“What You Need to Know” – Santa Anita
By Jeff Siegel, 1stbet.com Handicapper & Analyst
Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily Santa Anita Handicapping Analysis, Wagering Strategies, Workout Commentary, and True Odds Calculations (“TPC”) identify those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.
The “TOC” quantifies the findings of a personal thoroughbred analytics program that contains in its database the results of every race contested at Santa Anita since 2004. More than 75 critical factors in the fields of class, distance, surface, age, and sex have created 227 individual
algorithms that are highly specific to the race being handicapped. The result is a probability line that reflects each contender’s true odds based on a pure 100 point takeout.
The “TOC” applies its mathematical formula only to non-maiden races and displays a maximum of four runners considered the most likely contenders to win. Also listed is the specific algorithm’s sample size plus the top-rated horse’s win percentage and return on investment (ROI). It is suggested that the player utilize the program’s findings to compare each contender’s “true odds” with the morning line and/or actual wagering odds to identify potential overlays and underlays.
Also-eligible runners are not included in any of the calculations until verified as actual starters. When possible, adjustments to the “TOC” will be updated after late scratches.
For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.
Grade A=Highest degree of confidence
Grade B=Solid Play.
Grade C=Least preferred or pass
Grade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play
RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: B-
Single: 6-Stone’s River
Forecast: Restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claimers meet over nine furlongs on the lawn, with Stone’s River (TOC=3/5; ML=9/5) appearing to be the logical top pick. The C. Lewis-trained gelding projects as the controlling speed and given that type of trip he should be hard to catch. Though winless in four career outings on turf, the son of Acclamation does show grass numbers that are good enough to beat this field, so rather than spread the race let’s take a small stand and make him a rolling exotic single.
RACE 2: Post: 1:01 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 1-Mad Steven; 2-Mashhad Flats
Forecast: Mashhad Flats (TOC=Evens; ML=5-1) appears well to get back on the winning track in this five-runner $32,000 claimer for 3-year-olds over a mile. The R. Hanson-trained son of Gormley adds Lasix, makes a monumental jockey switch to F. Prat, and should either be the controlling speed or comfortably placed in a stalking position. He earned a career top speed figure last time out and nothing more will be needed today. Mad Steven (TOC=5-1; ML=8/5) won a maiden claimer sprinting over the local main track two runs back while earning a competitive speed figure with this group and then was overmatched with starter’s allowance foes on grass. He’s back where he belongs today, lands the good rail, and should be prominent throughout and have every chance. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Mashhad Flats.
RACE 3: Post: 1:37 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 8-Smuggler’s Run; 2-Who’s Candy
Forecast: Smuggler’s Run (TOC=3-1; ML=5/2) was victimized by a rugged trip when sixth of eight in the Baffle S. over this turf course a couple of weeks ago but is wheeled back quickly while being dropped into this first-level allowance state-bred sprint and is comfortably drawn outside, where he should enjoy a trouble free journey. He is reunited with “win rider” F. Prat and should be capable of winning from a cozy stalking position. Who’s Candy (TOC=6/5; ML=3-1) actually is a bit faster on speed figures than our top pick and is the preferred pick of the analytics. A sharp maiden winner over this course and distance on New Year’s Day, the son of Danzing Candy may find himself on the lead again and if so, he may never look back. Preference on top goes to Smuggler’s Run but we’ll double the race in rolling exotic play.
RACE 4: Post: 2:08 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 1-Tiz a Master; 6-Bella Renella7-Li’l Grazen
Forecast : We’ll go three-deep in our rolling exotics in this $16,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares, but otherwise sit it out. Tiz a Master (TOC=7/5; ML=5/2) was nosed out by Bella Renella when they met in a $12,500 affair last month but goes today off a claim for C. DeAlba and gets a five pound shift in the weights, so with good racing luck from the rail she should be capable of reversing that result. First or second in six of 10 career starts over the Santa Anita main track, the veteran mare always gives her best and projects to be on or near the lead from the rail. Bella Renella (TOC=5/2; ML=5/2) moves up a notch for new trainer D. O’Neill, retains regular pilot T. Baze, and will be doing her best work from off the pace. With some help up front, she’ll be right there again. Li’l Grazen (TOC=7/2; ML=2-1) is a tough-as-nails eight-year-old mare drawn comfortably outside while returning to her claim level two races back. She seems likely to enjoy a clear run outside from a mid-pack position and have her chance from the quarter pole home.
RACE 5: Post: 2:41 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 2-Majestic Steps; 1-Va Va Voom
Forecast: The main contention is drawn inside in this starter optional claiming turf sprint for $50,000 older fillies and mares. Majestic Steps (TOC=3-1; ML=8/5), freshened since October, returns protected in a sign of confidence by trainer P. Eurton and switches back to F. Prat. A recent bullet blowout (:36 flat) over the training track should have her sharp and ready and having won off a layoff in the past the Irish-bred filly looks like an extremely live item. She’s been primarily a miler throughout her career, but this drop back in trip could bring out her best. Va Va Voom (TOC=6/5; ML=3-1) has only one option from the rail and that is to bust out and go. Just 1-for-17 in her career and winless in nine starts over the Santa Anita turf course, the veteran daughter of Vronsky always is a bit vulnerable close home, but if she can shake loose early, she could get brave. Both should be used in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Majestic Steps.
Majestic Steps (February 6, Santa Anita, 3f, :36h TT). Grade: B
Easy solo training track breeze for P. Eurton, splits of :11.4 and :36 flat without being asked while looking sharp. Freshened since the fall and is returning in good order.
View Workout Video
RACE 6: Post: 3:15 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 4-Magicnthemoonlight; 3-Midnight Fury
Forecast: Magicnthemoonlight makes his debut in this maiden $200,000 claimer for 3-year-olds, and while we doubt any of the six entrants are worth that kind of money (or even half that mount) this colt appears to have the talent to win right off the bat. The son of Tapiture, a $90,000 OBS April sale purchase last year, has done some good work in the a.m. for a barn that has superior stats with the first-time starter angle, so if he breaks cleanly this M. Glatt-trained sophomore should be tough either on the lead or from slightly off the pace. Midnight Fury has the benefit of three prior runs and shows improving form, so the D. O’Neill-trained colt can be included on your ticket, at least as a back-up.
Magicnthemoonlight (January 29, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02.1hg). Grade: B
In blinkers, breezing every step of the way in team gate drill with Besame Mucho (5f, 1:02.3hg), splits of :25.1, :37 flat, :49 flat and 1:02.1, able to go quicker if permitted. Looks to be a maiden with some ability and should be live at first asking vs. high-priced maiden claimers. Appears fit enough.
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RACE 7: Post: 3:46 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 7-Big Novel; 6-Smilin Evie
Forecast: Big Novel (TOC=3/2; ML=9/5) finished an excellent second in the Cal Cup Oaks over this course and distance last month and seems well-spotted to regain her winning form in this softer allowance optional claimer for 3-year-old fillies. She adds Lasix, retains Johnny V., and should be comfortably placed in the second flight and then have her chance to grind out a win from the quarter pole home. Smilin Evie (TOC=10-1; ML=4-1) is bred to improve a bunch on grass (Tom’s Tribute) and has the two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern that always catches our eye. She’s the likely controlling speed, retains F. Prat, and could take this field a very long way if not policed up front. We’ll have tickets using both in our rolling exotics, with preference on top to Big Novel.
Big Novel (February 4, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02h). Grade: B
Even but much the best with Little Rachel (same time) for J. Sadler, under a nice hold throughout and coasting to the wire following splits of :12 flat and :37.3 for the final three furlongs. Never off the board in six career starts and seems set for another solid effort.
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RACE 8: Post: 4:17 PT Grade: B
Single (in order of preference): 7-Lucy Jane
Forecast: Lucy Jane exits a pair of infinitely tougher, faster races and appears to have found her proper level in this maiden claiming $30,000 sprint for sophomore fillies. The L. Mendez-trained daughter of Speightster is the “interior fraction” play, as she projects to clear this field early and then have an excellent chance to roll all the way to the wire. She’s worth a play in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.
RACE 9: Post: 4:49 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 9-Ian Glass; 8-Castle; 7-Johnny Podres
Forecast: The nightcap is a grass grab bag for $25,000 older turf claiming sprinters that has a number of possibilities to consider. We’ll go three-deep and hope that’s enough. Ian Glass returns to his claim level and repeat of his race before last should be good enough. A three time winner over the Santa Anita turf course, the J. Sadler-trained gelding exits a fast, highly-rated race and can produce a late kick to tag the speed close home. Castle is another that has good prior form over the local lawn (he’s a three-time winner) and exits the same hot race as Ian Glass. Off his best day, he can be right there. Johnny Podres has been away since the fall but has enough early speed to be within striking range and then have his chance to make some noise in the closing stages. The S. Miyadi barn has excellent stats with layoff runners, so we suspect this son of Grazen will fire a good shot off the bench.