Jeff Siegel’s Santa Anita analysis offers race-by-race wagering strategies geared to rolling exotic players. The basic strategy is to isolate those horses that should be included in rolling daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and pick-6.
It is recommended that Jeff’s selections and analysis be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the exact rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, the reader is encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.
A horse’s final (closing) odds are irrelevant to Jeff’s rolling exotic wagering strategies; In fact, the morning line often provides a better indication as to how strongly a horse may be played in the rolling exotics pools than a horse’s actual closing odds. Jeff’s top selection always appears in bold-faced type.
Unless otherwise noted, all horses listed in the analysis should be used in rolling exotic play. Usually there will no more than three horses listed; occasionally, Jeff will go 4-deep in his rolling exotic play and on a very rare occasion he will recommend a “buy the race” strategy.
A=Highest degree of confidence. B=Solid Play. C=Least preferred, or pass. Top selection indicated in bold-face
FIRST RACE (1:30 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 7-Bedeviled; 8-Name for the Blame
The Saturday nine-race program begins with a maiden $75,000 claimer over a mile on turf for 3-year-olds. #8 Name for the Blame, a closing third beaten less than a length in a better-than-average maiden $50,000 turf sprint last month, retains Rafael Bejarano while stretching out to a distance that he’s bred to like, and rates top billing despite the slight raise in class. A recent sharp half mile workout indicates another forward move is likely. #7 Bedeviled tries turf for the first time and is bred to enjoy the surface switch due to the presence of Trempolino on the bottom side of his pedigree. The Lookin At Lucky colt exits a series of much tougher races, so at this level it won’t be surprising if he turns in a form reversal of sorts. Both should be used in rolling exotic play while having a few extra tickets keying Name of the Blame.
SECOND RACE (2:03 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 3-Princess Ashlyn; 6-Rizzi’s Honors; 7-Mrs. Gudy
The second race, a maiden claiming $40,000 six furlong sprint for fillies and mares, seems to contain plenty of plenty of early zip but very little late speed. The winner could be the one that can establish superiority early and then hang on late. #6 Rizzi’s Honors shows up in a claimer for the first time after displaying some ability when third in first three career starts, all vs. straight maiden foes. She’s likely to improve with the class drop, and on pure figures is a major player even if she doesn’t step forward. With Tyler Baze staying aboard for trainer Dan Blacker, she’s probably the most dependable in the field. #7 Mrs. Gudy was knocked down to 6/5 on her debut vs. slightly tougher foes and had every chance after breaking alertly and establishing a clear lead, but weakened under pressure when it counted and wound up a disappointing third. The daughter of Pomeroy has a right to be fitter and stronger today, and from her comfortable outside post could pop and go or stalk and pounce depending upon what strategy jockey Joe Talamo chooses to employ. However, at 2-1 on the morning line she offers very little in the way of wagering value. #3 Princess Ashlyn returns to the main track for the first time in more than a year and may appreciate the surface switch; the daughter of Cyclotron continues to burn up the training track with scorching a.m. drills, and in dropping to her lowest level ever she may have finally found her friends. Let’s use all three in our rolling exotics but otherwise pass the race.
THIRD RACE (2:36 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 5-Out of Patience; 6-Comes the Dream; 9-Old Man Lake
The third race is a contentious starter’s allowance $16,000 one mile turf affair that attracted a full field of 12. #6 Comes the Dream is a first-off-the-claim for Bill Spawr (35% with a massive ROI) and is protected in a sign of confidence; the veteran gelding switches to Mike Smith and won over this course and distance at this level two races back in a strong, highly-rated affair. His stalk-and-pounce style should keep him free of trouble, so we’re expecting a major effort form this son of Lion Heart. #5 Out of Patience has been quite busy of late; this will be his fourth start in a month for trainer Gary Stute and if he has another good one in him he’ll be right there. The switch to Flavien Prat is noteworthy, as is this gelding’s affection for turf, so at 5-1 on the morning he has to be included somewhere in your rolling exotics. #9 Old Man Lake is winless in five prior starts over the Santa Anita turf course and is working on a 10-race losing streak dating back more than a year, but he does exit a series of much tougher races and is stretching out again to a distance he certainly can handle. Baze will have him running on late. Let’s try to get past this race using just these three, with preference on top to Comes the Dream.
FOURTH RACE (3:09 PT) – GRADE: C+
Use: 2-Conquest Cobra; 3-Karma King; 5-Head South
We’ll spread the fourth race, a $50,000 seven furlong claiming sprint. #5 Head South, last seen 11 months ago, has been training well for Hector Palma (superior stats with comebackers), is reunited with Desormeaux (who has won on him several times in the past) and shows two wins and a second in three prior starts at this extended sprint trip. His affection for the Santa Anita main track also is well documented (first or second in seven of nine career starts) and based on the projected race flow he could inherit the role as the controlling speed. #3 Karma King moves up two notches in class for new trainer Gary Sherlock after a highly-rated score vs. $32,000 foes last month. The son of Pure Prize, like Head South, is a seven furlong specialist (he’s two-for-two lifetime) and while he just won on the pace, he can be equally effective from the second flight if the situation dictates. #2 Conquest Cobra won extra gamely over a route of ground vs. $40,000 foes last month, shortens up in trip today while moving up a level, and in his only prior start at this extended sprint trip won a decent race last summer at Woodbine. He’s worth including on a ticket or two as well.
FIFTH RACE (3:42 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 1-Accelerate; 3-Vinz Clortho; 7-Third Brigade
The fifth race is a stronger-than-par seven furlong maiden special weight sprint that offers a 6/5 morning line favorite, #3 Vinz Clortho. Second in a fast, highly-rated affair last month while more than three clear of the rest, the improving son of Ghostzapper has the proper style for this extended sprint trip and today for good measure will add blinkers. While the Phil D’Amato-trained colt is a deserving favorite, he’d be advised not to regress, because there are at least two other entrants that have strong credentials to be competitive. #1 Accelerate didn’t get out well when favored at 6/5 last month and wound up a disappointing fourth in the same race Vinz Clortho exits; however, his debut, when finishing a strong second to Westbrook with next-out winner Arrogate behind him, charts very well. Two impressive workouts since his last race for trainer John Sadler adds fuel to the fire. Dedicated longshot players should take a close look at #7 Third Brigade, away since last October but returning as a first-time gelding with blinkers on and Prat in the saddle for trainer Mike Puype, who boasts exceptional stats with layoff runners. The son of Exchange Rate displayed good speed to subsequent stakes winner Collected in his only outing and could be a better type this time around.
SIXTH RACE (4:14 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 1-Lucky Bryan; 8-Undeniable U; 11-Liam the Charmer
The Rainbow Stakes for 3-year-olds at nine furlongs on turf is carded as the sixth race and kicks off the late Pick-4. #11 Liam the Charmer has the look of a progressive colt; the son of Smart Strike from multiple stakes-winning Charm the Giant pulverized a maiden field by more than five lengths over this course and distance last month in a race that already has proven productive, and with a series of solid workout since that race the Mike McCarthy-trained colt should produce another significant forward move. #1 Lucky Bryan had a right to be a tad rusty when making his first start since October in the Singletary Stakes last month, but kept on nicely to be a solid third and seems certain to move forward considerably with that effort behind him. The Sadler-trained colt should appreciate today’s extra furlong and should enjoy an ideal ground-saving, second flight trip. Espinoza got to know him last time out and stays aboard. #8 Undeniable U was an admirable runner-up at this trip in a strong allowance race vs. older foes in his most recent outing and today faces his own age group. He’s a grinder without a true turn of foot but should stay on at this distance and at least get a piece of it. Let’s use all three in our rolling exotics while giving a very slight edge on top to Liam the Charmer.
SEVENTH RACE (4:45 PT) – GRADE: C
Use: 1-Tengas Ransom; 2-Tatar; 5-Solar Zone; 9-Lost Dutchman
The seventh race is an abbreviated sprint for state-bred maiden special runners and finds #1 Tengas Ransom still seeking his diploma after failing at short odds in both of his last two outings in similar company. His numbers aren’t getting any better and he’s buried on the rail, so he could be vulnerable again as the likely wagering choice. #9 Lost Dutchman had an outing in December and failed to run to expectations when weakening late to wind up fourth in a moderate affair; however, he returns for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer with blinkers on and Bejarano in the saddle, and a recent sharp half mile solo gate work in 47 3/5 seconds gives indication that we’ll see a new and improved version today. #5 Solar Zone has trained well enough for Carla Gaines to be competitive in his debut and is a “must use” in rolling exotic play. His most recent two drills especially catch the eye. #2 Tatar is a mystery horse from San Luis Rey Downs; his work tab doesn’t jump off the page but he’s a homebred gelding by Square Eddie and most likely would have debuted for a tag if he hadn’t shown at least something. The Reddam-Gutierrez may have a live one here for trainer Edward Freeman, who should have this newcomer fit and ready. The winner probably will be one of these four but it’s a wide open affair, so tread lightly.
EIGHTH RACE (5:09 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 2-Bellementary; 4-Songbird; 5-Coppa
#4 Songbird is listed as the 1/5 morning line favorite in today’s featured Summertime Oaks, understandably so considering she’s a winner of all seven career starts and never by a margin of less than three and three-quarter lengths. But this will be her toughest test. The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro came down with a fever following her victory in the Santa Anita Oaks in early April that caused her to miss an intended engagement in the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs the following month. Since being returned to serious training she’s looked her usual self in morning workouts but today she’ll be facing some serious heat in the form of #5 Coppa. Unbeaten in two starts for leading trainer Phil D’Amato, Coppa has excellent sprint speed but enough quality to carry it two turns, and will insure that Songbird won’t have any breathers along the way. If Coppa softens up Songbird to such an extent that the favorite becomes vulnerable, the race could set up for #2 Bellementary. The daughter of Bellamy Road was highly impressive winning the Angel Flight Stakes over seven furlongs last month, though she was no match for Songbird when facing the champion over a sloppy track in the Santa Anita Oaks two runs back. It must be stated that Bellementary’s sprint speed figures far exceed her route numbers, and it’s possible that she’s most effective going short. Today she should have every chance to dispel the theory. Obviously there’s plenty of wagering value to be found in beating Songbird, but that may be easier said than done. Hoping to do just that, we’ll triple the race in our rolling exotics while recognizing the likelihood that Songbird will continue her perfect ways.
NINTH RACE (5:39 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 4-Warm Endowment; 10-All That Heat; 11-Starlite Style
State-bred maiden fillies and mares meet over a mile on turf in the nightcap. #4 Warm Endowment stretches out to a distance she’s bred to like; the daughter of Unusual Heat improved considerably when placed on grass for the first time in a recent Hillside sprint, missing by a nose while in receipt of a nasty head-bob. Her improving pattern should continue today and we’re expecting the Dean Greenman-trained sophomore to settle into a second flight, stalking spot, and then exert her superiority when it matters. Both #10 All That Heat and #11 Starlite Style have credentials and are worth using in rolling exotic play as well, at least as savers. All That Heat ran her best race under these conditions in March when setting the pace and then hanging on for third while earning a career top speed figure, so with the switch to Prat she has to be dealt with. Starlite Style should be a late threat and will appreciate any help she can get up front.