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, January 13, 2018
RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Indoctrination; 6-Frankincense; 9-Combat Zone
Forecast: A mile might be a tad sharp for Combat Zone but the Sadler-trained colt has rising numbers, retains Prat, and should fire a big shot in his first outing since October. Frankincense has trained okay – nothing more – for his U.S. debut but he’s a son of Frankel and therefore likely to run much better on turf than he’s worked on dirt. He represents stranger danger so we’ll include him in our rolling exotics. Indoctrination is a first-time gelding with a good race over this turf course two runs back and should be prominent throughout from the rail.
RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Soul Sound; 4-Topaz Time
Forecast: Soul Sound returns to the maiden claiming ranks, adds blinkers for the first time, shortens to a sprint and returns to dirt in her first outing since September. She’s also making her first start since switching to the Mullins barn and has run reasonably well over the Santa Anita main track in the past. We’ll give her top billing but also include Topaz Time, also dropping out of straight maiden company and with a race over this track way back in October of 2016 (her race before last) that charts very well in this soft spot.
RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: B+
Forecast: Nero has the reputation of being something of a nut case but there’s no doubting his natural ability. The son of Pioneerof the Nile shows a series of good gate works (he has a history of refusing to work when breaking off at the pole) and should be plenty fit in his first start since snatching defeat from the jaws of victory at Del Mar last August in his only previous start. He’ll race with blinkers and will be hard to beat if he puts his mind to it, so at 2-1 on the morning line and likely to go lower, we’ll use him as a short priced rolling exotic single.
RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 5-Twentytwentyvision; 6-A Red Tie Day
Forecast: Twentytwentyvision makes his first start for Sadler following a $62,500 claim in late November and we’re expecting the veteran gelding to produce a significant forward move. The son of Pollard’s Vision has a history of running very well over the Santa Anita turf track and with the switch to Desormeaux he appears capable of producing the last run. A Red Tie Day also can lay claim to being a “horse for course” for having won half of his 10 career starts over the local lawn. He projects to be comfortably placed setting or stalking a modest pace and should have every chance to regain his best form. We’ll double the race in our rolling exotics and then press using extra tickets keying Twentytwentyvision.
RACE 5: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Mr. Shook; 7-City Steel
Forecast: City Steel has been facing tougher foes recently and drops for the money run in this middle distance $12,500 claimer. In the money in nine of 10 starts over the Santa Anita main track, the veteran gelding should greatly benefit from the class relief and can beat this field with his best effort. Mr. Shook takes a monumental drop in class, so his condition must be questioned, but recent workouts look decent so the Hollendorfer-trained gelding could snap back to life. He gets a weight break with the switch to Roman and a pace scenario that should allow him to enjoy a nice stalking trip, assuming he has one good one left.
RACE 6: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-Zuri Chop; 5-Reign On; 7-Moolight Drive
Forecast: Moonlight Drive once had considerable promise but has had his share of issues, so Baffert drops him into a claimer that he’s more than good enough to win. The Italian-bred son of Red Rocks has won down the hill in the past and should get the patient ride he requires from Van Dyke. If healthy, he’ll be tough. Zuri Chop won over this course and distance two runs back and ran just as well when a narrow runner-up in an abbreviated Del Mar turf sprint in his most recent outing. The barn’s been hot, so ‘Chop is a “must use.” Reign On beat a softer field at Del Mar on grass in late November and did so with a change in tactics. Apparently most effective when taken off the pace, the English-bred gelding retains Frey and could be heard from late at a nice price.
RACE 7: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 6-Bargaining; 10-Lambo Luxx
Forecast: Lambo Luxx lands the cozy outside post and looks like a logical repeater after beating a tougher field at Los Alamitos last month. At this bottom-level there’s always a question of condition but if this Carava-trained gelding fires his best shot and bug boy Roman always has gotten good run out of this son of Vronsky. Bargaining has consistent Los Alamitos form and winning connections. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to act on the big track at this level, so we’ll include him as well.
RACE 8: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Majestic Heat; 3-Mended
Forecast: Majestic Heat is perfect in two starts since switching to dirt – her recent win in the Bayakoa Stakes-G2 at Los Alamitos was visually very impressive – and she’s trained quite well over the Santa Anita main track since that early December score. There’s not a whole lot of pace in the race but we’re expecting the veteran daughter of Unusual Heat to outclass this field. Mended has won 10 straight races – quite a feat – since being claimed for $12,500 just over a year ago. This is by far her toughest test, but given the lack of pace she’s definitely a candidate to take this group a very long way on the front end. We’ll use both in rolling exotic play but then press with Majestic Heat on top.
RACE 9: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Airlite; 8-Coastline; 9-General Ike
Forecast: Coastline once was a whole lot better than a $25,000 claimer so this nosedive in class raises a red flag. Obviously there’s a question of his current condition but the fact is he went winless in 2017, so this quite likely is where he belongs at this stage of his career. General Ike ran well over this course and distance during the fall meeting and is another dropping to his lowest level. Desormeaux should have him doing his best work from off the pace. Airlite offers some value at 10-1 on the morning. He has the route-to-sprint angle that always intrigues us, switches to Prat, and has won a third of his nine career starts. His numbers say he’s got a chance to least hit the board, maybe more.