The selections contained within are geared to rolling exotic players. The basic strategy is to isolate those horses that should be included in rolling daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and pick-6.
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 exact rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, the reader is encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.
Unless otherwise noted, all horses listed in the analysis should be used in rolling exotic play. Usually there will no more than three horses listed; occasionally, Jeff will go 4-deep in his rolling exotic play and on a very rare occasion he will recommend a “buy the race” strategy.
The selections are available every racing day after 9 a.m. (PST). For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.
Top selection indicated in bold-face.
A=Highest degree of confidence.
C=Least preferred, or pass.
X=likely winner but odds will be too short to play.
Saturday, May 27, 2017
RACE 1: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 3-One I’m Running To; 6-Bitte
The Saturday opener is a restricted (nw-2) claiming sprint with not a whole lot in it. Bitte takes a significant – and somewhat suspicious – class drop after finishing fifth in a highly-rated and productive starter’s allowance race last month. He’s being re-equipped with blinkers, and a repeat of his race before last (a reasonably good runner-up try vs. tougher) or his maiden claiming score three runs back would beat this field. However, if the class drop is due to deteriorating physical condition, well, who knows? One I’m Running To isn’t particular fast on speed figures but when last seen in November his numbers were going in the right direction and his maiden claiming win at Del Mar was fairly decent. He returns cheap so there may be a condition question with him as well, but trainer Steve Miyadi has superior stats with comebackers and one of the reasons is he brings them back where they can win. Let’s use both in our rolling exotics and hope that at least one of them fires their best shot.
RACE 2: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Run Like Rhett; 4-Kitten’s Royal; 6-Mind Reader
The second race is a bottom-rung maiden claiming miler that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Run Like Rhett, third in his last pair in similar company, adds blinkers for the first time and if the hood helps at all he’ll be right there in this weak affair. His numbers are close to par for this level, so even if he doesn’t improve the Blake Heap-trained gelding still could win it. Kitten’s Royal, a closing third in a slowly-run maiden $30,000 event last month, is re-equipped with the hood and is another that solidly fits in this league based strictly on numbers. Martin Garcia stays aboard and knows him well. Mind Reader, third in his last pair but dropping to the bottom for the first time, is another that likely will receive plenty of support at the windows. This will be his first try around two turns and the pedigree suggests the added ground will be his favor. Let’s use all three in our rolling exotics; since Mind Reader may have a bit more upside than the others we’ll give him a slight edge on top.
RACE 3: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Roy H; 6-Stormy Liberal
The Daytona Stakes for older sprinters down the Hillside course will have just five starters, with the two main contenders coming from the Peter Miller barn. Roy H (see Black Book) has been nothing short of scintillating in his two starts since last summer and clearly is vastly improved. The son of More Than Ready is fast on numbers, proven over the course, and can be tough on the front end or from well off the pace, depending upon the shape of the race. His recent win over wet fast track – accomplished with ease – earned a career top speed figure and a repeat of that type of effort today makes him the winner. Stormy Liberal has won three straight and six lifetime over the Santa Anita lawn, and while he’s won in tougher company than Roy H, he’s really no faster on numbers than his stable mate. Truthfully, either one could win, so we’ll use both in our rolling exotics while giving Roy H the slight nod on top.
RACE 4: Post: 2:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-Honor and Courage; 4-Acker; 12-Placido
A strong group of maidens meet over a mile and one-sixteenth on the main track in the fourth race the kick off the Pick-6. Honor and Courage, second in his last three starts, may not be able to beat a real good maiden, but it takes a good one to beat him. The son of Unbridled’s Song just missed as the favorite in his most recent outing but earned a powerful speed figure (a career top), and if he doesn’t regress he should be hard to run down. Acker tipped his hand with a sharp runner-up effort in his debut in a quick sprint last month and seems sure to benefit greatly from the outing and today’s increase in trip. The Richard Mandella-trained son of Include is bred to improve a bunch over a distance of ground on both sides of his pedigree and hails from a barn that has excellent stats with second-time starters and with the sprint-to-route angle. Placido was given a run in his sprint debut (see Black Book) and should get serious today, outside post and all. The son of Shackleford adds blinkers for a barn that excels with maidens making their second career start and a nice recent five furlong workout should have him primed for a forward move. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics trying to beat the 11-race maiden Sonneteer, who seems sure to gain plenty of play after exiting three straight graded stakes races including, most recently, the Kentucky Derby.
RACE 5: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: C
Use: 1-Avenge; 6-Lady Eli
The Gamely, a Grade-1 event over nine furlongs on turf for older fillies and mares, should come down to Avenge and Lady Eli. The former makes her first start since a valiant effort in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf-G1 last November, when the Mandella-trained mare set the fractions before being worn down late and winding up third in a superb performance. Her recent workouts indicate she’s fit and ready and in a race in which she’s clearly the controlling speed the daughter of War Front should be hard to catch. Lady Eli, nosed out in the aforementioned BC Filly & Mare Turf and missing by a head in her comeback last month at Keeneland in the Jenny Wiley Stakes-G1, should draft into a stalking position and have every chance from the top of the lane to the wire. A winner of seven of 10 during her storied career including the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf over the Santa Anita lawn three years ago, the Chad Brown-trained mare is nothing short of world class on her best day. Rather than splitting hairs, we’ll use both in our rolling exotics and simply enjoy the spectacle.
RACE 6: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 5-Pray Hard; 8-Boy Howdy; 9-Taman Guard
The late Pick-4 begins with the sixth race, a competitive first-level allowance seven furlong sprint. The come-backing Taman Guard won his debut last year so you know he can fire fresh, and when seen last in August the son of Midnight Lute was finishing a strong third in the two-turn Shared Belief Stakes behind Accelerate, who goes later today in the Gold Cup. Drawn comfortably outside, the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained gelding can bust out and go or stalk and pounce, giving jockey Mike Smith the option to accommodate whatever pace flow exits. We’ll put him on top but also use in our rolling exotics Pray Hard and Boy Howdy. The former remains well-above his claim level in a sign of confidence by trainer Richard Baltas and has recent speed figures that put him right there, while the latter is lightly-raced and improving for trainer Bill Spawr and should be on or near the lead from the start.
RACE 7: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: C
Use: 4-Illuminant; 8-Enola Gray
The Monrovia Stakes, an outstanding turf sprint for fillies and mares, likely will come down to two course specialists, Enola Gray and Illuminant. The California-bred Enola Gray is a perfect three-for-three over the Santa Anita Hillside Course and has never been sharper according to a.m. drills (see workout) since her most recent victory in the Irish O’Brien Stakes in mid-March. She’s facing open company today but her speed figures indicate she can act at this level, so we’ll give her a very slight edge on top over Illuminant, who could not have been more impressive winning the Wishing West Stakes under these conditions two races back. Enola Gray projects to be in front while Illuminant should have her in sight every step of the way. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics but otherwise sit out the race. Let the best one win.
RACE 8: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 5-Midnight Storm; 7-Big John B; 8-Accelerate
The Gold Cup at Santa Anita is the featured attraction on the day and is carded as the eighth race. To be honest, we really don’t have a strong opinion, though if both the Bob Baffert entrants, American Freedom and Cupid, remain in the race and therefore insure a reasonable pace, Big John B becomes somewhat intriguing as the most dangerous of the closing types. He’s been primarily a marathoner most of his career, but 10 furlongs with some help up front on the main track is within his scope. He sure has looked good in the morning since his last race (see workout). Midnight Storm, on the basis of his runner-up effort to Shaman’s Ghost in the Big ‘Cap, clearly is the one to beat, though he remains a bit suspect at this classic distance. The two Baffert runners also are questionable at a mile and one-quarter but are good enough to cause concern with their best efforts. It’s a spread race, for sure, in rolling exotic play and we suggest that you include Big John B and the in-form Accelerate on your tickets along with anybody else that catches your fancy.
RACE 9: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 2-Lucky Soul
The finale is a nine furlong maiden turf affair that offers an excellent wagering opportunity. Lucky Soul ran much better than the line will show in his debut (see Black Book) and seems certain to produce a significant forward move while stretching out to a distance he’s bred to like. The son of Lookin At Lucky broke a bit slowly, was forced to steady early, took hold crossing the dirt and finished mostly on his own courage before galloping out in front past the wire in his downhill debut, and has trained well since while retaining jockey Gary Stevens. This is a nice colt and we’re expecting him to show it today. At 4-1 on the morning line he’s a strong straight play and rolling exotic single.
Saturday, May 27, 2017
RACE 1: Post 1:30 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Canarsie Kid; 4-The Crocheron Kid
RACE 2: Post 2:01 ET. Grade: B
Use: 7-Refinance; 8-Tanzanite
RACE 3: Post 2:32 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Street Heat; 2-Castaway; 4-Our Caravan
RACE 4: Post: 3:04 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Stormin Monarcho; 3-Hard Study
RACE 5: Post 3:36 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Heavy Meddle; 6-Shiraz
RACE 6: Post 4:09 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Party Mint Star; 7-Mary Pray for Us; 8-Double Mane
RACE 7: Post 4:41 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 5-Fleet Week; 7-Battle Joined; 8-Tapany
RACE 8: Post 5:13 ET. Grade: B
Use: 4-Kitten’s Cat; 8-Big Handsome
RACE 9: Post 5:45 ET. Grade: B
Use: 3-Eloquent Riddle; 5-Sheplaysthefield
RACE 10: Post: 6:17 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Elenzee; 3-Cavallotto; 13-Dab