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, June 23, 2018
RACE 1: Post 12:00 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Travieza; 3-Rockin Ready
Forecast: Travieza has finished first or second in four of five starts over the local lawn and should be in the thick of things once again while returning to the Hillside course. She seems a tad better sprinting than routing so we’ll put her on top while also including Rockin Ready, no worse than second in all four of her career outings and fresh from a sharp maiden tally over a mile. With regular rider Talamo out of town to ride the Ohio Derby, Franco picks up the live mount and should have this daughter of More Than Ready doing her best work in the final furlong.
RACE 2: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: X
Use: 2-Ike; 5-Graycaster
Forecast: Ike returns from Arkansas where he hit the board in both of his starts there while facing strong company, and is back sprinting today over the track that he broke his maiden on impressively last winter. A sharp recent series of drills for Baffert indicates the son of Paynter is spot, but at surely will be a short price. Graycaster earned a career top figure when winning a $50,000 claimer here earlier this month, retains Prat, and lands the cozy outside draw. We’ll use him as a saver.
RACE 3: Post 1:04 PT. Grade: B+
Use: Mr. Opportunist; 7-Excitations
Forecast: 3-Mr. Opportunist returns to grass after a solid runner-up effort in an off-the-turf event last month and won’t really need to improve much to spring a mild surprise in this $32,000 seller. His prior attempt down the hill vs. much tougher wasn’t bad (actually earned a strong number) so this Dollase-trained gelding should offer some value both in the straight pool and in rolling exotic play. Excitations removes blinkers in his first start as a gelding and his first on grass. The son of Into Mischief is a past classer (graded stakes-placed at Saratoga last year) and could improve considerably for the hot O’Neill barn. Let’s use just these two, with preference on top to Mr. Opportunist
RACE 4: Post: 1:36 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 7-Tiz Toffee
Forecast: At first glance this starter’s allowance sprint for fillies and mares appears to be the type of race that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. However, we’re going to take a stand. Tiz Toffee is a maiden tackling winners but actually fits strongly based on speed figures. The D’Amato-trained filly should have less pace pressure than she’s accustomed to facing, and if she can shake loose early she may not look back. Her two most recent races came against infinitely tougher competition. Spread if you feel the need, but we’ll go with this D’Amato-trained daughter of Sidney’s Candy as a straight play and rolling exotic single.
RACE 5: Post 2:28 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Tough It Out; 8-My Man Chuckles; 9-Any Questions
Forecast: Tough It Out seeks his third straight score in this starter’s handicap over a mile on turf and the Cerin-trained gelding appears favorably spotted to continue his winning form, especially from a good inside draw that should guarantee a ground-saving trip. The son of Grazen earned a career top figure in his most recent outing, and Desormeaux, who was aboard for both of his recent victories, stays aboard for the high-percentage Cerin barn. My Man Chuckles, beaten at odds-on when runner-up to Tough It Out last month, should be the one to fear most. The Baltas-trained gelding was a bit farther back than he needed to be in that race and was forced to lose ground when rallying into the lane. He projects to be closer to the pace today and have a better trip. Any Questions is stuck outside but has never been sharper while seeking this third straight win. He’ll be a pace-presser under Prat and the speed figure he earned in a win over this course two races back (a career top) puts him the battle. These are the three we’ll be using; feel free to spread deeper if you can afford to.
RACE 6: Post 2:58 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Fast Pass; 6-Junior Gilliam; 8-Big Champion
Forecast: This five furlong starter handicap is intriguing. Big Champion, a terror facing quarter horses at Los Alamitos earlier this year and a highly-rated turf winner at Golden Gate Fields on grass in his most recent outing, must pack 129 lbs. but just might be up to the task. Most effective on the lead but capable of winning with a stalk-and-pounce trip if required, the son of Munnings seems the one to beat but he doesn’t quite qualify as a single, as both Fast Pass and Junior Gilliam have credentials as well. The former is stuck on the rail but can turn it on late and with good racing luck will make his presence felt in the final furlong. The latter, claimed in his last three starts and now in the Jacobson barn, has solid recent form and projects to at least hit the board.
RACE 7: Post 3:28 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Ike Walker; 3-Clear the Mine; 6-Explorer
Forecast: Explorer won his sprint debut for Baffert like a top prospect, but this a decidedly more difficult assignment so it will be interesting to see just how good he might be. A strong, powerful looking son of Orb, he’s very likely to improve with distance and experience and should have enough to speed to make the lead, or at least secure a good stalking position. If he can win this race, he’ll be facing graded stakes foes next time out vs. his own age group. Ike Walker, a seasoned old pro that has finished first or second in 19 of 40 starts, was claimed back by the Miller barn (always a good sign) and should be prominent throughout from the rail. On pure numbers he should be right there. Clear the Mine is dropping off a claim from $62,500 to $40,000 – not usually an encouraging sign – but Cerin’s stats with this maneuver (39% with astrong flat-bet profit) is too strong to ignore.
RACE 8: Post 3:58 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 5-Camby; 6-I Am the Danger; 8-Paddock Pick
Forecast: The eighth race is another challenging slalom affair, this one for older maidens. Camby tries turf for the first time in his first start since February; he was a distant second to Justify when last seen and we doubt he’ll be facing anybody that good today. The son of Candy Ride seems best when held up early and allowed to run late and we suspect he’ll get that kind of ride from Desormeaux. I Am the Danger makes his second start off a layoff for Puype and should produce a forward move after flashing speed and then weakening late in a similar spot last month. The barn has solid stats with second-off-layoff runners and this son of Adios Charlie is exiting a productive race. Paddock Pick, second in the same race that I Am the Danger just finished fifth in, should draft into a ideal pace-stalking spot outside and have every chance. It was his first start on grass and the son of Graydar handled it well.
RACE 9: Post 4:28 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Write Me a Song; 10-Imagineiamfastest; 12-Hayne’s Pal
Forecast: Write Me a Song is a first-time gelding turning back to an abbreviated sprint, and his career top speed figure – one good enough to beat this field – was accomplished around one turn. He’s hardly one to trust, but in a below par maiden claimer for 3-year-olds, he’s as good as any. Imagineiamfastest has a race two back that charts well here and the son of Violence didn’t get away real well in his most recent start, so we’ll give him a chance to bounce back. Hayne’s Pal flashed early zip vs. straight maidens in his debut before fading; the Kitchingman-trained gelding should stick much better vs. this group, retains Pedroza, and should pop and go from his outside draw. This is another one of those use-as-man-as-you-can-afford to races.,
RACE 10: Post 4:58 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Six Point Rack; 5-Cool Green; 8-California Journey
Forecast: Six Point Eight burned money in his last pair, failing as the favorite both times with less than ideal trips. The Puype-trained gelding switches to Bejarano, and with good racing luck and a little help up front might be able to tag the speed. California Journey will making just his fifth career start, so he may have improvement in him that most of the others don’t. This drop back to a flat mile should be beneficial to the Chew-trained gelding, who broke his maiden over this course and distance last year. Cool Green earned a competitive speed figure when beating a restricted (Nw-2) $40,00 claimer down the hill last month; he’s just as effective over a mile and he’s likely to enjoy a good second flight, stalking position. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics with a slight edge edge on top to Six Point Rack.
RACE 11: Post 5:28 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-American Anthem; 6-Touching Rainbows; 7-Stone Hands
Forecast: American Anthem made his 2018 bow at Churchill Downs in a strong allowance race at this extended sprint trip earlier this month and was visually pleasing in victory. Fast on speed figures and a proven winner over the Santa Anita main track, the Baffert-trained colt has further improvement in him and rates the edge in a highly-competitive edition of the San Carlos Stakes. Touching Rainbows has won four of six starts over the local main track but faces stakes foes for the first time in what is clearly his toughest assignment. He’s a fit on speed figures, retains Prat, and has the perfect style for seven furlongs, so we’ll consider the D’Amato-trained gelding a major player. Stone Hands, who ran (and won) in a $25,0000 claimer in February, has really gotten good of late for O’Neill. He’s not as fast on numbers as either ‘Anthem or ‘Rainbows but in his present form he should at least get a share and is worth using on a ticket or two.
RACE 12: Post 5:58 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Our Slick Chick; 5-Chalky; 6-Temple Princess
Forecast: Our Slick Chick, in her second start off a layoff, ran decently in her only prior turf race (last November at Del Mar) and seems likely to produce a forward move in this moderate maiden claiming grass miler for fillies and mares. A recent main track sprint tune-up should have her fit and ready. Chalky shows up in a claimer and in the D’Amato barn for the first time, and though she’s an eight-race maiden she’s a fit on figures and is strong contender. Temple Princess, second under these conditions in her most recent outing in late April, won’t have to do much more than that to beat this field and is a “must use” as well.