Friday, February 12, 2016

Handicapper's Corner - Santa Maria Stakes (G2)

A Birdatthewire Could be Flying in the Santa Maria Stakes (G2)

 By: Michael Amo


The newly turned four year old  gets the nod from ThoroFan's Chairman.

This mile and a sixteenth event for fillies and mares that are 4-years-old and older is a competitive race. Two of the horses are new 4-year-olds. Birdatthewire, one of the 4-year-olds, gets to be the high weight because of her win at three in the LaBrea Stakes (GI) in December at nearly 11-1 odds.  With Mike Smith in the saddle she ran from last to first going five wide in the stretch turn.
 La Brea Stakes

Top speed figures in the race are shared by four horses, Big Break, Kyriaki, Yahilwa and Tara’s Tango. Rush to the first turn will be exciting.  Let’s look at the field.

11.   Star Act (Street Cry--IRE) seems out of form based on last three turf races. Shortening up in this race and switching to the dirt may help. She broke her maiden at today’s distance. Art Sherman, California Chrome’s trainer, has been conditioning her since July showing modest works. PASS.

22.   Gas Total- (BRZ) (Sulamani--IRE) finished poorly, however with a respectable last 1/8 of a mile time. She is showing no sign of improving based on lackluster morning works. However, the old gal (7) did run nice in the Vanity Stakes (G1) in May to place second with a 93 Beyer. Stays with the same jockey, but up against it again. PASS.

33.   Birdatthewire (Summer Bird) is working very well for conditioner, Tom Proctor. Her last eight have been graded stakes beating Cavorting in the LaBrea Stakes (G1). Gets Mike Smith back after that grade one win. She is improving and will be moving late in the stretch. LIKELY WINNER.

44.   Big Break (Mr. Big) is stepping up in company, but is quick out of the gate. May force a speed duel which could benefit others. Workouts say ready and distance is good. May have difficulty in the stretch run. May stay in exotics.

55.   Kyriaki (Scat Daddy) has won at this level, but unlike some of the others found graded stakes level out of her reach. Lacks good morning preps and competitive Beyer figures. Change to jockey Bejarano is the best that can be said about her. Will push the pace for others. PASS.

66.   Living The Life (IRE) (Footstepsinthesand-GB) is working solidly for her second race in 2016, off a two month layoff. Stretching out 2 furlongs, but bloodlines suggest that will not be a problem. Transition from synthetic to dirt has been her challenge. Very quick down the stretch. With Stevens up she will give all. Could upset.

77.   Yahilwa (Medaglia d’Oro) is a solid contender with early speed. Morning works are suspect. Gets another try to hold off a closing Birdatthewire. Why jockey Mike Smith switched mounts may offer some insight to which is the better horse. Her strong of grade one tries at the end of 2015 may have affected her performance in January. Looks like she may need one more before she is ready to run her best. In the exotics.

88.   Tara’s Tango (Unbridled’s Song) is one of those warriors who is always near the front at the wire. Her nose loss to Stellar Wind in the June race over this surface was impressive. Works suggest she is ready and will contend. Outside post may cause her the win. In exotics likely.

With three in the morning line co-favorite category, Birdatthewire (3), Yahilwa (7) and Tara’s Tango (8), value will be found by eliminating two of them. Birdatthewire had too many problems last out in the LaCanada (G2) to ignore. The other two go.

LaCanada Stakes

The finish should be:
11.   Birdatthewire (3)
22.   Tara’s Tango (8)
33.   Living the Life (6)
44.   Big Break (4)
55.   Yahilwa (7)

The Handigamble from the $100 bankroll:

11.   $50 win #3
22.   $2 Trifecta Key: 3 /,4,6,7,8/4,6,7,8 ----($24)
33.   $.50 Superfecta Key: 3 / 4,6,7,8/4,6,7,8/4,6,7,8 ----($12)
44.   $2 Exacta Wheel (just in case) ALL / 3 ----$14

Good Luck, but keep the Day Job!

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