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Friday, November 01: Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

November 1, 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 10:45 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Zestful; 5-Campaign

Forecast: Campaign is listed at 4/5 on the morning line for today’s opener, the listed Marathon Stakes over a mile and three-quarters on the main track. The son of Curlin doesn’t get many opportunities to compete under conditions that are made to order for his long-winded abilities, so he must make the most of the chances that are available. A respectable third in the 12-furlong Kentucky Turf Cup-G3 when last seen in early September and pointed specifically for this race ever since, the J. Sadler-trained colt has been kept fit with a steady series of local workouts that should have him primed for his best effort. Zestful, listed at 8-1 on the morning line, is worth consideration if you’re inclined to try to beat the favorite. The son of Ghostzapper, a former modest claimer, is vastly improved and was an easy winner over a slightly shorter marathon trip (not at this level, of course) last spring. Currently in the midst of a six race winning streak, the M. Glatt-trained gelding will need a career top effort to continue his winning ways, but at this stage of his career who knows where his ceiling is?

RACE 2: Post 11:20 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Rayana; 4-Opus Won; 9-Heathers Grey; 11-Tiger Silk

Forecast: Here’s a grass grab bag for entry-level allowance fillies and mares over a mile. We’ll spread four-deep but the best suggestion is to include as many as you can afford to. Rayana broke her maiden at first asking in September of her 2-year-old season and then was off until mid-June, when she returned sprinting on grass and was never factor while finding the five furlong trip too sharp. Off again for more than four months, the daughter of Scat Daddy has trained like she’s fit and ready for B. Baffert (31% with layoff runners) and gets the rail and J. Rosario. On numbers she’s a strong fit and with just two career outings likely has potential most of the others don’t have. She’s certainly playable at 4-1 on the morning line, but there are others in here that are almost as appealing. Heathers Grey has produced a forward move based strictly on speed figures in every one of her six career starts and if she improves again – or even just repeats her recent starter’s allowance score over this course and distance – the M. McCarthy-trained filly will be hard to deny. She has the type of tactical speed that always seems to result in a good stalking trip and then from the quarter pole home she’s as tough as nails. A. Gryder fits her well and stays aboard. Opus Won isn’t as fast yet on figures as Rayana or Heathers Grey but she’s another with constantly rising numbers and shows excellent form over the Santa Anita turf course with a win and a second at this one mile trip. Freshened since a gate-to-wire state-bred allowance win in July at Del Mar, the daughter of Eddington acts like she’s fit and ready following a solid series of workouts at San Luis Rey Downs. Though she’s drawn farther out than we’d prefer, the New Zealand invader Tiger Silk represents stranger danger. She’ll be making her U.S. debut while adding Lasix and removing blinkers for the R. Mandella stable and gets a break in the weights with good bug boy J. Diaz, Jr. taking the cal.

RACE 3: Post 11:55 PT. Grade: B
Use: 5-Stradari; 10-Warm Summer; 11-Been Studying Her

Forecast: Trainer O. J. Juaregui has a couple of intriguing long shot Bay Area shippers in today’s third race, the Golden State Juvenile Fillies Stakes at the extended sprint distance of seven furlongs. Stradari (10-1) won at first asking with a strong speed figure in an all-weather dash at Golden Gate Fields and should be capable of transferring that form to conventional dirt. The daughter of Square Eddie picks up F. Prat, shows a bullet six furlong drill since race, and has all the makings of a filly of some quality. Her stable mate Warm Summer (15-1) appears to have the proper style for this distance, shows rising speed figures in each outing, and will race with blinkers while teaming up with I. Ortiz, Jr. Look for her to be doing her best work from off the pace. Been Studying Her began her career with a highly-rated maiden score at Sacramento, was a legitimate winner of the Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar, and then finished a respectable fourth in the Chandelier S.-G1 here last month. This return to California-bred competition combined with the shortening in trip should make this Fast Anna filly extremely dangerous. Let’s put Stradari slightly on top but include all three in our rolling exotics.

RACE 4: Post 12:32 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-Cali Dude; 5-Doc Tommy; 7-Chipper

Forecast: Cali Dude and Chipper finished one-two when debuting in a fast, highly-rated Cal-bred maiden sprint here earlier this month and they both return in this restricted seven furlong stakes affair for juveniles. The J. Sadler-trained ‘Dude was under pressure throughout and held sway gamely, while Chipper overcame a bit of trouble in the upper stretch to loom a strong threat before settling for second while five clear of the rest. Both are eligible to improve with experience and should be tough despite the class hike. In addition to Cali Dude, Sadler has another legitimate contender (at 12-1 on the morning line) in Doc Tommy, who earned his diploma up north in August and then was purchased privately. A speedy son of Comic Strip with a healthy series of recent workouts since arriving down south, he picks up J. Rosario and projects to have a strong pace presence throughout. We’ll give Cali Dude a very slight edge on top but include all three in our rolling exotics.

RACE 5: Post 1:12 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Band Practice; 7-Kimari; 9-Four Wheel Drive

Forecast: Four Wheel Drive is unbeaten in two starts and appears to be colt with significant ability. From the first crop of American Pharoah, the W. Ward-trained colt has plenty of speed but has shown a willingness to settle early and explode late, a style that was employed in his highly-rated victory in the Futurity S.-G3 at Belmont Park earlier last month. He’s backing up to five furlongs today, and although he gives the impression that he’ll actually be more effective when stretched out, appears to have enough quality to be remain unblemished at this abbreviated sprint trip. Ward’s other main contender, Kimari, won a listed stakes at Saratoga gate-to-wire but then rallied from far back to capture the Indian Summer Stakes at Keeneland while displaying her versatility. A head away - in the 25-runner Queen Mary S.-G1 at Royal Ascot - from being undefeated in four career outings, the daughter of Munnings will be hard to deny if she fires her best shot. Band Practice is a progressive invader from Europe with three successful victories on her resume, including a listed stakes at Chantilly in late September. Her Timeform ratings continue to rise with each start and she should be quick enough to secure a good early position from her inside draw. Toss her in at 12-1 on the morning line.

RACE 6: Post 1:52 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Decorated Invader; 12-Arizona; 14-Hit the Road

Forecast: British invader Arizona has the best credentials and may deserve top billing but this is a tough, deep race featuring two impressive North American-based runners with improving patterns and strong closing kicks. The A. O’Brien-trained Arizona, winner of the 17-runner Coventry S.-G2 at Royal Ascot in June and most recently an admirable second to the unbeaten and certain-to-be European champion Pinatubo by two lengths while almost three clear of the rest in the Dewhurst S.-G1, earned a terrific 108 Timeform rating in that race three weeks ago and anything close to that today should be good enough. However, he’s drawn pretty far outside and needs to leave cleanly or risk getting parked out into the first turn. It may be worth nothing that O’Brien, considered the premier trainer in Europe, is 1-for-48 with North American starters in the past two years. Hit the Road could not have been more impressive when winning the Zuma Beach Stakes over this course and distance last month. The rapidly rising son of More Than Ready has a wicked turn of foot, and if top grass rider F. Prat can negotiate at least a decent trip from his extreme outside post position the D. Blacker-trained colt could mow them all down in the final furlong. Decorated Invader, improving with racing, has looked terrific in the morning for outstanding grass trainer C. Clement. Winner of the Summer S.-G1 at Woodbine in his most recent outing, the son of Declaration of War should be able secure a nice mid-pack position from his favorable post position four in his first race with Lasix. Good racing luck will be at a premium in this 14-runner affair but with proper trips we’re expecting the winner to be one of these three.

RACE 7: Post 2:32 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Donna Veloce; 4-British Idiom; 7-Wicked Whisper

Forecast: Wicked Whisper has won both of her starts by daylight, including the Frizette S.-G1 at Belmont Park last month. She’s proven at a mile (but not two turns); and while both of her wins have been visually very impressive on the lead throughout, today she’ll probably have to show she can stalk and win due to the presence of speedy Donna Veloce. The quick daughter of Uncle Mo broke her maiden for fun on the lead in a highly-rated sprint last month and surely will be gunned to the front end from the rail. Meanwhile, ‘Whisker likely will be quick enough to secure a good forward position and have every chance when it counts, but ‘Veloce could be any kind and may never look back, her lack of seasoning and experience notwithstanding. Truthfully, they’re hard to separate. British Idiom is a bit slower on speed figures then the two other main players but she’s also undefeated in two starts and has the benefit of having already won a Grade-1 event around two turns. She has a good stalking and will be tough if the top two contenders soften themselves up on the front end.

RACE 8: Post 3:12 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 3-Shadn; 5-Daahyeh; 12-Sweet Melania

Forecast: We’ll try to survive and advance using just three in this highly-contentious 14-runner turf miler for juvenile fillies. Sweet Melania is preferred on top, though from the 12-post position she’ll have to be used leaving the gate to secure a reasonable early position. The daughter of American Pharoah has stepped forward in each of her five career outings, including a thoroughly dominating 5 and one-half length romp in the Jessamine S.-G2 at Keeneland last month. She made the lead in that race in hand and then exploded late; today the pace projects to be considerably quicker, but she strikes us as a high potential sort who should be able to handle the task. She’s 5-1 on the morning and that’s probably about right. Daahyeh and Shadn are a couple of dangerous European group stakes winners and both certainly appear to have the quality to be strong threats. Daahyeh won the Rockfel S.-G2 at Newmarket last time out and earlier this year was victorious at Royal Ascot in the Albany Stakes. Regular jockey W. Buick flies over to ride her. Shadn is a daughter of No Nay Never from a mare by Sadler’s Wells so while she’s never won beyond six furlongs her pedigree suggests she should be able to handle a mile, especially over top of the ground conditions. The A. Baldwin-trained filly will race with Lasix and brings with her from Europe rising Timeform numbers. You have to use her at 10-1 on the morning line.

RACE 9: Post 4:03 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Dennis’ Moment; 5-Scabbard; 7-Annau d’Oro

Forecast: Dennis’ Moment is an exciting prospect and brings from the Midwest credentials that make him the one to beat the BC Juvenile. The rail draw may be of some concern, but if he leaves cleanly the son of Tiznow should enjoy a perfect stalking, ground-saving trip and then be on top of the leaders when the pressure is turned on at the head of the lane. Since his eased-up victory in the Iroquois S.-G3 at Churchill Downs in mid-September, the D. Romans-trained colt has looked superb in the morning to indicate he’s ready to step forward once again. Scabbard was a troubled runner-up to Dennis’ Moment in that race in Kentucky and while its clear he was no better than second best the son of More Than Ready turned in an excellent performance and gives every indication that he, too, will continue to progress with experience. The switch to M. Smith certainly won’t hurt, so at 8-1 on the morning line he’s worth some consideration. Long shot players might want to toss in on a ticket or two Anneau d’Oro, a beautifully-bred son of Medaglia d’Oro who toyed with outclassed rivals in a modest maiden turf affair at Golden Gate Fields in his debut in late September. He’s trained impressively since and must be considered an “X” factor for trainer B. Wright, having never raced or even trained on conventional dirt. But his pedigree says he should like it, so who knows? Toss him in on a ticket or two.

RACE 10: Post 4:43 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Rogallo; 8-Threefiveindia; 11-Justinian

Forecast: Unlike most sons and daughters of Curlin, Rogallo gives every indication that he’s more comfortable sprinting than routing. Both of his one-turn races were quite good, a debut maiden win at Santa Anita last April and then a sharp runner-up effort in a similar first-level allowance race that produced by far his career top speed figure. The J. Sadler-trained colt picks up J. Rosario, and if he can avoid trouble from his rail draw he may be along in time at 6-1 on the morning line. Threefiveindia, first off the claim for P. Miller (26% with this angle), has the proper stalking style for this extended sprint trip and with the switch to A. Cedillo could easily improve for his new connections. Though a winner of just three races from 18 starts, the son of Street Hero is fast on figures and in his second off a layoff could step forward considerably. Justinian graduated nicely in his second career start recently while earning a good figure, and the horse he defeated, Soldier Boy, came back to frank the from with an easy maiden win last week. R. Bejarano stays aboard for B. Baffert and should have this son of Justin Phillip well-placed outside while pressing or stalking the pace. With the expected forward move, he can be right there at 6-1 on the morning line.