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
Single: 3-Mr. Louis
Six juveniles – all first-time starters - sprint four and one-half furlongs in the Friday opener. #3 Mr. Louis, a $90,000 yearling by Broken Vow, isn’t necessarily bred to be quick or precocious but the Doug O’Neill-trained colt has done everything right in the morning and has displayed enough speed in gate drills to indicate he’s got some talent. In an unclassified field, he seems as good as any, so let’s take a stand and make him a straight play and rolling exotic single.
SECOND RACE (2:33 PT) – GRADE: B
Single: 5-Nicaradalic Rocks; 6-Secret Moon
#6 Secret Moon doesn’t have a whole lot to beat in the second race, a $20,000 claiming sprint restricted to 3-year-olds. Drawn comfortably outside and exiting a series of much tougher races, the Peter Eurton-trained colt makes a major switch to Rafael Bejarano, has looked pretty sharp in recent drills, and has won over this main track in the past. We’ll put him on top but also include #5 Nicaradalic Rocks, a route-to-sprint class dropper for the Desormeaux brothers. He’s another with a prior win over this track and at this level seems likely to be heard from in the final furlong.
THIRD RACE (3:06 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 2-Atypique; 5-Name for the Blame; 6-Secreto Primero
Maiden claimers sprint down the hill in the third race, a better-than-average race for the level that requires a bit of a spread in rolling exotic play. #2 Atypique is for sale for the first time today and the drop in class and the shortening in trip should make a world of difference for a colt that has burned money in his last two starts. His best race – a closing second over this course and distance vs. straight maidens three runs back – would be good enough to beat this field. #5 Name for the Blame chased much tougher in his U.S. debut and is realistically spotted while dropping back from a two-turn miler. Against this group he could be a late threat. #6 Secreto Primero, away since February of 2015, has worked well for his comeback and should be forwardly placed based on last year’s form. If he comes back as well as he left, the son of First Samurai can at least get a piece of it. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics while giving the edge on top to Atypique.
FOURTH RACE (3:39 PT) – GRADE: B-
Single: 7-Pulla Train
Restricted (non-winners this year) $10,000 claimers sprint five and one-half furlongs in the fourth race, a modest affair with nothing to trust. #3 Wade is 8/5 on the morning line by default; he finished an uninspiring second when even money against a slightly tougher group at Los Alamitos earlier this month but is a fit on numbers and seems certain to attract plenty of play. At the price, he offers no value. #7 Pulla Train, second off a long layoff and dropping sharply in class, should be on or near the lead throughout under Martin Pedroza. He was once much better than these and if he has one good one left, he’ll handle this group. Let’s go with Pulla Train as a rolling exotic single in a race that really doesn’t offer any other good option.
FIFTH RACE (4:12 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 2-Lori’s Attitude; 3-Audacious Angel; 7-Midnight Toast
The late Pick-4 begins with a competitive downhill turf sprint for older maiden fillies and mares. #2 Lori’s Attitude ran quite well over this course and distance when second in mid-March, and sports a steady, healthy work tab since that outing. Tyler Baze stays aboard for trainer Carla Gaines, and a similar effort today makes her the one to beat. #3 Audacious Angel has been unlucky on a few occasion and is better than her zero-for-six lifetime record would lead you to believe. She’ll be rolling late and if she avoids traffic trouble the Eddie Truman-trained daughter of City Zip will be dangerous. #7 Midnight Toast is a debuting daughter of Midnight Lute from a barn that has a poor record with debut runners, but this filly has shown some spark in the morning and has a good chance of outrunning her 12-1 morning line.
SIXTH RACE (4:44 PT) – GRADE: C+
Use: 2-Henrythelovepenny; 4-Yana; 5-Miss Bliss
The sixth race is an extended sprint for $25,000 claiming fillies and mares. Big class dropper #4 Yana has back form that is more than good enough to win but she’s been an in-and-outer this year and right now she might be on the outs. We’ll use her – a repeat of her starter’s allowance win two races back charts very well with these – but she’s not one to really trust. #2 Henrythelovepenny has the route-to-sprint angle we like and exits a tougher starter’s allowance event at Los Alamitos. She was only a half-length behind Yana when they met over this track and distance in March, and Edwin Maldonado, who has won on her in the past, stays aboard. #5 Miss Bliss is worth including as well; she’s back on her preferred surface (both of her wins came over this main track) and is returning to her proper level. She’ll be prominent throughout.
SEVENTH RACE (5:15 PT) – GRADE: B+
Use: 1-Well Caught; 4-Mining Diamonds
The featured seventh race is carded for first-level allowance sophomore fillies down the Hillside course. We’re especially intrigued by #1 Well Caught, a European import for good trainer Simon Callaghan. She’s a first-time Lasix user, has worked nicely for her first start since last September, and won her debut, so you know she can fire fresh. Her form in Ireland was quite good, though both of her outings as a two-year-old came over the Dundalk all-weather surface, not turf. With Flavien Prat taking the call, she looks very much like a live item. #4 Mining Diamonds impressed beating maidens in an off-the-turfer last month and prior to that showed a liking for this turf course when rallying to be a solid third in a good maiden affair. A healthy recent work tab at San Luis Rey Downs for trainer Peter Miller gives strong indication that further improvement is probable. Let’s use both in our rolling exotics while slightly preferring Well Caught on top.
EIGHTH RACE (5:39 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 2-Spark Plug Katie; 3-Basie Boots
The nightcap is a six furlong maiden $30,000 claiming sprint for sophomore fillies with two main players. #2 Spark Plug Katie drops out of straight maiden company and seems sure to stick much better at this level. The Jeff Mullins-trained daughter of Giacomo continues to show ability in the morning and may have found her friends today. This is her second start off a long layoff and she should be much fitter after a speed-and-fade performance at Los Alamitos earlier this month. #3 Basie Boots is improving with racing, has speed figures that are solid for this level, and seems capable of producing another forward move. She’s the likely choice and one to beat. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.