Log In

Saturday, September 28: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

September 28, 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: X
Single: 3-Justinian

Forecast: Justinian ran far below expectations in his debut at Del Mar when the B. Baffert-trained colt broke slowly, rushed up wide to contend for a half and then packed it in. Blinkers come off for a barn that hits at 28% with this angle and whose second-timer starters (24%) often improve. A bullet recent five furlong workout (:59.3h) indicates the son of Justin Phillip retains his speed, so we’ll give him one more chance to perform up to expectations, though at 8/5 on the morning line he’s not likely to offer much in the way of wagering value.

RACE 2: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Thin Line; 6-Palladium

Forecast: This $20,000 claiming main track miler restricted to 3-year-olds drew just six runners, giving us little to work with. Palladium exits a highly-rated race for the level and has two prior wins over the Santa Anita main track, so we’re expecting the son of Graydar to fit very nicely in this below par race for the level. This will be his first start since joining the R. Hess barn and blinkers go on for the first time, so there’s every reason to believe he’ll fire his best shot. Thin Line stretches out again and could be the controlling speed, although sprinter-stretching-out Dr. Bagley may have something to say about that. The D. O’Neill-trained son of Morning Line has numbers that fit, and though he’s suspect around two turns both of his prior route attempts came vs. tougher on grass. He’s probably worth tossing in as a back-up or a saver,.

RACE 3: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 7-Liar Liar; 8-Phast Pharoah

Forecast: Phast Pharoah has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern and a pedigree that suggests this mile trip should easily be within his range. After being sent hard from the gate and flashing good speed before stopping in his debut, the son of American Pharoah was taken back and allowed to finish in his most recent outing sprinting on grass and responded in a positive fashion, winding up a willing fourth after a bit of traffic trouble in the lane. This doesn’t look like a particularly strong maiden race, so if he’s going to develop into a decent colt he’ll show it today. Liar Liar earned a modest 59 Timeform Rating when finishing fifth of 14 in his debut in Ireland in April, perhaps finding five furlongs too sharp, and makes his U.S. debut for R. Baltas with Lasix and a useful series of training track workouts on his resume. He’s probably at least an okay type, so we’ll toss him in while preferring Phast Pharoah on top.

RACE 4: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 4-Scarlet Lips; 5-Donna Veloce

Forecast: Donna Veloce acts like a very fast filly and appears fit and ready for a huge effort in her debut in this extended sprint for maiden juvenile fillies. An $800,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton March Sale where she blazed a furlong in 9 4/5 seconds over the Gulfstream Park main track, the daughter of Uncle Mo has done everything locally for S. Callaghan to indicate she’s a quality prospect. Scarlet Lips has the benefit of a prior run, having finished willingly to be a distant second behind stable mate Quality Response last month at Del Mar in a race that was flattered when ‘Response came back to easily win a stakes at Los Alamitos. The daughter of Malibu Moon, a $400,000 Saratoga yearling purchase last year, adds blinkers today and gets an extra furlong to work with, so we’re expecting a significant forward move for B. Baffert, whose maidens often step forward with a run under their belts. We’ll give Donna Veloce the edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 5: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 11-Eddy Forever

Forecast: Eddy Forever flashed excellent ability in his debut at Del Mar, finishing a strong third after a poor start and a wide trip when a close fourth over a mile on grass in a similar maiden event for juveniles. The son of Medaglia d’Oro has been impressive in the morning since that race for B. Baffert and can be expected to produce a significant forward move – as many second-time starters do from this barn – and assuming he breaks with his field and can negotiate a decent trip from his extreme outside draw he should be able to handle this task. At 3-1 on the morning line he’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 6: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Homehome; 7-Sofi’s Gold

Forecast: Sofi’s Gold ran well in her debut when a game second to the more experienced Mandy in a similar maiden special weight sprint for juvenile state-bred fillies, and while that certainly wasn’t a particular fast race the daughter of Goldencents should be better for the experience and looks ready to step forward and graduate from her comfortable outside draw. The barn’s go-to rider, R. Bejarano, stays aboard. Homehome is an intriguing first-timer from the D. O’Neill barn (average stats with first-timers) and showed a bit of ability in a recent local gate drill (3f, :36.3hg) after shipping in from San Luis Rey Downs. She’s a daughter of Square Eddie, and while she’s probably no world beater she might be a factor in a rather modest event. We’ll double the race in our rolling exotics while giving Sofi’s Gold the edge on top.

RACE 7: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 5-United; 8-Acclimate

Forecast: Acclimate is a devout front-runner catching a field without pace (again) and may be capable of taking full advantage of the situation over a course he loves (4-for-9 lifetime). The P. D’Amato-trained gelding is most effective in marathon trips but at this shorter mile and one-quarter journey – given the projected pace flow – the veteran Acclamation gelding may never look back if handed the lead as expected. United is a developing gelding with further improvement in him, having only eight career races, and earned a strong speed figure when winning a competitive allowance race at Del Mar in mid-July. Away since then but training in sharp style for R. Mandella, the son of Giant’s Causeway has a prior win over the local lawn and retains F. Prat. Clearly he’s the most dangerous of the closing types.

RACE 8: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Value Play; 7-Comical Ghost

Forecast: Comical Ghost won at first asking over this track and distance in early June but missed the entire Del Mar meeting for whatever reason and today catches what looks to be a considerably tougher group than the maiden field he defeated in clever style. The recent works look good for B. Baffert, so the son of Ghostzapper should be a short price (he’s 7/5 on the morning line) to extend his winning streak to two. Similarly, Value Play won his debut in visually pleasing style (at Los Alamitos in December) but then disappeared. The son of Algorithms is making his first start since then while showing a relatively light series of recent drills for a barn whose layoff runners often need an outing. He remains well regarded but must leave from the rail, so we’ll include him on a ticket or two in our rolling exotics while preferring Comical Ghost on top.

RACE 9: Post 5:00 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Beau Recall; 6-Paved

Forecast: This year’s edition of the Rodeo Drive S.-G1 came up unusually light both in quality and in quantity. Beau Recall has never any had success at this 10-furlong trip but the deep closing Irish-bred mare beats this field with anything close her game victory in the Yellow Ribbon H.-G2 at Del Mar in her most recent outing. Since being taken over by high percentage trainer Brad Cox, she has won four of six starts in high class company and was a close second in the races she didn’t win. Paved can be used as a back-up. The daughter of Quality Road will be making her third start off a layoff and should produce another forward move. In a field lacking in pace, the M. McCarthy-trained four-year-old projects to inherit a good stalking position and have every chance from the quarter pole home.

RACE 10: Post 5:30 PT. Grade: X
Single: 4-McKinzie

Forecast: At the Breeders’ Cup distance of a mile and one-quarter Higher Power might be able to beat McKinzie, but today’s Awesome Again S.-G1 is carded at nine furlongs and at this trip the B. Baffert-trained colt holds the edge. A winner of the Whitney S.-G1 at Saratoga in his most recent outing with a career top speed figure and training in superlative fashion since, the son of Street Sense seems primed for another major effort, but at a price too short to play. Higher Power, winner of the Pacific Classic-G1 at Del Mar, also has looked sensational in the a.m., but in a field with just two main contenders, we have to pick one.

RACE 11: Post 6:30 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 3-Don’t Sell

Forecast: Don’t Sell shortens to her optimum trip, and the D. O’Neill-trained filly is unbeaten in two starts sprinting over the Santa Anita turf course. Impressive in recent workouts to indicate she’s spot on for a top performance, the daughter of Square Eddie has the perfect stalking style for this abbreviated sprint distance and with good racing luck should be along in time. At 4-1 on the morning line she’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.