by Jeff Siegel
March 27, 2020
Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.
It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.
Handicappers also are encouraged to access Jeff’s Daily Santa Anita Workout Analysis (see below), an exclusive report containing commentary, fractional times, grades, and a link to the video of the actual workout by each race’s key contenders.
Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.
Grade B=Solid Play.
Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.
Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.
The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.
RACE 1: Post 1:00 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 2-Counterstrike; 8-Rhythm Section
Forecast: Counterstrike earned a strong speed figure when missing in a photo in a promising debut performance over this course seven weeks ago and returns in a similar affair with two nice recent breezes to have him set for a forward move. Nicely drawn inside with J. Leparoux riding him back, the son of Street Boss seems the solid choice at 5/2 on the morning line. Rhythm Section is protected today by T. Pletcher after missing by a neck (while more than five lengths clear of the rest) in a maiden $50,000 claimer in his debut in a race that earned a respectable figure. The son of American Pharoah has a right to improve with experience, so at 8-1 on the morning line he’s worth including on a ticket or two as a back-up in rolling exotic play.
RACE 2: Post 1:34 ET. Grade: X
Single: 1-Miz Chaplin
Forecast: Miz Chaplin ran off from a maiden $20,000 field at Gulfstream Park West in November and was claimed by S. Joseph, Jr. in what looked at the time to be a sharp purchase. Unraced since then and returning for $10,500, the daughter of Rattlesnake Bridge has the unhealthiest of patterns, but this barn plays the claiming game aggressively, and with a recent bullet gate drill of :48 flat (fastest of 41) she should be set to pick up where she left off for a barn that hits with 40% (with a strong flat-bet profit) with the first-off-the-claim plays. However, at 6/5 on the morning line and breaking from the rail, there is no value to be found. You can use her as a rolling exotic single or, better yet, simply pass the race.
RACE 3: Post 2:05 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Bourbon Street;6-Tapping; 7-Khattaf
Forecast: Tapping is an intriguing first-time starter in this maiden $50,000 claimer for a stable that shows fancy recent stats with debut runners. The barn’s go-to rider E. Jaramillo takes the call, and in a race in which the known element doesn’t inspire, let’s try the son of Tapizar and hope to get close to his morning line of 6-1. Khattaf is another newcomer with credentials to run well. The son of Khozan shows a series of solid drills, including a bullet half mile spin (:48 flat, fastest of 24) last month and the R. Nicks barn is more than capable of winning with a firster. Bourbon Street was more than four lengths clear of the rest when runner-up over this track and distance at this level earlier this month, switches to L. Saez, and may be worth using on a ticket or two as a back-up at 8-1 on the morning line.
RACE 4: Post 2:36 ET. Grade: B
Use: 4-First Wave; 9-Noble Alma
Forecast: First Wave, away since October, performed her best last year when sprinting on grass, having finished an excellent second (beaten a neck) at Saratoga last summer in an effort that produced a career top speed figure. The daughter of War Front need only run back to that race today – and the recent work tab should have her plenty fit and ready – to earn her diploma in what appears to be a moderate race for the level. She’s a square price at 5/2 on the morning line if you can get it. Noble Ann also is worth consideration in rolling exotic play. She’s considerably slower on numbers than First Wave but has the benefit of a recent run over the course in her first start in nearly a year when a solid second in a similar affair earlier this month. If she can shake loose early on the front end she could get brave.
RACE 5: Post 3:08 ET. Grade: X
Use: 5-Queen Kantharos; 7-Stormy Boss
Forecast: Here’s a race – a restricted (nw-2) $6,250 sprint for fillies and mares – that probably is best avoided. Stormy Boss drops to the bottom and may have found her friends after turning in a flat performance when competing for $12,500 last time out. Her third place effort when beaten less than a length for that price two races back makes her hard to beat at this level, but with low profile connections and a history of failing as the favorite the daughter of Mucho Macho Man clearly isn’t one to trust. If not her, then who? Queen Kantharos also drops to the bottom for the first time but comes from a low percentage outfit. Tread lightly here.
RACE 6: Post 3:39 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 5-Greyes Creek; 9-Flame Zapper; 10-Propensity
Forecast: Though he’s been away since November of 2018, Greyes Creek has plenty going for him in this maiden special weight turf miler, including a bullet half mile gate drill (:48 flat, fastest of 26) at Palm Meadows last week that should have him fit and ready. The son of Pioneerof the Nile was a beaten choice in all three of his starts as a 2-year-old in good company but could easily return a better type as an older horse for a barn that hits at 28% with layoff runners. Flame Zapper and Propensity, two-three finishers over this course and distance in a race that was assigned a very strong speed figure, both have the benefit of recent racing and should prove formidable. The former has a good stalking style while the latter looks like a need-the-lead type and may prove elusive if not pressured early.
RACE 7: Post 4:10 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Lapochka; 6-Chase Runner
Forecast: Chase Runner is in good form for winning connections and stretches out to his preferred one mile trip in race that should have him ideally placed outside stalking what projects to be a moderate pace. First or second in six of 14 career starts and with rising speed figures, the son of Big Brown looks fairly enticing at or near his morning line of 4-1. Lapochka moves up a couple of notches after a strong win for $8,000 over this track and distance 13 days ago and if he can come close that type of effort off the short rest he’ll be tough right back. However, that may be a tall task for a horse that doesn’t have a history of stringing good races together.
RACE 8: Post 4:41 ET. Grade: B
Use: 3-Frenchmen Street; 4-Camp Randall; 7-Captain Ron
Forecast: Frenchmen Street, first off the claim for M. Maker, won an off-the-turf abbreviated sprint for $40,000 last month but can be just as effective on grass and looks live on the raise. Always consistent in the speed figure department, the Malibu Moon can be effective on the lead or from the second flight, so T. Gaffalione can play it by ear. Captain Ron could be the quickest in the field but is another that is more than capable of winning as a stalker or presser and may be able to dictate the race from his outside draw. Much improved since being claimed for $10,000 last November, the lightly raced 7-year-old is fresh from a career top effort against a lesser state-bred field but on pure numbers is a fit at this level. Camp Randall, with just three career starts and a perfect two-for-two over this course and distance, has more upside than the others and is another with the versatility to handle any type of pace scenario. In a tough, competitive event, we’ll include all three in our rolling exotics while giving Frenchmen Street a very slight not on top.
RACE 9: Post 5:12 ET. Grade:
Use: 2-Edge of Fire; 4-Ournationalonparade; 7-Silver Ratio
Forecast: This first-level allowance miler for 3-year-olds looks deep and competitive and offers a stiff task for the impressive debut winner Edge of Fire, who didn’t earn much of a speed figure in victory but was never asked for anything close to his best after extracting himself from traffic trouble much of the way while displaying a proper style for a stretch out in trip. The son of Curlin is a high potential type for J. Jerkens but will need to produce a significant forward move to handle this group of fast, seasoned sophomores. At 8-1 on the morning line, the price is right for such a gamble, so we’ll put him on top but also include a couple of others in our rolling exotics for protection. Ournationonparade, a close third in the Hutcheson Stakes in his sophomore debut, should step forward with that effort behind him at a distance that should complement his pace-pressing style. At 9/2 on the morning line, the Maryland-bred gelding is a “must use.” Soros, entered in the Florida Derby-G1 on Saturday but we suspect will remain in this spot (his connections also have Independence Hall in the big race), showed good ability last fall when as a maiden winning the Smooth Air Stakes over this track and distance, rallying from mid-pack to earn a useful speed figure. His recent workouts indicate the G. Delgado-trained son of Commissioner is plenty fit and ready.
RACE 10: Post 5:43 ET. Grade: B
Use: 5-Bacchanalia; 6-Wildlife; 9-Silver Kitten
Forecast: Silver Kitten, an excellent runner-up in the Honey Fox S.-G3 last month and the likely controlling speed in a race that on paper projects to have modest early fractions, shows numbers that have risen in each of her last five starts and deserves top billing in this second-level allowance nine furlong turf affair for fillies and mares. The daughter of Kitten’s Joy is reunited with “win rider” L. Saez and will be very hard deny if handed the front end but figures tough even if she’s relegated to a stalker’s role from her outside draw. Bacchanalia is another improving filly and earned a career top number when beating a lesser allowance field in late January with a relentless late kick. Her chances increase if the race-shape isn’t too skewed. Wildlife is 12-1 on the morning line and is absolutely worth including in our rolling exotics at that price. Away since November and exiting a pair of graded stakes races, the daughter of Animal Kingdom returns to the second-level allowance ranks, lands Johnny V., and with a bit of help up front could be dangerous with her deep-closing style. On pure numbers she’s right there with these, but the barn’s lack of success with layoff runners justifies her big price.
RACE 11: Post 6:14 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Gufo; 5-Ask for Bode; 9-Unconquered Lea
Forecast: Unconquered Lea graduated for fun in a visually pleasing performance over a mile in his first try on grass and today tackles tougher while stretching out to nine furlongs. The B. Perkins, Jr.-trained colt may not have things his own way on the front end this time (it would be nice if he did) but after a bullet grass drill since his win last month the son of Lea could easily take the class hike in stride even if forced to stalk and pounce as is likely with Ask for Bode drawn inside of him. The Bodemeister colt dismantled a maiden $75,000 field at first asking on the front end with solid splits, earning a useful speed figure, and while better will be needed to score right back the E. Kenneally-trained sophomore might be tough to catch if not respected up front. At 6-1 on the morning line we’ll toss him in. Gufo, a first-time Lasix user for the always-potent Clement-Rosario team, makes his first start since breaking his maiden over this course in December with a nice display of late speed, His style suggests today’s mile and one-eighth journey will promote his chances and at 9/2 on the morning line the son of Declaration of War is another “must use” in rolling exotic play.