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Santa Anita Handicapping Horses To Watch Feb 19

FOXTAIL (February 15): Five year old mare for John Sadler tried the starter allowance condition for non winners twice for the 7th consecutive race, but this time it was taken off the turf and run on the main track. After 10 starts on the turf and none on the dirt, Foxtail proved she could handle this as well as the sod, as she went wire to wire and beat a good field by five in the process. On a track labeled “good”, she battled head and head down the back side through good fractions of 23.74 and 47.46, then put the other speed away at the top of the lane, and cruised on home to win by five under a hand ride. She closed the door on the rest of the field with a final quarter in 24.73 and a mile in 1:36.26. This Kentucky bred daughter of Mizzen Mast can handle the first condition and now Sadler has one more option for this ultra consistent mare who rarely throws in a dull race. Up the ladder.

ENLISTING (February 15) : Three year old filly for Dan Blacker made just the third start of her young career and absolutely obliterated a group of maiden claimers on Friday. Dropping down from straight maidens to a $50,000 tag, and off as the wagering favorite at 4 to 5, she settled nicely in fifth down the back side just 4 lengths off the pace. Prat kept her on the fence and was looking for a seam at the top of the lane, found one, and she zoomed through it in the blink of an eye, opened up four at the 1/8 pole, then went on to clear by 14 at the wire, all under a hand ride. Now granted, this was a weak field, but the way she did it was eye catching. She will have no trouble with the starter allowance race, non winners twice. She’s a “lock” next out, turf or dirt. By the way, Hess Jr. dropped the slip for $50K.

PARSIMONY (February 16): Three year old colt for Doug O’Neill ran his heart out in Saturday’s 4th, a 9 furlong maiden special weight event for sophomores on a turf course rated as good. Off at 5/1 in an 11 horse field, he battled on the lead all the way and never caught a breather at any point in the race. He put all the speed away turning for home, and then tried to hold off a late runner who had the perfect trip on the outside. In the end he just couldn’t do it and he settled for second beaten a length at the wire, while it was four back to the third horse. It was a “gutty” performance and this was his second try on the turf and both of those races have been good. He is a 7 time maiden but if they leave him on the grass, and they probably will, he’s a soon winner. He is good from six and a half down the hill to 9 furlongs.

PLAY MONEY (February 16): Three year old colt for David Hofmans made his career debut on Saturday at six and a half on the main track for Cal bred maiden special weights. Coming off a series of strong works, he went off as the 6/5 betting favorite in a field of six. However, when the gates opened, he just stood there, and completely missed the start to be away last. Talamo rushed him up from the outside lanes and he actually had the lead by the half mile pole, but the tardy start cost him in the end, even though he hung in there till deep stretch before throwing in the towel. He was 4th beaten six at the wire. Out of 12 works prior to the race, not a single one was a gate work, which I thought was a requirement for a debut runner. The stewards missed this one, but his next start should be much better, and I think Hofmans will work him from the gate as well. He has enough talent to win at this level against state breds and his value should be good based on this finish.

BLITZKRIEG (February 17): Four year old gelding, who was just claimed by Doug O’Neill for $25K,  lived up to his name and just blitzed a decent field of starter allowance foes in Sunday’s opener at six and a half down the hill. Off as the co-choice at 2/1, he broke a step slow from the one hole over a course rated as “good”, then quickly rushed up under Bejarano to reach contention. He was 4th when they came to the dirt crossover and the rider smartly angled him to the outside, then he simply inhaled the leaders and went on to win by 7 under a hand ride. He is still eligible for the first allowance condition and based on this performance, he will get it quite quickly. He can run short or long. Up the ladder.

By Rod Young (Turfdom)

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