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.
C=Least preferred, or pass.
X=likely winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.
Friday, December 28, 2018
RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 1-Shining Through
Forecast: This nine-furlong maiden special weight turf affair for juveniles came up light except for the promising Shining Through. The Hollendorfer-trained is progressing with racing and a repeat of his last race – a solid third place effort in a highly-rated affair at Del Mar while almost four clear of the rest – should be more than good enough to win. It was his first try on grass and he produced significant improvement on numbers to indicate he clearly prefers this surface. From the rail the son of Malibu Moon should enjoy a ground-saving, stalking trip and go on from there. Let’s make him a straight play and rolling exotic single and hope to get close to his morning line of 5/2.
RACE 2: Post 1:02 PT. Grade: C
Use: 2-Frozen Money; 4-Sooner Better
Forecast: A field of only five maiden-claiming juveniles makes the second race largely unplayable, though rolling exotic plays should be able to survive and advance using just two. Frozen Money, a son of Bernardini who was thrown away for a paltry $6,000 last summer in an Ocala two-year-old in training sale, finished a fair third in his debut and probably has more room to improve than the others. The sprint speed figure he earned makes him a fit with these and his pedigree suggests he’ll improve with distance. Sooner Better was a non-threatening fifth as the favorite last month at Del Mar vs. similar but a bullet recent workout at San Luis Rey Downs gives hope that he’s better than that. For whatever it’s worth, this is the one Desormeaux rides for his brother while Sanchez will pilot the barn’s other starter, Knight’s Cross.
RACE 3: Post 1:31 PT. Grade: C
Use: 3-Older Brother; 5-Don’t Stalk Me
Forecast: The pick-6 begins with a lackluster $12,500 claiming abbreviated sprint restricted to 3-year-olds. Don’t Stalk Me continues with a suspicious pattern – it seems everybody’s who had him can’t wait to get rid of him – but this is his lowest level ever and on pure numbers he’s a stick out. However, he just failed at 70 cents on the dollar and is dropping from $16,000 in his first start since being claimed by Hess. Two wins in four starts over the local main tack is a positive and so is the presence of Rosario in the saddle. We’ll put him on top but at 6/5 on the morning he’ll be offering little value. Older Brother has done some good work in the morning since being virtually eased vs. tougher at Del Mar seven weeks ago. At one time he could run a bit; what his current condition now is anybody’s guess. We suspect the winner will be one of these two, but this is another race we’ll stay clear of.
RACE 4: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B+
Forecast: Objective turned some heads with a highly promising debut effort at Del Mar last month in a race that we featured in a Black Book segment (see video). The daughter of Super Saver finished full of run but ran out of room when winding up third in a highly-rated affair and seems sure to improve a bunch with that bit of experience behind her. With an extra three-sixteenths of a mile to work with she should be along in plenty of time as a strong rolling exotic single.
RACE 5: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Peachy; 6-Desired Edge; 10-One Upper
Forecast: Restricted (Nw-2) $12,500 claiming fillies and mares sprint six furlongs in the fifth; we’ll go three-deep and hope’s that’s enough. One Upper just broke her maiden for $20,000 at Del Mar earlier this month and is realistically spotted on the class drop, so the daughter of Kitten’s Joy might deserve top billing despite the switch to low-profile jockey Fuentes. She’s a strong fit on speed figures and ran well over this track during the fall meeting when she was a solid runner-up in a decent (for the level) bottom-rung maiden claimer. Desired Edge was favored over One Upper in that early November race but was eliminated at the start and was no factor. Since then she shows a maiden claiming win at Del Mar that charts well with these and then a fourth-place finish vs. slightly tougher over a wet track at Los Alamitos that earned her a career top number. The Kitchingman-trained filly probably is most effective when held up early and allowed to run late. Peachy has the route-to-sprint angle that we like she is being re-equipped with blinkers, so improvement is possible. We’ll toss her in on a ticket or two.
RACE 6: Post 3:02 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Starting Bloc; 3-Ya Gotta Wanna; 9-Epical
Forecast: This stronger-than-par second-level turf event has several possibilities and is another that requires a spread. We’ll use three but if you find the need to go deeper, go right ahead. Ya Gotta Wanna was a troubled sixth in the Hollywood Turf Cup-G2 at Del Mar last month and before that was an admirable third in the John Henry Turf-G2 here during the fall meeting. A winner of three of six career starts over the Santa Anita lawn, the D’Amato-trained gelding retains Prat and should draft in a comfortable mid-pack early position and then have every chance from there. He’s kind of a grinder, but always seems to try hard. Starting Bloc was given a bit too much to do when a rapidly-closing second vs. similar at Del Mar five weeks ago and should fire a similar shot today. He’s a bit pace-dependent but has finished first or second in four of five career starts over the local lawn, so with good racing luck he should be right there. Epical turned in a freaky-good performance when crushing an entry-level field with a stakes-quality figure in a mini-marathoner at Del Mar in mid-November. The son of Uncle Mo has had only eight career starts so maybe he’s just finding himself, and he projects to enjoy a lovely pace-pressing or stalking trip like the one he just won with.
RACE 7: Post 3:32 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Mo Soul; 3-Aristocratic; 7-Short of Ez
Forecast: The seventh race is yet another highly-contentious affair; on paper there appears to be an abundance of pace, which could lead to a meltdown and a chaotic result. Short of Ez was buried on the rail in an off-the-turf dash for $32,000 at Del Mar last month, and after being used hard early weakened late in a strong race for the level. The state-bred gelding has shown the ability to settle and then pounce, so from where he’s drawn it’s possible Puype and Van Dyke will opt for patient tactics. Mo Soul has seen better days – he was a stakes winner as a 2-year-old – and his recent form hardly inspires. However, the Glatt-trained gelding shows a bullet blowout here just four days ago and he exits an infinitely tougher, non-restricted $32,000 event, so perhaps he’ll wake up. Aristocratic, fifth as the favorite in the same race Short of Ez exits, is likely to bust out and go from his 3-hole post. Both of his career wins have come over the Santa Anita main track, but with a lifetime record of 2-for-19 the Miller-trained son of Malibu Moon is hardly one to trust and he’s been unplaced in his last four starts. You can toss him in as savor.
RACE 8: Post 4:02 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 8-Sparky Ville; 10-Bob and Jackie
Forecast: Sparky Ville is trying two-turns and turf for the first time and his pedigree suggests he’ll enjoy the changes. His sprint numbers are strong, his work tab healthy, and we’re expecting Desormeaux to have him within striking range throughout. Bob and Jackie looked good breaking his maiden with a nice speed figure two-turning at Del Mar and he’s likely to continue to improve with experience and development. While he made the running last time out, the son of Twirling Candy probably will find himself in a stalking position today from his extreme outside draw, though if he does manage to cross over and get to the lead he could be very difficult to catch. We’re fully expecting the winner to be one of these two, with a slight edge on top to Sparky Ville.
RACE 9: Post 4:32 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 5-Trepalanda; Dukes Up; 10-Hard Arch
Forecast: The finale is a low-level $8,000 claimer with at least three legitimate contenders. Trapalanda exits a stronger starter’s allowance race while returning to his claim level for Mullins, has solid recent speed figures, two wins over the local main track, and three steady workouts since his most recent outing. Quinonez knows him well and should have the Slew’s Tiznow gelding on or near the lead throughout. Duke’s Up has issues (he was a voided claim two runs back) but he drops to his lowest level ever and shows four wins from seven career starts over the Santa Anita main track. The son of Include will be doing his best work late. Hard Arch is a respectable 2-for-8 at Santa Anita but 0-for-10 everywhere else. His recent form and numbers are good and he’s another who should be heard from in the final furlong, especially if a faster-than-normal pace materializes.