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 (2:00 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 3-Money Makin Mike; 5-Fashionly Handsome
The Thursday program begins with a maiden $30,000 claiming miler restricted to 3-year-olds. #3 Money Makin Mike returns for trainer Doug O’Neill after showing some ability in a pair of races last fall; the son of Eskendereya has trained like he’s fit and ready and with Rafael Bejarano taking the mount and a 59 flat gate work showing just eight days ago, this sophomore colt surely will attract plenty of play. #5 Fashionly Handsome drops to his lowest level ever, has numbers that fit, and switches to Flavien Prat. A dull fifth when favored last time out, the Richard Baltas-trained son of Old Fashioned may not be one to trust, but in this league probably is worth including in rolling exotic play.
SECOND RACE (2:33 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 2-Miss Southern Miss; 6-Tap It All; 8-Robin Kiss
The second race is a stronger-than-average maiden juvenile filly sprint featuring several nice prospects. #2 Miss Southern Miss has done everything asked in the morning for Keith Desormeaux and lands Prat, who has been on her in the morning. The daughter of More Than Ready hasn’t turned in any flashy clockings in the a.m. but acts like a filly with plenty of ability. #6 Tap It All, all the rage in her debut, has no excuse when backed down to 10 cents on the dollar, finishing a decent second but certainly performing far below expectations. She has every right to benefit from the outing; today we’ll find out what she’s made of. #8 Robin Kiss brought $180,000 at the OBS March sale and debuts for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who boasts superior stats with first-time starters. She looks like a live item under Mike Smith. Let’s go with Miss Southern Miss on top while using all three in our rolling exotics.
THIRD RACE (3:06 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 1-Broadway Nika; 3-Dive Down
The Pick-6 begins with the third race, a $16,000 claiming main track mile event with two major contenders. #1 Broadway Nika is racing in good form and should appreciate this two-level drop in class; the Bill Spawr-trained gelding figures to be on or near the lead throughout from his rail post. #3 Dive Down demolished a $12,500 field by more than nine lengths last month; he goes for new trainer Shelby Ruis off a claim and should be a strong factor right back. We’ll put Broadway Nika on top but use both in our rolling exotics.
FOURTH RACE (3:39 PT) – GRADE: C+
Use: 1-Entebbe; 5-Ya Ya Girl
Restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming fillies and mares meet over a mile on grass in the fourth race, a difficult affair that may require a spread. We’ll try to get by using just two, but if you can afford to go deeper, go right ahead. #5 Ya Ya Girl just broke her maiden sprinting while earning decent figure, one that makes her a fit right back at this level assuming she can duplicate the number while stretching out and switching surfaces. She’s run decently in the past two-turning on turf and with Bejarano staying aboard she seems set for another big try. #3 Miss Gifted, rested for more than two months, returns in a logical spot for trainer Gary Sherlock, switches to Tyler Baze, has back numbers that make her a contender and a late-running style that makes her dangerous with any kind of decent pace up front.
FIFTH RACE (4:12 PT) – GRADE: B+
Single: 8-Girl Downstairs
#8 Girl Downstairs drops for the money run and should handle this restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming abbreviates sprint for fillies and mares. The Bob Baffert-trained four-year-old lands the comfortable outside post, switches to Bejarano, has the route-to-sprint angle working for her and continues to impress in the morning. In a very soft spot, she’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.
SIXTH RACE (4:44 PT) – GRADE: C+
Use: 7-Ebony Cat; 9-Funny Gal; 10-Clem Juice
Bottom-rung $8,000 claiming fillies and mares sprint five and one-half furlongs in the sixth race; this is a spread race with nothing, really, to trust. #7 Ebony Cat beat a softer field convincingly at Los Alamitos last month and if she can duplicate that effort on the big track she’ll be hard to contain right back. However, it’s worth noting is that she didn’t run well at all in her only previous try over the Santa Anita main track. #9 Funny Gal, freshened since mid-April, usually runs well at this level and has hit the board in eight of 12 career starts over the Arcadia main track. Trainer Jeff Bonde has a good record with layoff runners, so this daughter of Lucky Pulpit should be primed for a major effort. #10 Clem Juice, claimed in two of her last three starts, has a look off her nice Los Alamitos score two runs back and could snap back in her first start for owner/trainer Edward Freeman. She’s reunited with Iggy Puglisi, who has won on her in the past.
SEVENTH RACE (5:15 PT) – GRADE: B+
Use: 2-Prime Issue; 4-Matriculate
The featured seventh race is a strong state-bred entry-level allowance main track mile affair. #2 Prime Issue, first off the claim for Peter Miller (a superior 36% with a flat-bet profit with this angle), was a beaten favorite in a similar spot last time out but is quite capable of snapping back to top form for his new stable. He switches to Bejarano and should be on or near the lead throughout. #4 Matriculate, second in his last pair, has rising speed figures for Spawr, retains Baze, and should draft into an ideal pace-prompting position. Three strong workouts since his last race indicate he’s primed for another forward move. Let’s give Prime Issue a very slight edge on top but use both in rolling exotic play.
EIGHTH RACE (5:39 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 2-Stylistic; 5-Journeytothestars; 9-Dial a Date
The nightcap is a grass grab bag for $50,000 maiden claiming fillies and mares. We’ll use three and hope to survive. #2 Stylistic broke through the gate prior to start and probably lost her race then and there when facing similar rivals last month; she continues to work well for trainer Kenny Black and probably should be given another chance. She might be able to clear this field and if she can get loose on the lead she’ll take them a long way. #5 Journeytothestars has the two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern we like, certainly is bred to handle the extra distance and gets a break in the weights with the switch to bug boy Lindsay. Trainer Mark Glatt has solid stats with the stretch-out angle and this daughter of Good Journey has speed figures that are moving in the right direction. #9 Dial A Date is a daughter of Artie Schiller that might appreciate rating tactics after fading on the front end vs. straight maiden foes last month. The daughter of Point Given surely will appreciate this softer spot and on numbers is a solid fit.