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 4-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 will be too short to play.
Friday, December 29, 2017
RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Thankful Every Day; 4-Chrisiscookin
Forecast: This modest maiden claiming sprint has nothing in it to trust, so we suggest you tread lightly. Thankful Every Day is lightly-raced and may have the most room to improve, so we’ll put him on top without any great conviction. His numbers are steadily rising and he could get brave against this bunch if he can shake loose early. Chrisiscookin hails from a low percentage outfit but drops to the bottom, has back numbers that are more than good enough to win, and may have finally found his friends in his eighth career start. We’ll use both in our rolling exotic play but this is not a race we plan to get too involved in.
RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Lady Phyllis; 6-Krissys Manicure
Forecast: Krissys Manicure earned a fairly decent speed figure when graduating at Del Mar last month, has three steady workouts since and should run at least as well if not better today. She had a good stalking style and is protected in this starter’s allowance sprint for juvenile fillies. Lady Phyllis shortens up, returns to the main track, adds blinkers, and retains Prat. She’ll probably need a bit of luck from the rail because she doesn’t have a whole lot of gate speed, but if she can negotiate a good trip she’ll be the one to fear most in the final furlong. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.
RACE 3: Post 1:29 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Shaky Alibi; 8-Zipman; 10-Mesut
Forecast: This is a bit stronger than par race for older maidens meeting over the Hillside course; we’ll go three deep and hope that’s enough. Trainer Carla Gaines has two major players including Mesut, an improving son of Gio Ponti with the proper style for the course. Unplaced under similar conditions in his debut in October, the gelding finished with interest while needing more ground a good runner-up in a fast five furlong dash in his most recent outing. With another forward move, he’s right there with these at 6-1 on the morning line. Stable mate Shaky Alibi has the route-to-sprint angle we like, rising numbers, and a bullet recent workout. If he leaves cleanly form the rail, the Medalist gelding will be in the fray throughout. Zipman, back sprinting and returning to turf, has a big look off his solid third place performance over this course and distance two runs back. He’s been a bit of a disappointment so far in his career but may wake up with the switch to Van Dyke.
RACE 4: Post: 1:59 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Closing Time; 6-Lymebyrd; 8-Desert General
Forecast: This is another tough event requiring a spread in rolling exotic play. Closing Time should enjoy an ideal ground-saving trip, has won over this track in the past, just earned a career top speed figure, and is a perfect one-for-one around two turns. We’ll put him on top also use Lymebyrd, perhaps the most dangerous of the pace-types, and Desert General, reunited with Prat and with back speed figures that make him dangerous with his top effort.
RACE 5: Post 2:29 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Inscom; 7-Pubilius Syrus
Forecast: Pubilius Syrus and Inscom finished noses apart when they met over this course and distance in a maiden event in September, and both have done well since. ‘Syrus just finished second to the potential super star Analyze It in the Cecil B. DeMille Stakes at Del Mar last month and was more than two lengths clear of the rest in a career-top performance. A similar effort today should be good enough. Inscom broke his maiden in scintillating fashion two runs back but was a disappointing fifth in the DeMille; he’s back home at Santa Anita, retains Prat, and could easily reproduce his best form today. The edge goes to ‘Syrus but we’ll include both in our rolling exotics.
RACE 6: Post 2:59 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 13-Venice; 14-Uno Trouble Maker
Forecast: The main contention appears to be drawn on the far outside in this maiden claiming sprint for juvenile fillies. Uno Trouble Maker chased infinitely tougher in her debut and didn’t run too badly; she’s realistically spotted today, retains Roman, and figures tough if she can avoid losing too much ground from the 14-hole. Venice is draw just inside her and is the one to fear most. Second vs. similar in her most recent outing while almost four clear of the rest, the Mulhall-trained filly is modest but improving speed figures and figures right there with another forward move. Let’s try to survive and advance using just these two.
RACE 7: Post 3:28 PT. Grade: B
Use: 7-Meet and Greet; 9-Bad Ju Ju
Forecast: Meet and Greet tries to extend her unbeaten winning streak to three in this first-level allowance dash for fillies and mares and at 5-1 on the morning like she’s worth backing in fairly competitive affair. The daughter of Tribal Rule showed some quality when reaching back for something extra to win gamely vs. state-bred foes at Del Mar in early November and has trained steadily since for the high percentage D’Amato barn. She’ll have to improve her speed figures but we suspect she has it in her. Bad Ju Ju is strictly the one to beat; she’s exiting seven consecutive stakes races and will welcome this class relief. There’s a reasonable possibility that she’s not quite the same race mare anymore – and that’s why we’ll put Meet and Greet on top – but her recent numbers remain fairly strong. Morning line favorite Dalsaros might prefer a distance of ground and will be making her first start since March. Her work tab is okay but unspectacular so we’ll leave her out and hope that she’s a race away.
RACE 8: Post 3:57 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Red King; 8-Uber Star; 11-Lori’s Attitude
Forecast: Red King has hit the board in each of his last three starts and with some help up front could produce the last run in this starter’s allowance affair over a mile on turf. His lack of tactical speed makes him hard to trust, but in an open fray he may be as good as any. Uber Star is intriguing; the Morey-trained gelding is another deep closer that would appreciate a quick pace but he has numbers that fit and at 8-1 on the morning line is worth tossing in. Lori’s Attitude is a filly tackling the boys and her extreme outside draw does here no favors, but she’s a first-time Baltas with competitive figures and a prior win over the course, and seems better than her 12-1 morning line. We’ll use these three but if you find the need to go deeper, go right ahead.