Log In

Friday, October 04: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

October 4, 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: B-
Use: 1-Papa Turf; 6-Royal Seeker

Forecast: On pure form Royal Seeker is strictly the one to beat in this $10,000 claiming sprint but the Heatseeker gelding is winless in 24 career starts over the Santa Anita main track, and that’s a statistic that is too poor to ignore. You can include him somewhere in your rolling exotics if you’d like but our main push goes to Papa Turf, a six-time winner at Santa Anita and remaining above his claim level for J. Mullins. With the switch to hot-riding A. Cedillo the veteran son of Yes It’s True should be able to use his rail post to good advantage and have every chance to take this field gate to wire.

RACE 2: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 5-Winning Element; 8-Buckstopper Kit

Forecast: Buckstopper Kit, first off the claim for P. D’Amato (superior stats with this angle), seems likely to produce a forward move with the switch to A. Cedillo, and if he can negotiate a decent trip from his outside draw the son of Kitten’s Joy should be able to break through with a winning performance in a race restricted to horses that have not won a race this year. Winning Element, away since May 2018, is more than good enough to win if ready, but the D. O’Neill barn has just so-so stats with layoff runners and the work tab looks a bit spotty. But based strictly on intrinsic ability he’s a major contender in a soft affair.

RACE 3: Post 2:05 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Perfect Rush; 4-Going to Vegas

Forecast: We’ll double this race in our rolling exotics but each of the five entrants has credentials to win so nothing would surprise us. Those who can afford to might consider buying the race. Perfect Rush chased a much tougher field on turf in her debut and seems likely to improve considerably when facing this level of competition. The J. Sadler-trained filly switches to F. Prat and based on numbers looks like the one to beat. Going to Vegas, a reasonable runner-up in her debut in a similar maiden $50,000 sprint at Los Alamitos, has a right to produce a forward move for P. Miller (terrific stats with second-time starters) and retains good bug boy J. Velez. She should be on or near the lead throughout.

RACE 4: Post 2:450 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 2-Swirling

Forecast: We’re going to take a stand and single Swirling in this $40,000 claiming turf sprint for fillies and mares while recognizing that on pure form G Q Covergirl is the likely choice and strictly the one to beat. Swirling always runs well over this turf course (both down the hill and on the flat) and today gets an extra half-furlong to work with. Best as a late-running sprinter and likely to benefit from the patient ride she needs from V. Espinoza, the daughter of Twirling Candy continues to train well, and having won off short layoffs in the past she should fire her best shot in her first outing since the third week in August. With good racing luck, she should be along in time as a straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 5: Post 3:10 PT. Grade: X
Single: 4-The Easy Way

Forecast: The Easy Way is lightly raced (just two starts) with plenty of room to improve, and in this bottom-rung maiden claiming router for older horses the L. Powell-trained gelding really has little to beat. A repeat of his last race – a somewhat troubled third place finish vs. similar at Del Mar – should be more than good enough, but at 8/5 on the morning line he’s probably not going to offer much in the way of wagering value. We’ll use him as a short priced rolling exotic single but otherwise sit it out.

RACE 6: Post 3:40 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 8-Raymundos Secret

Forecast: Raymundos Secret was pitched a little too high when setting the pace and then weakening to finish fourth in the Del Mar Oaks-G1 in mid-August but in this first-level allowance turf miler restricted to 3-year-old fillies the daughter of Treasure Beach should get back on the winning track. The outside post is no bargain but she has more than enough speed to get over and secure the same type of stalking trip that she enjoyed when easily handling a starter’s allowance field two runs back. “Win rider” F. Prat returns, and the R. Baltas-trained filly has been burning up the track at San Luis Rey Downs in recent weeks to indicate she’s fit and ready. There’s plenty of value to be found at her morning line of 5/2; however, you’re not likely to get it. At any reasonable price (8/5?) she’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 7: Post 4:10 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 5-Dukes Up; 6-Platinum Equity; 7-Kenzou’s Rhythm

Forecast: The seventh race is a competitive starter’s allowance main track miler than has a few contenders requiring a spread in rolling exotic play. Dukes Up has won six races in his career, five of which have come over the Santa Anita main track. His recent form is solid, and with the switch to A. Cedillo the M. Glatt-trained gelding should draft into a second flight early position and then have every chance to seal the deal from the quarter pole home. Platinum Equity is another Santa Anita specialist – he’s won five of nine starts over the local main track – and is reunited with “win rider” T. Pereira. His recent form is good and he’s another with enough tactical speed to insure a trouble-free trip. Kenzou’s Rhythm, away since February and making his first start for J. Mullins, returns protected in a sign of confidence by a barn that boasts excellent stats with layoff runners. The veteran gelding is another horse-for-course, having won half of his eight career starts on dirt at Santa Anita. The son of Algorithms is a versatile type capable of winning on the front end or from off the pace.

RACE 8: Post 4:40 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Combat Zone; 5-Canadian Game

Forecast: Combat Zone looks pretty strong on paper, maybe too strong. Beaten a head in a starter allowance $50,000 affair at Del Mar in August, the J. Sadler-trained horse shows up for $25,000 today, a class drop that gives every indication that he’s for sale. At this level for these connections the son of War Front should win, but at 2-1 on the morning with a somewhat suspicious pattern he’s a hard horse to thoroughly trust. Canadian Game looks like an intriguing long shot even though the J. Carava barn hardly ever wins with a layoff runner and hardly ever wins with M. Pedroza in the saddle, at least lately. However, despite being away for several months the son of Curlin actually is training quite well and could be a better type this time around. Additionally, he has several back numbers that make him a fit, so at 6-1 on the morning he’s a “must use” in rolling exotic play.