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Saturday, December 28: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

December 28, 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.

Handicappers also are encouraged to access Jeff’s Daily Santa Anita Workout Analysis (see below), an exclusive report containing commentary, fractional times, grades, and a link to the video of the actual workout by each race’s key contenders

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.

Today’s Day Makers: View Video

Today’s Workout Analysis: View PDF File

RACE 1: Post 11:00 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Provost; 5-Devil Made Me Doit; 6-Garth

Forecast: Devil Made Me Doit brought $245,000 at the OBS June Sale, where he breezed a quarter mile in a blistering :20 3/5 seconds, the fastest of the entire venue. His local works leading up to his debut for D. O’Neill have been impressive and indicate the son of Daredevil should be quick enough to make the running and a strong threat to keep on going. Garth likely will be relegated to a stalker’s role and could be in the right spot to pick up ‘Doit if that one fails to stick. The B. Baffert-trained son of Into Mischief remains well-regarded but has burned plenty of money in his three-race career and perhaps isn’t one to trust. We’ll include him in our rolling exotics one more time (but that’s it). Provost has been training out of sight at Los Alamitos and has turned in some solid clockings for J. Sadler over a track that usually produces fast times in the a.m. The son of Street Boss probably is worth tossing in on a ticket or two due to the presence of J. Rosario in the saddle. This jockey-trainer combo always has been lethal (36% with a strong flat-bet profit).

RACE 2: Post 11:28 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Keeper Ofthe Stars; 2-Brill

Forecast: Keeper Ofthe Stars couldn’t stay the mini-marathon trip in the Red Carpet H.-G3 at Del Mar last time out but she’s back at her proper distance today and projects to enjoy a lovely pace forcing/stalking trip from her comfortable inside draw. The daughter of Midnight Lute captured the Autumn Miss S.-G3 over this course and distance during the fall meeting and shows a recent bullet workout at her home base up north to indicate she’s ready to resume her winning ways. We’ll also include in our rolling exotics Brill on the theory that she’ll move up considerably in her first career start on grass. The once highly-regarded daughter of Medaglia d’Oro removes blinkers, sports a sharp bullet workout nine days ago (when besting stable mate Instagrand) and picks up F. Prat. She’s the likely controlling speed and could get very brave if not pressured early.

RACE 3: Post 11:58 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Swift Socks; 4-La Rosa Drive; 5-Rickie Nine Toe’s

Forecast: It won’t take a world beater to win this bottom-rung ($30,000) maiden claiming sprint for juvenile fillies, and La Rosa Drive certainly isn’t one, but the daughter of Discreet Cat flashed decent early speed in a pair of Midwestern starts last spring and could be a better type this time around for new trainer D. Hofmans. Her recent workouts indicate fitness, so let’s put her on top in a race that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Rickie Nine Toe’s is the likely favorite and one to beat after finishing a strong second in a maiden $50,000 affair in late November at Del Mar while earning a better-than-par speed figure for the level. However, this class drop off a fairly promising debut effort is a bit suspicious and perhaps indicates a lack of confidence from her connections. Swift Socks broke slowly and made no impression in her debut in the same race ‘Toe’s exits and has a right to improve with that bit of experience behind her. She received some play in that race (5-1) so the W. Spawr-trained daughter of Lucky Pulpit probably deserves another look.

RACE 4: Post 12:28 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Fivestar Lynch-Ire; 2-Tromador

Forecast: Tromador has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern while also sporting the always-enticing maiden-to-maiden claiming class drop angle, so let’s go with the son of Exchange Rate on top in a fairly wide open turf miler. Fifth when finishing with interest in a tough turf sprint at Del Mar last time out with an improved speed figure and then working well with a strong gallop out in a Dec. 15 drill on the main track, the B. Koriner-trained colt seems set for significant forward move. T. Pereira, who rides a lot of live runners for this stable, stays aboard. Fivestar Lynch is the certain favorite based on several positive factors that appear in his chart. Beaten a nose in a similar spot at Del Mar while two lengths clear of the rest, the Irish-bred colt lands the rail for the high-percentage F. Prat/R. Baltas combo and projects to have every chance with a comfortable ground-saving, pace-stalking trip. The only concern is that he was even money in his last race and couldn’t seal the deal, but not much more will be needed to day. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; Tromador will be the better price so we’ll put him on top.

RACE 5: Post 1:08 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-Gift Box; 6-Midcourt

Forecast: Gift Box won the Big ‘Cap-G1 over this main track last April and then was a close second to subsequent Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1 winner Vino Rosso in the Gold Cup the following month, so we know he’s more than good enough to win this Grade-2 affair if he’s fit and ready. The works provide strong indication that he is, so the son of Twirling Candy very likely will be a short price favorite. Midcourt isn’t as accomplished Gift Box on resume, nor is he as fast on speed figures, but the son of Midnight Lute is lightly-raced (just seven career starts) and unbeaten in his last four after earning a career top number in his runaway Native Diver-G3 victory at Del Mar last time out. A versatile type that can win on the front end or from well off the pace, the J. Shirreffs-trained gelding will be dangerous if he can step forward once again. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with Gift Box the logical top pick.

RACE 6: Post 1:44 PT. Grade: X
Single: 5-Lady Prancealot-Ire

Forecast: Lady Prancealot will be tough to deny in this year’s edition of the American Oaks-G1, quite frankly one of the weakest Grade-1 events for 3-year-olds fillies we’ve seen in memory. Most of these are still eligible to the first or second allowance condition. ‘Prancealot produced a powerful late kick into the teeth of slow fractions when winning the middle distance Valley View S.-G3 at Keeneland in October and J. Bravo, who rode her in that victory, flies out to keep the mount. The work tab at San Luis Rey Downs is quite impressive, so the only concern, really, is the lack of projected pace, but this mile and one-quarter distance should do nothing but accentuate her superiority. We’ll make the R. Baltas-trained filly a short priced rolling exotic single.

RACE 7: Post 2:18 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Bellafina; 6-Bell’s the One

Forecast: Bellafina was spectacular in defeat when finishing a close second while nearly eight lengths clear of the rest to Cofefve in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint over this track and distance in early November and with almost two months off to recover from that hard, taxing effort she should be able to come close to that performance today. A winner of four of five over the Santa Anita main dirt oval and working like she’s fit and ready, the S. Callaghan-trained daughter of Quality Road is a likely heavy favorite and a single in rolling exotic play on many tickets. That said, we’ll also include Bell’s the One, an upset winner at this seven furlong distance of the Raven Run S.-G2 at Keeneland with a career top speed figure in her most recent appearance. She was quite sharp in a recent half mile breeze over this main track just six days ago and picks up J. Castellano, so if Bellafina for whatever reason fails to produce her best effort this daughter of Majesticperfection could produce an upset.

RACE 8: Post 2:51 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Excellent Sunset-Ire; 7-Mirth

Forecast: Mirth won the Rodeo Drive S.-G1 over this turf course during the fall meeting and then led for nine of the 10 furlongs in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf before being swallowed up in deep stretch, eventually winding up sixth. This is a considerably softer assignment for the daughter of Colonel John who enjoys the front end but can stalk and pounce if the race flow dictates. We’ll also include Excellent Sunset, not nearly as accomplished on pure form as Mirth but making a noteworthy trainer change to R. Baltas that could produce a significant amount of improvement. She removes blinkers, picks up J. Rosario, and projects to settle somewhere in mid-pack and then have every chance to kick home from the top of the stretch to the wire.

RACE 9: Post 3:26 PT. Grade: X
Use: 2-Complexity; 5-Omaha Beach

Forecast: Omaha Beach has trained better than he ever has for this year’s edition of the Malibu S.-G1 at seven furlongs, which very likely is his preferred distance. Drawn perfectly outside in this five-runner field, the son of War Front can settle just off the leaders and then blast home when called upon. He’s the deserved heavy favorite. Complexity has a ton of natural ability and should be included somewhere on your ticket, at least as a back-up. The runaway winner of the Champagne S.-G1 as a two-year-old, the C. Brown-trained colt returned to that form with a dominating overnight allowance win at Aqueduct in late November while earning a career top speed figure, and if he can build on that today the son of Maclean’s Music might provide Omaha Beach with more than just a bit of competition.

RACE 10: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 5-Mo Forza; 6-Neptune’s Storm; 8-Proud Pedro-FR

Forecast: Mo Forza has really gotten good of late and is the one to beat once again in the Mathis Brothers Mile-G2 that provides one last chance for 3-year-olds to compete against their own age group. Winner of both the Twilight Derby and Hollywood Derby when facing similar competition and the earner of a career top number in his most recent score, the son of Uncle Mo is tough at any distance, so shortening up a furlong shouldn’t bother him in the least. J. Rosario will have him within striking range throughout. Neptune’s Storm , beaten less than a length by Mo Forza in the Hollywood Derby and before that a close third to ‘Forza in the Twilight Derby, has won four of seven career starts over this turf course. He’s most effective from a stalking position and seems very likely to inherit that kind of trip. Proud Pedro tries a rider switch after being moved way too soon in the Hollywood Derby, where he loomed a strong threat into the lane before flattening out. If anchored and allowed to produce the last run, the French-bred gelding should at least outrun his odds.

RACE 11: Post 4:32 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Include the Tax; 9-Jungle Boy; 11-Totally Tiger

Forecast: The finale is a messy $30,000 maiden claiming sprint for California-bred 2-year-olds. Use as many as you can afford to. Include the Tax was a no-excuse third at this level last time out but the first two finishers came back to win and the effort resulted in a career-top speed figure, so logically the M. McCarthy-trained son of Include will get plenty of play. With just three career starts, he’s eligible to continue to improve. Totally Tiger has no gate speed but this drop for the first time into the maiden claiming ranks makes him a major contender based not only on the lesser competition but also better-than-par speed figures. He’s drawn outside and should have clear sailing but may have to take the overland route. Still, against this group, he’s a fit. Jungle Boy is a first-time starter with moderate drills, but debut runners from the S. Miyadi barn often run better than they work so we’ll including the Boisterous gelding as a back-up.