Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies for Saturday, Feb. 3, 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 3, 2018

​RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 9-Blessed Union; 12-Slick Trick

Forecast: The opener is a below average maiden sophomore filly turf mile.  Slick Trick was off slowly in her debut but produced a steady rally to wind up a reasonable fourth, beaten less than two lengths, in a downhill turf dash.  She stretches out to what should be a more suitable trip and seems certain to move forward, but was unfortunate to have drawn the extreme outside post.  Nonetheless, we’ll give her top billing over Blessed Union, freshened since the fall when she displayed some ability when fifth over this course and distance while displaying a modicum of late speed.  She’s better than her morning line of 12-1 and is worth including at anywhere near that price.


​​RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: X

Use: 1-Curly’s Rocket; 6-Core Beliefs

Forecast: The two favorites should dominate this maiden special weight sprint for 3-year-olds, so we’ll include both in our rolling exotics while otherwise passing the race.  Curly’s Rocket dropped a nasty photo to stable mate Nero last month in a similar affair; he drew the rail that day, never got a breather, and finds himself on the fence once again.  He’ll have to contend with other speed but his improving pattern suggests the son of Into Mischief could dish out more heat than he’ll take.  Core Beliefs, a willing third in the same race Curley’s Rocket exits, lands the cozy outside post and will add Lasix, so he should have every chance to produce the last run.  Given the projected race flow, the son of Quality Road would seem to deserve the edge on top.


​RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: X

Single: 1-Roy H

Forecast:  BC Sprint winner Roy H outclasses this field but offers no value at 3/5 on the morning line in what clearly is a prep race for a trip to Dubai late next month.  His rail draw is a tad dicey as well, but since being gelded last year the Miller-trained son of More Than Ready has won five of six starts in top class company and by all rights should be undefeated, his lone defeat when second after being badly impeded by a loose horse (Drefong) in the Bing Crosby Stakes last summer.  You can use him as a no-value rolling exotic single or simply pass the race.


​​​RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use:  1-Tizanillusion; 3-Mongolian Shopper; 8-Salten Sapity

Forecast:  Tizanillusion has a habit of finishing second rather than winning but in her first outing since November the Sadler-trained mare faces a modest group of first-level allowance turf sprinters and has consistent numbers that fit very nicely at this level.  If she leaves cleanly from the rail, the daughter of Tizway should have every chance from a pace-pressing or stalking position.  Mongolian Shopper looked good dominating a $50,000 claiming field over this course and distance last month, though she did get away with a very soft opening quarter after establishing the pace.  On pure numbers she’s a reasonable contender despite the class hike.  Salten Sapity might be the most dangerous of the late threats; the Mandella-trained filly has a prior win over the course, switches to Prat, and it worth tossing in on a ticket or two at 6-1 on the morning line.


​​RACE 5: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B-

Use:  1-Ayacara; 5-Shivermetimbers; 7-Peace

Forecast: Usually a Derby prep of this stature has one or two main players that dominate the wagering but this year’s edition of the Robert B. Lewis looks completely wide open.  Ayacara is interesting possibility; he returns to the main track for the first time since finishing a distant fourth in the highly-rated FrontRunner Stakes during the fall meeting and in doing so earned a speed figure that charts very well in this spot.  He’ll add blinkers for the first time and should settle in a good mid-pack, ground-saving position.  At 8-1 on the morning line he’s as good as any and better than most.  Shivermetimbers was tad disappointing when a fading fourth behind McKinzie in the Sham Stakes; we expected more but this is an easier group and he’s a solid fit on figures.  Peace comes off a visually pleasing maiden win, though the number came up a tad soft.  He’ll add blinkers today and continues to work well, so the Mandella-trained son of Violence most likely has further improvement in him.


​​​RACE 6: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 2-Reverand Al; 5-Gotta Get Lucky; 8-Moonlight Blue

Forecast: Restricted (nw-2) $12,500 claimers meet over a mile in the first leg of the late Pick-4.  Reverend Al stretches out for the first time, has a pedigree that should allow him to handle the added distance, and has a prior win over the Santa Anita main track.  Bejarano stays aboard and should have this son of Lucky Pulpit within striking range throughout.  If he can route, he can win at 6-1 on the morning.  Moonlight Blue, second in a similar affair last month, is drawn a little farther out than we’d prefer but likes this track and has speed figures that fit.  Gotta Get Lucky is yet another with a win over the local main strip but has been a bit of a money burner lately.  He gets a break in the weights with the switch to Roman and could clunk up and get a piece of it with one of his better efforts.


​​​RACE 7: Post 3:30 PT.  Grade: C+

Use: 4-Isotherm; 5-Itsinthepost; 6-Flamboyant

Forecast: If you think you’ve seen this race before, you have, last month in the San Gabriel Stakes over nine furlongs on turf.  Today’s San Marcos Stakes is a furlong farther, but the added distance really shouldn’t alter things too much.  Itsinthepost was a convincing winner of the San Gabriel and can be just as effective at a mile and one-quarter.  He can score again, but at 9/5 on the morning line won’t be offering much in the way of wagering value.  Flamboyant was a fast-finishing runner-up in the San Gabriel and should fire a similar shot again.  Isotherm wound up fifth in that race but had a right to be rusty and should be fitter and tougher today.  We’ll include all three in our rolling exotics with Itsinthepost the logical top pick.


​​​​​RACE 8: Post 4:00 PT.  Grade: B+

Use: 1-Pavel; 5-The Lieutenant

Forecast:  Pavel finished steadily when winding up fourth in the highly-rated seven furlong Malibu Stakes opening day and stretches out again to a more favorable trip while landing the good rail.  A recent bullet six furlong workout should have him on edge; a repeat of his Smarty Jones win or his close third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup beats this field.  The Lieutenant comes off a career top win in a productive race and with further improvement could make some noise against this tougher group.  At 20-1 on the morning line, the son of Street Sense is worth tossing in on a ticket or two.


 ​RACE 9: Post 4:30 PT.  Grade: B-

Use: 1-Gone to Town; 8-Beau Square; 11-Bowie

Forecast: Lightly-raced Bowie finds herself in an intriguing spot in her first outing since November; the Mandella-trained filly is comfortably placed outside and really won’t have to improve much off her first start on grass in a similar spot at Del Mar.  In that five furlong dash the daughter of Malibu Moon finished a solid second while earning by far a career top speed figure and with another forward move today she should be in the thick of things to the wire.  Beau Square is a good, consistent late-running turf sprinter and with some help up front likely will be heard from late, while Gone to Town must overcome the rail but was quite impressive beating maidens over this course and distance last month and may be factor despite the class hike.

Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies for Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018

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