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 (2:00 PT) – GRADE: C+
Use: 4-Barbara Jo; 7-Love a Honeybadger; 9-You’re Late
Maiden two-year-olds sprint four and one-half furlongs in the opener, an anything-goes type of race requiring a spread in rolling exotic play. #4 Barbara Jo has shown some talent in three local works for trainer John Brocklebank and gets hustling rider Martin Pedroza. She’ll be out winging. #7 Love a Honeybadger has trained like a nice sort at Los Alamitos for Brian Koriner and has a good foundation that should have her fit and ready. #9 You’re Late is another that has flashed ability in a.m. drills and this Jeff Bonde-trained daughter of Lucky Pulpit is worth considering as well.
SECOND RACE (2:33 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 1-Fly Lexis Fly; 5-Tribal Jewel
Most of the action in the second race, a middle distance main track $40,000 claimer, figures to land on #1 Fly Lexis Fly and #5 Tribal Jewel. The former won a starter’s allowance event at Los Alamitos from off the pace last month to maintain his current sharp form and a healthy work pattern since should have him on edge for a similar try today. Tribal Jewel returns to his claim level, retains Rafael Bejarano and is strong in the speed figure department. Always partial to this main track (first or second in six of 10 career starts at Santa Anita), the Richard Baltas-trained gelding should be comfortably placed in a race lacking in early speed and then have every chance to capitalize on a soft trip. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics and then press with Tribal Jewel on top.
THIRD RACE (3:06 PT) – GRADE: C
Use: 1-Trinitys Turn; 2-Flashy Gold; 3-Dragon Eyes; 5-Goldrushcat
Bottom-rung maiden claiming fillies and mares meet over a mile on the main track in the third race. With nothing to trust, we’ll go four-deep in our rolling exotics but will otherwise pass the race. #5 Goldrushcat missed by a neck in a similar event from a poor draw last month at Los Alamitos; the daughter of Broken Vow gets a better post today, retains Bejarano, and should be in the thick of things throughout. However, she’s been a beaten favorite in five of six career starts, so play her at your own risk. #2 Flashy Gold has had but two career starts, is improving with racing, and was a close third in the same race Goldrushcat exits. She has more room to improve than ‘Cat, though on pure numbers she’s not very fast (but neither is anybody else in here). #1 Trinitys Turn is a 13-race maiden and really can’t be counted on but she was a fairly close fourth in that common race with Goldrushcat and really won’t have to improve much to finally graduate. #3 Dragon Eyes was an okay third in her comeback last month, finishing steadily after a slow start in a seven furlong sprint. The Paddy Gallagher-trained daughter of Candy Ride should enjoy this stretch-out in trip and makes a favorable rider switch. She’s less exposed than the others so on that basis alone probably deserves a slight edge on top.
FOURTH RACE (3:39 PT) – GRADE: B+
Single: 1-Dis Smart Cat
#1 Dis Smart Cat ran away and hid in her debut vs. maiden $50,000 claimers, winning by more than 10 widening lengths while earning a speed figure that makes her tough right back in this starter’s allowance dash for sophomore fillies. Not sure why Tyler Baze isn’t back aboard (he’s riding #3 Tinderette instead) but new pilot Edwin Maldonado actually is trainer Matt Chew’s go-to rider and the recent works look sharp, so we’ll stick with the daughter of Square Eddie as a straight play and rolling exotic single.
FIFTH RACE (4:12 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 2-Roy H; 5-Zinvor
First-level allowance horses sprint down the hill in the fifth race, with course specialist #2 Roy H seeking to get back on the beam after a disappointing effort over the Los Alamitos main track last month. The Peter Miller-trained colt makes a highly-favorable jockey switch to Bejarano and should draft into a comfortable pace-stalking position. A bullet five furlong workout at San Luis Rey Downs last week is another positive factor. #5 Zinvor also sports good prior form over this course and distance and that fact combined with the route-to-sprint angle makes this Adam Kitchingman-trained gelding excellent value at anywhere near his 8-1 morning line. Let’s both in our rolling exotics with slight preference on top to Roy H.
SIXTH RACE (4:44 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 6-Kellianne Can Can; 7-Audra
Restricted (nw-3) $16,000 claiming fillies and mares meet over seven furlongs in the sixth race. #7 Audra seems as good as any; she’s a first-off-the-claim for Jack Carava, retains Flavien Prat, and earned a speed figure in her most recent win that should make her dangerous right back despite the one-level hike in class. She’s a perfect one-for-one at this extended sprint trip and in a field without much speed should be comfortably placed pressing modest fractions. #6 Kellianne Can Can, in the money in her last six starts, is a bit slow on speed figures but she’s a trier and might be capable of a forward move in her first outing since early March. This is her fourth straight class drop and she may have finally found her proper level. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics while preferring Audra on top.
SEVENTH RACE (5:15 PT) – GRADE: B+
#2 Sensitively is two-for-two in 2016 and both of her wins were highly-rated and visually very impressive. She’s hooking more speed today (#5 Fast and Foxy is a Bay Area shipper with only one way to go, on the lead) but in her present form the daughter of Street Sense should be able to handle any heat that’s thrown her way. However, at 4/5 on the morning line she’s offers no real wagering value, so we’ll use her as a rolling exotic single but otherwise pass the race.
EIGHTH RACE (5:39 PT) – GRADE: B+
Use: 6-Infinite Loop
#6 Infinite Loop appears ready to win in the nightcap, a downhill turf sprint for maidens. The son of Unusual Heat made progress when a solid runner-up in a maiden turf miler here in March, retains Prat, and shows a strong, steady work tag for his return. Not a speed type but capable of producing a good late kick, he should be along in time and offers value in the straight pool at or near his morning line of 3-1.