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Santa Anita Horses To Watch Feb. 11

AUSTINíS BOY (February 7): Three year old gelding for Eric Kruljac made his 2nd start in Fridayís opener, a Cal bred maiden special weight event at five and a half on the turf. Off at 3/2, with a lot of late money coming in, he broke running under new rider Umberto Rispoli, set all the fractions of 21.94 and 45.51, was passed at the 3/8 pole, then gamely re-rallied and won by six going away with a very fast final quarter. Although his breeding screams strictly sprint, he galloped out like a horse that can handle a mile. This son of Idiot Proof was visually impressive and he should have no trouble with the first allowance condition for Cal breds. Up the ladder.

KUSTOM FOR KARL (February 8): Three year old filly for Jeff Mullins made start #2 on Saturday in a maiden special weight at five and a half on the lawn. Off at 9/5 and the second choice in the wagering in a field of 8, she broke running under Rispoli, who by the way has more turf wins at the meet than any other rider, assumed the lead early with fractions of 22.13 and 45.36 for the half. The favorite came to her at the ľ pole, but when Rispoli asked her for run, she opened up quickly by two, widened that to three and a half at the wire, and still galloped out strong. She ran the final quarter in a blistering 22.54 while on the lead. Her breeding doesnít scream out for two turns, but by the way she ran and the gallop out, she should at least be able to get a mile. This Louisiana bred looks like stakes material down the road.

MANHATTAN UP (February 8): Four year old colt for Phil Oviedo made his 2nd start off a five month layoff in a second condition allowance race at 7/8 on the main. Off at 9/5 in just a five horse field, and the second choice in the wagering, he settled in 4th down the back side about five lengths off the pace in his customary position. Pereira kept him on the outside and he got caught 4 wide around the far turn, and then got fanned out even further at the top of the lane. But he kept to his task and ran down the leaders to win going away by two at the wire. On a track playing dull, his final time was a respectable 1:22.80 for the 7 furlongs. This son of Street Boss will have to face stakes horses now so the water does get deeper, but heís in peak form and is good anywhere from six to seven furlongs. He can handle a raise for a very underrated barn. Follow.

TROJAN MAGIC (February 8): Four year old colt for Andrew Lerner tried two new things in Saturdayís finale, a maiden claimer with a tag of $62,500 at a mile on the lawn for older runners. Off at 10/1 in a full field, he was trying grass and two turns for the first time in his third career start, and he passed both tests with flying colors. He had been off the board in both of his sprints despite going off as the post time favorite, but he made the running here and fought for the lead throughout through swift fractions of 22.49 and 46.06. He was still fighting for the lead all the way down the lane under Fuentes and just got nailed very late by the favorite in the closing strides. He missed by a half at the wire in the good time of 1:35.14 for maiden claimers. Lerner took the blinkers off here and he relaxed nicely up near the lead. Heís a soon winner for a very high percentage barn and Iím sure they will keep this son of Twirling Candy on the grass.

SEA OF LIBERTY (February 9): Four year old gelding for John Sadler made his third start off a 10 month layoff on Sunday in a Cal bred maiden special weight event at a mile on the lawn. Off as the 9/5 wagering choice in a field of six, he sat in fifth going into the clubhouse turn about six lengths off the pace. He made his move at the ľ pole, quickly engulfed the leaders, then got in a game battle with another all the way to the wire. He prevailed by a half on the outside. He outworked a stakes horse, Frontier Market, coming into this race, and he should have no issue with the first Cal bred allowance condition. Up the ladder for this son of the good turf sire Boisterous.

By Rod Young (Turfdom)

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