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: B-
Use: 3-Swift as I Am; 5-Goldini
Forecast: In a race that should have enough pace to compliment his closing style, Goldini gets top billing in this starter optional claiming turf miler for 3-year-olds. He’s a first-off-the-claim play for a hot outfit after beating maiden$ 50,000 claimers over this course and distance in mid-January. Though he was part of the pace in that race, the son of Goldencents might be even more effective if held up early and allowed to run late, similar to the way he’s been training since joining the P. D’Amato barn. D’Amato’s other horse in the field, Swift as I Am, is the 2-1 morning line favorite thanks in no small part to the switch to leading rider F. Prat. With Artie Schiller on the bottom side of his pedigree, the son Danza should move up considerably on grass and, like we always say, if he’s ever going to stay a mile it’ll be in his first try. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Goldini on top.
RACE 2: Post: 1:04 PT Grade: X
Use: 4-Luckys Last Stand; 6-Starship Chewbacca
Forecast: There’s not a whole lot to work with in today’s second race, a maiden $50,000 claiming sprint for state-bred older horses. Starship Chewbacca, listed at even money on the morning line, makes the all-important class drop from the straight maiden ranks, switches to J. J. Hernandez ,and simply should be too quick for this group. Drawn comfortably outside, the H. Zucker-trained gelding can pop and go or stalk and pounce depending upon how J. J. Hernandez assesses the race flow. Luckys Last Stand, a reasonable third at this level in his debut at Los Alamitos in December, adds Lasix, retains T. Pereira, and may have the most room to improve among the other five entrants. You can include him on a ticket or two as a back-up, but the main punch probably should go to the projected heavy favorite.
RACE 3: Post: 1:39 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-Circle of Honor; 4-K P Kan Do
Forecast: K P Can Do, like our top pick in the second race, shows the maiden-to-maiden claiming class drop angle and should put it to good use in this modest affair for 3-year-old fillies. The daughter of Kantharos has a considerable edge in the speed figure department, though it must be noted that both of her starts came on grass. The switch to the main track, at least based on pedigree, shouldn’t be an issue, so let’s put the J. Mullins-trained filly on top while also including on our ticket the second-timer Circle of Honor. Haltered out of her debut for $50,000 by S. Knapp, whose record with this angle is quite good (27% with a powerful ROI), she shows a couple of decent workouts since changing barns to indicate a forward move is likely.
RACE 4: Post: 2:10 PT Grade: B+
Use: 2-Hot Box; 3-Found My Ball; 7-My Man Bags
Forecast: Found My Ball was out of his element when a distant fourth in the San Vicente S.-G2 behind unbeaten Concert Tour but this Cal-bred allowance optional claimer should be much more to his liking, especially in his first start on grass, a surface this son of Square Eddie should thoroughly enjoy. The speed figure he earned when breaking his maiden two runs back, if repeated today, makes him a standout. Price players may want to find room somewhere on their rolling exotic tickets for Hot Box and My Man Bags. The former continues to impress in the morning and may be the quickest in the field at 12-1 on the morning line, while the latter, a first-time Lasix user, is cozily drawn outside in his first try on grass, has looked pretty good in the a.m., and could easily improve considerably.
RACE 5: Post: 2:43 PT Grade: X
Single: 4-Madam Barbarian
Forecast: Madam Barbarian has plenty going for her in this extended sprint for $12,500 claiming fillies and mares. She’s reunited win “win rider” F. Prat while returning to the level of her sharp victory two races back and is race that projects to have modest early fractions the veteran mare should be comfortably placed throughout and have every chance to kick clear when set down. She’ll probably be a short price – she’s 8/5 on the morning line – so perhaps the best course of action is to use her as a rolling exotic single but otherwise pass the race.
RACE 6: Post: 3:18 PT Grade: B+
Use: 2-Bella Vita; 8-Leggs Galore
Forecast: This is a fairly strong edition of the Irish O’Brien Stakes, a grass dash for Cal-bred older fillies and mares. We’ll try to get by using just two. Bella Vita returned off a nine month layoff to toy with a lesser field when winning the Spring Fever S. on the main track in mid-February in what was a visually pleasing performance that earned a solid number. We’re expecting the daughter of Bayern to run even better today with the return to grass, her preferred surface. The S. Callaghan-trained filly has shown the versatility to win on the front end or from a stalking position, giving F. Prat the option to adjust his strategy as needed. Leggs Galore is the 2-1 morning line favorite based on superior speed figures and rapidly improving form which has produced four straight victories – all on grass – including the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint in her most recent outing in mid-January. Also a daughter of Bayern, the P. D’Amato-trained filly continues to train in spectacular fashion, is comfortably drawn outside, and projects to have clear sailing and every chance to reproduce her top effort.
RACE 7: Post: 3:50 PT Grade: B
Use: 5-Respectfully; 8-Dancing Dana
Forecast: Respectfully didn’t get the best of runs but kept to her task in the lane when a better-than-looked fourth in a similar starter optional claiming main track sprint for 3-year-old fillies last month. She earned a career top speed despite being forced to steady into the turn, and the way she regained her momentum to finish eagerly really caught our eye. She switches to J. J. Hernandez, which is good, but the tradeoff is that she must pick up 10 lbs. Dancing Dana improved considerably – at least based on speed figures – when a strong runner-up in a similar spot on grass last month. Perhaps she simply is getting better, but the concern is that the forward move may have been entirely due to the switch in surface. Today, the daughter of Clubhouse Ride is back on the main track, where her form has been somewhat ordinary. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics and then press with extra tickets keying Respectfully on top.
RACE 8: Post: 4:24 PT Grade: B+
Use: 5-Away From the Sun; 7-Anna Fantastic
Forecast: Away From the Sun, unbeaten in a pair of impressive Bay Area outings, takes her talents to Southern California for this state-bred first-level allowance turf sprint, and if she can transfer her synthetic form to grass the daughter of Smiling Tiger should be able to keep her record unblemished. Sher has an ideal stalking style for this course and distance, speed figures that are simply faster than the competition, and a Golden Gate Fields work tab that is sharp, steady, and healthy. Anna Fantastic may be the most dangerous of the locals. A smart five-length winner two runs back, the daughter of Cyclotron was respectable in defeat when fourth behind potential monster Happier in her most recent outing and will be major player against this group if she, like our top pick, can translate her dirt form to turf. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Away From the Sun