Jeff Siegel: What You Need to Know - Santa Anita | Sunday, June 4, 2023

RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: C+
Main ticket: (in order of preference): 5-Lansdowne; 1-Anmer Hall
Backups/savers: 4-Who’s Candy.

Forecast: This grass grab bag for restricted (nw-2) $32,000 claiming sprinters offers Lansdowne as clearly the one to beat, but the English-bred gelding has never been one to trust, having failed as the favorite in three of his last five starts. Most recently he finished second in a similar event at 7/5, though he did wind up more than three lengths clear of a next out winner while earning a career top speed figure. The Phil D’Amato-trained gelding doesn’t offer any wagering value at 8/5 on the morning line, but in a shallow race for the level could still win, nonetheless. Anmer Hall is guaranteed a ground-saving trip from his rail post position and shows the route-to-sprint angle that always catches the eye. He should have every chance from a second flight, stalking position and has back numbers that make him a threat. Who’s Candy has a prior win over the course and enough early zip to make him a threat on the front end. If nothing else, he can be expected to outrun his morning line of 10-1.

RACE 2: Post: 1:34 PT Grade: C
Main ticket: (in order of preference): 6-Icy Breeze; 3-Twin Soul
Backups/savers: 2-Mango Moon.

Forecast: We’ll spread the second race, a modest maiden claiming $50,000 sprint for California-bred runners. Icy Breeze is a Bay Area invader trying conventional dirt for the first time in her first outing in almost a year. She has middle distance grass figures that make her a threat if she can duplicate those numbers on this surface, and her work pattern for new trainer John Sadler at Los Alamitos seems reasonable. In what is largely a guess, we’ll put her on top by default. Twin Soul arrives from Delta Downs seeking valuable ship-and-win money and couldn’t have landed in an easier spot. The daughter of Stanford has numbers that fit and work tab that should have her tight enough in her first outing since February. Mango Moon is a first timer bred for speed and with some decent workout clocking’s that indicate at least a modest amount of ability. Toss her in somewhere.

RACE 3: Post: 2:08 PT Grade: B
Main ticket (in order of preference): 3-Over Attracted; 5-Taming the Tigress.
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Over Attracted) looked fairly decent winning a similar starter allowance turf dash last month from off the pace, and at today’s extended sprint distance the veteran mare looks well placed for similar success. Clearly most comfortable as a late-running grass sprinter, the daughter of Atreides will have no traffic difficulties in a five runner affair and with any help up front should be along in time. Taming the Tigress removes blinkers and turns back from a mile after being overmatched in the Fran’s Valentine Stakes last week. First or second in four of seven starts over the local lawn, the daughter of Smiling Tiger projects to draft into a pace-stalking/pressing position and then have every chance when the pressure is turned on. We’ll give Over Attracted a slight edge on top but use both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 4: Post: 2:41 PT Grade: B-
Main ticket (in order of preference): 6-Halosnheaven; 7-Enclosure
Backups/Savers: none.

Forecast: Trainer Bob Baffert holds the aces in this maiden sprint for fillies and mares, with either one of his two entrants capable of winning. Halosnheaven launches a comeback showing a brief recent work tab, but her form in two races last summer at Del Mar is more than good enough to beat this field if she returns as well as she left. A bullet :59 flat workout over the Santa Anita main track (fastest 29) indicates she retains all of her two-year-old speed. Stable mate Enclosure finished a respectable third (beaten just under six lengths) in a fast, highly rated, and productive race last month and can be expected to produce a forward move, as what generally happens with second timers from this barn., She’s comfortably drawn outside and while likely to be outrun early can be expected to produce a good late kick.

RACE 5: Post: 3:14 PT Grade: C+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 2-Warrior Lady; 1-Yvett’s Surprise
Backups/savers: 8-I Had That One Too.

Forecast: Here’s a challenging affair for state-bred maiden fillies and mares over a mile on grass. We’ll go three-deep and hope that’s enough. Warrior Lady finished with interest to be second over this course and distance at this level last month, and if she can turn in two alike the Peter Eurton-trained mare should be able to earn her diploma. She appears most effective when patiently ridden, and after bug boy Aguilar got to know her last time out she can be expected to employ late-running tactics again today. Yvett’s Surprise, third in the same race our top pick exits, should find herself in a ground-saving, mid-pack position and have her chance from there. Her speed figures have stagnated, but even without producing a forward move the daughter of I’ll Have Another should at least be able to hit the board once again. I Had That One Too gets the worst of the draw in her first start since arriving from the Midwest and in her first outing on grass, but her dirt numbers aren’t bad and she will be racing with blinkers, so a forward move is possible. A sharp recent half mile breeze (:47 2/5, fastest of 42) is another positive factor.

RACE 6: Post: 3:44 PT Grade: B
Main ticket (in order of preference): 2-Giver Not a Taker; 5-Moose Mitchell
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Giver Not a Taker returns from a five month vacation after finishing a good second (beaten a half-length) in the Cal Cup Derby over a distance of ground in early January. Eligible to this first level allowance sprint despite being a two-time state-bred stakes winner, the Peter Miller-trained gelding easily won his debut last summer, so we know he can sprint and fire fresh, and he shows a work pattern at San Luis Rey Downs that should have him fit and ready off the bench. We’ll put him on top at 4-1 on the morning line while also including Moose Mitchell, a nine length runaway winner in a California-bred sprint in late April that produced a career top speed figure. A repeat of that race today makes him the one to fear most.

RACE 7: Post: 4:14 PT Grade: B
Main ticket (in order of preference): 7-Twist; 1-Cash Equity
Backups/savers: 8-Respect the Code.

Forecast: This contentious second level allowance turf miler for older horses has several possibilities, so best advice is to use as many as your budget allows. Twist has trained well for his U.S. debut and should be fit and ready for a big try in his first start with Lasix. With several Timeform ratings that make him a solid fit on this circuit, the John Sadler-trained gelding looks very much like a live item at 4-1 on the morning line, so we’ll put him on top. Cash Equity was virtually eased after a terrible trip when favored at this level last month, so we’ll toss the race out. His clever score over nine furlongs on grass two runs back in early March charts well with these, so with top jockey Juan Hernandez staying aboard we’re expecting the Phil D’Amato-trained gelding to fire his best shot. Respect the Code is stretching out for the first time and has sprint numbers that are solid for this level. You’d have to think he’ll be forwardly placed if not on the lead; in a race that projects to have comfortable early fractions.

RACE 8: Post: 4:44 PT Grade: X
Main ticket (in order of preference): 6-Geaux Rocket Ride
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: With the scratching of Skinner, Geaux Rocket Ride almost certainly will be an odds-on favorite in this year’s renewal of the Affirmed Stakes for 3-year-olds. A highly impressive debut maiden sprint winner in January, the son of Candy Ride lost little in defeat when subsequently second to Practical Move in the San Felipe Stakes-G2 in his next start in early March but then he missed the Santa Anita Derby-G1 when came up with a temperature on the eve of the race. The Richard Mandella-trained colt has looked as well as ever in recent works, so we’re expecting to see his best stuff while either on the lead or from a comfortable stalking position outside. There will be no value in the straight pool, but you can use him as a short-priced rolling exotic single.

RACE 9: Post: 5:14 PT Grade: B-
Main ticket (in order of preference): 7-Kawazaki; 10-The Key Is Unity
Backups/savers: 4-Giovinazzo.

Forecast: Kawazaki has improving numbers and may be ready to win after finishing steadily to be second over this course and distance last month in his first start since September. The Irish-bred gelding will receive the patient ride his prefers from good grass rider Umberto Rispoli, and with another forward move he should be capable of earning his diploma. The Key Is Unity is certain to receive plenty of play even though he’s a 12 race maiden and a beaten favorite in four of his last seven starts. One of these days he’ll find a field he can handle, maybe today. Giovinazzo stretches out for the first time, and if he’s ever going to stay a mile it probably will come in his first attempt. Gate-to-wire tactics surely will be employed, and while he’s a 3-year-old tackling older and is by no means bred to run long, the son of Sharp Azteca could get loose and brave under these circumstances.

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