Jeff Siegel’s Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies
Friday, March 5, 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 – accompanied by a link to Siegel’s full-card Santa Anita Workout Report – 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: 12:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Raneem; 6-Miss Lady Ann
Forecast: Raneem makes her third start in a current form cycle that produced a forward move in her most recent outing and two solid workouts in the interim. In the frame in five of six career starts over the Santa Anita main track, the B. Baffert-trained mare catches a field without much early speed and should be capable of assuming the role as the controlling speed. Miss Lady Ann, comfortably drawn outside for her first start in 11 months, has speed figures that make her the one to fear most and a work tab hopefully will have her fit enough for new trainer D. Pederson. The barn’s “go to” rider T. Pereira takes the call and should have her in a good stalking position with every chance to wear down the projected leader late. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with a slight preference on top to Raneem.
RACE 2: Post: 1:03 PT Grade: C
Use: 1-Best of Show; 3-Lulu D’ Oro; 4-Big Al’s Princess
Forecast: Big Al’s Princess flashed good early speed before weakening late to wind up fourth in her debut in late January, and in a race that projects to be slowly run early she may be able to grab control early and never look back. With a significant break in the weights and the switch to bug girl J. Pyfer, the V. Garcia-trained filly shows two solid workouts since raced and seems the logical top pick in a modest race in which two trainers will saddle four of the six entrants. The “other” Garcia entrant, Lulu D’ Oro, was far back in her debut but has worked well since in blinkers, and with the addition of the hood today the daughter of Mshawish could move forward considerably. Best of Show is a first-off-the-claim play for S. Miyadi (strong stats with this angle), and after finishing third in both of her career outings the daughter of Honor Code may be set to improve enough to win this modest maiden $30,000 claimer for sophomore fillies. Her lack of early speed combined with her rail post position makes her difficult to trust, but with good racing luck she should be heard from in the final furlong.
RACE 3: Post: 1:35 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Star Sailor; 7-Fenway; 8-Harbored Memories
Forecast: Here’s a fairly competitive main track maiden miler for 3-year-olds requiring a spread in rolling exotic play. Fenway flopped badly in his debut at even money but then performed much better in his most recent outing, winding up second to stable mate Hozier after assuming the role as the controlling speed. That said, it was disappointing that he could not take full advantage of an opportunity that was handed to him on a silver platter, and with speed drawn inside today (most notably, his B. Baffert-trained sprinter-stretching-out barn mate Hudson Ridge), the son of Into Mischief may be asked to do his running from a stalking or second flight position. Based on his recent (superior, as usual) workouts, he should be adaptable to rating tactics. Today we may find out if he’s going to amount to anything. Harbored Memories shows the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern with rising speed figures after exiting a pair of monster races that were won by a pair of top prospects (Rock Your World, Dream Shake). Both of whom are in the conversation among spring classic contenders. The M. Puype-trained colt, runner-up in both of his prior starts, is strong on numbers and has a pedigree that should allow continued improvement as the distances increase. The son of Harbor the Gold makes a major jockey switch to F. Prat and projects to settle outside in the second flight and then have his chance to accelerate when called upon. Star Sailor, a beaten choice vs. similar last time out when winding up third, didn’t get the best of runs and seems capable of better, especially as a first-timer blinker user. This will be his fifth start and if repeated his best race – his runner-up effort two races back behind Roman Centurian with next-out winner Du Jour behind him – will put him right there.
RACE 4: Post: 2:08 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-City Rage; 3-Quick Finish; 4-One Flew South
Forecast: This extended turf sprint for starter allowance older horses projects as a slowly run affair with very little early speed signed on. City Rage has never been a front-running type but may find himself on the lead by default. In his second start off a layoff and reunited with “win rider” F. Prat, the son of City Zip shows consistent recent speed figures that are good enough to win at this level and an excellent record (two wins, two seconds) over the local lawn. Runner-up under similar conditions last time out while well clear of the rest, the M. Glatt-trained gelding seems the solid pick. One Flew South easily handled a much softer restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claimer over the Santa Anita turf course in late January in a performance that earned a career top speed figure. Claimed by a low profile outfit, the son of Giant’s Causeway is protected today in a sign of confidence, switches to U. Rispoli, and will be dangerous on the class hike if he can turn in two alike. Quick Finish was below form when a lackluster fourth in the same race City Rage exits but the veteran Vronsky gelding has several races on his recent resume that put him in the fray. The main issue is his apparent lack of winning punch; overall he shows just two wins from 19 starts to go along with a combined 10 seconds/thirds.
RACE 5: Post: 2:40 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Complete Control; 6-Supersonic Flyer; 7-Half Hoping
Forecast: Complete Control stretches out, removes blinkers, lands the good rail and gets a huge break in the weights with the switch to bug boy D. Centeno in this maiden $50,000 seller for state-bred sophomore fillies. Though beaten at 7/5 when facing a similar group sprinting last time out in mid-January, the daughter of Empire Way shows a healthy work tab at San Luis Rey Downs since raced and may find herself loose-on-the-lead if her connections commit to that strategy. Half Hoping has the prerequisite two sprints under her belt leading into her first try around two turns and speed figures that make her the one to fear most. If she can get over from her outside draw and gain a favorable stalking position, the M. Puype-trained filly should have every opportunity to track the pacesetter and then go on by when the pressure is turned on at the head of the lane. We’ll also toss in the class dropping Vronsky filly Supersonic Flyer for a barn that has good stats with second-time starters. Never a factor sprinting in her debut against a much stronger maiden special weight field after taking a bad step midway on the far turn, she stayed on reasonable well thereafter and against this group seems likely to be the most dangerous of the closing types.
RACE 6: Post: 3:12 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Fursace; 7-My Tigress
Forecast: My Tigress, a solid runner-up in a highly-rated and productive maiden $50,000 extended sprint for older state-bred fillies and mares at Los Alamitos in December, earned a very strong speed figure in the process and won’t need to improve at all to handle this assignment. The switch to F. Prat is significant, the barn is solid with second-time starters, and the recent work tab at San Luis Rey Downs should have her plenty fit and ready. Fursace chased winners in her debut and didn’t run badly consideration the competition, staying within range until mid-stretch before understandably weakening. The B. Koriner-trained filly is realistically spotted today, so with a race under her belt the daughter of Smiling Tiger seems sure to improve. We’ll prefer My Tigress on top but include both in our rolling exotics.
RACE 7: Post: 3:45 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-Kristi’s Tiger; 4-Sing in the Wind
Forecast: Kristi’s Tiger seems as good as any in this state-bred first-level allowance/optional claimer for fillies and mares, though her failure as the 7/5 favorite in her last two starts when facing similar company certainly is a cause for concern. In her last start, the R. Bell-trained filly enjoyed an ideal stalking trip outside but then failed to deliver when put to pressure and wound up what’d we describe as a “weak” runner-up in a modestly-rated affair. It was her first off a layoff, so perhaps she needed the race; today she’ll have no such excuse. Sing in the Wind returned off a nearly three month vacation to register a game win at Golden Gate Fields in mid-January while earning speed figure over the all-weather surface that makes her a major player right back. Her dirt track record – one third place finish from three career starts – is inconclusive, but with 18 in-the-money finishes from 23 career starts the veteran mare always has been genuine and consistent. The concern is her lack of tactical speed, so she’ll need some help up front to have her best chance. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics but not with a great deal of confidence, so if you find the need to spread deeper, go right ahead.
RACE 8: Post: 4:16 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Full of Luck; 3-Marcki’s Water; 4-Noble Thought
Forecast: Ex-classer Full of Luck shook off some rust when given a race sprinting on grass two weeks ago in his first outing since last June, and with that tightener behind him the Chilean-bred gelding appears ready to stretch out and do some damage in this $25,000 claiming grass miler for older horses. A 10-time winner and a former Grade-1 performer in South America, the son of Lookin At Lucky can take full advantage of his good inside draw in a race that should allow him to be the controlling speed if such a strategy is employed. Noble Thought prefers to settle and produce a late run but never got involved in his California debut when a non-threatening sixth in a much tougher starter’s ($40,000) allowance turf affair in late January. The R. Falcone, Jr.-trained gelding had won his previous two outings in New York in good style, so if he can return to that level today the son of Harlan’s Holiday will be a major threat. Marckie’s Water, claimed for $40,000 two runs back, shows up well below that price today and certainly projects as a major contender in this league, though his lack of tactical speed alays has made him pace dependent. Winless since the fall of 2018, the son of Tribal Rule will remove blinkers while retaining A. Cedillo and may be heard from late if there’s still some gas left in the tank. A nice recent workout since raced is encouraging.