“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 individual
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
Forecast: Sugary (TOC=3/5; ML=9/5) had no visible excuse when finishing fourth, beaten less than two lengths, in a similar $25,000 claimer over the local lawn last month but she’s most effective as a miler, so with this shortening in trip plus the switch to U. Rispoli the nine-year-old mare seems well-spotted to regain her winning form. She shows four victories over the Santa Anita turf course and six lifetime scores at this one mile distance, so with good racing luck the J. Wong-trained mare should be capable of producing the last run. We’ll make her a win play and rolling exotic single.
RACE 2: Post: 1:37 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 2-Quantum Quest; 5-Too Late
Forecast: We’ll double the second race, a $25,000 claiming sprint restricted to 3-year-olds. Quantum Quest (TOC=5/2; ML-3-1) has rising speed figures plus a sharp win over this track and distance two races back, two main factors that earn him top billing. He’s also being reunited with “win rider” K. Frey. Too Late (TOC=7-1; ML=3-1) is a first-time gelding exiting a series of state-bred allowance races and seems certain to improve against this group. He has previous numbers that would easily beat this field, though you have to go back to the spring of 2020 to find his last win. Both should be included in rolling exotic play, with the main punch going to Quantum Quest.
RACE 3: Post: 2:08 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 2-Cosmo; 1-Street Ruckus
Forecast: Cosmo (TOC-7/5; ML=8/5) has never been one to trust – he’s 1-for-17 in his career – but the veteran gelding finished a solid second last month in a similar event last in which the winner and third place finisher both came back to win. With F. Prat staying aboard, the D. O’Neill-trained son of Distorted Humor really should be a standout, but his lack of a winning punch requires us to also include on our ticket, at least a saver or a backup, Street Ruckus (TOC=3/2; ML=4-1). . After a confidence-building win over this course and distance last month and from the red-hot V. Cerin barn, the son of Street Boss is guaranteed a ground-saving trip from his rail post position, and with just six career starts on his resume has room for further improvement than most of the others don’t.
RACE 4: Post: 2:42 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 6-Princess Alexis; 3-Sweet California; 5-Tizzt Twister
Forecast: We’ll go three-deep in this maiden $50,000 claiming sprint for 3-year-old California-bred fillies, with the H. Palma-trained first-timer Princess Alexis appearing well-spotted for a big effort first crack out of the box. The daughter of Stanford has shown some speed in morning drills without being asked for her best, and while the barn doesn’t show a high percentage with debut runners, they often run better than they work. Sweet California was green and always outrun in her debut vs. much stronger straight maiden foes on grass last month but with that race behind her and with F. Prat staying aboard she’s almost certain to improve a bunch in this modest affair. Tizzy Twister, a distant but respectable second in her first outing, is another likely to produce a forward move. She was more than three lengths clear of the others while earning an okay speed figure, so if she can step forward just a little bit, she should have some say in the matter.
Princess Alexis (January 24, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.3hg). Grade: B-
Caught her in a 3-horse gate drill last month proving best over Awesome Rhythm (same time, second best early, came through inside) and Tap Union (5f, 1:03.4hg, always far back) and did pretty well without being asked much at any stage, well clear early and then taken in hand on the turn and allowed to drift wide and coast home, splits of :24.2, and :36 flat (eased up there) before continuing out in :49 flat and 1:02.3 on our watches, not bad for a maiden-claiming type. Daughter of Stanford could be a live item in the proper spot for H. Palma.
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RACE 5: Post: 3:15 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 4-Song of Fire; 2-Floral Essence; 3-Pistachio Princess
Forecast: Here’s a six-runner affair for restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming 3-year-old fillies that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. We’ll try to survive and advance using three, but nothing would surprise us. Song of Fire (TOC=8-1; ML=3-1) was a bit stale in her last two outings up north but could snap back to life for new trainer J. Sadler after being freshened for six weeks. She’s facing a considerably softer group, has good tactical speed, and likely will be in range throughout under F. Prat, so we’ll give her the edge on top. Floral Essence (TOC=4/5; ML=2-1) broke her maiden over this course and distance when facing $50,000 company last month and is realistically spotted in her first try vs. winners. On pure numbers, she’s the one to beat, and the analytics love her. Pistachio Princess (TOC=3-1; ML=5/2), a first-off-the-claim play for J. Wong (27% with this angle), wants to be the controlling speed, and if she can make the running without undue pressure, she will take this field a very long way. Regular rider J. Hernandez stays aboard and knows her well.
Song of Fire (February 10, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.4h). Grade: B-
Solo training track drill for J. Sadler, ridden and asked through the lane to be doing best, final three furlongs in :12 flat and :36.3. Moderate claimer from the Bay Area seems to be doing well enough for new trainer and should be competitive on this circuit.
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RACE 6: Post: 3:46 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 5-Soy Tapatio; 6-Memo Daddy
Forecast: Soy Tapatio (TOC=5/2; ML=8/5) made his first start as a gelding in his most recent start and left his previous form behind with a gate-to-wire score while earning his second consecutive huge speed figure in a performance that if repeated today should produce a repeat victory. Based on our pace projection (modest early splits), the D. O’Neill-trained 4-year-old may be the controlling speed once again, though we suspect he could just as easily settle and pounce if the race flow demands. Memo Daddy (TOC=3-1; ML=3-1) is somewhat intriguing. Gelded since his last race and adding blinkers for the first time, the Chilean import is unproven on dirt, but the works on the main track seem okay, and he picks up F. Prat, so we’ll toss him in for protection.
Soy Tapatio (February 121, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01hg). Grade: B
Much best in a three-horse gate drill with I’ll Stand Taller (5f, 1:01.3hg) and Hotrod Ride (4f, :48.4hg) for D. O’Neill, breezing most of the way while on the far outside with splits of :25 flat, :36.4 and :48.4 before coasting out five furlongs in 1:01.3 on our watches. Holds his form, has room for improvement and should be competitive on the raise following a sharp maiden route win.
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RACE 7: Post: 4:17 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 7-Ice Cold Gold; 3-Unfaithful Ways; 2-Basket Case
Forecast: High-priced maiden claiming 3-year-old fillies meet over a mile in the Friday finale. Ice Cold Gold adds blinkers and seems likely to be the controlling speed in her second local start since arriving from Florida. The P. D’Amato-trained filly has modest speed figures, but she’s produced a forward move in each of her three outings and probably will do the same today. If she can get loose early, she might get brave late. Unfaithful Ways , a recent $50,000 claim by hot trainer R. Baltas, finished with interest to be third in a similar affair over this course and distance last month, removes blinkers, and retains V. Espinoza. She’s a bit of a grinder and not particularly fast on numbers but she’s steadily improving and should at least get a piece of it. Basket Case was given an educational run in her debut and seems likely to improve with that bit of experience behind her. She exits a fast (and already productive) race for the level, stretches out to two-turns, adds blinkers, drops a notch on the maiden-claiming ladder, and switches to F. Prat, factors that make well-meant on several fronts.
Basket Case (February 5, Santa Anita, 4f, :49h). Grade: C+
In blinkers, ridden through the lane to be clearly second best with Happy Runner (same time, breezing, could have gone much faster), splits of :12 flat, :24.1 and :48.4 on our watches. Not a speed type, probably wants to lag and produce a late run. Maiden claimer might act on grass.
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Unfaithful Ways (January 31, Santa Anita, 4f, :50.1h TT). Grade: B-
Blinkers off, just galloping through the lane in solo training track drill for new trainer R. Baltas, final three furlongs in :12.1 and :37 flat. Probably can improve for new connections, wants to run long on the lawn.
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Ice Cold Gold (February 11, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02.2h). Grade: B-
In blinkers, easy to the top and not really asked much through the lane, final half mile in :12.1, :224.2 and :49.3 for P. D’Amato. Has room to improve, wants to be the controlling speed going long vs. maiden claimers.
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