Sunday Dec. 29 – Santa Anita Top Play
Scheduled Local Post Time – 4:05 pm PT
The Grade 3 Robert J Frankel has attracted a field of eight fillies and one mare to run nine furlongs on the grass. Much as we are drawn to California stakes races of all sorts, we are having a difficult time getting excited about any horse in this race. So let’s stick with a simple analysis here. There are times when simple analyses are best. Let’s hope this is one of them.
The favorites on the morning line are Customer Base, Appealing, Gulsary, and Moone’s My Name. But the Frank Lucarelli-trained filly Stormy Lucy has a last-out speed figure (a 108) that is higher than that of any of the four favorites. In addition, Stormy Lucy’s speed figure from two races back, a 102, also stands tall in this field.
According to the TimeformUS Pace Projector, Stormy Lucy should be on the inside of a three-horse duel at the opening half. Given its enviable track record, we are loath to disagree with the Pace Projector. So we won’t. But having said that, we will not be surprised if Stormy Lucy finds herself in a stalking position today. And if she does end up in a three-horse war up front, it is comforting to know that she will likely be on the rail as she wages it. Duelling outside horses is not the way to win races on this turf course.
Stormy Lucy exits the Grade 1 Matriarch, which received a TimeformUS Race Rating of 112. This puts the Matriarch 10+ points clear of any of the last-out races her opponents exit.
Frank Lucarelli does not receive lofty TimeformUS Trainer Ratings, but he is a highly competent veteran whom we never hesitate to play when we are fond of what he has to work with.
At morning line odds of 9-2, Stormy Lucy is our selection.