Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies for Saturday, Feb. 10, 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.


Saturday, February 10, 2018


RACE 1: Post 12:00 PT. Grade: B

Use: 1-Big Champion; 8-Celebrity Life

Forecast: Celebrity Life goes from the rail to the cozy outside post while dropping to his lowest level ever and seems to have found an excellent spot to regain his winning form.  The son of Blazonry has back numbers that are better than par for this level and a tactical speed edge that should have him in an ideal stalking or pressing position throughout.  Big Champion, away since December of 2016, may be the quickest in the field and will have to be from the rail.  He once was better than these and could fire a big shot fresh for a barn that has solid stats with this angle.  We’ll include both in our rolling exotics while strongly preferring Celebrity Life on top.


​​RACE 2: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 3-Kaboom; 7-Trapalanda

Forecast: Trapalanda was well-backed when facing $25,000 foes last time out but lost his best chance with a slow start and never was able to land a blow.  Claimed out of that race by the Jacobson barn, the son of Slew’s Tiznow is dropped to $12,500 in what can’t be a sign of confidence, though this stable is known to employ this strategy quite frequently.  Kaboom didn’t have a whole lot behind him when graduating for $16,000 here last month but did it nicely and should be a fit at this level in his first try vs. winners.  Let’s use both in our rolling exotic s while slightly preferring Trapalanda on top.


​RACE 3: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 1-Maestro Dearte; 3-Temple Keys; 4-Malibu Music

Forecast:  Maestro Dearte returned off a nine month layoff to beat maidens in convincing style over this course and distance recently and earned a speed figure that makes him dangerous right back despite the class hike.  The son of Sidney’s Candy can turn it on late, and in a field with plenty of speed the Eurton-trained gelding looks capable of producing the last run.  Malibu Music offers value at 12-1 on the morning line based on his rising numbers.  The Cassidy-trained colt likely will settle in mid pack and then have every chance from the top of the lane to the wire.  Temple Keys figures in the fray as usual, but he’s 2-for-27 lifetime and may be a hard one to trust.  We’ll toss him in on a ticket or two.


​​​RACE 4: Post: 1:30 PT. Grade: X

Single:  4-Unique Bella

Forecast: Unique Bella is the 2017 Eclipse Award winner in the filly and mare sprint division but if truth be told she’s probably even better over a route of ground.  Unbeaten in two starts around two turns, the daughter of Tapit stretches out again while facing four outclassed rivals and should go about her business as the very short price favorite and a free bingo space in rolling exotic play.


​​RACE 5: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: X

Use: 2-Bowies Hero; 3-Blackjackcat; 6-Om

Forecast: The fifth race is the Thunder Road Stakes over a mile on turf, with Breeders’ Cup Mile third place finisherer Blackjackcat the likely heavy choice.  But while the Glatt-trained gelding certainly can win, he doesn’t have a history of firing fresh and his workouts haven’t been eye-catching.  We’ll use him but not single him.  Bowies Hero is tackling older rivals for the first time but has numbers that fit and looked very good winning the Mathis Bros. Mile here on opening day.  He switches to Nakatani as regular pilot Desormeaux has opted – as you would expect – to remain on Blackjackcat.  In a race that doesn’t have any real early speed, Om might inherit the front end if sent quickly from the gate.  Given that type of trip, the Hendricks-trained son of Munnings might get very brave.  We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics but otherwise pass the race.


​​​​RACE 6: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: X

Single: 1-Ax Man

Forecast: Ax Man ran exceptionally fast when breaking his maiden at first asking by more than nine lengths on New Year’s Day and has trained superbly since.  That race has been franked by third place finisher Lombo, who returned to graduate next time out and then wired the field in the Robert Lewis Stakes last week.  The rail is no bargain at this seven furlong trip but we doubt the post position will matter much to the son of Misremembered.  The Baffert-trained colt will be unplayable at a very short price but we can use him as a rolling exotic single.


​​​RACE 7: Post 3:00 PT.  Grade: B

Single: 4-Is Trevor Clever

Forecast: Is Trevor Clever lost early position after being squeezed at the start in a similar bottom-rung maiden claiming router last month and did well to rally and wind up second while probably best.  The Miller-trained gelding gets another crack at essentially the same type of field today and should make the most of the opportunity.  At 7/2 on the morning line, he’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.


​​​​​RACE 8: Post 3:30 PT.  Grade: B

Use: 5-Van Cortlandt; 7-Tony Blackjack

Forecast:  This entry-level allowance race over a mile on turf has plenty of speed signed on, so it makes sense to zero in on those who can sit back and produce a good late kick.  Von Cortlandt has two lifetime wins, both over this turf course, and with some help up front looks capable of wearing down the front-runners late.  We’ll put him on top but also include Tony Blackjack, making his first start on grass (bred for it on the dam’s side) and with steadily rising numbers for the D’Amato barn.  We’ll try to get by in our rolling exotics using only these two.


 ​RACE 9: Post 4:00 PT.  Grade: B+

Use: 9-Conqueror; 10-Quick Finish

Forecast: This competitive starter’s allowance sprint over seven furlongs should boil down to two main players.   Conqueror was best when beaten as the favorite in his most recent outing; the Cerin-trained gelding encountered early trouble that cost him a few lengths and then had to settle for second, beaten just a half-length.  Desormeaux stays aboard should have this Malibu Moon gelding within striking range throughout.  Quick Finish blew out a state-bred maiden special weight field by seven lengths last month and earned a speed figure that is good enough to score right back.  The Blacker-trained son of Vronsky will be difficult to catch if he can shake loose early without pressure.

RACE 10: Post 4:30 PT.  Grade: B+

Use: 1-Jungle Warfare; 7-Dignitaire

Forecast: Let’s go for a tote-buster in the finale, a below par maiden special weight Hillside turf sprint for 3-year-olds.  Dignitaire is 12-1 on the morning line but we think he’s better than that. The Gary Mandella-trained colt ran with infinitely tougher company last September in a pair of route races on grass at Del Mar and Santa Anita before being stopped on.  The son of Silent Name gives every indication of wanting to be a late-running sprinter and with some help up front and good racing luck he might be able to spring a major surprise.  Jungle Warfare has hit the board in seven of eight career outings but may lack a winning punch.  He’s another that should be running on late.

Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies for Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018

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