Friday April 11 – Santa Anita Top Play
Scheduled local post time 4:42 pm local time
Five of the horses in this race are coming out of the fifth race on March 14. To my mind, the best performance of the group came from (3) Kantina Kowgirl (12-1 ML), who was wide almost the whole way from her outside post. This filly has some tactical speed, and fits beautifully at this distance. Two starts ago, she competed in the best field anyone here has seen: going against the highly talented filly Diversy Harbor, who would be 1-5 against this group.
She held her own, losing by eight lengths but still making a little move while having to deal with traffic trouble. The start before, she battled for the lead in legitimate fractions before tiring going a mile. Today looks just right for her in a suspect field and she may be overlooked.
It can’t be any breeder’s plan to produce a horse who is five years old by the time she makes her second lifetime start. It’s been a long, unproductive career so far for (1) Cee’s Tizzy Belle, but she’s a talented horse. Cee’s Tizzy Belle makes her first start in 224 days today, and the second of her career, but she couldn’t have found a better spot to pick up a good piece of this, or maybe even win, and finally pay some dividends to her patient connections.
The key to this horse lies in the TFUS race rating for her only appearance: an 86. That race came in the heart of the summer, at Del Mar, against a solid field of Cal-bred maidens. She doesn’t face as strong a group today. Her effort that day was good, not great, a respectable debut. The pace was fast, and she was far off of it, and did benefit. However, she still whipped home in an adjusted final quarter of sub-24. Not bad at all for a Cal-bred mare in her first start.
She now shortens up in distance, and that’s a concern. Is she truly a “plodder,” or was she just slow early in her debut? The 6 1/2-furlong downhill turf course often works to the benefit of deep closers, and we’re going to hope she can save ground from her spot, back far enough to get a clear run wide in the stretch and pick them all off but one.
(7) More Complexity was excellent in her only turf start, back in December, another race with a TFUS race rating of 86 (no one else here has run in as strong a field). A repeat of that effort should make her very tough on the front end here. The concern today is that her form may be deteriorating just a touch, and the 6 1/2 furlongs may be just a touch long. In her last race, she faced a buzzsaw of a layoff-returner and couldn’t catch her, but the concern is the subpar speed figure of 73. The start before that, she set a slow pace and tired. Truly, her turf race is her best lifetime race. Will she run to it? And can she go 1/2-furlong farther without tiring? Unanswered questions she will have to address today.
(4) Jennyway U Want It and (5) Warren’s Jen Fizz (can anyone keep all these Warren horses straight?) are listed as morning line favorites. They both came out of the same race as Kantina Kowgirl and finished ahead of her, but may not have raced as well, and will be lower prices today. So why use them?
(3) Kantina Kowgirl to win and place
Exacta box (1)-(3)-(7)