Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies for Thursday, May 17, 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, May 17, 2018

RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B

Use: 3-Brave Helios; 6-Drizzy

Forecast:  The new week begins with a downhill turf sprint for first-level allowance state-bred 3-year-olds.  Brave Helios won a nice two-turn maiden turf race at Golden Gate Fields last September but hasn’t been out since due to series of minor ailments that includes illness and sore shins.  The son of Artie Schiller returns with a few quick training track drills, lands Prat, and may be capable of producing the last run in a field that should have enough pace in it to compliment his style (full discloser, this handicapper is part owner of Brave Helios).  Drizzy, like Brave Helios from the Machowsky barn, is bred for turf (English Channel) and adds blinkers, so improvement following a disappointing seasonal bow is is likely.  These are the two we’ll prefer in rolling exotic play.


​​RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 2-Empress of Love; 5-Mischievous Song

Forecast:  Empress of Love takes a nosedive in class to the $20,000 claiming level and this 3-year-old daughter of Empire Way beats this field with a repeat of her race-before-last, a dominating win in a starter’s allowance event over a good track.  The class drop probably is warranted and both of her career wins have come over the Santa Anita main track.  Mischievous Song might be worth using on a ticket or two; the Miller-trained filly broke her maiden for $30,000 two races back and then was an okay third in a starter’s $30,000 sprint last month.  She’s not as fast on pure numbers as Empress of Love but can win if the top pick fails to fire.


​​RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: B

Use: 2-Settle It; 8-Six Pack Gal

Forecast:  Six Pack Gal has trained like a decent sort of filly for Machowsky and looks plenty fit for a big effort first crack out of the box.  She’s from the first crop of Boisterous, who was a turf router, but this homebred filly acts like she has a bit of speed.  Settle It has the benefit of a prior run – a runner-up effort in a moderate race just 12 days ago – and certainly has a right to produce a forward move, the short rest notwithstanding.  Preference on top goes to Six Pack Gal but both should be included in rolling exotic play.


​​​RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT. Grade: C

Use:  1-Princess Leia; 4-Dizzy Diva

Forecast:  Dizzy Diva doesn’t have a whole lot to beat in this restricted (Nw-2) $12,500 router for fillies and mares and is the logical top pick based on her consistency and rising speed figures.  She has a good stalking style and Talamo knows her well.  Princess Leia is a Bay Area invader now in the Becerra barn and should fit at this level; she does have a prior win over the Santa Anita main track but it was accomplished over a sloppy surface.  She gets a break in the weights with the switch to bug boy Espinoza and should enjoy a ground-saving, pace-stalking strip.  In a race that offers little-to-no wagering value, we’ll use both in rolling exotic play but otherwise sit it out.


​​RACE 5: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B+

Use: 2-Axelrod; 5-Graycaster; 6-Calexman

Forecast:  In a fairly contentious downhill turf sprint for 3-year-olds, we’ll spread going three-deep in our rolling exotics while preferring Calexman on top.  Perfect (1-for-1) on turf and turning back from a series of two-turn races (like this angle), the Cerin-trained colt projects to be a strong pace factor throughout and has speed figures that are more than good enough to win.  In his last two starts, the son of Midshipman has faced Justify and Axe Man; there’s nothing remotely as tough in here.  Graycaster offers a bit of value at 8-1 on the morning line; the son of Graydar will be tying turf for the first time buty if he can transfer his dirt form to grass he’ll be competitive.  Axelrod missed by a head over this course and distance in a similar affair last month but is slower on speed figures than the other two.  He’s worth using on a ticket or two as a back-up.


​​​​RACE 6: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B+

Use: 4-Now Blessed; 7-Tandalicious

Forecast:  Tandalicious has done some excellent work in the morning for D’Amato and appears to be a very live first-timer in an unclassified field of older maiden fillies and mares.  Now Bless, a good second in a similar spot last month when five lengths clear of the rest, is the likely choice and one to beat.  Both should be used in rolling exotic play; we’ll have extra tickets keying Tandalicious on top.


​​​RACE 7: Post 3:30 PT.  Grade: B-

Use: 6-Revenue Virginius; 8-Tangled Up in Ju

Forecast:  Tangled Up in Ju handled a $16,000 (Nw-3) field in strong style last month and tackles tougher in this $20,000 open seller for fillies and mares in her first off the claim for Blacker.  First or second in six of 10 career starts over the Santa Anita main track, the daughter of Lucky Pulpit seems the solid top pick right back.  Revenue Virginius returns to the main track and shortens to a sprint, so the Hollendorfer-trained mare could easily return to winning form.  She’s always been partial to the Santa Anita main track and should be running on late with the switch to Bejarano.  Both should be used in your rolling exotics; we’ll give Tangled Up in Ju a slight edge on top.


​​​​​RACE 8: Post 4:00 PT.  Grade: B-

Use: 2-Navajo Dreamer; 7-Gia Lula

Forecast:  The finale is a maiden claiming turf sprint for fillies and mares.  We’ll go two-deep, but if you find the need to spread, go right ahead.  Navajo Dreamer has the blinkers off angle we always like and is gradually improving for Batas.  Prat stays aboard, and the Irish-bred filly should draft into a comfortable pace-stalking position.  Gia Lula is fresh from a solid runner-up try vs. softer over this course and distance and not much more will be needed to win here based strictly on numbers.


Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies for Thursday, May 17, 2018

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