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: 12:30 PT Grade: C+
Use: 2-Back Ring Luck</b>; 4-Barraza; 7-Man Friday
Forecast: Back Ring Luck was out of his element in the Santa Anita Derby-G1 but fits well with this allowance optional claiming band of 3-year-olds, and in a race begging to be won from off the pace the Malibu Moon gelding should be capable of sitting off the leaders and then producing a late run. Barraza, first off the claim for V. Cerin, stretches out for the first time and will take them as far he can. There are a few others who could try similar front-running tactics but if he can shake loose early he might get brave late. Man Friday, third in the Singletary Stakes over this course and distance last month, doesn’t have any real style other than as a front-runner and with the lead likely to be taken today the D. O’Neill-trained colt may have to try something different. Perhaps against this group he can settle early and rally late, so we’ll include him in our rolling exotics but only as a saver or a back-up.
RACE 2: Post: 12:59 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Synthesis; 3-House Limit
Forecast: Synthesis, freshened since late February, returns protected in this starter allowance main track middle distance event and in his current form should be good enough to win again. The J. Mullins-trained gelding is guaranteed a ground-saving, pace-stalking trip from his good rail post position and warrants his role as the 8/5 morning line favorite. House Limit is worth including as well. First off the $25,000 claim at Keeneland by R. Hess, Jr., the lightly-raced six-year-old gelding makes his first start since October but has trained like he’s fit and ready. He can be tough as a pace-presser or a mid-pack closer, so U. Rispoli can assess the pace flow and then choose his strategy. The First Defence gelding is a bit slower on pure numbers than Synthesis but with his best effort he’ll be right there.
RACE 3: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: X
Use: 2-Laurel River; 3-The Chosen Vron
Forecast: We’ll pass the four-runner Laz Barrera S.-G3 for 3-year-olds while using the two favorites in our rolling exotics. Laurel River earned a huge figure breaking his maiden and has come back to work sharply, so a forward move is likely. His main foe, The Chosen Vron, handled a state-bred stakes field in good style when last seen in early April and has trained sharply since. He’s not as quick as Laurel River but this extended sprint distance works in his favor. It should be a good race – to watch.
RACE 4: Post: 2:03 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Shell Shock; 4-Fi Fi Pharoah
Forecast Fi Fi Pharoah had a poor trip when failing at 90 cents on the dollar in a maiden state-bred sprint last month. She stumbled at the start, lost early position, produced a mid-race rally but then paid the price late. The W. Solis-trained filly certainly can do better today while stretching out for the first time, removing blinkers, and switching to U. Rispoli. The connections don’t inspire confidence but this daughter of American Pharoah is good enough to beat this field. Shell Shock likely will make the running and if not policed early could take this field a very long way. She exits a hot sprint and has back numbers that can win. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.
RACE 5: Post: 2:48 PT Grade: B+
Use: 3-Bold Endeavor; 4-Heywoods Beach
Forecast: Heywoods Beach lost more ground than he was beaten by when a close third in a similar event last month and with better racing luck today at this 10-furlong trip the J. Sadler-trained colt seems primed for a major effort. Bold Endeavor, second in the same race that ‘Beach just finished third in, is a genuine and consistent performer with three prior wins over the local main track. He may be the controlling speed, but certainly doesn’t need the lead to win. Both should be used in rolling exotic play; we’ll have extra tickets keying Heywoods Beach on top.
RACE 6: Post: 3:18 PT Grade: X
Single: 1-Liar Liar
Forecast: Liar Liar was nosed out in a tougher starter’s allowance event over this course and distance last month and nothing more will be needed to beat this $50,000 optional claiming field. He’ll enjoy a ground-saving trip from the rail and should be along in time. However, at 6/5 on the morning line, the Irish-bred colt won’t offer any wagering value other than as a short price rolling exotic single.
RACE 7: Post: 4:17 PT Grade: C+
Use: 4-Big Andy; 5-Pistachio Princess; <b>10-Half Hoping
Forecast: This maiden claiming state-bred extended sprint for fillies and mares requires a spread in rolling exotic play. We’ll go three-deep and hope that’s enough. Half Hoping is nicely drawn outside in her first outing in more than two months, and this cut back in trip combined with the addition of blinkers should provide her with every opportunity to earn her diploma. She has numbers that have risen with each start and are better than par for this level, so we’ll put her on top. Big Andy, stakes placed twice as a 2-year-old, returns in a realistic spot, will race without blinkers and as a first-time Lasix user so there’s no reason she shouldn’t fire a good shot. Pistachio Princess suffered a nose defeat three runs back at this level charts and then was pitched too high in her two most recent starts. She’s 12-1 on the morning line and probably is better than that.
RACE 8: Post: 4:49 PT Grade: B+
Use: 2-Wedding Groom; 6-Goldini
Forecast: Goldini is a first-time gelding adding blinkers and shortening up from a series of two-turn grass races. The son of Goldencents has rising speed figures and projects to draft into a good stalking position and then have his chance to seal the deal in the final furlong. With a good couple of recent workouts to sharpen him up, the D. O’Neill-trained sophomore seems the solid top pick. Wedding Groom is worth including somewhere on your ticket at 8-1 on the morning line. A first-off-the-claim for D. Blacker, the son of Hard Spun is bred to improve on turf and gets his first chance while also sporting the route-to-sprint angle. The son of Hard Spun has worked well for his new connections, so a career top effort is a possibility.
RACE 9: Post: 5:20 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-I Will Not; 4-Howbeit; 8-Good With People
Forecast: Good With People is cozily drawn outside and should enjoy an ideal pace-pressing trip in this first-level allowance optional claiming sprint. A very good second to The Chosen Vron in the Echo Eddie S. in early April, the son of Curlin to Mischief is fast on figures and has finished first or second in six of nine career starts. I Will Not needs to overcome the rail but if he can avoid trouble the son of Square Eddie should be the one to fear most. He’s a not a need-the-lead type but has enough speed to secure a good stalking position and make his presence felt late. Howbeit, runner-up under these conditions last month and a two-time winner over the Santa Anita main track, should at least get a piece of it and is worth including as a back-up on your rolling exotic ticket.
RACE 10: Post: 5:51 PT Grade: B+
Use: 2-Harbored Memories; 3-Lincoln Hawk
Forecast: Harbored Memories shortens to a sprint and has the perfect style for this six and one-half furlong grass course. The M. Puype-trained colt, runner-up to subsequent Santa Anita Derby-G1 winner Rock Your World under these conditions on New Year’s Day, won’t need anything better than that performance today to graduate. Lincoln Hawk is an intriguing Irish invader making his U.S. debut for R. Baltas. The work tab is relatively light but should have him fit enough to fire a good shot for a barn that does very well with these European imports. The main push goes to Harbored Memories, but we’ll use both in our rolling exotics.