Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Saturday, May 18, 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.


Saturday, May 18, 2019


RACE 1: Post 12:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 7-Combat Zone; 9-Mongolian Greywolf

Forecast: Combat Zone exits a tough starter’s allowance in which he finished a close fourth (beaten one length) while earning a career-top Beyer speed figure.  This drop into the restricted (nw-2) $40,000 ranks can allow the Sadler-trained horse to return to winning form, and regular jockey Pedroza should have the son of War Front within striking range throughout, ready to pounce when called up.  Mongolian Greywolf returns on short rest (seven days) after finishing a respectable fourth (beaten two lengths) in a fast, highly-rated starter’s race over this course and distance.  If he can cope with the short turnaround, he’ll be a factor throughout.  Let’s try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play, with preference on top to Combat Zone.


​​RACE 2: Post 12:35 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 4-Meso; 9-Info’s Treasure

Forecast: Meso drops to her lowest level ever, and in this soft maiden $25,000 claiming main track miler for sophomore fillies the daughter of Cross Traffic appears to have found her friends.  She adds blinkers, switches to Pedroza, and deserves top billing based on superior speed figures.  Info’s Treasure chased straight maiden fillies at this distance on grass in her debut last month and, after breaking slowly and losing early position, produced a mild late bid to finish a non-threatening seventh.  Today she faces considerably easier competition, switches to the main track, and gets Franco.  Despite the extreme outside draw, the daughter of Informed seems sure to improve and must be considered something of a contender by default.


​​RACE 3: Post 1:15 PT. Grade: B

Use: 3-Point Hope; 5-G Q Covergirl

Forecast:Point Hope was given a bit of a run in her U.S. debut when finishing third without being knocked about in a similar abbreviated turf sprint for first-level allowance fillies and mares.  The Ellis-trained Irish-bred should be much more serious today, and with good racing luck we’re expecting Van Dyke to have her along in time.  G Q Covergirl, away since last July, returns for D’Amato and looks very much like the quickest of the quick.  The barn is solid with layoff runners and this daughter of General Quarters has fired fresh in the past.  Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Point Hope on top.


​​​RACE 4: Post 1:48 PT. Grade: B

Use: 3-Time for Suzzie; 8-True Validity

Forecast: True Validity has been popular at the claim box of late and today goes first-off-the-claim for Lerner.  First or second in five of six starts over the Santa Anita main track and landing the cozy outside post, the daughter of Yes It’s True should draft into a lovely pace-prompting position and have every chance from the head of the lane to the wire.  Time for Suzzie is raised from $25,000 to $50,000 in a sign of confidence by Hess and appears to have an ideal stalking style for this extended sprint trip.  She’ll need to improve in the speed figure department but knows how to win races and should fire her best shot.  We’ll double the race in our rolling exotics while preferring True Validity on top.


​​RACE 5: Post 2:19 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 2-Jungle Warfare; 5-Alive and Well; 7-Colosi

Forecast: This entry-level allowance turf miler has several legitimate contenders in a wide open affair and requires a spread in rolling exotic play.  We’ll use three, but you may feel the need to include a few more.  Colosi is progressing with experience for Glatt and earned a career top speed figure when a sharp runner-up over this course and distance last month.  He does have to pick up 6 lbs. today but based on recent form deserves top billing.  Alive and Well scored nicely up north vs. $40,000 claimers last month and a repeat of that effort at this level on this circuit makes him a threat right back.  “Win rider” Orozco flies down from the Bay Area to retain the mount, a positive and encouraging sign.  Jungle Warfare likes to finish second or third a whole lot more than he likes to win, but the son of Animal Kingdom should enjoy a ground-saving trip and figures to at least hit the board again.  Toss him in on a ticket or two.


​​RACE 6: Post 2:51 PT. Grade: B

Use: 9-Posterize; 10-Satchel Paige; 11-Twisted Plot

Forecast: ​State-bred maidens sprint six furlongs in the sixth race that begins the late Pick-5.  Satchel Paige walked out of the gate in his debut, fell far back, and then took hold and finished with interest but much too late when a distant third in his debut vs. similar in January.  The son of Grazen returns for D’Amato with a series of steady San Luis Rey Downs workouts, including a five furlong gate drill last week.  He’s the one to beat if he can leave with his field.  Posterize finished the money in his last pair and earned a career top speed figure over the Santa Anita main track two races back.  He adds blinkers for the first time, returns to dirt, and should be on or near the lead throughout.  Twisted Plot flashed some ability last summer at Del Mar and could easily be a much better type this time.  He gets Prat and an outside draw and based on his workouts at Los Alamitos the Sherman-trained might be this good.


RACE 7: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: B+

Use: 4-Silken Spy; 7-Querelle

Forecast: Querelle was completely eliminated when attempting to rally inside in the final furlong and dropped back to finish eighth of nine, beaten more than 12 lengths, against a similar group of first-level allowance fillies and mares over this course and distance last month.  She switches to Pereira, and with good racing luck seems capable of producing the last run at 6-1 on the morning line.  Silken Spy seeks her third straight score after winning a soft allowance race at Turf Paradise and then beating a restricted (nw-3) $35,000 claiming field here last month with a career-top number.  Despite the class hike, the daughter of The Factor will tough once again if she can secure her preferred front-running trip.  We’ll give the edge on top to Querelle but use both in our rolling exotics.


​​RACE 8: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: X

Use: 1-Mucho Gusto; 2-Sparky Ville

Forecast: Seven furlongs appears to be the favorite trip both our top two picks in today’s Laz Barrera Stakes for 3-year-olds and both should be used in rolling exotic play.  Mucho Gusto must overcome the rail, but the Baffert-trained colt was a graded stakes winner at this extended sprint trip last November at Del Mar.  The son of Mucho Macho Man can route as well, but this is really what he wants to do.  He’s 4/5 on the morning line and is a logical rolling exotic single, but you also want to include on a ticket or two Sparky Ville, winner of the San Vicente S.-G2 at this distance in February.  Espinoza will have him doing his best work late. 


RACE 9: Post 5:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 11-Call You Tomorrow; 14-Next Gen

Forecast: Here’s a competitive $30,000 claiming sprint for 3-year-olds that drew a full field of 14.  Call You Tomorrow exits an infinitely tougher straight maiden event and should find this group within his capabilities.  The son of Archarcharch flashed good speed to be within range to the head of the lane before fading, but today adds blinkers and should stick a whole lot better at this level.  Next Gen chased straight maiden foes up north in his debut, weakening under pressure after flashing good speed.  He’s worked well since for Mandella and, similar to Call Your Tomorrow, will greatly appreciate this drop into the maiden-claiming ranks.  He’s drawn on the far outside in post position 14 but picks up Prat.  Let’s try to get by using just these two with preference on top to Call Your Tomorrow. 


RACE 10: Post 5:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 6-Barbadolla; 10-Mo Me Mo My

Forecast: There are several first timers in this five furlong turf sprint for maiden 3-year-old fillies.  It’s a guessing game, so tread lightly.  Mo Me Mo My, away since since November, has trained like she’s fit and ready for O’Neill and should be tough to beat, her outside draw notwithstanding.  She ran very well sprinting on grass in debut at Del Mar when a sharp runner-up, and that effort, if repeated today, should be good enough.  Barbadolla launches a comeback after flashing some ability last summer as a 2-year-old, and with a string of solid works at San Luis Rey Downs for D’Amato the daughter of Street Sense is another that likely will show improved form this time around. 


Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Saturday, May 18, 2019

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