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+
Single: 5-Girl Downstairs
The Saturday opener brings together restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming fillies and mares at six and one-half furlongs #5 Girl Downstairs was eliminated into the far turn when carried far wide by a rider-less horse; she actually wound up being beaten just over six lengths despite losing far more in ground that that. Back under identical conditions today, the Bob Baffert-trained filly should be a short price to make amends with Rafael Bejarano staying aboard. She’s an obvious no value rolling exotic single.
SECOND RACE (2:03 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 1-Papa Joey; 4-Coltongrace
The second race is a maiden claiming extended sprint for bottom-rung older horses and appears to have two main contenders. #1 Papa Joey plummets in class and anything close to his best race will make him hard to beat; however, this drop from maiden special weight to maiden $20,000 is rather dramatic and causes concern as to what kind of condition he’s in. You have to use him, but he’s not a single. #4 Cottongrace is an intriguing second-time starter from the Ray Bell stable; the Stormin Fever colt chased a tougher group in a fast race a little more than a month ago and has trained steadily since, so improvement is likely.
THIRD RACE (2:36 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 1-Tinderette; 4-Dragon Flower
Five 3-year-old fillies will compete in the third race, a starter optional claimer at seven furlongs. #1 Tinderette exits a hot race and – rail and all – should be on or near the lead throughout. She’s solid in the speed figure department, retains Tyler Baze, and with just five career starts has room for further improvement. #4 Dragon Flower has the proper style for this extended sprint trip and should draft into an ideal stalking spot. First or second in seven of 11 career starts, the daughter of Informed is a reliable type and should at least hit the board. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Tinderette.
FOURTH RACE (3:09 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 2-Sizzlin Square; 4-Amodei; 6-Yodelers Way
Maiden state-bred juveniles sprint five furlongs in the fourth race, which kicks off the Pick-6 sequence. The Doug O’Neill-trained #4 Amodei has been burning up the track at Los Alamitos while preparing for his debut; his 58 4/5 seconds gate work June 22 really catches the eye and with Bejarano aboard this son of Informed is certain to receive plenty of play. O’Neill also is represented by #2 Sizzlin Square, a first-timer by Square Eddie with a fairly solid string of works in his own right. #6 Yodelers Way has improving form, producing a solid runner-up effort in his second career start last month while more than five clear of the rest. The son of Empire Way will have to be dealt with if he moves forward again. All three should be used in rolling exotic play with preference on top going to Amodei.
FIFTH RACE (3:42 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 2-Dalmore; 5-Danzing Candy
The Affirmed Stakes for 3-year-olds occupies the fifth race, with #5 Danzing Candy the logical short-priced favorite in his first start since joining the Bob Baffert barn. Successful in the San Felipe S.-G2 over this track and distance in March from subsequent Preakness S.-G1 winner Exaggerator, the son of Twirling Candy switches to Bejarano and will be the controlling speed if the connections choose that strategy. However, from his outside draw, ‘Candy could employ stalking tactics but in either case he’s strictly the one to beat. #2 Dalmore is improving with racing, having achieved a career-top speed figure in capturing a first-level allowance race at this trip in May. The son of Colonel John has tactical speed, should be within striking range throughout, and is probably worth including somewhere on your rolling exotic ticket.
SIXTH RACE (4:14 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 5-Rideo; 7-Seattle Boom
The sixth race is a split of the second, a seven furlong bottom-level maiden claimer. #7 Seattle Boom burned money in a pair of Bay Area outings over the all-weather track earlier this year and was stopped on; the Craig Dollase-trained gelding, originally a $300,000 2-year-old in training purchase, is being culled from the stable in this soft claimer but has back numbers that certainly can win and must be considered a main contender. There’s certainly nothing wrong with his recent workout activity. #5 Rideo returns cheap for trainer Richard Mandella after showing a bit of ability in straight maiden juvenile events last fall; the fact that he’s being thrown away is hardly encouraging but the barn has excellent stats with layoff runners and the presence of Flavien Prat in the saddle makes him a “must use.”
SEVENTH RACE (4:45 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 3-Profound Visionary; 5-Boompa
There’s little to trust in the seventh race, a restricted (nw-2) $12,500 extended sprint, and we suggest you include as many as you can afford to in rolling exotic play. Small ticket players should consider #3 Profound Visionary and #5 Boompa in the “must use” category. Profound Visionary, freshened since the third week in April, returns in a logical spot but loses regular pilot Tyler Baze (who opts for Boompa) while picking up Martin Pedroza. The Eric Kruljac-trained gelding, first or second in each of his last three starts, has numbers that are improving and a style that suggests he’ll enjoy this seven furlong journey. Boompa won his debut way back when and has lost 18 straight since, but he’s a fit figures and has hit the board in each of his last three starts. Baze should have him in a good mid-pack position and then have every chance from the quarter pole home.
EIGHTH RACE (5:19 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 3-John’s Success; 5-Rare Candy
The eighth race is a restricted second-level allowance middle-distance affair that provides #5 Rare Candy a chance to get it right after failing miserably at 40 cents on the dollar (when fourth of five) in a sophomore-only first-level affair in late May. The Dave Hofmans-trained 3-year-old made the running in that race before fading when it counted; we expect patient tactics will be employed today. #3 John’s Success has run well over this main track in the past, so we’re not too concerned about the surface switch, and is reunited with Bejarano, has won on him in the past. Let’s use both in our rolling exotics while preferring Rare Candy on top.
NINTH RACE (5:49 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 7-Lucky Shoes to Win; 9-Misdeed
The nightcap is a better-than-average bottom-rung ($8,000) claiming miler that has two main players. #7 Lucky Shoes to Win removes blinkers (love the angle) for his new connections via an $8,000 claim and this Ricky Agarie-trained gelding should be prominent throughout and have every chance. All three of his lifetime wins have come at Santa Anita and jockey Santiago Gonzalez, who has won on him in the past, stays aboard. #9 Misdeed, first off the claim for Dean Greenman, removes blinkers, switches to Prat, and most likely will be taken back early and allowed to produce one late run Given that type of ride, the veteran gelding could easily snap back to his best form. We’ll prefer Lucky Shoes to Win on top but use both in our rolling exotics.