Jeff Siegel’s Blog:  Santa Anita Workout Report, Day Makers, and Wagering Strategies for Saturday, Fewb. 29, 2020

Jeff Siegel’s Daily Analysis & Wagering Strategies

Santa Anita

Saturday, February 29, 2020

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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.

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​It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis.  Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.

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Handicappers also are encouraged to access Jeff’s Daily Santa Anita Workout Analysis (see below), an exclusive report containing commentary, fractional times, grades, and a link to the video of the actual workout by each race’s key contenders.

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Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.

Grade B=Solid Play.

Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.

Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.

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​The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches.  For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.

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Today’s Day Makers: View Video

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Today’s Workout Analysis: View Report (PDF)

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RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B

Use: 3-Going to Vegas; 5-Too Much Heaven

Forecast: Going to Vegas was a visually pleasing winner of a maiden $75,000 claimer earlier this month but is eligible to this starter’s allowance affair for having competed for $50,000 last November at Del Mar.  She’s progressing nicely for P. Miller and should have every chance to score right back from what projects to be a cozy stalking position.  Too Much Heaven just won this condition in gate-to-wire fashion with a solid number but is eligible right back after being entered for the $40,000 tag today.  If she’s handed the front end again, the daughter of Twirling Candy will take this field a very long way.  We’ll prefer Going to Vegas on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

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​​RACE 2: Post 12:58 PT. Grade: B+

Single: 5-Royal Insider

Forecast: Royal Insider has won three of his last four in excellent style, most recently with a career top speed figure that if repeated today will make him very difficult to beat.  The S. Knapp-trained gelding has an ideal stalking style that should allow him to enjoy a perfect trip at this 10 furlong distance, and with regular pilot T. Pereira staying aboard the son of Divine Park, a four-time winner over the Santa Anita main track, looks like a logical play both in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single.

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​​RACE 3: Post 1:28 PT. Grade: B+

Single: 6-Castle Gate

Forecast: ​Castle Gate, away since a facile maiden claiming score at Del Mar last summer, returns protected in a sign of confidence by new trainer J. Mullins and has been burning up the track in recent weeks, including a blazing :46 1/5 bullet drill (fastest of 29) just three days ago.  He retains regular rider R. Fuentes, lands the cozy outside post, and has the option of popping and going or drafting into a soft pace-stalking journey. We like him on top both in the win pool and in rolling exotic play.   

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​​​​​RACE 4: Post 1:58 PT. Grade: B

Use: 3-Galilean; 7-Dessman

Forecast: Dessman, so promising in three starts during his 3-year-old campaign but off the track since finishing second at 50 cents on the dollar in an allowance race almost a year ago, returns in a logical spot with a series of strong works that should have him fit and ready.  The B. Baffert-trained colt was a 7 ½ length debut maiden winner so we know he can fire fresh, and with the benefit of an outside draw the son of Union Rag should be able to control the race as a pace presser or stalker.  Similarly, Galilean, another highly-regarded 3-year-old in 2019, makes his first appearance since finishing fifth in the Arkansas Derby-G1 when trained by J. Hollendorfer.  Now in the J. Sadler barn, the son of Uncle Mo shows three bullet workouts among his last four recorded drills, and he’s another first-out winner and therefore can be trusted to a fire a big shot off the bench. We’ll give Dessman a very slight edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

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RACE 5: Post 2:28 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 1-Star of Africa; 7-Predictable Tully; 10-Le Tub

Forecast: We’ll go three-deep in this maiden turf router for 3-year-old fillies in our rolling exotics, but if you feel the need to use more, go right ahead.  Our top selection, Predictably Tully, is improving with local racing based strictly on speed figures, and the Irish-bred filly can earn her diploma if she can produce another forward move.  The J. Mullins-trained daughter of Kodiac likely will get her preferred patient trip from top turf rider U. Rispoli and have every chance to produce the last run.  Le Tub flashed ability when a closing second sprinting on turf in her U.S. debut last summer but then flunked her dirt track test when far back behind Donna Veloce and was stopped on.  She returns on her preferred surface for the D. O’Neill barn (solid stats with layoff runners) and projects to be on or near the lead throughout.  The first timer Star of Africa is bred to run long on the lawn and has some ability in the morning. She worth using at least as a saver or a back-up.

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RACE 6: Post 2:58 PT. Grade: C

Use: 3-Tallemark; 4-Luck is Golden; 6-Fellow Citizen

Forecast: We’ll spread the sixth race, a difficult state-bred sprint that drew just six runners.  Fellow Citizen had a right to be a short horse in his first start since the summer of 2018 when flashing good speed before fading in a turf sprint.  The P. Miller-trained gelding switches to the main track, adds blinkers, and is comfortably drawn outside, so unless one of the first timers is better than we think, the son of Proud Citizen should be able to handle this task.  Tallemark didn’t get the best of runs in his debut but has come back to train well for Headley and seems likely to display improvement.  Luck is Golden has  shown a sprinkling of ability in the morning, and it won’t take a world beater to win this race, so we’ll toss him in as well.

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RACE 7: Post 3:31 PT. Grade: B

Use: 2-Last Opportunity; 3-Rager; 6-Smooth Like Strait

Forecast: Rager has two grass races showing in his chart and both were quite good, a debut maiden win at Del Mar (at 19-1) and then most recently a solid runner-up in the Baffle Stakes in his sophomore debut.  With plenty of speed signed on, the late-running son of Into Mischief should have every chance to produce the last run at what should be a nice price.  Smooth Like Straight, the gate-to-wire winner of the Cecil B. DeMille Stakes at Del Mar last fall but a fading fourth as the favorite in the Eddie Logan Stakes over this course and distance in December, will be dangerous if handed the front end without pressure, though we suspect he’ll have to work a bit to get that type of trip.  The son of Midnight Lute has numbers that certainly win but he still has to prove he can stalk and pounce if the race flow dictates. Last Opportunity closed  gap in his U.S. debut to be a respectable third in a turf stakes for juveniles at Del Mar in December.  He’s likely to produce a forward move off that race and has trained pretty nicely in recent works.  Look for him to be running on late.

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RACE 8: Post 4:02 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 1-Miss Stormy D; 3-Noble Contessa

Forecast:  Noble Contessa is the one to beat in this first-level allowance main track miler for fillies and mares.  A dominating 5 ¼ length winner of a $40,000 claimer here last month, the M. McCarthy-trained filly is protected today so she must be doing well; however, the projected race flow – with the presence of Miss Stormy D in the field - may prevent her from attaining her coveted front-running trip.  Despite the fact that she was exiting a series of fast sprints, rating tactics were employed on Miss Stormy D when she stretched out for the first time last time out and the daughter of Tapizar ran well to finish second, almost seven clear of the rest.  We wonder if this time her connections will take the initiative and let her roll.  If sent, and in a field lacking in effective closers, the C. Gaines-trained filly might never look back.  We’ll use both in rolling exotic play and hopefully survive and advance no matter what the pace scenario ends up being.

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RACE 9: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: B

Use: 1-Foray; 6-Originaire

Forecast: Originaire and Foray finished two-three in a similar second-level allowance turf miler last month and they meet again, this time at a mile and one-eighth.  Today’s extra furlong shouldn’t impact either horse.  Originaire missed by a neck in the Del Mar Derby at this trip and represents the most dangerous of the stalkers/closers, while Foray, a two-time winner over the Santa Anita turf course, ran better than the line will show after being unable to secure his preferred front-running trip while instead being stuck in traffic much of the way.  Today, from the rail, the J. Sadler-trained colt seems likely to try gate-to-wire tactics.  Either one can depend upon trip and race-shape so we’ll include both in our rolling exotics.

Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Santa Anita Workout Report, Day Makers, and Wagering Strategies for Saturday, Fewb. 29, 2020

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