Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Saturday, Feb. 23, 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 23, 2019


RACE 1: Post 12:25 PT. Grade: B

Use: 3-Sir Eddie; 6-Dubnation

Forecast: Dubnation was burned up in a speed jam and paid the price late in an off-the-turf, sloppy track affair last time out but he’ll get his chance on grass today and should take full advantage of the situation.  Drawn perfectly outside, the D’Amato-trained gelding can dictate his trip and can win if he can duplicate his main track form over the Hillside course.  Sir Eddie is a 12-race maiden and certainly not one to bank on, but he’s hit the board eight times and seems like a logical exacta partner with our top pick.  You can toss him in on a ticket or two in rolling exotic play if you’d like.


​​RACE 2: Post 12:55 PT. Grade: B+

Single: 3-River God

Forecast: River God makes his West Coast debut after a couple of runs in Florida last summer in better company than he’s facing today.  He’s a first-time gelding, first-time Lasix, and first-time blinkers play for Cerin, and will benefit from a break in the weights under bug boy Espinoza.  The work tab is solid and should have him fit enough, so at 5/2 on the morning line he’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.


​​RACE 3: Post 1:40 PT. Grade: X

Single: 7-Come On Kat

Forecast:Come On Kat drops to her lowest level ever, and although she may have problems the Chew-trained filly will win if she has at least one good enough left.  From her cozy outside draw, the daughter of Munnings should draft into an ideal pace-stalking trip and then have every chance to exert her superiority when the pressure gets turned on.  We can use her as a single in rolling exotic play, but at 9/5 on the morning line she’s not likely to offer any value in the straight pool.


​​​RACE 4: Post 2:10 PT. Grade: B

Use: 1-What’sontheagenda; 6-Castle; 8-Rumpus Cat

Forecast: Rumpus Cat has the route-to-sprint angle that is so powerful in these Hillside turf sprints, and with the switch to Rosario the Baltas-trained colt should be primed for a major effort from his preferred outside draw.  There’s some value here at 4-1 on the morning line if you can get it.  What’sontheagenda is the quickest of the quick and earned a career top speed figure when nailed right on the money vs. similar foes over this course and distance last month.  The rail is no help but if he leaves cleanly the O’Neill-trained gelding could be hard to catch.  Castle beat a claiming field on this course last month with sharp speed figure and projects to enjoy a nice pace-stalking trip today.  He’s a winner of four of 10 starts in his career and retains Van Dyke, so despite the class hike the Puype-trained gelding is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.


​​RACE 5: Post 2:40 PT. Grade: B

Use: 3-Jack’s a Diva; 4-Gran Martillo

Forecast: We’ll double the fifth race, an abbreviated sprint for maiden $30,000 claimers.  Jack’s a Diva comes here from Florida where he finished an okay third at Tampa Bay Downs in his debut in late January.  That race was staged over a sloppy track, but if the Morey-trained colt runs as well if not better today over a fast surface he should be able to handle this modest bunch.  Gran Martillo is worth tossing in as well; he was a decent second behind next-out winner Nice Work in a tougher spot last month in a race that charts very well in this spot.


​​RACE 6: Post 3:15 PT. Grade: B

Use: 1-Whitehouse Road; 6-Mountain Spirit

Forecast: ​Mountain Spirit flashed good ability when third in his debut over this course and distance last month and this field doesn’t look on paper to be as deep or strong.  The son of Point of Entry is the logical top pick, but we’ll also include the fast-working first-time starter Whitehouse Road, who lands Rosario and looks like a live item despite having the misfortune of drawing the rail.


RACE 7: Post 3:50 PT. Grade: B

Use: 2-Papa Turf; 7-Boy Howdy

Forecast: Boy Howdy has been popular at the claim box lately, and although moving up from $8,000 to $12,500 for his new connections the son of Southern Image seems quite capable of winning on the double-jump.  In the money in 9 of 13 starts over the Santa Anita main track but only 3-for-21 in his career, the Carava-trained gelding projects to enjoy a pace-pressing trip and be hard to run down late.  Papa Turf can be used as a back-up; the Metz-trained veteran still has some life in his old legs and should return to his best form while returning to his claim level.


​​RACE 8: Post 4:20 PT. Grade: X

Single: 9-Vasilika

Forecast: Vasilika won the Megahertz Stakes over this course and distance last month and seems more than capable of repeating against a field of similar strength.  She’s won eight of 9 career starts over the Santa Anita lawn and there’s every reason to believe that she’ll fire her best shot once again.  She’s likely to go a bit lower than her 8/5 morning line but seems usable as a no-value rolling exotic single.


RACE 9: Post 4:50 PT. Grade: B

Use: 1-Impression; 2-Kenzou’s Rhythm

Forecast: Kenzou’s Rhythm was extra sharp beating a $10,000 field last month, so much so that we expect the Morey-trained gelding to score right back despite being triple-jumped in class all the way to the $20,000 level.  Bug Boy Figueroa knows him well and stays aboard.  Impression lands the rail and will try gate-to-wire tactics under Pedroza.  He’s always been a tad vulnerable under pressure in the final furlong but could get brave up front if not policed.  We’ll have him on a ticket or two as a back-up.


RACE 10: Post 5:20 PT. Grade: B+

Use: 2-Stradella Road; 8-K P Pergoliscious

Forecast: K P Pergoliscious placed in graded stakes races in her last two outings and today drops into a first-level allowance race for easy pickings.  The Mullins-trained Irish-bred filly might be most effective if held up early and allowed to run late, and we suspect that strategy will be employed todayWe have her strongly on top, but we’ll also toss in on a ticket or two Stradella Road, another class dropper that projects to enjoy a good trip on or near the lead throughout.





Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019

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