Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Friday, Jan. 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.


Friday, January 19, 2019


RACE 1: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 1-Imminent; 7-Meritocracy

Forecast: Imminent has rising numbers and enough early speed to utilize her rail draw to good advantage.  She exits a productive race at Los Alamitos and retains Pedroza, who knows her well.  Meritocracy is comfortably drawn outside and is lightly-raced and improving for Hess.  She has a good stalking style and should have every chance from the quarter pole home.  These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with a very slight edge – primarily due to the favorable draw – going to Meritocracy.


​​RACE 2: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 2-Imperial Creed; 3-Vegas Strong Baby

Forecast: Vegas Strong Baby and Imperial Creed exit the same race at Del Mar in late November – they finished second and third – and both have a right to produce a forward move in their sophomore debuts. Vegas Strong Baby retains Prat and should settle into an ideal second flight position and then have dead at the head of the lane, while Imperial Creed, with a lack of tactical speed, could use some help up front and will try to produce the last run.  Preference on top goes to ‘Baby but both should be used in rolling exotic play.


​​RACE 3: Post 2:02 PT. Grade: X

Single: 5-Whata Flirt

Forecast:What a Flirt is listed at 4/5 on the morning line and looks it on paper, so this is a race we’ll pass other than to use the O’Neill-trained filly as a short-priced rolling exotic single.  Beaten a neck and a nose in her last two starts, she’s still a maiden after 10 starts but this might be her easiest chance yet.


​​​RACE 4: Post 2:32 PT. Grade: B

Use: 5-Cajun Treasure; 7-Sellwood

Forecast: This race has been transferred to the main track.  Cajun Treasure has looked especially sharp in the morning (see our “Primed and Ready” commentary) and appears cranked up for a big effort in his first outing since June.  The son of Treasure Beach showed hints of ability in his first three starts, and while this will be his initial outing on dirt, the Eurton-trained colt trains like he’ll handle it just fine.  Sellwood will race without blinkers for the first time (like that angle) and is overdue for a win, having hit the board in eight of 10 career starts.  His form on dirt isn’t encouraging – he finished a weak fourth at Los Alamitos in his only main track start – but he continues to train well over this main track and is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.


​​RACE 5: Post 3:02 PT. Grade: B

Use: 3-Li’l Grazen; 4-Shylock Eddie

Forecast: Shylock Eddie likes to settle and produce a late kick and off her best race the daughter of Square Eddie seems capable of wearing down the suspect speed.  She knows where the wire is – she’s won 4 of 16 – and her best speed figures put her right there.  Li’l Grazen has never been keen on winning – she’s 2-for-23 – but she’s a first-off-the-claim for Miller (28% with this angle) and seems likely to improve.  The addition of Rosario is another plus.  Both should be included in rolling exotic play.


​​RACE 6: Post 3:32 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 5-Hero for Hire; 7-Cioppino Pasadino

Forecast:Hero for Hire has dangerous early speed but always is suspect under pressure in the final furlong.  This drop to the bottom-rung might make the winning difference for the Bonde-trained mare, so we’ll put her on top, but at 9/5 on the morning she’s won’t be offering much value in the straight pool.  Cioppino Pasadino arrives from Los Alamitos with good form in mixed breed racing and should be a nice fit in the $6,250 affair.  She’s especially fond of the Santa Anita main track, having won five of 13 career outings, and should have every chance to add to that total with a good pace-prompting trip.  We’re expecting the winner to be one of these two.


RACE 7: Post 4:02 PT. Grade: B

Use: 1-Ground Attack; 2-California Journey

Forecast: Ground Attack exits a pair fast, highly-rated and productive races and from his rail post should settle in nicely behind the leaders in this first-level state-bred allowance main track miler.  The Headley-trained gelding has had just four career starts as he begins his five-year-old season, so the son of Surf Cat probably still has some improvement in him.  California Journey, beaten as the favorite when third in the same race Ground Attack exit s in mid-November at Del Mar, has a healthy recent work tab for Hollendorfer and rates a look with his best effort.  ‘Attack gets the edge on top, but we’ll double the race in our rolling exotics.


​​RACE 8: Post 4:32 PT. Grade: B

Use:  2-North County Guy; 7-Tough It Out

Forecast: The finale is a starter’s allowance mile affair that has been transferred to the main track.  Check for late scratches.  North County Boy stretches out and switches to a surface he’s proven he can handle.  This is his first try around two-turns and on pedigree there’s every reason to believe he’ll be effective.  With Prat staying aboard, the Baltas-trained gelding likely will inherit a good pace-stalking position and then go on with it.  Tough It Out exits a pair of strong, productive races in his first start for Sadler.  He’s a stretch runner that is somewhat pace dependent, but we like that his new connections are protecting him, and his recent workouts have been sharp.  After his last race, he made our “Black Book” list (see video).



Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Friday, Jan. 18, 2019

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