Jeff Siegel’s Blog: “What You Need to Know” for Santa Anita – Sunday, May 12, 2024

Jeff Siegel’s Santa Anita “What You Need to Know
Sunday, May 12, 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: 1:00 PT Grade: A-
Main Ticket: 5-Final Boss
Backups/savers: 2-El Rey Rey.

Forecast: Final Boss clearly is the controlling speed if he’s permitted to use his best weapon. In his only prior try around two turns, the J. Sadler-trained colt was guzzled off the pace, then tried to rally but had no chance to make any impact into the teeth of the race shape (slow early, fast late). This time, with blinkers on, the son American Pharoah should grab control early and run his rivals into the ground. It’s there for the taking.

RACE 2: Post: 1:32 PT Grade: A-
Main Ticket: 2-Soi Ngern
Backups/savers: 6-Timty; 4-Ivan the Great.

Forecast: Soi Ngern has done everything asked of him in the morning, and while his workout times don’t jump off the page the son of Good Magic has shown to be an exquisite athlete with smooth, flawless action. He’s listed as the second choice on the morning line at 5/2 and it’ll be interesting to see if receives unusual action on the tote. We like him as a strong win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 3: Post: 2:06 PT Grade: X
Main Ticket: 5-Flavius
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Flavius seeks his third straight win, and if he has one good one left he’ll extend this streak against a moderate group he certainly should beat. The ex-classer is dropping from $32,000 to $25,000 for connections who clearly don’t view him as a viable long term racehorse. At 4/5 on the morning line, he’ll offer no value in a race that probably should be left alone.

RACE 4: Post: 2:38 PT Grade: X
Main Ticket: 4-Ball Don’t Lie
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Ball Don’t Lie earned a monster number when breaking his maiden over the local main track last month and is logically the 4/5 morning line favorite to repeat on the raise in this year’s edition of the Lazaro Barrera S. for 3-year-olds over seven furlongs. He’s the controlling speed if he wants to be but from his cozy outside draw the son of Blame can stalk and pounce if the connections prefer to teach him something.

RACE 5: Post: 3:12 PT Grade: B+
Main Ticket: 2-Proof He Rides
Backups/savers: 1-Give Me the Lute; 5-Grazed; 4-Barristan the Bold (GB)

Forecast: Proof He Rides is an interesting Bay Area invader with three wins from his last four starts and rising speed figures with each outing. First or second in his two grass starts to date, the quick son of Idiot Proof catches a field without his kind of zip and almost certainly will inherit the early lead without having to be sent. With another forward move for new trainer S. McCarthy, the lightly raced six-year-old gelding (with five wins from 10 starts) can steal a purse as a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 6: Post: 3:44 PT Grade: B-
Main Ticket: 2-Epione; 6-Moonlight Tryst.
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Epione returns to the main track after being outrun in a very quick turf sprint and a repeat of her debut effort two runs back – a solid third place finish with the two ahead of her returning to win – should be good enough to earn a diploma in this maiden special weight dash for older fillies and mares. Moonlight Tryst, a daughter of American Pharoah finally making it to the post at age four, shows a series of okay drills and really won’t have to be a world beater to act with these. She’s drawn comfortably outside and will have no excuses.

RACE 7: Post: 4:16 PT Grade: B-
Main Ticket: 4-Freedom Lass
Backups/savers: 1-Indy’s Star.

Forecast: Freedom Lass shows up in a $32,000 seller in what we’d have to concede is a logical class drop for a mare who at age seven hasn’t won a race since April of 2022. She’s most comfortable when held up early and allowed to take hold late, and in a mile grass affair with a sufficient amount of early speed signed on the P. D’Amato-trained mare should be capable of producing a winning late kick. However, she’s 9/5 on the morning line and won’t offer much wagering value.

RACE 8: Post: 4:49 PT Grade: X
Main ticket: 2-Man O Rose
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Man O Rose has won four of his last five with rising numbers that now are borderline stakes-quality. He’s back in three weeks and the relatively quick turnaround is the only concern. Two nice breezes in the interim probably should alleviate any concerns.

RACE 9: Post: 5:23 PT Grade: B
Main ticket: 4-Special Club
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Special Club is back sprinting where he belongs, and while he’s probably more comfortable on dirt the son of Clubhouse Ride doesn’t have much to beat in this state-bred abbreviated dash and should be capable of tagging the speed close home. None of the others inspire so let’s make him a win play and rolling exotic single.

Jeff Siegel’s Blog: “What You Need to Know” for Santa Anita – Sunday, May 12, 2024

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