Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Saturday, Jan. 5, 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, January 5, 2019


RACE 1: Post 12:00 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 3-Incredible Luck; 7-Iron Alex; 8-Encumbered

Forecast: This restricted turf miler for $35,000 claimers has nothing but question marks, so tread lightly.  Encumbered once had plenty of promise but has been away since July and returns for a tag, not a healthy pattern.  He is a first-time gelding with an average work tab for a barn that has average stats with layoff runners, but his past class earns him top billing.  Iron Alex has a prior win over this course, switches to Bejarano, and should be heard from late.  Incredible Luck ran reasonably well when third over this course and distance at this level during the fall meeting and not much more will be needed to beat this group.


​​RACE 2: Post 12:32 PT. Grade: B+

Single: 3-True Validity

Forecast: True Validity drops into a claimer for the first time and really doesn’t have much to beat.  She’ll be stretching out for the first time, but her pedigree suggests a mile will be within her range and she’s run well over this main track in the past.  There probably won’t be much value in the straight pool (she’s 2-1 on the morning line) but we can use her a logical rolling exotic single.


​​RACE 3: Post 1:04 PT. Grade: B+

Use: 3-Aussie Fox; 7-Falcone

 Forecast:Falcone is overdue for a win and is well-spotted for a major effort.  Today’s nine- furlong trip will aid his style, and the son of Quality Road has run well in both of his prior starts over the Santa Anita lawn.  We’re expecting his late kick to be sufficient in a moderate $50,000 maiden claimer for older horses.  Aussie Fox, second in his last pair in similar company, is the likely choice and one to beat.  Van Dyke stays aboard and will have this Lonhro gelding doing his best work from the quarter pole home.  Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Falcone.


​​​RACE 4: Post 1:34 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 3-Vintage Hollywood; 8-Kidmon

Forecast: Restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claimers sprint six furlongs in the fourth race.  Kidmon lands the cozy outside draw in his first try in a seller and lands Rosario.  His last two outings – both routes – were dull, but in turning back to one-corner the son of Lemon Drop Kid should regain his best form in his first outing since September.  He’s also a first-time gelding with a steady work tab, so the Sadler-trained gelding should have no excuses.  Vintage Hollywood is lightly-raced with some room to improve, so we’ll use him as a back-up or a saver.  Freshened since mid-November, the Victor Garcia-trained gelding should be running on late.


​​RACE 5: Post 2:04 PT. Grade: B

Use: 1-Stubbins; 4-Volubile; 5-My Mandate

Forecast: A grass grab bag kicks off the Pick-6, this one down the Hillside course for maiden 3-year-llds.  Stubbins flashed ability in both of his starts last summer at Del Mar before being turned out and we suspect he’ll return as good if not better for O’Neill.  The son of Morning Line looks like a live item under Prat but will have to overcome the rail.  Volubile, a solid third in his debut over this course and distance during the fall season, shows a steady if unspectacular recent work tab for Gary Mandella but should be plenty fit enough.  The son of More Than Ready exits a productive race, retains Talamo, and should be dangerous from off the pace.  My Mandate tries turf for the first time, and if he can duplicate is main track form the son of Strong Mandate should be highly competitive.  The Glatt-trained ridgeling has speed and projects to be part of the pace most of the way.  Let’s include all three in our rolling exotics and then have a few extra tickets keying Stubbins on top.


​​RACE 6: Post 2:34 PT. Grade: B

Use: 6-Coil Me Home; 7-Spokane Eagle

Forecast:Spokane Eagle has really gotten good of late and new trainer Miller, who claimed him for $20,000 out of a highly-rated win at Los Alamitos, protects him today in a sign of confidence.  The comfortable outside draw will allow Van Dyke to fold into an ideal stalking position and then move when he wants.  Coil Me Home just won a state-bred first-level allowance sprint at Los Alamitos in a visually pleasing manner while earning a huge figure.  If he can duplicate that performance in open company, he’ll be right there again.  We’ll try to get by using just these two while preferring Spokane Eagle slightly on top.


RACE 7: Post 3:04 PT. Grade: B+

Use: 3-Cleopatra’s Strike; 5-Chicago Style; 7-Next Shares

Forecast: The San Gabriel Stakes is a Grade-2 nine-furlong turf affair and is fairly contentious.  Cleopatra’s Strike had decent but not great form in Canada, but this is the type of horse that always seems to improve after joining the D’Amato barn and we suspect the son of Smart Strike will do just that after a very impressive series of local drills.  Prat takes the call and will have this veteran gelding rolling late, so at 8-1 on the morning line he’s worth strong consideration both in the straight pool and in rolling exotic play.  Chicago Style is fresh from a clever score in the Hollywood Turf Cup over 12-furlongs at Del Mar but could be effective at this shortened trip.  He could use some help up front, though.  Next Share was a Grade-1 winner at Keeneland in October but was overmatched in the BC Mile and was never a serious threat.  He’s back with his friends today and lands Rosario but is winless over the local lawn, though he did hit the board in all four starts. We’ll include him in our rolling exotics.


​​RACE 8: Post 3:34. Grade: B

Use: 2-Lord Guinness; 5-The Big Train; 7-Popular Kid

Forecast: This is another spread affair with a number of legitimate contenders in the field.  The Big Train was an easy winner in an off-the-turf $25,000 claimer at Del Mar in late November while earning an powerful number, and its significant that Miller protects him today even though the gelding was a voided claim two runs back.  Prat stays aboard, so whatever issue he may have had clearly is of no significance now.  Popular Kid is racing in excellent form for Hollendorfer and will be dangerous from off the pace if the early pace is at least normal.  Four of six career wins have been accomplished over the Santa Anita main track.  Lord Guinness ran very well when beaten a neck on this main track two runs back but then failed to threaten in a similar first-level allowance event in his most recent start.  Freshened and returning as a first-time gelding, the son of Shanghai Bobby is worth tossing in at 8-1 on the morning line.


​​RACE 9: Post 4:04 PT. Grade: X

Use: 2-Gray Magician; 5-Coliseum

Forecast:Coliseum won his debut like a terrific prospect and earned a stakes quality speed figure.  He probably didn’t beat a great group, so we’ll learn more about him today, but the son of Tapit continues to burn up the track in the morning for Baffert and the headstrong colt will no doubt employ gate-to-wire tactics.  Gray Magician crushed maiden at Del Mar like a very good prospect in his first start since joining the Miller barn and has every right to continue to improve with experience.  Prat will have him rolling in the final furlong.  Coliseum is the top pick and the likely short priced favorite, but we’ll definitely protect with Gray Magician as a back-up.


RACE 10: Post 4:34 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 3-Bitter Ring Home; 4-Sergio; 7-Getaloadofthis

Forecast: The finale is a messy maiden claiming main track miler for older horses.  Anything goes, so use as many as you can afford to.  Sergio has been away since October of 2017, but he returns as a first-time gelding in his first start for a tag, and the work tab appears good enough to have him fit for a winning effort.  But his condition is suspect, so he’s hardly a single.  Bitter Ring Home isn’t fast on numbers, but he did finish a decent second in a similar spot at Los Alamitos last month and is reunited with Prat.  In a weak affair, he’s a contender.  Getaloadofthis wants the front end and could get it.  A voided claim at this level two runs back, the Hollendorfer-trained son of Graydar was overmatched in his most recent outing but he should fit well against this much softer group.


Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019

Jeff Siegel's Blog |