Jeff Siegel’s Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies
Friday, April 23, 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: C+
Use: 1-Arctic Roll; 2-Clearly Gone; 7-Kittyhawk Lass
Forecast: The Friday opener is a grass grab bag for older fillies and mares over a mile on grass. Use as many as you can afford to. Clearly Gone, first following the claim for T. Yakteen, has hit the board in five of her last six starts and can be expected to fire another good shot over a turf course that she has won on in the past. The veteran mare gets a massive break in the weights with the switch to bug boy A. Centeno and projects to be enjoy a ground-saving, forwardly placed trip from her comfortable two-hole post. Kittyhawk Lass, away for three months but with a healthy recent series of works, will need to drop over from her outside draw and get some cover but if she can negotiate a decent journey the H. Palma-trained mare will be heard from late. Arctic Roll once was good enough to win at this level but her two outings off a long layoff have been lethargic for a low profile outfit and she may have seen better days. Guaranteed a good ground-saving trip from the rail and dropping to a realistic level, the English-bred mare will have a chance to show that she still can be competitive in the mid-grade claiming ranks.
RACE 2: Post: 1:37 PT Grade: X
Use: 1-Thrive; 3-Scary Fast Smile
Forecast: This maiden special weight sprint boils down to two short price main contenders. Scary Fast Smile has hit the board in all five career starts but has a history of losing his punch under pressure when it matters the most. This is a field he appears capable of beating. A couple of recent sharp workouts indicate the M. Glatt-trained gelding is doing quite well and based on his projected trip the son of Smiling Tiger will likely enjoy an ideal -pace stalking journey and then have every chance from the quarter pole home. Thrive made what appeared to be an easy lead in a similar spot last month but had little to give when put to pressure in the final furlong and wound up third at 70 cents on the dollar. He will probably clear again today but then will have to deal with Scary Fast Smile when straightened for home. If he can shake loose early, he may get brave in what is just his third career start. In a race that we will otherwise pass, both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Scary Fast Smile.
RACE 3: Post: 2:09 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Big Stretch; 5-Another Eddie; 6-Starship Defiant
Forecast: Another Eddie looked decent breaking her maiden over this course in mid-February and based on her recent workouts should be ready to produce a forward move and be highly competitive once again. The daughter of Square Eddie has a good stalking style and will enjoy this extended sprint distance. Starship Defiant was a clever debut winner vs. state-bred maidens on the main track last month while earning a speed figure that makes her tough right back despite the raise in class, the extra furlong, and the switch to grass. She has had two easy breezes in the interim and may be the quickest in the field once again. Big Stretch has the route-to-sprint angle that we like and will be running on late. She has numbers that are par for this level and with some help up front will be dangerous with a clean trip from behind.
RACE 4: Post: 2:42 PT Grade: X
Use: 2-Reedley; 3-Black Storm
Forecast: Reedley and Black Storm just finished one-two in a $10,000 highly-rated sprint here earlier this month and meet again on the one-level raise while appearing to be the two main players in the six-runner affair. Reedley was the quicker of the two and never looked back while earning a career-top speed figure in that six furlong dash and today shortens to five and one-half furlongs, so he will likely to be tough catch once again. Black Storm gets a two pound shift in the weights in his favor for whatever that is worth and will have dead aim and every chance from the top of the lane home. We will sit out the race but include both in our rolling exotics.
RACE 5: Post: 3:14 PT Grade: B+
Forecast: Constitutionaffair earned a career top speed figure over this course and distance last month for new connections with a convincing victory in a similar starter’s allowance turf miler and seems well-spotted for a repeat victory. Effective as the controlling speed or from a soft stalking position, the M. Glatt-trained gelding should find himself ideally placed in a race that seems likely to be run at a modest early pace. With A. Cedillo staying aboard and with three nice recent workouts to tick him over, the M. Glatt-trained son of Constitution seems logical as a win play and rolling exotic single.
RACE 6: Post: 3:45 PT Grade: C+
Use: 2-Lucky Long Legs; 5-Our Bonnie Lass
Forecast: Lucky Long Legs was beaten as the 8/5 favorite when runner-up under similar conditions last month but has trained decently since and may be able to improve enough to win today. She is likely to draft in behind the pacesetters than have her chance to wear them down in the final stages. Our Bonnie Lass had nothing behind her when beating maiden $20,000 foes by more than six lengths last time out but is lightly-raced with further improvement possible and projects to be or near the lead throughout. We will try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play while preferring Lucky Long Legs slightly on top.
RACE 7: Post: 4:16 PT Grade: B-
Use: 5-Fratelli; 7-First Prez; 9-Perfectionist; 11-Tom’s Surprise
Forecast: Here is a contentious grass sprint for Cal-bred entry-level allowance runners. Fratelli improved a ton in his start following a P. Miller claim (most of them do) and today will try to duplicate that sharp main track state-bred score against a similar field on grass. His one prior turf outing was poor, but the Munnings gelding is clearly better now than then so with F. Prat staying aboard he can win again if he can handle the lawn. Perfectionist won at first asking in an abbreviated turf sprint here last fall but then disappeared. The son of Vronsky returns in a logical spot for a barn that boasts strong stats with layoff runners, and the recent work tab at Los Alamitos should have him fit enough. Look for this P. D’Amato-trained colt to be heard from in the final furlong. Tom’s Surprise is bred to improve a bunch on grass on both sides of his pedigree and gets his first chance on the sod. He is an improving Bay Area invader with numbers that fit. First Prez, arguably most effective as a late-running turf sprinter, broke thru the gate prior to the start vs. similar last month and did well to finish fourth under the circumstances. He is trained well since, has the proper style for this six and one-half furlong trip, retains A. Cedillo, and is worth including somewhere at 10-1 on the morning line.
RACE 8: Post: 4:47 PT Grade: X
Single: 8-Fi Fi Pharoah
Forecast: We are convinced that whatever Fi Fi Pharoah does on the main track she will do even better on grass, and hopefully sooner than later she will get the chance to show it but in the meantime the W. Solis-trained 3-year-old is being kept on the main track. After finishing an excellent runner-up in the Evening Jewel Stakes in just her second career start the daughter of American Pharoah returns to the maiden ranks to secure her diploma. She is drawn comfortably outside, adds blinkers, retains M. Smith, and is a logical rolling exotic single at 8/5 on the morning line.
RACE 9: Post: 5:19 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Hyland Haven; 3-Golden Journey; 6-Agata
Forecast: Agata has some form earlier this meeting when facing straight maiden competition that charts well in this maiden $50,000 turf miler, and a recent sharp workout combined with the switch to the barn’s “go-to” rider A. Cedillo indicates this daughter of Gervinho is extremely live and well-meant at 8-1 on the morning line. We like her on top and will use her in the win pool but will also include in our rolling exotics Golden Journey and Hyland Haven. The former switches to F. Prat and will be dangerous if gate-to-wire tactics are employed, while the latter shows up in a seller for the first time – always a dangerous angle for the P. D’Amato barn – and has several back numbers that make her a major player in this league.