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Santa Anita Horses To Watch Feb 26

COLOSI (February 18): Four year old gelding for Mark Glatt made his second start off a 9 month layoff in Monday’s finale and ran too good to lose, but did in fact lose the race. Off at 12/1 in a full field for the first allowance condition at a mile on the turf, he went right to the lead under Asa Espinoza over a surface labeled as “good”     and set moderate fractions. He managed to sneak away from the field at the ¼ pole, found another gear at the 1/8 pole, then just failed to last and was nailed very late right on the wire. He dug in gamely through the lane and ran the final quarter in a good 23.58. This was his first start around two turns and he probably doesn’t need the lead to win a race. His next start will be his third off a layoff, often a horse’s best performance. This son of the good sire City Zip is good enough to knock out this condition, and he can win it around two turns or coming down the hill, where he broke his maiden. He is sitting on “go” for a barn that is starting to heat up at this meet.

SPACE TALK (February 22) : Four year old filly for Anna Meah made her first start in the USA and first start since last October in Friday’s fifth, a first condition allowance race at six and a half down the hill for older distaffers. Off at 8/1 in a 10 horse field, she broke running and was in the mix early on, but got shuffled back when they made the right hand turn at the start of the hill. She got squeezed a bit and then raced in heavy traffic until the top of the lane, then found a seam, went through it willingly, and finished decently to garner third, beaten two and a half at the wire. She had trained well coming into the race and was either first or second in her last five races as a sophomore in Britain. She likes the turf, can get two turns, and this prep sets her up nicely for a stretch out. She was ridden by Andrea Atzenia and her barn has only won twice in 36 trips to the post, so she will retain good wagering value. She’s no Monomoy Girl, but she is good enough to win this condition. Tab and follow.

CONTINENTAL DIVIDE (February 22): Four year old colt for Jim Cassidy, who had not been to the post since the 4th of July last year, came back in the first allowance condition for Cal Breds Fridat at a mile on the lawn. Off at 11/1 in a 7 horse field, he broke well from the gate, seddled in third into the clubhouse turn, and was about six lengths off the pace at the half mile. He put in a nice move at the ¼ pole to reach contention, sustained the move all the way to the 1/16 pole, then a hung a bit the final 100 yards. He finished second beaten two lengths at the wire to a runner who went wire to wire. The rails were 30 feet out Friday and speed was holding on well on the course. Even though “Continental” was a stakes winner at two, he is still eligible for the first Cal bred condition, as he broke his maiden in that race and it has been his lone victory. Last year Cassidy consistently raced him over his head, but I think this year he will let him win this condition first before trying stakes company. He’s good on either surface and he’s a soon winner for a barn that is slowly heating up at the meet.

BULLION (February 23): Three year old colt for Jerry Hollendorfer made his debut in Saturday’s 2nd, a sprint on the main track at 3/4 for a claiming tag of $75K. Off at 9/1 in just a five horse field, he came out running for Figueroa and dueled with the even money favorite through quick fractions of 22.12 and 44.95. He looked all in at the ¼ pole, but he found a second gear and hung around late to get second, beaten 3 lengths, but 7 clear of the third horse. He missed some drills in January and was probably a tad “short” for this race. If the Dorf keeps him in claimers, he’s a soon winner, as he has a decent combination of speed/stamina. Tab and follow.

GALLOPING MISCHIEF (February 23): Three year old gelding for Richard Mandella made his debut on Saturday in a maiden special weight event for sophs down the hill. Off at 11/1 in a full field, he was void of any early speed and was a good 11 lengths back coming down the hill. He was fanned 8 wide turning for home, then put in a furious stretch run to get up way out in the middle of the course, and win by two going away. This one is bred to go long and has the look of a future stakes horse for the Hall of Fame barn. He’ll have no trouble with the first allowance condition. Follow.

By Rod Young (Turfdom)

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