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.
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
RACE 1: Post 12:00 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Rumpus Cat; 5-Jimmy Chila; 8-Hard Fought
Forecast: Hard Fought didn’t get the best of draws but exits a powerful race, is a strong fit on numbers, and should fold over into a good stalking spot. In an open grass grab bag and at 6-1 on the morning line he’s an interesting price play. Rumpus Cat appears to have improved since joining the Baltas barn (most horses do). Earning a career top number when beating high-priced maiden claimers in mid-November at Del Mar, the son of Street Sense retains Prat and should always be within range from his good inside draw. Another forward move is required but he could easily have it in him. Jimmy Chila has a prior win over this course and tactical speed to be on the front end or in a stalking spot. He’s a first-time Rosario, and that alone makes him a “must use.”
RACE 2: Post 12:32 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Kindred; 5-Jeweled
Forecast: Jeweled has little to beat in this restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares and gets top billing off her solid recent form and her two excellent prior runs over the Santa Anita main track. She’s 3-1 on the morning line and that seems about right. Kindred must overcome the rail but this her first start for a tag and she should greatly appreciate the class drop. She needs to bust out and go and secure a pace-pressing position because the daughter of Candy Ride never has shown the ability or desire to make up much ground. In a lackluster affair, we’ll try to get by using just these two.
RACE 3: Post 1:04 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Midnight Lilly; 4-Bonny Yogurt
Forecast: Restricted (nw-3) $16,000 claiming fillies and mares meet over a mile in the third race. Midnight Lilly was nowhere as the favorite at Los Alamitos in her most recent start but her solid runner-up effort over this track and distance two runs back charts extremely well in this modest spot. She’s not really one to trust – nobody in here is – but the Palma-trained mare looks capable of producing the last run. Bunny Yogurt makes her first career start on dirt – she’s by Scat Daddy so the surface switch shouldn’t matter – and drops to her lowest level ever. On her best day she’s fast enough on speed figures to win, though her lack of tactical speed makes her trip problematic. In a race that we otherwise won’t get too involved in, both should be included in rolling exotic play.
RACE 4: Post 1:34 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Dubnation; 7-Red Envelope
Forecast: Dubnation and Red Envelope exit the same race – a fast heat won by Clyde’s Pride at Del Mar in November – and both should produce forward moves in this maiden special weight sprint for older horses. Dubnation was making his debut when a distant second and probably has more room to improve; however, Red Envelope has the cozy outside draw and projects to enjoy a soft pace-pressing trip. Either one can win, so we’ll double the race in our rolling exotic play while otherwise sitting out the event.
RACE 5: Post 2:04 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Zorich; 5-Red Clem; 7-Hard to Come Home;
Forecast: Zorich ran a bit better than the line will show in his debut vs. straight maidens over this course and distance in November, adds blinkers today, and drops into $50,000 maiden claimer that looks soft. We’re expecting the Ellis-trained colt to be a bit sharper today and perhaps produce enough improvement to pull off a mild surprise. He’s one of at least three that are worth including in your rolling exotics. Red Clem finished a solid second under similar conditions two races back and not much more will be needed to beat this field. Hard to Come Home has the two-sprints-and-stretch-out pattern that we like plus rising numbers and the pedigree to improve two turning. He’s also exiting a live race, so at 12-1 on the morning line you simply must include him. These are the three we’ll be using but if you can afford to go deeper, go right ahead.
RACE 6: Post 2:34 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Arch Prince; 5-Very Very Stella; 6-Avanti Bello
Forecast: Arch Prince seems primed for another big effort, so we’ll put him slightly on top in this $40,000 claiming main track miler. A starter’s allowance winner in game style at Los Alamitos last time out, the Koriner-trained gelding has won over this track in the past, retains Quinonez (who knows him well) and has a good stalking style that should insure a comfortable trip. His morning line of 5-1 is fair and square. Avanti Bello, second off the claim for Yakteen, had a rough trip at Los Alamitos and never got untracked in his most recent outing, but he’s an old pro who knows how to win and does his best running when prominent throughout. Very Very Stella deserves to be the favorite; he’s 8/5 on the morning line and it’s easy to see why. He’s won for Delgadillo in the past, knows where the wire is (nine lifetime scores) and is very strong in the speed figure department. He’s also (properly) returning to his claim level and should very much enjoy the class relief. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics then have a few extra tickets keying Arch Prince – he’ll be the best price – on top.
RACE 7: Post 3:04 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Solid Wager; 3-Threefiveindia; 5-Captain Scotty
Forecast: The seventh race is a highly-competitive allowance sprint. Captain Scotty lost a toughie at Del Mar in race he probably should have won with the type of trip enjoyed. But his best speed figure was accomplished over this main track last year and the Miller-trained son of Quality Road may now be curving back to that form. Prat should have him on or near the lead throughout. Solid Wager always is dangerous from off the pace and simply crushed his foes in a state-bred sprint stakes at Del Mar in mid-November. If gets help up front he’ll be heard from late. Threefiveindia shortens up and returns to dirt for D’Amato. He had yet to display his excellent New York form since arriving in California but today he lands Rosario and should be dangerous if held up early and allowed to run late. Let’s triple the race in our rolling exotics while giving Captain Scotty a very slight edge on top.
RACE 8: Post 3:34 PT. Grade: X
Use: 3-Stormy Liberal; 7-Conquest Tsunami
Forecast: Miller holds the aces in today’s featured Joe Hernandez Stakes with course specialist Stormy Liberal (16 starts, eight wins) making his seasonal bow in is first outing since earning a career top speed figure in his Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint victory (the runner-up, World of Trouble already has come back to frank the form). ‘Liberal never wins by much but he’s aas genuine and game as they come. Another Miller entrant, Conquest Tsunami, is worth including as well, at least as a backup. The veteran gelding loves the Hillside Course and will be tough if ‘Liberal, for whatever reason, fails to fire.
RACE 9: Post 4:04 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 4-Princess Kendra; 8-Lucky Student
Forecast: Lucky Student romped over a similar field at Del Mar in late November and need only run back to that race to score right back, especially based on her superior record over the local main track (six wins, five seconds in 11 starts). The probably, though, is that she never has been known to put two good ones back to back. Princess Kendra may be a viable alternative; she was a willing third in a tougher starter’s allowance affair at Los Alamitos recently, and like Lucky Student always has preferred the Santa Anita main track (first or second in 11 of 25 starts). If ‘Student regresses, ‘Kendra should be quite capable of producing the last run.
RACE 10: Post 4:34 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Teacher’s Treasure; 4-Irish Heatwave; 7-Scouted
Forecast: Teacher’s Treasure is progressing nicely for Truman and looks capable of winning right back after an impressive state-bred maiden score at Del Mar in mid-November. Based on pedigree (Square Eddie) there’s no reason he can’t be just as effective on grass and given the projected moderate pace flow of this race he’ll have every chance to win on the front end or from just off the pace. Irish Heatwave broke his maiden two turning at Del Mar but strikes us as equally capable as a late-running sprinter. He’s improving with racing for Desormeaux and should make his presence felt in the final furlong. Scouted broke his maiden in strong style in his second career start (he was eliminated at the break in his debut when chasing home Teacher’s Treasure) and certainly has plenty of room for further improvement. He’s by Twirling Candy, so the surface switch shouldn’t be any issue. With another forward move, he’s right there.