FIRST RACE (1:00 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 1-Bully Pulpit; 3-Last One Standing; 6-Twirling Tiger
#6 Twirling Tiger has plenty of experience – this will be his 13th lifetime start – but the son of Twirling Candy will be making his first appearance on grass and he’s bred to like it. Beaten in a pair of photos in his last two outings in starter’s allowance company, he returns to the mid-grade claiming ranks and should be prominent throughout. He can win if he can duplicate his main track form on the lawn. #3 Last One Standing exits a stakes-quality allowance race – he was well beaten after remaining in contention to the top of the lane – and at this level should improve considerably. We’ll also toss in #1 Bully Pulpit, up two levels in class, stretching out, and switching to turf. The son of Lucky Pulpit most likely will try gate-to-wire tactics.
SECOND RACE (1:30 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 1-Knock Em Flat; 4-Luckybox Sam; 5-Out of Patience
We’ll go three-deep in rolling exotic play in this $12,500 claiming main track miler, with #1 Knock Em Flat the likely choice and one to beat. The Tim Yakteen-trained gelding drops a notch but remains above his claim level and from his inside post should be on or near the lead throughout. He’s backing up a furlong today and should stick better. #4 Luckbox Sam is racing in sharp form and is a solid fit on speed figures. He’ll be pressing the pace every step of the way. #5 Out of Patience has that blinkers off angle that we like so much and is dropping to his lowest level ever. He makes a major jockey switch to Flavien Pratt and most likely will be taken back and allowed to run late. At 6-1 on the morning line, the Leonard Powell-trained gelding offers the best value of three so we’ll have a few extra tickets with him in the straight pool.
THIRD RACE (2:01 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 1-Oh Great Idea; 3-Foxy Fresh
The massive two-day $548,670 Pick-6 begins with the third race, a maiden $75,000 claiming sprint for 3-year-old fillies. #1 Oh Great Idea, a blinkers-off class dropper from the Peter Miller barn, has been freshened since September and shows a solid work tab at San Luis Rey Downs. The daughter of J P’s Gusto chased infinitely tougher foes last summer and seems well-placed for a major effort, rail and all. #3 Foxy Fresh was burned up in a torrid early pace vs. straight maidens in her debut down the Hillside Course; she figures to stick much better today with that race under her belt combined with the drop in class. We’ll try to get by in rolling exotic play using just these two.
FOURTH RACE (2:33 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 6-Lucy De; 7-Algorhythmic; 9-Stylistic
This downhill turf sprint for maiden fillies seems a bit stronger than normal with three major contenders, all of whom are worth including in rolling exotic play. #6 Lucy De missed by a head in a strong effort over a mile on turf last month and shouldn’t be inconvenienced by this turn back to a sprint. The Mike Puype-trained filly switches to Prat and should draft into an ideal pace-stalking position. #9 Stylistic has plenty of zip and this lightly-raced 6-year-old mare has room for improvement. Kent Desormeaux stays aboard and will be trying to hold together this lightly-raced 6-year-old mare late. #7 Algorhythmic had a nightmarish trip from the rail in a main track sprint last month but ran super over this course and distance in her debut earlier this meeting when missing by a nose. She’s reunited with Brice Blanc, who’ll most likely hold her up early and cut her loose late.
FIFTH RACE (3:05 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 2-Take It Easyplease; 7-Cheekaboo
State-bred fillies and mares meet over a mile on the main track with two main players. #2 Take It Easyplease, first off the claim for Richard Baltas and raised and protected into an allowance race in a sign of confidence, returns off a two-month vacation and switches to Bejarano while stretching out for the first time in her 13-race career. First or second in four of five career starts over the Santa Anita main track, the daughter of Ministers Wild Cat has good tactical speed and numbers that fit very well at this level. There’s plenty of value here at 5/2 on the morning line if you can get it. #7 Cheekaboo, a distant third in the Cal Cup Oaks on turf earlier this meeting, returns to the allowance ranks and won over this main track when beating maidens two races back. The lightly-raced daughter of Unusual Heat faces older foes today but if she can continue to improve she’ll have some kind of look.
SIXTH RACE (3:35 PT) – GRADE: C
Use: 2-Redneck Crazy; 5-Media Melee; 6-Shiny Nugget
#5 Media Melee and #6 Shiny Nugget are the ones to focus on in this $16,000 claiming sprint for 3-year-olds. Media Melee just broke his maiden for a $30,000 tag and is realistically spotted based on his modest (though improving) speed figures; the Doug O’Neill-trained gelding will be making just his fifth career start and should continue to move forward with experience. #6 Shiny Nugget drops a notch off a strong runner-up effort for $20,000 last month; this is not an encouraging sign as it appears that trainer Hector Palma is trying to lose him (or doesn’t care if he does). The lightly-raced gelding certainly will be a factor if he runs back to either of his two starts to date. If you can afford to add one more, consider #2 Redneck Crazy. The Gary Sherlock-trained filly ran a bit better than the line will show last time out and may be prove to be an effective closer in a field begging for one. She gets a stronger rider and an extra half furlong to work with.
SEVENTH RACE (4:05 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 1-Warrenscrystalized; 2-Bako Sweets; 3-Big Move
#2 Bako Sweets captured her debut at this extended sprint trip on the main track for a trainer (Neil Drysdale) who rarely wins with first-timers, so this daughter of Twirling Candy could be a good one. She earned a nice speed figure in that maiden state-bred victory last month and has every right to produce a forward move against this tougher group. Van Dyke stays aboard the daughter of Twirling Candy, who should have no difficulty transferring her dirt form to the Hillside course. #3 Big Move has two excellent races on her resume over this course and distance and should fire a bug shot fresh in her first outing since November. The Tim Yakteen-trained filly has recent workouts that indicate she’s retained all of her speed. #1 Warrenscrystalized flashed big speed in her comeback in January but bounced in her next start when brought back too quickly (eight days). She’s fresh, speedy and capable of snapping back to form for Gutierrez, so if you can afford to add one more, she’s probably worth including on a backup-ticket, at least.
EIGHTH RACE (4:35 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 2-Surfing the Menu; 3-Turf Club Queen; 6-Gymnast Jadie
The finale is a bottom-rung maiden claimer for older fillies and mares and requires a spread. #2 Surfing the Menu debuted way back in November of 2014 against straight maidens and showed considerable speed after a poor start before fading; she returns off the bench for her second career outing with a strong series of workouts for Karen Headley and could easily be much better now than she was then. In a modest field, she seems as good as any. #6 Gymnast Jadie flashed good speed before fading vs. straight maidens down the Hillside course in her debut; the Vann Belvoir-trained 4-year-old plummets in class and could get loose early and brave late. She makes a major switch to Bejarano, switches to dirt, and may offer good value at or near her 5-1 morning line. #3 Turf Club Queen, a distant second in a similar spot last month in her first start in more than three years, has a right to produce a forward move in what will be just her third career start; the 6-year-old mare fits on figures and should be in a good pace stalking spot. She’s worth including on a back-up ticket.