JEFF SIEGEL’S SANTA ANITA BLACK BOOK
(For the week of March 31-April 3)
BE MINE (April 1st, 8th race) – Broke her maiden at first asking at Tampa Bay Downs in February while competing for a $32,000 claiming tag, was subsequently sold to clients of Phil D’Amato, and in her first local appearance pulverized an out-classed field of starter allowance sophomore fillies with a runaway five length score over a mile on turf. In victory, the daughter of Twirling Candy displayed an eye-opening turn of foot from the quarter pole to the wire, giving every indication that she can be just as effective if not more so at longer distance. Still has all of her allowance conditions and probably should use them before taking on stakes-types. Perfect so far and should remain that way at least through her next race.
BEACH PATROL (April 3rd, 7th race) – Looking very much like a potential star for trainer Phil D’Amato after his second straight eye-opening performance since arriving from Louisiana, where he had hit the board in two starts without winning. Rallied from well off the pace to graduate very impressively in his local debut last month and then came right back to score again in an entry-level nine furlong allowance event, this time on the lead throughout. His strongest asset might be his versatility – it appears he can be placed anywhere – while his pedigree (Lemon Drop Kid) suggests this sophomore colt should run all day. Clearly ready to take on stakes types either here, in Kentucky (perhaps on Derby day) or wherever his high-percentage connections choose to take him.
FRUITY-IR (April 3rd, 10th race) – Irish-bred filly made her U.S. debut in a first-level allowance downhill turf sprint and was never a factor, winding up ninth of 12, beaten about six lengths, but she galloped out pretty well and the effort should set up nicely for a much more serious run on the stretch-out next time. The Simon Callaghan-trained 4-year-old showed ability in all-weather races in England as well as turf, so her connections have options, and we wouldn’t be surprised if they’d serious consider Golden Gate Fields for her next start. Figures to offer considerable wagering value no matter she next shows up, so keep an eye out.
ROY H (April 1st, 7th race) – Made his first start since late December and turned in an excellent performance when missing by head in a fast race for entry-level older allowance sprinters. The game plan was to take back and make a run (as suggested by the removal of blinkers) and the switch in strategy almost worked, as the Peter Miller-trained colt settled in fifth early, moved closer on the turn and kept on gamely to the wire, only to just fall short in a photo. Though both of his starts in an eight race career on dirt have been good, this 4-year-old colt still strikes us as being a tad better on turf, so next time, in a downhill grass event, we’re expecting this son of More Than Ready to get back on the winning track.
TENGAS RANSOM (April 3rd, 9th race) – Made his 3-year-old debut in his first start since August in what turned out to be a powerful, highly-rated state-bred maiden special weight sprint and turned in a superb performance in defeat, settling for second behind favored Rocket Fuel while winding up almost seven lengths clear of the rest. In doing so the Jeff Mullins-trained colt confirmed the promise he displayed in a two-race juvenile campaign, and has all the makings of a very useful sprinter. Should be any price to graduate next time and then move up the ladder. Meanwhile, Rocket Fuel, a 4-year-old, has plenty of upside himself and should rise through the allowance ranks quickly for trainer Bruce Headley.