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: 4-Dupree’s Diamond; 6-Aidan’s Hope
The Friday opener is a bottom-rung maiden claiming abbreviated sprint for older horses, with #6 Aidan’s Hope listed as the 6/5 morning line favorite. A sharp runner-up over this track and distance in a similar event in his first start in 15 months in late May, the Antonio Soto-trained gelding really won’t have to improve much at all to earn his diploma from a very modest field. He makes a major switch to Tyler Baze and figures to be on or near the lead throughout. #4 Dupree’s Diamond represents stranger danger; the debuting Swiss Yodeler gelding has trained reasonably well at San Luis Rey Downs and hails from a low profile barn that won a couple of races here recently. He certainly won’t have to be a world beater to act in this league. We’ll prefer Aidan’s Hope on top but use both in rolling exotic play.
SECOND RACE (2:03 PT) – GRADE: B+
#1 Arrogate was one of the most impressive maiden winners seen around these parts this year when the son of Unbridled’s Song earned a sensational speed figure in graduating over a distance of ground earlier this month. The Bob Baffert-trained colt is wheeled back in less than three weeks, but if he doesn’t regress, he’ll come back and score again. Rafael Bejarano stays aboard and should have this exciting sophomore on or near the lead throughout. At 4/5 on the morning line, there’s no wagering value to be found, so we’ll make him a rolling exotic single but otherwise pass the race.
THIRD RACE (2:36 PT) – GRADE: C+
Use: 2-Swiss Minister; 3-Fans On the Run; 6-Suavemente
The third race kicks off the Pick-6 and is restricted to 3-year-olds entered to be claimed for $20,000. It’s a wide open affair requiring a spread in rolling exotic play. #2 Swiss Minister, freshened since mid-April, exits a much tougher starter’s allowance sprint and despite managing to finish only fifth still earned a career top speed figure in the process. The Mike Harrington-trained colt drops for the money run, switches to Martin Pedroza, and returns to his favorite track, where he has won two of four previous outings. A recent bullet workout should have him right on edge. #3 Fans On the Run is a first-off-the-claim for Bill Spawr, whose stats with this maneuver is off the charts. The son of Marino Marino, freshened since early February, returns with Bejarano in the saddle and should be prominent throughout. He’ll be tough if he improves as much as most Spawr claims do. #6 Suavemente, first off the claim for Robertino Diodoro (another with superior stats with this maneuver), adds blinkers for the first time and may be the quickest of the quick. The gelding has rising speed figures and a healthy work pattern, so we’re expecting a significant forward move by this lightly-raced gelding. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics while giving a very slight edge on top to Swiss Minister.
FOURTH RACE (3:09 PT) – GRADE: C+
Use: 1-Accelerant; 7-Dustin’s Pleasure; 8-Biltmore Boogie
The fourth race is an $8,000 claimer for horses that have not won a race this year. In other words, it’s the bottom of the bottom-of-the-barrel set. #7 Dustin’s Pleasure, claimed in two of his last three starts and now residing in the Mike Mudaris barn, has hit the board in each of his last four starts and is overdue for a win. He’s a strong fit on speed figures and goes for an outfit that has had some success with a limited number of starters, so you have to use him. #8 Biltmore Boogie, a $10,000 Mark Glatt claim (32% with a flat-bet profit with this angle), seems very likely to improve for his new barn, lands a comfortable outside post, and should enjoy an ideal pace-prompting trip. This extended sprint distance seems perfect for his style. #1 Accelerant is buried on the rail but ran quite well in his recent comeback when waivered protected and should produce a forward move for the Yakteen barn. The nine-year-old gelding will likely be forwardly placed in a field without a whole lot of speed. These are the three we’ll be including in our rolling exotics with slight preference on top to Dustin’s Passion.
FIFTH RACE (3:42 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 6-Swiss Silver; 9-Carulli
The late Pick-4 is ushered in by restricted (nw-2) $12,500 claimers meeting over a mile, with # 9 Carulli and #6 Swiss Silver both worth using in rolling exotic play. Carulli is taking the worst of the draw but looked pretty good breaking his maiden last time out and is realistically spotted by trainer Richard Baltas in his first outing vs. winners. A nice couple of works since that win at San Luis Rey Downs is a positive sign, and Bejarano stays aboard, so we’ll put him on top. Swiss Silver, second off the claim for Hector Palma, finished a close fourth (beaten just over a length) in a similar event last month, has worked sharply since, and should fire another good shot, though you have to factor in the additional seven pounds of weight he must carry. He’s also one-for-19 overall and zero-for-nine over the Santa Anita main track; however, if he’s considered a contender it tells you all you need to know about the rest of them.
SIXTH RACE (4:14 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 1-Malware; 4-Mai Tai
State-bred maiden fillies and mares sprint six and one-half furlongs in the sixth race. #1 Malware was crushed on the tote in her debut, leaving at 3/5, but after flashing excellent speed for a half completely fell apart in the lane and wound up a weary third, beaten 11 lengths. The Doug O’Neill-trained daughter of Square Eddie will add blinkers today, continues to impress in the morning, and probably deserves another chance, rail and all. Main stable rider Mario Gutierrez stays aboard. #4 Mai Tai wound up a distant second behind Enola Gray in her debut but finds nobody even remotely as tough in this event for the always-potent Hess/Desormeaux team. The daughter of Heatseekeer hasn’t been out since that early April event and in fact was a scratch on May 30, after which she didn’t appear on the work tab until June14, so there’s a question of condition. We’ll use her in our rolling exotic play but prefer Malware on top.
SEVENTH RACE (4:45 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 2-Wife Approved; 7-Spicy Blonde
Sophomore fillies entered to be claimed for $32,000 sprint six furlongs in the seventh race; there appears to be two main players and will use both in our rolling exotics. #7 Spicy Blonde is triple-jumped in class in a sign of confidence by new trainer Glatt following a claim; the daughter of Speightstown comes off a very easy tally, retains Perez, and should be tough right back despite the class hike. #2 Wife Approved is seeking her third straight score, most recently winning a starter’s $40,000 affair with a career-top speed figure, and should be tough to contain from off the pace once again.
EIGHTH RACE (5:19 PT) – GRADE: B
Single: 7-Mischievous Bull
The nightcap is a weak bottom-rung maiden claimer with very little to work with. #7 Mischievous Bull has the blinkers-off angle that always catches the eye, drops to his lowest level ever, has speed figures that are better than par for this league and returns to the main track, arguably his preferred surface. Gutierrez should have him on or near the lead throughout and have every chance to graduate. At 2-1 on the morning line he’s a logical rolling exotic single.