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Santa Anita Handicapping Horses To Watch Week 20

SPARKY VILLE ( May 11): Two year old colt for Jeff Bonde made his debut in Friday’s second for special weights at four and a half on the main. Off at 3/1 in a field of 8 he was totally void of any early speed and fell back to last early, a good dozen lengths off the pace. That was surprising as Bonde works his horses fast, and this one came into the race with quick drills. Nonetheless, Smith didn’t panic and let this baby settle, then put in a good run from the ¼ pole on home, got up for third and was only beaten about 3 lengths at the wire. The gallop out was particularly strong and he went by the wire to wire favorite quickly after the wire. This son of Candy Ride is a soon winner for a barn that does very well with juveniles.

(May 11): Three year old gelding for Kristin Mulhall tried a starter allowance race on Friday for non winners twice at 7 furlongs on the main track. Off at 11/1 in a field of nine, he set sail early from the rail slot under the bug boy Espinoza and set fractions of 22.19 and 45.02 with two runners on his outside. He opened up two at the ¼ pole and looked home free at the top of the lane, but he tired inside the sixteenth pole and got overhauled late and finished third. He was beaten just a length and a half and this was just his 2nd race back after being off for 7 months. His next start will be his third off the layoff, often a horse’s top race, and if placed properly he is sitting on a victory. If Mulhall protects him in these starter races, that’s a positive sign, and using the bug to get the weight off is also a positive. Be ready as this one will still hold good wagering value.

FASHION BUSINESS (May 12): Four year old gelding for Phil D’Amato, off since last September, returned to the races in Saturday’s opener, a mile on the turf for older runners for the first allowance condition. Off at 3/1 in a field of 8, he was void of early speed and Talamo took him right to the fence from the 8 hole. He was a good 11 lengths back by the half mile pole, but he started a run at the ¼ pole, swung 4 wide into the lane, then had an explosive kick to roll by the field and win handily by two. It was the kind of kick you see from a stakes type horse. “Business” was winless in six trips to the post as a sophomore in the U.S. but he should be very productive as a four year old. I wouldn’t be surprised if D’Amato puts him in a stakes off this performance. Wherever he runs him, up the ladder for an exciting prospect.

(May 12): Three year old ridgling for Keith Desormeaux returned to a sprint on Saturday after getting waxed in the Arkansas Derby. Off at 9/1 in the Grade 3 Laz Barrera stakes at 7 furlongs on the main, he broke running from the 7 hole, then was taken back off the pace by brother Kent. The pace was a tad slow so “Shot” was sent after the leaders at the 3/8th pole, and he momentarily stuck his head in front at the top of the lane. But the favorite got a dream trip through on the inside and the two sprint specialists battled it out to the wire with Shot coming up ¾ of a length short. It was still a huge effort for a horse that had been on the Derby trail. He’s a solid late running sprinter and he may very well get the job done in his next start, which may be out of state as Desormeaux likes to ship. Put this one in your stable watch for his next start.

(May 12): Six year old Cal bred gelding for Richard Baltas took 12 starts to break his maiden but since then he’s been very sharp in open company. After winning the Cal bred allowance condition in start #13, he tried open company on Saturday for the first allowance condition and nearly pulled it off at 14/1. He has a good combination of tactical speed and stamina and when a turf horse gets sharp in this barn, the end result is winning pictures. This son of the good sire Papa Clem is good anywhere from 8 to 9 furlongs on the grass and has hit the board twice coming down the hill. Tab and follow.

By Rod Young (Turfdom)

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