Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Sunday, September 30, 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.


Sunday, September 30, 2018


RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: X

Single: 6-Combat Zone

Forecast: Combat Zone shows up in a claimer for the first time in his first outing since February, but at $75,000 they’re not exactly giving him away.  In fact, this is a logical spot for a 4-year-old that is still looking for his first win.  The works look solid and he’s run reasonably well over this course in the past, but at 9/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower in a below par field for the level he’s probably not going to be offering much wagering value.  We can use him as a rolling exotic single or simply pass the race.


​​RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: X

Single:  Montmartre

Forecast: Here’s another likely winner at a short price.  Montmartre, in the money in two fast, highly-rated races, looks ready to graduate, but is 8/5 on the morning line in a six-runner field.  The son of Distorted Humor exits a productive race, sports a strong, healthy work tab for Hollendorfer, and really should have no excuses.  Use him as no value rolling exotic single, or simply sit it out.


​​RACE 3: Post 1:31 PT. Grade: B

Use: 3-Inshannity; 4-Enamored

Forecast: ​ There’s at least two hot-shot first-timers in this maiden special weight sprint for juvenile fillies, and we’ll use both in our rolling exotics.  Inshannity has worked like a good thing for Baffert, whose well-backed debut runners this year have almost been unbeatable.  This daughter of Ghostzapper probably isn’t a blazingly quick type but looks to have plenty of quality and should take some beating.  Enamored has done good work in the morning as well; the Mandella-trained filly is another likely to be more at home when the distances increase but she’s plenty fit for a good effort and with Prat aboard is a “must use.”  Let’s try to get by using just these two.


​​​RACE 4: Post: 2:03 PT. Grade: B

Use: 2-Tiz a Billy; 7-River Echo

Forecast:  Tiz a Billy flunked his two-turn test at Del Mar, so he’s back sprinting where he belongs and dropping a notch for the money run.  He’s always performed well over the Hillside Course – all three of his lifetime wins have been accomplished under these conditions – and he’ll beat this field with anything close to his best race.  River Echo has figures that fit and may appreciate the return to turf while dropping to his lowest level ever.  He raced poorly over the deep Del Mar main track in his most recent outing but should appreciate this ultra-glib lawn and is likely to bounce back.  Let’s prefer Tiz a Billy on top but use both in our rolling exotics.


​RACE 5: Post 2:35 PT. Grade: X

Single:  2-Abel Tasman

 Forecast: Abel Tasman is 2/5 on the morning line and on paper probably should be shorter than that.  She’s the definition of a free bingo space for rolling exotic players.  La Force, who chased home Unique Bella in her last pair, now gets to face the likely favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.  Lucky her.


 ​​​​RACE 6: Post 3:08 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 5-Secretary of War; 6-Liam the Charmer; 7-Fashion Business

Forecast: Fashion Business raised his game to a new level when demolishing his rivals in the Del Mar Handicap while leaving his previous form far behind.  Let’s see if he can do it again.  The good news is that he has a prior win over the Santa Anita lawn, so he’s not a just a one-course wonder.  Liam the Charmer also has good local grass form and is fresh from a nice score against lesser at Del Mar.  He’ll have to take another step forward to win again but might have it in him.  Secretary of War won his local debut for Baltas in good style; he’s another that will need to produce a forward move against this group but it’s certainly not out of the question.  Fashion Business clearly deserves top billing, but we’ll include all three in our rolling exotics.


​​​RACE 7: Post 3:08 PT.  Grade: C+

Use: 2-Amers; 3-Spectacular Move; 7-Twisted Rosie

Forecast: This is a spread race, if there ever was one.  We’ll use three, but best advice is to include as many as your budget will allow.  Twisted Rosie was wheeled back too quickly (eight days) and switched to turf when unplaced in her most recent outing but is properly spotted today, lands the good outside draw, and should be able to run back to her troubled second place effort vs. similar rivals two runs back.  She can be a strong factor if she gets good handling from her seven-pound bug rider.  Spectacular Move just won at this level at Del Mar with a sharp speed figure; if she can turn in two alike she can be dangerous right back.  Prat will have her rolling late as the likely choice and one to beat.  Amers has a race two runs back that charts well here and this high percentage outfit always must be respected.


​​​​​RACE 8: Post 4:08 PT.  Grade: B

Use: 1-Catch Fire; 5-Old Indian Trick; 8-Livin On Prayer

Forecast:  This is a stronger than par race for $25,000 nw-2 claimers.  Catch Fire just won rather nicely at Del Mar with a big figure vs. bottom-rung maiden claimers and if runs back to that race today he can score again.  The Papa Clem gelding has had but three starts, so there’s likely to be plenty of improvement still left in him.  Old Indian Trick is gradually improving with racing for Machowsky and may inherit the role as the controlling speed in a race without much zip.  If he can clear without pressure, he may never look back.  Livin on Prayer, first-off-the-claim for Miller (23%), lands the cozy outside post, switches to Prat, and appears to have the proper style for this extended sprint trip.  He’s not fast on numbers but may improve enough to pose a threat.


RACE 9: Post 4:38 PT.  Grade: A-

Single: 7-Placido

Forecast: Placido ran very well to be second beaten a neck in his comeback at Del Mar while earning a career top speed figure and seems certain to improve with that effort under his belt.  The son of Shackleford broke his maiden over this course and distance last year and should draft into a comfortable pace-stalking spot.  Additionally, he’s reunited with “win” rider Prat and goes for a barn that has off-the-charts stats with second-off-layoff runners.  At 5/2 on the morning line he’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.



Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Sunday, September 30, 2018

Jeff Siegel's Blog |