The selections contained within are 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 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, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.
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.
The selections are available every racing day after 9 a.m. (PST). For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.
Top selection indicated in bold-face.
A=Highest degree of confidence.
C=Least preferred, or pass.
X=likely winner but odds will be too short to play.
Saturday, May 19, 2018
RACE 1: Post 10:30 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Autostrade; 4-Flash Attacks
RACE 2: Post 11:05 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 4-Contrarian; 5-Aquamarina; 9-She Doesn’t Mind;
RACE 3: Post 11:41 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 6-Happy Farm; 7-Forge; 8-Pop Keenan
RACE 4: Post: 12:16 ET. Grade: B
Use: 3-Mai Ty One On; 5-Square Shooter
RACE 5: Post 12:51 ET. Grade: B
Use: 4-Black Stetson; 6-Say the Word
RACE 6: Post 1:28 ET. Grade: N-
Use: 1-Hollywood Strike; 3-Bo Vuk; 7-Uncle Mojo
RACE 7: Post 2:07 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Frostmourne; 7-World Approval
RACE 8: Post 2:45 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Still Having Fun; 5-Mitole
RACE 9: Post 3:25 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 5-Cambodia; 6-Blessed Silence; 8-Elysea’s World
RACE 10: Post 4:05 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 4-Lewisfield; 5-Switzerland; 9-Long Haul Bay
RACE 11: Post 4:42 ET. Grade: -
Use: 7-Girls Know Best; 11-Smiling Causeway; 12-Just Talkin
RACE 12: Post: 5:39 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 8-Ax Man
RACE 13: Post 6:48 ET. Grade: X
RACE 14: Post 7:35 ET. Grade: B+
Saturday, May 19, 2018
RACE 1: Post 12:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 5-Girl Downstairs; 6-Red Livy
Forecast: Red Livy went too fast early for her own good and paid for it late when third at even money in a tougher $50,000 claimer over this course and distance last month. This race promises a bit less pace pressure so the Irish-bred filly looks capable of controlling the race from her cozy outside draw. A repeat of her race before last should be good enough. Girl Downstairs, claimed in her last four starts and back in the Ellis barn after being haltered for $25,000 last month, is reunited with “win rider” Nakatani and can be expected to produce a forward move. She’ll be running on strongly late. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Red Livy.
RACE 2: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Luck’s Royal Flush; 8-Takahiro’s Dream
Forecast: This doesn’t appear to be a particularly strong maiden state-bred juvenile dash; we’ll double the race in our rolling exotics but not with a great deal of confidence. Takahiro’s Dream looks fairly intriguing; the daughter of Empire Way has produced some good workout clockings at San Luis Rey Downs for a capable outfit and should be like a live item. Luck’s Royal Flush has the benefit of a prior run, having finished fourth after flashing early speed in a similar affair a couple of weeks ago. The blinkers go on today, so perhaps the son of Lucky Pulpit will step forward. Tread lightly here.
RACE 3: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 4-Catfish Hunter
Forecast: Catfish Hunter outclasses this starter’s allowance field if he’s ready; the son of Grazen earned a monster speed figure last November winning at Del Mar but hasn’t been out since. The work tab seems good enough, and the barn is capable with layoff runners, so let’s operate under the assumption that he’s fit and ready and make him a straight play and rolling exotic single.
RACE 4: Post: 1:30 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Mongolian Hunter; 4-International Diva; 10-Brandon’s Law
Forecast: Older maiden claiming fillies and mares meet over nine furlongs on turf in the fourth race, a modest affair that has a few possibilities. Brandon’s Law, second in a similar event at a mile over this course, shouldn’t be impacted by today’s extra furlong and rates a slight edge on top for the high-percentage Cerin stable. The daughter of Stay Thirty should be prominent throughout in a race that projects to be slowly run early. Mongolian Humor, an okay runner-up vs. softer in a dirt sprint in her recent debut, has the pedigree to handle grass and two-turns and gets her chance today in a soft spot. International Diva gets a big break in the weights with the switch to bug boy Ceballos and has a speed figure three runs back that makes her dangerous. In a real messy affair, we’ll go three deep and hope to survive and advance, but best advice is to include as many as you can afford to.
RACE 5: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Trap Queen; 6-Oh Scatty Oh; 8-Myrcella
Forecast: Restricted (Nw-2) $12,500 claiming fillies and mares sprint six and one-half furlongs in the fifth race, another challenging affair that requires a spread strategy in rolling exotic play. Myrcella knows how to win races (she’s 4-for-12) and returns to her proper level. Drawn nicely outside, the daughter of Tribal Rule will likely draft in a favorable stalking spot and then have every chance from the quarter pole home. She’s a fit on speed figures and was more than six lengths clear of the others when second in her most recent outing. Oh Scotty Oh is turning back from a series of route attempts could be effective as a late-running sprinter. If there’s a pace meltdown, she’ll be heard from in the final furlong. Trap Queen has good early zip and should be able to take this field a long way after finding starter allowance $50,000 rivals too difficult in her most recent appearance in March. The weight break with the switch to bug boy Figueroa certainly won’t hurt.
RACE 6: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Swiss Minister; 4-Catalina Cruiser; 8-Best Two Minutes
Forecast: This is a strong first-level allowance main track sprint and likely will require a better than par speed figure to win it. Catalina Cruiser earned a giant number breaking his maiden at first asking last fall at Santa Anita but then disappeared. The comeback works are impressive, so we’re going to assume that the Sadler-trained son of Union Rags is returning as well as he left. Swiss Minister won a state-bred affair last month in powerful fashion and may not need much more today to win right back. Best Two Minutes also is fast on figs, having score in very convincing fashion from a $25,000 field in late March. The Morey-trained gelding is facing a much tougher task today, but he’s certainly worth including on at least a ticket or two.
RACE 7: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 9-Implicitly; 10-Rumpus Cat; 11-Englander
Forecast: Englander appears to have found a home on grass. A fast-finishing second over this course and distance last month in his first outing on the lawn, the son of English Channel should continue to improve for D’Amato, and with clear sailing today looks capable of producing the last run. Implicitly wasn’t knocked about in his debut and should be more serious today for a barn than has good stats with second-timers. Rumpus Cat disappointed at even money in the same race Englander exits but removes blinkers today and should settle better. The son of Street Sense switches to Bejarano and has a strong look if he can repeat his sharp runner-up try two races back.
RACE 8: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Eighty Three; 3-Papa Turf; 5-Kochees
Forecast: Kochees was running for a mere $8,000 two races back but has drastically improved for Wong and probably won’t need much more than what he did over this course and distance when a sharp second at this level last month. First or second in 17 of 37 career starts, the veteran gelding seems primed for another major effort, and with good racing luck seems capable of wearing down the speed. Papa Turf, a $25,000 Desormeaux claim in late March, returns at the same level while switching to grass and likely will be prominent throughout. He’s never been big on winning – he has four career wins and 15 seconds and thirds - but could stick around for at least a piece of it. Eighty Three, second off a layoff for Jacobson, often produces a dangerous late kick, has the proper style for the Hillside course, and has hit the board in both of his two prior turf attempts. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics while preferring Kochees on top.
RACE 9: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 6-Moonless Sky; 9-Shy Carmelita; 10-How About Zero
Forecast: Moonless Sky, away since early January but training like she’s spot on for a major effort, seems the solid pick and should be capable of producing a winning late kick over a turf course she absolutely owns. Desormeaux stays aboard and fits her perfectly. How About Zero didn’t act in the off-the-turf Irish O’Brien Stakes but returns to grass today and should return to her best form. First or second in five of six career starts over the Santa Anita lawn, the daughter of Square Eddie is winless in five starts at a mile but has been second three times, so the trip should be within her grasp. Shy Carmelita is likely to be a late threat, although her form around two turns is a bit suspect. She earned a big number in a recent Hillside turf win, so maybe she’s a better type now.
RACE 10: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 7-For the Hustle; 8-North County Guy; 12-Nova
Forecast: This Calbred maiden $50,000 claimer came up light in quality, so North County Guy, second vs. softer earlier this month, may be capable of moving up in class and being a major contender. The Jacobson-trained lightly-raced gelding has room for improvement, switches to Stevens, and should be forwardly placed throughout. The one to beat, though, is Nova, easily fastest on speed figures and six lengths clear of next-out winner Trojan Time in his most recent outing. A repeat of that race today puts him in the winner’s circle. For the Hustle has displayed good early speed in both of his starts and may stick better with this return to the maiden claiming ranks. We’ll give the edge on top to Nova but will include all three in rolling exotic play.
RACE 11: Post 5:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 9-Ike Walker; 10-Downtowner
Forecast: Downtowner just broke his maiden with a strong speed figure and likely has further improvement in him. The Baffert-trained colt catches a field without too much speed, so it won’t be surprising to see him on or near the lead throughout. Ike Walker returns to his claim level, switches to Bejarano, and is a major player with a repeat of his game win in his race before last. He’s an 11-time winner from the Hollendorfer barn and always must be respected. Let’s try to get by using just these two with a slight preference on top to Downtowner.
RACE 12: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 8-Secreto Primero; 11-Aventador
Forecast: This wide open grass grab bag has a number of possibilities; we’ll double the race and hope that’s sufficient. Secreto Primero was claimed back by Machowsky and stretches out again; with a repeat of his race before last could get the money at a nice price. Aventador was virtually eased on dirt in his last start but seems likely to return to form today on grass. His race before last – a nice runner-up try vs. slightly tougher foes - charts well here.