“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 (“TPC”) 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 individual
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: B
Use: 4-Moody Jim; 1-Red King
Forecast: Moody Jim (TOC=4/5; ML=6/5) returned four weeks ago following a 25 month layoff to wire a $40,000 claiming field while displaying early speed that he had never shown in six starts during this sophomore season. A perfect two-for-two over the Santa Anita turf course, the ex-Irish performer may be able to dominate again on the front end or from a soft stalking position in this starter’s allowance nine furlong grass affair, though he’s rallied from 13 length back to win in the past, so F. Prat has the option to assess the race flow and then implement a strategy. The J. Mullins-trained gelding is fast on speed figures and only became eligible for this condition when virtually claim proof off the bench last time out, so there’s every reason to believe he can win right back in this five-runner affair, though at 6/5 on the morning line he won’t be offering much in the way of wagering value. For those seeking a back-up for protection, consider Red King (TOC=7.2; ML=9/5), successful in a mini-marathon at Del Mar in his most recent appearance in November at Del Mar. A multiple graded stakes winner in his younger days, the eight-year-old son of English Channel is a five-time winner over the Santa Anita turf course, he’s the most dangerous of the committed closers, and will be tough if a decent pace materializes.
RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: B-
Use: 4-Mongolian Legend; 1-No Hang Charlie
Forecast: Mongolian Legend (TOC=5/2; ML=4-1) makes a monumental trainer switch to D. O’Neill following a $32,000 claim in late December and returns in a starter optional $25,000 affair after a healthy series of four workouts since raced. A solid 18% with the first-off-the-claim angle, the barn switches to one of its “go to” riders A. Cedillo, and while this son of Mucho Macho Man is hard to trust (a lifetime record of 1-for-25), we’re expecting a career top performance, one that should be good enough to win. No Hang Charlie (TOC=6-1; ML=7/2) graduated by seven lengths two-turning vs. bottom-rung maiden claimers over this dirt strip two races back in an effort that produced a competitive speed figure in this league. Freshened since November and showing a strong series of works at San Luis Rey Downs in the interim, the son of Oxbow should have every chance with a ground-saving trip from his preferred rail post position. Additionally, with a break in the weights and the switch to bug boy D. Herrera, the R. Baltas-trained gelding has had just three career starts, so there is plenty of room for improvement. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Mongolian Legend.
Star Sailor (January 30, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.4hg). Grade: B-
In blinkers, useful move from gate for the D. O’Neill-trained colt while much best with Over Regulated (5f, 1:02.1hg), on his own to the top and then asked to pick it up in the final furlong, splits of :25.2, :37.3, :49.4 and 1:02 flat on our watches, then galloped out with some energy to the wire in 1:16.2. Once-paced grinding type graduated from a maiden $20,000 field last month and may have a bit of improvement in him.
View Workout Video
RACE 3: Post: 1:33 PT Grade: B+
Forecast: Ardis flashed good early speed to be close up early, dropped back midway, then picked it up again late and actually galloped out quite well when sixth of eighth debuting in a much stronger maiden $75,000 dirt sprint here last month. She’s returned to work a nice half mile from the gate in 47 3/5 seconds (fifth fastest of 87), so we’re expecting the daughter of Mohaymen to step forward considerably and earn her diploma in this maiden $50,000 grass sprint that appears on paper to be weaker than average. The significant jockey switch to F. Prat is a major part of the equation, so at 3-1 on the morning line we’ll make her a win play and rolling exotic single.
RACE 4: Post: 2:04 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference: 5-Take a Leap; 4-Destiny’s Journey
Forecast: We’ll double the fourth race, a low-level $10,000 claiming miler for older fillies and mares. Take a Leap (TOC=2-1; ML-9/5), a solid runner-up vs. a slightly tougher field over this track and distance last month, has always been fairly reliable (first or second in 12 of 28 starts) and a repeat of her best race should be good enough. The switch to Johnny V. for the red-hot V. Cerin barn guarantees she’ll get plenty of play, so there may not be a whole lot of value to be found at 9/5 on the morning line. Destiny’s Journey (TOC=6/5; ML=2-1), dropping a notch following a $12,500 claim by R. Hanson, is the one to fear most as the likely controlling speed. In the frame in seven of eight career starts over the Santa Anita main track (and first or second in five of those outings), the daughter of Paynter retains regular rider A. Cedillo, and if she can clear the field without undue pressure, she should take this field a very long way.
RACE 5: Post: 2:35 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 4-Wilder Than Most; 6-Balley’s Charm
Forecast: Wilder Than Most (TOC=7/5; ML=3-1) just crushed a first-level allowance state-bred field in a race that came off the turf, but he can be equally comfortable if not more so on grass, so the return to the lawn shouldn’t be an issue. The lightly-raced gelding employs an effective pace-stalking style that guarantees a trouble-free journey, and with F. Prat riding him back, the C. Gaines-trained runner looks well-spotted for a repeat score. Bally’s Charm (TOC=7/2; ML=3-1) is a need-the-lead type, and in a race without much pace he projects to enjoy his role as the controlling speed. He’s a 3-year-old tackling older but has rising speed figures and is a first-time Lasix user, so if not pressured up front the J. Mullins-trained gelding could take this field a long way. Both should be included in rolling exotic platy; we’ll have extra tickets keying Wilder Than Most on top.
Wilder Than Most (January 30, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.3h). Grade: B
In blinkers, breezing through the lane, final three furlongs in :11.4 and :36.2, nice drill for C. Gaines. Easy defeated Cal-bred foes last month with a career-top equaling figure, should be competitive with open company next time out.
View Workout Video
RACE 6: Post: 3:06 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference: 2-Grandconcourse Guy; 3-Dixie’s Two Stents
Forecast: Grandconcourse Guy has little to beat in this maiden $40,000 sprint for older horses and rates top billing by default. He’s a first-off-the-claim play or R. Hess, Jr. and also shows the blinkers-off angle that we like, so in the absence of other contention we’ll make the front-running son of Distorted Humor the logical top pick while also including in our rolling exotics Dixie’s Two Stents, a money burner but a fit on numbers. ‘Stents most recently was a no-excuse third as the 6/5 favorite on grass but a repeat of his race-before-last – a distant fourth in a blazing race won by the promising Shaaz – makes him a reasonable contender in this affair.
Candy Fury (January 29, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:14.3hg). Grade: C+
In blinkers, was slightly second best inside Talklessworkmore (5f, 1:00.1hg) for V. Garcia and was head-and-head to the top without much pressure but weakened through the lane while failing to change leads, splits of :24.1, :35.3, :47.3 and 1:00.4 on his way to a final clocking on our watches of 1:15.1, slower than given and not particularly impressive. Has some speed, has been away since last May, has yet to win in 12 starts and needs soft maiden claimers.
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Speed Boat (January 10, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h). Grade: C+
Broke off several lengths behind Disco Ball (5f, 1:00h), closed the gap to challenge entering the lane but then fell back despite urging (workmate just galloping) to be no match for much speedier workmate, splits of :12.2, :24 flat, :35.3 and 1:00.3 on our watches. Four-year-old gelding probably a maiden claimer at this stage.
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Surf Ranch (January 19, Santa Anita, 4f, :49.1h). Grade: C+
Was under some restraint leaving the pole and then was breezing to the top, was asked through the lane and finished fair to moderate, splits of :12.2, :24.2 and :49.2 on our watches. May have a bit of early speed but seems to be modest state-bred maiden claiming material.
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RACE 7: Post: 3:39 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 5-Evening Sun; 1-Perfectionist
Forecast: Evening Sun (TOC=3/5; ML=5/2) looks pretty solid in this nine furlong grass affair for older horses based on his winning form over the local lawn, the projected race flow that favors his closing style, and his two sharp wins last summer at Del Mar, one of which he was disqualified from and therefore keeps him eligible to this second-level allowance condition. D. Van Dyke knows him well, stays aboard, and should have this J. Mullins-trained English-bred along in time. For protection, Perfectionist (TOC=3-1; ML=8-1) is worth tossing in on your ticket at 8-1 on the morning line in his first try around two turns. The son of Vronsky projects to enjoy a ground-saving, stalking trip from his rail post and then have every chance when the pressure is turned on. If he’s ever going to handle nine furlongs, it will be in his first try, and based on his sprint numbers the P. D’Amato-trained horse can be a fit at this level.
Offlee Naughty (January 23, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.3h). Grade: C
Unable to keep pace with Friar’s Road (5f, 1:00.4h) after staying even to the top of the lane, winding up almost five lengths back despite being ridden, splits of :37 flat and 1:02.1 on our watches, several ticks slower than given. Hardly encouraging, clearly needs grass to be at his best.
View Workout Video
RACE 8: Post: 4:11 PT Grade: B+
Use (in order of preference): 5-Fashionably Fast; 1-Took Charge
Forecast: Fashionably Fast (TOC=3-1; ML=2-1) always has been dynamite over the Santa Anita dirt track (four career wins), and after being freshened since November the veteran son of Lucky Pulpit seems likely to return in peak form. A strong and healthy recent work tab should have him plenty fit, and from his cozy outside draw the D. Pederson-trained gelding should draft into an ideal pace-stalking position. Took Charge (TOC=8/5; ML=5/2) got beat on the square when worn down late in a similar affair in late December and must deal with an extra half furlong today, so he may not be one to totally trust. Winless in the three starts over the Santa Anita main track, the R. Baltas-trained gelding has only one way to go from his rail post, but If he can shake loose early and slow it down midway, he might stick around for a long time. The bulk of the action will go to Fashionably Fast, but we’ll have tickets using both in our rolling exotics.
RACE 9: Post: 4:41 PT Grade: B+
Use (in order of preference): 7-Exactly Wendy; 5-Madiha
Forecast: Exactly Wendy has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern and a pedigree that should allow improvement at this one mile distance. The state-bred daughter of Nyquist found her best stride late when a willing third over the local lawn last month, shows two easy breezes since, and looks capable of settling in the second flight and then producing a winning late kick. Madiha is an eight-race maiden but five of her starts have come in stakes races, including the Cal Cups Oaks over this course and distance in her most recent outing in which she finished a respectable sixth, beaten five lengths. Clearly, this is an easier spot, and based on speed figures she’s probably the one to beat. We’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play, with Exactly Wendy, listed at 4-1 on the morning line, the slightly preferred top pick.