“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+
Use (in order of preference): 1-Split Then Double; 2-Annaghlasa
Forecast: The Saturday opener – an allowance optional/claimer for fillies and mares over a mile on grass – finds the two main contenders drawn side-by-side along the rail. Split Then Double (TOC=9/2; ML=3-1) makes her first start on the West Coast for trainer J. Sadler after beating maidens in her sixth career start with a big figure at Belmont Park and then bringing $190,000 through the ring at Keeneland in the November Mixed Sale. Three consecutive bullet workouts over the local training track indicate she’s ready to pick up where she left off, and from her good inside draw the English-bred filly is guaranteed an ideal ground-saving trip. Based on the huge figure she earned when breaking her maiden, she should be tough to beat. Annaghlasa (TOC=8/5; ML=5/2) improved her Beyer speed figure by 16 points following a sprint tightener in her U.S. debut when she wired a maiden field in strong fashion while setting legitimate early fractions. She tackles tougher today, but the P. D’Amato-trained Irish-bred, making just her fourth career starts, likely has plenty of further improvement in her. She appears to be the type that can adjust to any pace scenario but based on the projected race flow it wouldn’t surprise us to see her on the lead once again. We’re expecting the winner to be one of these two, so both should be used in rolling exotic play with a slight preference on top to Split Then Double.
Split Then Double (February 3, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.4h TT). Grade: B+
Strong solo training track drill, never really asked, final three furlongs in a sharp :35.4. Freshened since November, looks very good for new trainer J. Sadler and should be a very live item vs. first-level allowance fillies and mares over a route on ground on grass.
View Workout Video
Annaghlasa (February 5, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02.1h TT). Grade: B
Broke off slightly in front of Flint Stroll (same time) and was under a nice hold throughout while finishing a head in front at the wire, splits of :25 flat, :37 flat and 101.4 on our watches, a couple of ticks faster than given. Looked fine, but never changed leads through the lane. Comes off nice maiden score and should be competitive on the raise.
View Workout Video
RACE 2: Post: 1:01 PT Grade: C+
Single: 5-For Love Not Money
Forecast: This bottom-rung maiden $20,000 claiming sprint attracted just five entrants, with For Love Not Money earning top billing by default. She finished second in a similar event here last month while staying on through the lane and shouldn’t be inconvenienced by today’s extra half furlong. In a race that has little to offer, we’ll make her a rolling exotic single at 2-1 on the morning line, but if you choose to sit it out, that’s fine, too.
For Love Not Money (February 4, Santa Anita, 4f, :49.4h). Grade: B-
Easy breeze for M. Glatt, splits of :24.2 and :49.2, never asked while moving well and remaining on edge. Should be set to graduate vs. bottom-rung maiden claimers next time.
View Workout Video
RACE 3: Post: 1:34 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 3-Translate; 6-Gallovie
Forecast: Translate (TOC=6/5; ML=5/2) demolished a softer starter’s allowance field last month after returning from the East and a similar effort today should be good enough for a repeat score in this six furlong turf sprint for older fillies and mares. She’ll likely to settle in the second flight in a good stalking position and then have dead aim and every chance from the quarter pole home. Gallovie (TOC=7/2); ML=4-1) is worth including on your ticket, at least as a back-up. Winless in six starts over the Santa Anita turf course and just 2-for-18 in her career, the English-bred mare nevertheless rates a chance in her first start in 11 months with a solid recent series of workouts at San Luis Rey Downs to have her plenty fit. We’re expecting her to be in a cozy pace-stalking position throughout, and with good speed figures to go back to and a history of running well fresh, the R. Baltas-trained mare may be the one to fear most.
RACE 4: Post: 2:05 PT Grade: C+
Single: 2-Starship Chewbacca
Forecast: Here’s a bleak affair, a bottom-rung $10,000 claiming sprint for older horses in which four of the seven recently competed at Los Alamitos. Starship Chewbacca (TOC=5/2; ML=9/5) seems reasonably solid in his first start since being claimed by G. Papaprodromou, and a repeat of any one of his last three starts should be good enough. The veteran gelding is a one-paced sort without much early speed but seems likely to settle into a good second flight, stalking position and then have his chance to grind out another win. He is reunited with “win rider” J. Hernandez but at 9/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower there probably isn’t a whole lot of wagering value to be found.
RACE 5: Post: 2:37 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 6-Ultimate Hy; 2-Fearless Girl; 1-Miss Costa Rica; 8-Pop Pop’s Dream
Forecast: This first-level allowance/optional claimer over a mile on grass is a split of today’s opener and looks considerably more contentious, though perhaps not as strong at the top. Ultimate Hy (TOC=8-1; ML=7/2) seems as good as any. Stretching out again after a recent sprint tightener down the Hillside course, the B. Heap-trained filly is a two-time winner over the Santa Anita turf course and has several back numbers that are par for this level. D. Van Dyke stays aboard and knows her well. Fearless Girl (TOC=7/5; ML=3-1) is seeking her first U.S. victory in her fifth start since arriving from Ireland. The analytics are in her corner, her numbers are rising, she lands a comfortable inside draw, and she was four lengths clear of the rest when second to stakes performer Closing Remarks last time out, so the P. D’Amato-trained can be expected to produce a career top effort. That said, she’s a one-paced grinder with no real turn of foot, so she may be a hard one to totally embrace. Miss Costa Rica (TOC=6-1; ML=4-1) stretches out again, lands the good rail, and switches to F. Prat, so we’re anticipating a significant forward move from the R. Baltas-trained filly. She’s another lacking in acceleration, so an aggressive ride from the gate to secure a forward position might be required to give her a reasonable chance. Pop Pop’s Dream (TOC=11-1; ML=4-1) is slower on numbers than the other contenders, but she’s won three in a row, including a nice score last month over this course and distance when rallying against the grain to be up in time. With some help up front today, she should be heard from in the final furlong.
RACE 6: Post: 3:07 PT Grade: X
Single: 7-Fury Kap
Forecast: Fury Kap (TOC=9/2; ML=8/5) has been away since September of 2020, when he finished unplaced in the Speakeasy S. for juveniles after winning his debut at Tampa Bay Downs by more than nine lengths. The J. Sadler-trained gelding returns cheap in this restricted (nw-2) $16,000 sprint and has the benefit of a good outside draw, the addition of Lasix, and the presence of F. Prat. Clearly, his connections don’t view him as a long term prospect, but we know he can fire fresh (he won his debut) and the workouts at Los Alamitos should have him plenty fit, so at 8/5 on the morning line he seems logical as a no-value, rolling exotic single in a race that might otherwise be best left alone.
RACE 7: Post: 3:39 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 8-Sterling Crest; 7-Carroll Girl
Forecast: Sterling Crest may finally be ready to graduate in her fifth career outing, though her speed figures have stagnated and remain well below par for the level. However, this maiden turf miler for sophomore fillies came up unusually light, so we’ll put the Irish-bred daughter of No Nay Never slightly on top. Her R. Baltas-trained stable mate, Carroll Girl, must be included as well in rolling exotic play. Freshened since the fall, the First Samurai filly was nosed out in a similar event over this course and distance in just her second career start and gets F. Prat, so if she returns as well as she left, she could easily justify her role as the 9/5 morning line favorite.
Sterling Crest (February 5, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.4h TT). Grade: B
Easy to the top, then was coaxed through the lane and finished well enough, splits of :25.1, :37.2 and 1:01.3, full stride late, solid drill for R. Baltas. Has some improvement in her and should find a maiden sophomore filly field she can beat eventually.
View Workout Video
RACE 8: Post: 4:13 PT Grade: X
Single: 4-Got Thunder
Forecast: After displaying immense promise when second to the undefeated stakes winner Newgrange in his debut at Del Mar in November, Got Thunder went backwards in his second start the following month, winding up a distant second at 3/5 while being assigned a Beyer speed figure that was 18 points lower than what he had earned first time out. The son of Arrogate has trained exceptionally well since that flat performance and stretches out to a distance he’s bred to love, so let’s give the J. Sadler-trained colt another chance in a modest maiden special weight main track miler for 3-year-olds. He gets Lasix, retains F. Prat, and is listed at 4/5 on the morning line, so you can either take the short price in rolling exotic play or simply sit it out.
Got Thunder (February 5, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.3h). Grade: B+
Mild coaxing early, ridden a bit late and finished in full stride, splits of :23.4, :35.1 and :59.3 for J. Sadler, strong drill while getting ready to stretch out in distance. Flashed promise in debut, went backwards in his second start, but now appears ready to step forward. Should greatly improve two-turning.
View Workout Video
RACE 9: Post: 4:45 PT Grade: B+
Use (in order of preference): 3-I Got a Gal; 9-Urban; 7-Kitty Kitana
Forecast: Today’s finale is the Sweet Life S.-G3 for sophomore fillies sprinting down the Hillside Turf Course. I Got a Gal (TOC=13-1; ML=7/2 was miles the best when breaking her maiden in her first start on grass earlier this meeting. She overcame a horrendous start, a premature early move and very wide trip to graduate far more impressively than her moderate Beyer speed figure gives her credit for. This return to a sprint shouldn’t bother her at all, so with good racing luck the daughter of Pioneerof the Nile looks capable of handling the class hike at 7/2 on the morning line. Urban (TOC=2-1; ML=5/2) is improving with racing and was visually pleasing in her maiden win over this course and distance last month. Most effective when held up early and allowed to blast home, the daughter of Quality Road retains F. Prat and is certain to receive the patient ride she requires. Kitty Kitana (TOC=4/5; ML=4-1) , beaten less than a length by Urban in that same race while making her U.S. debut for P. D’Amato, is raised into graded stakes company in a sign of confidence despite still maintaining her maiden status. The English-bred daughter of Bobby’s Kitten makes a major jockey switch to Johnny V. and will be rolling late. Additionally, the analytics love her. We’re expecting the winner to come from this list of three, with I Got a Gal the preferred pick on top.
I Got a Gal (February 6, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h TT). Grade: B+
Solo training track drill for P. Eurton, mostly on her own, final three furlongs in :11.4 and :36.1 while maintaining her edge. Was tons the best in maiden win (self-caused trouble) and will get tested vs. stakes types next time out. Better on grass than dirt, it would seem, and should be capable of sprinting or routing equally well.
View Workout Video
Urban (February 4, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.3h TT). Grade: B+
Quite sharp in solo training track drill for S. Callaghan, final three furlongs in :11.3 and :35.3, never really asked. Quick-actioned daughter of Quality Road continues to improve and may have found her niche as a late-running turf sprinter.
View Workout Video