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JANUARY 15, 2013

by John Mucciolo

There was a pair of graded races over the third week of the Santa Anita winter/spring meeting.

San Fernando S. (G2): Kaleem Shaw's FED BIZ (Giant's Causeway) sped to the lead soon after the start and got the best of a stretch-long duel to post his first graded win for conditioner Bob Baffert. The four-year-old colt went 1 1/16 miles on the fast main oval in 1:42 1/5 with Mike Smith in the irons.

San Gabriel S. (G2): B J Wright's JERANIMO (Congaree) was last to the top of the stretch, but exuded his class late in blowing past this overmatched field to a 2 3/4-length romp under Rafael Bejarano. The Michael Pender charge went nine panels on the firm turf oval in a solid 1:46 2/5.

Track Stats

From a total of 34 races held at the Arcadia, California racetrack during the past week, favorites won at a 29 percent clip and the top two betting choices combined for 56 percent of the wins. From 23 frays contested on the dirt oval, five animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (22 percent), while two of the 11 grassy tussles went all the way on the lead (18 percent).

Speed faired better on the main oval this week than last, especially on Thursday when a trio of horses led throughout, and two others tracked in second from soon after the start.

Of the two turf wire jobs this week, both came on the downhill course in sprint races.

Outside posts (breaking from post seven or wider) did well over the weekend, with six winners from the 12 dirt races over Saturday and Sunday.

Meet Totals

RACES:   114
DIRT:   83
TURF:   31
FAVORITES:   42 (37 percent)
2ND CHOICES:   23 (20 percent)
TURF WIRE:   4 (13 percent)
DIRT WIRE:   17 (20 percent)


Thursday (1/10)

1ST -- GREELEY AWESOME (Mr. Greeley) showed a nice turn of foot and some heart late in posting a solid score to kick off this card for trainer Doug O'Neill. The Kentucky-bred colt came home in :22 and change under Mario Gutierrez.

5TH -- BELLE PASSE (Van Nistelrooy) reversed form in a nice way here for conditioner Peter Eurton, tracking the early tempo before inching clear under Victor Espinoza. The four-year-old filly will likely head back to the allowance ranks next out.

7TH -- AKKADIAN (Tiznow) beat a stakes quality field in here, and didn't hang on the money as this one is capable of. The Julio Canani trainee has a lot of ability and should be stakes bound soon.

Friday (1/11)

4TH -- APPEALING RESUME (Successful Appeal) was well placed from the start and appeared to have the winner measured throughout, but fell a neck short late under Alonso Quinonez. The six-year-old mare is in very good current form and has proven capable of nearly any surface.

5TH -- DOUBLEDOWN ON TEN (Rock Hard Ten) looked to have this race won but lugged in repeatedly late and had to settle for the runner-up spot at short odds here. We'd be skeptical on backing this useful sort until he proves he can run a straight line in the stretch.

Saturday (1/12)

1ST -- BRANDING (Street Sense) moved up in a big way in this second start for conditioner Tom Proctor, rating off the early pace before taking over in a powerful score under Mike Smith. The sophomore miss may not have beaten a top field today, but did so the right way and looms a chance first with winners next time.

3RD -- MIDNIGHT TRANSFER (Hard Spun) made a fantastic return to the races today for conditioner Carla Gaines, powering home late in a real nice allowance tally over a strong field. The Kentucky-bred stakes winner could be set for a big four-year-old campaign.

6TH -- WINE LIST (Giant's Causeway) has now run a pair of very good turf races for conditioner Ron Ellis when second twice, and the colt should graduate very soon.

Sunday (1/13)

2ND -- SUMMER HIT (Bertrando), in his first race since June, pressed the pace and stayed on late in finishing third here, falling just a nose and head short for conditioner Jerry Hollendorfer. The four-year-old gelding is likely better going a bit longer, and this race was a nice way to kick off his 2013 campaign.

3RD -- SNOW FALL (War Front) tracked in second, took over in early stretch and roared home a powerful 3 1/4-length winner in here for Hollendorfer. The five-year-old mare got her final five-sixteenths in a snappy :30 4/5 and could be set for big things in this form cycle.

4TH -- DEMONIC (Bernardini) took all the money in the wagering and showed why, flying home late to post a game tally at first asking. The John Sadler trainee overcame the seven furlong distance at first asking and got his final three panels in a strong :36 4/5. He's a three-year-old to watch this season.

A Look Ahead

Saturday will play host to the Grade 2, $150,000 Palos Verdes Stakes, and the Sunday feature comes in the form of the Grade 2, $150,000 La Canada Stakes.



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