Jeff Siegel’s Blog: “What You Need to Know” for Santa Anita – Saturday, April 20, 2024

Jeff Siegel’s Santa Anita “What You Need to Know”
Saturday, April 20, 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: 5-Beef Winslow
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Beef Winslow always was a solid sprinter/middle distance performer but has taken his game to a new level since joining the Mark Glatt barn via a $32,000 claim last August. His speed figures have skyrocketed, and though second at even money in a similar Hillside turf sprint last time out in mid-February the son of Honor Code lost little in defeat (he was more than three lengths clear of the rest) while maintaining his razor sharp form. A three time winner over the local lawn, he possesses an ideal stalking style for this tricky downhill layoff and picks up the barn’s “go-to” rider A. Fresu (27%, strong ROI), so we’re expecting him to get back on track today as a logical rolling exotic single.

RACE 2: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: B+
Main Ticket: 5-Jai Ho
Backups/savers: 9-Precipice; 1-Sabres.

Forecast: Trainer Mark Glatt has three entered in this $50,000 maiden claiming turf sprint for fillies and mares, the most intriguing of which is Jai Ho, who displayed some ability when facing much tougher straight maiden types in her only previous outing over the local lawn almost a year ago. The daughter of Mendelssohn finished a non-threatening seventh in that race but was green early and then was allowed to finish mostly on her own in traffic while beaten only three lengths before galloping out quite well. She was entered back two months later but scratched and then disappeared; however, her comeback workouts both here and at San Luis Rey Downs are strong for a barn that has a superior record with layoff runners. She was a $175,000 Timonium 2-year-old in training sale purchase so we’re a little surprised she’s returning for a tag, but Glatt can get aggressive with these sparingly raced types, so let’s assume she is fit, ready, and well-spotted for a win.

RACE 3: Post: 2:08 PT Grade: C+
Main Ticket: 1-Normandy Landing; 3-Duran
Backups/savers: 4-Nuclear.

Forecast: There’s not much to work with in this five-runner straight maiden main track miler for older horses, so we won’t get too involved. Normandy Landing has rising speed figures for B. Baffert, and with another forward move should be set to earn his diploma in his fourth career start. Second in a similar affair over this track and distance last month, the son of Gun Runner – a $1.05 million yearling purchase – projects to settle just off the pace and then have every chance to grind out a win. Duran finished a nose behind our top pick when third in that race, though he’s already had five chances and probably has less room to improve.

RACE 4: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B-
Main Ticket: 10-J Dutton; 2-Western Grit; 7-Travelin’ Show.
Backups/savers: 6-Motivating Force; 9-Ignatowski.

Forecast: We’re not crazy about the outside 10-post draw, but Triple Crown-nominated J Dutton, always fairly well regarded and trying grass for the first time, really doesn’t have a whole lot to beat in this California-bred sprint that came up soft. The son of Smiling Tiger has dirt numbers that are more than sufficient to beat this field, shows the popular blinkers off angle, and switches to the barn’s “go-to” rider E. Maldonado. If he’s ever going to amount to much, the L. Barocio-trained sophomore has to beat a field like this. Western Grit was worn down late when second over this course and distance in mid-January but has been off for three months, so his condition is suspect. He’s a quick type and will take them as far as she can. Travelin’ Show is back sprinting where he belongs, and a repeat of his race before last – second when more than four clear of the rest – gives him a reasonable look.

RACE 5: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: C+
Main Ticket: 2-Soul of Midnight; 4-Tiz Tok; 7-Aurelian Man.
Backups/savers: 5-Fifty Cinco.

Forecast: Soul of Midnight is a first-off-the-claim play for Gary Stute stretching out for the first time, and if he’s ever going to get the trip we suspect it will be in his first try. His sprint numbers fit with these, and both of his career wins were earned over the Santa Anita main track, so let’s hope he can get loose on the lead and then get brave. Tiz Tok is a one-paced plodding type that needs help up front, but he managed to finish a distant second in a similar affair last month and against this group not much better will be needed. Aurelian Man is faster on pure numbers than most of these, but those figs were earned on grass and his form on dirt is rather uninspiring. He’s worth tossing in somewhere. Tread lightly here.

RACE 6: Post: 3:33 PT Grade: C
Main Ticket: 8-Antibes; 7-Ghostly Act; 5-Charley Pride
Backups/savers: 2-Handsome Red; 6-Finners Goldnsense.

Forecast: Nothing would surprise us in this wide open grass grab bag for older maiden state-bred turf sprinters (a split of the fourth race), so the best advice is to spread as deeply as your budget allows. Antibes has hit the board in four of seven starts and earned a career top speed figure when second facing similar over this course and distance last month. He’s a one-paced grinder, but if he can repeat his last he could finally graduate. Ghostly Act is a 13-race maiden and definitely not one to trust, but he has hit the board in his last six starts, so at least he’s knocking on the door. The first timer Charley Pride hasn’t shown a whole lot in the morning in his dirt track preparation, but with his pedigree (Arrogate x Enola Gay) he’s worth at least a little bit of a look. We can’t say he’s bred for it, but maybe he’ll enjoy grass.

RACE 7: Post: 4:03 PT Grade: A
Main Ticket: 2-Judge Miller
Backups/savers: none

Forecast: Judge Miller moves into graded stakes competition in just his fourth career start, but based on the speed figure he earned when demolishing a first level allowance field here last time out the son of Curlin should have little difficulty handling the class hike. The Mark Glatt-trained full brother to Clairiere won over a mile like today’s extra furlong won’t be an issue at all, so whether on the front end or from a stalking position this extremely talented four year old looks like a logical rolling exotic single while continuing on his way to bigger and better things.

RACE 8: Post: 4:33 PT Grade: A-
Main ticket: 3-Medoro
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Medoro is unbeaten in three starts, the last two victories earned in stakes events over this turf course, so there’s really no reason to pick against the Honor Code filly in this year’s renewal of the Providencia S.-G3. She likes to settle off the pace and then blast home, so this stretch out to nine furlongs makes her even tougher. The Peter Eurton-trained sophomore has produced a forward move on speed figures in each of her outings and we suspect the pattern will continue today. Regular rider A. Fresu stays aboard, so she has all of the makings of a logical, odds-on, rolling exotic single.

RACE 9: Post: 5:03 PT Grade: B
Main ticket: 3-Thorne House; 8-Man O Rose.
Backups/savers: 7-Fifth Street.

Forecast: Thorne House has been away for 11 months but has trained like he’s fit and ready and based strictly on speed figures he’s the fastest in the field. He’s good on grass, but maybe even better on dirt, and he’s a versatile type that can win on the lead or from a stalking/pressing position. Man O Rose earned a monster number when winning a first level allowance sprint by himself over this track and distance last month. This is a considerably tougher assignment, but from his cozy outside draw the J. Mullins-trained gelding should have clear sailing and every chance.

RACE 10: Post: 5:33 PT Grade: B+
Main ticket: 8-Lincoln Hawk (Ire); 9-Calm Sea; 10-Order in Law
Backups/savers:3-Maltese Falcon.

Forecast: Here’s a 10-furlong grass affair for first level allowance older horses that offers an excellent price chance. Lincoln Hawk, in his third start off a layoff, stretches out again, is a solid fit on numbers, and is a two-time winner over the Santa Anita lawn. He likes to settle in mid-pack and produce a late run, and if he gets a decent pace to chase the Irish-bred gelding will offer enticing value at or near his morning line of 8-1. Calm Sea is a need-the-lead type, and if he’s gifted a soft front-running trip he could take this field a long way. Under identical conditions last time out, the four-year-old gelding made the running, set easy splits, responded late but was worn down in the final stages. The main concern is that he’ll be lucky to enjoy a better journey today. Order and Law won here at this trip two runs back with a good figure but was a tad below form in his more recent outing. Despite the extreme outside draw, the P. Eurton-trained son of Violence should be included somewhere on your ticket.

Jeff Siegel’s Blog: “What You Need to Know” for Santa Anita – Saturday, April 20, 2024

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