“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: C+
Use (in order of preference): 5-Stoic Luna; 4-La V., 2-Ready Jet Go
Forecast: The Sunday opener is a challenging five furlong turf sprint for restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming fillies and mares. Stoic Luna (TOC=9/2; ML=5-1 shows the route-sprint-angle combined with a class drop and earned a speed figure two races back when breaking her maiden that is good enough to win at this level. As for the grass, who knows? Her pedigree suggests she should be okay with it. La V. (TOC=4-1; ML=4-1) has been stopped and started on a few times, so she clearly has her problems, but the L. Powell-trained filly has enough speed to be effective at this five furlong trip and numbers that make her a fit. However, she’s another with unproven form on turf. Ready Jet Go (TOC=5-1; ML=7/2) is a perfect one-for-one over the Santa Anita turf course and returns to her claim level after having a tightener in a mixed-breed allowance race at Los Alamitos last month. With a forward move today, she should be right there. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with very slight edge on top to Stoic Luna.
RACE 2: Post: 1:32 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 2-Roman Empress; 4-Lookin At Sweetie
Forecast: Lookin At Sweetieis listed as the 6/5 morning line favorite after crossing the wire first in a maiden $20,000 sprint earlier this meeting but then losing the purse due to a bad test (she was also a voided claim in that race). If she can turn in two alike, she can win, and this raise to the $40,000 is a sign of confidence, but at the price she sure seems like an underlay. Roman Empress is a much more attractive gamble, especially at 8-1 on the morning line. The daughter of Empire Way stretches for the first time, has sprint numbers that fit, and has a pedigree that suggests she should improve around two turns. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with ‘Empress getting the nod on top due to price considerations.
RACE 3: Post: 2:06 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 3-Kandarel; 5-Indian Peak
Forecast: Kandarel (TOC=3-1; ML=3-1 has been away since last summer but he is a prototype late-running turf sprinter with a perfect two-for-two record over the local lawn and with workouts that indicate he’s fit and ready. A winner of this very same Siren Lure Stakes last year, the son of Candy Ride should have enough pace up front to compliment his style, and with regular pilot J. Hernandez taking the call the R. Mandella-trained gelding is sure to receive the patient ride he requires. Indian Peak (TOC=7/5; ML=2-1), second in a pair of graded stakes races down the Hill, switches to the flat course today and will be heard from in the final furlong. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with the main punch reserved for Kandarel.
RACE 4: Post: 2:36 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference: 3-Unwritten Code; 7-Princess Alexis
Forecast: Unwritten Code (TOC=2-1; ML=3-1) stumbled badly and lost her position when far back in a fast turf sprint last month but deserves another chance in a similar starter’s allowance sprint on dirt. The daughter of Desert Code earned a pretty decent number when graduating over this track and distance two runs back, and a repeat of that effort today makes her the one to beat. Princess Alexis (TOC=5/2; ML=4-1) scored at first asking in mid-February, returns protected, is comfortably drawn outside and shows a steady series of recent workouts to have her plenty fit. She’ll need to step it up in the speed figure department but could easily do so. We’ll give Unwritten Code a slight edge on top but include both in rolling exotic play.
RACE 5: Post: 3:08 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 4-Lansdowne; 4-Trainer Please
Forecast: Lansdowne (TOC=6-1; ML=9/5) was well-meant in his U.S. debut last summer over this course and distance but settled for second in a solid effort. However, he went to the sidelines and missed the remainder of the year. A recent series of steady workouts should have him fit enough, so if the P. D’Amato-trained gelding returns as well as he left he should be able to handle this moderate band of older maiden turf sprinters. Trainer Please (TOC=8/5; ML=5/2) has finished in the money in five of six career starts but has proven to be vulnerable under pressure in the final stages of his races. The D. O’Neill-trained gelding has solid speed figures and enough early speed to establish the pace, so he should win one of these eventually, perhaps today. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with a slight edge on top to Lansdowne.
RACE 6: Post: 3:38 PT Grade: X
Use (in order of preference): 7-Ganadora; 3-Musica
Forecast: Ganadora won like a future star in her debut when trained by B. Baffert, strolling home by more than six lengths in powerful fashion while earning a stakes-quality speed figure. Now in the S. McCarthy barn, the daughter of Quality Road once again lands the cozy outside post, which gives her the option to pop and go, or stalk and pounce. She’s listed at 6/5 on the morning line but we suspect will go lower. Also worth including on your ticket, at least as a back-up, is Musica, a hot maiden winner in her second start after finishing a sharp runner-up to next-out winner Ironic Twist in her debut. Based strictly on speed figures, she’s reasonably competitive with the favorite, though Ganadora’s upside may be unlimited.
RACE 7: Post: 4:08 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference) 6-Miss Louna; 1-Savvy Gal; 5-Bristol Bayou
Forecast: Miss Louna (TOC=6-1; ML=4-1) makes her U.S. debut in a starter’s allowance turf sprint after competing for a mid-level tag last year in France. She subsequently improved enough to win a black-type race at Longchamp last fall, so she should be able to outclass this field. The works look good and the barn generally does well with European imports. Savvy Gal (TOC=5/2; ML=4-1); and Bristol Bayou (TOC=7/2; ML=4-1), one-two finishers in a similar starter’s allowance grass affair last month, both should fire good shots right back and are the ones to fear most. The former is a three-time winner over the local lawn and will be running on strongly late, while the latter, although racing in good form, is winless in 10 career outings on turf. All three should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Miss Louna.
Miss Louna (March 23, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.3h TT). Grade: B
Solo half mile training track breeze for L. Powell, never asked, splits of :24.4 and :48.3, easy early and strong late. Was a listed stakes winner at Longchamp last fall and should be quite competitive in decent comeback on this circuit. Seems fairly fit and can be tough sprinting or up to a mile.
View Workout Video
RACE 8: Post: 4:40 PT Grade: B+
Use: 2-Triple Tap; 4-Royal Ship
Forecast: Royal Ship (TOC=2-1; ML=5/2), rested since last summer, returns in a listed main track mile stakes that his connections hope will produce a confidence-building win to kick off his 2022 campaign. Successful in the Californian S.-G2 here almost a year ago, the Brazilian-bred gelding subsequently missed in a photo in the Hollywood Gold Cup-G1 to Country Grammer, who won the Dubai World Cup-G1 a couple of weeks ago. If the R. Mandella-trained son of Midshipman is anywhere near fit he will be tough to beat, but it must be noted that he does have a history of racing himself into shape, so we’re concerned that he might not be 100 percent cranked up. Triple Tap (TOC=5-1; ML=3-1) had no visible excuse at 20 cents on the dollar when third in a recent second-level allowance sprint but he’s returned to work very impressively with blinkers on, and we suspect the addition of the hood may make a world difference to the son of Tapit. American Pharoah’s half-brother is stretching out for the first time and he should love the added distance. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference – at 3-1 on the morning line – to Triple Tap.
Triple Tap (March 31, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:11.3h). Grade: A
In blinkers, in company with Defunded (6f, 1:14.4h) and left that one far behind while being ridden mildly through the lane, extra sharp drill, final quarter mile in an eye-catching :23.2. The hood may have really woken this colt up. Ready for a career top effort, it would appear.
RACE 9: Post: 5:12 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 7-Machtenhaironfire; 6-Boisterously Irish
Forecast: Boisterously Irish finished an okay second in her debut last month and a similar effort probably will be good enough to handle this bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint field of older fillies and mares. However, she is going to be short price and was lugging out late, so we’re not quite sure what we are going to see today. Machtenhaironfire, a weakening fourth in the same race after cutting out the fractions from the rail, may have as much if not more improvement in her and will be a better price at 4-1 on the morning line. It’s hard to ignore anything V. Cerin sends out these days. Both should be used in rolling exotic play in a race that you should treat with caution.
RACE 10: Post: 5:44 PT Grade: X
Single: 1-Barrister’s Ride
Forecast: Barrister’s Ride should have been unsaddled when second in a similar state-bred turf event last month. Severe traffic at a critical stage entering the lane cost her valuable momentum but once clear she finished eagerly, only to run out of room. The whole world saw the trouble, so she’s listed at 6/5 on the morning line and may even go lower than that. She lands the rail and retains R. Gonzales, so with any kind of good racing luck she should be along in plenty of time as a logical, short-priced rolling exotic single.