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.
Friday, January 5, 2018
RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: C
Use: 5-Midnight Swinger; 8-Road Test; 9-Quinn Murphy
Forecast: The Saturday opener is a chaotic restricted (nw-2) claiming turf miler for fillies and mares. We’ve listed three main contenders but not with any degree of confidence. You should spread as deeply as you can afford to in rolling exotic play. Midnight Swinger seems as good as any; she’s hit the board in each of her last four starts vs. tougher starter’s allowance foes and today is reunited with her “win” rider Van Dyke. She just one-for-12 lifetime with seven seconds and thirds so is perhaps not one to trust – certainly not at 6/5 on the morning line - but on pure form her best is probably good enough. Road Test is another that usually gets at least a piece of it and figures to fire a good shot in her first start since mid-November. She may be the best of closers. Quinn Murphy exits the same race as Midnight Swinger and although finishing eighth was beaten less than three lengths. She switches to Bejarano and is another that probably will do her best running from the quarter pole to the wire.
RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Roman Tizzy; 3-Sense of Glory
Forecast: We’ll try to get past this bottom-rung route affair using just two horses, but this is another race that probably should be treated with some degree of caution, as all cheap claiming races should. Roman Tizzy is racing in strong form for Cerin, lands a good inside draw, and seems likely to fire another good shot. The nine-year-old gelding has an effective stalking style and should have every chance with this two level drop in class. Sense of Glory drops to his lowest level ever and has good prior form over the Santa Anita main track (two wins). A repeat of his race before last – a sharp runner-up effort over this track and distance vs. $12,500 types – makes him a contender at 6-1 on the morning line.
RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Spokane Eagle: 3-Is Trevor Clever; 8-Psychedelicat
Forecast: Is Trevor Clever lands a likely spot for success in this maiden $20,000 claiming sprint over seven furlongs. The Miller-trained gelding has the route-to-spring angle that is so productive and back numbers that are better than par for this level. Furthermore, he gets a break in the weights with the switch to bug boy Roman and catches a field totally lacking in early speed. At 4-1 on the morning there may be a bit of value to be had. Psychedelicat is a 12-race maiden and certainly not one to count on, but on pure form he’s a fit and most recently finished a solid third in a better-than-par race for the level at Del Mar in late November. Spokane Eagle is comparatively unexposed with just two career starts and could have a forward move in him after appearing to need the outing in his first start in 16 months at Los Alamitos in December. If he leaves cleanly from the rail, the son of Speightstown could outrun his morning line of 12-1.
RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Paved; 12-Rancor
Forecast: Rancor and Paved exit the same race, a strong, productive affair that produced the recent stakes winner Ippodamia’s Girl. Rancor made the running before being worn down late; today she’ll probably try similar tactics and her extreme outside draw should be of no issues with the long run to the first turn in this nine furlong affair. Paved finished with some interest to be third in that same race, lands the good rail, and probably has a bit more right to enjoy today’s extra distance than Rancor does. Therefore, we’ll put her on top but include both in our rolling exotic play.
RACE 5: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 5-Shivermetimbers; 6-McKinzie
Forecast: McKinzie is undefeated in two starts and just won (via disqualification) the Los Alamitos Futurity-G1 but we’re slightly more intrigued by Shivermetimbers, a rapidly improving son of Shanghai Bobby who just earned a giant speed figure in breaking his maiden two-turning at Del Mar and then had the form franked when runner-up Peace came back to graduate impressively. He’s trained very well since (as has McKinzie), so both should continue their improving patterns in this one mile main track event. Smith, who rode them both, understandably opts for McKinzie, but ‘timbers picks up Prat, so there’s no issue there. Both should be included in you rolling exotics; we’ll press a bit with Shivermetimbers on top.
RACE 6: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Smooth and Savvy; 5-Impecunious
Forecast: Impecunious invades from Northern California where she flashed some ability in useful company and today shows up as a first-time-for-a-tag play with the always-popular blinkers off angle, rising speed figures, and Smith in the saddle. A bullet workout over the all-weather surface up north last week doesn’t hurt, either. Smooth and Savvy chased much tougher foes at Los Alamitos in her debut last month while well-backed (3-1) and probably is better than that race shows. This drop into the claiming ranks is warranted, Baze stays aboard, and in a soft field she’s worth another chance. Both should be used in rolling exotic play but we’ll have extra tickets keying Impecunious on top.
RACE 7: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Editore; 7-He Will; 8-Itsinthepost
Forecast: Itsinthepost exits infinitely the best race (B.C. Turf) and under the circumstance didn’t run all that badly. This is a much more realistic spot for the veteran French-bred gelding, so the Mullins-trained veteran certainly is the one to beat. He Will continued his improving pattern with a narrow defeat in the Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar in late November in a race that just produced Joe Hernandez Stakes winner Pee Wee Reese. Nine furlongs might be stretching his limit but in his current form the Hollendorfer-trained horse surely ranks as a main contender. Editore will be a giant price (he’s 15-1 on the morning line) but is tough-as-nails and has numbers that give him a long shot chance. Toss him in somewhere in your exotics.
RACE 8: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 8-Pica; 9-Devil’s Beauty
Forecast: Devil’s Beauty and Pica just finished one-three in a bit tougher spot at Los Alamitos last month and look like the main contention again in this seven furlong sprint for $16,000 claiming fillies and mares. ‘Beauty gets the cozy outside draw and has won over this main track in the past, so if she has one good one left she’ll be hard to beat right back. Pica, first or second in six of 11 career starts over the Santa Anita main track, switches to Bejarano and should have every chance to set or force a moderate early pace. She likes to win races and always lays her body down.
RACE 9: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 4-Beau Square; 8-C. C. Zipp; 10-Instant Reflex
Forecast: Beau Square is most effective as a late-running turf sprinter and should have the proper style for this Hillside turf course. A winner of a state-bred first-level allowance grass sprint at Del Mar over five furlongs in November, the daughter of Square Eddie gets an extra furlong and a half to work with while tackling open foes today and should be able to produce the last run. C. C. Zipp has only sprinted once on turf – she won her maiden over this course and distance – so given what clearly seems to be her preferred trip the Hollendorfer-trained mare should be a major player and a “must use” in rolling exotic play. Instant Reflex is plenty quick and returns to turf. She’ll take them as far as she can.