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Saturday, October 26: Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

October 26, 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-Platinum Equity

Forecast: Platinum Equity is the logical top pick in this nine-furlong main track affair, having just won a similar starter’s allowance $12,500 earlier this month while equaling his career top speed figure. He’s being asked to handle an additional furlong today and primarily has been a miler throughout his career, but in his present form the extra distance shouldn’t be an issue. At 4/5 on the morning line he offers no wagering value but we can use him as a short price rolling exotic single or simply pass the race.

RACE 2: Post 1:01 PT. Grade: X
Single: 6-Zorich

Forecast: Here’s another short price standout that offers no real wagering value at 6/5 on the morning line. Zorich drops to his lowest level ever after finishing a distant second in a maiden $40,000 affair sprinting last month. The son of Hard Spun has speed figures that are better than par for this level, and this stretch-out again to a mile will promote his pace-pressing style. In a race lacking in depth and contention, the M. Glatt-trained gelding shouldn’t miss this easy chance. You can single him in rolling exotic play and simply sit it out.

RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 6-Christmas Diamond

Forecast: Let’s take a shot in this wide open maiden turf miler for juvenile fillies with the English import Christmas Diamond. A fairly promising third in her debut last summer across the pond, the daughter of the very useful stallion Bated Breath has been given a solid series of drills to have her fit and ready for her U.S, debut. She’ll race with Lasix for trainer M. McCarthy, who also saddles the morning line favorite, Convincingly. For whatever it’s worth, Convincingly was actually outworked by ‘Diamond in a team drill on the main track last week, so at 8-1 on the morning line there’s value to be found keying ‘Diamond both in the straight pool and in rolling exotic play.

RACE 4: Post 2:07 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Thunder Code; 6-Rushie; 8-Thousand Words

Forecast: We’ll go three-deep in the fourth race, a maiden special weight extended sprint for two-year-olds. Thousand Words, a $1 million yearling purchase by Pioneerof the Nile, has looked pretty good in a series of workouts leading up to his debut for B. Baffert, though we suspect he’ll need a distance of ground before showing his best. However, from his cozy outside draw he should have clear sailing and every chance to rally from off the pace, so while he’s no single we’ll put him slightly on top. Thunder Code finished in the money in both of his starts and most recently was a strong second in a highly-rated affair while finishing almost seven lengths clear of the rest. Price players may want to find a spot on their ticket for Rushie, a colt that has displayed good speed in morning trials for M. McCarthy and projects to be a strong pace factor in a race that doesn’t appear to contain an unusual amount of early zip.

RACE 5: Post 2:40 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Colosi; 2-Canadian Game; 3-Blue Skye Jade

Forecast: The main contention in this restricted (nw-2) $32,000 claimer over a mile on turf appears to be drawn inside, so we’ll triple the race and hope that’s sufficient. Colosi is guaranteed a good ground-saving trip from his rail draw and the M. Glatt-trained gelding looks dangerous after dropping out of a series of much stronger first-level allowance events. Though winless in 2019, his speed figures have been consistently better than par for this level, so while he may be a hard one to trust the City Zip gelding appears to finally have found his friends. Canadian Game was waiver protected when he returned off a layoff to finish a closing third over this course and distance in a similar starter’s affair recently and with any kind of forward move the J. Carava-trained gelding should find himself in the thick of things again. The switch to leading rider A. Cedillo is noteworthy. Blue Skye Jade is a tad slower on numbers that the other two main players but he’s a progressive sort with good tactical speed and should at least get a part of it. Toss him in on a ticket or two.

RACE 6: Post 3:15 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 6-Mike Operator; 7-Brazilian Summer

Forecast: This bottom-rung maiden claiming main track miler is a split of the second race and should boil down to two contenders. Brazilian Summer is lightly raced and steadily improving for M. Chew and with forward move should be able to handle this modest task. The Gervinho gelding, a runner-up in a similar spot earlier this month, has good tactical speed and projects to have every chance from a stalking/pressing position. Mike Operator, second in three of his last four starts, stretches out again and seems likely to inherit a good second-flight trip. He may be not be one to totally trust but is a “must use” by default.

RACE 7: Post 3:45 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 3-Hidden Message; 5-Keeper Ofthe Stars

Forecast: Keeper Ofthe Stars looks like the controlling speed on paper and given that type of trip the daughter of Midnight Lute just might take this graded stakes field of 3-year-old filly turf milers gate to wire at a nice price. A respectable fourth, beaten three lengths, in the Del Mar Oaks-G1 two races back while having to cope with plenty of heat, she shortens a furlong, draws a nice mid-gate post, and is fresh from a highly-rated overnight allowance win vs. older runners up north last month. The J. Wong-trained filly is a gamble at 5-1 on the morning line. Hidden Message, an excellent second in the aforementioned Oaks in her U.S. debut, has trained quite well in the interim and is the likely choice and one to beat. This return to a mile shouldn’t be an issue for the daughter of Scat Daddy, who won a listed stakes overseas at a mile last summer. If there is a concern, it’s that she is a closer in a big field and most likely will have to deal with traffic and probably will need some racing luck to avoid trouble.

RACE 8: Post 4:15 PT. Grade: X
Single: 2-Soldier Boy

Forecast: Soldier Boy lost a toughie when nosed out by the heavily-favored Justinian in a similar maiden special weight sprint here last month while almost nine lengths clear of the rest in a fast, highly-rated affair. The J. Sadler-trained colt won’t need to improve off that effort to beat this field; however, we suspect he’ll run at least as well and perhaps better, making him a short-price standout at 6/5 on the morning line. There’s really not much we can do with him at those odds, except use him a no value rolling exotic single. Passing the race altogether is another option.

RACE 9: Post 4:45 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Violette Szabo; 8-D’s Lovely Sophia

Forecast: D’s Lovely Sophia has never been worse than second in four career starts but just failed at 40 cents on the dollar in a similar first-level allowance state-bred affair. This will be her first try on grass, and since she has little or no turf breeding it’s unknown how she’ll cope with the switch in surface. Violette Szabo had one prior grass outing, failing to make an impression in a sprint at Del Mar in late August. She didn’t get the best of runs in that race, and after finishing a close fourth in the same race ‘Sophia exits and working quite well since, the daughter of Grazen seems set for an improved effort. We’ll try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics but if you feel the need to spread deeper, go right ahead.