s Note: He’s a horse worth fooling around against, but not ignoring.

I expect the race’s pace to be taxing: That idea starts with rail-drawn Et Tu Walker, who is fast and absolutely has to leave the gate flying in order not to get buried on the fence. That should drag the other pace players, including 4-1 second-choice Chips All In, into a warm – if not hot – battle during the early and middle sections, and is why I’m looking at stalkers and closers to fill out the top four slots.

Besides the favorite, BOAT TRIP (#4, 8-1), ROCK ME BABY (#7, 10-1), and SNOWDAY (#12, 8-1) interest me. Boat Trip is 1-1 on the downhill course and is a better horse now than then. He’s recently run well in more typical turf sprints that are shorter than his best distance.

Rock Me Baby exits a series of route races in which he raced from off the pace but clearly has the speed to keep up in a race like this: His two good down-the-hill showings early this year came from close range. He’s an improving 4yo with sharp recent workouts and a good draw.

French import Snowday is at the right distance and has overseas form lines suggesting that in a vacuum he would class up solidly against these rivals. But this is not a vacuum: It’s an American-style sprint, and Snowday will encounter a far faster pace than anything he ran into overseas. How he adapts to that is an unknown, but his odds could well justify the risk. - Marcus Hersh


Closer Looks >>

Race 9

Closer Looks >>