Jeff Siegel’s Blog:  Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies for Saturday, May 12, 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, May 12, 2018

RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 1-Avalanche; 6-Cats Blame; 8-Fashion Business

Forecast:  The Saturday opener is a fairly wide open entry-level allowance affair over a mile on turf.  We’ll go three-deep while giving Fashion Business a slight edge on top.  The 4-year-old gelding is making his first start since finishing a close fifth in the Del Mar Derby last September and sports a steady if unspectacular series of workouts for the always-capable D’Amato outfit.  Winless in the U.S. but with a speed figures that are better than par for this level, the son of Frankel should greatly appreciate this softer assignment.  Avalanche has hit the board in his last pair, most recently with a career top speed figure when a second over this course and distance last month.  He must be considered a contender despite his winless-in-six-starts record over the local lawn.  Cats Blame, unbeaten in two starts since being gelded last winter, may be most effective sprinting, though to be fair he appears vastly improved since the last time he tried two turns about a year ago.  The switch to turf also must have contributed to his better recent form.  At 12-1 on the morning line he’s worth using somewhere.


​​RACE 2: Post 1:04 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 5-Foxy Fresh; 6-Irish Dame

Forecast:  Foxy Fresh just trounced a similar field last month, was claimed by a capable barn, and returns at the same $8,000 level while seeking a repeat.  She’s 6/5 on the morning line and likely will win again if she can turn in two alike.  Irish Dame is comfortably drawn outside and should have every chance with a pace pressing or stalking trip.  She’s won two of four career starts over the Santa Anita main track, so we’ll use her in as well.


​​RACE 3: Post 1:36 PT. Grade: B

Use: 4-Victory Element; 5-Draft Pick

Forecast:  Victory Element tipped his hand when finishing a strong second at 15-1 in his debut for Baffert last month and can be expected to produce a forward move while stretching out to a distance he’s bred to enjoy.  A nice half-mile workout since that race should have the son of Pioneeerof the Nile right on edge, and in what appears to be a rather modest straight maiden special weight router affair he seems logically the one to beat.  Draft Pick is a fit on figures, though his grinding, one-pace style doesn’t inspire confidence.  He’s clearly the second horse in the race so you can use him as a saver or a back-up if you’d like.


​​​RACE 4: Post: 2:08 PT. Grade: B-

Use:  4-Six Point Rack; 8-Calvert Street

Forecast: Calvert Street had a nice sprint prep down the hill last month – he finished a strong second while pressing the pace throughout – and today catches a field that should allow him the role of the controlling speed.  His pedigree says this distance might be out of his range, but given the projected race flow he just might be able to get the trip.  Six Point Rack is the most dangerous of the closing types; he’s hit the board in each of his last five outings and earned a career top number when second over this course and distance two runs back.  We’ll try to survive and advance using just these two but if you feel the need to go deeper, go right ahead.


​​RACE 5: Post 2:40 PT. Grade: B

Use: 1-Kanthaka; 7-Beautiful Shot

Forecast:  Kanthaka is back sprinting where he’s clearly most effective, and if runs back to his very impressive win in the San Vicente Stakes in February over this track and trip he’ll be hard to contain.  There should be enough early pace in here to compliment his late-running style.  Beautiful Shot also appears most comfortable around one turn.  Best when held up early and allowed to blast home late, the son of Trappe Shot is reunited with Desormeaux, who has gotten the most run out of him in the past.  Kanthaka deserves top billing but both should be included in rolling exotic play.


​​​​RACE 6: Post 3:14 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 2-Conscripted; 5-Ronald R; 6-Lucky Bryan

Forecast:  This is another grass grab bag, a split of today’s opener.  Ronald R got a confidence building win up north in a straight $40,000 claimer and is entered for that price again in this allowance/optional affair.  He’s a fit on speed figures, picks up Prat, and should settle in the second flight and then have every chance.  Lucky Bryan had a right to be rusty when fifth in a straight $50,000 claimer in late March in what was his first start since the summer of 2016.  He’s a past-classer with a dangerous late kick, and with some help up front he could be heard from in the final furlong.  Conscripted won his debut over this course and distance as a 2-year-old so you know he can fire fresh.  Away since August and making just his fourth career start, the Shirreffs-trained colt has trained well enough to be fit and is a “must use” at 12-1 on the morning line.


​​​RACE 7: Post 3:46 PT.  Grade: C

Use: 7-Trojan Time; 8-Downside Up

Forecast:  Trojan Time makes his second start since joining the Truman stable and drops to the bottom following a respectable third place effort in a maiden $30,000 dash last month.  In a lackluster affair, he seems as good as any and better than most.  Downside Up is the fastest in the field on pure numbers but he’s a 17-race maiden from a barn that is winless in 2018.  We’ll include but without any degree of confidence.  These are the two we’ll prefer but if you can afford to go deeper, go right ahead.


​​​​​RACE 8: Post 4:18 PT.  Grade: B-

Use: 1-Show It N Moe It; 2-Moonshine Memories; 9-Thirteen Squared

Forecast:  This is just a listed stakes but contains a two-time Grade-1 winner in Moonshine Memories, who makes her sophomore debut after finishing off-the-board as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last November at Del Mar.  She certainly can fire fresh – she won her debut very impressively last summer at Del Mar – and while her work tab doesn’t jump off the page she’s actually looked fit and ready for a barn that hits with a solid 21% with layoff runners.  Show It N Moe It was beaten at 40 cents on the dollar in the Evening Jewel Stakes last month but still earned a strong figure and was five clear of the rest in a very good effort.  The rail is no bargain but if she can work out a trip she should be right there.  Thirteen Squared turns back to a sprint, and while her record doesn’t show it she might be most effective around one turn.  Drawn nicely outside and exiting a series of graded stakes races, the Baffert-trained filly will have every chance to stalk and then pounce when called upon.


RACE 9: Post 4:50 PT.  Grade: B-

Use: 4-Don’t Blame Judy; 5-What’s Bruin; 12-Unchaining Melody

Forecast: What’s Bruin is improving with racing, and if she can duplicate her dirt form over the Hillside turf course she should be able to handle this field.  She doesn’t really have a grass pedigree but the lack of early zip in the field should give her every chance.  Unchaining Melody broke slowly in her local debut but then had a dream trip saving ground every step of the way when third over this course and distance in late March.  She has a right to improve for Sadler, especially if she breaks well from her outside post.  Don’t Blame Judy has recorded several good workout clockings at Los Alamitos and might be able to run some.  The barn rarely wins with debut runners but in the open fray we’ll use her on a ticket or two.



Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies for Saturday, May 12, 2018

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