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Sunday, January 5: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

January 5, 2020

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 MakersView Video

Today’s Workout AnalysisView PDF File

RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Cardiff Cay; 3-Commanding Chief; 4-Go Daddy Go

Forecast: Commanding Chief has hit the board in six of seven career starts, most recently beaten a nose while earning a career top speed figure in a maiden turf affair at Del Mar in mid-November. Today he picks up J. Rosario and with another forward move should be able to earn his diploma. Go Daddy Go removes blinkers after an improved effort when dead-heating for third in a similar maiden turf event over this course and distance during the fall meeting. The son of Scat Daddy sports a steady, healthy recent work tab and may have more upside that most of the others, having started only three times. Cardiff Cay had a bit of a rough trip when a close third in the same race Commanding Chief exits and is another with plenty of room for improvement. M. Smith stays aboard and should have him in the second flight, saving ground from his inside draw, ready to pounce when called upon. We are expecting the winner to be one of these three, so we’ll triple the race in our rolling exotic while giving Commanding Chief a very slight edge on top.

RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: C
Use: 1-Afternoon Heat; 6-Grandpa Louie

Forecast: Here’s a somewhat lackluster six-runner straight maiden state-bred sprint for older horses. There’s not much to work with. Grandpa Louie and Afternoon Heat exit the same race at Los Alamitos and are logical contenders once again, with ‘Louie, removing blinkers, landing the cozy outside post and switching to J. Rosario, having a very slight edge on top, though not offering much wagering value at 8/5 on the morning line. ‘Heat must avoid trouble from the rail but if leaves cleanly he should be on or near the lead throughout. Both should be included in rolling exotic play and in a race that we’ll otherwise leave alone.

RACE 3: Post 1:31 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 2-Foster Boi

Forecast: Foster Boi launches a comeback as a first-time gelding, and because he won his debut sprinting on grass here last March we know he can fire fresh. The works indicate fitness, F. Prat stays aboard, and we’re expecting the son of Boisterous to enjoy a second-flight, ground-saving trip and then produce a winning late kick. At 3-1 on the morning line he’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 4: Post 2:03 PT. Grade: X
Single: 5-Classy Ruler

Forecast: Classy Ruler tipped her hand in her debut in late November at Del Mar when a very promising second behind Golden Principal in one of the strongest maiden sprints for juvenile fillies of the entire year. The daughter of Empire Maker should get nothing but better with experience and distance and this barn hits at a terrific 36% with second-timers, so a significant forward move can be expected. However, with good works since raced and with M. Smith riding her back, she’s 4/5 on the morning line and therefore won’t offer any wagering value other than as a short price rolling exotic single.

RACE 5: Post 2:36 PT. Grade: B
Single: 6-Moana Luna

Forecast: Moana Luna has little to beat in this bottom-rung maiden claiming mile affair and if he can establish the pace without undue pressure the B. Headley-trained gelding should be capable of taking this field gate to wire. His numbers have improved with each outing and a repeat of his most recent start, a good second over this track and distance at this level during the fall season, should be sufficient. At 7/2 on the morning line he’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 6: Post 3:07 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Storming Lady; 7-Holly Hunter; 10-Flower Point

Forecast: Here’s a grass grab bag for second-level allowance sprinting fillies and mares. We’ll go three-deep and hope that’s enough. Flower Point is a two-time winner over the local lawn and always is dangerous from off the pace. An excellent third under these conditions at Del Mar in late November, she retains J. Valdiva and should be rolling in the final furlong from her cozy outside draw. Storming Lady has the route-to-sprint angle that we like and is another that could be heard from in the late stages with a favorable race flow and a ground-saving trip. Holly Hunter, freshened since October and picking up J. Rosario, has been training well in recent weeks and should fire her best shot for V. Cerin. She’s won twice sprinting on grass at Santa Anita and projects to settle into a good stalking position and then have every chance from the quarter pole home.

RACE 7: Post 3:38 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Auberge; 2-Golden Principal

Forecast: Baffert has three major players in this year’s edition of the Santa Ynez S.-G2 at seven furlongs on the main track and a win by anyone of the three would not be surprising. We’ll try to beat the logical top choice Bast (listed at even money) with one of her less accomplished stable mates, both of whom broke their maiden at first asking with stakes-quality speed figures. Golden Principal, from the first crop of the marvelous young stallion Constitution, took heat and then came away like a top prospect and has since registered a bullet gate drill late last month to indicate she’s spot on for another big try. Auberge graduated by almost eight lengths over this main track during the fall meeting while looking sensational, and she, too, has done everything right in the morning since. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Golden Principal on top.

RACE 8: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 4-Hootie; 7-Canadian Game; 9-Factorial

Forecast: Factorial returns as a first-time gelding for his first start since August while showing up in a restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claimer for the first time, a realistic spot for the relatively lightly-raced 6-year-old gelding. His only career win came over this course and distance last year, though it was accomplished in gate-to-wire style and there may be other speed in here that he’ll have to contend with. We’ll put him on top but he’s certainly no single. Hootie has run well over this course in the past and fits on numbers. He’s a grinder without much of a move, but projects to be forwardly placed throughout and have his chance when the pressure is turned on. Canadian Game often gets a piece of it and switches to F. Prat, so improvement is possible. Based strictly on numbers he’s right there off his best try.