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Friday, January 10: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

January 10, 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 1:00 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Dance Costume; 5-Lavender; 7-Raneem

Forecast: A little will go a long way in this older maiden special weight turf sprint for fillies and mares. Raneem exits a better race on the main track when third late last month and if she performs similarly today on grass the B. Baffert-trained filly appears capable of earning her diploma. She has enough early speed to be on or near the lead throughout from her cozy outside draw. Lavender finished second in both of her starts in Ireland as a 2-year-old, missed 2019 entirely, and today makes her U. S. debut as a first-time Lasix user for M. Chew. Her local works (on dirt) have been only so-so but based strictly on her European form she has to be considered a major player. Dance Costume hasn’t done anything out of the ordinary leading up to her debut but she attracts J. Rosario, so on that basis alone we’ll include her in our rolling exotic play.

RACE 2: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: B
Single: 2-Busy Paynter

Forecast: Busy Paynter appears quick enough to establish the pace and then keep on going in this restricted $16,000 claimer for fillies and mares. The B. Koriner-trained filly was a clever winner over this track two runs back and then was a reasonable fourth (beaten less than two lengths) in a $32,000 seller at Del Mar in mid-November. She drops for the money run, switches to A. Cedillo (regular rider T. Pereira is serving a suspension) and seems the solid choice. Let’s make her a straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 3: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Persepolis; 2-Velvet Queen

Forecast: We’ll double the third race, a five-runner first-level allowance affair over a mile on the main track for fillies and mares. Persepolis was below form when a distant runner-up (but well clear of the others) as the odds-on favorite in a similar affair at Del Mar in late November but we’ll give the daughter of War Front a chance to make amends with F. Prat staying aboard for R. Mandella. She projects to enjoy an ideal pace-stalking trip and then have her chance to complete the task from the top of the lane to the wire. Velvet Queen is the likely pacesetter and when not pressured always is dangerous to keep on going. She’s a fit on speed figures and proved she could handle dirt in her first ever attempt when winning an extended sprint at Del Mar vs. starter’s allowance foes last time out. An excellent work tab at San Luis Rey Downs in the interim indicates the daughter of Animal Kingdom remains right on edge.

RACE 4: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Promise Nothing; 5-Benny Chang

Forecast: Benny Chang and Promise Nothing were separated by a half-length when they finished second and third, respectively, in a similar maiden $50,000 claiming sprint for fillies at Los Alamitos last month. Been Chang is the quicker of the two and switches to J. Rosario, so the the P. Miller-trained daughter of Cross Traffic seems certain to garner most of the play. We’ll put her on top but also include on a ticket or two Promise Nothing, a late-running sprinter who will appreciate today’s extra furlong.

RACE 5: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 5-Rickie Nine Toe’s; 6-Nikkileaks

Forecast: The first-timers in this maiden claiming state-bred sprint don’t inspire, so try to get by using just two main contenders in our rolling exotics. Rickie Nine Toe’s showed promise in her debut but went backward in her next start, finishing third as the 4/5 favorite here two weeks ago. She’s boosted from $32,000 to $50,000 off a claim by J. Periban, who adds blinkers and opts for R. Bejarano, and if the daughter of Informed reverts to her debut form she shouldn’t have much trouble with this modest group. Nikkileaks, freshened since the fall season and adding blinkers for M. Glatt (strong stats with this particular equipment change), has a right to be a better sort following her 10-month vacation and should find herself on or near the lead from the get-go. She’s much slower on figures than her main rival but should be included on your ticket at least as a saver or a backup.

RACE 6: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 6-Classy Atlantic

Forecast: Classy Atlantic returns from the East and is back in the M. Glatt barn after picking up a few minor awards in a series of allowance turf sprints in Kentucky and Maryland. In a field without much early zip the daughter of Stormy Atlantic should be able to pop and go from her outside draw over a turf course that has proven to be her favorite (in fact, both of her career victories were earned over the local lawn). Freshened since September but training well enough to be fit and ready, she’s our top pick, straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 7: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-Oiseau de Guerre; 5-Royal Trump

Forecast: Royal Trump has really gotten good of late and seems well-spotted to win his fourth race from his last five outings in this second-level allowance extended sprint for older horses. The M. Glatt-trained gelding likes to settle and blast home, and after earning a career top speed figure in in a lesser affair at Del Mar last time out the son of Ministers Wild Cat retains E. Maldonado and gets an extra-half furlong to compliment his late-running style. Oiseau de Guerre also can be considered a prototype late-running sprinter but unlike our top pick has yet to prove he can be as effective on dirt as he is on grass and synthetic. The son of War Front continues to look sharp in the a.m. for M. McCarthy and lands J. Rosario, so we’re expecting the veteran gelding to be heard from in the final furlong. Both should be used in rolling exotic play with Royal Trump the preferred top pick.

RACE 8: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-Bella Vita; 5-She’s Devoted; 6-Sara Crewe

Forecast: The finale is a competitive maiden state-bred 3-year-old grass sprint with three main contenders. Bella Vita brought $400,000 at the OBS April Sale after breezing a furlong in 9 4/5 seconds, the fastest for the distance in the entire sale. She’s done most of her preparatory work at Los Alamitos, and while her workout times aren’t fancy she does have a solid foundation that should have her plenty fit for a barn that has superior statistics with first-time starters. The daughter of Bayern seems the likely choice and one to beat. She’s Devoted has put together a good string of drills at San Luis Rey Downs leading up to her debut for R. Baltas and lands J. Rosario. She’s bred to win early (Grazen) and arrives after a recording a bullet three furlong blowout at the training center six days ago. Sara Crewe is another daughter of Grazen and could move up on grass, as many do. A bullet half mile workout in 47 2/5 seconds over the training track six days ago should have her on edge, she gets a break in the weights with the switch to bug boy Diaz, and her Bay Area speed figures have risen with each outing.