“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: B-
Use (in order of preference): 7-Talkative Gal; 6-A Thousand Dreams
Forecast: Talkative Gal (TOC=9/5; ML=3-1) is unproven both on grass and around two turns, but in this restricted (nw-2) $25,000 turf miler the daughter of Unified looks as good as any. In her second start off a layoff from a barn that boasts strong stats with this angle and with a solid runner-up sprint effort vs. tougher starter’s allowance foes under her belt, the D. O’Neill-trained sophomore filly should be set for a career top effort. We’d love to see leading rider J. Hernandez put her on the lead, though sprinter-stretching-out For Love Not Money may have the same idea. If a speed duel develops, A Thousand Dreams (TOC=6-1; ML=5/2) may be the beneficiary. Winless in six starts over the local lawn but four times third, the daughter of Carpe Diem seems most effective when held up early and allowed to run late, and she should get that type of ride with the switch to U. Rispoli. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play.
RACE 2: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 4-Royal Halo; 3-Agency; 7-Henry Q; 2-Pacific States
Forecast: Here’s a wide-open baby race requiring a spread in rolling exotic play. Royal Note is listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite, but we suspect a good colt can beat him based on his debut outing at 4/5 when the Cal-bred son of Curlin to Mischief was worn down late in what was just a fair race for 2-year-olds. With that race under his belt, the L. Mendez-trained colt should produce a forward move but he’s certainly no world beater. Among the newbies, Agency brought $400,00 at the OBS March sale after sizzling a quarter mile in 20 4/5 seconds but was hard urged to do so over an all-weather surface that is conducive to quick times. His local workouts have been okay but not great, yet in soft field he has to be considered a major player. Henry Q has trained like a colt with some ability, though as a son of Blame he’ll probably want more than five furlongs to show his best. He’s drawn comfortably outside and should be competitive. We haven’t seen Pacific States in the morning, but his workout times look pretty good, so at 8-1 on the morning line he’s probably worth including somewhere on your ticket.
Cryptoholic (June 8, Santa Anita, 3f, :36hg). Grade: B-
Went in :37 flat (a full second slower than given) after an opening quarter in :24.2 while winding up three lengths behind unnamed workmate (dam’s name Smoove It) but was just coasting and never asked a drop while actually getting up after the opening two furlongs. Good looking colt by Creative Cause has some run but really doesn’t strike us as a five-furlong type sprinter. May need racing and/or distance.
View Workout Video
Agency (May 28, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.3hg). Grade: B-
Slightly second best outside Whiskey Blue (same time) for M. Glatt though never really being asked for his best, splits of :24.2, :36.1 and :49 flat, a couple of ticks slower than given. Brought $400,000 at the OBS March Sale after blazing a quarter mile in :20 4/5 (urged hard), so we expected a bit more in this gate drill.
View Workout Video
Henry Q (May 22, Santa Anita, 4f, :47.1hg). Grade: B-
Second best outside yesterday’s maiden debut winner Vegas Magic (4f, :46.4hg) mild urging throughout while winding up a length back when eased up, splits of :23.4, :35.1 and :47.3 on our watches, a bit slower than given, okay work for son of Blame. Not bad while getting fit but not really bred to be a five-furlong type sprinter. Might be worth a look in a moderate spot.
View Workout Video
RACE 3: Post: 2:00 PT Grade: B+
Use (in order of preference): 4-Luck’s Royal Blush; 6-Bear Chum
Forecast : Luck’s Royal Flush (TOC=6/5; ML=3-1) exits a pair of much tougher starter’s allowance sprints and should greatly appreciate this drop to the $20,000 claiming level. A two-time winner over the Santa Anita main track, the J. Bonde-trained gelding is the quickest of the quick and five-for-nine overall at this abbreviated five and one-half sprint distance, so if he can shake loose early he should be very tough to catch. Bear Charm (TOC=5-1; ML=5-1) is “must use” as well. Buried on the rail in his last two starts, the L. Barocio-trained Australian-bred seems quite likely to step forward with the blinkers off angle, a significant break in the weights, and a lovely outside draw. He’s 5-1 on the morning line and is better than that.
RACE 4: Post: 2:36 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference: 3-Tartini; 4-Fly the Sky
Forecast: Tartini (TOC=7/5; ML=2-1) is winless in six starts over the marathon trip of a 12-furlongs but he has won at a mile and three-eighths, so we really shouldn’t be too worried about the distance in this starter’s allowance $25,000 affair for older horses. The veteran Giant’s Causeway gelding became eligible for this condition when dropped in class last time out to win a nice mile affair with a good stalking trip, and we suspect at this longer distance the M. Glatt-trained veteran will be comfortably placed behind logical front-runner Dominant Soul and then go on with it when given him cue. Fly the Sky (TOC=2-1; ML=5/2) is in sharp form and has won four times over this turf course. He was beaten a neck in a 10-furlong affair last time out against a similar group, so if the extra furlong doesn’t do him in he’ll be right there. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Tartini
Tartini (June 3, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:13.3h). Grade: B
Picked him up entering the far turn and went from the three furlong pole to the seven furlong pole in :37.1 and :50.1 while being urged out in a solid, stamina-building drill. Tough at any distance when he’s on his game, comes off nice mile turf score with a solid speed figure.
View Workout Video
RACE 5: Post: 3:10 PT Grade: X
Use (in order of preference): 3-Valiancy; 4-Kura
Forecast: Valiancy ran way too good to lose in her debut in late April when going down by a length to subsequent allowance winner Midnight Memories while nine lengths clear of the rest and in the process earning a stakes-quality speed figure. Listed at 2/5 on the morning line, she deserves to be the heavy chalk, though today she is stretching out to a mile with a pedigree that suggests she might be more comfortable sprinting. Still, she’s probably going to have regress big time to get beat. Kura is the only one she’ll have to be concerned about. It’s never an easy task to win debuting around two turns, but a recent seven furlong workout (see below) indicates this daughter of First Samurai is fit, ready, and quite talented. We’ll prefer the odds-on Valiancy on top but include Kura on a ticket or two as a back-up or a saver.
Valiancy (May 23, Santa Anita, 4f, :47h). Grade: B
Broke off a neck behind Varda (4f, :47.1h) and finished about a head back at the wire, neither one asked much, splits of :23.2 and :47 flat, solid work, though we were a bit surprised she didn’t get past her workmate late. Certainly ran well in her debut (was nine lengths clear of the rest) and should be a very short priced to graduate next time.
View Workout Video
Kura (June 4, Santa Anita, 7f, 1:25h). Grade: B+
Left the six furlong pole inside Ecrivain (6f, 1:12.2h) and was always going the better of the two, never really asked at any stage, splits of :24.2, :47.4 and 1:12.3 on our watches to the wire before continuing out to 7/8 pole, up in 1:25.1. First Samurai filly definitely has talent, though she certainly doesn’t act like a sprinter type (one-paced but with plenty of stamina). Seems fit and should make her debut soon for R. Mandella.
View Workout Video
RACE 6: Post: 3:43 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 2-Air Force Red; 3-Whsiper Not
Forecast: Air Force Red (TOC=6/5; ML=5/2) is lightly-raced, improving, fast on figures, and proven over this tricky course and distance. Capable of winning on the front end or from a stalking position, the son of Air Force Blue may be capable of handling this one-level class hike. Whisper Me Not (TOC=7/2; ML=2-1) finished seventh (beaten three lengths) in his only prior turf sprint since being imported from England but considering the competition in that race last fall (the Eddie D. S.-G2 won by Lieutenant Dan) it wasn’t a bad effort at all. We’re expecting him to produce a good late kick in his first outing since being transferred from R. Baltas to G. Papaprodromou. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play.
RACE 7: Post: 4:15 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 3-Troubadour; 8-Holden the Lute
Forecast: Troubadour (TOC=2-1; ML=3-1) just broke his maiden with a big speed figure in what was just his third career start and it’s reasonable to assume that he’s not done improving. The R. Mandella-trained colt seems certain to be part of the pace or at least well-positioned as a stalker, and with another forward move the son of Flatter should be dangerous right back despite this class hike. Holden the Lute (TOC=7/2; ML=4-1) is the projected pace setter after folding up his tent and being virtually eased when overmatched in the Californian S.-G2 last time out. The Midnight Lute gelding earned a giant figure when claimed by J. Sadler two races back for $50,000 and if can duplicate that performance today he will be hard to handle. The race should boil down to these two and both should be included in rolling exotic play, with the preference on top going to Troubadour.
RACE 8: Post: 4:45 PT Grade: B+
Use (in order of preference): 4-Countess Rosina; 2-Gem Mine; 7-Helens Well
Forecast: This first-level allowance/optional claiming turf miler for 3-year-old fillies looks very much like a stakes race, and it probably will require something of that quality to win it. We can see three main contenders, topped by Countess Rosina (TOC=9/5; ML=3-1), the Irish-bred filly stretching out for the first time to a distance that should bring out her best. The J. Mullins-trained import closed with purpose to be second behind Connie Swingle, who looked so brilliant winning yesterday. At 3-1 on the morning line, she offers excellent wagering value. For protection in rolling exotic play, you can include on a ticket or two both Gem Mine (TOC=4-1; ML=6-1) and Helens Well (TOC=5/2; ML=5/2). The former just finished a willing third in the same race our top pick exits and today will add blinkers, while the latter also is adding the hood and will be using Lasix for the first time in her first outing since early January. Multiple stakes-placed for top grass trainer P. D’Amato, the Irish-bred daughter of Kodi Bear could easily be a better type this time around and with some help up front should be heard from late.
RACE 9: Post: 5:15 PT Grade: B+
Use (in order of preference): 1-Desert Dawn; 2-Ganadora
Forecast: Desert Dawn (TOC=9/5; ML=5/2) outran her 14-1 odds when winning the Santa Anita Oaks-G2 two races back and then did even better when third at 50-1 in the Kentucky Oaks-G1 behind Secret Oath and Nest. Back home in California and training like she hasn’t missed a beat, the P. D’Amato-trained daughter of Cupid can regain her winning form in this decidedly easier spot with a repeat of either one of those two outstanding performances. She projects to settle in the second flight while saving ground and then have her chance to kick home when the pressure is turned on. For protection, we’ll toss in Ganadora (TOC=3-1; ML=4-1), unbeaten in two starts, stretching out for the first time, and assured of being the controlling speed if she wants to be. Bred to handle the trip, the daughter of Quality Road is fast on numbers and must be respected.
Desert Dawn (June 5, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:12h). Grade: B+
In company and a bit the best with Ain’t Easy (same time), stride-for-stride to the wire and then almost a length clear when traveling out to the seven furlong pole under light coaxing, splits of :23.4, :35.2, :59.4 and 1:12.1 on our watches, sharp and strong throughout. Just finished third in the Kentucky Oaks-G1 behind arguably the two best sophomore fillies in North America, Secret Oath and Nest, and won’t have that level of competition to worry about in her next start in the Summertime Oaks-G2.
View Workout Video
Ganadora (June 5, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h). Grade: B
Solid solo five furlong drill, strong hold early and under very light coaxing late, splits of :24 flat, :35.3 and 1:00.2 while preparing for Summertime Oaks-G2. Hard to say for sure if she will improve around two turns, but if she’s ever going to get the trip it will be in her first try.
View Workout Video
Under the Stars (May 29, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:12.2h). Grade: B
In company stride-for-stride outside Ganadora (same time), splits of :24.3, :36.2, 1:00.1 and 1:12.3 on our watches, nigged at through the lane and under light coaxing out to the seven furlong pole (workmate never asked). Looks good enough but workmate was a tad best.
View Workout Video
RACE 10: Post: 5:43 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference: 7-My Summer Dream; 4-Wedding Groom; 2-Majestic Wind
Forecast: The finale is a messy five furlong turf sprint for restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming older horses. My Summer Dream (TOC=5/2; ML=5/2) has a prior win over the local lawn and is exiting a series of stronger starter allowance races that he wasn’t quite up to winning. He appears to have found his friends in this much softer restricted affair, and although five furlongs may be a bit sharp, we’ll give him a very slight edge on top. Wedding Groom (TOC=6-1; ML=4-1) is unproven on turf but shows a work tab that should have him fit enough for his first outing since August. He returns without blinkers for a barn that hits at a strong 22% with layoff runners and has back figures that make him a contender at this level. Majestic Wind (TOC=7/2; ML=6-1) returns to his claim level and finished second under these conditions over this turf course two races back. He has decent sprint speed and should be forwardly placed at this shortened trip.