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, March 9, 2018
RACE 1: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Kristi’s Copilot; 6-Lazzam
Forecast: Let’s go with the best speed and the best closer in today’s opener, a starter handicap over nine furlongs on turf. Kristi’s Copilot will take them as far as he can on the front end; the Machowsky-trained gelding finished a close fourth against a similar band last time out while setting fast (too fast?) fractions. If he can slow down just a little bit today he’ll be tough. Lazzam is in very good form and is reunited with Nakatani, who won on him two races back. He’s strong in the speed figure department and may be the one to beat, 127 lbs. and all. Let’s use both in our rolling exotics while slightly preferring Kristi’s Copilot on top.
RACE 2: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: X
Single: 7-Dressed in Prada
Forecast: Dressed in Prada is a single by default; she lands the cozy outside post, has hit the board in her last three, has numbers that fit, and has very little to beat in this bottom-rung maiden claiming extended sprint for fillies and mares. It’s either her, or just about anybody else. You can single her, buy the race, or simply sit it out.
RACE 3: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Tough It Out; 6-Mercer Island
Forecast: Mercer Island earned a giant speed figure – by far a career top – when he won a lesser race over this track and distance last month and if can repeat that type of effort today he should be home free right back. The lightly-raced 6-year-old son of Tapit projects to fold over from his outside post and secure the same kind of stalking trip that he enjoyed that highly-rated win. Tough It Out drops sharply in class, returns to the main track, and may be the most dangerous of the closers. It’s been a long time since he’s visited the winner’s circle, but these should be his friends. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Mercer Island.
RACE 4: Post: 2:30 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Surfside Sunset; 8-Dowtowner; 9-Momma’s Baby Boy
Forecast: We’ll go three-deep in the Pick-6 opener, a main track mile affair for older maidens. Surfside Sunset is a second-off-a-layoff play from the Hess barn after appearing a tad rusty in his first outing in more than a year. He’s also a first-time gelding today and will race without blinkers for the first time, so there’s lots to like about the son of Tapizar, who finished a respectable fourth vs. similar last month. Momma’s Baby Boy, second in his last pair and beaten a nose in the same race ‘Sunset exits, gets the worst of the draw but retains Prat and will be right there if he can negotiate a decent trip. Downtowner, away since January of last year, has been working with some of Baffert’s best stock lately and should be competitive with these.
RACE 5: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 5-Camps Bay; 10-Sellwood
Forecast: High-prided 3-year-old maiden claimers meet over a mile in the fifth race; we’ll try to survive and advance using just two. Sellwood and Camps Bay finished third and fourth, respectively, in a recent downhill turf sprint and both should improve with experience and distance. Sellwood will have to overcome the extreme outside draw, so we’ll give the slight edge on top to Camps Bay, a son of Lookin At Lucky who broke slowly and then took the overland route in a better-than-the-line-will-show debut for Sadler. Talamo stays aboard and a healthy series of recent workouts give strong indication that a forward move is likely.
RACE 6: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: X
Single: 7-C. C. Zipp
Forecast: C. C. Zipp crushed a $25,000 non-winners of two field last month and today surfaces for $16,000 non-winners of three. If she has one good one left, she’ll win, but clearly Hollendorfer doesn’t like her long term prospects. The daughter of City Zip will be a short price, so you can use her as a rolling exotic single or simply pass it altogether.
RACE 7: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-Miz Tianjin; 10-Line Drive
Forecast: Line Drive was beaten a nose at 3/5 in a similar spot in late January but no doubt “bounced” after being brought back in a week following a 17 length win. She’s had plenty of time between starts this time and should regain her best form. Miz Tianjin had little behind her when graduating for $20,000 last month but her speed figure was good so we’ll toss her in as a back-up in our rolling exotics.
RACE 8: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Dreamy Gal; 4-X S Gold; 10-Battleground State
Forecast: This is a difficult, contentious entry-level turf miler affair for sophomore fillies and requires a bit of a spread. Best suggestion is to include as many as you can afford to. Dreamy Gal lands a good inside post, has a strong recent effort over the course vs. similar, and shows a healthy, steady work tab since raced. Baze should have her on or near the lead throughout. X S Gold might be most effective when she’s the controlling speed, so gate-to-wire tactics might be employed. She’s lightly raced with plenty of improvement in her and her third place finish in the Cal Cup Oaks charts well with these. Battleground State is stuck way outside but she’s won over this course and distance in the past, retains Prat, and may be the most effective closer in the field.
RACE 9: Post 5:00 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Optic; 6-Pepe the Legend; 12-Astro Rider
Forecast: The finale is another tough affair offering several possibilities. Optic shows up in a modest claimer today and should greatly appreciate the class relief. He’s a fit on numbers and a first-time gelding, so we’ll put him on top. Pepe the Legend just missed in a similar affair last month and if he can produce a forward move he’ll be a factor throughout. Astro Rider broke slowly and was no threat in a strong straight maiden sprint up north in his debut and very likely will go much better against this group. The Moger-trained colt lands the good outside post and should have every chance, assuming he leaves with his field.