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: C+
Use: 1-Prince Valiant; 2-Wade
The Sunday opener, an abbreviated sprint for restricted (nw-3) $16,000 claimers, drew a small field of five and doesn’t offer any real wagering value. #2 Wade just crushed a restricted $10,000 field over this track and distance, and a bullet workout since that outing indicates he’s likely to come right back for an encore performance. The Peter Eurton-trained gelding actually is the second choice on the morning line at 9/5 behind #1 Prince Valiant, who had an excuse when fourth in a similar event earlier this month. A repeat of his race before last – a sharp starter’s allowance victory – charts very well here. These two are tough to separate so we’ll include both in our rolling exotics while otherwise passing the race.
SECOND RACE (2:03 PT) – GRADE: C+
Use: 2-Blooming Hannah; 4-Ipray
This second race is $16,000 claiming main track miler event for fillies and mares. #2 Blooming Hannah, first off the claim for Gary Stute, stretches out for the first time, and if she’s ever going to be successful routing, it’ll be today. She gets a significant drop in the weights with the switch to bug boy Lindsay and has a pedigree and running style that suggests two-turns will be within her range. #4 Ipray missed at 6/5 when a closing-but-too-late runner-up vs. slightly softer foes last month; the Hector Palma-trained filly retains leading rider Rafael Bejarano and should be heard from late. Both should be used in rolling exotic play; we’ll give a slight edge on top to Ipray.
THIRD RACE (2:36 PT) – GRADE: C+
Use: 1-It’s Not So Easy; 3-So Heres the Thing
Six maiden claiming juveniles sprint four and one-half furlongs in the third race. #3 So Heres the Thing exits a pair of much stronger straight maiden affairs and should find this level of competition much more to her liking. She apparently doesn’t have a whole lot of early zip but can finish a little, so if she can get out of the gate cleanly today the Scott Rollins-trained filly should have every chance. #1 It’s Not So Easy is a first-timer from a clever outfit and may be able to run some. In an unclassified field, the daughter of Kafwain probably is worth using. These are the two we’ll prefer in our rolling exotics but not with any degree of confidence.
FOURTH RACE (3:09 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 3-Last One Standing; 4-Chris and Dave
#3 Last One Standing stretches out again and should be comfortably placed on or near the lead throughout in the fourth race, a $25,000 main track mile affair restricted to 3-year-olds. The Richard Baltas-trained gelding makes a major jockey switch to Bejarano and has rising speed figures, so another forward move is likely. #4 Chris and Dave just won a $16,000 nw-3 event over this track and distance and did so with a career top number. The son of Bluegrass Cat is a versatile sort that can stalk and win or rally from off the pace, and Edwin Maldonado, who knows him well, stays aboard. We’ll slightly prefer Last One Standing on top but use both in our rolling exotics.
FIFTH RACE (3:42 PT) – GRADE: B+
#5 Sensitively is listed as the 4/5 morning line favorite for the Desert Stormer Stakes, today’s fifth race feature, and she’s likely to go even lower than that. Perfect in three 2016 starts for D’Amato, the daughter of Street Sense won her most recent allowance race without being asked at any stage, yet still earned a stakes-quality speed figure. She’ll be far too short to consider in the straight pool but can serve a purpose as a no-value rolling exotic single.
SIXTH RACE (4:14 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 4-Warren’s Jen Fizz; 5-Big Break
#5 Big Break shows up in a claimer in the sixth race, a $32,000 affair at a flat mile for fillies and mares. All four of her career wins have come over this main track, and the projected pace flow seems ideal for this committed front runner. #4 Warren’s Jen Fizz is another class dropper seeking her winning level; she’s just 2-for-19 lifetime and is a turf specialist trying dirt, but with the switch to Flavien Prat she’s probably worth tossing in as a saver.
SEVENTH RACE (4:45 PT) – GRADE: B-
Single: 5-Surfing the Menu
In the seventh race, #5 Surfing the Menu just missed in a similar starter’s allowance sprint, opening up in mid-stretch but then getting nailed right on the money. Today she’ll add blinkers, and if she doesn’t grab the bit and run off, the daughter of Surf Cat should take control early and never look back. The Gus Headley-trained 5-year-old tries a rider switch to Edwin Maldonado, shortens up a half furlong, and probably will go off shorter than her 9/5 morning line.
EIGHTH RACE (5:19 PT) – GRADE: C+
Use: 3-Soi Phet; 4-Avanti Bello
The eighth race, the McCann’s Mojave Stakes for California-bred older horses, drew just five starters, four of which exit the Tiznow Stakes from the previous month. In that race #4 Avanti Bello and #5 So Phet finished noses apart with the latter winning the bob, and they figure just as close in the rematch. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics but have no plans to play the race.
NINTH RACE (5:49 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 3-Hank the Tank; 6-Picture Tube
The nightcap is a contentious maiden special weight six furlong dash with two strong possibilities. #6 Picture Tube is a fast-working first timer from the Baffert barn that demands inclusion in rolling exotic play, while #3 Hank the Tank, an $80,000 claim out of his racing debut last August by Mike Puype, finally makes it back to the races and has trained like a better type this time around. He was second in that debut performance and earned a pretty good figure for a juvenile. We’ll use both in rolling exotic play.