Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Sunday, Jan. 20, 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.


Sunday, January 20, 2019


RACE 1: Post 12:00 PT. Grade: B

Use: 2-Kazan; 4-Pincheck; 5-Morse Code

Forecast: Pincheck is a better horse than these based purely on his European form, and although he was a non-factor in the Seabiscuit Stakes in his U.S. debut, the Mandella-trained gelding should show his best today.  He was a Grade-3 winner in Ireland last summer; that type of performance, if repeated here, would be more than good enough to win.  Kazan continues to improve, earning a career top speed figure when third in a highly-rated event second-level allowance turf affair last month.  With another forward move, he’s right there.  Morse Code freshened since November and shortening up from a mini-marathon, is strong in the speed figure department.  Though six years old now, the gelded son of Tapit has but nine career starts so we suspect he has room for further improvement.  Toss him in, at least as a saver or a backup.


​​RACE 2: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: C

Use: 4-Pig Iron; 6-Pastorelli; 7-Moon Juice

Forecast: Pastorelli was pulled up when last seen in a similar low-level maiden claimer in November but he returns in a weak affair and rates consideration off his race before last, a closing but non-threatening fifth.  His work tab at San Luis Rey Downs appears healthy for Baltas, so he may be as good as any.  Pig Iron shows up in a bottom-rung claimer for his first outing since last summer.  He was overmatched in straight maiden company in his first two starts, but fits on numbers so we’ll use him on a ticket or two despite his low percentage connections.  Moon Juice is a contender despite being a 10-race maiden with eight previous failures over the Santa Anita main track.  On numbers, he’s competitive, remarkably so.  Tread lightly here.


​​RACE 3: Post 1:03 PT. Grade: B+

Single: 3=Kenzou’s Rhythm

Forecast: ​ Kenzou’s Rhythm has much in his favor in this lackluster $10,000 main track claiming miler.  In the money in his last three with competitive figures for this level, the Morey-trained gelding always has run well over the Santa Anita main track, shows a nice, easy training track workout since raced, and projects to enjoy a soft, pace-prompting trip from his three-hole post position.  At 5/2 on the morning line he’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.


​​​RACE 4: Post 1:33 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 1-Emotional Ride; 7-Centaurus Rule

Forecast: We’ll double the fourth race, a modest bottom-rung maiden claimer for older horses.  Emotional Ride must avoid trouble from the rail but if he can negotiate a decent trip the Mullins-trained gelding appears capable of making amends for his failure as the favorite (with trouble) in a similar spot last month.  The switch to Rosario is a major plus.  Centaurus Rule is a first-timer bred for speed (Tribal Rule) and finally making it to the post at age five.  The barn doesn’t have good stats with debut runners but the workouts at San Luis Rey Downs look pretty decent and he may be a contender by default.


​​RACE 5: Post 2:03 PT. Grade: X

Use: 7-Flor de la Mar

Forecast: Flor de la Mar has trained like the real deal for Baffert and that’s why she’s 4/5 on the morning line.  As if she needed help, the daughter of Tiznow had the good fortune of drawing the comfortable outside post, so Rosario has the option of popping and going or stalking a pouncing.  The colt that she had been working with (and besting), Dessman, won for fun yesterday.  She’ll be everybody’s no-value rolling exotic single.


​​RACE 6: Post 2:33 PT. Grade: C

Use: 4-Thin Line; 7-You Must Chill; 9-Violent Behavior; 10-Railman

Forecast: ​ We’ll go four-deep in our rolling exotics in the sixth race, a grass grab bag down the Hillside Course for maiden $50,000 3-year-olds.  Nothing would surprise us, so if you feel the need to go deeper, go right ahead. Railman makes his first appearance in a claimer and should improve, especially with the route-to-sprint angle so prominent in his past performance chart.  These should be his friends, and from his nice outside draw the son of Overanalyze will have clear sailing and no excuses. Violent Behavior, first off the claim for Hess, has finished second in his last three starts.  If the son of Violence improves at all for his new barn he’ll be right there again and maybe even win it.  You Must Chill, third in his last three, all route races on turf, backs up to a sprint (there’s that angle) so you know we have to include him.  Thin Line just earned a career top figure when second behind next-out winner Macwinnon, and if he can duplicate that race on grass he certainly can win a race like this.


RACE 7: Post 3:04 PT. Grade: C

Use: 2-Shake N Fries; 3-Silent Alarm; 7-Contagion

Forecast: ​ This race originally was carded last Thursday but was written back today after that day’s cancellation due to rain.  Contagion makes his debut at the bottom after bringing $90,000 in the OBS sales in March, so clearly he’s not what they hoped he’d be. But he won’t have to be much to act with this group.  Silent Alarm has some speed and might get brave in a very soft field.  Shake N Fries should be part of the pace, and on his best day could at least get a piece of it.  Best advice is to use as many as you can afford to.


​​RACE 8: Post 3:34 PT. Grade: B

Use: 8-K P Pergoliscious; 9-India Mantuana; 10-Pantsonfire

Forecast: This marathon grass stakes for fillies and mares looks treacherous; we’ll use three and hope to survive and advance.  Pantsonfire likes to settle and produce a run and in a race that might have quicker than normal early fractions the Irish-bred mare may be capable of producing the last run.  She switches to Prat and certainly figures to get the patient ride she requires.  K P Pergoliscious was a very good second in the American Oaks last month at 90-1.  She won’t be that price today but must tackle older mares.  Indian Mantuana won a similar type race at Del Mar in November when allowed to steal it on the front end.  The same type of front-running tactics likely will be employed today but this time they’ll be ready for it.


​​RACE 9: Post 4:04 PT. Grade: B

Use: 1-Don’teatmycookies; 4-London Hotel

Forecast:London Hotel graduated nicely in November with a number that is better than par for this level, so if he returns in that same form he should score right back.  The recent works aren’t fancy but at least the pattern is steady.  Don’teatmycookies has speed from the rail and if he leaves cleanly he could take this field a long way. He defeated ‘Hotel on the square last August but then was out of his element when raised to a starter’s allowance, sent long, and switched to grass.  He can snap back under these more favorable conditions.  Both should be included in rolling exotic play.


RACE 10: Post 4:34 PT. Grade: B+

Use: 1-Batiquitos; 4-Special Purpose

Forecast: Special Purpose closed well but missed by a half-length in a promising U.S. debut here last and then disappeared.  She returns in the right spot for Callaghan, lands Rosario, and should outclass this field.  Also, she won her debut, so we know she can fire fresh.  Batiquitos, freshened since November, won over this course and distance when facing state-bred foes two races back, and if she can secure a good trip from the rail the Spawr-trained mare may make her presence felt right back in in this open first-level allowance affair.



Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019

Jeff Siegel's Blog |