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.
C=Least preferred, or pass.
X=likely winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.
Sunday, January 6, 2019
RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: C
Use: 1-Sir Eddie; 2-Spicy Vibration; 4-Midnight Bandit
Forecast: We suspect the main track, despite overnight rains, will be listed as fast. There are no grass races carded. The opener, a maiden claiming abbreviated sprint for older state-bred runners, has nothing in it to trust, so we’ll go three-deep in our rolling exotics but otherwise pass the race. Sir Eddie hit the board in maiden special weight company during the fall meeting in an effort that can beat this field if repeated. He drew the rail in that race and gets the fence again today. Midnight Bandit was a distant runner-up in his debut at Los Alamitos last month after a bit of a slow start and certainly has plenty of room to improvement. He’s worked well since and gets Rosario. Spicy Vibration is a sneaky first-timer from the Hofmans barn with a work tab that indicates at least some ability. He represents stranger danger in a race begging to be won by a fresh face.
RACE 2: Post 1:04 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Starr of Quality; 8-Queen Bee to You
Forecast: Queen Bee to You gets the worst of the draw but was nosed out in a similar affair while eight lengths clear of the rest at Los Alamitos and anything close to that race today should win it. In fact, all of her dirt races are pretty good, and Prat stays aboard for Pender. She’s also adding blinkers, but she’s worn them before. Starr of Quality was a distant third in the same race Queen Bee to You exits in what was a somewhat disappointing run as the 6/5 favorite. However, she’s much more effective over this main track (four career wins) and is reunited with “win rider” Pereira. We should be able to survive and advance using just these two in rolling exotic play.
RACE 3: Post 1:34 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Miss Fia; 5-So Gucci; 7-Equal Measure
Forecast: Equal Measure finished a troubled third in her debut vs. softer foes and was promptly claimed by Sadler, who raises the daughter of Speightstown to the $50,000 level while switching to Rosario. Ideally drawn outside, she catches a below par field for the level, and with the anticipated improvement she looks capable of handling this assignment. We’ll also include Miss Fia and So Gucci in our rolling exotics. The former is a first-timer from the Hofmans barn with a bullet six-furlong workout last month that catches the eye, while the latter finished a decent second in her debut at Los Alamitos with a fair number and has a right to produce a forward with that performance behind her. A bullet half-mile workout since that race also is encouraging.
RACE 4: Post 2:04 PT. Grade: C
Use: 3-West Way Dreams; 5-Thanks
Forecast: This maiden $30,000 claiming sprint for sophomore fillies is borderline inscrutable. We’ll use two, but feel free to go much deeper if you can afford to. Thanks isn’t much but won’t have to be against this group. She returns to her claim level, removes blinkers, and ran reasonably well over this main track when second in a similar event during the fall meeting. West Way Dreams was far back in her only outing in state-bred maiden special weight company last month at Los Alamitos but is probably better than that (she didn’t break well) and will appreciate this rather significant drop in class. Maybe the additional of blinkers will help, too, so at 15-1 on the morning line she’s worth tossing in somewhere.
RACE 5: Post 2:34 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Ayacara; 6-Original Intent
Forecast: Here’s another raffle, this one for restricted (nw-2) $12,500 claimers over a mile. Ayacara was once well regarded but is basically being culled from the stable after a series of disappointing runs. He’s a contender by default off his not-too-bad fourth place finish vs. starter’s allowance foes at Del Mar two races back. Original Intent might be a bit more trustworthy, having raced successfully at this level recently while sporting a decent record over the Santa Anita main track. With Rosario taking the call, we’ll put this Hollendorfer-trained gelding on top. Both should be included in rolling exotic play along with any of the others that you deem worthy.
RACE 6: Post 3:04 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Trustini; 3-Tyfosha; 4-Bashful
Forecast: We loved the debut maiden win by Bashful at Del Mar – she didn’t break well but then produced a strong late kick to prove much best – but that race came on turf and we have no idea if she’ll be able to perform as well on the main track. The good news is that she’s probably most effective as a late-running sprinter and she gets an extra three-sixteenths of a mile to work with today. Tyfosha returns to dirt and ran well over this main track in an off-the-turfer during the fall meeting when she finished a solid second after leading the way into the lane. She should be on or near the lead again today and then take it from there. Trustini has rising speed figure and a good late kick but was unfortunate to have drawn the rail. But with another forward move and a good trip, she should be heard from late.
RACE 7: Post 3:34 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 3-Surfing Star; 4-El Huerfano
Forecast: Surfing Star seeks his third straight win and will be tough again despite the class hike if he runs back to his highly-rated and visually very impressive win over this track and distance in early November. His work tab since that win has been strong and healthy, so we’ll assume the lightly-raced son of Surf Cat has another forward move in him. El Huerfano was a game winner of a $50,000 claimer at Del Mar last time out and today moves up a notch for new trainer Hollendorfer while retaining Prat. He’ll probably inherit a good pace-stalking position and then have every chance when it counts, though on pure numbers he’ll need to improve a bit to match up with Surfing Star. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics and then press with a few extra tickets keying ‘Star on top.
RACE 8: Post 4:04 PT. Grade: X
Forecast: Bellafina is 4/5 on the morning line and looks it on paper. Though she was disappointing when a distant fourth as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, the daughter of Quality Road should fire her best shot today while turning back to seven furlongs after a brief freshening. Her main threat is Mother Mother, but Bellafina handled her quite easily when they met in the Del Debutante last summer. We’ll use Bellafina as a rolling exotic single, but she’ll be too short to play in the straight pool, so we’ll otherwise sit out the race.
RACE 9: Post 4:34 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Christy Jackson; 7-Baby Ice; 10-Miss Unusual
Forecast: Miss Unusual lands the cozy outside post and should have no excuses in this restricted (nw-3) $16,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares. She just won a non-winners of two dash at this price over a sloppy track at Los Alamitos and this slight raise in class shouldn’t be an issue for her. Christy Jackson is a fit on numbers, but really isn’t one to trust, having won twice in 21 starts with 11 seconds and thirds. Perhaps she’ll find a winning spirit with the switch to Rosario. Baby Ice has been claimed in her last three starts, most recently by Knapp, who had her before. Both of her wins have come over the Santa Anita main track and she looks capable of at least hitting the board at 6-1 on the morning line.