Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies for Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017

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, December 31, 2017

​RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B+

Use: 7-Secreto Primero; 8-El Tovar

Forecast: Secreto Primero has never been the easiest of rides but when he has his mind on business the veteran gelding can be pretty salty at this level.  Second in his last pair and arguably best in both, the son of First Samurai remains above his claim level, switches to Stevens, and looks capable of producing the last run.  El Tovar exits a very hot race and wasn’t beaten too badly; this is clearly a softer spot and on pure numbers the Baltas-trained horse is a solid fit.  We’ll prefer Secreto Primero and will press with him on extra tickets in rolling exotic play.


​​RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 6-Matriculate; 8-Logan’s Moon

Forecast: Matriculate is dropping a notch in his first off the claim for O’Neill after being freshened for almost two months, so there’s a condition question with veteran gelding, but if he’s feeling good the son of Lucky Pulpit certainly will be tough at this level.  He’s been first or second in six of 10 career starts over the Santa Anita main track and should have every chance from slightly off the early pace.  Logan’s Moon is comfortably drawn outside and drops for the money run while adding blinkers for the first time and switching to Bejarano.  On numbers he’s a solid fit and looks the most dangerous of the closing types.  Both should be included in rolling exotic play.


​​RACE 3: Post 1:29 PT. Grade: B

Use: 4-Skelton Pass; 9-Brandothebartender

Forecast: Brandothebartender is a prototype late-running sprinter, though he can be effective up to a mile as well.  He’s been away for two months and shows up for a tag for the first time, but this is a realistic level and we suspect Heap has him primed for another major effort.  Skelton Pass is a course specialist from the Glatt stable and should be on or near the lead throughout.  We’ll try to get by using just these two with slight preference on top to Brandothebartender.

​​​RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT. Grade: B

Use: 2-Tiffany Diamond; 7-Dressed in Prada

Forecast: The Pick-6 begins with the fourth race, a bottom-rung maiden claiming affair for older fillies and mares at seven furlongs.  Big ticket players probably will find the need to spread the race but we’ll just use two and hope that’s enough.  Tiffany Diamond tackles her easier field yet and may have found her friends.  The Machowsky-trained daughter of Gemologist gets a break in the weights with the switch to bug boy Roman and also sports the route-to-sprint angle that we like so much.  In a soft affair, she seems the solid pick.  Dressed in Prada adds blinkers for the first time and also is returning to a sprint.  She ran well going short in her debut over this track last spring, and not much more will be needed here.


​​RACE 5: Post 2:31 PT. Grade: B

Use: 5-Make It a Triple; 7-Hank the Tank

Forecast:  Make It a Triple is genuine and consistent but is winless in six starts over the Santa Anita main track, though his overall form over the Arcadia strip isn’t bad at all.  He has improving numbers and retains Bejarano, so we’ll give him the edge on top while also using Hank the Tank in our rolling exotics.  The latter won a restricted $25,000 claimer at Del Mar in late August and hasn’t been out since, but the work tab is healthy and the In Summation gelding is a perfect one-for-one at Santa Anita.

​​​RACE 6: Post 3:01 PT. Grade: B+

Single: 7-Little Bit Lovely

Forecast: Little Bit Lovely always has been quite effective over this turf course, and is especially tough when she can control the race up front.  The pace of this race projects to be moderate, so we’re expecting the Kitchingman-trained mare will fire her best shot.  In an open fray, let’s take a stand and use her as a straight play and rolling exotic play at anywhere close to her morning line of 9/2.


​​​RACE 7: Post 3:32 PT.  Grade: B

Use: 3-Z Z Tiger; 6-Mo See Cal

Forecast: Z Z Tiger is clearly the quickest of the known element and will this take these maiden juvenile fillies as far as she can on the front end.  The first-timers don’t impress, so this daughter of Smiling Tiger should be hard to run down.   Mo See Cal was even money in her debut in a two-turn grass race at Del Mar and wound up fourth after a slow start.  We’ll assume she’s better than that and today she shortens up, switches to dirt, and removes blinkers.  Both should be used in your rolling exotics; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Z Z Tiger on top.


​​​​​RACE 8: Post 4:02 PT.  Grade: B-

Use: 1-Lewys Vaporizer; 3-Adens Dream; 4-Desert Law

Forecast:  This second level allowance sprint is a contentious event requiring a spread.  Desert Law seeks his third straight score and his speed figures indicate he’s more than capable of extending his win streak.  The Gaines-trained gelding isn’t a quick type but can produce a strong late kick and with some help up front should be difficult to contain late.  Lewys Vaporizer returns to his claim and win level in his first local start for Jacobson; the Illinois-bred gelding is a win machine (10-for-24 lifetime) and has the kind of early zip that should put him on the lead, rail and all.  Adens Dream, a Midwestern shipper making his first start for Miller, also is fast on figures with enough zip to make his presence felt every step of the way.  He’s should fire a big shot in his first outing since September.


​RACE 9: Post 4:32 PT.  Grade: B+

Use: 3-Retro; 9-One Fast Broad

Forecast: The featured Blue Norther Stakes is carded as the finale and should boil down to two main contenders.  Retro won her debut like a nice prospect at Del Mar and then produced a forward move when second in the Surfer Girl over this course and distance.  She has plenty of improvement in her and should be able to produce the last run.  One Fast Broad is tough sprinting or routing on dirt or turf.  Since finishing a strong fourth in the Surfer Girl, the daughter of Decarchy won a pair of dirt stakes vs. state-bred foes and today tackles open company again while returning to the lawn.  However, Retro may have a tad more upside so we’ll press with her on top.



Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies for Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017

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