Jeff Siegel’s Blog: “What You Need to Know” for Santa Anita – Friday, May 3, 2024

Jeff Siegel’s Santa Anita “What You Need to Know
Friday, May 3, 2024

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “What You Need to Know” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.

The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.

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.

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RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: B
Main Ticket: 1-R Heisman
Backups/savers: none

Forecast: Here’s the first 2-year-old race of the season. R Heisman has produced two recent bullet drills that surely will attract plenty of action on the tote. The L. Mendez-trained colt looks cranked and ready in this abbreviated dash for state-bred runners and almost certainly will go lower than his morning line of 5/2. On paper, he’s a logical short price rolling exotic single in a race that most likely will offer little wagering value.

RACE 2: Post: 1:34 PT Grade: A-
Main Ticket: 6-Bit’s Tiger Magic
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Bit’s Tiger Magic was worn down late at 3/5 in her debut in mid-March by a subsequent stakes winner but then returned at 6/5 to make amends last month as expected by seven widening lengths over this course and distance while under wraps through the lane. The daughter of Smiling Tiger returns on the one level raise in a race that she projects to dominate right back in gate-to-wire fashion, so at 8/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower she’s another logical rolling exotic single at a potentially odds-on price.

RACE 3: Post: 2:08 ET Grade: B+
Main Ticket: 4-Max’s Maxine.
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Max’s Maxine stretches out for the first time and has the pedigree and steady, grinding running style to enjoy this mile trip. She’s not particularly fast on numbers but is good enough against this modest maiden $20,000 group of fillies and mares and based on the race she exits – she was well clear of the third runner, who was a next out winner – the R. Francis-trained sophomore appears ready to graduate. Her morning line of 3-1 isn’t bad if you can get it.

RACE 4: Post: 2:42 PT Grade: B-
Main Ticket: Enjoy It Strait 7-Giovinazzo; 3-Don’t Swear Dave
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast:. Enjoy It Strait, much improved this year with back-to-back wins following a long layoff for trainer M. Glatt, earned a career top figure in his most recent score over this course and distance in a state-bred first level allowance affair in mid-March and appears properly spotted once again in this $40,000 turf miler for older horses. With his two “win” riders A. Fresu and F. Prat out of town in Kentucky, one of the barn’s “go-to” jockeys, K. Frey, picks up the mount. From a pace projection standpoint, the son of Southern Image should draft into an ideal second flight, stalking position and have dead aim at the head of the lane. Don’t Swear Dave is a three-time winner over the local lawn and returns to turf and his winning and purchase level today in his second start off a claim for S. Knapp. The son of Connect lacks tactical speed but can turn it on late and with some help up front should be heard from close home. Giovinazzo switches to top rider J. Hernandez and fits solidly on numbers. He’s been away almost seven weeks but shows a solid and healthy work tab and should be capable of firing a big shot off the bench.

RACE 5: Post: 3:20 PT Grade: B
Main Ticket: 1-Odies Memory Lane; 6-Knightwithlouis
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Here’s a split of the first race, a juvenile dash for Cal-breds. Odies Memorial Lane and Knightwithlouis have been workmates in the morning for trainer D. O’Neill and they’re hard to separate. Both have some ability, and in a field which looks rather soft, we’re inclined to use both in our rolling exotics without picking a side. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them finish one-two in whichever order.

RACE 6: Post: 3:56 ET Grade: B
Main Ticket: 7-Really Thirsty; 5-Hayley Amber.
Backups/savers: 1-Truly Magical; 2-Danzig Til Dawn,.

Forecast: After displaying good ability in her debut at Gulfstream Park when finishing a strong third in a grass sprint in January, Really Thirty arrived locally a month later and was bet down to favoritism at 2-1 in a state-bred maiden event on dirt. The main track experiment didn’t work – she displayed speed but steadily faded – so the daughter of Stay Thirty returns to grass, retains top rider J. Hernandez, and should be given a chance to make amends. Her work pattern isn’t flashy but its healthy and steady, so we’ll put her on top though at 9/5 on the morning line she’ll not offer a whole lot of value. Hayley Amber has hit the board in all three starts, though on pure numbers she doesn’t really match up without top pick. If nothing else, she’s a trier.

RACE 7: Post: 4:25 PT Grade: C+
Main Ticket: 6-Spiritual Advisor; 5-Nauvoo.
Backups/savers: -Big Bet Jafinsafa.

Forecast: There’s nothing to trust in this main track miler for state-bred first level allowance horses, so best advice is to tread lightly. Spiritual Advisor seems as good as any. Fourth in a similar affair last month with a less than ideal trip, the J. Bonde-trained gelding is comfortably drawn outside and should fold over into an easy pace-stalking trip and then have every chance. Nauvoo won a pair of back-to-back races by a combined 22 lengths earlier this meeting but then went stale after being claimed by C. DeAlba. If he can shake loose on the lead today, he might get brave.

RACE 8: Post: 4:55 ET Grade: B-
Main ticket: 3-Stop Digging
Backups/savers 6-Smiling Forever; 4-Play My Speed.

Forecast: Stop Digging is no great shakes but doesn’t have a whole lot to beat in this turf sprint for older maiden fillies and mares. After two solid runner-up performances, one last summer and the other last month, the daughter of Mrazek should be ready to earn her diploma. The barn is 0-for-25 this year – not exactly a sign of confidence – but with blinkers being added and two easy breezes since raced to tick her over there should be no excuses.

Jeff Siegel’s Blog: “What You Need to Know” for Santa Anita – Friday, May 3, 2024

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