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Friday, January 24: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

January 24, 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: B-
Use: 4-Unicorn; 6-Saving Sophie; 7-Vegas Palm

Forecast: We’ll spread the opener, a maiden special weight turf miler for older fillies and mares. Unicorn, in the money in all five starts (except for the race that she stumbled badly at the start and lost her rider), has been knocking on the door and gets what appears to be her easiest chance yet. Freshened since October but with a solid series of drills at San Luis Rey Downs that should have her plenty fit, the R. Baltas-trained filly seems fairly solid; however, she’s already failed as the favorite four times and may not be one to trust. Saving Sophie, runner-up in her last three with numbers that make her a solid contender, was unplaced in her only prior start on grass, but that was in an abbreviated sprint (she broke slowly) and doesn’t necessarily mean she won’t handle turf. D. Van Dyke knows her well and stays aboard. Vegas Palm represents the most dangerous of the closing types, retains F. Prat, and should get the patient ride she prefers.

RACE 2: Post 1:31 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 5-On Mars; 6-Rickie Nine Toe’s

Forecast: On Mars tipped her hand with a good third place effort in her debut over this track and distance and should produce a forward move for a barn that has very good stats with second times starters. The daughter of Vronsky didn’t earn much of a number in that race, but not much better should be needed to handle this group. Rickie Nine Toes exits a maiden $50,000 race – theoretically a softer spot – but earned a speed figure when finishing a close second that is tops in this field. Drawn comfortably outside, she can pop and go or stalk and pounce depending upon the race flow. The race pretty much boils down to these two, so we’ll include both in our rolling exotic while slightly preferring On Mars on top.

RACE 3: Post 2:02 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-Eternal Endeavor; 5-Mongolian Humor

Forecast: Mongolian Humor was out of her element when fifth of six in the Bayakoa S.-G3 at Los Alamitos last month but this is a far more realistic spot (starter’s allowance) so the V. Cerin-trained mare should be capable of regaining her winning form. She’s reunited with “win rider” A. Cedillo, has a prior win over this Santa Anita main track, and sports a pair of sharp recent workouts to have her on edge. Eternal Endeavor isn’t as fast on numbers as ‘Humor but she’s in good form and stretching out again to her preferred trip. Never worse that second in three career starts over the local dirt strip, the L. Powell-trained English-bred mare should be doing her best work from off the pace. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Mongolian Humor.

RACE 4: Post 2:34 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-Sugary; 6-Seaside Dancer
Forecast: Sugary is genuine and consistent and ready for another top effort in this $32,000 claiming turf miler for fillies and mares. Freshened since a winning effort vs. slightly softer at Del Mar in August, she returns on the raise in a sign of confidence, is reunited with “win rider” D. Van Dyke and has a prior win over the Santa Anita lawn. Seaside Dancer, second off the claim for P. Miller, does her best on the front end and could be capable of establishing the running, although sprinter-stretching-out Swirling may have something to say about that. ‘Dancer has won from a stalking position in the past, so the option is there. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Sugary on top.

RACE 5: Post 3:04 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Peedie; 11-Time N Money

Forecast: This bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint for older horses looks inscrutable, so we’re not going to get too involved. Best advice is to include as many as you can afford to. Time N Money, away for more than a year, returns as a first-time gelding in a very soft spot for H. Palma (quite capable with layoff runners) and may be as good as any. His form in two races last year vs. tougher isn’t too bad and this low-profile jockey has ridden some live ones in the past for this stable. Peedie drops from straight maiden to maiden $20,000 and has numbers that fit, so despite his somewhat lethargic recent form the son of Square Eddie certainly must be considered something of a contender. He’s been running long on the lawn but this return to sprinting on dirt might wake him up.

RACE 6: Post 3:34 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Whatsittoya; 4-Toothless Wonder; 6-Rinse and Repeat

Forecast: Here’s another difficult affair, a restricted (nw-3) $16,000 claiming sprint with several question marks. Rinse and Repeat is two-for-27 in his career and winless in six starts over the Santa Anita main track but is exiting a series of much tougher first-level allowance state-bred sprints and should greatly appreciate this softer assignment. He’s strong in the speed figure department (compared to the others) and should be bearing down on the leaders in the final furlong. Toothless Wonder, first off the claim for S. McCarthy and a two-time winner over the Santa Anita main track, removes blinkers (love that angle) and switches to F. Prat, so the Street Boss gelding seems likely to improve. He’s another that should be heard from in the final furlong. Whatsittoya may be the quickest in the field and if he can shake loose early without pressure he could easily repeat his highly-rated gate-to-wire score two runs back at Del Mar last August His poor comeback run at Turf Paradise might best be ignored; given today’s projected race flow the R. Hess, Jr.-trained gelding probably will go favored after being reunited with regular pilot A. Cedillo.

RACE 7: Post 4:04 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 4-Murad Khan; 5-Winning Element

Forecast: Murad Khan remains above his claim level for P. Miller after a solid third place effort in a $62,500 optional claimer at Del Mar in mid-November. A healthy work tab at San Luis Rey Downs should have him ready for a top try, and a repeat of either one of his last two races beats this field. Winning Element is slower on speed figures than the favorite but is in good form for new trainer A. Lerner and has been first or second in four of six career starts over the local lawn. He has a good pace-stalking style and may be worth using as a saver on a ticket or two just in case ‘Khan, for whatever reason, fails to fire.

RACE 8: Post 4:34 PT. Grade: C
Use: 1-Taco Waco; 10-Blazing Home; 11-Arc Nation

Forecast: Blazing Home is a first-timer without any fancy workouts, but in this maiden $20,000 claiming sprint a fresh face with even meager credentials is preferred over the known element. The R. Baltas-trained son of Stay Thirsty should be plenty fit and probably is better than his modest workout times would make him appear. Taco Waco, a distant second in a faster-than-par race for the level here on New Years’ Day, can be a strong factor throughout if he leaves cleanly from the rail. His speed figures make him a fit in this league. Arc Nation chased tougher straight maidens at Golden Gate Fields in his debut and certainly has a right to improve with that bit of experience behind him. At this level, he’s very likely to improve enough to be a threat.