Jeff Siegel’s Blog: “What You Need to Know” for Santa Anita – Sunday, June 2, 2024

Jeff Siegel’s Santa Anita “What You Need to Know”
Sunday, June 2, 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.

View Jeff Siegel’s Prime Plays Video

RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: C+
Main Ticket: 2-Ketonia (Fr); 5-O K Rose
Backups/savers: 1-Pace Lane.

Forecast: Ketonia (Fr) stretches out after a series of turf sprints, including a good runner-up at this level last time out that produced a career top speed figure. Based on her steady, one-paced running style, the French-bred filly shouldn’t be any less effective around two turns, so in a race that is likely to be slowly run early the P. D’Amato-trained sophomore projects to settle in the second flight and have every chance from there. O K Rose raced in a bit of traffic to the head of the lane, got clear, and closed with interest when third over this course and distance at this level last month. She’s a little shy on numbers but retains J. Hernandez and really won’t have to improve much to be in the thick of things close home.

RACE 2: Post: 1:34 PT Grade: C
Main Ticket: 3-Dancing Dana
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Bella Renella was a morning vet scratch, leaving us with four runners and very little to work with. iDancing Dana has a shaky pattern herself that makes her difficult to trust, but at least she has the OK to compete. When last seen she settled in the second flight before producing enough of a late kick to win at this level last month but isn’t being raised in class, not exactly a sign of confidence. However, ithe C. Lewis-trained daughter of Clubhouse Ride is a major player by default in a race that should be left alone.

RACE 3: Post: 2:07 PT Grade: B
Main Ticket: 2-Lisa’s Nonno
Backups/savers: 6-Diamonds Danzing.

Forecast: Lisa’s Nonno missed by a head with a career top performance at this level over this track and distance last time out and a similar performance today should be sufficient in this allowance optional claiming miler The M. Glatt-trained daughter of Jimmy Creed is a late-developing type that has finished in the frame in four of five Santa Anita outings and employs a stalking style that should keep her free and clear of traffic. She’s 9/5 on the morning line and is likely to go a bit lower as a logical top pick.

RACE 4: Post: 2:39 PT Grade: B
Main Ticket: 1-Vegas Burner; 6-Queen’s Code
Backups/savers: 5-Lewis Bere (Fr).

Forecast: 1-Vegas Burner returns to a sprint and switches to grass in his second start since being claimed out of a maiden $50,000 win by S. Knapp, who wisely shortens him up in this starter optional seller than came up somewhat lackluster. A repeat of his highly rated score two runs back should be sufficient. Queen’s Code has finished first or second in five of seven career outings over the local lawn and though never particularly generous under pressure he’ll likely be prominent throughout in a race that projects to offer moderate splits. This will be his third start off a layoff, and it could produce a carer top performance.

RACE 5: Post: 3:11 PT Grade: B-
Main Ticket: 3-Catmansue; 7-California Bay
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Catmansue stretches out for the first time in this first level allowance state-bred affair and has the pedigree to improve around two turns for a stable that excels with the sprint-to-route angle. With the addition of blinkers and the return to dirt (quite possibly his preferred surface), the son of Cat Burglar seems certain to employ gate-to-wire tactics, and if he can shake loose early he may never look back. Based on speed figures, his J. Mullins-trained stablemate California Bay is the one to fear most. Primarily a grass specialist but third in his most recent two races (both on dirt), the late-running son of California Chrome is a one-paced grinder but has figures that can win and therefore is a “must” use in rolling exotic play.

RACE 6: Post: 3:43 PT Grade: B
Main Ticket: 3-Charm Your World; 7-Just Nails.
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Though she didn’t earn much of a number when winning her debut at 27-1 in late April over this course and distance, Charm Your World was visually quite pleasing in victory and returns in an allowance event that could easily be within her capabilities. Listed at 6-1 on the morning line, this full sister to Santa Anita Derby-G1 winner Rock Your World appears to have a touch of quality and catches a field with plenty of zip that should complement her late-running style. Just Nails is solid on numbers and projects to be on or near the lead, though she’ll have a reasonable chance, too, if held up early and allowed to run late. We’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play.

RACE 7: Post: 4:15 PT Grade: B+
Main Ticket: 4-Anywho; 6-Richi (Chi)
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Anywho returns from Keeneland, where she won her seasonal debut quite impressively over a sloppy track against a stakes quality field that indicates she is at least as good if not better than she was last year. Clearly most effective around one turn, the J. Sadler-trained four-year-old projects to settle just behind the leaders and then kick home when given her cue. Fast enough on numbers to win today’s renewal of the Desert Stormer S. for fillies and mares, the daughter of Bolt d’Oro should offer good wagering value at or near her morning line of 5/2. The B. Baffert-trained South American invader Richi (Chi) was a middle distance/router in graded stakes events in Chile, so this race might be nothing more than a prep affair to get her feet wet in her first outing since December. It’ll be interesting to see how she performs at six furlongs as her recent gate drill indicates she has plenty of speed and quality.

RACE 8: Post: 4:47 PT Grade: B+
Main ticket: 4-Moonlight Tryst ; 1-Smiling Forever
Backups/savers: 1-Smiling Forever.

Forecast: Moonlight Tryst ran too well to lose in her debut last month, finding her best stride late to close a big gap before just running out of ground in a main tack dash for older maiden fillies and mares. She switches go grass (bred for it), gets an extra half furlong to work with, and adds blinkers, so we’re expecting the daughter of American Pharoah to step forward in a big way for an outfit that has solid stats with the second time starter angle. At 5/2 on the morning line, the D. Hofmans-trained four-year-old is a win play and rolling exotic single.


Jeff Siegel’s Blog: “What You Need to Know” for Santa Anita – Sunday, June 2, 2024

Jeff Siegel's Blog |