Jeff Siegel’s Blog: “What You Need to Know” for Santa Anita – Friday, April 7, 2023

April 7, 2023

“What You Need to Know” – Santa Anita
by Jeff Siegel, Handicapper & Analyst

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily Santa Anita Handicapping Analysis, Wagering Strategies, and Workout Commentary identify those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.
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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: X
Main ticket: (in order of preference): Angelcents; 2-Sheza Girly Girl
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: After wiring a similar starter’s allowance field over the local lawn at five furlongs, Angelcents will be asked to stretch her speed an extra half furlong in today’s lid-lifter, and based on her career record at this trip (five wins in 11 starts) the added acreage shouldn’t be any issue at all. The daughter of Goldencents earned a career top Beyer speed figure in her most recent victory but at 9/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower she probably won’t be offering a whole lot of wagering value. Worth including at least as a backup or a saver is Sheza Girly Girl, not nearly as fast on pure numbers as our top pick but with a closing style that could make her dangerous if a pace meltdown materializes.

RACE 2: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: B
Main ticket: (in order of preference): 4-Looks Rare; 1-Golden Sombrero

Forecast:Though he is moving up from a maiden claimer to being protected in this (presumably) tougher maiden optional affair in a sign of confidence by his connections, Looks Ready is strictly the one to beat after earning a strong speed figure when second over this track and distance in his most recent outing in mid-January. Finishing seven lengths clear of the rest when beaten a half-length by next out winner Low Expectations, the Doug O’Neill-trained colt sports a strong series of workouts in the in the interim, so another forward move can be anticipated. He’s the deserved top pick at 2-1 on the morning line. The “other” O’Neill entrant in the race, Golden Sombrero, was badly overmatched when unplaced in the Baffle Stakes down the hill in his debut but has returned to work very well from the gate since that outing and seems certain to be a legitimate threat on the stretch out, the switch to dirt, and the drop to the restricted maiden ranks. He also adds Lasix, gets the rail, and switches to Mike Smith, so 6-1 on the morning line the son of Medaglia d’Oro is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.

RACE 3: Post: 1:59 PT Grade: B
Main ticket (in order of preference): 2-Stressed; 6-Albayaader
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Stressed has been away for eight months and it’s possible she’ll need a race, but the Peter Eurton-trained mare shows a prior gate-to-wire win over this course and distance, sports a work tab that should have her plenty fit, and projects to be the controlling speed from her inside draw. The daughter of Goldencents picks up leading rider Juan Hernandez and will be tough to catch with a clean break from the rail. Albayaader will need some help up front to extend her winning streak to three over the local lawn, especially with a sixteenth of a mile less to work with, but on speed figures she’s a fit and should have clear sailing and every chance in the small five runner lineup. She’s the 7/5 morning line favorite and could go lower. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with Stressed, at what should be a better price, getting a very slight nod on top.

RACE 4: Post: 2:29 PT Grade: B
Main ticket (in order of preference): 3-Doris Mae; 7-Big Shamrock

Forecast: Doris Mae exits a pair of much tougher stakes races and this return to the state-bred allowance ranks should allow the daughter of Dads Caps to regain her winning form. The Carla Gaines-trained mare is the quickest in the field, and if she can shake loose before the far turn she’s likely to roll all the way to the wire. Big Shamrock is the main contender. Claimed in three of her last five starts and now in the Lorenzo Ruis barn (superior stats with the first-off-the-claim angle), the daughter of Mr. Big is comfortably drawn outside and should fold over into a good stalking position and have every chance from there.

RACE 5: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: B+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 3-Spain Moonlight; 9-Irish Rose
Backups/savers: none

Forecast: This maiden turf sprint for fillies and mares appears to have two main contenders, with a slight preference on top to the Irish invader Spain Moonlight, who makes her U.S. debut for trainer Phil D’Amato (powerful with first-out Europeans) after two promising runs during her juvenile campaign overseas. Her work tab should have her plenty fit, and with top rider Juan Hernandez taking the call and as a first time Lasix user she looks extremely live and well-meant. Irish Rose is the best of the locals and is a “must use” on your ticket. The Neil Drysdale-trained filly finished strongly to be second under similar conditions in her debut in mid-February and can be expected to a produce a significant forward move with that bit of experience behind her. She’s not a speed type but will be the one to fear most from the quarter pole home.

RACE 6: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B-
Main ticket (in order of preference): 6-Honeymoon Suite; 4-Quick Intro
Backups/savers: none

Forecast: Honeymoon Suite just broke his maiden at the bottom ($20,000) and is realistically spotted following that win in this restricted (nw-2) $12,500 abbreviated sprint. He’s a fit on speed figures and catches a field without much zip, so a gate-to-wire trip can realistically be projected. Quick Intro should be included somewhere on your ticket as well, even though with just one win from 16 lifetime outings he’s a hard one to trust. The Munnings gelding should be able to settle in the second flight and then make some noise in the final furlong.

RACE 7: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B-
Main ticket (in order of preference): 7-Isabel Ludlow; 10-Bold Choice

Forecast: Isabel Ludlow isn’t fast on numbers but with just two starts on her resume (both runner-up efforts) she should have plenty of room to improve, so let’s expect to step forward and beat this state-bred maiden field of fillies and mares. The daughter of Grazen has yet to display tactical speed but with the addition of blinkers for the first time the Steve Miyadi-trained sophomore should be able to lay within range and then produce a winning late kick. Bold Choice is a 10-race maiden but has hit the board in half of her starts and actually has several numbers that are superior to what our top pick has earned. Despite her extreme outside draw, the Steve Knapp-trained filly should be able to secure a good stalking position and then have the opportunity to hold off the ‘Ludlow’s late kick.

RACE 8: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 5-Sunrise Journey; 3-Howbeit
Backups/savers: none

Forecast: Sunrise Journey just crushed a $50,000 claiming field in typical gate-to-wire fashion while earning a career top speed figure, his 14th career win from 43 lifetime outings., This is a step up in class but there’s nothing in the field that can press him early, so it would not be surprising to see the veteran Good Journey gelding come right back and dominate again. Top speed jockey Edwin Maldonado stays aboard and won’t be waiting around for anybody. Howbeit, a non-threating fourth in a pair of recent graded sprint stakes, should go much better at this level, and with a significant weight break thanks to bug boy Aguilar the Mark Glatt-trained son of Secret Circle should return to his best form. He’s a four-time winner over the Santa Anita main track and the likely favorite and one to beat.

RACE 9: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B-
Main ticket (in order of preference): 9-Mamba Cool; 3-Anitanewmercedes; 4-Atomic Drop
Backups/savers: none

Forecast: The finale is a grass grab bag for California-bred first level allowance older horses over a mile. There are several contenders to consider; we’ll go three-deep and hope that’s sufficient. Mamba Cool has a prior win over this course and distance and has hit the board in each of his last four starts, so we’re expecting the son of Unusual Heat to produce another solid effort. The Phil D’Amato-trained gelding likes to settle early and produce a late run and with decent early fractions very likely according to our pace projections he could tag the speed in the late stages. His morning line of 7/2 seems about right. Anitanewmercedes is a sharp Bay Area invader and a winner of nine races from 32 starts. He’s most comfortable on the front end but can stalk and pounce if the situation dictates, so this veteran gelding, listed at 6-1 on the morning line, offers a legit chance at a square price. Atomic Drop is back routing after pressing the pace in a Hillside dash last month. He might be most effective if held up early, so we’re hoping a change in tactics might produce a significant bit of improvement.

Jeff Siegel’s Blog: “What You Need to Know” for Santa Anita – Friday, April 7, 2023

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