“What You Need to Know” – Santa Anita
By Jeff Siegel, 1stbet.com Handicapper & Analyst
Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily Santa Anita Handicapping Analysis, Wagering Strategies, Workout Commentary, and True Odds Calculations (“TOC”) identify those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.
The “TOC” quantifies the findings of a personal thoroughbred analytics program that contains in its database the results of every race contested at Santa Anita since 2004. More than 75 critical factors in the fields of class, distance, surface, age, and sex have created 227 algorithms that are highly specific to the race being handicapped. The result is a probability line that reflects each contender’s true odds based on a pure 100-point takeout.
The “TOC” applies its mathematical formula only to non-maiden races and displays a maximum of four runners considered the most likely contenders to win. Also listed is the specific algorithm’s sample size plus the top-rated horse’s win percentage and return on investment (ROI). It is suggested that the player utilize the program’s findings to compare each contender’s “true odds” with the morning line and/or actual wagering odds to identify potential overlays and underlays.
Also-eligible runners are not included in any of the calculations until verified as actual starters. When possible, adjustments to the “TOC” will be updated after late scratches.
For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.
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: X
Use (in order of preference): 6-Accoustic Shadow; 5-Witch Moon
Forecast: Acoustic Shadow and Witch Moon finished a neck apart when two-three in a similar maiden claimer over this course and distance last month and will get most of the play in this six-runner event that offers little else to embrace. ‘Shadow is a nine-race maiden while ‘Moon has had 12 chances, so neither can be trusted, but we’ll operate under the assumption will be one or the other and it may just come down to which can navigate the best trip. Both should be included in rolling exotic play in a race that we’ll otherwise leave alone.
RACE 2: Post: 1:02 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 1-Little Rachel; 3-Win This Vow; 2-Red Panty Night
Forecast: Little Rachel (TOC=3/5; ML=8/5) had a right to be a tad short when second as the favorite in a similar starter optional claimer in her first start in 11 months earlier this season. With that tightener behind her, the lightly-raced mare should be fitter, tighter, and the logical top pick despite her disadvantageous rail post position. Based strictly on speed figures, she deserves her 8/5 morning line status. With This Vow (TOC=7/2; ML=4-1) is worth including on your ticket as well. In her third start following a long layoff, the R. Ellis-trained mare adds blinkers for the first time while returning to a dirt track she’s won on in the past. It wouldn’t be surprising to see her on the lead from the get-go. Red Panty Night (TOC=6-1; ML=4-1) has rising speed figures and probably has another forward move or two in her. She’s protected in a sign of confidence and is worth including somewhere on your ticket.
Red Panty Night (February 12, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01h). Grade: B
A tad high-headed but worked well for Mulhall, splits of :24 flat and :36.2 from the quarter pole to the seven furlong pole while being ridden in the late stages. Earned a good number when breaking her maiden for $20,000 at Los Alamitos in December and appears to have further improvement in her.
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RACE 3: Post: 1:35 PT Grade: C
Use (in order of preference): 1-Crossword; 2-Big Flame; 5-Gator Shining
Forecast: This restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming turf sprint requires a spread strategy in rolling exotic play, with half of the six-runner field capable of winning, so it’s a pass race for us other than what we’ll need to use in our rolling exotics. Crossword (TOC=2-1; ML=9/5) is winless in seven starts over the Santa Anita turf course but a recent runner-up at this level charts well in this affair so we’ll put him slightly on top and hope that he can use his rail post to good advantage. He may be quick enough to make the running and if he can, his chances will increase. Big Flame (TOC=6-1; ML=3-1), freshened since November, exits a pair of tougher races and has back numbers that put him in the hunt. Recent workouts look sharp, so we’re expecting a big effort from the son of Mr. Big. Gator Shining (TOC=5/2; ML=6-1) , in the frame in his last three starts, returns from the Bay Area and could be a late threat. At 6-1 on the morning line, he’s worth tossing in somewhere.
RACE 4: Post: 2:10 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference: 4-Loma Vista; 5-Ardis
Forecast: Loma Vista finished steadily to be fourth in a stronger (and productive) high-priced maiden claiming sprint last time out and today drops for the money run while stretching out to a distance that should be well within her range. Based on our pace projection, the daughter of Midnight Storm should be on or near a comfortable early pace and then have her chance to kick home when called upon. Ardis ran evenly and galloped out well in her debut sprinting on dirt (the same race that Loma Vista exits) but the flopped as the favorite when tried on grass last time out. Back on the main track and with the always-popular two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern, the daughter of Mohaymen can be expected to produce a significant forward move. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play, with the main push going to Loma Vista.
RACE 5: Post: 2:43 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 5-Hot On the Trail; 1-Circulodeganadoras; 3-Discernment
Forecast: The first leg of the late Pick-5 is a messy affair for bottom-rung $10,000 claiming fillies and mares over a mile on dirt. Let’s take a shot with a closer in a race in which the early pace projects to be contested and faster than par. Hot On the Trail (TOC=4-1; ML=8-1), listed at 8-1 on the morning line, was claimed back by trainer L. Ruiz in a sign of confidence last time out and should improve today with the stretch-out in trip and a favorable pace scenario. She has won over this track and distance in the past, retains T. Baze, and will be doing her best work late. Circulodeganadaros (TOC=6-1; ML=3-1); is a committed front runner from the Bay Area fresh from a sprint win for $8,000 and seems certain to employ gate-to-wire tactics stretching out from the rail. We’ll see how much heat she needs to fend off and how far she can lead the way. Discernment (TOC=7/2; ML=4-1) , a game runner-up under these conditions earlier this month, always has preferred to run second or third (11 times) than win (three times) but a repeat of her last race gives her something of a look.
RACE 6: Post: 3:15 PT Grade: X
Forecast: Bottom-rung maiden claiming $20,000 fillies and mares sprint five and one-half furlongs in a race that should be won by the morning line favoriteMarie. She makes her first start since her debut in November of 2020 when she finished sixth in a strong maiden-special-weight turf sprint, and the five-year-old daughter of Blame is realistically spotted upon her return by trainer J. Sadler, who has powerful stats (26%) with the layoff angle. A sharp series of workouts should have her plenty fit, and with the presence of the stable’s “go-to” rider J. Hernandez in the saddle, it all adds up. She may wind up too short on the tote to play in the win pool, but we can use her a logical rolling exotic single.
Marie (January 20, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.1h). Grade: B
Saw her last month in a solo main track five furlong drill, splits of :11.2 and :36.1 for the final three furlongs, mild coaxing only, nice move for J. Sadler. On the comeback trail and is eligible to return in a soft spot.
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RACE 7: Post: 3:47 PT Grade: B+
Use (in order of preference): 4-Triple Tap; 2-Shaaz
Forecast: B. Baffert holds the aces in this extended sprint for second-level allowance older horses. Triple Tap (TOC=8/5; ML3/5) is the morning line favorite at 3/5 – that’s who Johnny V. clearly prefers – and the half-brother to American Pharoah seems have noticeably improved in recent workouts after being freshened since opening day. Stable mateShaaz (TOC=4/5; ML=2-1), who just finished second at 1/5 but was moved up to first via disqualification and thus remains perfect in two starts, has more tactical speed than ‘Tap but at this seven furlong trip we suspect ‘Tap will prove the stronger of the two late. The analytics actually prefer Shaaz, so we’ll have tickets using both in our rolling exotics with the main punch going to Triple Tap.
Shaaz (January 29, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h). Grade B
Left the pole outside Spielberg (same time) for Baffert and then was joined on the far turn from the outside by Set Sail, (4f, :49.1h) splits of :12.1, :23.3, :35 flat and 1:00.1, never really asked much but as usual showing a tendency to lug in through the lane. Plenty of talent but still a little green. Getting better.
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Triple Tap (February 19, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:11.4h). Grade: B+
In company outside As Time Goes By (same time) and looked very good, best we’ve seen him, splits of :11.2, :24.2 and :48 flat for the three furlong pole to the seven furlong pole, some late coaxing while drawing clear late by more than a length after breezing to the wire. Freshened since opening day and appears to have improved. Workmate had to be ridden in the stretch to stay even but dropped back late and noticeably second best.
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RACE 8: Post: 4:19 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 5-Secret Club: 7-If Id Told You
Forecast: The nightcap is a mile grass affair for entry-level allowance California-bred older horses. We’ll try to get by using just two in our rolling exotics. Secret Club (TOC=3/5; ML=9/5) removes blinkers, plummets in class to his lowest level ever, is reunited with Johnny V., and should be along in time in a race that projects to have quick enough early splits to compliment his closing style. The other main contender is If Id Told You (TOC=6-1; ML=8-1), a non-threatening eighth in a sprint tune-up earlier this month in his first start in nearly two years. The G. Mandella-trained gelding seems certain to produce a forward move, and while he’ll need a career-top effort to win we think he could easily do so with a projected second flight, stalking trip.