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Thursday, October 31: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

October 31, 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: 5-Smooth Like Strait; 9-Phast Pharoah

Forecast: The Thursday opener in an abbreviated turf sprint for maiden two-year-olds that should set up nicely for a stalker or a closer. Phast Pharoah was wiped out in the upper stretch and had no chance when far back in a grass miler last time out. The son of American Pharoah turns back to a sprint in a field with some suspect early speed in the field, so if given the patient ride he prefers the J. Bonde-trained colt may get up in time. Smooth Like Strait, a solid third in a similar spot earlier this month, seems likely to continue his improving pattern and projects to enjoy an ideal second-flight, stalking trip. We’ll prefer Phast Pharoah on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 2: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 2-Saralin

Forecast: Saralin brought $1.3 million in the Fasig-Tipton March 2-year-old in training sale and has done everything like a high quality prospect leading up to her debut for a barn that has superior stats with first-time starters. The daughter of Curlin acts like a route type (she’s certainly bred to be) so it’s not surprising that she’s making her first start over a distance of ground. Though it’s never easy to win first crack out of the box in a two-turn event, this filly seems capable of doing just that. Let’s make her a straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 3: Post 2:05 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Include the Tax; 7-Governor Cinch

Forecast: Govenor Cinch was nosed out while almost four lengths clear of the rest when facing a similar maiden $50,000 field of two-year-olds earlier this month, earning a nice speed figure in the process, and won’t have to improve much at all to graduate today. Today’s extra furlong shouldn’t be an issue for the T. Yakteen-trained colt, who projects to settle in behind the leaders and then have every chance when it matters in the lane. Include the Tax drops from straight maiden state-bred company into a logical spot and the late-running M. McCarthy-trained colt should have the perfect style for this seven furlong dash. He’s considerably slower on speed figures than ‘Cinch, but with a forward move might make a race of it. Both should be used in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Governor Cinch.

RACE 4: Post 2:40 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Vastly Deep; 3-Absolute Weapon
Forecast: Absolute Weapon was overmatched in the Speakeasy Stakes when never a threat in in that five furlong turf sprint but this starter optional claimer is a much more logical spot for the son of Oxbow, who stretches out to a distance he’s bred for while returning to the main track. A. Cedillo stays aboard and should have him on or near the lead throughout. Vastly Deep, a solid third in a similar affair sprinting earlier this month, stretches out for the first time and has a pedigree should allow him to handle the trip. On pure numbers he’s a legitimate threat. We’ll double the race in our rolling exotics and then press with extra tickets keying Absolute Weapon.

RACE 5: Post 3:10 PT. Grade: B
Use: 5-Tig Tog; 6-Candy Swirls

Forecast: This $32,000 grass miler is restricted to fillies and mares that have not won a race in 2019, so if it looks like it came up soft, it did. Tig Tog, now in the J. Sadler barn, returns to her claim level in her first outing since early August and lands J. Rosario, so we’re expecting a top effort, though with a lifetime record of one-for-18 she’s hardly one to trust. The Irish-bred filly has no tactical speed but should be running on late and off her best effort looks good enough to wear down the speed types. Candy Swirls, freshened since late July, is a two-time winner over the local lawn but is a need the lead type so those tactics likely will be employed by the always-potent Spawr/Pereira combo. If she clears without pressure against this group, the daughter of Twirling Candy could get very brave. We’ll give Tig Tog a slight edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 6: Post 3:40 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 1- K P Cats Wild

Forecast: K P Cats Wild lost position and pretty much all chance when breaking slowly and then being forced to steady at the gap in a recent six furlong maiden $50,000 sprint but she did flash ability in her debut when claimed for $32,000 and returns to that level today while stretching out to a mile, a distance she’s certainly bred to enjoy. From the rail and with A. Cedillo riding her back, the daughter of Tale of the Cat is guaranteed a good ground-saving trip and then have her chance to seal the deal from the quarter pole home. The barn has good stats with the sprint-to-route angle, another plus. Let’s make her a strong straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 7: Post 4:10 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Saving Sophie; 5-Amatara

Forecast: Saving Sophie is improving with racing and should stretch out nicely for R. Ellis in this maiden special weight main track miler for fillies and mares. The daughter of Creative Cause finished with interest when a strong second while almost four clear of the rest in a solid sprint three weeks ago and shows a nice, easy half mile breeze since that race while retaining D. Van Dyke. We’re expecting her to produce the last run. Amatara is faster on pure numbers than Saving Sophie but tossed in a clunker when a well-beaten fourth at 30 cents on a dollar in a maiden affair at Los Alamitos last month. She did earn a big figure two runs back when second sprinting at Del Mar and today picks up F. Prat, so she could easily return to her best form today. We’ll prefer Saving Sophie on top but use both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 8: Post 4:40 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Double Touch; 6-Ritzy A. P.; 8-Ronald R

Forecast: This overnight stakes for older turf milers looks deep and competitive, so we’ll spread going three-deep while preferring Double Touch on top. The English-bred remains protected by J. Sadler in his second-off-the-claim (for $40,000) in a sign of confidence, and we expect the veteran gelding is primed for a top effort. A closing fourth in the Eddie S. S.-G2 last month, he’s facing an easier bunch today while stretching out to his preferred trip, so with good racing luck he should be capable of producing the last run under Johnny V. Ritzy A. P. doesn’t win very often but he usually gets at least a piece of it and is exiting a series of tougher Grade 3 events at longer trips. He’s more than capable at this mile trip at this level and switches to F. Prat, who has gotten good run out of him in the past. Ronald R has been sparingly raced this year but is a perfect two-for-two since returning off a long layoff for R. Ellis, most recently wearing down subsequent stakes winner Cleopatra’s Strike in a good race at Del Mar. He’s winless in four prior outings of the local lawn but could easily be a much better type now.

RACE 9: Post 5:10 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Busy Paynter; 3-Coilette; 5-Tribal Dance

Forecast: The finale is a restricted (nw-2) $12,500 claiming sprint for fillies and mares that appears to have three main players. Busy Paynter takes a sharp drop in class while seeking her proper level and may have found it based on the speed figure she earned when breaking her maiden at Los Alamitos two races back. The rail is no bargain but if the B. Koriner-trained filly comes out cleanly she could find herself on or near the lead throughout. Coilette exits a live race when second in a $16,000 seller three weeks ago and probably won’t need to improve much at all to be right there throughout. Tribal Dance drops to her lowest level ever and the lightly-raced daughter of Tribal Rule, in her second start off a long layoff and switching to A. Cedillo, seems very likely to produce a forward move. She broke her maiden with a stalking trip way back in December of 2017 and has a right to approach that form for the solid M. Glatt barn.