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Horses To Watch Santa Anita Week 6

JIMMY CHILA ( February 2): Three year old colt for Doug O’Neill tried two turns for the first time in his career in his third lifetime start in Friday’s sixth, a maiden special weight at a mile and a sixteenth for newly turned sophomores. Off at 17/1 in an 8 horse field, he was expected to show the most speed coming out of sprints, but he was purposely taken back off the pace and sat 4th down the backside, 3 lengths off the pace. He made a menacing move at the top of the lane to the two Baffert front runners, got within a length of the favorite at the 1/8th pole, but then had to settle for third as he tired the final sixteenth. All in all, a pretty good effort for his first try around two turns and the winner looks like stakes material. He was beaten about 3 lengths at the wire but this son of Jimmy Creed should find the winners circle in the very near future. Tab and follow.

(February 3): Three year old filly for Phil D’Amato made start #2 in Saturday’s opener, a maiden special weight event for soph fillies at a flat mile on the lawn. Off at 7/1 in a full field, she broke cleanly under Baze and pressed legitimate fractions throughout of 23.18 and 47.45 for the half. She remained in second all the way around the track, looked all in at the 1/8th pole, but found another gear and rallied to just miss by a head at the wire. She got nothing out of her debut sprint but put in a superb effort today. Bred by Uncle Mo out of a Not For Love dam, she is bred to win early and handle the turf. She’s a soon winner for the top turf barn on the circuit. Be ready.

ONCE ON WHISKEY (February 3): Three year old colt for Bob Baffert made his debut in Saturday’s second and although he didn’t win the race, his performance was most impressive. Off at 9/2 in this six horse sprint for maiden special weights, he broke very slowly and was a distant last down the back side. By the 3/8th pole he was 15 lengths back of the leaders. He put in a good run at the ¼ pole, sustained it into the stretch, and was finishing like a freight train out in the middle of the track. He got up for second but was no match for his barn mate who won by 3. However, this son of Bodemeister has the look of a two turn horse, and though he is way behind other Baffert colts, he may be an important three year old later on this year. I can see Baffert stretching him out in start #2 and he’s a soon winner.

CALIFORNIAGOLDRUSH (February 4): Three year old filly for Neil Drysdale made start #2 in Sunday’s opener, a mile on the turf for the first allowance condition for soph fillies. Bet down from a 6/1 morning line to 2/1 in a field of 7, she chased a fairly soft pace where the front runner had it all her own way, and still was able to gun her down in the final sixteenth to win going away. This was her first start with lasix and she is now 2/2 in her career after scoring on opening day down the hill at 27/1. She is on a nice improving pattern and Drysdale may be looking for a 3 year old stakes for this daughter of Cape Blanco. She will be tough no matter where she shows up as long as they keep her on the grass. Follow.

SPRING LILY (February 4): Three year old filly for John Shirreffs made start #2 in Sunday’s fifth, a maiden special weight affair at six and a half on the main track for soph fillies. Off at 18/1 in a 7 horse field, she was bumped at the start to be away a tad slow, but quickly engaged the leaders by the half mile pole. In fact there were five across the track at that point, but this daughter of Union Rags quickly separated from the bunch and started to steal away by the ¼ pole. She found another gear turning for home and ended up winning by five over a fairly “salty” group of maidens. She was cut out to be a nice filly and she ran huge today. She can go long or short but is main track only. Up the ladder.

Rod Young (Turfdom)

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