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 (1:30 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 4-Clifton Beach; 5-Knight of Drama
The Friday opener is a five-runner maiden $50,000 claimer at five and one-half furlongs. #5 Knight of Drama hit the board in four of five starts last year as a juvenile before being stopped on; the Scott Rollins-trained gelding has trained like he’s fit and ready at San Luis Rey Downs and if he returns as well as he left he’ll be hard to beat. #4 Clifton Beach has the benefit of a recent run, having finished fifth vs. slightly tougher foes last month when beaten just three lengths after a bit of a slow start. The John Sadler barn has excellent stats with second-time starters, so we’re expecting the son of Langfuhr to move forward considerably. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.
SECOND RACE (2:03 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 1-Latina Mo; 5-Tangled Up in Ju
The second race is a weak maiden $30,000 claiming sprint for sophomore fillies. In a seven-runner field, there’s very little to work with. #1 Latina Mo shows up in a seller for the first time and the big drop in class should make a world of difference for a filly that failed to hit the board in four starts vs. straight maiden foes. However, her numbers aren’t bad, a breezing three furlong blowout last week catches the eye, and the daughter of Uncle Mo probably won’t have to improve to win. #5 Tangled Up in Ju flashed improved early speed in a slightly tougher spot last time out; she weakened to finish a well-beaten fifth but should stick much better at this level. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics while preferring Latina Mo on top.
THIRD RACE (2:36 PT) – GRADE: B
Single: 4-Tap It All
#4 Tap It All failed at 10 cents on the dollar in her debut when finishing a no-excuse second vs. straight maiden juvenile fillies and then came right back to flop again, winding up second at 50 cents on the dollar under similar conditions. In today’s third race, she’s 6/5 on the morning line. Unless there’s a better than average first-timer in the field – and we don’t think there is – the daughter of Tapit should finally get it right today. Though beaten in her first two outings, the Doug O’Neill-trained filly actually earned fairly strong speed figures. There’s clearly no wagering value here, so we’ll pass the race but use her as a short-priced rolling exotic single.
FOURTH RACE (3:09 PT) – GRADE: B
#1 Benbable went untouched on the tote, leaving at 14-1, but won her debut like a good thing and earned a giant speed figure in the process. The Richard Mandella-trained daughter of Horse Greeley is 7/5 on the morning line in today’s fourth race to score right back, and anything close to that nearly four length victory should be more than good enough to do just that. The rail is no bargain but she showed the ability to stalk and win in her debut and similar strategy likely will be employed today. She’ll probably leave at around even money, so let’s make her a rolling exotic single but otherwise pass the race
FIFTH RACE (3:42 PT) – GRADE: B+
Use: 1-Yavrig; 5-Marriedotheminister
The fifth race is a $30,000 maiden claiming main track mile event for sophomore fillies. #1 Yavrig is improving with racing and sports the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern for trainer Richard Baltas (powerful stats with this angle). The daughter of City Zip lands the favorable rail, gets a break in the weights with the switch to bug boy Lindsay, and should be on or near the lead throughout. There’s plenty of value here at 5/2 on the morning line if you can get it. #5 Marriedtotheminister, also stretching out for the first time, has the style to project nicely around two turns, is solid in the speed figure department, and has finished in the money in two of her last three starts. The Steve Miyadi barn has good stats in the sprint-to-route category. Both should be included in rolling exotic play but we’ll have extra tickets keying Yavrig on top.
SIXTH RACE (4:14 PT) – GRADE: C+
Single: 4-Fast McGoo
#4 Fast McGoo just destroyed a similar field in gate-to-wire fashion, winning unchallenged by more than five lengths. She picks up two pounds in today’s sixth race off that performance, but other than that she gets the same distance and surface and pretty much the same level of competition, which explains why she’s listed at 3/5 on the morning line. In another no value affair, she’s a short-priced rolling exotic single in a race that should otherwise be left alone.
SEVENTH RACE (4:45 PT) – GRADE: B+
Single: 4-Radiant Journey
#4 Radiant Journey was well-meant in her comeback but hopped in the air, lost valuable early position, and failed to make any impact in a downhill turf sprint at this level last month. The Phil D’Amato-trained mare is much better than the line will show, and deserves another chance vs. essentially the same crew while switching to a dirt surface that she’s proven she can win on. In a field without a whole lot of early zip, the daughter of Good Journey should be able to control this race throughout, assuming she leaves with her field. At 5/2 on the morning line, she’s a strong straight play and rolling exotic single.
EIGHTH RACE (5:19 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 2-Camino Del Paraiso; 6-Mintenized
The nightcap is a maiden special weight main track mile event for state-bred older horses. #2 Camino Del Paraiso appears to be the best of the known element; the Bay Area invader has rising speed figures and a strong late kick. This will be his first start on conventional dirt and if he takes to the surface switch he’ll be hard to handle. #6 Mintenized is a first-timer from the D’Amato barn with a series of useful drills at Los Alamitos on his resume. Against this group a little ability should go a long way, so we suggest you have include him somewhere.