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Saturday, October 05: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

October 5, 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 12:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-Stretford End; 5-Silenced

Forecast: Stretford End was beaten a neck by Improbable in his debut in a maiden race nearly a year ago. He’s still a maiden, though the son of Will Take Charge hasn’t been out since February and has finished second in three of his four career starts. It’s not too late for the S. Callaghan-trained sophomore to develop into a good colt, but first thing’s first and that’s earning his diploma in this six furlong sprint. The work tab isn’t flashy but should have him fit enough. Silenced also has upside and looms the one to fear most. Second in a similar affair at Los Alamitos last month while earning a better than par speed figure for this level, the son of Arch has a right to produce a forward move for a barn that has solid stats with second-off-layoff runners. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Stretford End.

RACE 2: Post 1:05 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 3-K P Indy; 7-Smooth Like Strait; 10-Moon Mischief

Forecast: Here’s a chance for a tote-busting payoff. Smooth Like Strait finished ninth, beaten 20 lengths, in his debut at Del Mar in mid-August but the son of Midnight Lute seems much better than that race shows and deserves a chance to produce a significant form reversal in this maiden turf sprint for juveniles. The M. McCarthy-trained colt was victimized by an anti-inside track bias at Del Mar after flashing good speed for a half, and since then has trained quite well for a trainer that excels with second-time starters. The blinkers off angle always catches our eye, so at a massive 20-1 on the morning line he’s definitely worth strong consideration both in the straight pool and in rolling exotic play. K P Indy ran quite well sprinting on turf in his debut at Del Mar in August but then was disappointing as the favorite when sent over a distance of ground in his next appearance. Shortening up while retaining M. Smith, the J. Mullins-trained colt may be most comfortable as a late-running sprinter. You should also include at least on a ticket or two Moon Mischief. The son of Into Mischief was a solid runner-up at Los Alamitos in his debut, adds blinkers, switches to grass, and is another eligible to step forward with that bit of experience behind him.

RACE 3: Post 1:40 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Portal Creek; 6-Nomizar; 7-Shes All Woman

Forecast: Portal Creek, a $32,000 claim in mid-August, returns at that same level today in her first start for J. Sadler and should fire her best shot over a main track she absolutely loves (four wins in seven starts). Her recent workouts indicate fitness and E. Jaramillo, in town to ride Shancelot later in the day, picks up a live mount. Nomizar and Shes All Woman have credentials to run well in this league and also should be included in rolling exotic play. The former was overmatched in the Beverly Lewis S. at Los Alamitos last month but isn’t today and has won over this track in the past. The latter, a two-time winner over the local main track, moves up a notch following a $25,000 Hess, Jr. claim, lands the cozy outside post, and switches to hot-riding A. Cedillo.

RACE 4: Post 2:15 PT. Grade: B
Use: 5-Lil Milo; 11-Wildman Jack

Forecast: Lil Milo didn’t get the best of runs when an unlucky runner-up in a similar turf sprint for first-level allowance types at Del Mar in his comeback but with clear sailing today should be hard to deny. A versatile sort who can be dangerous on the front end or from off the pace, the son of Rocky Bar loves the Santa Anita turf course and sports a strong, healthy work tab that indicates a major effort is forthcoming. Wildman Jack, a close third in the same race Lil Milo exits, has plenty of room to improve with just two career starts under his belt. The Goldencents gelding has been training sharply in the interim at San Luis Rey Downs for the D. O’Neill barn and returns R. Bejarano. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll give a slight edge on top to Lil Milo.

RACE 5: Post 2:50 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Anonymity; 6-Selcourt

Forecast: Selcourt has a history of firing fresh, loves the Santa Anita main track (four wins, three seconds, in nine career starts) and is especially effective when she draws outside. The stars are aligned for a return to top form by the multiple graded stakes winning mare in the J. Sadler barn, and her recent workouts should have her fit enough. Anonymity is never one to count on – she’s failed as an odds-on favorite no less than four times in a nine race career – but when she wants to be the R. Mandella-trained daughter of Tapit can be very good. Never worse than second in three prior outings at Santa Anita, she will be tough if the 8/5 morning line favorite fails for whatever reason to bring her best stuff. Both should be included in rolling exotic play, with preference on top to Selcourt.

RACE 6: Post 3:25 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Acker; 3-The Hunted; 4-Foray

Forecast: This evenly matched group of second-level allowance optional claimers requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Foray is intriguing on the raise for J. Sadler and seems likely to be the controlling speed. He’s unproven at this level and at this nine furlong distance, but the lightly-raced and progressing son of Eskendereya should have every chance to lead this field gate-to-wire if not respected early on. Acker is a four time winner over the Santa Anita turf course and should draft into a lovely pace-stalking trip and then have every chance to seal the deal from the quarter pole home. The Hunted is another with a solid chance off his best effort over a course he’s been known to like (two career wins). The Unusual Heat gelding looks the most dangerous of the closers.

RACE 7: Post 3:55 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 5-If Id Told You; 10-Lightning Fast

Forecast: Here’s another chance for a major surprise by a two-year-old that could easily be much better than his debut shows. If Id Told You had a rough go in his only outing, breaking a tad slowly and then gradually moving into contention while being forced to race along the deep inside throughout. Under the circumstances, his fifth place finish in a similar state-bred juvenile sprint at Del Mar wasn’t bad at all, and since then the G. Mandella-trained colt has trained quite well while giving every indication that he’s set for a much improved effort. At a whopping 15-1 on the morning line he’s a “must use” in the straight pool as well as the rolling exotics. We’ll also toss in Lightning Fast, third in the same race If Id Told You exits and also with a high probability for stepping forward off his debut run. The son of Violence adds blinkers and switches to Talamo, and if he leaves with his field today there’s a strong likelihood that he’ll be a pace presence from start to finish.

RACE 8: Post 4:25 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Synchrony; 6-Catapult; 9-Prince Earl

Forecast: Synchrony is a deep-closing type that always is susceptible to traffic trouble and slow paced races but if things break his way the the veteran son of Tapit should be capable of producing the last run. Blocked and losing his best chance when a close fifth in the Woodbine Mile-G1 in his most recent outing, the M. Stidham-trained 6-year-old encounters what should be a less difficult assignment today, but again will need a decent pace and good racing luck to get up in time. Catapult has been winless since capturing the Del Mar Mile H.-G2 more than a year ago, but he continues to train sharply and has enough tactical speed to secure a very favorable second-flight trip. On his best day, he can act with these and he could wake up big time with the switch to R. Bejarano. Prince Earl got a dream run when winning this year’s edition of the Del Mar Mile H.-G2 in his first start since last December. A similar effort today could be good enough; however, this time he’ll have to break from the number nine post position and may be forced to lose ground somewhere along the way. Preference on top goes to Synchrony but all three should be used in rolling exotics play.

RACE 9: Post 4:55 PT. Grade: X
Single: 3-Shancelot

Forecast: Shancelot is 4/5 on the morning line and based on form should be. Not only is he by far the fastest sprinter in the race strictly on numbers, he’s catching a field with nothing in it that can remotely challenge him early. In what will serve as an ideal prep for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint over this track and distance next month, the son of Shanghai Bobby seems like no-value short-price rolling exotic single.

RACE 10: Post 5:25 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-La Sardane; 3-Tooreen Dancer; 4-Toinette

Forecast: This highly contentious edition of the Swingtime Stakes has several contenders, though Toinette, at 9/5 on the morning line, is a deserving favorite after equally her career top speed figure when a strong third in the John C. Mabee Stakes over nine furlongs on turf at Del Mar last month. This drop into an overnight stakes combined with the shortening to a distance she’s perfect at (two-for-two) makes her the logical top pick. However, her stable mate, La Sardane, and the lightly-raced and improving Tooreen Dancer both should be included somewhere on your ticket as well. La Sardane, away since late March but training like she’s fit and ready, can be a threat if she regains her outstanding form from last year, while Tooreen Dancer, freshened since a clever allowance win at Keeneland in the spring, will need a career top best performance to act at this level but could easily have it in her for the red-hot P. D’Amato barn.