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Jan 15 Santa Anita Horses To Watch

STREET RUCKUS (January 14): Four year old gelding for Vladimir Cerin made start #6 on Friday and for the first time was dropped into a maiden claiming race in hopes of getting his diploma. Off as the 4/5 choice in a field of 8 at 9 furlongs on the grass, he raced close up to the early pace and was second down the back side, just a length and a half back of the leader. Desormeaux asked him for run at the top of the lane, and he quickly found another gear at the 1/8 pole and pulled away full of run to win by a widening two and a half at the wire. Nobody dropped the tag for $50,000, so he is now eligible for the starter allowance races non winners twice, who have started for $50K or less. They way he finished in this race, he can knock out that condition. And the Cerin barn is very hot right now.

BIG GUN (January 15): Three year old colt for Tim Yakteen made his debut in race five on Saturday, a sprint at six furlongs on the main track for maiden claimers for $50,000. Bet down heavily to 8/5 from a M/L of 4/1, he was void of any early speed, broke last under J.J., and was six lengths off the leaders early. The jock hustled him up to contention by the ¼ pole, but on a track that has been favoring speed, he just had too much work to do. He finished gamely down on the inside through the lane and was nosed out of second, beaten three by the winner. He has more speed than he showed today and he should show more of it in start #2. Yakteen is now 0/16 with debut runners but does considerably better second time out. He’s a soon winner for a barn that does well with young horses and maiden claimers.

ALIGATO (January 15): Five year old gelding for Mark Glatt stretched out to two turns for the first time in his career and handled the task with aplomb in the $200,000 Turf Classic for Cal breds on Saturday at 9 furlongs on the lawn. Off at 3/1 in a field of 7, he was covered up early by Prat and was six lengths back of the leaders into the clubhouse turn. Prat asked him for run at the ¼ pole and he went after the leaders while four wide at the top of the lane. He found his best stride inside the sixteenth pole and won going away by two. He has never missed the board in five starts and is a gem of consistency. He is still eligible for the first allowance condition in “open” company as Cal bred races do not affect his eligibility. This son of Kitten’s Joy is all race horse. Up the ladder.

FLINTMORE (January 16): Four year old gelding for Phil D’Amato made start #2 in Sunday’s opener, a mile on the turf for maiden special weights, 4 and up. Off as the second choice in the wagering in a field of six, he broke OK and was covered up early by Velasquez, as Prat set the pace on the favorite with moderate fractions. He was last and 8 lengths back down the back side, but Johnny V started to move with him at the ¼ pole, got to the outside and finished well out in the middle of the course. He ran second beaten one and a half by the chalk, but was quickly by the winner just past the wire in a strong gallop out. This was his first start around two turns and he ran the final quarter in a very respectable 23.55 and was against the race shape all the way as the favorite wired the field. He’s a soon winner for the red hot D’Amato barn.

GRACELUND GRAY (January 16) Three year old filly for Howard Zucker, who is nearly as white as a bed sheet, made her first start in this country and third of her career on Sunday in a first allowance condition for soph fillies at ¾ on the green. Off at 15/1 in a field of 8, she got squeezed at the start between two runners from the 4 hole and was last early 8 lengths off the pace. Baze tried to move her up on the back side, but she was climbing trying to get used to the grass, checked between horses at the 3/8 pole, then got shuffled back again near the back of the field. He got her to the outside at the ¼ pole, and once clear, she started picking up horses and finished with a good kick late to get second. She was only beaten a length and had a brutal trip. She won her first two starts by 37 lengths up at Lethbridge, a small track in Alberta, Canada. This filly is bred to go long and Zucker has plenty of options. Tab and follow.

By Rod Young (Turfdom)

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