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: 4-Tap It All; 6-Holy Mosey
A new week of racing begins with a juvenile sprint for fillies and features the highly-regarded #4 Tap it All as the 4/5 morning line favorite. Impressive in her 10 1/5 seconds breeze at the Fasig-Tipton Florida sale in March, the daughter of Tapizar brought $800,000 at auction and has done everything asked for trainer Doug O’Neill since arriving in California. Exacta players should consider #6 Holy Mosey, a First Samurai filly with a string of good works both at Turf Paradise and at San Luis Rey Downs for trainer Molly Pearson. Scott Stevens, who we assume had been breezing the filly in Phoenix, flies in for the ride and we suspect her connections believe she’s good enough to act on this circuit; otherwise she most likely would have debuted for the much smaller purse offered in Arizona. Preference, of course, goes to Tap It All but we’ll have tickets using both in rolling exotic play.
SECOND RACE (2:30 PT) – GRADE:
Use: 2-Ya Ya Girl; 4-Angel Lane
Older maiden claiming fillies and mares sprint six furlongs in the second race with two main contenders to consider. #4 Angel Lane is listed at even money on the morning line in her first start for a tag; the daughter of Congrats has hit the board twice in straight maiden competition but truthfully isn’t all that much and in fact her speed figures are lower than par for this level. Still, the Mike Puype-trained filly must be considered a major contender by default in what on paper is a rather weak race for the class. #2 Ya Ya Girl actually has a few back numbers that are better than what Angel Lane has earned; additionally, she’s adding blinkers for the first time and could easily improve with the equipment change. She is, however, a 12-race maiden and most recently was a well-beaten fourth in a bottom rung maiden $20,000 event. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics in a race that we’ll otherwise not get involved in.
THIRD RACE (3:00 PT) – GRADE: C
Use: 4-Cee the Preacher; 7-Westway; 9-Scatastrophe; 10-Mostinterestingman
The Pick-6 begins in the third race, a wide-open maiden claiming mile affair on turf that requires a spread. We’ll go three-deep and hope to get by. #10 Mostinterestingman tries a bit softer gang today after finishing a reasonable third in a M75000 affair over this course and distance in March and then going 23 days without a race or a workout. This isn’t the healthiest of patterns but he’s a fit on figures and Baze stays aboard, so we’ll use him. #4 Cee the Preacher ran well at this level two runs back on the main track and his fifth place finish in straight maiden company on turf up north two weeks ago wasn’t bad, so we’ll include him as well. From a comfortable inside draw, the son of Lucky Pulpit should be on or near the lead throughout. #9 Scatastrophe hasn’t shown a thing in two starts this year after flashing a bit of ability last summer at Del Mar; the Scat Daddy gelding surfaces in a claimer for the first time so improvement can be expected. Mario Gutierrez stays aboard and knows him well.
FOURTH RACE (3:30 PT) – GRADE: C+
Use: 4-Herunbridledpower; 7-Sweeter Thancandy
The fourth race is a restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares and doesn’t have much depth. The two that catch our eye exit the same highly-rated race – a starter’s allowance turf miler won by Be Mine – and both should benefit from this turn back in trip and the switch to the main track. #7 Sweeter Thancandy lands the cozy outside post, and a repeat of either her races two or three back will make her tough to beat. She has speed figures that are considerably faster than par for this level, retains Marin Garcia (who can be expected to ride a number of live Jerry Hollendorfer-trained entrants in the coming weeks), and excellent form over the Santa Anita main track (first or second in four of six career starts). The caution, of course, is that she’s only 1-for-17 lifetime and her morning line of 8/5, which is shorter than you’d normally want to take for a filly with her credentials. #4 Herunbridledpower is considerably slower on numbers than Sweeter Thancandy but she’s probably a tad quicker from the gate and could be the controlling speed at this extended sprint trip. With only four lifetime starts, the daughter of Kafwain may have a bit more room to improve than the others, and she’s reunited with Santiago Gonzalez, who as aboard when she broke her maiden two runs back.
FIFTH RACE (4:00 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 2-No Silent; 4-Cape Wolfe
The fifth race is a three-other-than downhill turf sprint for older runners showcasing the two-three finishers of the recent San Simeon Stakes-G3. #2 No Silent is a tough old pro, but only 1-for-10 over this course and distance; today he switches to Bejarano and in a field lacking in early speed should draft into an ideal second flight, stalking position. A strong, healthy work pattern since his last start gives indication that he’s ready for his best effort. #4 Cape Wolfe, a closing second in the San Simeon, is a non-winner in three starts in the U.S. since being imported from Ireland and it may (or may not) be significant that Flavien Prat, who rode him last time out, jumps off to pilot trainer Phil D’Amato’s other starter, #5 Hunt, who he just won on in a softer spot. We still like Cape Wolfe and suspect Mike Smith will give him the kind of patient ride he requires. Let’s try to get past this race using only ‘Silent and ‘Wolfe; you can toss in Hunt as well as at least a saver if your budget allows.
SIXTH RACE (4:30 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 2-Lucky Student; 7-Incentive Award; 10-Sugar Spice
Bottom-rung $8,000 claiming fillies and mares meet over six furlongs in the sixth race. #10 Sugar Spice returns to her winning level after finishing a good second in a much stronger starter’s allowance sprint at Los Alamitos last month. A repeat of either of her last two races makes her the one to beat, and bug boy Brayan Pena stays aboard for trainer Peter Miller. Both #2 Lucky Student and #7 Incentive Award have a right to run well and should be considered as well in rolling exotic play. Lucky Student finished third in the same race Sugar Spice exits and, like ‘Spice, has an excellent record over the Santa Anita main track. This will be her third start in her current form cycle and another forward move certainly is possible. Incentive Award, a runner-up in a restricted $8,000 claimer at Los Alamitos in her first start in more than a year, should be fitter and sharper today for trainer Eric Kruljac and gets a significant break in the weights with the switch to seven-pound apprentice Chad Lindsay. The lightly-raced six-year-old mare has back numbers that are more than good enough to win at this level.
SEVENTH RACE (5:00 PT) – GRADE: B+
Use: 1-One More Roll; 3-Chief of Staff
The recent win by #1 One More Roll vs. entry-level state bred allowance sprinters produced a career top speed figure and we suspect the Bill Spawr-trained gelding has another forward move in him in the seventh race, an open “non-winners of a race other than” extended sprint. Vastly improved since being claimed for $16,000 last summer at Del Mar, the son of Awesome Gambler should have enough gate zip to offset his inside draw and appears strictly the one to beat as the second choice (5/2) on the morning line. The ML favorite at 9/5 is #3 Chief of Staff, away since October but training like he’s fit and ready for Hollendorfer. The son of Majestic Warrior has been primarily a middle distance specialist and this could be a prep for a stretch-out, so we’ll prefer One More Roll on top but use both in rolling exotic play.
EIGHTH RACE (5:30 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 4-Atta Boy Pete; 7-Back to Bako; 9-Second Proposal
The finale is a difficult downhill turf sprint for older $25,000 claimers. #4 Atta Boy Pete just won over this course and distance at this level for high percentage trainer Phil D’Amato and seems capable of a similar-type effort right back. The son of Perfect Mandate most likely will have to deal with a bit more early heat today, but he’s won as a stalker in the past, so jockey Edwin Maldonado, who knows him well, has the option of settling behind the leaders if the situation dictates. #9 Second Proposal also has won over the hillside course – he came from far back under these conditions to win in late March – and if a faster-than-normal pace materializes he should be heard from late. We’ll toss out his failed try around two-turns last month. Price players should consider #7 Back to Bako. All three of this gelding’s wins have been accomplished over the Santa Anita turf course and a very healthy series of workouts at Los Alamitos since his last start for a low profile outfit could mean a form reversal is possible. The switch to top turf rider Prat may be significant as well.