Xpressbet writer Jeff Siegel offers his top plays for Friday.
Santa Anita Race No. 6 (6:31 p.m. ET/3:31 p.m. PT)
#2 Whiskey Blue (4-1)
Galloped out better than the line will show in her recent fifth-place finish at this restricted (nonwinners of 2) $16,000 level, and if she’s ever going to be successful around two-turns, it’ll most likely be in her first try. The daughter of Maclean’s Music doesn’t quite have the speed to be effective sprinting, but over a mile in a race without much pace, she is likely to be forwardly placed and have every chance against a field of one-paced grinders. A recent bullet half-mile workout (:47 2/5, fastest of 60) catches the eye, so let’s try her in the Win pool and in the various rolling exotics.
Santa Anita Race No. 7 (7:01 p.m. ET/4:01 p.m. PT)
#1 First Peace (4-1)
Exits a killer race – the one that Speed Boat Beach set a track record at Del Mar – and under the circumstances actually didn’t run badly despite winding up sixth, beaten almost 14 lengths. With the switch to grass for his second career start and facing an infinitely easier assignment, the Mark Glatt-trained colt seems certain to improve a bunch, especially if he leaves clean from the rail. The barn’s second-time starters usually step forward, so at 4-1 on the morning line there’s some wagering value available.