“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 (“TPC”) 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: 12:30 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 2-Mo Them Down; 6-Abadon; 7-Stemwinder
Forecast: Mo Them Down appeared headed for victory six days ago in a maiden-claiming turf miler, but after taking a clear lead entering the lane, he hit the proverbial wall in the final stages and wound up fourth as the 4/5 favorite. Claimed for $50,000 by trainer D. O’Neill and wheeled back for the same price on short rest, the son of Mohaymen turns back to six furlongs, switches to F. Prat, and finds a good spot for a quick return on investment. We suspect he’ll receive the patient ride he surely prefers. Abadon projects as the quickest in the field and will take them as far as he can. A fading third (beaten four lengths) at Los Alamitos in his debut vs. softer maiden $30,000 company last month, the R. Hanson-trained gelding is bred to improve on turf (Bal a Bali), gets Lasix, and shows a bullet :48 1/5 training track workout since raced. Stemwinder is a first-timer worth including for a barn whose maidens usually run better than they work. The S. Miyadi-trained gelding shows a series of slow recent drills, but he’s been breezing in most of them while appearing able to go considerably faster if allowed. Comfortably drawn outside, he seems likely to settle into a second flight, stalking position and have every chance from there.
Stemwinder (January 13, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:04.4h TT). Grade: B-
Never asked a drop and was geared down late while much best over Funky Grey (5f, 1:05h TT), breaking off a length in front and finishing two clear the wire (could have been several more lengths if let run), splits of :25.2, :37.4 and 1:04.3 on our watches. Barn usually won’t allow its first-timers to show much in the a.m., so this gelding likely is much better than the clocking might indicate. Certainly worth a look in a moderate maiden claimer.
View Workout Video
RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: B+
Single: 2-Wipe the Slate
Forecast: Wipe the Slate (TOC=3/2; ML=7/5), claimed two races back for $50,000 by a trainer who had him previously, plummets to the $20,000 restricted (nw-2) level and simply should outrun this bunch. He gets a break in the weights with the switch to capable bug boy D. Herrera, has won over the Santa Anita main track in the past, and looked decent in a recent workout that should have him on edge. The son of Nyquist could find himself on the lead, though the option is there to stalk and then pounce should Rebel War be gunned to the lead from the rail. In either case, this is an opportunity he shouldn’t miss, so we’ll make him a win play and rolling exotic single.
Wipe the Slate (January 23, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.1h). Grade: B
Went off slowly under a hold and was well in hand through the lane, splits of :12 flat, :23.3 and :48 flat on our watches for D. O’Neill. Retains his speed and may get brave with a class drop.
View Workout Video
RACE 3: Post: 1:33 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 5-Awesome Pamela; 2-Cayton Kid; 3-Dorita’s Happy
Forecast: Here’s a treacherous bottom-rung maiden claiming main track miler for fillies and mares with nothing to trust. We’ll try to get by going three-deep, but if you feel the need to spread even more, go right ahead. Awesome Pamela seems as good as any with perhaps a bit more room to improve than most of the others. Second vs. similar over this track and distance earlier this month, the daughter of Mucho Macho Man is a one-paced grinding type with numbers that are good enough to win, so if she can stay within range early, she should be capable of picking up the pieces late. Cayton Kid and Dorita’s Happy are both stretching out for the first time and one or both could be more effective under these conditions. The former seems certain to employ gate-to-wire tactics from her two-hole draw, and if the daughter of Runhappy is ever going to get the trip, it will be in her first try. Dorita’s Happy, also by Runhappy, likely will settle into a pace-stalking trip and be first over on the front-runner if and when that one runs out of steam.
RACE 4: Post: 2:04 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference: 7-Cotopaxi; 2-Priano; 3-Alexander’s Dream
Forecast: Cotopaxi (TOC=7/5; ML=5/2) has the route-to-sprint angle that we like in his first start since being claimed for $50,000 by D. O’Neill and seems well-spotted while being protected in this starter’s allowance turf sprint, Back on short rest (two weeks), the Irish-bred gelding is winless in eight starts since being imported but he does have speed figures that are good enough to win in this league, gets a weight break with the switch to bug boy D. Herrera, and should have clear sailing from a second flight, stalking position outside. In a race without much pace, maiden-claiming debut winner Priano (TOC=5-1; ML=2-1) has a chance to win right back following a clever score at Los Alamitos last month. The son of Tiznow switches to F. Prat, shows a steady, healthy recent series of works, and could get brave again if he can clear early without being pressured. On pure numbers, he’s a fit. Alexander’s Dream (TOC=5-1; ML=5-1) woke up with an excellent third place effort in a state-bred affair over this course and distance at 78-1 earlier this month while earning a number that gives him a legitimate look. He finished a length and one-half behind Aligato, who came out of the race to win a on Cal Cup day.
Alexander’s Dream (January 13, Santa Anita, 4f, :48h). Grade: B-
Ridden some through the lane and finished in full stride, final quarter mile in a solid :24 flat. Woke up with a much improved effort sprinting on turf last time out (was 78-1) and appears to be hold his edge.
View Workout Video
RACE 5: Post: 2:35 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 5-Tiz a Master; 1-Busy Paynter
Forecast: We’ve got this $12,500 claiming sprint for older fillies and mares down to two main contenders. Tiz a Master (TOC-6/5; ML=5/2) won from a $10,000 field earlier this month while on the pace throughout and gamely holding sway over Busy Paynter, and they meet again on the one-level raise, this time with an extra sixteenth of a mile to work with. ‘Master is a three-time winner over the local main track and just earned a career top speed figure, so with 26 days in between races she should be set for a similar effort today. She’s off the rail today and can be on the lead or employ stalking tactics if the race flow dictates. Busy Paynter (TOC=5-1; ML=5/2) gets a significant five pounds break in the weights with the switch to bug boy D. Herrera while also removing blinkers, so she could easily turn the tables on her rival. Her career record over the Santa Anita main track is outstanding (three wins and two seconds in five starts) but she’s pretty much a need-the-lead typed and will be forced to gun-and-go from her inside draw.
RACE 6: Post: 3:06 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference: 2-Sensible Cat; 4-Spirit of Bermuda; 3-Cordiality
Forecast: Sensible Cat (TOC=5/2; ML=5/2) and Spirit of Bermuda (TOC=Evens; ML=7/2) finished two-three in a similar downhill turf dash in this second-level allowance condition for fillies and mares and both should be in the fray once again. ‘Cat was making her first start since last May, so she has a right to step forward, especially as a stakes winner over local lawn and graded stakes placed as well. The daughter of Bluegrass Cat retains J. Hernandez and should be rolling from the top of the lane to the wire. Spirit of Bermuda was a useful handicapper in England last year and should continue to improve as she acclimates. She can be effective on the lead or as a second flight, stalker and should step forward in her third start in her current form cycle. The analytics love her. If the pace scenario comes up soft – and it could – Cordiality (TOC=8-1); ML=3-1) might find herself as the controlling speed and take this field a long way. With the switch to F. Prat, the nine-year-old mare with 12 career wins (five of which have been earned over the Santa Anita turf course) may take control early and never look back.
RACE 7: Post: 3:38 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 4-Mongolian Wind; 7-Proverb
Forecast: Mongolian Wind (TOC=2-1; ML=3-1) was in too tough when facing $50,000 foes earlier this month in a hot race for the level but in this softer $40,000 league, the M. Glatt-trained gelding seems likely to bounce back. He remains above his claim level in a sign of confidence, switches to the barn’s “go to” rider A. Cedillo, and projects to be comfortably placed in the second flight. The concern is his lack of success over the local main track. He’s won four of 12 during his career but is zero-for-seven at Santa Anita. Proverb (TOC=3-1; ML=5/2) once was more than good enough to win at this level but went through a stale 2021 and was given some time off. This drop into a claimer is warranted, the recent works look good enough, and the presence of F. Prat in the saddle is encouraging. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics, but you may find the need to toss in a few more.
Proverb (January 16, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.2h). Grade: B
Went off slowly to the top, then picked up nicely through the lane without really being asked, splits of :24.4, :37.1 and 1:01.3 on our watches, solid solo main track drill for R. Baltas. Freshened since November, seems in good enough shape but went winless last year and should return with a class drop.
View Workout Video
RACE 8: Post: 4:10 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 5-Youte; 7-Swanning; 3-Sweet California
Forecast: The finale is a maiden turf sprint for state-bred sophomore fillies. Youte had early trouble and then lugged in and couldn’t be properly ridden when fourth, beaten just over three lengths, before galloping out in front in a similar grass dash earlier this month. Her trouble could have been enough to cost her the win, but it was self-caused, so we’re not quite sure what we’ll be getting from her today. A bullet workout (4f, :48.3h, fastest of 15) at San Luis Rey Downs is a positive factor and J. Hernandez rides her back for a barn that traditionally does fairly well with second-timers, so let’s put her on top and hope for better racing luck. Swanning ran well two-turning over the local lawn when hitting the front but then getting tagged close him against similar state-bred rivals three weeks ago. It was her best effort to date, so it appears the daughter of Square Eddie has found a home on grass. The shortening in trip shouldn’t be an issue; in fact, she might even prefer to sprint. Sweet California is a first-timer from the S. Callaghan barn and attracts F. Prat. The workouts show moderate final times, but she’s been visually pleasing while doing only what’s been asked of her. Given her connections, she’s a “must use” in rolling exotic play.
Sweet California (January 16, Santa Anita, 4f, :49.4h TT). Grade: B
Went off slowly, picked it up through the lane and looked okay with splits of :12.3, :25.1 and :49.2. never really asked, a couple of ticks quicker than given. Daughter of Dancing Candy looks fit, has some run, and should be live with state-bred sophomore fillies first time out.
View Workout Video