03/03/2011 5:26PM

Santa Anita Handicap day


For more video analysis of the Santa Anita Handicap, Frank E. Kilroe Mile, Santa Anita Oaks, and other top stakes races across the country, watch our Weekend Stakes Videos »

DRF Coverage:
Santa Anita officials expect big crowd for Big Cap card

Featured Races Full Race Card Want to bet these races? Log in or sign up for DRF Bets
Race 1 at Santa Anita Sat. 3/05 POST: 3:00 ET Get PP entries »
Race 2 at Santa Anita Sat. 3/05 POST: 3:33 ET Get PP entries »
Race 3 at Santa Anita Sat. 3/05 POST: 4:06 ET Get PP entries »
Race 4 - Santa Anita Oaks Sat. 3/05 POST: 4:40 ET Get PP entries »
Race 5 - Clocker's Corner Handicap Sat. 3/05 POST: 5:15 ET Get PP entries »
Race 6 at Santa Anita Sat. 3/05 POST: 5:51 ET Get PP entries »
Race 7 at Santa Anita Sat. 3/05 POST: 6:29 ET Get PP entries »
Race 8 at Santa Anita Sat. 3/05 POST: 7:04 ET Get PP entries »
Race 9 - Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes Sat. 3/05 POST: 7:40 ET Get PP entries »
Race 10 - Santa Anita Handicap Sat. 3/05 POST: 8:10 ET Get PP entries »
Race 11 at Santa Anita Sat. 3/05 POST: 8:40 ET Get PP entries »

1. Trumpet Player Jay 2. High Standards 3. Seven Secrets

Big 'Cap Day, first post 12 noon. TRUMPET PLAYER JAY finished second last time for $32k, and is now in for $16k. Not a good pattern. He can win, but obviously is headed the wrong direction. HIGH STANDARDS was claimed off a respectable runner-up finish for $12.5k, and moves up a notch for his second start back. He can improve. SEVEN SECRETS goes route to sprint and will be on or near the lead all the way.

1. Chico d'Oro 2. Dubber 3. Purely Awesome

CHICO D'ORO will start at low odds based on his super runner-up debut in which he finished more than eight lengths clear of third and earned an 88 Beyer. On paper, he stands out. DUBBER has a series of sharp works for his debut for a top stable. PURELY AWESOME chased and faded in the same race as the top choice. He is likely to improve with a race under his belt. WILBURN, a half-brother to G2 winner Beethoven, debuts with good works. ROCK SO HARD appeared to dislike the footing in his recent turf comeback. He can improve moving to the main track.

1. Honor Among Us 2. Classy Lion 3. Ransom Demand

HONOR AMONG US can post a minor upset while stretching from five and one-half furlongs, to six and one-half. He got banged around leaving the gate in his most recent start, dropped back, then finished with run. He switches to Pat Valenzuela and may only need a clean takeoff. CLASSY LION drops from Calbred special-weight to rock-bottom (for 3-year-olds) maiden-30. RANSOM DEMAND also drops into a maiden-claimer for the first time.

1. Turbulent Descent 2. May Day Rose 3. Zazu

TURBULENT DESCENT was compromised by several factors when she lost her comeback at odds-on; she can make amends second start back. The previously unbeaten filly had not raced in two months, lost ground throughout, and carried five pounds more than the winner. Now she has had a prep, carries level weights, and benefits from a softer pace scenario. She should improve a ton. The best gamble could be speedster MAY DAY ROSE. She was burned up in an insane pace battle last out (44.25-second opening half, 1:08.77 six furlongs), and tired to fourth. The difference here is that pace rival California Nectar did not enter; MAY DAY ROSE should be alone out front. If she rations her speed, she might be gone. ZAZU fires every start, though she benefitted from ideal circumstances (hot pace) when she finished in front of the top pair last out. Still think ZAZU might be better around one turn, but her resolve cannot be faulted. KILOGRAEME is 2-for-2 and stepping up from an allowance win; G1 winner A Z WARRIOR makes her first start in four months. She is a good filly, but this is a tough spot for a comeback.

DRF Coverage: Zazu, Turbulent Descent meet again in Santa Anita Oaks

1. Unzip Me 2. She's Cheeky 3. Reba Is Tops

The class of the field and 4-for-5 on the downhill, UNZIP ME is a deserving favorite. A front-runner, she meets a host of other speed, but she does not necessarily require the lead. She rallied from far back for third in the BC Turf Sprint, and she won from second position at Woodbine. The bottom line is she is the best horse in the field, racing over a course she loves. SHE'S CHEEKY has not raced in 11 months, but has trained well for her comeback, runs well fresh, and also likes the hill. REBA IS TOPS was scheduled for retirement after winning a stakes Jan. 30. This is a tougher spot than the race she won. ASH ZEE tries grass for her comeback; she has worked well.

DRF Coverage:
Unzip Me appears formidable in Clocker's Corner

1. Lutess 2. Imperatriz 3. Mo Cheese

LUTESS finally broke through to win a fast maiden-claimer last out; the race was flattered when runner-up Miss Addy Kiss returned to win two races. LUTESS shows up at rock bottom ($12.5k, N2L), and should get a good trip within striking range of the vulnerable pacesetter. That is MO CHEESE, who is the speed of the field, but vulnerable beyound five and a half. This race is six furlongs, which is why MO CHEESE is the third preference. The second choice is IMPERATRIZ, making her first start since November for a winning stable. She has never raced this low.

1. Pack Your Bags 2. Leandros 3. Exclamation

This turf-sprint scramble is a good spot for an "upset" by PACK YOUR BAGS, who was too close to the pace last time and caved. Now he is reunited with the only jockey he has won with. Rafael Bejarano has ridden PACK YOUR BAGS 16 times, including all six of his wins. PACK YOUR BAGS drops from $40k to $25k claiming, should get a patient ride, and can post a small "upset." LEANDROS, unraced since October, runs well fresh and ran well his only previous start on this downhill course (runner-up opening day of the 2009-10 winter meet. He should fire first start back. EXCLAMATION missed by less than a length last time to a sharp horse (Dapper Gene) that returned to win again. FANDINO will try to steal it.

1. Liberal Arts 2. Cat Talk 3. Kingpin Ryno

Based on his huge runner-up debut last summer in which he encountered severe traffic trouble, LIBERAL ARTS stands out in this maiden race for Calbreds. LIBERAL ARTS was slow from the gate in his debut, rushed to midpack, steadied repeatedly through the turn while blocked behind runners, remained buried into the lane, then finally split horses late, finished well, and galloped out well in front. His work pattern for his comeback includes four consecutive six-furlong drills; the Tribal Rule colt can come back firing as the most probable winner on the card. CAT TALK ran better than looked in his debut; he may improve at a price. Void of speed, he raced wide, lost a ton of ground into the lane, then finished on his own. He should move way up with a race under his belt. KINGPIN RYNO chased a strong pace and finished second in a good comeback, while first-time starter PRAISE FOR DUBAI looms the upsetter. His sire E Dubai gets a high percent of debut winners (14 percent).

1. Caracortado 2. Fluke 3. Gallant Son

While CARACORTADO is a good horse on any surface, he is brilliant on grass. His last was his best yet. He smoked the final three-eighths in 34.67 to win a nine-furlong stakes going away. The one-mile distance of this is perfect; the California-bred gelding can win it from behind. But this good field includes G1 winner FLUKE, who has a score to settle. Runner-up by a nose in this race one year ago, he returned to peak form last month when he won the prep for this by three-quarters. First or second in 12 of 15, FLUKE has more tactical speed than the top choice. He will get first run. GALLANT SON looms the upsetter. His past races put him in the hunt; he closed nicely and finished second behind a front-running winner in his recent comeback. GALLANT SON loves this course, and could fall through the pari-mutuel cracks. JERANIMO tossed in a clunker last time; he fits off his big win two back. Longshot TIMES GONE BY will be first over on the speed; SEBASTIAN FLYTE will fly from the back of the pack.

DRF Coverage:
Caracortado should get sufficient pace to set up closing kick in Kilroe

1. Twirling Candy 2. First Dude 3. Spurrier

A smashing Strub victory established 6-for-7 TWIRLING CANDY as the solid favorite in the Santa Anita Handicap. He won Strub (soft field) by more than four lengths; his win was more impressive visually than the 102 Beyer. Since then, 'CANDY has trained super. But this is his first try at a mile and a quarter, and he does tend to pull. It will take a good horse to beat the son of Candy Ride; there aren't many of those in the handicap division out West unless a recent arrival from Florida makes a splash. That is FIRST DUDE, who has won only once, but flirted with Grade 1-caliber 3-year-olds all last season. Since shipping to California and joining the Bob Baffert stable, FIRST DUDE has trained sensationally on the Santa Anita dirt surface. He has a huge stride, and might be a better horse out here than he was in the East. TWIRLING CANDY and FIRST DUDE have similar styles; they prefer to press/set the pace. If the fractions get hot and the race falls apart, deep closer SPURRIER has a look. Compromised by tepid fractions all his recent races, the gray should have a legit pace to flatter his closing run this time. His odds will be high. QUINDICI MAN always shows up, always finishes, and could hit the board at a big number.

DRF Coverage:
Twirling Candy the leader of Big Cap pack

1. Renegade Storm 2. Excelling 3. He's a Dance Star

The only knock on RENEGADE STORM is he was a vet scratch Feb. 5 vs. similar. But he breezed five days after the scratch, and though his subsequent workout pattern has gaps, his most recent start points him out. Making his comeback as a first-time gelding, he was shuffled to last on the far turn, blocked behind runners into the lane, remained blocked to midstretch, then finished strongly to miss by only a length and a quarter. With a clean trip second start back, RENEGADE STORM can mow them down. He must catch EXCELLING, a lightly raced (three starts), improving son of In Excess whose maiden win was flattered when the second- and fifth-place finishers returned to win. Sold privately, EXCELLING makes his first start for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. He will be on or near the front. HE'S A DANCE STAR finished third in all three previous turf starts. Those were sprints; one mile should be within reach.