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, February 24, 2018
RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Phoenix Fire; 5-Fibonacci
Forecast: Fibonacci is improving with racing and should move forward again with an extra furlong to work with. The son of Artie Schiller produced a significant boost in speed figures in his most recent outing when missing by a neck and not much more will be needed to handle this task. Phoenix Fire is a first-timer by Tapit that brought $1.25 million as a yearling. The Baffert-trained colt has trained okay on dirt but might be a much better type on grass, per his pedigree. Toss him in on a ticket or two.
RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Lea’s Reward; 5-Rosie My Rosie; 6-Lucky Student
Forecast: We’ll use three in this $16,000 claiming miler for fillies and mares. Lucky Student, double-jumped in class by new trainer Pender following a $10,000 claim, loves this main track (first or second in 11 of 15 career starts) but is basically a need-the-lead in a field with other speed. If she’s quick enough to establish the front end without being pressured she’ll be hard to cath, but with Lea’s Reward in the field she’ll have to work pretty hard to get there. ‘Reward has numbers that fit, has only one way to go, and is drawn inside of ‘Student. She’s reunited with Bejarano, who was aboard when the Baltas-trained mare broke her maiden at Del Mar in November. Rosie My Rosie is an old pro with 11 career wins and deep-closing style that will be aided considerably by the projected fast pace. She gets a break in the weights with the switch to bug boy Roman, returns to dirt, stretches out, and looks clearly the one to beat.
RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 5-Here and There; 6-Classico
Forecast: Here and There rates top billing in this abbreviated sprint for $10,000 claimers. The Falcone-trained gelding drops to his lowest level ever, picks up Rosario, and should draft into a comfortable pace-stalking position. Based on speed figures he’s more than good enough to win. Classico is a first-time gelding from the O’Neill barn taking a drastic drop in class to what should be his proper level. He’s been hooking some quick early fractions lately and should be able to cope with the projected slower early pace of today’s race. We’ll try to get by in rolling exotic play using just these two.
RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT. Grade: X
Use: 4-Conquest Tsunami; 5-Calculator; 7-Stormy Liberal
Forecast: Miller trains three of the seven entrants in this graded stakes down the hillside course, and all three have the credentials to win. The defending Daytona Stakes champion Stormy Liberal certainly qualifies as a “horse for course” and is back with Rosario, who rode him to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar last November. Calculator returned to winning form while displaying intense early speed in a gate-to-wire score in the Clocker’s Corner Stakes last month in his first start under Prat. He’ll be tough right back if he can turn in two alike. Conquest Tsunami disposed of an easier group in convincing fashion in his local debut (and in his first for Miller) and really won’t have to improve much to impact this race right back. We won’t try to separate them and simply pass the race while including all three in our rolling exotics.
RACE 5: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: X
Forecast: Mondaymorningblues nosedives from straight maiden to maiden $30,000 claiming and must have issues, but in this league her natural early speed should be too much for this modest group. The Miller-trained filly is listed at 6/5 on the morning line and clearly offers no wagering value, so this is another race we’ll sit out and pass. You can use her as a rolling exotic single or try to beat her (but with what we don’t know).
RACE 6: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 5-Onassis; 7-Mariana’s Girl; 9-Wampus
Forecast: The Sherman-Wampus shows up in a claimer for the first time and will thoroughly enjoy the class relief from her cozy outside draw. Her numbers have risen with every start and with another forward move the daughter of Malibu Moon should be able to earn her diploma. Onassis was no factor in a downhill turf sprint; is being tossed away after just that one start, and obviously isn’t very well regarded by her connections. But these could be her friends, so we’ll use her. Mariana’s Girl ran well under Roman two races back, is reunited with that hot-riding bug boy today and should at least get a piece of it, if not more.
RACE 7: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Conquest Sabre Cat; 6-For Greater Glory; 10-Preacher Roe
Forecast: Conquest Sabre Cat beat a tougher $40,000 claiming field two races back but was no threat in a starter handicap in his most recent outing. Today she shows up in a $20,000 seller, so he’s either for sale or the connections are trying to steal a purse. The son of Kitten’s Joy gets the rail, retains Bejarano, and is a major contender in a grass grab bag that requires a spread. For Greater Glory won at this level two races back and a similar performance today puts him in the fray once again. Preacher Roe is drawn a tad farther out than we’d like, and since he’s pretty much a need-the-lead type he’ll probably have to be used a bit to get over and earn his preferred trip. On pure numbers the Dixie Chatter gelding is a fit, so at 8-1 on the morning line he’s worth including as well. We’ll use these three in our rolling exotics but if you can afford to go deeper, go right ahead.
RACE 8: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 3-Smoovie; 10-Karmic Affinity
Forecast: Karmic Affinity ran very well in her debut when second, beaten a length, while more than five clear of the rest. If she doesn’t go backwards today she’ll be hard to beat. Smoovie, a well-beaten sixth in the same race ‘Affinity exits, has returned to work very well since that race, gets off the rail, and should produce a significant forward move. She’s 15-1 on the morning line and is way better than that. Let’s use both in our rolling exotics, and while ‘Affinity is the more probable winner of the two Smoovie probably offers the best wagering value.
RACE 9: Post 5:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-Bar Scene 5-Powder; 7-Life’s Blessings
Forecast: Life’s Blessing was worn down late when well-backed vs. similar in her comeback last month and may have been a tad short in her first start since last May. She won’t have that excuse today while shortening up a furlong and showing a bullet three furlong blowout just four days ago. Powder, freshened since November, is fast enough on numbers to act at this level and has won over the Santa Anita main track in the past. She’s worked like she’s fit and ready and is a “must use” at 6-1 on the morning line. Bar Scene flashed good speed vs. similar before giving way in the final furlong; she’ll appreciate today’s shorter trip and in her second start off a layoff and may take this field a very long way. Preference on top goes to Life’s Blessings but we’ll include all three in our rolling exotics.
RACE 10: Post 5:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Bendable; 5-Samba Inc; 10-Algorhythmic
Forecast: Samba Inc is a Group-1 winner from Argentina making her U.S. debut for Baffert and has trained locally like a stone cold runner. All of her workouts have been accomplished on dirt, but she was strictly a grass runner in South America and the conditions of the Wishing Well Stakes are made to order for her. Algorhythmic launches a comeback for Machowsky and has trained well enough to be fit and ready. Unbeaten in four starts since joining this barn after being claimed for $32,000 – all of those wins came over this course and distance – the veteran daughter of Vronsky will be making her first start in stakes company and it will be interesting to see if she’s up to the task. Bendable finished strongly but too late when second in the Las Cienegas Stakes last month and with some help up front could tag the speed in the final stages.