Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies for Thursday, Feb. 1, 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.


Thursday, February 1, 2018


RACE 1: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B

Use: 2-Capes Hot Rocket; 8-Spokane Eagle

Forecast: Capes Hot Rocket drops to the bottom in his second race off a layoff for the red-hot Cerin barn and should have every chance to wire his weak rivals as the controlling speed.  The son of Heatseeker exits a fast, highly-rated race and retains Pedroza.  Spokane Eagle didn’t fire when well-backed vs. similar at Los Alamitos in December in what was his first start in 16 months and just his second career outing.  The Drysdale-trained gelding lands the cozy outside post, has trained well since raced, and probably deserves one more chance.


​​RACE 2: Post 1:30 PT. Grade:

Use: 1-Momma’s Baby Boy; 2-Surfside Sunset

Forecast: Momma’s Baby Boy, in the money in his last three starts and having little to beat in this five-runner main track mile affair for older maidens, is 8/5 on the morning line and could easily go lower.  The Hollendorfer-trained colt switches to Prat, has rising speed figures, and should be along in time.  Surfside Sunset, away for more than a year, is a fit on numbers if he returns as well as he left and goes for THE always-dangerous Hess-Desormeaux team.  These are the two main players in an otherwise lackluster affair.


​RACE 3: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B

Use: 2-Next Speaker; 5-Airfoil

Forecast:  Airfoil returns off short rest following a nice tally vs. $10,000 foes for new trainer Miller, who has excellent stats with the first-off-a-claim angle.  The veteran gelding always gives his best, retains Prat, and is the likely short priced favorite.  Next Speaker is a sharp Bay Area invader with 12 career wins and shouldn’t be bothered by the switch from synthetic to dirt.  In a race that really doesn’t have a whole lot of early speed, the Bonde-trained gelding projects to be prominent throughout and have every chance.


​​​RACE 4: Post: 2:30 PT. Grade: B+

Use:  7-My Man Chuckles; 8-Exotic Ghost

Forecast:  In what we’re taking as a sign of confidence, My Man Chuckles is moving up from $16,000 to $32,000 by new trainer Baltas (superior stats with the first-off-the-claim angle) in his first outing since November over a turf course he’s won on in the past.  With the presence of Prat in the saddle, the son of Into Mischief looks like a live item at 8-1 on the morning line, and in wide open grass grab bag he may offer good value both in the straight pool and in rolling exotic play.  Exotic Ghost shows up in a claimer for the first time and has the kind of early speed that makes him a threat in a field without much zip.  He, too, is a “must use” at 10-1 on the morning line.


​​RACE 5: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 5-Well Measured; 6-Rocket Heat

Forecast: Well Measured drops to his lowest level ever and should be capable of returning to winning form.  The Carava-trained gelding exits a hot race, gets a considerable break in the weights with the switch to bug boy Roman, and has several back speed figures over this track that are more than good enough to win.  Rocket Heat is another class dropper likely to improve in this league.  A $40,000 claim two runs back by Glatt, the veteran gelding is a real pro with a winning spirit and should be the quickest of the quick.  Let’s try to get by using just these two with Well Measured slightly preferred on top.


​​​RACE 6: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: B+

Single: 9-Road Test

Forecast: Road Test arguably ran the best race of her career – she earned a lifetime best speed figure – when third vs. similar two-turning on turf despite losing considerable ground throughout.  Today she shortens to an extended sprint and switches to dirt, so circumstances are different, but the daughter of Bellamy Road has won over this main track in the past and lands the cozy outside post, so we’re expecting her to fire a similar shot today.  In what appears to be weak field for the level, we’ll make her a straight play and rolling exotic single at or near her morning line of 4-1.

​​RACE 7: Post 4:00 PT.  Grade:  C+

Use: 5-Pantsonfire; 7-The Tulip; 9-Pistol Packin Rose

Forecast: We’ll try to get by using just three in this chaotic nine furlong turf affair but if you feel the need to go deeper, go right ahead.  Pantsonfire was overmatched in the American Oaks – she finished sixth, beaten five lengths – but isn’t today and a repeat of her race-before- last makes the Baltas-trained filly the one to beat.  She may be a tad pace dependent but with some help up front the deep-closing Irish-bred filly will be heard from late.  The same can be said for The Tulip, a one-paced grinding type making her second U.S. start after a fairly promising fourth place finish over a mile on this course last fall.  Her work tab seems a bit sketchy for her first outing since September but with only slight improvement she’ll be right there.  Pistol Packin Rose has hit the board in all three of career starts over the local lawn and could find herself as the controlling speed.  Given that kind of trip, the O’Neill-trained might get very brave.  We’ll give the edge on top to Pantsonfire but not with a great deal of conviction.

​​​​RACE 8: Post 4:30 PT.  Grade: X

Single: 6-Impecunious

Forecast:  In a below par maiden claiming sprint for sophomore state-bred fillies, Impecunious is 6/5 on the morning line after finishing an okay runner-up in a similar affair last month.  She has very little to beat and therefore likely will be heavy favorite by default.  We can use her as a no-value rolling exotic single, or simply pass the race.



Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies for Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018

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