“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: 1:00 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 3-Arrabiata; 6-Bud Knight
Forecast: Arrabiata (TOC=9/5; ML=2-1) returns the claiming ranks for the first time since breaking his maiden in his debut in December at Los Alamitos. The class drop should do him well. The son of Tapit has earned decent figures even when finishing unplaced in his last pair against considerably stronger foes, so in this restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming turf miler the D. O’Neill-trained sophomore appears to have found his friends. Bud Knight (TOC=3-1; ML=3-1) is 1-for-24 and therefore impossible to have confidence in, but the return to grass coupled with a class drop from starter’s allowance company should make him competitive. His speed figures also fit nicely in this league. We’ll toss him in on a ticket or two while reserving the main punch for Arrabiata.
RACE 2: Post: 1:37 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 6-The Reign Song; 2-Miss Lucilla
Forecast: California-bred juveniles meet over four and one-half furlongs in the second race, with five of six starters having been bred by T. Lovingier, who has retained ownership in The Reign Song and Miss Lucilla , the two entrants that figure to get the bulk of the play on the tote. ‘Song finished a distant third in her debut after a slow start and a wide trip behind runaway winner Tom’s Regret, who subsequently won the Kentucky Juvenile S. at Churchill Downs during Derby week. From an outside post and with blinkers being added, the daughter of Stay Thirsty should have no excuses. ‘Lucilla went through the ring as a yearling for $50,000 and shows a sufficient work tab to be fit and ready. The W. Solis stable (2-for-60 in 2022) doesn’t inspire confidence but in an unclassified field she appears to be the most dangerous of the newcomers.
RACE 3: Post: 2:09 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 3-Kuora; 2-Octane
Forecast: Kuora (TOC=8/5; ML=5/2), claimed for $50,000 two races back and fifth in a tougher allowance/optional claimer in her first outing for new connections, drops into the $32,000 ranks and seems as good as any in this nine furlong grass event for older fillies and mares. From the high-percentage V. Cerin barn, the Peruvian-bred mare won for this price the last time she ran for it (last summer at Del Mar) and against this easier group she could easily return to winning form. She does her best running from just off the pace and seems likely to inherit an ideal trip In a race that projects to have soft early splits. Octane (TOC=3-1; ML=2-1) is the likely controlling speed with the addition of blinkers from a good inside draw, and if not policed up front she could get brave and be tough to catch. The Brazilian-bred mare will be trying claimers for the first time, is a fit on numbers, and switches to top rider J. Hernandez. We’ll give Kuora a slight edge on top but include both in rolling exotic play.
RACE 4: Post: 2:43 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference: 3-Synthethis; 5-Octopus
Forecast: Synthesis (TOC=5/2; ML=5/2) has excellent recent form, is fast on figures, and looks well-spotted for a repeat score after capturing a nice starter’s allowance event over this track and distance in late March. He has trained nicely since that race for T. Yakteen and has a good stalking style that should produce a comfortable trip. Octopus (TOC=9/5; ML=4-1) was scheduled to make his first start in 11 months when entered for $20,000 on April 15 but was a late scratch by the stewards (not the vet), worked two days later, and today shows up in a $32,000 seller as a first-time gelding. A three-time winner over the Santa Anita main track, the son of Shackleford shows a steady work tab that should have him fit enough, and in a race without much speed he could find himself on the front end without any real pressure. Both should be included in rolling exotic play, with Synthesis getting a slight nod on top.
Octopus (April 18, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.3h). Grade: B
Under restraint to the wire, then was asked out to the 7/8 pole and did well while clearly best over Lil Richards Bello (4f, :49h), splits of :11.3, :36.2 and :49 flat from the 3 furlong pole to the seven furlong pole. Looked eager, been away for almost a year but seems in good enough shape.
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RACE 5: Post: 3:14 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 3-Southern Horse; 4-Whooping Jay
Forecast: Southern Horse (TOC=Evens; ML=2-1) moves up two notches on the claiming class scale after securing his first North American victory over this course and distance last month. The J. Sadler-trained Argentine-bred veteran likes to settle in the second flight and then blast home and should get the trip he needs to handle this tougher assignment. J. Hernandez stays aboard and knows him well. Whooping Jay (TOC=5-1; ML=7/2) was claimed for $100,000 in November at Del Mar, hasn’t done much in three starts since, and today shows up in a $50,000 claimer, so the pattern is suspect. However, he may be the quickest in the field and if he can shake loose early without being pressured he could take this field a very long way. Preference on top goes to Southern Horse but both should be included in rolling exotic play.
RACE 6: Post: 3:45 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 8-Grazed; 9-Leyas Candy; 4-Creative Peak
Forecast: Here’s a fairly competitive sprint for California-bred runners that requires a bit of usage in rolling exotic play. Trainer M. Glatt appears to have two live items. Grazed had a troubled run at Tampa Bay Downs a year ago April when finishing second in a maiden $25,000 grass sprint and then was stopped on. The son of Grazen returns protected in a sign of confidence and has given indication in his morning drills that he possesses much more early zip than he showed in his debut. Stable mate Leyas Candy is a first-timer by Danzing Candy with a work tab that should have him plenty fit. He is drawn comfortably outside and has done enough in the a.m. to make him a “must use” in this affair. Creative Peak makes his first start since October and if he returns as well as he left the son of Creative Cause should highly competitive, as well. In the frame in three of four races last year during his two-year-old campaign (and eliminated when impeded in the one race he wasn’t), the V. Cerin-trained colt should be fit enough for a major effort for a stable that has superior stats with layoff runners.
Grazed (April 10, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.3h). Grade: B
In blinkers, may have gone a few tickets slower on our watches from half mile pole out to seven furlong pole but was under strong restraint early and under a hold late while even but best over Suzie Qzz Brother (same time) for M. Glatt, splits of :24.3, :49.2 and 1:02.1, plenty left late. Been away for more than a year but seems to have much more early speed than his only outing shows. Dangerous vs. maidens.
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Leyas Candy (March 31, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.2h). Grade: B
Broke off a couple of lengths in front of Rookie Mistake (4f, :48.1h) and finished about a length in front while working from the three furlong pole out to the seven furlong pole, mild coaxing only and finishing with something left, splits of :11.4, :36 flat (to the wire) and then out in :48.2. Decent mover looks to have some ability, getting fit, is a decently-bred state-bred sophomore colt.
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RACE 7: Post: 4:16 PT Grade: B+
Single: 6-Teddy’s Barino
Forecast: Teddy’s Barino (TOC=2-1; ML=3-1) may have been a bit rusty when a respectable fifth in a downhill turf sprint vs. similar state-bred fillies and mares in her first outing in nine months a few weeks ago but she should be fitter and tighter today in this main track affair. Her only prior outing on dirt (last summer at Del Mar) was quite good when she finished second with a career top speed figure, so we’re expecting the M. Glatt-trained daughter of Grazen to step forward in a big way today. In a race in which nothing else excites, let’s take a stand and make her a win play and rolling exotic single at or near her morning line of 3-1.
RACE 8: Post: 4:42 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 5-Amadmadworld; 6-Nineeleventurbo; 1-Explain the Audit
Forecast: The finale is a wide-open grass grab bag for maiden $50,000 older horses at nine furlongs. Best advice is to go as deeply as your budget allows. Let’s take a shot with Amadmadworld at 8-1 on the morning line. Far back when very green in his debut sprinting on dirt in what has proven to be a highly-productive race, the son of Midnight Lute seems sure to improve a bunch against this modest group and strikes us as a gelding that will truly appreciate this stretch out in trip. In a race in which the known element doesn’t impress, a fresh face could easily win it. Nineelenveturbo is an 11-race maiden but this will be his first try with blinkers and his first vs. maiden claimers. He is solid on numbers, working well, and projects to be prominent throughout. Explain the Audit was overmatched vs. straight maiden company in his last pair but has run very well at this level in the past and is guaranteed a ground-saving trip from his rail post. Look for him to be doing his best work late.
Nineeleventurbo (May 8, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h TT). Grade: B
In blinkers, shadow roll, was quite keen early while trying to run off a bit, settled midway, then finished without pressure in solo training track drill for Drysdale, splits of :24.4, :36.2 and 1:00.3 on our watches, decent drill for maiden claiming type. May be more aggressive with the hood on, seeking another soft spot.
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