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Saturday, October 12: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

October 12, 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: X
Single: 4-Marrazano

Forecast: Marrazano makes a favorable trainer switch to D. O’Neill, removes blinkers for the first time, drops to a realistic level and switches to A. Cedillo. A distant runner-up in a much tougher starter’s allowance sprint at Los Alamitos last month, the daughter of Verrazano will handle this assignment if she acts over the much deeper Santa Anita main track, but not all Los Al shippers do. In a five-runner field with no viable alternative, we’ll put her on top but without a high degree of confidence, and at 2-1 on the morning line she probably won’t offer much value, anyway. Tread lightly here.

RACE 2: Post 1:01 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Twirling Tiger; 3-Top of the Game; 7-Bitter Ring Home

Forecast: Top of the Game, originally claimed in April of 2018 for $62,500, dropped all the way down to the $8,000 level for a nice win at Los Alamitos last month and moves up a notch today while seeking a repeat over a track he’s has plenty of past success (four wins). A voided claim two runs back but with solid recent numbers and a touch of back class, the son of Desert Party looks well-spotted to win right back. Good bug boy J. Velez stays aboard. Twirling Tiger is the one to fear most and can be included in rolling exotic play as well, though the pattern looks a bit suspicious. Fresh from a highly-rated sprint win at Del Mar, he’s now in the J. Wallace barn but isn’t being raised in class and will be making his first start in nearly two months. We’ll see if he can turn in two alike. You may also consider, at least as a saver, Bitter Ring Home, who drops to his lowest level and may have found his friends. The N. Drysdale-trained gelding won a restricted $16,000 affair at Del Mar three runs back while earning a number that charts well here. Both of his prior races over the Santa Anita main track were good, though not highly-rated.

RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 5-Go for a Ride; 9-Muskoka

Forecast: This maiden claiming turf miler has the look of a raffle. We’ll go two-deep but the best advice is to use as many as you can afford to. Go for a Ride removes blinkers (love that angle), shows up in a seller for the first time, returns to grass, and retains good bug boy J. Velez. He should be on or near the lead throughout and could get very brave if not pressured. Muskoga, away since January and training with much more enthusiasm this time around for K. Desormeaux, is re-equipped with blinkers and just might return better than he left. The lightly-raced son of Twirling Candy may be worth a gamble at 12-1 on the morning line in a race begging to be won by a price horse.

RACE 4: Post 2:07 PT. Grade: X
Single: 3-Claudelle

Forecast: Claudelle ran away and hid from outclassed maiden $40,000 claimers at Los Alamitos last month, a race that makes her eligible to this starter’s allowance event in which she figures to be a strong favorite (she’s 7/5 on the morning line). The J. Sadler-trained filly will beat this group if she repeats the big speed figure she earned in that race; however, this track has a much deeper surface and not every horse can transfer that Los Alamitos form to Santa Anita, though it should be noted that in three prior starts, she finished in the money in all three. In a race that probably is best left alone, you can use her as a no-value rolling exotic single or simply sit it out.

RACE 5: Post 2:40 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 4-Crazy Speighty; 10-Drama for Mama

Forecast: The known element doesn’t excite so let’s focus on a couple of promising first-time starters in this maiden special weight sprint for juvenile fillies. Drama for Mama has been very impressive in the morning for the R. Mandella barn and appears fit and ready. From the first crop of Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Liam’s Map (who’s off to a great start at stud), this $250,000 Saratoga yearling purchase can be expected to pop and go from her extreme outside go under bug boy J. Velez. She appears blessed with excellent speed, so if she leaves with her field, look out. Crazy Speighty has done some good work for B. Baffert (exceptional stats with debut runners) and looks plenty fit for a major effort as well. Though the workout times haven’t been especially fast, the daughter of Speightstown has done what has been asked, and promising bug boy J. Diaz, Jr. takes the mount for a stable that has used him on live runners in the past. At 6-1 on the morning line we have include her on our ticket as well.

RACE 6: Post 3:15 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Gingham; 2-Overjoyed

Forecast: Overjoyed was asked a very difficult question in her debut in the Juveniles Fillies Turf at Del Mar last month and actually didn’t do badly at all when winding up fifth after a slow start and a wide trip. She tries maidens and the main track today and seems certain to improve for the Drysdale barn which boasts strong stat with second-time starters. With M. Smith staying aboard, the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro looks well-spotted for a maiden-breaking effort at 3-1 on the morning line. Gingham couldn’t deliver the goods at 50 cents on the dollar at Los Alamitos last month, having every chance but getting worn down late in a race that earned a low speed figure. She continues to train well and could bounce back and verify the promise she showed when a good second in her debut at Del Mar, but at 9/5 on the morning line there’s not much value to be found. Toss her in if you like, but our main push goes to Overjoyed.

RACE 7: Post 3:45 PT. Grade: X
Use: 1-S Y Sky; 5-Don’t Sell; 6-Just Grazed Me

Forecast: Stable mates S Y Sky and Just Grazed Me give the N. Alexander/P. D’Amato team two bullets to fire in this state-bred turf sprint for fillies and mares, with ‘Sky having the slightly better form of the two and therefore the likely favorite and one to beat. Amazingly, she’s been first or second in 14 of 15 career starts, quite an accomplishment for the daughter of Grazen. Just Grazed Me has been first or second in seven of eight starts of her own and is thoroughly genuine and consistent as well. Either one can win, and a case could be more for Don’t Sell as well. The D. O’Neill-trained daughter of Square Eddie looked good beating a lesser field over this course and distance just two weeks ago while earning a speed figure that makes her dangerous despite the class hike. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics but otherwise sit it out and enjoy the show.

RACE 8: Post 4:15 PT. Grade: X
Use: 2-Shear Class; 6-Unicorn; 7-Cover Version

Forecast: This is an unusually tough race for older maiden fillies and mares. We’ll go three deep in our rolling exotics but otherwise pass the race. Unicorn “couldn’t lose” when 40 cents on the dollar in a similar main track maiden miler at Del Mar in August unless she did something like tossing her rider. Well, that’s exactly what she did after stumbling badly at the start. After a two month respite, she returns for the R. Baltas barn (solid with comebackers) and has been training extremely well in the interim while giving indication that she’s plenty fit and ready. However, at 6/5 on the morning line she’s certain to be a short price once again. Shear Class was a closing third in her debut sprinting in a highly-rated affair at Del Mar and the J. Shirreffs-trained daughter of Curlin seems certain to improve a bunch with experience and distance. On pure numbers she’s actually faster than Unicorn, and is another that has done everything right in the a.m. since raced. Cover Version, third in the same race Shear Class exits, finished strongly but too late while being given a run and is another that could easily produce a significant forward move in just her second start since arriving from France.

RACE 9: Post 4:45 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-Wound Tight; 4-Via Egnatia

Forecast: Wound Tight simply wasn’t good enough when third under these conditions at Del Mar last month but the race was a stronger version of what he’s competing in today and we suspect the lightly-raced gelding can regain his winning form. A winner over this course when breaking his maiden back in May of 2018, the son of Coil has rising speed figures, a good inside draw, and regains R. Bejarano, so we’re expecting the R. Hess, Jr. trained Cal-bred to take full advantage of a comfortable pace-stalking trip. Via Egnatia has effective early speed, and if he can clear without pressure the R. Baltas-trained son of Distorted Humor might forget to stop. A gate-to-wire winner over this course and distance two runs back, he’s quite dangerous based on speed figures and a healthy recent work pattern. Slight preference goes to Wound Tight but both should be included in rolling exotic play.