14 - Santa Anita Park
SANTA ANITA ANALYSIS
BY BRAD FREE
BEST BET: RACE 8, NATIVE RIDE
WANDERING HEART and KISS MY FACE are obvious in this small-field route for Calbred maiden fillies and mares.
WANDERING HEART hit the board all three starts this spring, racing on both surfaces. This is her third start in a
month, and she is a 6-year-old maiden, but this is a race she really should win. Minimal wagering value, however.
KISS MY FACE finished four lengths behind the top choice last month, but that was only the second career start for
‘FACE, and her first try around two turns. Second time long, expect improvement. The other three appear too slow,
although HIGH INTENSITY figures in the money off her third-place finish three starts back.
BLIND DREAMS broke slowly and merely split the field as the favorite nine days ago, but her back-to-back thirdplace finishes in March tower over these maiden-20 fillies and mares. She was claimed last out by Mike Pender.
BERNIER is quick enough to set the pace; the front end is usually a good place in a maiden-claiming sprint. She has
changed trainers since raced, and makes her first start for Dan Azcarate. Come catch her. CODED MESSAGE adds
blinkers and should get a good trip positioned second behind the speed.
This 2yo maiden race is the first leg of the pick six; the carryover is $129,769. ESMERALDA BELLE is the filly to
beat, second time out after a creditable runner-up debut. She took back while the eventual winner cleared from the
outside, ‘BELLE stayed wide losing ground through the turn, and finished more than three lengths clear of third. It
was a good debut, not great, but improvement is likely second time out. FAITH PACER is a Lucky Pulpit filly out
of a mare that produced seven winners including two that won first out. ‘PACER debuts with a solid-looking work
tab for trainer Jeff Bonde. The past five years, Bonde is 4-for-12 with 2yo first-time starters in April-May. SKYE
DIAMONDS, by first-crop sire First Dude, is the first foal out of a mare that had speed.
This $40k claiming sprint is the first turf try for KILL SHOT. It’s a good spot because of the pace scenario. ‘SHOT
is the only speed, adding blinkers, and should be loose out front. If he handles turf, he could be gone on a lonely
lead. Since the “new meet” began, 5 of 13 turf sprints have been won by the pacesetter. ‘SHOT is reunited with Mike
Smith, who rode him to both wins. HAWKEDON returned from a long layoff to win a starter allowance that was
validated when the horse he beat (Incline Village) returned to win. Up in class to face open company, HAWKEDON
will roll from just off the pace. ROYAL F J is the deep threat. He was reclaimed last out by Jack Carava, who has
trained the gelding for all but one start of his 68-race career. A downhill course specialist, ROYAL F J has a shot
if the speed stops.
SHOPPING SAVANNAH is back doing what she does best. That is, run long. She broke slowly and finished an
okay fourth last out at six furlongs; her best finishes have been around two turns. She will have to catch potential
pacesetter DEMOCRACY RULES. The latter followed her maiden-claiming sprint win at Turf Paradise with a frontrunning score running long against N2L winners at Santa Anita. She set legitimate fractions, opened up by five in
midstretch, and won clear. The same strategy is likely in this N3L route. However, she faces possible pressure from
stretch-out sprinters IN DAD’S HONOR and BROUGHT TO JUSTICE. Arizona shipper GARNISHEED WAGERS will
pick them up late. Her only previous start on dirt was a blowout win by more than seven lengths.
Also-eligible SOMETHINGS UNUSUAL drops from N2X to N1X and shortens to a sprint over the same downhill
course on which he finished second twice recently. He drew a comfortable outside post, has enough tactical speed
to keep the leaders in his sights, and can wear them down if he draws in. He will have to catch EDDIE’S FIRST,
who battled on a hot pace last time and drew away through the lane. Claimed for $32k by Chuck Treece, the gelding
continues to post fast works and could be tough to catch up front. HUSBAND’S FOLLY shortens in distance for
his first in four months. He has no speed, but does have a big late kick. He won a maiden race on the hill four years
ago. HENRY’S HOLIDAY makes his first start since chasing American Pharoah in the G1 Del Mar Futurity last fall.
This will be his first start at age 3, and first as a gelding. Trainer Doug O’Neill is 6-for-20 “first-time G.” Fast works
for his comeback.
One final drop might do the trick for NORASTONE, runner-up last out for $10k and dropping for the first time to the
$8k claiming bottom. She has enough speed to be forwardly placed, and benefits by the cutback from six and onehalf furlongs, to six. BLUE BLIZZARD ships from Northern California, where she spent her entire 5-for-28 career.
Runner-up last out in a $12.5k claiming race with conditions, she runs well on synthetic and dirt. QUEEN OF THE
HILL was claimed one month ago from a runner-up finish as the favorite. She returns at the same $8k claiming level,
and should be forwardly placed. She finished in the exacta 7 of 11 on this racetrack. RICH IN TRADITION has a
longshot look off her Feb. 14 upset win three starts back.
NATIVE RIDE towers over this maiden-50 turf route. It’s his first in a maiden-claiming race after nine starts vs.
special-weight foes including in-the-money finishes all five starts on turf. He has enough speed for a forwardly
placed trip in a one-mile race that is light on pace. With a front-running/pace-pressing trip, ‘RIDE enters as the
most probable winner on the card and a potential pick-six single at a very short price. PASSINAFLASH is first-time
Rafael Bejarano after a troubled fifth last time vs. similar. ARCHIE BUNKER drops to maiden-50 while making just
his second start since he was gelded. Upset chance? Also-eligible MAGIC TASTE stretches to a route and would
set the pace if he gets in.