Jeff Siegel’s Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies
Saturday, April 24, 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 A=Highest degree of confidence
Grade B=Solid play.
Grade C=Least preferred or pass
Grade X=most probable winner but likely at odds too short to play.
RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: X
Single: 1-North County Guy
Forecast: North County Guy can be effective at any distance but showed in his most recent win that the R. Baltas-trained gelding probably is most comfortable at this one mile trip. Drawn perfectly inside and likely will inherit an ideal ground-saving, second flight trip, the R. Baltas-trained veteran just handled an open field with career-top speed figure and should not find this state-bred competition any more difficult. At 6/5 on the morning line, he is a short-priced rolling exotic single.
RACE 2: Post: 1:31 PT Grade: B
Single: 2-Crooked Finger Ray
Forecast: A little will go a long way in this modest restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming sprint for older horses. Crooked Finger Ray shows up in a seller for the first time and appears to have finally found his friends. The M. Puype-trained gelding turns back to a sprint, returns to the main track, tackles an infinitely softer field and looked quite good in a recent workout to have him on edge. Given the projected pace flow, the son of Verrazano should be within striking range throughout and then have his chance to seal the deal when the pressure is turned on. At 5/2 on the morning line, he is a win play and rolling exotic single.
RACE 3: Post: 2:02 PT Grade: X
Single: 4-Steele Road
Forecast: Steele Road, runner-up as the favorite in a maiden $25,000 claiming sprint last summer at Golden Gate Fields, was a voided claim and stopped on but returns waiver protected in this soft maiden seller for a similar price and has worked like he is fit and ready for the always-powerful F. Prat/R. Mandella jockey/trainer team. The son of Candy Ride has little to beat and thus is listed as the 4/5 morning line favorite. Though highly-likely to win, the 4-year-old gelding will be too short to play other than as a no-value rolling exotic single.
RACE 4: Post: 2:34 PT Grade: B+
Single: 6-Table for Ten
Forecast: Table for Ten shook off some rust when given a run in his recent sprint comeback, doing quite well to finish as close as he did (third) after a poor start that cost him whatever chance he may have had. More effective routing than sprinting, the son of Acclamation should be fitter and sharper today while stretching out to nine furlongs on grass and retaining regular pilot F. Prat. We are expecting to see him draft into a mid-pack early position and then have dead aim and every chance when asked to quicken at the head of t he lane. At 2-1 on the morning line, the P. D’Amato-trained gelding is strong play in the win pool and in rolling exotic play.
RACE 5: Post: 3:08 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Our Little Tiger; 5-Smoothlikebuttah; 6-Race Judicata
Forecast: We will go three-deep in this starter optional claiming main track miler for 3-year-old fillies while preferring Smoothlikebuttah slightly on top. A winner over this track and distance two races back vs. maiden $50,000 foes, the daughter of Mr. Big switched to grass and shortened to a sprint in her most recent outing and stayed on well without really landing a blow in the final furlong, winding up a respectable fourth, beaten less than three lengths. Back under more favorable conditions today and looking sharp in a recent workout, the S. Knapp-trained filly should be capable of tagging the speed close home. Our Little Tiger graduated in a maiden $50,000 affair recently at seven furlongs and from the rail should have her chance to stretch out successfully to a mile while projecting to be on or near the lead throughout. She is not fast on speed figures but none of these really are. Race Judicata seems a progressive sort, and after beating maiden claimers sprinting nearly two months ago returns protected while stretching out for a barn that always has solid stats with this angle. We suspect the daughter of Vronsky will employ gate-to-wire tactics.
RACE 6: Post: 3:39 PT Grade: X
Single: 8-Fly to Mars
Forecast: Fly to Mars is an ex-classer that has gotten good again after being realistically campaigned by connections that usually do the right thing with their claiming stock. A five-time winner over the Santa Anita turf course and with a style that usually produces a soft stalking journey, the P. Miller-trained gelding shows a steady, healthy work pattern at San Luis Rey Downs since his most recent win in early February and seems the solid choice, though at even money on the morning line he will not be offering much in the way of wagering value. If it is not him, it could be anybody, so we can use him as a short-priced rolling exotic single or simply pass the race.
RACE 7: Post: 4:11 PT Grade: B+
Use: 1-Money Mike; 2-Flightline
Forecast: This is a loaded maiden special weight sprint for 3-year-olds, with the inside two runners among those that are highly-regarded by their connections. Flightline has looked like a stone runner in the a.m. for the J. Sadler stable and as a million dollar yearling purchase the son of Tapit debut with much anticipation. The barn has out standing stands with first-time starters, so if he breaks with his field, he should be hard to beat. Money Mike must avoid traffic problems from the rail but with a clean start and a trouble-free trip the son of Into Mischief should make a serious run for it. The B. Baffert barn has glittering stats with newcomers (30%) and this $600,000 yearling purchase should be more than fit following a series of highly impressive workouts. We will try to get by using just these two with Flightline getting a slight edge on top.
RACE 8: Post: 4:51 PT Grade: X
Use: 1-Pharoah’s Heart; 2-As Time Goes By; 4-Harvest Moon
Forecast: This year’s renewal of the Santa Margarita S.-G2 drew just five entrants, three of which look capable of winning. This is a pass race other than to triple the race in our rolling exotics and hope to get the best price home. As Time Goes By, listed as the 3/5 morning line favorite, is lightly-raced, fast on numbers, continues to train well, and has further improvement in her. She has an ideal stalking style that will allow M. Smith to pick his position and move when he wants to. Harvest Moon was dead short in her comeback in the Beholder Mile-G1 but will not be today based on her breezing workouts since that mid-March event. She has a history off firing her best shot following a prep, so we are expecting to see her best stuff today. Pharoah’s Heart lands the rail, adds blinkers, and may try gate-to-wire tactics. Her speed figures are strong and with just three starts on her resume the daughter of American Pharoah has a right to be better than shown.
RACE 9: Post: 5:22 PT Grade: B+
Single: 2-Ole Silver
Forecast: 2-Ole Silver has the pedigree to improve a ton routing and finally gets her chance to prove it in this nine furlong grassy starter optional claimer for fillies and mares. The daughter of Acclamation continues to train in highly impressive fashion, goes for a barn that has strong stats with the sprint-to-route angle, and switches to bug girl J. Pyfer, who seems likely to employ the proper gate-to-wire tactics that should bring out the best from this P. D’Amato-trained filly. Lightly-raced with plenty of improvement in her and listed at 6-1 on the morning line, she is a strong win play and rolling exotic single.
RACE 10: Post: 5:53 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Tigre Di Slugo; 5-Fashionably Fast
Forecast: Tigre Di Slugo is strong on numbers, is thoroughly genuine and consistent, and returns to the second level allowance ranks after finding his best stride too late when a distant runner-up in the San Carlos S.-G2 behind runaway winner Brickyard Ride last month. This is an easier task, to be sure., so we are expecting the M. Puype-trained gelding to regain his winning form over this extended sprint distance that seems ideal for his mid-pack, late-running style. Fashionably Fast is back around one corner where he has always been most comfortable and appears the one to fear most. A four time winner of the Santa Anita main track, the veteran Lucky Pulpit gelding should be within striking range throughout and have every chance from the quarter pole home.
RACE 11: Post: 6:24 PT Grade: B+
Use: 5-That’s Amare; 7-Rockie Causeway
Forecast: This first-level allowance turf sprint for state-bred fillies and mares brings together two progressive recent maiden winners that appear capable of scoring right back on the raise. Rockie Causeway has speed figures that are gradually rising with every start, and with another forward move today the daughter of Giant’s Causeway will be hard to contain from off the pace. Freshened since mid-February but with a strong and healthy recent work tab at San Luis Rey Downs, the R. Baltas-trained filly is a genuine and consistent sort can handle any distance or race shape. That’s Amare is a bit faster than ‘Rockway on pure numbers and after finishing a an excellent second in her debut to subsequent stakes winner Leggs Galore and then graduating over the local lawn in a fast race in next outing in late February, the P. D’Amato-trained daughter of Unusual Heat is the likely choice and one to beat. We will use both in our rolling exotics and then have a few extra tickets keying Rockie Causeway on top.