Jeff Siegel’s Blog: “What You Need to Know” for Santa Anita – Sunday, May 14, 2023

May 14, 2023

“What You Need to Know” – Santa Anita
by Jeff Siegel, 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 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

RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: B-
Main ticket: (in order of preference): 7-Aventapp; 2-Irish Patsy
Backups/savers: 1-Miss Lizzy

Forecast: Aventapp owns a considerable edge on speed figures in this starter optional claiming turf sprint for fillies and mares but she’s just 1-for-13 in her career and seems to lack of a bit of a winning punch. On pure form, she should beat this field, but because she’s not one trust we find it necessary to have some protection in our rolling exotics. Irish Patsy had a confidence-building win from a modest bunch of maiden $50,000 claimers over this course and distance last month with an extended outside rally that produced career top speed figure. We’re expecting her to continue to improve with experience, making her the one to fear most. Miss Lizzy is worth tossing in as well, at least as a backup. In her first start on grass, she rallied wide to beat maiden claimers in decent style while earning a number similar to Irish Patsy’s, and from her rail draw the daughter of Classic Empire has a good chance to enjoy an ideal, second flight, ground saving trip.


RACE 2: Post: 1:32 PT Grade: X
Main ticket: (in order of preference): 4-Apple Fest
Backups/savers: none

Forecast: This maiden special weight sprint for older fillies and mares drew just six entrants and came up softer than usual. Apple Fest flashed good early speed for a half but then faded readily to wind up fourth, beaten 18 lengths in her debut last month when facing a much stronger field than today’s. Traditionally, the Bob Baffert second time starters display significant improvement so we’re expecting a much better performance today from the daughter of Bolt d’Oro. She picks up top rider Juan Hernandez and is likely to establish the early lead and then roll all the way to the wire. At 8/5 on the morning line and liable to go lower, she is a logical rolling exotic single in a race that we’ll otherwise pass.


RACE 3: Post: 2:04 PT Grade: B-
Main ticket (in order of preference): 4-Too Much Heaven; 3-Jibber Jabber
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Too Much Heaven stretches out again after wiring a similar $25,000 claiming field sprinting over the local lawn, and once again she projects as the controlling speed over a one mile trip that she has been successful at three times in the past. Always genuine and consistent when afforded this type of trip, the Phil D’Amato-trained mare is listed as the 8/5 morning line favorite, slightly above the race’s other main player, Jibber Jabber, who is pegged at 9/5. The latter missed by a nose over this course and distance when facing starter’s allowance foes in late March and returns to her claim level today in a race in which she seems likely to settle into a second flight, stalking position, and then have every chance from there. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics while reserving the bulk of the play for Too Much Heaven.

RACE 4: Post: 2:36 PT Grade: C+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 7-Whiskey Outlaw; 1-Song of Shadows
Backups/Savers: 6-Copper Bo Ten

Forecast: This maiden claiming ($50,000) dirt sprint for older California-bred fillies and mares offers several possibilities and requires a spread in rolling exotic play. We’ll use three of the seven entrants but not with any degree of confidence. Whiskey Outlaw broke slowly and then was a non-threatening eighth (beaten eight lengths) in an infinitely tougher straight maiden state-bred affair in her debut in mid-March, but with that bit of experience behind her, a cozy outside draw, and a switch to dirt (bred for it) the daughter of Maclean’s Music has every right to improve. The barn’s “go to” rider Edwin Maldonado takes the call, so at 10-1 on the morning line she may be worth a small gamble. Song of Shadows is another taking the always popular maiden-to-maiden-claiming class drop combined with the blinkers off angle and the turf to dirt switch, so there are lots of reasons to expect a better performance today. From the rail she’s likely to be gunned to the front, and against this group she could get brave if nobody presses her. Copper Bo Ten shortens to six furlongs and figures to be in the first flight during the early stages. This will be her second start off a long layoff, so she should be fitter and more dangerous for the Carla Gaines barn, which sports strong stats with this particular angle.


RACE 5: Post: 3:08 PT Grade: B
Main ticket (in order of preference): 4-Lucky for You; 3-Tecumseh Caroline
Backups/savers: none

Forecast: Lucky For You stretches back out to a mile and clearly will be the controlling speed in this first level main track miler for fillies and mares. The daughter of Uncle Mo faded to third in a recent downhill turf dash after establishing a clear lead before ducking out crossing the dirt strip and losing her focus. She will have no such issues under these conditions. Tecumseh Caroline isn’t as fast on speed figures as our top pick but projects to draft into a lovely stalking position and then have dead aim from the quarter pole home in quest of her fourth consecutive victory. With just a slight forward move, the daughter of Grazen can win again. We’ll double the race in rolling exotic play while giving Luck for You a slight edge on top.

RACE 6: Post: 3:40 PT Grade: B-
Main ticket (in order of preference): 1-Belmont Bill; 9-The Key Is Unity
Backups/savers: 10-Russells Hustle.

Forecast: Belmont Bill set suicidal splits and paid for it when stopping to a walk in the final furlong (seventh, beaten 19 lengths) in a similar maiden $50,000 claimer over nine furlongs on turf last month. Today, from the favorable rail while shortening up a furlong, the son of Oxbow can slow down early and wire this field while being reunited with Diego Herrera, who got plenty of run out of this gelding two races when beaten a neck. The projected pace scenario looks favorable for out top pick, so his morning line of 3-1 seems reasonable. The Key Is Unity is winless in 11 starts but has hit the board six times and is a “must use” despite his lack of tactical speed and a disadvantageous nine post position. We’ll also toss in Russells Hustle, who retains top rider Juan Hernandez and is another that should be running on late.


RACE 7: Post: 4:12 PT Grade: B-
Main ticket (in order of preference): 4-Economical; 8-Big Swede
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Economical lost a toughie at this level (nw-2, $16,000) three weeks ago when nosed after striking the front in mid-stretch. Nothing more should be needed to beat this field, though his record at this exact distance (winless in seven starts) hardly inspires confidence. We expect regular rider Abel Cedillo to secure a good stalking position behind projected pacesetter Krixus Flash and then taken control when ready. Big Swede, a willing third in the same race our top pick exits, can be dangerous if he can avoid losing ground into the clubhouse turn from outside 8-hole post. The son of Mr. Big is a one-paced grinder and needs to be within striking range throughout to have his best chance.


RACE 8: Post: 4:44 PT Grade: B-
Main ticket (in order of preference): 1-Timely Luck; 12-Idessia
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: The finale is a grass affair for state-bred older maiden fillies and mares who know each other well. Based on her favorable rail draw and her runner-up performance at this level over this course and distance last time out, Timely Luck looks ready to graduate with speed figures that have risen in each of her four career starts. She should have enough tactical speed to utilize her rail post to good advantage, so there should be no excuses. Idessia, a close third in the same race our top pick exits, figures right there again but must overcome the 12-post, no easy task at this one mile trip. If she can drop over, get then some early cover, and then find room to rally from the quarter pole home the Phil D’Amato-trained daughter of Smiling Run could make a serious run for it late. We’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play.

Jeff Siegel’s Blog: “What You Need to Know” for Santa Anita – Sunday, May 14, 2023

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