Jeff Siegel’s Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies
Friday, March 19, 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: B
Use: 5-Cargo; 6-Whiskey Talk
Forecast: Cargo is the logical odds-on favorite in this state-bred maiden turf miler following a promising sprint debut last month that featured a good runner-up effort that earned a decent speed figure. The P. D’Amato barn has a powerful stat line with the second-time starter angle (20% with a huge ROI), and with a healthy series of workouts since raced the son of Point of Entry seems almost certain to produce a forward move. Also worth including on a ticket or two is the long shot Whiskey Talk (12-1). The son of Vronsky shows the always-dangerous two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out angle and continues to train like a gelding that should be far more effective two-turning than going short. It’s very likely that he’s better than shown and should more competitive than his morning line might indicate.
RACE 2: Post: 1:35 PT Grade: X
Single: 2-Conquest Cobra
Forecast: The second half of the early daily double drew just five entrants for this $12,500 main track middle distance event and doesn’t offer a lot to work with. Conquest Cobra, listed as the 7/5 morning line favorite, takes a significant class drop back to his winning level, is reunited with “win rider” F. Prat, and has finished in the frame in 16 of 22 career starts over the Santa Anita dirt oval (including five wins). Anything close to his sharp runner-up two runs back at Los Alamitos beats this field, but at his probable starting price there’s not going to be much value to be found. We can use him as a rolling exotic single or simply pass the race.
RACE 3: Post: 2:08 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Sky Navigator; 3-Hard Metal
Forecast: We’ll double the third race, a maiden claiming $30,000 miler restricted to 3-year-olds. Hard Metal makes a monumental jockey switch to U. Rispoli after finishing a strong runner-up over this track and distance at this level last month that produced a career top speed figure. Two nice workouts since raced indicates the son of Hard Spun is holding his form, and with another forward move, even a slight one, the S. Gonzalez-trained colt should be set to earn his diploma. We’ll also include the new gelding Sky Navigator, dropping to his proper level, returning to the main track, and likely to draft into a comfortable second flight, ground-saving trip. The son of Sky Mesa is a fit on figures with more right to improve than most of the others, so at 7/2 on the morning line he’s a “must use” in rolling exotic play.
RACE 4: Post: 2:43 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Ghoul; 5-Sash
Forecast: We’ll try to get by in this second-level allowance/optional claiming turf sprint using just two. But the contention runs top to bottom and if you feel the need to spread (or buy) the race, go right ahead. Ghoul switches to F. Prat and will be charging late after running into some trouble on the turn and winding up a close fourth in a similar affair over this course and distance last month. With a little bit of help up front the P. Miller-trained gelding will make his presence felt from the furlong pole to the wire. Sash offers an interesting price chance at 5-1 on the morning line in his first start since June. A miler most of his career both here and in Europe, the English-bred gelding has the route-top-spring angle that always catches our eye, a prior win over the local lawn, speed figures that make him highly-competitive. Yes, it’s possible this is nothing more than a shake-off-the-rust outing but trainer M. Glass has been aggressive in recent workouts, so it’s entirely possible the son of Oasis Dream fires a big shot off the bench.
RACE 5: Post: 3:16 PT Grade: B
Use: 5-Just Distorted; 7-Lady Aces; 8-Stella Noir
Forecast: Here’s an extended main track sprint for 3-year-old fillies that appears to have several nice prospects signed on. Stella Noir has done some good work in the a.m. for K. Desormeaux and acts like a decent type of filly for a trainer whose record with debut runners is decent enough. She’s been trained to settle early and rally late, so we’re expecting the daughter of Stay Thirsty to do her best work from the quarter pole home. Just Distorted has the benefit of a race under her belt and goes for barn that is particularly strong with the second-time-starter angle (25%). Runner-up in an okay but not great race, the daughter of Distorted Humor brought $400,000 as a yearling and can be expected to improve with experience and distance. Caparegime appears to have some talent, though the V. Cerin usually races its maidens into shape. Still, the daughter of Street Boss is worth tossing in at a price (morning line 5-1) after doing what’s been asked of her in the a.m. The tab isn’t flashy, so she might drift on the tote and offer real wagering value but in the rolling exotics and in exacta/trifecta/superfecta play.
RACE 6: Post: 3:49 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Disko Fever; 3-St Helena; 6-Big Beauty
Forecast: Disko Fever stretches out for the first time and clearly will be the controlling speed. She’s from a barn that has solid stats with the stretch-out angle (18%), and on pure pedigree (Tom’s Tribute) the R. Baltas-trained 3-year-old should get the mile and will have every chance to see out the trip. Big Beauty isn’t particularly fast on speed figures but she recently broke her maiden over this course and distance, retains F. Prat, and seems likely to draft into a stalking position and have dead aim and every chance when the pressure is turned on. This will be just her third career start and improvement is likely. St Helena graduated on New Year’s eve and hasn’t been out since, but the daughter of Bluegrass Cat has looked vastly improved in the a.m. for trainer M. Puype in recent workouts and will be adding Lasix for the first time. Like Big Beauty, she’s a little light in the speed figure department but it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see her produce a significant forward move today, one that makes her extremely dangerous at 8-1 on the morning line.
RACE 7: Post: 4:21 PT Grade: X
Use: 3-Coalinga Road; 4-Clayton Delaney
Forecast: This six runner field of state-bred first-level allowance older horses has two main contenders. Coalinga Road was eight lengths clear of the rest when second in a similar affair here in early January and has been on a regular work pattern since, so we suspect he’ll run his usual type of race again today. The son of Quality Road should draft into a stalking position and then grind way from the quarter pole home. Clayton Delaney switches from turf to dirt broke his maiden on dirt (at Los Alamitos) so we suspect the surface switch won’t have a negative impact on his good, consistent recent form. The son of Grazen can be on the lead if they want him to be, and in a field without much zip the P. D’Amato-trained gelding might appreciate aggressive early handling. Will give Coalinga Road a very slight edge on top but use both in rolling exotic play in a race that we’ll otherwise sit out.
RACE 8: Post: 4:53 PT Grade: B+
Single: 3-Alexander’s Dream
Forecast: In a split of today’s first race, Alexander’s Dream finally gets a chance to stretch out and we suspect the J. Bonde-trained colt will make the most of the opportunity. Bred for turf and improving considerably in his first try on the sod last month, the J. Bonde-trained colt finished with interest to be a good third while earning by far a career top speed figure, has worked well since, and should be draft into a comfortable second flight, ground-saving position behind what projects to be a reasonable pace. He’s 8-1 on the morning line and at anywhere near that price he’s a strong win play and rolling exotic single.