Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Thursday, Jan. 31, 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.


Thursday, January 31, 2019


​RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: C

Use: 2-Falcone; 7-East Rand

Forecast: As of this writing the status of today’s grass races have yet to be determined.  Rain is on the way, but when?  Both Falcone and East Rand are unproven on dirt but both train like they’ll handle it if the situation dictates.  East Rand has slightly better form, so we’ll give him the edge on top over the recent maiden-claiming winner Falcone, but this is a race with lots of question marks among the contenders, so tread lightly.


​​RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 1-Platinum Equity; 6-Spa Shackalacka

Forecast: Spa Shackalacka earned a career top number when beating a restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming field sprinting recently and is realistically spotted in this $16,000 (nw-3) affair.  He’s unproven routing but should be the controlling speed and given that type of trip looks capable of taking this field gate to wire.  Platinum Equity projects to enjoy a good stalking trip from his inside draw and with a repeat of his last race – a game win for restricted (nw-2) $12,500 claimers – the Lerner trained gelding should have every chance to register a repeat score.  We’ll use both in our rolling exotics.


​​RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 1-Big Buzz; 7-Dubnation

Forecast: This is another race that could be switched to the main track if the rains dictate.  ​Big Buzz is a first time gelding and a first-time blinker play, plus he’s showing up in a maiden claimer for the first time while turning back to a sprint.  Oh, yes, he’s also a first-time Rosario,  so let’s put him on top while also including in our rolling exotics Dubnation, who has the benefit of the outside draw and won’t really have to improve much after finishing second in his first two career outings.


​​​RACE 4: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B

Use: 1-Zulfikhar; 6-Captain Scotty

Forecast: Captain Scotty keeps running well, but in his last two starts he appeared headed for victory inside the sixteenth but simply couldn’t hang on.  Drawn perfectly outside, the son of Quality Road is fast on figures, retains Prat, and should have every chance to regain his winning form.  Zulfikhar launches a comeback for Baffert and has trained well enough to expect a huge run, rail and all.  The son of Bodemeister won his debut so you know he can fire fresh, and if he has retained his old speed he’ll be dangerous despite taking on older horses for the first time.


​​RACE 5: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 8-Tick Tock; 9-Perfect Ice Storm

Forecast: A little will go a long way in this modest maiden claiming sprint for sophomore fillies.  Perfect Ice Storm removes blinkers, exits a trio of straight maiden affairs, and seems certain to improve big time against this much lesser group.  She sports a bullet gate work since raced and returns to dirt, so if she can run at all this is the time to show it.  Tick Tock was a plodding, distant third in her debut against a stronger field and is another that likely will produce a forward move with that effort behind her combined with the class drop.  She also gets an extra half-furlong to work with a should be heard from in the final stages.


​​RACE 6: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 2-Ya Gotta Wanna; 6-Starting Bloc; 9-Fight On

Forecast: ​This race originally was carded for turf.  Will it remain on grass?  Depends upon when the rains come.  Starting Bloc is bred on both sides to handle dirt and a sloppy track if the situation dictates, and he certainly can be effective at 10 furlongs (there is a possibility the race will be shortened to a mile and one-eighth to avoid crossing the dirt).  Ya Gotta Wanna removes blinkers (love that angle) and switches to Rosario, so we won’t be surprised if he returns to top form on whatever surface he’s asked to run on.  Fight On exits a pair of graded stakes races and won’t be inconvenienced by a possible switch to dirt.  Prat takes over and will have this son of Into Mischief doing his best work from off the pace.


RACE 7: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: B

Use: 3-Gray Magician; 5-Big Scott Daddy; 6-Kingly

Forecast: Kingly, a half-brother to Mohaymen and New Year’s Day, won his sprint debut like a quality colt and has come back to train impressively since that race for Baffert.  He stretches out to a distance that should move him up even more, so if he handles the track he should be hard to beat.  Big Scott Daddy also scored at first asking and in doing so earned the same speed figure that Kingly achieved.  The son of Scat Daddy also should improve two-turning and could easily win right back.  Gray Magician was disappointing when failing to make any real impact despite a favorable race flow in the Sham Stakes earlier this month but he’s adding blinkers today and switching to Rosario, so he probably deserves another chance.


​​RACE 8: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 2-Go Like the Wind; 10-Play Money; 12-Mobou

Forecast: This Hillside turf sprint may be transferred to the main track, but if there is a surface switch it shouldn’t impact Play Money, who has looked good in the morning while training exclusively on dirt for Hofmans.  As a son of Unusual Heat, he’ll probably end up preferring grass; how he’ll handle a wet surface is anybody’s guess.  Mobou has a look if he can draw in from the also-eligible list and seems the best of those with experience.  He finished second, beaten a half, over this main track during the fall season and not much more than that will be needed to win today.  Go Like the Wind broke slowly, fell back, and then closed a gap to be a distant fourth in his debut earlier this month on grass.  He’s adding blinkers today and has every right to improve, so we’ll toss him in as well.



Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019

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