Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.
The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). 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: 3-Map to My Heart
Forecast: Map to My Heart has been away for more than a year but the daughter of Liam’s Map shows a work tab at Los Alamitos that should have her fit enough and based on the ability she displayed over this course and distance as a 2-year-old she appears to have landed in a winnable spot. This maiden special weight turf sprint came up softer than par, so at 3-1 on the morning line let’s go with the B. Koriner-trained filly as a win play and rolling exotic single.
RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: B+
Use: 2-California Kook; 4-Velvet Slippers
Forecast: California Kook was out of her element in the Zenyatta S.-G1 at Santa Anita last month but returns to her favorite dirt surface while dropping back into the first-level allowance ranks so we’re expecting the daughter of Boisterous to regain her winning form. She does her best running from off the pace and should get the patient ride she requires with the switch to U. Rispoli. Velvet Slippers is lightly-raced with rapidly rising Beyer speed figures, continues to impress in the morning, and is a “must use” in rolling exotic play. In a field that should produce a modest early pace, she could inherit the role as the controlling speed and be very tough to catch given that type of trip. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with a very slight edge on top to California Kook.
Velvet Slippers (Nov. 7, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.3h). Grade: B+
Always going the better of the two inside Enbarr (same time) while finishing a long neck in front at the wire without every really being asked, final quarter mile in :24 flat. On the upgrade for B. Baffert and has all of her conditions.
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RACE 3: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 6-Hay Juan; 7-Tizlightning
Forecast: Tizlightning won at first asking in clever fashion with a solid speed figure at Los Alamitos in September. He returns protected in a starter optional claimer, lands the cozy outside post, and will be tough to beat if he duplicates his maiden performance. Hay Juan is the quickest in the field and will take them as far as he can for new trainer D. O’Neill. The Danzing Candy colt was straight as a string to hang on when beating maiden $50,000 foes over this track and distance in early September and shows a bullet local workout (5f, 1:00h) seven days ago to indicate that further improvement is probable. We’re expecting the winner to be one or the other, so we’ll include both in our rolling exotics with a very slight edge on top to Tizlightning.
Tizlightning (November 13, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02.3h TT). Grade: B
Easy move, just galloping along looking fine, final three furlongs in a breezing :12.1 and :37.4. Freshened since good maiden claiming debut win and should be quite competitive with starter’s allowance foes.
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RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-Barristan The Bold; 4-Mr Vargas; 7-First Prez
Forecast: We’ll spread the fourth race, a $25,000 claiming turf sprint for older horses. Barristan The Bold made the running but faded late in a similar affair down the Hillside Course at Santa Anita last month in what was a fairly strong race for the level. This shortening in trip should help, and a repeat of his troubled third over this course and distance three runs back probably would be good enough to win. At 4-1 on the morning line, he’s worth a play in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics Mr Vargas finished a good third in an allowance $40,000 optional seller sprinting on this turf course in late August. The layoff is concerning and so is the drop in class, so we have to wonder what kind of condition he’s in. Clearly, on best day he can win against this group but it’s entirely possible he’s seen better days. First Prez has a prior win over the local lawn and could snap to life in his first-off-the claim for J. Mullins. The First Dude gelding projects to enjoy a nice pace-stalking trip outside and then have every chance from the quarter pole home to take control. At 6-1 on the morning line, you have to include him somewhere.
RACE 5: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 4-Riviera Champ; 7-Town Boy
Forecast: Town Boy seems fairly solid in this maiden $32,000 claiming sprint for juveniles. Runner-up in his last pair with rising speed figures that are stronger than par for the level, the son of Speightstown returns to the level at which he was claimed, switches to A. Cedillo, and should be on or near the lead throughout from a comfortable outside draw. Riviera Champ, a $50,000 M. Maker claim at Santa Anita, has two-turned on grass in all three of his career starts and today shortens to a sprint, switches to dirt, and reappears in a softer $32,000 affair. If he can run, this would be a good spot to show it. Two very sharp workouts over the local main track since joining this barn are quite encouraging. We’ll give Town Boy top billing but include both in our rolling exotics.
RACE 6: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Fly to Mars; 8-Absolute Unit
Forecast: Fly to Mars draws a much better post today and should draft into an ideal stalking, ground-saving position and then have every chance to regain his winning form when the pressure is turned on. The veteran gelding always has run well over Del Mar turf course but has failed as the favorite in each of his last four starts, though not running badly at all. Today looks like his day. Absolute Unit, drops below his claim level in his second start since joining the M. Maker barn, has a prior win over the local turf course and is a strong fit based on his clever win two races back. He looks better on form than his 8-1 morning line, so we’ll toss him in on a few tickets as a back-up or a saver.
RACE 7: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B
Single: 4-Delta Wind
Forecast: Not sure what happened to Delta Wind when she flopped badly at 60 cents on the dollar in a similar spot for first-level allowance fillies and mares at Santa Anita last month. She appeared hot and bothered in the post parade and then seemed totally disinterested while earning a Beyer speed figure 26 points lower than her maiden win over the Del Mar main track two runs back. She was very impressive in that 11 length romp while turning in a performance that would bury this group, so let’s give her a chance to make amends and hope she shows up with her best stuff today. At 5/2 on the morning line. she’s a win play and rolling exotic single.
Delta Wind (November 11, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.1h). Grade: B+
Appeared to lose focus a bit and was a tad green through the lane but still turned in solid five furlong main track drill without being asked, splits of :23.3, :35.1 and 1:00.1 for J. Sadler. A bit quirky but has plenty of ability and will be tough to beat vs. non-winners of two types if she performs up to potential.
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RACE 8: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B-
Use: 5-Bonnie Brae; 10-La Deuxieme Etoile
Forecast: Bonnie Brae was quite unlucky when well-backed (5/2) on the tote and then winding up fourth in her debut sprinting on dirt last month at Santa Anita. She broke slowly, fell far back, then took hold and finished with good energy but too late. Yes, her late kick was race-shape aided and may have flattered her performance, but the daughter of Grazen should benefit greatly from the outside and has the pedigree to handle grass and move up over a distance of ground. A bullet recent five furlong workout (:59 1/5) is another positive factor. La Deuxieme Etoile was overmatched in the Zuma Beach S. last month at Santa Anita but isn’t today and is strictly the one to beat. The D. O’Neill-trained filly adds blinkers for the first time and has previous form over this course and distance at this level that makes her strictly the one to beat.