Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies for Sunday, April 8, 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.


Sunday, April 8, 2018

​RACE 1: Post 11:30 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 4-Conquest Smartee; 6-Imagineimafastest; 9-Kopitar

Forecast: The opener is a maiden claiming Hillside turf affair that has several possibilities.  Conquest Smartee shows up in a seller for the first time and should greatly appreciate the softer company.  A repeat of his race before last most likely will be good enough.  Kopitar has been a money burner during his six race career and may lack a true winning punch, but the Shackleford gelding lands the cozy outside draw and should have every chance from an ideal pace-stalking position.  Imagineiamfastest, a first time gelding and switching to Prat, has rising speed figures, and with just two races under his belt may have more room to improve than most of the others.  Let’s use these three in rolling exotic play while giving a very slight edge on top to Conquest Smartee.


​​RACE 2: Post 12:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 4-Lucky Student; 6-Red Stich

Forecast:  Red Stich exits a tough race and rates a slight edge in a modest allowance optional claimer for state-bred fillies and mares.  Both of her wins have come over this main track, she’s a strong fit on speed figures, and should be draft into a good second flight, stalking position.  Lucky Student is worth using as well; the Pender-trained mare turns back from a route while remaining above her claim level, and her record over this main track – first or second in 11 of 16 career starts – is quite impressive.  Let’s use both in our rolling exotics while slightly preferring Red Stich on top.


​​RACE 3: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: C

Use: 2-Glorious Crown; 4-Borg

Forecast:  This bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint boils down to two main contenders.  Borg has trained well for his comeback but returns cheap, so we’ll assume he has problems.  The son of Candy Ride boasts numbers from last year that are more than good enough to win at this level.  Glorious Crown is suspiciously dropped from $50,000 to $20,000 in his first start off the claim for Jacobson.  He’s another who probably has issues, but at this level he’s dangerous.  In a race that might be best left alone, we’ll give Borg the edge on top.


​​​RACE 4: Post: 1:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use:  1-Super Patriot; 8-South Boot Shirley

Forecast: Super Patriot returns to her preferred surface, lands the good rail, and can beat this field with a repeat of her race before last or even the one before that.  From the rail, she should be forwardly placed while saving ground and have every chance.  She’s nine-race maiden but today should be her day.  South Boot Shirley is worth including on a ticket or two as well; the daughter of Southern Image, in the money in both of her starts, tries turf for the first time, switches to Desormeaux, and likely has further improvement in her.


​​RACE 5: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: X

Single: 3-Hoppertunity

Forecast:  Hoppertunity completely outclasses this field but is 2/5 on the morning line and obviously is unplayable at anywhere near that price.  First or second in nine of 15 career starts over this main track and an earner of $4.3 million during his career, the Baffert-trained veteran is unproven at this marathon distance but we suspect he’ll handle it just fine.  He’s a short-priced rolling exotic single.


​​​​RACE 6: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B+

Single: 6-Ax Man

Forecast:  Ax Man was very impressive breaking his maiden at first asking by more than nine lengths with a super speed figure, but then was so disappointing when stopping badly at 2/5 in the subsequent San Vicente Stakes.  Let’s hope we see the “good” version today and we suspect we will.  The Baffert-trained colt has the two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out angle while also removing blinkers, a dynamite combination.  At 5/2 on the morning line he’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.


​​​RACE 7: Post 2:30 PT.  Grade: B

Use: 1-Tina’s Exchange; 9-Oiseau de Guerre; 10-Skelton Pass

Forecast:  Maybe the light switch has finally gone on for Oiseau de Guerre.  The War Front gelding received the patient ride he desperately needs in his sharp maiden win over this course and distance in mid-February, has trained steadily since, and looks capable of scoring right back on the raise.  Blanc stays aboard and fits him perfectly.  Tina’s Exchange may have been a tad short when weakening in a similar affair on the main track last month but should be fitter and tougher today, especially with the switch to the Hillside course, where he’s finished second in both of his prior attempts.  The son of Exchange Rate projects to draft into an ideal pace-stalking position.  Skelton Pass usually is in the thick of things and seems likely to hit the board, at least.  He’ll have every chance to stalk and pounce from his comfortable outside draw.


​​​​​RACE 8: Post 3:00 PT.  Grade: C

Use: 8-Mesa Sky; 9-Atomic Action

Forecast: This $8,000 claiming sprint looks fairly chaotic, so tread lightly.  Mesa Sky, in the money in his last pair with competitive speed figures, switches to hot-riding Maragh and should be on or near the lead throughout.  Atomic Action has been away since last summer and clearly has problems, but he’s worked well of late and may fire a big shot fresh.  Let’s use both in our rolling exotics while otherwise not getting too involved


RACE 9: Post 3:30 PT.  Grade: C+

Use: 2-Little Bit Lovely; 5-Ok Doll

Forecast:  Let’s try to survive this downhill grass grab bag for fillies and mares while going just two-deep in our rolling exotics.  If you find the need to spread further, go right ahead.  Ok Doll returns from the Bay Area where she failed to be competitive in a series of route races, but today she shortens up, returns to turf, adds blinkers, and switches to Prat.  The Yakteen-trained daughter of First Samurai seems primed for a major breakthrough and offers considerable value at 6-1 on the morning line.  Worth noting is her lifetime record over this turf course: six starts, two wins, two seconds, and one third.  Little Bit Lovely, first off the claim for Hollendorfer, drops a notch and returns to the course and distance that produced a nice win two races back.  Always thoroughly genuine and consistent, the veteran daughter of Saint Anddan should be on or near the lead throughout.



Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies for Sunday, April 8, 2018

Jeff Siegel's Blog |

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>