“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, and Workout Commentary identify those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.
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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: C+
Main ticket: (in order of preference): 4-Tiergarden; 3-Classy
Forecast: Tiergarten and Classy are the two main players in this moderate maiden $50,000 claiming turf miler for older fillies and mares and we’ll be surprised if the winner isn’t one or the other. The former has burned money in her last pair as the favorite but didn’t get the best of runs in either race, so perhaps she deserves one more chance. The latter has been freshened for two months, retains Flavian Prat, and projects to be on or near the lead throughout in a race without any apparent early speed. We suggest including both in rolling exotic play but otherwise passing the race.
RACE 2: Post: 12:59 PT Grade: C+
Main ticket: (in order of preference): 4-Hennys Crazy Train; 1-Little Rachel
Forecast: Hennys Crazy Train drops to her lowest level ever in this $20,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares and is clearly the one to beat. She gets a significant break in the weights with the switch to good bug boy Aguilar and with the addition of blinkers she could display improved tactical speed. This will be her third start off a layoff, so a forward move is likely. Little Rachel lacks gate speed and could run into some trouble from her disadvantage rail post position but if she can negotiate a decent trip the veteran mare will be heard from late. We’ll prefer ‘Train on top but include both in our rolling exotics.
RACE 3: Post: 1:29 PT Grade: C+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 4-Barristan the Bold; 7-Chaos Theory
Forecast: Barristan The Bold missed as the favorite when a close fourth in a mixed breed sprint at Los Alamitos last month but sprinting on grass is what he prefers to do, so we’re expecting the veteran English-bred gelding to regain his best form. A four time winner over the Santa Anita turf course, the Adan Faris-trained seven-year-old prefers to settle and make a run and given that type of trip he should be along in time. Chaos Theory lands the cozy outside post and is guaranteed a soft, stalking journey that should allow the ex-classer an excellent chance to win his second straight grass dash at this $25,000 claiming level. However, he’s winless in seven starts over the local lawn, so maybe he just doesn’t care for this course. Maven is the quickest in the field but always is suspect under pressure in the final stages. Toss him in on a ticket or two as a saver in a race that might be best left alone.
RACE 4: Post: 1:59 PT Grade: B-
Main ticket (in order of preference): 5-Kiss My Kat
Backups/Savers: 6-A Little Bit Crazy
Forecast: Kiss My Kat displayed good speed before caving in late in her only prior outing a year ago October when facing a pretty decent field of straight maiden juvenile state-bred foes. Now four, she returns in a maiden $50,000 affair following a string of fast drills that should have her plenty fit. We’re expecting she will take this field gate to wire. A Little Bit Crazy is an eight race maiden and perhaps not one to trust, but this class drop into a claimer for the first time might make the winning difference. She will likely settle in behind our top selection and have every chance to go by in the final stages.
RACE 5: Post: 2:29 PT Grade: B-
Main ticket (in order of preference): 2-Overdue; 1-Southern King
Forecast: The inside two runners should dominate this $25,000 claiming turf miler, with Overdue getting a very slight edge on top over Southern King. The Phil D’Amato-trained gelding is a two-time winner over the local lawn and was game when producing a good late kick to secure a nose victory at this level when earning a better than par speed figure. Consistency has never been his calling card but if he can turn in two alike he can score again. Southern King cut out hot splits and managed to hang on when winning against similar foes last fall over this course and distance. First or second in five of 10 starts over the Santa Anita lawn, the son of Animal Kingdom most likely will employ gate-to-wire tactics again and if not pressured early could be difficult to catch.
RACE 6: Post: 2:59 PT Grade: B+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 2-Harlocap
Backups/savers: 7-Navy Man
Forecast: With just one prior race (a sprint) underneath him, Harlocap may have been a tad short when worn down late by stablemate Mr Fisk in a similar two-turn maiden special weight affair for sophomores three weeks ago but he won’t have that excuse today. The Bob Baffert-trained colt remains well regarded and can be expected to show his best stuff this time around. Johnny V. stays aboard and should have the son of Justify in a good stalking position with every chance from the quarter pole home. Navy Man was a disappointing sixth as the favorite in the same race our top pick exits but adds blinkers today and could step forward considerably. The Michael McCarthy-trained son of Bolt d’Oro didn’t get the best of runs in that race, but he did display considerably promise sprinting in his first two career outings and could easily snap back.
RACE 7: Post: 3:29 PT Grade: B
Main ticket (in order of preference): 7-Savile Row
Backups/savers: 1-Forgiving Spirit
Forecast: Savile Row tries grass for the first time and was fortunate to draw the outside post, which will allow for a stalk-and-pounce trip in this six furlong starter allowance affair for older horses. With the switch to Flavian Prat, the Tim Yakteen-trained son of Quality Road should have every chance to regain his winning form based on his best speed figures, which are better than par for this level. Forgiving Spirit is a two-time winner over the Santa Anita turf course but he was highly disappointing in his last pair when finishing off the board both times as the post time favorite. Perhaps with the turn back to a sprint, the Peter Miller-trained gelding can turn things around, especially with the weight break he’ll get under good bug boy Alsagoor. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play, with preference on top to Savile Row.
RACE 8: Post: 3:59 PT Grade: B
Main ticket (in order of preference): 8-Youteyourhonor; 7-American Lily
Forecast: Youteyourhonor looked quite good winning a $40,000 claimer at Del Mar in mid-November and returns protected in this first-level allowance sprint for fillies and mares. Drawn comfortably outside, the Vladimir Cerin-trained filly has hit the board in three of four career starts over the Santa Anita main track and projects to settle in the second flight outside and then have every chance when cut loose at the head of the lane. American Lily returns to the main track and can regain her best form under these conditions. The daughter of Bayern projects to have a strong pace presence throughout and off her best speed figures she is clearly the one to catch and beat. It may be significant that leading rider Juan Hernandez jumps off our top selection to ride her. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.
RACE 9: Post: 4:29 PT Grade: A-
Main ticket (in order of preference): Ruby Nell
Forecast: Ruby Nell brought $1.2 million at the Gulfstream Park 2-year-old in training sale last March, and after watching her breeze in the preview session and then more recently at Santa Anita preparing for her racing debut, it’s easy to see why. A strong, powerful daughter of Bolt d’Oro, the talented sophomore has handled all comers in her morning trials with strength, speed, and power while never really being asked to show anywhere close her best stuff. If she can handle the grass – and there’s no reason she won’t – the Richard Mandella trained filly should be much too quick for her maiden rivals. If you can get close to her morning line of 7/2 (you won’t), she will offer excellent value in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single.