Jeff Siegel’s Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies
Friday, March 26, 2021
Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.
The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.
Grade Descriptions: Grade A=Highest degree of confidence; Grade B=Solid Play. Grade C=Least preferred or pass; Grade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play.
RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: X
Single: 5-Beyond Brilliant
Forecast: Beyond Brilliant finished eagerly to be second in a promising racing debut in a better-than-par race for the level last month and seems sure to move forward off that race in this extended sprint for maiden-special-weight 3-year-olds (see Black Book segment). Drawn comfortably outside and guaranteed an easy, in-the-clear trip, the son of Twirling Candy has little to beat in this five runner affair and is listed as the 2/5 morning line favorite. The J. Sadler-trained colt is unplayable at that price but we can use him a no-value rolling exotic single while otherwise passing the race.
RACE 2: Post: 1:35 PT Grade: X
Single: 2-Starship Defiant
Forecast: With the late scratching of Fursace, this race has been reduced to four runners. Starship Defiant has flashed some ability in the a.m. leading up to her debut and while the barn doesn’t win often with first-timers this daughter of Empire Way gets the stable’s “go-to” rider J. J. Hernandez and really won’t have to be any type of world beater to outrun her three rivals. In a race that probably is best left alone, we’ll make her a rolling exotic single.
RACE 3: Post: 2:08 PT Grade: C+
Use: 6-Amiko Chew; 7-Acoustic Shadow; 9-Unbreakable
Forecast: The third race is a messy maiden claiming turf miler for older fillies and mares with nothing to trust, so we suggest you tread lightly. Unbreakable may be as good as any, especially considering her monumental jockey switch to red-hot F. Prat. Third when beaten less than a length in a similar event last month, the daughter of Broken Vow is a one-paced grinder and must secure a decent trip from her outside draw, but after earning a career top speed figure in her last start the M. Puype-trained four-year-old may be ready to earn her diploma. Amiko Chow finished a nose in front of Unbreakable in their common race Feb. 19 and should be in the fray one again. Acoustic Shadow, first off the claim for P. D’Amato, has been disappointing in a pair of recent works since making the barn switch but based strictly on form she’s right there with the other two.
RACE 4: Post: 2:44 PT Grade: B
Single: 3-Justin’s Quest
Forecast: You can spread this race or take a stand; we’ll try the latter option while hoping that Justin’s Quest, never really one to trust but making his first start off the $35,000 T. Yakteen claim, shows up with his best effort;. Always willing in the a.m. and continuing to look sharp in recent workouts, the son of Justin Phillip is reunited with “win rider” F. Prat, returns to dirt – arguably his preferred surface – and projects to enjoy a comfortable second flight position in a race with plenty of speed to set things up for a closer. The drop from $35,000 to $20,000 is an aggressive move designed for an immediate return on investment with the concession that if someone wants him, the can have him.
RACE 5: Post: 3:15 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Astronaut; 6-On Easy Street
Forecast: We’ll double the sixth race, a nine furlong maiden grass affair for older horses. Astronaut has speed figures that fit, a good inside draw, and switches to F. Prat, so he can be expected to produce a career top performance in a race lacking in depth. A good series of workouts since raced indicates the lightly-raced son of Quality Road is headed in the right direction. On Easy Street is an eight-race maiden and perhaps not one to trust, but a sharp runner-up effort vs. similar over this course and distance two runs back charts nicely in this spot, so if the P. Gallagher-trained son of Street Boss can run back to that race today he’ll be right there.
RACE 6: Post: 3:45 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Bezos; 6-There Goes Harvard
Forecast: Bezos flopped badly at 3/5 in his debut but gets a chance for a do-over today while stretching out, getting the rail, and facing a field that ensures he’ll be the controlling speed. It’s hardly too late for this son of Empire Maker to fulfil his promise but if he’s going to develop into a good colt this is the type of race he should be able to win. There Goes Harvard is a progressive type adding blinkers for the first time in his third career outing and looked quite good in recent morning trials with the hood on. The M. McCarthy-trained is easily the most dangerous of the closers, and if our top pick fails to see out the trip this son of Will Take Charge will be heard from in the final furlong.
RACE 7: Post: 4:15 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Shes’a Perfectlady; 4-Translate
Forecast: Shes’a Perfectlady is a progressive daughter of Carpe Vinum fresh from a confidence-building maiden claiming win sprinting over the local lawn that produced a career-top speed figure. She’ll need another significant forward move to upset the 4/5 morning line favorite Translate but could have it in her after impressing in a pair of sharp recent training track workouts. The J. Sadler-trained filly retains F. Prat and projects to enjoy an ideal, second-flight, ground-saving trip that should have her within striking distance at the head of the lane. Translate is strong in the speed figure department, shows two excellent races over the Santa Anita turf course, and seems likely to draft into a pace-stalking trip and then have every chance to exert her superiority when the pressure is turned on. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics with the better-priced Shes’a Perfectlady getting the slight edge on top.
RACE 8: Post: 4:45 PT Grade: C+
Use: 5-Medsa’s Gaze; 6-Agata
Forecast: Agata shows up in a maiden claimer for the first time and this drop in class should make the winning difference for this state-bred daughter of Gervinho. We like the route-to-sprint angle – especially at this seven furlong distance – but do have some concerns that in her fourth career outing this will be the first start on dirt for a filly bred strictly for grass. For protection, we’ll also toss in Medusa’s Graze, third in a similar affair earlier this month and with speed figures that have risen in each of her four starts to date.