Santa Anita Horses To Watch Jan 27
VEGAS PALM (January 24): Five year old mare for Gary Mandella, who is still a maiden at five, was in Friday’s opener at a mile on the grass for older special weights. Off at 4/1 in a field of 7, she broke OK under Prat and settled in 4th down the back side, four lengths off the leaders. Prat kept her on the fence turning for home and she was loaded at the top of the lane, but couldn’t find a seam to get through. She checked twice trying to get out, finally dove to the rail, and then got bogged down on the poorer side of the course. She finished third beaten a length and a half and may have been best. Although still a maiden at age five, she has had just five trips to the post, and this daughter of the good sire Violence is good enough to win this condition at this level. She’s in good hands and just needs a little luck. Don’t give up on her just yet. Follow.
LOFTY (January 25): Three year old filly for Mike McCarthy was in Saturday’s opener at five and a half on the lawn for Cal bred maiden special weights. Off as the 2/1 choice in a field of 10 and making the third start of her career, she wore blinkers for the first time and showed good early speed. She blasted away from the gate, set fractions of 22.06 and 44.95, and was five in front by the quarter pole. Then she shut the door on the field with a good final quarter in 24.13 and won by four under a hand ride. It was an additional 10 lengths back to the third horse. By the good turf sire Suances, she should have no trouble with the first Cal bred allowance condition and she can run long as well. Up the ladder.
STACKIN SILVER (January 25): Lightly race three year old colt for Richie Baltas made start #3 in his career on Saturday at one mile on the main for a starter allowance race, non winners twice. Breaking from the rail, and heavily bet at one to two, he established the lead into the clubhouse turn through fractions of 24.13 and 48.28 over a racing surface playing extremely slow. He encountered competition at the ¼ pole, shrugged it off, then re-broke again and went onto to win by five very easily. He beat very little in this small field but he did it convincingly. He has now won his last two starts by five lengths, both at a mile. This son of Union Rags has a right to be a nice horse and he handles pace pressure as well as any. He can continue to win for a barn that is very “live” right now.
K P ALL SYSTEMS GO (January 25): Three year old colt for Jeff Mullins made start #5 in Saturday’s finale, a maiden special weight affair at 9 furlongs on the lawn. Off at 5/1 in a full field, he broke a tad slow and was last into the clubhouse turn. Cedillo kept him on the rail and he gradually passed a few horses down the back side. He swung him to the outside at the top of the lane and when the rider asked him to run, he just exploded, and flew by horses as if they were standing still. He won by six at the wire, all under a hand ride. The early fractions were quick which helped his cause, but still it was a very impressive performance. The key may have been the addition of blinkers for the first time in his career. Off this race, he can handle stakes company within his own age group, as long as they keep him on the grass. I think he’s a future star in the making and he’s in good hands with Mullins. REGAL BEAUTY (January 26): Three year old filly for Bob Baffert made her debut on Sunday in a maiden special weight at five and a half on the main. Off as the 4 to 5 choice in a field of seven, and unlucky to have drawn the rail, she broke dead last and was 9 lengths back by the half mile pole. Van Dyke kept her wide to avoid the dirt kick back, but she was really wide, like six wide down the back side. She started to rally at the ¼ pole, was five wide at the top of the lane, then just grinded home the final furlong and missed by a half of head. She ran the final quarter in a strong 24.24 and was much the best. She’ll be odds on again for start #2, but this daughter of Malibu Moon is a runner and may be a contender later on for the Santa Anita Oaks. She is owned by Gary West, the owner of Maximum Security, who won the Derby last year only to be disqualified.
By Rod Young (Turfdom)