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.
Sunday, January 7, 2018
RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Jungle Warfare; 5-Eskimo Roses; 9-Impetu
Forecast: Impetu is an intriguing first-timer from the Mike McCarthy barn with a fast recent gate work (46 2/5 seconds Dec. 23) to indicate he’s pretty quick. The son of Data Link is bred on both sides for grass, lands Prat, and looks like a live newcomer in a race where the known element doesn’t appear overwhelming. Let’s put him on top at 6-1 on the morning line. Eskimo Roses has the always-dangerous blinkers off/route-to-sprint angle and actually ran well when second over this course and distance two runs back. Jungle Warfare has hit the board in all six prior starts but seems to lack a winning punch. This return to a sprint could help. All three should be included in your rolling exotics; we’ll press with Impetu on extra tickets.
RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Tony Blackjack; 3-Hardcore Troubadour; 7-Swiss Minister
Forecast: This race is loaded with speed – Hardcore Troubadour looks like the quickest of the quick – and could set up nicely for a stalker/closer type. Tony Blackjack fits the bill; the comebacker from the D’Amato barn has a series of solid works that should have him fit and ready and back numbers that put him the hunt. He could easily be a better type this time around. ‘Troubadour earned a giant figure when destroying a state-bred maiden field in his first try with blinkers in November and has trained nicely since, including a bullet six furlong drill at Del Mar late last month. If he can shake loose early without undue pressure he’ll probably take this field all the way. Swiss Minister loves the Santa Anita main track – he’s five for eight here – and at 6-1 on the morning line is worth tossing in somewhere on a ticket or two.
RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: C
Use: 1-Distinctive B; 4-Marriedtothemusic; 7-Boy Howdy
Forecast: Distinctive B has been vulnerable in the final furlong in all of his recent races – he failed at 30 cents on the dollar at Fresno when last seen in October – but following a three month vacation and dropping to a realistic spot, the Miller-trained veteran may have found his friends. He’s run well over the Santa Anita main track in the past, gets a break in the weights with the switch to bug boy Roman, and will be a strong pace presence if he leaves cleanly from the rail. New York invader Marriedtothemusic has a similar front-running style as Distinctive B and it’s not hard to envision a speed duel developing that might cancel both out. Under that scenario, Boy Howdy, a two-time winner over the Arcadia main track, might be able to produce the last run. We’ll use all three in rolling exotic play but in a difficult affair we’ll otherwise not get involved in.
RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Moonless Sky; 9-Cordiality; 10-Sweet Charity
Forecast: This is a grass grab bag for second-level allowance fillies and mares over a mile. Nothing would surprise us. Sweet Charity is winless in the U.S. but all four of her local outings since being imported from France have been solid and have earned speed figures that are good enough to win at this level. Away since April but sporting a healthy work tab to indicate fitness, the Sadler-trained mare could be capable of producing the last run with decent fractions to set things up. Cordiality, thoroughly genuine and consistent, dropped a head decision to Moonless Sky when they last met in early November but benefits from a six pound shift in the weights today and offers value at 6-1 on the morning line. ‘Sky has won four of five lifetime outings over the Santa Anita lawn and should find a way to be in the thick of it again. We’ll try to get by using only these three but if you can afford to go deeper, go right ahead.
RACE 5: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 5-Clickjab; 6-Run Like Rhett
Forecast: Run Like Rhett may be a bit better than he looks on paper and in this restricted (nw-2) $12,500 claimer the Heap-trained gelding appears well-spotted to regain his best form. His lone win came over this main track with a very strong speed figure last June, and then, after a series of races on turf, he most recently finished a somewhat troubled fourth in a much stronger starter’s allowance race at Los Alamitos last month. Anything close to his best race against this group should be more than good enough. Clickjab, second off a long layoff for Puype, has a right to produce a forward move while stretching out to his preferred trip. Let’s double the race in our rolling exotics while preferring Run Like Rhett on top.
RACE 6: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 5-Lewys Vaporizer; 10-Airfoil
Forecast: Lewys Vaporizer nosedives in class and obviously has his issues, but if the Jacobson-trained gelding has one good one left he’ll beat this field. Desormeaux stays aboard and should have this old pro on the lead from the bell. Airfoil, in the money in 18 of 24 career starts over the Santa Anita main track, just won for these connections at Los Alamitos and projects to be in the battle again, though on pure numbers he’s not nearly as fast as ‘Vaporizer. Let’s use both in rolling exotic play and then press with ‘Vaporizer on top.
RACE 7: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 9-An Unusual Group; 11-Del Mar Ann
Forecast: Anything goes in these downhill slalom events, we’ll double the race and keep our fingers crossed. An Unusual Group seems as good as any; the consistent veteran mare has won 11 of 29 races during her career but is only 1-for-9 at Santa Anita, having had most of her success in the Bay Area, where she recently captured a mile event vs. slightly softer foes. She’ll be running on late and with good racing luck can tag the speed. Del Mar Ann his performed well over this course and distance vs. similar in the past and is a solid contender off her best race. Clearly this type of race calls for a spread, so best advice is to use as many as you can afford to.
RACE 8: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 5-War Heroine; 7-Win the War; 8-Midnight Bisou
Forecast: This appears to be an unusually strong edition of the Santa Ynez Stakes. Canadian invader Win the War is undefeated in two starts, including an 11-length romp in the Glorious Song Stakes at Woodbine in November while earning a superb 93 Beyer speed figure. The number, if repeated, should be more than good enough to beat this field. War Heroine destroyed a maiden field by nearly seven lengths in her debut at Del Mar in mid-November, though her speed figure (78) will need significant improvement. Midnight Bisou is still a maiden but both of her starts – including a nose defeat to the talented Dream Tree in the Desi Arnaz Stakes at Del Mar – stamps her as a filly of quality. The daughter of Midnight Lute has the ideal style for this extended sprint trip and should be heard from late.
RACE 9: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: C
Use: 3-Sturdy One; 8-Dissension; 9-Liar’s Smoker; 10-Red Livy
Forecast: The finale is another downhill turf sprint, this one for older $25,000 claiming fillies and mares. It’s completely chaotic with plenty of possibilities. Red Livy is something of a course specialist (two wins in five starts) and is realistically spotted in her first outing since facing tougher foes at Del Mar in November. She may be the quickest of the quick and could get brave if she can establish a clear lead. Study One has races that are good enough and, like Red Livy, is dropping to her proper level. Liar’s Smoker, away since August, has worked well for Hollendorfer in recent weeks and should be fit and ready for a good effort. Primarily a router, the daughter of Lewis Michael projects to have an impact from off the pace. Dissension, an eight-year-old mare with 11 career wins (two at Santa Anita), returns to turf, switches to Desormeaux, and is another that can turn it on in the final furlong. These are our preferred top four in a low-confidence affair.