Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Friday, June 21, 2019

The selections contained within are 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 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, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.

​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 four-deep in his rolling exotic play and on a very rare occasion he will recommend a “buy the race” strategy.

The selections are available every racing day after 9 a.m. (PST).  For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.

Top selection indicated in bold-face.

A=Highest degree of confidence.  

B=Solid Play.  

C=Least preferred, or pass.  

X=likely winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.


Friday, June 21, 2019


RACE 1: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 4-Mercy Rule; 6-Street Image; 9-Oil Can Knight

Forecast: These five furlong turf sprints have been dominated lately by pace-setters and pace-pressers, so we’ll concentrate on those contenders that have shown enough early zip to be in the first flight throughout.  Mercy Rule is an intriguing Bay Area shipper from the super-trainer Wong barn and shows a better-than-looked third place finish vs. straight maidens at this distance on grass at Golden Gate Fields two runs back.  He’s a tad light on speed figures but gets a break in the weights with the switch to a 7-lb. bug rider and shows a bullet three furlong blowout up north last week, so let’s put the Strong Mandate gelding slightly on top in a race that demands a spread in rolling exotic play.  Street Image, a first-off-the-claim play for D’Amato, is another with plenty of early zip, and after being away since early May he’s being raised in class by his new connections in a sign of confidence.  The son of Street Sense has back numbers that are good enough to win plus has run well under Pedroza in the past.  Oil Can Knight is another that should be forwardly placed and has speed figures that put him in the hunt.  The O’Neill-trained gelding was disappointing as the favorite vs. softer foes last time out but could improve in his first try on grass, so we’ll toss him in on a ticket or two. 


​​RACE 2: Post 1:29 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 3-Warrior’s Moon; 6-Vegan; 7-Takes a Village

Forecast: Maiden juvenile fillies sprint four and one-half furlongs in the second race, a somewhat open affair that may boil down to three main players.  Takes a Village was very well-meant in her debut and left as the 8/5 favorite, but after flashing good early speed to the head of the lane the daughter of Lakerville weakened under pressure and wound up second, beaten 2 ½ lengths while a like number a head of the third place finisher.  The race was dreadfully slow and the number quite weak, but with the effort behind her she should be fitter today and carry her speed a bit farther.  Vegan, runner-up in both of her prior starts, doesn’t act like she can beat a decent maiden, but in this modest state-bred spot there may not be one in here.  Warrior’s Moon lands Prat for her debut, so we suspect she has at least some ability.  The Eurton barn doesn’t win often with first-timers but at little certainly will go a long way against this group so we’ll include her on a few tickets as a saver or a back-up.


​​RACE 3: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 4-Jamming Eddy; 6-General Mo; 8-No Parking Here

Forecast: ​ It may be hard to trust Jamming Eddy in this state-bred maiden special weight turf miler after the son of Square Eddie just failed at 60 cents on the dollar in a similar affair 13 days ago.  But the Miller-trained gelding switches to Prat and projects to be the controlling speed, so we’ll give him a strong chance to make amends but certainly not use him as a single.  General Mo, fourth with a bit trouble in the same race ‘Eddy exits, will add blinkers while switching to Van Dyke, so in just his fourth career start the Hollendorfer-trained colt may have a forward move in him.  No Parking Here, second in that same June 8th race, is stuck on the far outside today and may have to rally against slower early fractions today, as opposed to his last race when his closing kick was complimented by a strong early pace.  On the plus side, he added blinkers for the first time in that race and earned a career top speed figure, so he’s probably worth including somewhere on your ticket. 


​​​RACE 4: Post 2:31 PT. Grade: C

Use: 1-I Can Do This; 4-Feeling Strong; 5- Oh Man

Forecast: We’ll go three-deep in this entry-level state-bred main track miler but otherwise pass the race.  I Can Do lands the good rail, retains Prat, and earned a career top speed figure when second in a similar spot last time out while more than five lengths clear of the others.  He’s been second in each of his last three starts and is overdue for a win.  Oh Man gets a break in the weights with the switch to good bug boy Velez and is a strong fit on speed figures.  All three of his career victories have been accomplished over the Santa Anita main track, and the Miyadi-trained gelding should be quick enough from the gate to either make the pace or draft into a comfortable stalking position and have every chance.  Feeling Strong, runner-up in the Cal Cup Derby three runs back but unplaced on two starts on grass since, returns to his preferred surface today and should be running on strongly late.  With some help up front, the Palma-trained gelding will be heard from in the final furlong. 


​​RACE 5: Post 3:03 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 8-North County Guy; 6-Eskimo Rose 9-Eric the Trojan

Forecast: The two main players in this five furlong sprint are drawn farthest outside and neither has pace-setting or pace-forcing early speed, so this race has the potential to become chaotic.  North County Guy turns back from a pair of solid runner-up efforts over a mile and is a strong fit on speed figures, but we wonder if five furlongs might be a tad too sharp for him.  He’s been beaten as the favorite in two of his last three starts but is exiting a series of highly-rated races, so there are mixed signals.  Eric the Trojan is good enough to win on his best day but is just 1-for-13 over the Santa Anita turf course and will have to buck the pro-speed course bias.  The Sadler-trained gelding is reunited with “win rider” Prat but will need help up front and good racing luck to have his best chance.  Eskimo Roses looks like the quickest of the quick and did win an abbreviated turf sprint when last seen at Del Mar last summer.  He’s a fit on numbers so if Ruis has him cranked up the son of Eskendreya could take this field a long way. 


​​RACE 6: Post 3:33 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 5-Reedley; 6-Call You Tomorrow

Forecast: ​It wasn’t much of a race, but Reedley did run well in his debut when missing by a nose in a similar maiden $50,000 sprint in early May, and son of Paynter should produce a significant forward move for the Baffert barn, which shows excellent stats with second-time starters.  Call You Tomorrow, drawn comfortably outside and likely to enjoy a soft pace-stalking trip, moves up from the maiden $30,000 level to this slightly tougher spot, but the Cecil-trained colt is actually quite a bit faster on pure numbers than Reedley, so he’s a strong contender and a “must use.”  Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll give Reedley a very slight edge on top. 


RACE 7: Post 4:03 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 2-Nolde; 3-Proud Pedro; 7-Urban Light

Forecast: Proud Pedro was visually quite pleasing when breaking his maiden with a vastly improved, strong speed figure last month, but that victory was accomplished over nine furlongs and today he may have a more difficult task at this shorter one mile trip.  Still, the Powell-trained colt appears to have some quality and unless he has to cope with a slower than par pace he should be able to produce the last run.  Urban Light makes his first start as a gelding for D’Amato after failing to land a blow at a big price in the recent Singletary Stakes over this course and distance in late April.  He’s another late-runner that would appreciate some help up front.  Nolde didn’t have a whole lot behind him when graduating in his turf debut in early May but the Shirreffs-trained colt is progressing nicely with experience and this first-level allowance field should be within his capabilities.  Espinoza likely will have him within striking range throughout.  We’ll give Proud Pedro top billing but include all three in our rolling exotics. 


​​RACE 8: Post 4:33 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 2-Royal Trump; 7-Concur; 8-Italiano

Forecast: This main track starter’s allowance extended sprint looks fairly competitive and requires a spread in rolling exotic play.  We’ll use three and hope that’s enough.  Italiano just won a restricted $35,000 claimer in early May and earned a career top speed figure in the process, and is protected today by Miyadi, so we assume he’s maintained his sharpness.  From his cozy outside draw the son of Twirling Candy can pop and go or stalk and pounce.  A repeat of his last race may be good enough.  Concur, a recent $35,000 claim by a high percentage outfit, shortens up from a mile and returns to dirt while retaining Bejanaro.  A bullet 48 seconds half mile workout (fastest of 48) since in late May indicates he’s maintained his edge, so we’re expecting he’ll fire his best shot over a main track he’s proven he likes.  Royal Trump has the proper style for this extended sprint distance and should settle in the second flight and then have every chance from the quarter pole home.  He’s a consistent sort and can be expected to at least hit the board. 


RACE 9: Post 5:03 PT. Grade: C

Use: 2-Lucky Stepper; 3-Charlotte Louise; 4-Springster; 7-Sidepocket Charger

Forecast: This grass grab bag for older state-bred maiden-claiming fillies and mares over a mile on grass is borderline inscrutable, so we’ll go four deep in our rolling exotics without any real degree of confidence.  Use as many as you can afford to.  Springster is a first-timer for Baltas and Prat and therefore a major player – perhaps even the top pick – by default.  The daughter of Coil has a steady but unspectacular work tab, so who really knows?  Lucky Stepper may be the best of the known element; her speed figures have risen with each outing, and after finishing a fair fourth over this course and distance vs. similar in early May the Gaines-trained filly likely has further improvement in her.  Charlotte Louise has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern for Hofmans and tries grass for the first time, plus she’s adding blinkers for the first time and might find herself on the lead.  Sidepocket Charger chased much stronger straight maidens in her debut last month and should benefit both from that outing and today’s much softer competition.  Toss her in somewhere. 

Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Friday, June 21, 2019

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