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.
Saturday, April 21, 2018
RACE 1: Post 12:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-Florista; 4-Classy Atlantic; 8-Travieza
Forecast: Travieza was an unlucky second in a downhill turf sprint last month while giving every indication that she will be even more effective stretching out. She gets her chance today in this mile turf affair for maiden fillies and mares, and if she can negotiate a good trip from her outside draw the O’Neill-trained daughter of Into Mischief can earn her diploma in a fairly competitive race for the level. The sprinter-stretching-out Classy Atlantic should be the controlling speed, and if she’s ever going to stay two turns it will be in this, her first attempt. Talamo stays aboard, knows her well, and will try to hold her together in the final furlong. Florista was a clever maiden debut winner over the all-weather surface at Dundalk in Ireland and makes her U.S. debut for Glatt while attracting Prat. She’s hard to classify, but is worth tossing in on a ticket or two.
RACE 2: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: X
Single: 8-Lucky Staxx
Forecast: Lucky Staxx has little to beat in this low-level maiden claimer, and from his ideal outside draw he should have no excuses. However, at 8/5 on the morning line (and likely to go lower), he offers little in the way of wagering value. We can use him as a no-value rolling exotic single or simply pass the race.
RACE 3: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Matriculate; 3-Mesa Sky
Forecast: Mesa Sky returns off very short rest (seven days) but in his present razor sharp form the Jacobson-trained gelding could easily extend his winning streak to three. The son of Sky Mesa is stretching out to a mile but has won at this trip in the past, and while he could find himself in a contested early pace he doesn’t need the lead to win, so Pedroza can play it by ear. Matriculate is back in good form, though his two recent sharp efforts were accomplished on an off track, and today he won’t have that advantage. He has, however, a touch of back class and should draft into a comfortable second flight position and have every chance from there. Let’s try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics with a slight edge on top to Mesa Sky.
RACE 4: Post: 1:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Comes the Dream; 3-Malko; 4-Any Questions
Forecast: In a nine furlong turf event that on paper projects to be slowly run early, Any Questions could inherit the role as the controlling speed. He doesn’t often find himself in races that allow him to make the running, but after a two and one-half month freshening combined with the switch to Prat, the son of Lookin At Lucky could be dangerous if aggressively ridden. Comes the Dream failed to mount a rally in a recent off-the-turfer that is best ignored. His clever win two runs back charts well here, but as a deep closer he’ll need some help up front to have his best chance. Malko, freshened since late February, is reunited with Elliott, who has gotten good run out of him in the past. From the red hot Cerin barn, the deep closing Irish-bred gelding seems capable of at least hitting the board at 15-1 on the morning line.
RACE 5: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: X
Single: 5-Ransom the Moon
Forecast: Ransom the Moon won this race last year and has trained well enough to be ready to fire a big shot in his first outing since November. Ideally drawn outside, the D’Amato-trained horse should be able settle early and then blast home late. However, the two main speed runners (Bobby Abu Dhabi and Calculator) both hail from the same (Miller) barn and if either one scratches or takes back, ‘Moon may be tasked with chasing a dangerous “lone speed” horse. Tread lightly here.
RACE 6: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 1-Ancient Secret
Forecast: Ancient Secret was miles the best when fifth (beaten less than a length) in the Mizdirection Stakes over this course and distance in her California debut last month and with clear sailing today she should be along in plenty of time. She picks up Prat, who jumps off Blame It On Alphie (second in the same race ‘Secret exits), and likely will draft into a ground-saving, second flight position before commencing her rally. At 3-1 on the morning line (and likely to go lower) she is a strong straight play and rolling exotic single.
RACE 7: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 5-Liberty Jack; 7-Dad’s a Gambler
Forecast: Lumber Jack adds blinkers for the first time and should be within striking range throughout in a field without very little early speed. Second off the claim for Miller, the son of Munnings has back numbers that are better than par for this level and will offer value at or near his morning line of 5-1 if you can get it. Dad’s A Gambler lacks a winning punch but he’s hit the board in each of his last six starts and should have clear sailing and every chance from his outside post. Second with a career top speed figure in his most recent outing but from a low percentage oufit, he’s probably worth including on a ticket or two.
RACE 8: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Fabozzi; 5-Blackjackcat; 9-Kenjisstorm
Forecast: Blackjackcat never mounted a rally in a disappointing 2018 bow when fifth in the Thunder Road Stakes in February, but has a right to step forward today in what on paper is an easier spot. Third in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Mile, the son of Tale of the Cat is clearly good enough to handle this assignment with anything close to his best. But after just failing even money and likely to be a fairly short price again today, he may not be one to fully embrace. Kenjisstorm was extra sharp winning over this course and distance last month against a lesser bunch, and he does have back numbers that make him a threat despite the class hike. He clearly runs best for Prat, but will need to secure a good trip from his outside draw. Fabozzi is a one-paced grinder, but from the rail he should enjoy an ideal ground-saving journey. He’s worth considering at 10-1 on the morning line.
RACE 9: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: X
Single: Wild At Midnight
Forecast: Wild At Midnight crushed a maiden field with complete authority last month and did so with plenty left while earning a strong number. She’s 8/5 on the morning line to repeat from her cozy outside post, but you won’t get it, so let’s make the Baffert-trained daughter of Midnight Lute a no-value rolling exotic single but otherwise pass the race.
RACE 10: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Will Tell; 3-Duluth; 6-Infuriated Gary
Forecast: This one mile main track first-level state-bred allowance has a few possibilities so we’ll triple the race and hope that’s sufficient. Infuriated Gary and Duluth give D’Amato two bullets to fire, with the former seeking his third straight score in his first try around two turns. On pure pedigree, the extra ground should be within his scope and with rising speed figures the son of Grazen looks like the one to beat. Duluth graduated by six lengths in a spill-marred race and didn’t really earn much of a number, so he’ll have to step it up, but might be capable for a stable has that boasts excellent stats with repeat winners. Will Tell is intriguing in his first try around two-turns; the son of Creative Cause certainly is bred to get the trip, lands the rail, and hails from the high-percentage Cerin stable. He also gets a break in the weights with the switch to bug boy Ceballos.
RACE 11: Post 5:00 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Ok Doll; 3-Resky Business; 4-Peach Cove; 8-Salsita;
Forecast: The finale is a difficult turf miler for mid-range claiming fillies and mares. Use as many as you can afford to. Ok Doll retains Prat, drops a level, stretches out, and should be on or near the lead throughout. At 5-1 on the morning line she offers a bit of value. Peach Cove drops to her lowest level ever, stretches out again, and should have every chance from a second-flight, stalking spot. Two of her three career wins have been accomplished over this course and distance, and at 5-1 on the morning line she seems as good as any. Salsita always is a threat from off the pace and has finished first or second in 18 of 41 career starts. With good racing luck she’ll be heard from late. Resky Business is unproven on turf but at this level she’s probably worth including somewhere.