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, March 1, 2018
RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 4-Turing Machine; 7-Unlucky Hillary; 9-Tell Me More
Forecast: Tell Me More is 8/5 on the morning line in this maiden claiming turf miler for older fillies and mares. She offers no value at that price when considering that she drew a poor outside post and already has failed as the favorite twice in her six race career. However, her form – four consecutive in-the-money finishes – is considerably better than what the others offer, so the Miller-trained daughter of Quality Road may win by default. Unlucky Hillary returns off a layoff and may be a better type this time around while Turing Machine stretches out, tries grass and continues to show a bit of ability in a.m. drills. They might be worth including in rolling exotic play if you choose to try to beat the favorite.
RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: X
Use: 1-Cognitive; 5-Emboldened
Forecast: This five-runner field of first-level allowance 3-year-old fillies contains two from the Baffert barn and they are sure to dominate the wagering. Cognitive won at first asking in good style, has trained very well since, and is the likely strong choice and one to beat. In a small field, her rail post shouldn’t be an issue. Emboldened lands the comfortable outside draw providing her with the opportunity to dictate the race. Though she was beaten as the favorite vs. similar last month, her speed figure was solid and not much more will be needed today. In a race that we’ll certainly pass, both can be included in rolling exotic play with the Cognitive the logical top choice.
RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 5-Fabrication; 6-Sharon’s Fury
Forecast: Here’s another short-field affair that probably is best left alone. Sharon’s Fury went backwards after a fairly promising debut performance, weakening late to wind up third as the favorite in a similar maiden claimer last month. His first outing – fourth vs. tougher with a good number – will make him hard to beat if repeated, but that’s what we thought last time. His outside draw is a plus, so there should be absolutely no excuses. Fabrication is very competitive based on figures but already has had seven chances. His last race – beaten a neck vs. similar – would be more than good enough to beat this field if duplicated. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics but not with any degree of confidence, and if you’d prefer to buy the race in rolling exotic play we wouldn’t talk you out of it.
RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT. Grade: X
Single: 8-Towards the Light
Forecast: Towards the Light has little to beat in this five furlong dash for bottom-rung maiden claimers and should be a short price to graduate. Though he was beaten as the favorite last time out (when facing tougher maiden $40,000 foes), the son of Munnings really didn’t run too badly and has consistently earned speed figures that are much better than what will be required to win today. At 8/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, the D’Amato-trained gelding look very much like a no-value rolling exotic single.
RACE 5: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Paddy Jean; 3-Zero Zee; 7-Candy Ruler
Forecast: This restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claiming sprint down the hill for older fillies and mares has several possibilities; we’ll go three-deep and hope that’s enough. Zero Zee, freshened since New Year’s Day, turning back to a sprint, surfacing for a tag for the first time, and switching to Prat, has plenty of angles that point to improvement and looks capable of producing the last run. She won her debuting sprinting on turf at Saratoga but has gone unplaced in eight races since, so she’s certainly not one to trust, but she may have found her friends in this league. Paddy Joan just broke her maiden over this course and distance with a useful speed figure and seems to have found her niche as a grass sprinter. On pure numbers she’s a fit, but had the misfortune of drawing the disadvantageous rail. Candy Ruler is another with the first-time-in-a-claimer angle, and from the cozy outside post projects to inherit the role as the controlling speed. She switches to Desormeaux, tries claimers for the first time, and has numbers that make her a major player. Of the three, she probably deserves a slight edge on top.
RACE 6: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B+
Forecast: Pica is a tough old race mare who loves Santa Anita and really wants to beat you. She’s won three of her last four, and although she’s stepping up a notch today the Truman-trained eight-year-old looks capable of maintaining her sharp form. Tough on the lead, from a stalking position, or from mid-pack if the situation dictates, the daughter of Consolidator is deserving of a straight play at near her morning line odds of 5/2 in addition to being used as a rolling exotic single as well.
RACE 7: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Big Day Tomorrow; 3-Moonlight Blue
Forecast: Big Day Tomorrow is listed at 9/2 on the morning line and offers some wagering value at that price in this $12,500 restricted (nw-2) claimer over a middle distance on the main track. He drops to his lowest level ever in his second start since joining the Heap barn and the son of Big Brown catches a favorable pace scenario that should allow him to duplicate his highly-rated maiden claiming victory last fall. Roman knows him well and stays aboard. Moonlight Blue can be considered as a back-up in rolling exotic play; the Gio Ponti gelding is faster than ‘Tomorrow on speed figures and has hit the board in four of five career starts over the local main track for his high percentage barn.
RACE 8: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Christmas Carol; 7-Bee Sweet
Forecast: Bee Sweet is a 10-race maiden but this will be her first start in a claimer, so we’re anticipating that she’ll take full advantage of the class relief. She’s solid on speed figures and shows a bullet five furlong workout over the training track last week to have her on edge for the hot Drysdale barn. Christmas Carol stretches out again to what probably is her preferred trip, retains Bejarano, and should draft into a comfortable second-flight trip. She doesn’t really have a “style” but looks like a major contender in below par field for the level. You can toss her in on a ticket or two.