Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies – Saturday, October 20, 2018

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, October 20, 2018


RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 4-Kona Dreams; 6-Above Board

Forecast: Above Board seems the logical top pick in this low-level claiming miler.  The Belvoir-trained gelding won a restricted $10,000 affair at Los Alamitos last month and two of his four career victories have been earned over this main track.  However, at 8/5 on the morning line he won’t be offering much in the way of wagering value.  In a race with very little early speed, Kona Dreams might find himself on the front end without undue pressure.  Given this type of trip, the Spawr-trained gelding could get very brave.  Both should be used in rolling exotic play with slight preference on top to Above Board


​​RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use:  3-New Karma; 6-Save Ground

Forecast: Save Ground is strong on numbers, in good form, and seems the solid choice in this allowance optional claimer over a mile on grass.  The Cecil-trained colt broke his maiden over this course and distance earlier this year and projects to settle in mid-pack before launching what we suspect will be a winning late kick.  However, he’s the 9/5 morning line favorite and liable to go lower.  New Karma is genuine and consistent and remains well above his claim level after exiting a series of competitive starter’s allowance races.  He’s unproven on grass, but his lone prior turf race – a Hillside sprint – wasn’t bad, so we doubt the switch in surface we’ll be a bother.  We’ll use both in our rolling exotics and then press with a few extra tickets keying Save Ground.


​​RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 1-Kershaw; 3-Rinse and Repeat

Forecast: ​This five-runner starter’s allowance main track miler boils down to two main contenders.  Rinse and Repeat returns to dirt and should regain his best form.  The O’Neill-trained colt has never been the most generous sort (he has one win and seven seconds and thirds) but this modest group should be well within his abilities.  Kershaw stretches out for the first time and probably will be the controlling speed from the rail.  On pedigree he’s a bit suspect to get the trip, but if he’s ever going to be successful two-turning, it will be under these conditions.


​​​RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT. Grade: X

Single: 7-Wild Verse

Forecast:  Wild Verse drops to the bottom maiden-claiming level should and earn his diploma in a very soft spot.  The lightly-raced Miller-trained gelding is a solid fit on speed figures and has enough quickness to be on or near the lead throughout.  He’s 9/5 on the morning and probably will go lower, so you may want to forego the straight pool and use him strictly as a no-value rolling exotic single, or simply pass the race.


​RACE 5: Post 2:35 PT. Grade: X

Single:  4-Richard’s Boy

Forecast: Richard’s Boy outclasses this field with anything close to his best race.  He’s a five-furlong specialist who lost a tough photo to stablemate Stormy Liberal in the Green Flash Handicap at Del Mar and today he faces a much softer state-bred group.  At 3/5 on the morning line he’s a rolling exotic single in a race that is otherwise unplayable.


​​​​RACE 6: Post 3:08 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 3-Baby Ice; 5-Sharona Sunset

Forecast: Baby Ice looked pretty good breaking her maiden in his ninth career start while earning a career top speed figure.  Can she duplicate that effort in her first try vs. restricted (nw-2) $12,500 claimers?  Maybe, though this shortened trip might not be to her advantage.  Sharon Sunset has numbers that make her strictly the one to beat but she’s just 1-for-17 in her career and winless in six starts over this main track.  These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play but if you feel the need to spread, go right ahead.


​​​RACE 7: Post 3:42 PT.  Grade: B+

Single: 2-Fairy Tale Bliss

Forecast: Fairy Tale Bliss was given a nice educational run in her debut, finishing without being knocked about and winding fifth, beaten just over four lengths.  She’ll get a much more aggressive ride from Desormeaux today and with the expected improvement she’ll show with a race under her belt the Kitchingman-trained filly should be along in time.  At 4-1 on the morning line she’s a strong straight play and rolling exotic single.


​​​​​RACE 8: Post 4:14 PT.  Grade: B-

Use: 1-Ninety Nine Proof; 4-Five to the Wire; 6-King Abner

Forecast:  Ninety Nine Proof was a voided claim for $20,000 when winning at Los Alamitos last month so he remains in the Miller barn and drops a notch to his lowest level ever.  There’s a condition question but the son of Idiot Proof most likely will win again if he has at least one good one left.  Five to the Wire, claimed in his last pair and now in the Lerner barn, is a solid fit on speed figures and loves the Santa Anita main track (he’s 3-for-8 here and 0-for-9 everywhere else).  He has the proper stalking style that should be every effective at this extended sprint trip.  King Abner, second in his last pair (most recently when beaten a length by Ninety Nine Proof), won’t have to improve much to win and is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.


RACE 9: Post 4:46 PT.  Grade: B

Use: 2-Temple Secret; 5-Vantastic

Forecast: Vantastic flashed good speed in his debut at Los Alamitos last month and held on for second, beaten four lengths, in a fast, highly-rated affair.  If the son of Dialed In can reproduce that performance today when switching to turf, the Eurton-trained colt will be hard to beat.  Among the first-timers, Temple Secret seems the most intriguing.  Bred to love turf (Temple City) and training better than his moderate workout times indicate, the Drysdale-trained colt lands Prat and should be rolling in the final furlong.  Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Vantastic.


Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies – Saturday, October 20, 2018

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