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Santa Anita Horses To Watch March 24

DUPLICITY (March 20): Three year old colt for John Sadler made his debut in Friday’s third, a maiden special weight at five and a half on the turf for 3 and up. Off at 15/1 under Victor Espinoza, he made the running right from the start, and battled for the lead from the inside through quick fractions of 21.94 and 45.17 on a course labeled good. He put the other speed away at the top of the lane but couldn’t hold off a perfect tripper, who just nailed him very late right on the wire. It was a superb effort for this son of the good stallion Into Mischief and he will be much tighter for start #2. He is bred to run long as well so Sadler has plenty of options for a colt, who looks like he could be very good down the road. Follow.

ROUTE SIX SIX (March 21): Five year old ridgling for Brian Koriner made his 2nd start off a long layoff in Saturday’s 2nd, a second condition allowance race at a flat mile on the main. Off at 5/1 in just a five horse field, he took all the worst of it setting the pace down on the inside and was hounded every step of the way by a multiple stakes winner to his outside. He put Dr. Dorr away at the 1/8th pole, found another gear late, and went on to win by 3, galloping out strong. He ran the final quarter in a sparkling 24.39 after being hounded the entire trip. His next start will be third off the layoff, often a horse’s best performance, and though the water will get deeper, this son of Quality Road has a lot of talent. He may have to face stakes horses now, but off this race, he seems up to the challenge. Up the ladder.

SKY JUMPER (March 21): Four year old gelding for Bob Baffert made the 3rd start of his career and first going two turns in Saturday’s sixth, a starter allowance race for non winners twice, who started for a claiming tag of $50K or less. Off at 9/2 in a field of six, Van Dyke gunned him from the rail slot in this one mile affair and he set fast fractions on a track rated fast, but was on the “dull” side. He opened up three at the 3/8 pole, still was two in front at the top of the lane, but was gunned down by the favorite right near the wire. He lost by a neck and it was nine lengths back to the third horse. It was a big effort for his first time going two turns and this one doesn’t need the lead to win. He’ll get a lot out of this race and should be able to knock out this condition in start #4. Tab and follow.

TAGLINE (March 21): Four year old filly for Jeff Mullins made just the third start of her career in Saturday’s finale, a mile on the turf for maiden special weight fillies/mares, 3 and up. Off at 4/1 in a 9 horse field, she was covered up early under Mike Smith and was way back into the clubhouse turn, 12 lengths back of the leaders. She moved up on the rail and was mid pack by the half mile pole, just six off the leaders. Smith kept her on the fence and she was loaded turning for home, but she couldn’t get out and find a lane. One finally opened late and she burst through it but the race was over by then. She finished second beaten a length by the favorite. Her gallop out was especially strong. She ran the final quarter in a smart 22.86 and if she could have found a lane earlier, she wins by two or three lengths. She’s a soon winner for a barn that is heating up nicely.

PALALEO (March 22) Four year old gelding for Jeff Bonde, off for a full 12 months, made his return to action in Sunday’s 4th, a maiden claimer for $50K at five and a half on the turf, 3 and up. Off at 3/1 in a full 10 horse field, he broke sharply under Prat and sat 4 lengths back of the leaders down the back side. Prat moved him at the ¼ pole, and he engulfed the leaders quickly, pretty much on his own, and went on to score by four and a half with a strong gallop out. His performance was visually impressive and he looks like a horse that wants two turns. He will have no trouble with the starter allowance race, non winners twice, as he won this race as the rider pleased. Up the ladder.

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