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-Downside Up; 6-Twink’s Boy Toy
Juveniles sprint four and one-half furlongs in the opener of the nine race program. #2 Downside Up flashed good zip in a :34 4/5 seconds gate work at Los Alamitos recently and appears ready for a good run first crack out of the box. #6 Twink’s Boy Toy has some solid workout times to his credit up north and we assume he’s shown enough to warrant the van ride down to Santa Anita, rather than pick a spot with much lesser purse at Golden Gate Fields. In what amounts to something of a guessing game, we’ll use both in our rolling exotics but otherwise pass the race.
SECOND RACE (2:30 PT) – GRADE: C+
Use: 1-Magical Touch; 2-L. A. Magic
The second race is a weak, restricted (nw2) $12,500 claiming abbreviated sprint for fillies and mares, with two main contenders. #1 Magical Touch won her only start in game fashion last June and then disappeared. She returns cheap, so she still must have issues, but the works look decent and she’s a fit on numbers. #2 L.A. Magic drops to her lowest level ever, has won over this main track in the past, and might be the quickest in the field. She’s always suspect under pressure in the final furlong but against this group she might get brave.
THIRD RACE (3:00 PT) – GRADE: C+
Use: 2-Cass in Stone; 3-Jazzie Cat; 6-Prince Valiant
We’ll go three-deep in the third race, a starter’s allowance sprint, with #6 Prince Valiant earning a slight edge on top. The Ready’s Image colt earned a big speed figure when second over this track and distance two runs back and then lost his best chance in his most recent start when stumbling badly at the break. The Carava-trained colt should be able to dictate the race from his outside draw, either going to the front if no other speed materializes or settling into a stalking position if pressure emerges inside. #2 Cass in Stone looked good beating soft maiden $20,000 claiming rivals last October and then disappeared; if he returns as well as he left – and it’s a positive sign that O’Neill brings him back protected – the Quality Run should be very competitive against this group. #3 Jazzie Cat handled a maiden $50,000 field with ease at Los Alamitos last month while earning a sharp speed figure; with another forward move today the Mullins-trained gelding will be dangerous right back.
FOURTH RACE (3:30 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 5-Lori’s Attitude; 6-Audacious Angel; 8-Mysterious Miracle
The fourth race – a downhill turf sprint for older maiden fillies and mares – kicks off the Pick-6 sequence. #8 Mysterious Miracle is improving with racing and looks ready to graduate; the daughter of Congrats finished a willing second in a better-than-average race for the level over this course and distance in early March and her recent workout pattern indicates another forward move is likely. Talamo should have her in a good stalking spot outside, ready to pounce when called upon. #5 Lori’s Attitude ran quite well to be second under these conditions in her debut in March and is likely to perform at least as well, if not better, with that effort behind her. The daughter of Temple City retains Baze, exits a productive race, and should be close up throughout in a race likely to produce modest early splits. #6 Audacious Angel returns to turf – this is what she’s bred for – and her one prior race down the hill resulted a much troubled fifth place finish that could have resulted in victory with good racing luck. Bejarano stays aboard and will have rolling from off the pace in the final furlong. Let’s put Mysterious Miracle slightly on top but use all three in rolling exotic play.
FIFTH RACE (4:00 PT) – GRADE: B+
The fifth race is a first-level allowance main track miler loaded with speed, so let’s go with the one proven closer in the field, #6 Iancol, and make him a straight play and rolling exotic single. He’s a first-time gelding for Hollendorfer, strong in the speed figure department, and proven over this main track, having beaten starter’s allowance company two runs back. Garcia returns, and a strong series of sharp workouts since his last race in mid-March should have him fit and ready for a major effort.
SIXTH RACE (4:30 PT) – GRADE: B+
Use: 4-Ohio; 6-Cape Wolfe; 8-Twentytwentyvision
The sixth race feature is the $100,000 American Stakes, a Grade-3 mile turf affair for older horses. #4 Ohio won a visually pleasing allowance race in gate-to-wire style in his U.S. debut in early March for Lobo and has trained sensationally since to indicate he’s fit and ready for another huge performance. This is clearly a tougher field than he just faced but he could easily be up to the task, especially if handed the front end without having to be used. We’ll use him in the straight pool but spread a little for protection in our rolling exotics. #8 Twentytwentyvision turned in a superior performance – arguably his best ever – when rallying strongly to be second in the Thunder Road S.-G3 last month in his first start since last summer and seems highly likely to be fitter and tighter today for Mandella. The lightly-raced gelding, first or second in seven of nine career starts, switches to Bejarano and may be difficult to contain in the final furlong no matter what type of pace scenario he’s asked to cope with. #6 Cape Wolfe, a strong runner-up in the San Simeon S.-G3 down the hill last month, stretches out again to a mile and can be just as effective at this distance as he’s been in sprints. The D’Amato-trained gelding should get the patient ride he needs from Maldonado.
SEVENTH RACE (5:00 PT) – GRADE: B+
Single: 6-When We Met
#6 When We Met returns waiver protected in his first start since last June and gets ideal conditions in this $10,000 claiming sprint in which he’s ineligible to be claimed. The free ride comes courtesy of a start at this level in his most recent outing (a race in which a claim was voided due to unsoundness and led this gelding’s vacation). The Mulhall-trained veteran has trained like he’s plenty fit for his comeback and has shown the ability to fire fresh in the past, and with five wins from 12 starts over the Santa Anita main track he should be right at home under Pedroza. In a below par field for the level, let’s make him a strong straight play and rolling exotic single.
EIGHTH RACE (5:30 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 5-Worldwide; 9-Justsonetimebaby
#5 Worldwide shows up for a tag for the first time in this maiden $50,000 claiming extended sprint and on pure numbers he’s more than fast enough to beat this field. The son of Big Brown finished a distant though respectable third in a very fast, highly-rated maiden special weight sprint in is comeback last month and seems sure to produce a forward move today with that effort under his belt combined with the class drop. Talamo stays aboard and knows him well. #9 Justonetimebaby also is worth consideration. The Latent Heat gelding flashed good zip in his debut vs. straight maidens down the hill in March before weakening in the final furlong; he should be fitter and tougher today with the switch to the main track and the drop into the maiden claiming ranks. The blinkers come off, Bejarano jumps aboard, and from his outside post the Baltas-trained sophomore should be able to pick his spot. Both should be used in rolling exotic play with slight preference on top to Worldwide.
NINTH RACE (6:00 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 1-Black Tie n’ Tails; 6-Aren Vaughn; 9-Bronzino
The finale is a difficult and contentious starter’s allowance turf miler that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. #6 Aren Vaughn has rising speed figures and is the likely choice and one to beat. A winner down the hill two races back in maiden special weight company, the Yakteen-trained son of Bertrando was a solid runner-up under these conditions in his next outing and has trained in sharp style since that mid-March affair. With Bejarano taking the call, he’s strictly the one to beat. #1 Black Tie ‘n Tails looks intriguing; the lightly-raced gelding is a son of Vronsky and therefore bred to improve considerably on turf and he’s back with Pedroza, who won on him when the Mulhall-trained four-year-old graduated at first asking in March. He should be prominent throughout from his good inside post. #9 Bronzino adds Lasix for the first time after a very promising U.S. debut performance when third in the same race Aren Vaughan was just second in. The Bell-trained gelding has worked steadily since and should have enough pace in this affair to compliment his late-running style. Blanc will have him running on strongly late.