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: C+
Use: 2-Dial a Date; 9-Mariota
The Friday opener features $50,000 maiden claiming fillies and mares competing over a mile on turf with #2 Dial a Date and #9 Mariota likely to receive plenty of backing. Dial a Date shows up in a seller for the first time and should enjoy the class relief, though her pattern (debuting in November, returning in early March, and then taking another two months to race again) doesn’t inspire confidence. The five year old mare by Artie Schiller has the style to handle the extra distance and her recent works are quite good, so she falls into the category of “must use” in rolling exotic play. Mariota draws in off the also-eligible list and is another trying maiden claimers for the first time. She has the always-dangerous dangerous “blinkers off” angle in her corner, so we’re expecting this Mark Glatt-trained filly to be a factor from off the pace.
SECOND RACE (2:30 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 1- Ninelives; 6-Borque
Maiden juveniles sprint four and one-half furlongs in the second race. #6 Borque breezed a furlong in 10 2/5 seconds at the OBS March sale and then brought $70,000 at auction; he’s a good mover and a decent prospect and should receive plenty of play in this unclassified affair. #1 Ninelives worked pretty well out of the gate last month for trainer John Brocklebank and looks to have some talent. He’s by a stallion standing for $1,000 and yet brought $50,000 as a yearling, so you know he looks the part.
THIRD RACE (3:00 PT) – GRADE: B
Though he was beaten at even money without apparent mishap when runner-up over this course and distance in his last start, #4 Atypique deserves another chance in the third race, a below average maiden special weight turf miler. At 6/5 on the morning line the Richard Mandella-trained 4-year-old won’t offer any wagering value but he has some speed in a race that has none, so Flavien Prat probably could put him on the lead if so chooses. Under any pace scenario, this son of Tapit looks hard to beat and seems logical as a rolling exotic single.
FOURTH RACE (3:30 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 6-Born to Serve; 7-Top Drawer
We’ll double the fourth race, a restricted (nw-3) $16,000 claimer for older sprinters. #7 Top Drawer finished a solid runner-up under these conditions in his last start in late March when earning a career top speed figure, has trained steadily since, and really won’t have to improve to handle this assignment. Leading rider Rafael Bejarano stays aboard and should have this Hector Palma-trained gelding on the lead or in an ideal stalking spot. #6 Born to Serve has plenty of zip and has the route-to-sprint angle we like, so we’ll consider this Jonathan Wong-trained gelding a major player as well. The son of Colonel John has won over this main track, sports better-than-par speed figures for this level and is reunited with Edwin Maldonado, who has won on him in the past.
FIFTH RACE (4:00 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 2-Big Move; 4-Hundi
The fifth race is a downhill turf sprint for entry-level allowance fillies and mares; we’ll go two-deep while preferring #4 Hundi on top. A strong runner-up under these conditions last month, the Simon Callaghan-trained import very likely has further improvement in her and should be rolling in the final furlong. And in a field with only six starters, the Irish-bred daughter of Fastnet Rock should be able to avoid traffic trouble. #2 Big Move looked good beating a state-bred field over this course and distance and March and was flattered when the runner-up came back to win. On pure numbers she’s the one to beat.
SIXTH RACE (4:30 PT) – GRADE: C+
Use: 1-Sugaratmidnight; 8-Captain Akers
Bottom-rung older maiden claiming sprinters occupy the sixth race, a five and one-half furlong affair in which a little will go a long way. #8 Captain Akers actually finished first in a maiden $30,000 event at Los Alamitos last month but was disqualified; if he can maintain a straight course today he should be the one to beat. However, he’s not particularly fast on numbers so we can’t make him a single. #1 Sugaratmidnight is a debuting Dixie Chatter gelding with good enough works to warrant “stranger danger” status. At 6-1 on the morning line he’s worth including in your exotics.
SEVENTH RACE (5:00 PT) – GRADE: B+
Use: 6-Atascadero; 8-Prime Issue
#8 Prime Issue stretches out again in the seventh race, a state-bred first-level optional claimer over a middle distance on the main track. A real pro (eight wins from 29 career starts and first or second in six of 11 outings over this surface), he’s a first-off-the-claim for Keith Desormeaux, switches to brother Kent, and after being beaten in photo finishes in his last two starts, is overdue for some luck. #6 Atascadero tries a route of ground for the first time (bred for it), has steadily rising speed figures, and should be a strong factor on or near the lead throughout. Marty Garcia knows him well and stays aboard for Jerry Hollendorfer. In a field lacking in effective closers, this race should be decided up front and both Prime Issue and Atascadero exit quick sprints and should be just where they want to be from the start.
EIGHTH RACE (5:30 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 2-Doodetta; 5-Vanlose Stairway
The nightcap is a downhill turf dash for $40,000 claiming older fillies and mares. #2 Doodetta and #5 Vanlose Stairway both have won multiple times over this tricky layout and are the ones to beat. Doodetta, claimed in her last pair and now in the Peter Miller barn, retains Bejarano and is the most dangerous of the closers. Vanlosse Stairway has a bit more tactical speed than her chief rival and should have every chance from a stalking position. We’ll try to get by using just these two.