“What You Need to Know” – Santa Anita
Sunday, January 16, 2022
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 (“TPC”) 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 individual
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: 12:30 PT Grade: B+
Use (in order of preference): 3-Rio Ocho; 1-Flint Stroll
Forecast: Rio Ocho earned a career top speed figure when finishing an excellent second in a similar maiden turf router at Del Mar in November and nothing much more will be needed to produce a victory in this moderate affair. The J. Mullins-trained gelding makes a significant jockey switch to F. Prat and should be able to settle in the second flight and have dead aim and every chance from the quarter pole home. In a race without pace, and as a first-time gelding adding blinkers, Flint Stoll has a right to step forward with an improved effort. From the rail, he might be able to inherit the lead and if so, he could take this field a long way. The main push should go to Rio Ocho, but Flint Stoll is worth including on a ticket or two as a back-up.
Flint Stroll and Flintmore (January 9, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02h TT). Grade: B-
Both in blinkers in team drill for P. D’Amato with ‘Stroll inside and finishing a head in front at the wire through slow splits of :24.2 and :49.3 for the final half mile. Neither one asked, tough to separate them, both need to step it up a bit in the afternoon.
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RACE 2: Post: 1:03 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 5-Secret Square; 2-Big Mama Sue
Forecast: This allowance event over a mile on dirt drew a field six; we’ll try to survive and advance doubling the race but not with a great deal of confidence. Secret Square is winless in six starts over the local main track but on her best day she’s good enough to beat a field such as this, so we’ll put her on top and expect her to be on or near the lead throughout. Big Mama Sue likes to settle and make a run, so if the early fractions are faster than par – and with sprinter-stretching-out Delta Wind in the field the chances are good that they will be – then Big Mama Sue will have an opportunity to lag early and cut loose late. She’s won on this main track in the past and has trained steadily since a clever score at Del Mar on turf in late November.
Delta Wind (January 8, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.4h). Grade: B
Light coaxing only in solo five furlong drill for J. Sadler, final three-eighths in :11.4 and :36.3, solid drill. Recent two races have been far below her best, probably deserves one more look when matched when first-level allowance types.
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RACE 3: Post: 1:34 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 5-M Is for Magic; 1-Laura Mars; 4-Mendham Mill
Forecast: Here’s a messy maiden sprint for older fillies and mares. We’ll go three deep in rolling exotic play but otherwise pass the race. M Is For Magic is a 10-race maiden and clearly not one to trust, but she’s been in the money in her last pair in similar events and projects to be on or near a very comfortable early pace. She just may have found a field she can beat. Laura Mars shortens to a sprint after failing to land a blow in her U.S. debut over a route of ground on grass at Del Mar in November. She switches to F. Prat, lands the good rail, and should heard from late. Mendham Mill, a decent runner-up at 10-1 in her debut sprinting on turf at Del Mar in the fall, returns with a moderate series of works for trainer M. Glatt (good stats with second-timers). Any kind of forward move will make her dangerous.
RACE 4: Post: 2:05 PT Grade: B
Forecast: Gerlach’s broke his maiden in a $20,000 sprint at Del Mar with a career top speed figure, and if he can turn in two alike the D. O’Neill-trained gelding should be capable of scoring right back in this $16,000 restricted (nw-2) affair. The pace scenario looks soft, so if he can make the early lead, all the better. None of the other five entrants looks attractive, so let’s make this Grazen gelding a single and hope to get close to his morning line of 5/2.
RACE 5: Post: 2:35 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 4-My Summer Dream; 5-Dixie’s Two Stents
Forecast: This maiden claiming turf sprint for $50,000 older horses doesn’t have a whole lot in it, so we’ll double the race in rolling exotic play and hope that’s enough. My Summer Dream makes a trainer switch to J. Mullins and should improve enough to handle this modest task. A closing third in a similar affair over the local lawn during the fall season, the Summer Front gelding returns with a steady series of workouts that should have him plenty fit and that, plus the addition of F. Prat in the saddle, makes him strictly the one to beat. Dixie’s Two Stents is worth including somewhere on your ticket as well. Based strictly on speed figures, he’s a fit with these, and with a bit of help up front could produce a closing kick that might make him dangerous.
RACE 6: Post: 3:05 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference: 2-Little Rachel; 6-Roses R Blue
Forecast: Little Rachel is listed as the 8/5 morning line favorite in this starter optional claimer for fillies and mares and seems like the logical pick even though she will be making her first start in nearly a year. If she returns as well as she left, the J. Sadler-trained filly will be tough to handle and a recent sharp gate work is encouraging, so we’ll put her on top. Roses R Blue also should be included in rolling exotic play. The S. Knapp-trained filly is comfortably drawn outside, and in a race that likely will have soft early fractions the daughter of Bluegrass Cat projects to be on or near the lead throughout.
Little Rachel (January 8, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2hg). Grade: B
Much best over Lovely Lola (5f, 1:01.1h) while mostly in hand throughout, splits of :24.3, :36.2, :48.1 and 1:00.2 before galloping to the wire in 1:14.4, rather nice. Been away for 11 months but is coming back at least as good as she left. Not an early speed type but can turn it on late.
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RACE 7: Post: 3:35 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 5-Virulente; 6-Impeachd Alexander; 1-Liam’s Dove
Forecast: Trainer P. D’Amato has a couple of intriguing European imports in this six furlong turf sprint over the flat course for first-level allowance sophomore fillies and both look live and well-meant. Virulente has the benefit of a prior local outing and should produce a significant forward move after finishing a somewhat troubled seventh, beaten less than three lengths, in the Jimmy Durante S.-G3 at Del Mar in November. She shortens to a one-corner race while tackling easier foes, adding blinkers and Lasix, and attracting F. Prat. This is a field she’s supposed to beat, but if she can’t, it may because her stablemate, Impeachd Alexander, is pretty decent herself. The Irish invader wasn’t quite up to stakes and valuable handicap competition overseas but could easily be a much better type on this circuit, and a recent training track workout was noteworthy (see below). We’ll also toss in the speedy Liam’s Dove, who may be quick enough from the rail to gain control early. Her last four starts have come around two turns, but the daughter of Liam’s Map picks up Johnny V., adds Lasix, and seems likely to improve at this shorter trip.
Virulente (January 2, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02.1h TT). Grade: B-
In company outside Bacchanalia (5f, 1:02.2h TT), breaking off a length behind that one and finishing head-and-head at the wire, light urging only, final half mile on our watches in :23.4 and :49.1. Okay work, maintenance-type drill for P. D’Amato, probably a bit better than her U.S. debut shows.
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Impeachd Alexander (January 10, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02.2h TT). Grade: B-
Picked this team up at the head of the lane with ‘Alexander well clear and then holding off Midnight Silence (5f, 1:02.4h) without really being asked much, looking nice through the stretch while gearing up for her U.S. debut. Irish juvenile form was just okay, but she could be a better type over here for P. D’Amato. Seems fit enough.
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RACE 8: Post: 4:05 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 5-Saturday Heist; 6-Hot Rageous
Forecast: Saturday Heist returns to dirt and should bounce back with a top effort in this state-bred entry-level allowance sprint for fillies and mares. A two-time winner (in three starts) over the local main track, the V. Brinkerhoff-trained filly looks very much like the controlling speed, and if she can clear without pressure, she’ll be hard to run down. Hot Rageous was burned up on a hot pace when fading out of the picture in the Bear Fan S. up north last time out but against this softer group the daughter of Idiot Proof should stick around a long longer. We’re expecting the R. Baltas-trained filly to be within striking range outside and then have her chance when the pressure is turned on. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with the edge on top going to Saturday Heist.
RACE 9: Post: 4:35 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 1-Fly to Mars; 4-Irish Heatwave; 2-Constitutionaffair
Forecast: The finale is a contentious starter allowance turf miler that should be made to order for Fly to Mars, a five time winner (with three seconds) from 15 career starts over the Santa Anita grass course. Johnny V. stays aboard the veteran gelding, who finished a weakening third in an off-the-turf affair over a wet fast track last month but should be capable of returning to winning form while switching back to his preferred surface. We’re anticipating the son of Minister’s Wild Cat will take full advantage of his good inside post and enjoy an ideal ground-saving pace-stalking journey. Irish Heatwave was a clever winner over this course and distance in a similar starter’s event last fall and returns with a healthy recent series of workouts that should have him plenty fit. A four-time winner on turf at Santa Anita, the son of Unusual Heat can be effective on the front end or from mid-pack early position. U. Rispoli stays aboard, knows him well, and should have him within range when the field heads for home. Constitutionaffair switches to F. Prat and projects to be a pace presser/stalker throughout. A recent bullet workout on the training track (4f, :48h) was visually quite pleasing, so the M. Glatt-trained gelding is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.
Constitutionaffair (January 7, Santa Anita, 5f, :48h TT). Grade: B+
Very nice solo training track drill for M. Glatt, breezing throughout while coming the final three furlongs in :11.3 and :35 flat. Most effective over a distance of ground and looks quite capable of improving his recent form.
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