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.
Thursday, May 24, 2018
RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Shanghai Fantasy; 5-Baby Frankie
Forecast: Not much will be needed to win today’s opener, a maiden claiming sprint for juveniles. Baby Frankie may not be a world beater but the son of Super Saver has trained well enough to warrant strong consideration for the Desormeaux brothers and warrants a very slight edge on top over the Keeneland shipper Shanghai Fantasy, who has the benefit of a prior run when fourth in a modest straight maiden sprint last month. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics in a race that we’ll not get too involved with.
RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Rocket Fuel; 5-True Valor
Forecast: True Valor is a first-off-the-claim play for Miyadi (superior stats with this angle) and really won’t have to improve much for his new connections to beat this field of $10,000 claiming sprinters. The son of Yes It’s True has three wins – all accomplished over the Santa Anita main track – and on pure numbers seems the solid choice. Rocket Fuel has seen better days and plummets to his lowest level ever. He should be quick enough to establish or at least press the pace, and if he has one good one left he’ll be very tough in this league. We’ll prefer True Valor on top but use both in our rolling exotics.
RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: C
Use: 3-Vegas Itch; 6-Chiksika
Forecast: There’s really nothing to trust in this bottom-rung maiden claiming main track miler, though on form Vegas Itch seems the logical top pick. The son of Twirling Candy has finished second in each of his last three starts with numbers that are simply better than these, but the low percentage barn gives reason of pause. Chiksika exits a low-rated race but makes his second start off a layoff for Walsh and seems likely to improve. His route numbers from last year chart well in this soft spot and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him on or near the lead throughout. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics but otherwise pass the race.
RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Smiling Angelo; 4-Fire to the Wire
Forecast: Smiling Angelo won at first asking in visually pleasing style and should be tough right back, though at 8/5 on the morning line the D’Amato-trained colt will offer little in the way of wagering value. Fire to the Wire has rising speed figures and a good stalking style; he’s exiting restricted claiming company but likes this track and has further improvement in him.
RACE 5: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 5-Ivy Mike; 6-Upo
Forecast: Upo shows up in a claimer for the first time and with a repeat of his race before last he’ll probably be a major player in this soft downhill turf sprint. With the switch to Prat, the Miller-trained gelding appears as good as any. Ivy Mike is a sneaky first-timer bred for grass on both sides of his pedigree. The works aren’t special but Hofmans’ maidens often run better than they work, so at 8-1 on the morning line the son of More Than Ready is a “must use.”
RACE 6: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 5-Wise Curlin; 6-Moonman
Forecast: Wise Curlin is in good form, though not particularly fast on speed figures. This restricted (Nw-2) $12,500 miler should be within his grasp, unless a horse like Moonman, who has been facing graded stakes marathon types, finds his friends with this severe drop in class. The Desormeaux-trained gelding certainly has back numbers that can win, so let’s try to get by using just these two.
RACE 7: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Little Scotty; 5-Sorry Erik; 8-Magic Mark
Forecast: Today’s feature is a competitive second-level allowance main track miler that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Sorry Erik looks intriguing; the Desormeaux-trained colt makes his second start off a layoff (a very strong angle for this barn) after finishing third without being knocked about over this track and distance last month. A winner of two races from four starts over the Santa Anita main track, the son of Wilburn packs a strong late kick and there should have enough pace in here to compliment his style. There’s value here at 6-1 on the morning line if you can get it. Little Scotty is two-for-two since being switched to the main track but is facing a considerably stiffer pace task today while shortening from 10 furlongs to eight. It’s hard to gauge how he’ll handle the pace flow but he’s a tough, sharp gelding and is worth including. Magic Mark launches a comeback and is dangerous if ready despite his outside draw. The veteran Benchmark gelding has a history of needing a race, though his works indicate fitness. We’ll toss him in on a ticket or two.
RACE 8: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 6-Pastorelli; 8-Silver Fury
Forecast: Older maiden claimers sprint down the Hill in a wide open grass grab bag. Let’s use two and hope that’s enough. Pastorelli is a first-timer with an average work tab but he has little to beat and hails from a clever outfit (though one not known for winning with first-timers). The workouts at San Luis Rey Downs aren’t bad and with Bejarano taking the call the son of Girolamo seems as good as any. Silver Fury, freshened since December, should be part of the pace throughout and gets a break in the weights with the switch to bug boy Espinoza. If he can shake loose early, he may get brave late.