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 (12:00 PT) – GRADE: B-
Single: 8-All That Heat
The Saturday opener brings together older state-bred maiden fillies and mares in a Hillside turf course sprint. It’s an uninspiring group, to say the least. #8 All That Heat is a daughter of Unusual Heat from the Mark Glatt barn; she ran well in a turf miler three races back (by far her best career effort) and jockey Rafael Bejarano, who was aboard that day, returns. She has the kind of early zip that should be used to good advantage under these conditions, and against this modest opposition she could get very brave. Those wanting the action can use her as a rolling exotic single but there are several more attractive wagering opportunities later in the program.
SECOND RACE (12:40 PT) – GRADE: B-
The second race is below average restricted (nw-2) $12,500 claiming sprint that contains very little depth. #3 Boompa may be a rolling exotic single by default. Hardly one to trust (he’s one-for-18 lifetime), the veteran son of Include has been second in his last pair with solid figures and really won’t have to improve much to beat this modest crew. This extended sprint distance won’t hurt, either. As in the first race, we suggest you tread lightly here.
THIRD RACE (1:15 PT) – GRADE: A-
Single: 5-Navy Hymn
The third race is a $40,000 claiming sprint restricted to 3-year-olds and appears on paper to be a gimme for razor sharp #5 Navy Hymn. A winner of his last three, most recently a highly-rated, runaway score by more than eight lengths vs. $25,000 foes, the son of Songandaprayer was claimed by Robertino Diodoro, whose stats with first-off-claim runners is off the charts. This double jump in class should be well within this gelding’s range, but at 9/5 on the morning line and almost certain to go lower, he’s not likely to offer any wagering value, other than as a rolling exotic single.
FOURTH RACE (1:49 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 3-Unusually Talented; 6-Rebarules Again
The fourth race is a split of the opener, a downhill turf sprint for state-bred maiden fillies and mares, and is clearly the stronger half of the two events. #3 Unusually Talented isn’t particularly fast on speed figures but as a daughter of Unusual Heat she’s likely to improve a ton in her first try on grass, so this Jerry Hollendorfer-trained sophomore is a “must use” in rolling exotic play. #6 Rebarules Again has run well under these conditions before and with Bejarano staying aboard the Glatt-trained daughter of Tribal Rule should be running on strongly late. Both should be used in rolling exotic play.
FIFTH RACE (2:20 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 1-Miss Star Maker; 3-Minister’sadventure; 6-Desert Madam
The early 50-cent Pick-5 sequence concludes in the fifth race with a state-bred first level main track mile event for fillies and mares. #3 Minister’sadventure has had two speed sharpeners off a long layoff and now seems ready to stretch out and win. A better router than a sprinter, the Hollendorfer-trained four-year-old should find herself in a comfortable second flight stalking spot. #6 Desert Madam, a solid third in a similar spot at Los Alamitos last time out, always has been partial to the Santa Anita main track and with the major switch to Bejarano seems like a logical contender. First or second in half of her 22 career starts, the veteran mare by Desert Code is thoroughly genuine and consistent. #1 Miss Star Maker, a game second in the same race Desert Madam just finished third in, figures in the battle once again and may even inherit the role as the controlling speed. Toss her in as well.
SIXTH RACE (2:51 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 5-Bronzino; 6-Radio Silent; 8-Dirt in Your Face
The sixth race is a starter’s allowance main track miler and seems fairly wide open. #6 Radio Silent, a fairly close fourth in a similar affair here last month, makes a positive jockey switch to Flavien Prat and is a strong fit on speed figures. The son of Candy Ride will be making just his seventh career start, so another forward move can be expected. #5 Bronzino finished with interest in his U.S. debut for trainer Ray Bell in late March, winding up third while earning a good number. That race was on grass; today, the French-bred gelding makes his first start on dirt, so it’s anybody’s guess as to how he’ll handle the surface switch. He’s also a first-time Lasix user. 8 Dirt in Your Face catches a very favorable pace scenario, and if he can make the running without pressure he could duplicate his highly-rated winning effort (by 12 lengths) when breaking his maiden in February. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics without any great conviction and hope to get by.
SEVENTH RACE (3:20 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 1-Paiasolo; 3-Seve’s Road; 5-Malko
First level allowance turf marathoners meet over 12 furlongs in the seventh race. #5 Malko ran a dynamite third at this trip back in February and was arguably best; however he failed to duplicate that effort in his next start when shortened to 10 furlongs. Back at a mile and one-half today, the Simon Callaghan-trained colt seems capable of rebounding in a big way and deserves top billing. #3 Seve’s Road should love the long journey, has won over this course in the past, and has winning connections. His two recent outings have been uninspiring but in an open fray he’s worth consideration. #1 Paiasolo is a lightly-raced and progressive son of Pulpit from the Richard Mandella barn. He’s fresh from a maiden tally up north, has trained well since, and gives the appearance of a true marathon type, so we’ll include him as well in rolling exotic play.
EIGHTH RACE (4:00 PT) – GRADE: B+
The eighth race kicks off the late Pick-4 and brings together entry-level allowance fillies and mares at the extended sprint distance of six and one-half furlongs. #4 Coppa won at first asking last November at Del Mar like an exciting prospect but quickly disappeared. She finally makes it back to the races for top trainer Phil D’Amato and her works indicate she’s fit and ready to pick up where she left off. Talamo, who rode her to victory last summer, returns for a stable whose stats with layoff runners (26% with a flat-bet profit) is exceptional. This could be a quality filly ready to move up the ladder, so let’s make her a strong straight play, rolling exotic single, and hope to get close to her morning line of 3-1.
NINTH RACE (4:57 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 7-Subtle Indian; 9-Sahara Sky; 10-San Onofre
The Kona Gold Stakes, a Grade 2 extended sprint for older horses, offers a new shooter to the local ranks, #7 Subtle Indian. Now in the Diodoro stable, the Oaklawn Park shipper looks on paper to be the quickest of the quick, and if he can reproduce his best form today he could easily be the one to beat. #10 San Onofre, fresh from a sharp score in the Los Angeles G.-G3 at Los Alamitos, has had more than his share of success over the Santa Anita main track, having finished first or second in eight of 11 career starts.. The speedy gelding should have every chance from his comfortable outside post position, having shown the ability to dominate gate-to-wire, or from a pace-stalking spot. #9 Sahara Sky is another Santa Anita specialist eligible to snap back to good form with the return to the Arcadia oval. This will be his second off a layoff – he didn’t show much when a non-threatening fifth up north last month – and if he moves forward as expected the classy veteran could be heard from late. We’ll prefer the shipper Subtle Indian slightly on top while tripling the race in rolling exotic play.
TENTH RACE (5:27 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 7-Miss Double d’Oro; 10-Swift Lady
The Mizdirection Stakes, a listed affair for Hillside sprinting fillies and mares, is a typical grass grab bag; rolling exotic players should include as many as they can afford to. #7 Miss Double d’Oro was a similar stakes over this course and distance in March and then lost little when a closing third in the Giants’ Causeway at Keeneland. She’s re-united with Santiago Gonzalez, who won on her two races back, but will need racing luck to be effective. If she can secure room in the lane, she’ll be right there. #10 Swift Lady won the Sweet Life Stakes from 3-year-olds in February and is a perfect two-for-two over this tricky layout. She’s tackling older foes for the first time today but is a strong fit on figures and switches to Bejarano. Let’s try to get by using just these two, but if you can afford to go deeper, go right ahead.
ELEVENTH RACE (5:57 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 4-Spirit World; 9-Hoosier Road
The finale is a bottom-rung maiden claimer at six furlongs. #4 Spirit World, second in his last pair including a nasty nose defeat in a fast race for the level at Los Alamitos, seems likely to be the favorite and the one to beat. Tyler Baze stays, blinkers come off, and the Jeff Mullins-trained gelding may never find a better spot to graduate. Small ticket players certainly can consider using him as a rolling exotic single. #9 Hoosier Road is a first-time gelding with some early speed and could stick better today in a soft spot. He’s worth using as saver.