Jeff Siegel’s Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies
Saturday, March 27, 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: 2-Big Bell; 4-Bossy Mama; 7-Mind Meld
Forecast: The Saturday opener is a challenging turf sprint for state-bred maiden 3-year-old fillies that requires heavy coverage in rolling exotic play. Bossy Mama stopped to a walk in her debut but has returned to work quite well and might deserve another chance with the switch to grass. She’s had trouble changing leads in the morning but if she can correct her footwork the daughter of Street Boss might get brave on the front end. Big Bell has don’t anything extraordinary in the morning but is certainly bred to handle the lawn (Mr. Big) and attracts red-hot leading rider F. Prat. Mind Meld is bred for grass (Point of Entry) and has trained fairly well for her debut, so at 4-1 on the morning she’s worth including as well. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics but if you feel the need to spread deeper, go right ahead.
RACE 2: Post: 1:35 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Bye Bye Miss Pie; 3-Bruja Escarlata
Forecast: Bye Bye Miss Pie burned money in her debut when finishing second at 50 cents on the dollar but then made amends with an authoritative four length score from off the pace in her next outing. She moves into the first-level allowance ranks today and catches a field with plenty of zip, so we suspect F. Prat will employ patient handling once again. Bruja Escarlata is undefeated in two starts in lesser company but she’s fast enough on speed figures to handle this tougher assignment. The daughter of Street Boss can take heat and dish it out and if she can shake loose early the J. Sadler-trained filly will be very hard to run down. They’re hard to separate so we’ll use both in our rolling exotics and then have a few extra tickets keying Bey Bye Miss Pie on top.
RACE 3: Post: 2:09 PT Grade: B+
Forecast: The known element doesn’t inspire so let’s go with a fresh face in this turf sprint for maiden 3-year-old California-breds. Whatdidido has trained like a quick type for P. D’Amato and in an open fray gets the edge on top. A recent bullet half mile workout on the training track (:47.4h) was accomplished under a nice hold, so we suspect this son of Grazen has more speed than his steady but unspectacular work tab might indicate. At 2-1 on the morning line he’s a win play and rolling exotic single.
RACE 4: Post: 2:45 PT Grade: B
Single: 1-Herd Immunity
Forecast: Herd Immunity was a visually pleasing winner for $32,000 last month and has trained quite well since for his first-off-the-claim out for J. Sadler (powerful stats with this angle). He’ll have to break cleanly from the rail to avoid trouble but if the Union Rags gelding can stay within range early in this abbreviated sprint he’ll have every chance to roll on by from the quarter pole home. F. Prat has ridden him twice, winning both times. At 8/5 on the morning line he’ll probably not offer too much value in the win pool but if nothing else we can use him as a rolling exotic single.
RACE 5: Post: 3:20 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Hartel; 3-Armour Plate; 4-Exultation; 7-Sigalert
Forecast: In a restricted starter optional claiming turf sprint in which most of the entrants lack a winning spirit, we’ll spread this race four deep and hope one of them can manage to find the wire. Sigalert, fourth in a similar spot last month after encountering early trouble that cost him valuable position, can turn it on late and could tag the speed at a nice price with some help up front. The lightly-raced son of Street Sense is less exposed than the other contenders, so at 6-1 on the morning line he may be worth a small gamble. Exultation, second in four of his last five starts, just can’t seem to seal the deal but he’ll be in the right spot as usual heading for home and have every chance when the pressure is turned on. The same can be said for Armour Plate, a veteran gelding with just one win from 22 career starts. However, he has the popular route-to-sprint angle while retaining F. Prat, so he’s a reluctant “must use.” Hartel is the quickest of the quick and will take them as far as he can.
RACE 6: Post: 3:55 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Captain Scotty; 8-Octopus
Forecast: Captain Scotty just missed for $32,000 last time out but was a voided claim and today shows up in a $20,000 seller that will be his for the asking if he has at least one good one left. The ex-classer switches to F. Prat and projects as a shorter price than his morning line of 9/5. Octopus is worth including on your rolling exotic ticket for protection. Drawn comfortably outside and moving up a notch off a win following a $16,000 claim by D. O’Neill, the son of Shackleford is a bit shy in the speed figure department but is genuine and consistent, having finished first or second in half of his 14 career starts.
RACE 7: Post: 4:25 PT Grade: B+
Use: 1-Salvaator Mundi; 4-Gregdar
Forecast: Gregdar has really improved of late, most recently earning a career top speed figure when wearing down subsequent winner Whisper Not over this turf course with a good turn of foot and then coming back to train extremely well in the interim. There should be pace up front to compliment his late kick, so let’s put the P. D’Amato-trained colt on top and hope to get close to his morning line of 2-1. Salvator Mundi exits a tougher race, is assured a ground-saving trip from his good inside post and retains F. Prat. This 10-furlong trip should be within his range and on pure numbers he’s a solid fit.
RACE 8: Post: 4:55 PT Grade: B
Use: 7-Defense Wins; 8-Dark Prince
Forecast: Defense Wins, just claimed for $25,000 by P. Eurton, returns protected in a sign of confidence, and while he’s failed to deliver the last three times he went favored the veteran sprinter switches to F. Prat and shouldn’t make any mistakes in this starter optional claiming main track sprint. He’s just 1-for-13 with seven seconds/thirds, but at least the victory was accomplished over the local main track and after finishing in the frame in his last three the son of Flatter certainly is overdue for another visit to the winner’s circle. Dark Prince continues to work well in the morning while underperforming in the afternoon. Drawn comfortably outside, the son of Cairo Prince wants to be held up and allowed to run late and given that type of ride from E. Maldonado the B. Baffert-trained gelding can outrun his 6-1 morning line. Toss him in somewhere.
RACE 9: Post: 5:25 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Mucho Unusual; 3-Going to Vegas; 5-Red Alert
Forecast: The featured Santa Ana S.-G3 goes as the Saturday finale, with Mucho Unusual the deserved 8/5 morning line favorite. She lands the lovely rail draw, switches to F. Prat, and is a Grade-1 winner over this course and distance, so it all adds up. Going to Vegas, fourth in the recent Buena Vista S.-G2 in the same race that Mucho Unusual just finished second in, will appreciate this stretch out in trip and the switch to top turf rider U. Rispoli. A three-time winner over the Santa Anita lawn, the R. Baltas-trained daughter of Goldencents seems sure to fire her best shot under these conditions. Red Lark, a non-threatening fifth in the Buena Vista, is another that seems likely to improve at this longer distance and with some help up front should make some noise from the quarter pole home.