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Santa Anita Handicapping Horses To Watch Oct 30

STRADELLA ROAD (October 26): Three year old filly for Gary Stute found her hole card in Friday’s opener when she was sent two turns for the first time in her young career. Off at 9/1 in just a 7 horse field, she was well placed throughout by Baze as she laid 3rd down the back side 3 lengths off the pace. Baze asked her for run at the ¼ pole and she got the lead at the top of the stretch. The 4/5 favorite was loaded and came rolling up on the outside under Prat in this mile turf race for maiden special weights, but “Stradella” had plenty left in the tank and held her safe by two lengths at the wire. She ran the final quarter in a good 23.87 while never being further than 3 lengths off a fairly quick pace. Up the ladder.

ACCLIMATE (October 26): Four year old gelding made a huge barn switch going from Kenny Black to Phil D’Amato and made short work of a $25,000 claimer, non winners twice, on Friday at a mile on the turf. Off at a generous 15/1 in just an 8 horse field, he broke well from the rail under Figueroa, and fought for the lead into the clubhouse turn. Then the rider took a hold of the gelding and restrained him off the pace. He was 4th by the half mile pole but never more than 3 lengths off the pace. The rider got him to the outside turning for home and he went by the leaders quite easily to win by a length and a half. He’s a Cal bred out of Acclimation, and the first allowance condition for Cal breds won’t be any tougher than this race. This one is cut out to be a nice horse and the barn switch to D’Amato has made a world of difference. Up the ladder for a horse improving nicely.

THE HUNTED (October 27): Three year old gelding for Richard Baltas tried a couple of new things on Saturday which resulted in a six length victory over Cal bred maiden special weights at a mile on the turf. Off at 7/1 in a full field of runners, new rider Angel Cruz took this son of Unusual Heat off the pace for a change and Baltas removed the blinkers as well. He had been going to the lead early and stopping, but today he was well off the pace down the back side by about 8 lengths from the leaders. Crus let him run at the 3/8 pole and he quickly circled the leaders from the outside, had his neck in front turning for home, and cruised to the wire to win by six. Taking the blinkers off this sophomore was the key and getting him to relax early. He likes the turf and the first allowance for Cal breds isn’t all that tough. He can win back to back for a barn that’s been heating up lately.

SHEZA CHATTYKAT (October 27): I don’t care how good a horse one is, once they miss the start in this game, one is pretty much dead. Such was the case of this four year old filly for Len Powell, who got away last in a field of 8 for the first allowance condition at 7 furlongs on the main track Saturday. Off at 3/1 with a fair amount of late money, she broke slowly under Bejarano and quickly trailed the field. However, he rushed her up from the inside and she actually had the lead by the half mile pole and the fractions were quick, 21.78 and 44.50. You know she would be dead meat by the top of the lane and to her credit, she battled the best she could. She held on for second while being beaten six lengths at the wire. All in all, a good effort considering the break. She likes those five furlong turf sprints at Del Mar and she should be able to find one of them in November at this level. If so, this race sets her up nicely for that     in a race she’s capable of winning. Of course, she has to get out of the gate, which she usually does.

POSIT (October 27): Two year old filly for Simon Callaghan made her debut in Saturday’s 9th and was unlucky to draw the rail in a field of 11 sprinting on the main track in a maiden special weight. Off at 14/1, she made the running right from the get go and sizzled through the opening quarter in 21.66 with the heavy odds on favorite just to her outside. They opened up five on the field at the ¼ pole with a half in 45.16, but they were both dead tired turning for home. Posit cracked first and fell well off the leaders to be beaten at least 15 lengths. But this one has talent and the rail post dictated what she had to do today. They paid $200K for her at the Ocala two year old sale and she will improve dramatically in start #2. Tab and follow.

By Rod Young (Turfdom)

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