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Sunday, January 12: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

January 12, 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-Sedamar; 5-Sold It

Forecast: Sold It had a poor draw in the Lady Shamrock Stakes and didn’t get any kind of trip while wide throughout after rating tactics were employed. Most effective on the front end and dropping into a realistic second-level allowance event, the D. O’Neill-trained filly seems quite capable of handling this assignment if permitted to show her speed. Sedamar is guaranteed a good ground-saving trip from her rail post position and in her present form is strictly the one to beat. The main concern is that she’s winless in four career starts over the Santa Anita lawn but her recent numbers are rising and she just earned a career top figure winning an entry-level allowance middle distance grass event at Del Mar in mid-November. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics and then press with a few extra tickets keying Sold It on top.

RACE 2: Post 1:01 PT. Grade: X
Use: 1-Sabinos Pride; 4-Vannavanna Bo Bana

Forecast: Sabinos Pride was more than five lengths clear of the rest when a good runner-up with a career top speed figure in a recent maiden claiming sprint for sophomore fillies. From her rail draw she should be within range throughout while saving ground and then have every chance from the quarter pole home, but at 6/5 on the morning line probably won’t offer much in the way of wagering value. Vannavanna Bo Bana, a distant second in her last pair and slower on numbers than Sabinos Pride, looks the best of the rest and probably should be included on a ticket or two as a saver.

RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Violette Szabo; 5-Sunrise Royale; 8-Grinningeartoear

Forecast: In a wide open grass grab bag for turf sprinting fillies and mares, let’s try Violette Szabo on top. A solid runner-up over this course and distance during the fall season, she’s been knocking on the door of late and could break through in a big way following an impressive training track workout in company with her stakes winning stable mate Just Grazed Me. She also makes a major jockey switch to F. Prat, so her morning line of 5-1 is enticing. Grinningeartoear is lightly-raced, improving, and a perfect one-for-one sprinting on grass at Santa Anita. The daughter of Smiling Tiger probably has another forward move or two in her, and from her outside draw should be able to settle into a good pace-stalking position. Sunrise Royale usually gets a piece of it and with some help up front could be dangerous from off the pace. Both of her prior outings over the local lawn were good. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics and then press with Violette Szabo on top.

RACE 4: Post 2:04 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 2-Big Barrel

Forecast: Big Barrel, first off the claim for a low profile but competent outfit, is a fairly consistent type with good tactical speed and speed figures good enough to win at this restricted (nw3) $16,000 claiming level. He gets a bit of a weight break switching to bug boy Velez, lands a comfortable inside draw, and projects to enjoy a soft pace-stalking trip similar to one he enjoyed when winning two races back at Los Alamitos. First or second in four of seven career starts over the Santa Anita main track, the son of Surf Cat seems ready to fire his best shot in this five-runner field, so at 5/2 on the morning line he’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 5: Post 2:36 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-Tigerbeach; 6-Blackout

Forecast: Blackout is most effective as a late-running grass sprinter and over a course that has promoted the off-the-pace types all season long this P. Miller-trained gelding seems capable of producing the last run. He’ll add blinkers today, so there’s a possibility the 7-year-old gelding will be closer to the early pace than usual. Tigerbeach, back around one turn where he’s most comfortable, has hit the board in all three of his prior outings over the Santa Anita turf course and is another that figures to be doing his best work late. The Bay Area shipper should settle early in mid pack and then have dead aim from the head of the lane to the wire. These are the two we’ll be using on rolling exotic play with preference on top to Blackout.

RACE 6: Post 3:07 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Catoca; 2-Noble Contessa

Forecast: This $40,000 claimer over a middle distance on the main track attracted just five entrants, with the main contention drawn inside. Catoca remains above her claim level for J. Mullins after finishing a solid second in a starter’s allowance sprint at Del Mar in late November. She stretches out again, retains F. Prat, is re-equipped with blinkers, and is solid in the speed figure department. Golden Gate shipper Noble Contessa is a need-the-lead type and if she can establish the running without undue pressure she’ll take this field a long way. Last February – in her most recent Southern California outing – she won a starter optional claimer two-turning by eight lengths while employing gate-to-wire tactics. We’ll give Catoca a slight edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 7: Post 3:37 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Dipping In; 5-Going to Vegas; 7-Big Blue Nation

Forecast: Maiden claiming ($75,000) 3-year-old fillies meet over a mile on grass with possibilities top to bottom. We’ll try to get by going three deep but if you find the need to use more, go right ahead. Going to Vegas ran well when third vs. similar in her only prior try on grass and drops in class and returns to the sod while switching to F. Prat. If she gets the patient ride we suspect she needs, the daughter of Goldencents can be along in time. Dipping In didn’t get the best of runs when a troubled fifth in a high priced maiden claiming two-turf affair at Del Mar in November and with clear sailing today could make her presence felt from off the pace. Big Blue Nation shows up in a seller for the first time and picks up J. Rosario. She’s another that wants to be held up early and allowed to run late and with some help up front should have every chance to tag the leaders close home.

RACE 8: Post 4:07 PT. Grade: X
Single: 4-Mother Mother

Forecast: Mother Mother had a right to be a tad short when third in the La Brea S.-G1 in her first outing since May but she won’t have that excuse today while dropping from Grade-1 company into a listed stakes for fillies and mares. She’s also removing blinkers – love that angle – while retaining J. Rosario, and after earning a career top speed figure in her most recent start the daughter of Pioneerof the Nile looks very much like a short price standout at 8/5 on the morning line. She’s a logical no-value rolling exotic single.

RACE 9: Post 4:37 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 5-Perfect Affection; 6-Tropical Terror

Forecast: Perfect Affection drew the dreaded rail sprinting on dirt at Del Mar in his debut last month and failed to land a blow but we’re expecting the son of Vronsky to improve a ton today stretching out on grass while remaining protected in straight maiden state-bred company. A recent sharp training track drill in company with the good older allowance runner Gregorian Chant really caught the eye, and with the switch to good rider U. Rispoli this P. D’Amato-trained gelding could easily establish the running and never look back at 12-1 on the morning line. Tropical Terror probably is worth including in rolling exotic play as well. A closing second from a poor outside draw in a similar event at Del Mar in November, the J. Cassidy-trained gelding has a right to continue his improving pattern following a steady series of recent drills.