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Handicapping Horses To Watch Santa Anita Feb 5

EXUBERANCE (February 1): Four year old filly for Ian Kruljac made her second start since last June in a first allowance condition at a flat mile on the main Friday. Off at 4/1 in a field of 7, she was pretty much void of any early speed and dropped back to last into the clubhouse turn. She was 10 back of the leaders down the back side, started to move at the 3/8th pole, got fanned wide at the top of the lane, but kept to her task, and finished second out in the middle of the track. She got beat a length on a day when the main track was favoring early speed. Her next start will be her third off a six month layoff, often a horse’s best performance. She’s good enough to win this condition as she tried four graded stakes last spring and was second in a Grade 2. This daughter of Archarcharch is sitting on “go”.

TRUFFALINO (February 1) : Three year old filly for Richard Mandella made the third start of her career in a first allowance condition for soph fillies on the turf at a flat mile Friday. Off at 5/1 in a 9 horse field, on a course rated good, she dawdled out of the gate as she usually does, and was last into the clubhouse turn 10 lengths behind the leaders. Talamo took her over to the rail and she stayed there the entire trip saving ground. She put in a good run from the ¼ pole to the wire while finishing 2nd beaten ¾ of a length. However, as usual, the outside lanes were the best on the lawn, and the winner, who was the favorite, came home six wide to get the money. Truffalino galloped out like a champ and was quickly five in front of the leader just past the wire. This daughter of English Channel wants more ground and 9 or 10 furlongs will be her comfort zone. She looks like stakes material down the road but for now, she needs to knock out this condition, which is just a formality. Tab and follow.

BEAUMARCHAIS (February 1): Six year old gelding for Reed Saldana made his second start off a six month layoff in Friday’s 8th, a first condition allowance event for older runners at a mile on the main. Off at 16/1 in a field of 7, he was hustled right to the front by Pedroza and opened up two on the field down the back side. He was hooked by the odds on favorite at the top of the lane, but found another gear and wouldn’t let him by. But a long shot snuck through on the inside and he had no answer for him. He finished second beaten a length and a half but it was a strong effort just the same. His next race will be his third off the layoff, and you know what that means. He loves the mile distance and his speed is hard to deal with, as he has some stamina to go along with it. He’s ready to pose for pictures.

OMAHA BEACH (February 2): Three year old colt for Richard Mandella, who has been very unlucky in his first four starts to the post, made no mistakes on Saturday in breaking his maiden over a pretty good field at 7/8 on a sloppy main track. Off as the wagering choice at 3/5, he broke with the field and settled in third early. Prat pushed the button early at the half mile pole, and he shot to the lead and opened up four on the field in the blink of an eye. He widened from there, all under a hand ride to win off by 10. This son of War Front can win short or long, turf or dirt, but the connections might want to put him on the Derby trail, as both of his dirt races have been outstanding. Up the ladder. 

PETER’S KITTEN (February 3): An Eastern shipper made her way into the John Sadler barn and was entered into a straight maiden race for older fillies/mares, originally scheduled for the grass, but run on the main track Sunday. Off at 6/1 in a field of 7, she layed off the pace and was kept on the good outside lanes by Rosario giving the leaders five lengths down the back side. Rosario kept her five wide all the way and she made a good move at the 3/8 pole, run up to the leaders at the top of the lane, then cruised home six wide down the stretch to win easily by three. She had ran second twice to tougher maidens back East at both Saratoga and Kentucky Downs, so this was a drop in class for her. Her best races are on the turf but now they know she can handle the slop as well. She’ll have no trouble with the first allowance condition. Up the ladder.

By Rod Young (Turfdom)

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