Jeff Siegel’s Blog:  Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Saturday, Feb. 16, 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, February 16, 2019

​RACE 1: Post 12:05 PT. Grade: B

Use: 2-Over Emphasize; 3-Hard Not to Love

Forecast: Hard Not to Love has trained well enough to be a major player in her debut in this moderate field of maiden special weight 3-year-old fillies in today’s opener.  The main concern is that the Shirreffs barn doesn’t often win with first-timers.  The best of the known element is Over Emphasize, who launches a comeback after flashing some ability last summer at Del Mar.  McCarthy has superior stats with layoff runners, so this daughter of Overanalyze very likely will return at least as well if not better than she left.


​​RACE 2: Post 12:35 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 5-Halo Darlin; 6-Speakers; 7-Believe Indeed

Forecast: Halo Darlin lost position early and then never had a clear run when sixth in a state-bred optional claimer earlier this month, and the non-effort can be dismissed.  She’s a first-off-the-claim for Pender and switches to Rosario, so we’ll put her on top.  Speakers was wide without any cover in a disappointing run when well-backed last time out.  She needs patient handling and should get it today from Van Dyke, so we’ll give her a chance to make amends.  Believe Indeed, Pender’s second starter, has a chance as well and is a “must use.”  First or second in 18 of 38 career starts, the daughter of Posse wants to settle and produce a late run and will be dangerous with that kind of ride from Bejarano.


​​RACE 3: Post 1:05 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 3-Swamp Souffle; 5-Palladium

Forecast: ​Palladium returns to his claim level ($32,000) today and should greatly appreciate the class relief along with the switch to Rosario.  A repeat of his race before last – a starter’s allowance win over this track and distance – makes him dangerous, and though he was well-beaten vs. much tougher over a sloppy surface in his most recent start, the O’Neill-trained colt actually earned a “buried” career top speed figure.  However, at 8/5 on the morning line, he won’t be offering much in the way of wagering value.  Swamp Souffle returns to the claiming ranks for the first time since breaking his maiden last October and is another who seems certain to improve in this league.  In a field without too much early speed, he should draft into a comfortable pace-stalking position and then have every chance.


​​​RACE 4: Post 1:35 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 5-Storms River; 7-Parsimony; 8-Mo Mississippi

Forecast: Parsimony is overdue for a win and may have his best chance yet to earn his diploma in this so-so maiden special weight turf affair 3-year-olds.  He exits a pair of much tougher sprints; however, he’s no slam dunk to act at this nine-furlong trip, so we’ll also include Storms River and Mo Mississippi in our rolling exotic play.  The former was a willing third over a mile on this course last month and seems to be gradually improving, while the latter has Artie Schiller on the bottom so he could move up considerably in his first try routing and his first on grass.


​​RACE 5: Post 2:05 PT. Grade: B+

Single: 6-Play Money

Forecast: Hofmans has excellent stats with first-timers and appears to have Play Money cranked up for a major effort in this extended sprint for state-bred maiden 3-year-olds.  The Triple Crown-nominated son of Unusual Heat sports a bullet 1:12 1/5 workout last month (looked terrific) so there’s every reason to believe that he’s primed and ready to win at what probably will be a shorter price than his morning line of 2-1.


​​RACE 6: Post 2:35 PT. Grade: B

Use: 3-Holly Hundy; 4-Unicorn; 8-Posit

Forecast:Unicorn finished a very good second in her debut behind subsequent stakes winner Apache Princess and should benefit greatly from the experience and today’s two-turn trip.  Recent workouts also indicate she’s set to produce a forward move.  Posit stretches out for Callaghan (strong stats) and will be the controlling speed if she wants to be.  She exits the same race as Unicorn when third after leading the way down the hill. Holly Hundy didn’t show a whole lot in her debut in Florida but has trained like a much better type for Cerin since arriving in California.  She’s also adding Lasix, so we’ll include the daughter of Yes It’s True in our rolling exotic play.


RACE 7: Post 3:05 PT. Grade:

Use: 1-Heloise; 5-Gia Lula; 6-Whirling

Forecast: This restricted (nw-2) $12,500 claimer for fillies and mares requires a spread in rolling exotic play; best advice is to use as many as you can afford to.  Whirling plummets in class and clearly is being culled from the table, but while her form is uninspiring she should find this group within her capabilities.  Her only win – in a low-rated maiden special weight race over a mile – was accomplished over this main track.  Gia Lula finally broke her maiden in her 13th career start last time out and did so with a speed figure that should make her a fit in this league.  She has a good stalking style for this extended sprint trip.  Heloise is another recent maiden claiming winner that can be competitive based strictly on speed figures.  The rail is no bargain, but she should be running on late.


​​RACE 8: Post 3:38 PT. Grade: B+

Use: 3-Tesora; 7-Belvoir Bay; 8-A Little Bit Me

Forecast: This race originally was scheduled for the Hillside course; it now will be run over five furlongs on the main turf track.  Belvoir Bay is a pro’s pro and is tough under any conditions but is especially effective in abbreviated turf sprints.  She deserves top billing while picking up Rosario (regularly rider Prat is out of town).  Tesora has a price chance from off the pace.  The daughter of Scat Daddy won a sprint stakes over a somewhat softened turf course in New York, and if she gets some help up front today she could be heard from late.  A Little Bit Me was visually very impressive winning from softer recently and in her present form could be this good.  At 8-1 on the morning line, she’s worth tossing in somewhere.


RACE 9: Post 4:09 PT. Grade: B+

Use: 3-Marley’s Freedom; 6-Escape Clause

Forecast: Marley’s Freedom has worked like she’s ready for a successful 2019 debut after being freshened since winning Go For Wand Stakes in New York 10 weeks ago.  She’s reunited with Van Dyke, who in the past has gotten the most run out of her, and her best race is more than good enough to win.  Paradise Woods is another that should fire a big shot fresh; she’s making her first start since July and her first for Shirreffs, and on her best day she’s always dangerous.  We’ll also toss in Escape Clause on a ticket or two as a back-up; the thoroughly genuine and versatile mare has won 19 of 28 career starts over virtually every type of surface or distance and is a perfect two-for-two at this extended sprint trip.


RACE 10: Post 4:40 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 2-Violent Behavior; 5-Palaleo

Forecast: This race has been taken off the turf.  We’ll use two, but go deeper if you have to.  Palaleo continues to impress in the morning and is a first-time gelding, so we’re expecting improvement from the Bonde-trained son of Noble Mission.  We were looking forward to seeing him on grass (he’s bred for it) but even on dirt we’ll give him a very slight edge on top.   Violent Behavior has been popular at the claim box lately and now resides in the Lucarelli barn.  He should be running on late at this extended sprint trip.







Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019

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