Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Sunday, Jan. 27, 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 27, 2019

​RACE 1: Post 12:00 PT. Grade: B

Use: 2-Mirth; 10-Catoca

Forecast: Catoca flashed good ability in her U.S. debut when a closing second vs. similar on New Year’s Eve, has trained very well since, and should improve enough to beat this field.  The poor draw is a concern, but the daughter of Lemon Drop Kid seems capable of settling off the pace and then producing a winning late kick under good bug boy Figueroa.  Mirth is intriguing and is worth including in her first start for hot trainer D’Amato.  A winner of her last three starts but away since June, the Maryland shipper has a solid series of training track works that should have her fit enough, and from a good inside draw and with Rosario aboard she should be competitive on this circuit at this level.


​​RACE 2: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 5-Tizanillusion; 6-Powder

Forecast: Powder has been claimed in four of her last five starts and today goes for Vallejo after being haltered for $20,000 in early December.  Freshened and being raised in class despite being out of jail is a positive sign, but the daughter of Slew’s Tiznow was beaten in her last pair as an odds-on favorite and may be a bit difficult to trust. The positive factors are that she adds blinkers today for the first time, lands the cozy outside post, and shows a sharp five-furlong workout over this track a couple of weeks ago.  We’ll put her slightly on top over the other main contender (and 9/5 morning line favorite) Tizanillusion, a winner for $40,000 in her most recent start but being dangled today for $32,000 by Sadler.


​​RACE 3: Post 1:03 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 3-Hotitude; 6-Mucho Unusual

Forecast: ​Mucho Unusual could do no better than second as the 6/5 favorite in the Golden State Juvenile Stakes for fillies in early November over a very deep main track that she may not have cared for.  Freshened and working solidly for her sophomore debut, the daughter of Mucho Macho Man beats this field with a repeat of her runaway maiden score over this track and distance during the fall season.  She switches to Rosario and should be part of the pace throughout.  Hotitude is back sprinting and is worth including on a ticket or two.   If she can shake loose early she may get brave late.


​​​RACE 4: Post 1:33 PT. Grade: B

Use: 1-Little Juanito; 3-Blackout

Forecast: Blackout might be most dangerous as a late-running sprinter and gets ideal conditions in this downhill turf dash for second-level allowance older horses.  He won over this course and distance during the fall season with a big figure, and if he runs back to that race today he’ll be hard to deny.  In a race that doesn’t project to be fast early, Little Juanito could be on or near the lead throughout without exerting much energy.  He’s winless in four starts over the Santa Anita lawn but his races have been good, his numbers fit, and he’s shown the ability to fire a big shot fresh.  You have to use him.


​​RACE 5: Post 2:03 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 1-Drink; 5-Nice Work

Forecast: Nice Work and Drink exit the same race and finished a half-length apart in that Jan. 10 maiden $50,000 claimer over six and one-half furlongs.  Today they hook up in a race that is a furlong shorter, and that should be to Nice Work’s favor because he is the quicker of the two.  Both have had only two outings and are eligible to improve, so rather than split hairs we’ll simply include both in our rolling exotics while slightly preferring Nice Work on top.  But this is not a race that we’re going to get too involved in.


​​RACE 6: Post 2:33 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 4-Bunny Yogurt; 11-Take a Leap

Forecast: ​Bunny Yogurt seems well-spotted in this restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming turf miler for fillies and mares.  Beaten a neck for $16,000 in her last start, she moves up in class off the claim for new trainer Sherlock and returns to the course and distance that saw her break her maiden last year.  She has good tactical speed, switches to Bejarano, and catches a moderate field for the level, so we’ll give her slight preference on top.  Take a Leap must leave from the extreme outside post position 11 but if she can negotiate any kind of decent trip she’ll be the one to fear most.  The class-dropping filly in the Mullins barn is reunited with “win rider” Baze, sports a healthy work tab since raced, and has numbers that make her highly competitive.


RACE 7: Post 3:03 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 1-Big Shanty; 5-J T’s A. T. M.

Forecast: We’ll go three-deep in the seventh race, a mid-level claimer restricted to four-year-olds.  Big Shanty makes his first start since arriving from Woodbine and looks like a live item despite dropping suspiciously from $40,000 to $25,000 for a high percentage outfit.  The son of Prospective has good early zip but must leave from the rail; if he can avoid trouble he should be on or near the lead throughout.  With the lucrative ship-and-win bonus money available, you know it’s a “go.”  J T’s A. T. M. won from a similar race here about a month ago but didn’t earn much of a figure, which is why he’s been wheeled back in the same spot.  He has a good pace-stalking style and should have every chance with Franco staying aboard.  Both should be included in rolling exotic play.


​​RACE 8: Post 4:03 PT. Grade: B

Use: 5-Hunt; 7-Conquest Tsunami

Forecast: Conquest Tsunami makes his third start this month but is tackling a bit softer today and clearly is the best of the speed types off his best effort.  The son of Stormy Atlantic has four excellent races over this course and distance on his resume – all when facing the best turf sprinters in the West – and the Miller-trained gelding will be tough to deny if he brings anything close to his “A” game.  Hunt is tough at any distance but is especially dangerous sprinting on grass.  Away since August but working well enough to expect a big effort, the Irish-bred gelding will be bearing down in the final furlong under regular rider Prat.  We should be able to get past this race using only these two in our rolling exotics.


​​RACE 9: Post 4:33 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 2-Lucky Student; 4-Duranga; 9-Conquest Flatterme

Forecast:Duranga removes blinkers, drops a notch, and shortens from seven to six furlongs in this $10,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares.  She has a good stalking style, a prior win over the Santa Anita main track, and is one of three we’ll be including in our rolling exotics.  Conquest Flatterme, freshened since November, returns as her lowest level ever so perhaps she has problems.  The veteran mare always has liked the Santa Anita main track and has plenty of back numbers that could win, assuming she still has her old speed.  Lucky Student won her last pair easily but against softer foes, and her numbers weren’t especially strong.  You have to respect her good recent and her winning connections, so we’ll toss her in.


RACE 10: Post 5:03 PT. Grade: B

Use: 7-Erotic; 9-Shadow Sphinx; 1-North County Guy

Forecast: The finale is a better-than-par for the level downhill turf dash that has several possibilities.  We’ll use three but if you feel to need to spread more, go right ahead.  Erotic is a perfect one-for-one under these conditions; all of his other starts have been around two turns.  Perhaps he’s always wanted to be a late-running sprinter.  The son of More Than Ready continues to work well for Mandella and with this turn back in trip he should be primed for a major effort.  North County Guy failed to fire when knocked down to 7/5 in a similar event on New Year’s Eve, but his prior race was borderline sensational over this turf course, and if he returns to that form today he’ll probably win.  Rosario takes over for Prat, who opts for Shadow Sphinx, a clever winner in a $50,000 claimer down the hill last month.  He’s another with several sharp back speed figures and is quite dangerous with anything close to his best effort.



Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019

Jeff Siegel's Blog |