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Friday, September 27: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

September 27, 2019

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.

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 PT. Grade: C
Use: 1-Norski; 3-Gate Speed; 5-Red Valor

Forecast: The opener is a treacherous maiden-claiming $40,000 sprint that drew six runners and probably is best left alone, a there are many question marks and nothing to trust. We’ll use three in our rolling exotics but otherwise pass the race. Norski has a race two runs back that charts well here and if repeated probably makes him the one to beat. The H. Palma-trained gelding should be able to settle in the second flight and then have every chance to produce a winning late kick at this extended sprint distance that figures to test the pace-types. Gate Speed shows up in a seller for the first time and should greatly appreciate the class drop. He’ll get plenty of play with the presence of J. Rosario in the saddle and with the route-to-sprint angle appearing in his chart the son of Brilliant Speed should have every chance from pace-forcing position. Red Valor is a 10-race maiden but actually finished first (by more than five lengths) in his most recent start at Del Mar, only to get disqualified for failure to maintain a straight course leaving the gate. The class hike from maiden $20,000 to maiden $40,000 doesn’t really concern as much as his slow speed figures and low percentage connections. You can toss him on a ticket or two as a back-up.

RACE 2: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Enchanted Nile; 12-Antigone

Forecast: Enchanted Nile seems quite intriguing in this maiden turf miler for juvenile fillies. The daughter of Pioneerof the Nile lands the good rail, continues to impress in the morning, and seems certain to improve with the stretch out in trip. There’s no reason she won’t handle turf, she exits a live race, the barn has strong stats (27%) with second-time starters, and there’s nothing wrong with the switch to J. Talamo. Also, she adds Lasix. What’s not to like? Main contender Antigone gets the absolute worst of the draw but if she can manage to negotiate a decent trip from her extreme outside post position the daughter of Carpe Diem should be able to make a run for it. Second in both of her starts, she adds blinkers today for a barn that has good stats (22%) with this angle while retaining D. Van Dyke. The main concern is her speed figures are well below par for this level. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics and then come back and press with Enchanted Nile on top.

RACE 3: Post 2:05 PT. Grade: C
Use: 1-Kuda Huraa; 2-Lovely Lilia; 5-Wakes Up Happy

Forecast: Here’s a messy maiden claimer for juvenile fillies. Tread lightly. Wakes Up Happy was a $140,000 May sale purchase at Timonium, but after finishing eighth in her debut in a tough grass sprint at Del Mar the daughter of Quality Road is being thrown away for $30,000, hardly a sign of confidence. Yet, the daughter of Quality Road is a contender by default and shows a bullet training track workout (:49.2h) last week to indicate fitness. Lovely Lilia also is dropping from straight maiden to a maiden claimer and should improve enough to be a factor. The P. D’Amato-trained daughter of Animal Kingdom adds blinkers and gets a break in the weights with the switch to good bug boy J. Velez. If she can run at all, this would be a good place to show it. Kuda Huraa has some early speed and will have no choice to bust out and go from her rail draw. She exits a productive race, and with another forward move projects to be a pace factor for at least part of the way. We’ll try to get by using just these three but not with any real degree of confidence.

RACE 4: Post 2:40 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 4-Pride’s Gold; 5-Sunrise Royale; 7-An Eddie Surprise

Forecast: Pride’s Gold was victimized by a slow pace when fourth in a mini-marathon two runs back and then couldn’t handle the deep main track at Del Mar and was no factor last time out. If she runs back to her U.S. debut – a solid third place effort despite a very wide trip – she can pull off a major surprise at 10-1 on the morning line. Sunrise Royale is stretching out for the first time, and if she’s ever going to be effective over a mile it will be in her first try. Clearly the controlling speed, the daughter of Informed certainly is bred to stay the trip, and in her present form the state-bred filly could get loose early and very brave late. Fresh from a career top win at Del Mar, she retains A. Cedillo and goes for a barn that has excellent stats with the sprint-to-route angle. An Eddie Surprise, first or second in nine of 12 career outings over the Santa Anita turf course, should draft into a good second flight stalking position and then have every chance from the quarter pole home. She’s a fit on numbers but doesn’t always seal the deal when presented with the opportunity. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics and then press with Pride’s Gold in the straight pool.

RACE 5: Post 3:10 PT. Grade: X
Single: 4-Bast

Forecast: Bast is the obvious top choice and logical rolling exotic single but she’ll be a very short price and thus will offer little or no wagering value in this year’s edition of the Chandelier S.-G1 for juvenile fillies. The daughter of Uncle Mon looked sensational winning the Del Mar Debutante S.-G1 with a legitimate high class speed figure and today stretches out to a distance that should be well within her capabilities. The main question is, will she be impressive enough to gain the role as the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies-G1 favorite?

RACE 6: Post 3:40 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Eddie Haskell; 2-Pee Wee Reese

Forecast: Pee Wee Reese has trained like he’s fit and ready to resume his career and the P. D’Amato-trained veteran is almost – but not quite – unbeatable of the Santa Anita turf course, having won five of six starts both going downhill and on the flat. The son of Tribal Rule has had his issues – as a six-year-old he’s had only 14 lifetime starts, winning seven – but his sharp series of drill at San Luis Rey Downs indicates he hasn’t lost a step. Eddie Haskell is reunited with J. Rosario and is a perfect two-for-two under this rider. The Square Eddie gelding is thoroughly genuine and consistent and is especially tough when he draws his favorite post, the rail. We’ll give the namesake of the ex-Brooklyn Dodger infielder a very slight nod on top but include both in our rolling exotics in a race in which we’ll try to beat the two other main contenders, Stormy Liberal (lost a step?) and Mr Vargas (picks up 8 lbs.).

RACE 7: Post 4:10 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Julius; 2-Magic on Tap

Forecast: Julius is a strong fit on numbers and likely the controlling speed form his inside draw. Is he one to trust? The D. O’Neill-trained gelding tends to pull hard and lug out, stunts he’s pulled both in his races and in his workouts. He could be very tough if and when he learns to simply drop his head and run straight, and perhaps as the projected controlling speed he’ll do just that. Magic on Tap didn’t really have much of an excuse when second as the favorite in a similar first-level allowance main track affair at Del Mar last time out, but today adds blinkers and continues to look good in the morning for Baffert so we’re expecting the son of Tapit to fire his best shot. He switches to Johnny V. and should have every chance from a pace-forcing or stalking position. Julius is intrinsically the better of the two so we’ll put him slightly on top and hope that he concentrates on the task at hand while including both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 8: Post 4:40 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-Eight Rings; 4-Express Train

Forecast: The two good colts listed above help make this year’s renewal of the American Pharoah S.-G1 quite significant with regards to Breeders’ Cup ramifications. Eight Rings couldn’t have been more impressive breaking his maiden in his debut but then – at 50 cents on the dollar – ducked in twice and lost his rider soon after the start in the Del Mar Futurity-G1. Training quite well since while going straight and true with the addition of blinkers, the son of Empire Maker certainly is bred to improve over a distance of ground and should regain his top form with the switch to Johnny V. Express Train, a rapidly developing son of Union Rags, was a distant second behind Eight Rings in his debut when given a run and then graduated by more than 14 lengths two-turning in his most recent outing. He’s kind of a grinder but obviously has plenty of quality, and it will interesting to see if he can produce enough of a forward move to close the gap between himself and B. Baffert’s colt. American Theorem, an impressive debut sprint winner by American Pharoah from the G. Papapadromou barn, can't be dismissed under the assumption that he'll improve two-turning and may be the controlling speed.

RACE 9: Post 5:10 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 3-Succeedandsurpass; 4-Extra Hope; 7-Originaire

Forecast: This restricted allowance race for 3-year-olds looks every bit the part of a stakes race, and in fact will serve as a prep for the $200,000 Twilight Derby-G2, which will be run as part of the Breeders’ Cup Saturday program Nov. 2. Succeedandsurpass was a visually quite impressive breaking his maiden at Del Mar in just his third career start and the Irish-bred colt has very done very well in the morning since then for R. Baltas to indicate that another significant forward move is probable. Johnny V., who was aboard in that race, regains the mount and should have this up-and-coming 3-year-old within striking range throughout. Originaire is the likely choice and one to beat following a superb runner-up effort in the Del Mar Derby-G1. The progressive Irish-bred son of Zoffany should get the patient ride he needs from M. Smith and be heard from in the final furlong. Extra Hope launches a comeback for R. Mandella and will be trying turf for the first time. but he’s trained like he’s fit and ready and is reunited with F. Prat, who was aboard for his impressive maiden score last winter. He’s fast on figures, and if he can duplicate his main track form on grass, the son of Shanghai Bobby will be a major player in a deep and contentious event.