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: 1-Hoop Dream; 4-Dr. Hoffman; 7-Foothill
Forecast: Hoop Dream encountered considerable trouble when fifth in a similar starter optional claimer over a mile on turf last month and today gets an extra furlong to work with and good inside post that should ensure a comfortable ground-saving trip. With better luck today, the son of Lakerville should be capable of producing the last run. Dr. Hoffman and Foothill are a pair of first-following-a-claim players being protected in a sign of confidence by their new connections. Dr. Hoffman demolished a soft bottom-rung maiden claiming field last time out, was haltered by R. Hess, Jr., and retains F. Prat. Foothill, now in the D. O’Neill barn, has trained very well since changing addresses and has the natural speed to get loose on the lead and get very brave if front-running tactics are employed. These are the three we will be using in our rolling exotics with a slight edge on top to Hoop Dream.
RACE 2: Post: 1:31 PT Grade: X
Use: 2-Shezaghost; 5-Eyes Open
Forecast: This restricted maiden special weight main track miler for fillies and mares pretty boils down to two contenders. Eyes Open chased males when a distant third in a hot sprint last month but is back facing the girls today while stretching out again to a mile. She can be the controlling speed if she wants to be and given that type of trip the daughter of Street Sense may be able to run her rivals off their feet. Shezaghost earned a speed figure two runs back when over the track and distance that charts well with these. If you draw a line through her most recent start on grass, she must be considered the one to fear most. We will use both in our rolling exotics while preferring Eyes Open on top in a race that we will otherwise pass.
RACE 3: Post: 2:02 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-Witch Moon; 4-Rhythm and Grace; 7-Cider Apple
Forecast: This evenly-matched group of older maiden fillies and mares makes for a difficult handicapping exercise. Witch Moon missed by a head in a career top effort over this course last month and not much more will be needed to win. Rhythm and Grace, a close third in only he second career start last time out, has loads of room for improvement and might inherit the role as the controlling speed. Cider Apple appears to be the best of the deep closers and with some help up front could easily tag the speed in the final stages. Each has a legitimate look based on the race flow, so we will include all three in our rolling exotics and then have an extra ticket or two keying Witch Moon on top.
RACE 4: Post: 2:34 PT Grade: C+
Single: 2-Uno Trouble Maker; 3-Lady On Ice
Forecast: Uno Trouble Maker moves up a level after wiring a $10,000 filed in gate-to-wire fashion while recording her ninth career win from 25 starts, eight of which have been accomplished over the Santa Anita main track. She can take heat and dish it out, but with the presence of the ultra-quick Vangogo drawn just inside of her, the veteran mare may have to employ stalking tactics and has never been consistently comfortable given that type of trip. Lady On Ice should be the beneficiary of an ideal, second flight trip and if the two speeds do each other in, she will be in a right spot to pick them both up. We will go with ‘Maker and ‘Ice in our rolling exotics but not with a high degree of confidence.
RACE 5: Post: 3:08 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Bombard; 2-Gregorian Chant
Forecast: Bombard has trained well enough to be ready to win in his first start since finishing eighth (but beaten less than four lengths) in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint last November and the veteran gelding, with four prior wins over the Santa Anita lawn, simply should out class this field even if he is not 100 percent cranked up. Gregorian Chant has found his niche as a late-running turf sprinter and with any kind of help up front will be heard from in the final furlong. Both should be used in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Bombard.
RACE 6: Post: 3:40 PT Grade: B
Use: 6-Bench Judge; 7-Coalinga Road
Forecast: Coaling Road is nicely drawn outside and should have every chance to stalk, pounce, and go in this state-bred first-level allowance sprint. First or second in five of eight career starts, the son of Quality Road consistently earns good speed figures and seems set to fire another good shot today. Bench Judge seeks his third straight but will be making his first career start on dirt. If he handles the surface switch he will be right there and his pedigree suggests he should not be inconvenienced by the main track. The edge on top goes to Coalinga Road but we will have tickets using both in in rolling exotic play.
RACE 7: Post: 4:11 PT Grade: B
Single: 4-Auspicious Style
Forecast: Auspicious Style is bred to love turf (Vronsky) and has trained well enough to be considered a live item in this wide-open turf event for maiden special weight state-bred sprinters. The known element does not inspire so we will go with a fresh face that attracts F. Prat. It is either him or anybody else, so at 4-1 on the morning line the D. Blacker-trained colt is the play both in the win pool and in the rolling exotics.
RACE 8: Post: 4:46 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Teton Valley; 5-El Diablo Rojo
Forecast: Teton Valley gets in with a feather and if he can shake loose early the sophomore son of Tapiture make never look back. He was six lengths clear of the rest when runner-up vs. similar last time out and a repeat of that race today should be sufficient to outrun this Cal-bred field. El Diablo Rojo is a fit on numbers, exits a live race, retains F. Prat and is the most dangerous of the closers. We will give Teton Valley the edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.
RACE 9: Post: 5:22 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Petruchio; 5-Gator Shining
Forecast: Gator Shining stretches out for the first time and is bred to improve considerably around two turns. His sprint form is good, he continues to work well, and with the monumental switch to F. Prat the son of Noble Mission seems primed for a smasher. Petruchio shortens up, returns to turf, lands the rail and may try gate-to-wire tactics. Reunited with “win rider” M. Smith, the R. Mandella-trained son of Into Mischief has shown a liking for grass and is another that has been impressive in recent morning drills. Preference on top goes to Gator Shining but both must be included in rolling exotic play.
RACE 10: Post: 5:53 PT Grade: C+
Use: 5-Run Like Kona; 9-Traffic Stopper
Forecast: The finale is a messy abbreviated sprint for modest claiming fillies and mares. Best advice is to use as many as you can afford to. For those with budget concerns, consider the two that we have listed above. Run Like Kona is waiver protected in her comeback and was earning competitive speed figures at Del Mar last summer before being stopped on. If she returns as well as she left, the R. Hess, Jr.-trained filly can win. Traffic Stopper is racing in good, consistent form and is the likely choice and one to beat, especially with F. Prat in the saddle. No worse than second in three career starts over the Santa Anita main track, she projects to be or near the lead throughout.