Jeff Siegel’s Blog: “What You Need to Know for Santa Anita – Sunday, June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Jeff Siegel’s Santa Anita “What You Need to Know
Sunday, June 16, 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: 12:30 PT Grade: B+
Main Ticket: 2-First Peace; 4-Motorious
Backups/savers: 7-Whatmakessammyrun.

Forecast: First Peace has developed into one of the most thoroughly genuine and consistent turf sprinters in the West. First or second in eight of nine career outings over the local lawn, the M. Glatt-trained colt employs a second flight stalking style that always provides him to have a say in the matter from the quarter pole home. Though missing by a half-length when favored in the Dayton Stakes-G3 last month, the son of Funtastic is well placed to make amends under regular pilot M. Smith. Motorious (GB) was below form when unplaced in the Turf Sprint Stakes-G2 on Derby Day at Churchill Downs but the English-bred gelding is more than capable of bouncing back with his best effort and always is dangerous from off the pace. If he can avoid traffic trouble when launching his bid at the head of the lane, he’ll be heard from close home.

RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: B
Main Ticket: 2-De’ Medici
Backups/savers: 1-Bad Sneakers; 3-Pioneer Prince.

Forecast: De Medici lost a toughie in his first try around two turns when leading until the closing strides before getting nailed near the wire in his most recent stat here in April. Similar front running tactics likely will be employed again and based purely on speed figures a repeat of either one of his last two highly rated outings will most likely be good enough to handle this assignment. He’ll get our main push in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.

RACE 3: Post: 1:31 PT Grade: B
Main Ticket: 4-John Dunbar; 3-Man Overboard
Backups/Savers: none.

Forecast: John Dunbar returns to the main track and stretches out again in this restricted (nw-2) $20,000 claiming miler. Two races back at this level over this track and distance the son of Munnings earned a career top speed figure when a willing runner-up in a race that that if repeated should be good enough to beat this crew. At or near his morning line of 5-1, he’s worth a gamble. Man Overboard is a first-off-the-claim play for a low profile but very capable outfit and is a “must use” in rolling exotic play. The son of Overanalyze had two recent sprint sharpeners and today stretches out again in a race that projects him to have a strong presence throughout.

RACE 4: Post: 2:05 PT Grade: B+
Main Ticket: 5-British Isles; 2-Final Boss
Backups/Savers: none.

Forecast: British Isles is a developing son of Justify who has shown considerable improvement since being transferred to the R. Baltas stable from the barn of B. Baffert, and while he’s jumping from a maiden score over this course and distance to a listed stakes event he’s a solid fit on numbers and appears ready to step forward again. He’s likely to enjoy an ideal stalking journey and have every chance when the pressure is turned on at the head of the lane. Final Boss won an allowance race gate to wire last month and will be tough right back if he can secure a similar easy front running journey today.

RACE 5: Post: 2:38 PT Grade: B+
Main Ticket: 4-Ultimate Gamble; 7-Smart Mo
Backups/savers: none. 

Forecast: Ultimate Gamble ran like a rusty horse in his recent comeback (his first start in almost a year) when fourth with a wide trip in a similar affair. However, the number came up strong, so with even just a moderate amount of improvement the son of Medaglia d’Oro shouldn’t miss this time. Originally purchased for $1.75 million as a yearling, the M. Glatt-trained colt remains highly regarded but has had his issues (just four starts so far) and actually missed an outing when a late scratch May 27. Smart Mo finished second at 4/5 in a similar first level allowance middle distance affair last month but like our top pick is fast on figures and despite his outside draw should be able to settle in the second flight and have his chance.

RACE 6: Post: 3:08 PT Grade: X
Main Ticket: 6-Planetario (BRZ)Backups/savers: 2-Rockemperor (IRE)

Forecast: Planetario (BRZ) won last year’s San Juan Capistrano-G3 and will be a short price to repeat in this marathon event that drew six runners (which nowadays is about par for this type of race). He’s been masterfully managed by R. Mandella and anything close to his best race will be good enough at what surely will be at odds lower than even money.

RACE 7: Post: 3:38 PT Grade: B-
Main Ticket: 7-Charmz Away; 3-Go Go Prancer; 4-Case Hit
Backups/savers: 10-Infamous Angel.

Forecast:. Here’s a difficult maiden state-bred juvenile affair with three strong possibilities. Charmz Away has the benefit of a prior run and did well to finish a close second in a race that produced a better than par speed figure. The switch to good speed rider E. Maldonado is significant. Go Go Prancer, fourth in the same race our top pick exits, was bounced around a bit at the start and certainly has a right to improve. He was a strong factor until inside the sixteenth pole before weakening to wind up fourth, so better should be expected today. Case Hit debuts for P. Miller and shows workouts at San Luis Rey Downs that catch the eye. The son of Sir Prancealot (IRE) looks like a live item at 8-1 on the morning line and is a “must use” at anywhere near the price.

RACE 8: Post: 4:08 PT Grade: B
Main ticket: 5-Kerry Gold; 8-City of Angels
Backups/savers: 6-Talklessworkmore.; 9-Fly the Sky.

Forecast: Kerry Gold was in too tough when unplaced facing first level allowance open foes over 10 furlongs here last month but this drop into the state-bred optional $20,000 event while shortening to a mile should allow the P. Miller-trained gelding to return to winning form. He has several Beyer speed figures on his resume that are better than par for this level and the switch to top rider J. Hernandez can’t be overlooked. City of Angels is a late developing and improving son of City of Light that is switching back to grass. The M. Puype-trained gelding broke his maiden over this course and distance two races back before finishing and even better second on dirt last time out that produced a career top number.

RACE 9: Post: 4:38 PT Grade: C
Main ticket: 5-Thales; 7-The Big Cheeseeola
Backups/savers: 6-Outgunned.

Forecast: This restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming sprint looks chaotic and offers nothing to trust, so we suggest you spread as deeply as your budget allows in rolling exotic play. The early speed in the field (Mobe Town, Picking It Up, et al) is suspect, so let’s concentrate and the ones in the field that have shown the ability to finish a bit. Thales is a one paced sort but if held up early and allowed to kick home from the head of the lane to the wire the son of Quality Road could prove troublesome in the late stages. The Big Cheeseola has won from the second flight in the past and needs to be ridden that way. In his most recent race the Mr. Big gelding was too close early and flattened out late.

RACE 10: Post: 5:08 PT Grade: C+
Main ticket: 7-She’z the Law; 5-Upcharge
Backups/savers: 6-Ima Joker; 9-Kelly’s Out.

Forecast: Here’s another challenging event, this one at nine furlongs on grass for maiden fillies and mares. She’z the Law finished second with a perfect trip over a mile last time out, a performance that charts quite well against this softer bunch. She’ll have to navigate an extra furlong today, but the added distance shouldn’t be much of an issue for this one-paced grinder. Upcharge displayed promise in her debut (a solid, closing third) but in her next start had trouble in the gate and was disappointing, She has returned to work well since for P. D’Amato and today stretches out to nine furlongs, a distance she’s bred to handle. At 8-1 on the morning line, she’ll offer a reasonable price gamble.

RACE 11: Post: 5:38 PT Grade: A-
Main ticket: 8-Vilified
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Vilified was extremely well meant in his debut but lost his best chance at the start and did nicely to salvage second money after throwing a fit in the gate, breaking slowly, rushing up quickly to press the pace and then remaining a strong factor for a half before weakening in a fast, highly rated event for bottom rung maiden claimers. The fact that his was still able to save second money was, under the circumstances, impressive. If he leaves clearly today, this race should be lights out for the T. Yakteen-trained gelding.

RACE 12: Post: 6:08 PT Grade: B
Main ticket: 6-Amner Hall; 2-We’re In Trouble
Backups/savers: 10-Tigerhon.

Forecast: Anmer Hall looks like he’s found his niche as a late-running turf sprinter, and after a clever score facing starter allowance foes over the flat course he moves up to the first level allowance ranks which, based on the career top number he just earned, should be a major player right back. However, today’s race is a downhill slalom affair, so he’ll have to prove he can run just as well on this tricky course. We’re in Trouble showed some moxie winning his debut in game style, and while his figure will need to be improved on, the Michael McCarthy-trained sophomore could be this good with added experience and maturity. His morning line of 12-1 definitely is enticing.

Jeff Siegel’s Blog: “What You Need to Know for Santa Anita – Sunday, June 16, 2024

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