Jeff Siegel’s Blog: “What You Need to Know for Santa Anita – Saturday, May 24, 2024

Jeff Siegel’s Santa Anita “What You Need to Know
Saturday, May 18, 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: X
Main Ticket: 1-Miss Rockette
Backups/savers: 5-Ms Bo J.

Forecast: Miss Rockette was extremely well-meant in her debut at Oaklawn Park last month but couldn’t quite stay the trip when after opening up a three length lead in mid-stretch, gave way late to finish second in a hot race while winding up seven clear of the rest. It was a winning race in defeat, so a similar effort today should be more than good enough to earn the B. Baffert-trained filly a diploma. The daughter of Into Mischief shortens up a half furlong, lands the good rail, and seems likely to employ gate-to-wire tactics at a very short price.

RACE 2: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: B-
Main Ticket: 6-Aventapp; 8-Teen Drama.
Backups/savers: 4-Inner Beauty.

Forecast: Aventapp exits a pair of tougher races and is realistically spotted in this $25,000 claiming turf dash for fillies and mares. The M. Glatt-trained mare employs an effective stalking strategy, and after a couple of months of freshening should be primed for a major effort. Teen Drama is a two time winner over the local lawn and like our top pick should enjoy this easier task after failing to make an impression in a pair of recent starter allowance events. She can dictate her trip from her comfortable outside draw.

RACE 3: Post: 2:00 PT Grade: C+
Main Ticket: 4-Instinct D’ Oro; 7-Square D’ Oro
Backups/savers: 3-Aloha Chrome.

Forecast: Instinct D’ Oro, one of two speed-and-fade types from the H. Palma barn, had an outing in a maiden $50,000 dash in his debut last month, received no action (45-1), and after flashing some early speed faded readily. However, the race turned out to be extremely fast for the level and this is a considerably easier spot, so he’ll almost certainly stick around longer with the possibility that he may get brave if he can shake loose early. Square D’ Oro, the other Palma, also is dropping to the bottom after a pair of outings in which he displayed some speed before packing it in. It will be interesting to see if he bothers his stablemate during the early going, or whether he’ll respond better to patient handling and a stalking strategy.

RACE 4: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B-
Main Ticket: 6-Magic Account; 4-Western Power; 5-Getemdusty.
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Magic Account has been knocking on the door and looks ready to graduate in this split of the third race. Nosed out in his comeback two runs back and then finishing a solid second while four lengths clear of the rest last time out, the H. Palma-trained gelding has produced a forward move in each of his three starts and with another bit of improvement today could be set to earn his diploma. Western Powerhas enough speed to keep our top pick within range, and at this lower level the son of Liam’s Map should remain a factor much of the way. The race he exits is considerably stronger than the one he’s in today, so improvement is highly likely. Getemdusty may be the most dangerous of the closers and if the speed types do each other in the S. Miyadi-trained son of Boisterous could find himself in the right place at the right time.

RACE 5: Post: 3:05 PT Grade: C+
Main Ticket: 8-Dr. Soulfire; 9-Pinehurst.
Backups/savers: 1-Vorpal; 7- Sky Cloud.

Forecast: Dr. Soulfire drops to his lowest level ever in this restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming turf sprint and may have found his friends. He has a previous win over this course and distance and numbers that fit, and while he lacks tactical speed this extended sprint distance should complement his style. Additionally, he’s reunited with “win” rider U. Rispoli. Pinehurst graduated over the local lawn last time out with a comfortable pace stalking trip from a favorable outside draw. He lands the outside again, and with a similar journey today the P. D’Amato-trained gelding should have every chance for a repeat score.

RACE 6: Post: 3:38 PT Grade: B-
Main Ticket: 7-Bolt d’Vine ; 1-Well Funded.
Backups/savers: 2-Apple Fest; 6-Tahini.

Forecast: Bolt d’Vine hadn’t shown all that much prior to her most recent gate drill (5f, :59.4hg), which caught the eye and actually was quite good. She debuts in a moderate maiden special weight dirt sprint and really won’t have to be a world beater to be highly competitive. We’ll consider a small gamble at or near her morning line of 4-1. Well Funded shortens up and ran reasonably well when second over this track and distance in her debut in January. It wasn’t much of a race, but this one isn’t, either.

RACE 7: Post: 4:39 PT Grade: B+
Main Ticket: 2-The Wild Grazer; 4-Getthemoney.
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: The Wild Grazer returned off a long layoff to score handsomely with a career top number in a lesser allowance affair over this tricky Hillside course in late March and a repeat of that effort today should be good enough to win this year’s edition of the Mizdirection S. for older fillies and mares. The lightly raced Irish-bred filly likes to settle early and blast home, and despite the fact that the pace projects to be creepy crawly the J. Mullins-trained import has the turn of foot to outkick the leaders close home. Getthemoney, a strong third in the Monrovia S.-G3 under these conditions, has rising numbers, excellent tactical speed, and plenty of room for further improvement. She’s back with “win” rider J. Hernandez and projects to enjoy an ideal trip, either as a presser or a pacesetter. She’s the one to fear most.

RACE 8: Post: 5:09 PT Grade: B+
Main ticket: 7-Winterfell
Backups/savers: 2-Fame; 5-Wise Counsel; 8-Pony Express.

Forecast: Winterfell shows the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern and a superior workout (5f, :59h) since raced plus, as a son of Arrogate, he should really enjoy this stretch out in distance. The B. Baffert barn has superior stats with the sprint-to-route angle (28%) and with top rider J. Hernandez staying aboard, anything close to his morning line of 4-1 will offer a solid wager. We’ll use him in the win pool and as a strong push in the various rolling exotics.

RACE 9: Post: 5:39 PT Grade: B+
Main ticket: 8-Vegas Burner; 7-Mischelof (Chi).
Backups/savers: 2-Precision Strike.

Forecast: Vegas Burner has been earning very fast speed figure lately and may prove to be a timely claim by S. Knapp after demolishing maiden $50,000 claiming sprinters in his most recent outing last month. He’s unproven around two turns, so this stretch out to a middle distanance presents something of a challenge, but if the son of American Pharoah grabs control early as expected and doesn’t pull or get rank he’s very likely to take this field gate to wire. Mischelof (Chi) has solid recent form but is just 1-for-19 in his career and probably isn’t one to trust. He’s a one-paced grinder but based on his runner-up effort at this level last month he should be capable of clunking up for a piece, and if our top pick makes any mistakes he’ll be in a good position to pick him up.

RACE 10: Post: 6:09 PT Grade: B+
Main ticket: 4-Pippa Philipa
Backups/savers: 8-Runamileinmyshoes; 2-Miz Clubcali.

Forecast: Let’s go with a good price chance in the nightcap, a mile grass affair for older maiden fillies and mares. Pippa Philipa stretches out after the prerequisite two sprint tighteners and has a pedigree (with Curlin on the bottom) to suggest this two turn trip will be well within her scope. She finished fifth, beaten eight lengths, in her most recent start but the winner won by seven, so she was actually lapped on the others at the wire. Also, she broke poorly, fell far back, was given too much to do but still closed resolutely to finish much closer than she had a right to. We liked her gallop out, too. The M. McCarthy-trained sophomore will get the patient ride she needs with the switch to M. Smith, so at or near her morning line of 12-1, she’ll offer a nice gamble.

Jeff Siegel’s Blog: “What You Need to Know for Santa Anita – Saturday, May 24, 2024

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