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Friday, October 18: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

October 18, 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: 3-Music to My Ears; 4-Noble Pursuit

Forecast: Noble Pursuit is a fit on numbers, improving with racing, and sports a bullet six furlong drill two weeks over this deep main track that should have him fit and ready for another forward move . We’re expecting this late-developing son of Curlin to be along in time under good bug boy J. Velez. Music to My Ears may be suspect around two-turns (he pressed the pace and then faded in a grass router at Del Mar) but the son of Goldencents on paper appears to be the clearly the controlling speed and he could be dangerous if not pressured early. Preference on top goes to Noble Pursuit but we’ll include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 2: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: X
Single: 3-Color War

Forecast: Color War appears well-spotted for a maiden win in this six-runner $30,000 claiming miler for 2-year-olds. The A. Sherman-trained gelding adds blinkers for the first time, has rising speed figures, and after being overmatched on grass vs. straight maidens last time out returns to reality with little to beat. The A. Sherman-trained son of Declaration of War is listed at 8/5 morning line and could go lower, so we’ll make him a no-value rolling exotic single but otherwise pass the race.

RACE 3: Post 2:05 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-Savagery; 6-Principe Carlo

Forecast: The Pick-6 kicks off with a $40,000 claiming sprint restricted to 3-year-olds. Savagery has the blinkers off angle that we like in his first start since April and his first outing for at tag since breaking his maiden by 11 lengths in a maiden $62,5000 seller a year ago at Del Mar. The P. Miller-trained colt has a touch of back quality (he was Grade-3 placed as a two-year-old), lands one of this barn’s go-to jockeys (A. Cedillo) and should be more than fit for a good effort based on his San Luis Rey Downs work tab. Principe Carlo was a voided claim after handling a $50,000 field at Del Mar in mid-August and makes his first start since after being returned to the M. Polanco barn. The son of Coil has the proper style for this extended sprint distance, retains regular rider T. Pereira, and sports a healthy recent work tab to indicate he’s ready to resume where he left off. A previous victory over the Santa Anita main track is another plus. We’re expecting the winner to be one of these two, so we’ll double the race in our rolling exotics while slightly preferring Savagery on top.

RACE 4: Post 2:40 PT. Grade: B
Use: 5-Fun Coupons; 6-Three Footer

Forecast: Three Footer is realistically dropped into a maiden $50,000 claiming sprint after chasing home much tougher straight maiden foes in his first two career starts. On numbers the D. O’Neill-trained colt looks very difficult to beat at this level, and an easy breeze over the track since raced plus the switch to A. Cedillo are additional positive factors that could lead to lower post time odds than his morning line of 9/5. Fun Coupons was well-beaten in his debut against straight maidens on grass but is very likely to improve with the switch to dirt combined with a class drop into a seller for a barn that has excellent stats with second-time starters. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Three Footer.

RACE 5: Post 3:10 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Secret Square; 5-Nikkileaks; 7-Win Often

Forecast: Here’s a potentially chaotic maiden $50,000 claiming sprint for maiden 2-year-olds that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. We’ll go three-deep and hope that’s sufficient. Secret Square must avoid trouble from the rail but if she leaves cleanly from the rail the J. Sadler-trained filly should be hard to beat primarily due to the always-potent maiden-to-maiden-claiming drop in class. She gets a break in the weights with the switch to talented bug boy J. Velez and has numbers that are heading in the right direction. Nikkileaks, a distant third in a similar event at Los Alamitos last month, retains A. Cedillo and certainly has a right to improve with that bit of experience behind her. The Glatt barn is very strong (24%) with second-time starters. Win Often is a debuting daughter of Vronsky from a capable outfit and lands the cozy outside draw. The works aren’t too bad and a little will go a long way in this modest affair.

RACE 6: Post 3:40 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-Carnivorous; 7-Tiger Dad

Forecast: Carnivorous didn’t run badly when fifth in a strong allowance turf miler last month and today returns to an $80,00 optional claimer and shortens to a sprint, so we’re expecting the D. O’Neill-trained colt to regain his best form. He’s a strong fit in the speed figure department, switches to A. Cedillo, and should draft into an ideal pace-prompting position. His main competition should come from Tiger Dad, a strong third when facing older horses in a hot first-level allowance sprint here just 13 days ago. Against his own age group today, the son of Smiling Tiger should be able to dictate the pace flow from his outside draw. Additionally, his numbers are gradually rising with every step and V. Espinoza stays aboard and knows him well. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics and then have a few extra tickets keying Carnivorous on top.
RACE 7: Post 4:10 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Eternal Endeavor; 4-Catoca; 5-Mongolian Empire

Forecast: Here’s another fairly contentious affair, a restricted (Nw-3) 35,000 claiming miler for older fillies and mares. Eternal Endeavor may deserve a very slight edge on top after crushing a $25,000 non-winners of two field at Los Alamitos last month in her first outing since March of 2018. This is a realistic class hike for the English-bred mare, who retains bug boy J. Diaz, Jr. and shows two excellent prior outings over the Santa Anita main track. Catoca has been chasing considerably tougher foes of late and should greatly appreciate this softer assignment. On pure numbers she’s a fit and in a field without too much early speed she should be able to secure a nice pace-stalking early position. Mongolian Empire was out of her element when well-beaten in a much tougher first-level allowance race won by Der Lu 12 days ago but she’s another that fits well at this level based strictly on speed figures. With A. Cedillo riding her back and with a prior win over the Santa Anita main track, the E. Ganbat-trained daughter of Americain deserves a little bit of a look.
RACE 8: Post 4:40 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Drift Away; 5-Swirling; 7-Bako Sweets

Forecast: The finale is a grass grab bag for $25,000 sprinting fillies and mares on turf. Let’s prefer Bako Sweets, away since December and returning for new trainer B. Heap. The daughter of Twirling Candy has run well fresh in the past and has back form that puts her right there, assuming she’s cranked up. The work tab isn’t terribly exciting but her best effort can win, so at 5-1 on the morning line there may be some value to be found. Swirling disappointed in a $40,000 seller over this course and distance two weeks ago but in this league deserves a chance to bounce back. She gets in relatively light with the switch to bug boy J. Velez and may be most effective if held up early and allowed to run late. Drift Away, away since April after being stopped on following a voided claim, hails from a clever outfit but may need two-turns to show her best. However, due to the presence of F. Prat in the saddle, we’ll toss her in on a ticket or two.