Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Saturday, May 25, 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 25, 2019


RACE 1: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B

Use: 5-Young Hendrick; 9-Give Me the Lute

Forecast: Young Hendrick launches a comeback for Phil D’Amato after a series of sharp workouts at San Luis Rey Downs and showed a liking for this distance and surface when second in a similar state-bred turf sprint at Del Mar last summer.  If he returns as well as he left, the son of Square Eddie should be capable of graduating under Martin Garcia, who knows him well.  Give Me the Lute is yet another layoff runner that appears dangerous in this league.  A distant third in his only prior start last September on dirt at Los Alamitos, the Peter Miller-trained gelding shows a bullet six furlong SLRD workout earlier this month to indicate fitness and seems certain to improve his juvenile form while returning as a first-time gelding.  Let’s try to get by using just these two, with preference on top to Young Hendrick.


​​RACE 2: Post 1:29 PT. Grade: X

Single: 7-Kidmon

Forecast: Kidmon burned money when dropped to this restricted (nw-2) level earlier this month, finishing second at 4/5, but the John Sadler-trained gelding lands the cozy outside draw and should have every chance to make amends.  He gets a significant break in the weights with the switch to bug boy Velez and projects to inherit an ideal pace-stalking position.  At 7/5 on the morning line he’ll not likely offer much in the way of wagering value, but we can use him as a short price rolling exotic single.


​​RACE 3: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B

Use: 1-Proud Pedro; 2-Sly; 3-Hackleberry

Forecast:Proud Pedro lands the good rail, switches to Flavien Prat, and should draft into a mid-pack, ground-saving position and then be set to produce a winning late kick in this nine-furlong turf maiden affair restricted to 3-year-olds.  He’s also adding blinkers, which likely will help his tactical speed, so at 5-1 on the morning line the French-bred colt appears to offer significant wagering value.  However, this is a contentious affair, so we’ll also toss in Sly and Hackleberry in our rolling exotics.  Sly has the two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern for Mandella while removing blinkers and trying turf for the first time, so significant improvement is possible.  Hackleberry moved forward considerably in his second career start when runner-up over a mile last month and today’s added furlong should be well within his range. 


​​​RACE 4: Post 2:31 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 1-Oil Can Knight; 2-Secret Courier

Forecast: Oil Can Knight returns off short rest (six days) while exiting a hot race won by the fast colt Rafal and will greatly appreciate this considerably easier assignment.  The O’Neill-trained gelding earned a good speed figure in defeat, so if he can avoid trouble from the rail he should be along in time.  Secret Courier ran very well to be second under these conditions two runs back but then was pitched too high when flashing excellent speed before fading vs. straight maidens in his most recent outing.  Back in for a tag today, the Paynter gelding could get loose early and take this field a long way.  Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Oil Can Knight on top.


​​RACE 5: Post 3:03 PT. Grade: B

Use: 3-Eddie Haskell; 4-Horse Greedy

Forecast: Eddie Haskell has never been sharper and seems the solid pick in this graded stakes turf sprint that traditionally had been contested down the hill, but this year will be run on the flat course over five furlongs.  A repeat of either one of his last two starts most likely will be good enough.  Horse Greedy probably prefers dirt to turf but the Sadler-trained gelding has been training in sharp fashion at Los Alamitos for his first start since October and could fire a big shot fresh.  At 8-1 on the morning line he’s certainly worth including in rolling exotic play. 


​​RACE 6: Post 3:33 PT. Grade: B

Use: 6-Don’t Stalk Me; 8-Cartoonist

Forecast:Don’t Stalk Me switches to Prat, exits a much tougher starter’s allowance race and absolutely loves the Santa Anita main track, over which he has won four of nine career outings.  The son of Kafwain is especially effective at this abbreviated sprint distance and is the likely choice and strictly one to beat. Bay Area shipper Cartoonist drops for money run in this $10,000 claimer for high percentage connections and should draft into a dream pace-stalking position from his comfortable outside draw.  First or second in 18 of 37 career starts, the veteran gelding is a tough-as-nails sprinter when he’s feeling good and at this level he should be double tough.  These are the two we’ll be including in rolling exotic play.


RACE 7: Post 4:03 PT. Grade: B+

Use: 3-Marckie’s Water; 5-United

Forecast: United gets a bit of a class test in this 10-furlong, Grade-2 turf stakes but the lightly-raced and improving son of Giant’s Causeway could easily be up to the task at 6-1 on the morning line.  He switches to Prat, should relish the trip, and figures to be storming home in the final furlong.  His recent fourth place finish (beaten only a length) vs. allowance foes was much better than the line indicates.  Marckie’s Water loves the local lawn – four of his five career victories have come here – and after rallying against slow fractions to win a nice allowance race last month the Richard Baltas-trained son of Tribal Rule looks tough right back.  We’ll double the race in our rolling exotics and then press in the win pool with United.


​​RACE 8: Post 4:33 PT. Grade: B+

Use: 1-American Anthem; 7-The Hardest Way

Forecast: American Anthem may have been a tad short when worn down late as the favorite in a strong allowance race at Churchill Downs on Derby day in his first outing since July.  He’ll be fitter and stronger with that effort behind him, so if the Bob Baffert-trained son of Bodemeister can work out a decent trip from the rail he should be able to make amends.  Additionally, he’s reunited with “win rider” Mike Smith and has two prior wins over the Santa Anita main track.  The Hardest Way earned a giant speed figure when demolishing second-level allowance foes at Keeneland last month in his first outing in more than a year.  Now in the Ron Ellis barn and with a strong series of local drills to his credit, the son of Uncle Mo looks likely to dictate the race from his cozy outside draw, and with just nine career starts he certainly has room for another forward move or two.  We’ll put American Anthem slightly on top but include both in rolling exotic play.


RACE 9: Post 5:03 PT. Grade: B

Use: 6-Meistermind; 7-California Journey

Forecast: California Journey just finished second in a common race with many of these and wound up almost five lengths clear of the rest while earning a career top speed figure.  The Hollendorfer-trained gelding won’t need much more than that to get back on the winning track.  Meistermind returns from Oaklawn Park for O’Neill, gets Prat, and appears the main danger.  His speed figures are rising and there should be enough early pace in this race to compliment his late-running style. 


RACE 10: Post 5:03 PT. Grade: B

Use: 7-Maestro Dearte; 8-Oscar Dominguez; 9-The Hunted

Forecast:  Let’s go with a price in the nightcap, a highly-competitive second-level allowance turf affair over nine furlongs.  Maestro Dearte is rounding to top form and should fire his best shot in what is just his third start of the year.  A solid fourth in a similar affair over this course and distance last month, the Eurton-trained gelding is a deep closer in need of some help up front, but if the early fractions are at least normal he may be heard from in a big way late.  Oscar Dominguez is fast and consistent on speed figures and could produce one of his better efforts with the switch to Prat.  Three of his four career victories have been accomplished over this turf course, but as one without tactical speed he’s always a bit pace dependent.  The Hunted just won the Crystal Water Stakes but remains eligible for this condition because that victory came when facing state-bred foes.  He’s another that will be doing his best work late. 


Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Saturday, May 25, 2019

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