Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies for Friday, Feb. 16, 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 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.

B=Solid Play.

C=Least preferred, or pass.

X=likely winner but odds will be too short to play.


Friday, February 16, 2018


RACE 1: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: C+

Single: 7-Conquest Smartee; 8-Oiseau de Guerre

Forecast: Oiseau de Guerre had never been one to trust – he’s failed as the favorite in five of his seven career starts – so why will today be any different?  It might not, but the War Front gelding owns an enormous pace edge over his modest foes in this downhill turf sprint and from his outside draw can pretty much dictate the race.  Conquest Smartee has shown a liking for this tricky layoff and should draft into a comfortable pace-prompting position and have every chance from there.  In a race that might be best left alone, both should be included in rolling exotic play.


​​RACE 2: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: B

Single: 2-La Force

Forecast: La Force hasn’t won a race in forever and may truly lack the necessary punch to be counted on, but the German-bred mare has been knocking on the door, and in a six-runner field may finally be able to break through.  Beaten a neck with a career top speed figure when third in the La Canada Stakes last month, she returns to the first-level allowance ranks and should have no excuses.  It’s either her or any of the other five, so we’ll reluctantly take a stand and make her a rolling exotic single by default.


​​RACE 3: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B+

Single: 6-Draft Pick

Forecast:  Draft Pick is improving with each outing, has worked very well since his most recent race, and can be expected to produce another forward move.  The Eurton-trained son of Candy Ride switches to Bejarano and seems certain to be a short price to graduate in this middle distance main track event for 3-year-olds.  He’s a logical rolling exotic single


​​​RACE 4: Post: 2:30 PT. Grade: C

Use:  1-Del Mar Darling; 4-Allie’s Love; 5-Princess Areni

Forecast: Maiden claiming $30,000 fillies sprint six and one-half furlongs in the fourth race, an open event requiring a spread.  Allie’s Lover, second in a similar event last month when earning a speed figure that would be good enough to beat this field, rates top billing but not with a high degree of confidence.  She does have early speed, but her stick is suspect.  Baltas has two in here;  the first-timer Princess Areni has an okay work tab that should have her fit enough for a good effort, and Del Mar Darling, a route-to-sprint, turf-to-dirt play with a good run in her debut two races back that makes her a threat with these.


​​RACE 5: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 1-Run Like Rhett; 7-Mr. Twinery; 9-Highly Acclaimed

Forecast: Mr. Twinery stretches out for the first time and has the pedigree to handle both the added distance and the switch to grass.  In a chaotic affair that looks close to inscrutable, the son of Sidney’s Candy has winning connections and may improve bunch under these conditions.  Run Like Rhett has run well over this turf course in the past and has back numbers that make him dangerous.  From the rail he should enjoy an ideal ground-saving trip.   We’ll try to survive using just these two but if you feel the need to go deeper, go right ahead.


​​​​RACE 6: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: B

Use: 2-Donworth; 4-Air Vice Marshal

Forecast: Donworth was brought back on short rest after a sharp win opening day and bounced as the favorite to wind up a disappointing third.  He’s had a month in between races this time and should return to top form for Miller.  We’ll put him on top but also include Air Vice Marshal, who earned a career top speed figure when second in the same race that Donworth exits.  Smith stays aboard and a good recent six furlong workout for O’Neill indicates the son of War Front has maintained his edge.  We’ll use both in our rolling exotics.


​​​RACE 7: Post 4:00 PT.  Grade: C+

Use: 2-Just Be Held; 4-Party Hostess; 7-Princess Dorian

Forecast: The seventh is another wide open scramble; you should use as many as you can afford to.  Party Hostess didn’t fire on turf vs. similar in her most recent outing but she seems capable of snapping back with the return to the main track.  She gets a break in the weights with the switch to Roman and projects to be on or near the pace throughout.  Just Be Held, a recent $16,000 claim by a 32% barn, retains Prat and is likely to make her presence felt on the front end from her inside draw.  If she can shake loose early, she could take this field a long way.  Princess Dorian goes for new connections following a claim, has a good record of the local main track and some back form that charts well with these.  Toss her in on a ticket or two.

​​​​RACE 8: Post 4:30 PT.  Grade: C+

Use:  1-Big Sky Logan; 7-Ya Gotta Wanna; 9-Rak City

Forecast:  The nightcap is an anything-goes maiden claiming turf miler.  Ya Gotta Wanna stretches out again in his first start as a gelding and is a fit on speed figures, so the D’Amato-trained son of Proud Citizen seems as good as any and should be a decent price.  Big Sky Logan and Rak City exits the same affair and both showed enough in that race won by Acker to warrant a strong look with this softer group.  ‘Logan finished second while making his first start in 10 months so he’s eligible to produce a forward move, while ‘City – another D’Amato – is lightly raced with good tactical speed and really won’t have to improve much to be in the fray.





Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies for Friday, Feb. 16, 2018

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