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Friday, January 31: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

January 31, 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: 1-A Man’s Man; 2-Jetovator; 7-Trending Higher

Forecast: Jetovator hasn’t been punching it in lately, so he’s certainly not one to trust, but the P. Eurton-trained gelding returns to a sprint and gets his easiest chance to date in his 10th career start. The Grazen gelding figures to get plenty of play once again with the switch to F. Prat and with numbers that are good enough to beat this modest state-bred field, but we’ve said in several of his prior outings and he’s still a maiden. A Man’s Man is sure to offer betting wagering value and continues to impress in the morning with every right to step forward in his first try on grass. With City Zip on the bottom side of his pedigree, the B. Koriner-trained gelding could easily move up several lengths with the switch to turf. Debuting Trending Higher is another bred for grass (Acclamation) and has trained well enough to expect that he’ll be competitive with these, but the barn rarely wins with first-timer starters and the extreme outside post is not the place to be when the rails are up 30 feet. In a wide open affair, best advice is to use as many as you can afford to in rolling exotic play.

RACE 2: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Busy Paynter; 3-Edna; 4-Rizzi’s Honors

Forecast: Ednatakes a realistic class drop and could be the quickest of the quick. An impressive recent training track drill indicates she retails all of her speed, and in this spot she could get her confidence back. Busy Paynter easily handled a restricted (nw-3) $12,500 field here two weeks ago and is wheeled back quickly by new trainer R. Hess, Jr. while switching to F. Prat. This is a logical spot, so she’s a contender despite the class hike. Rizzi’s Honors crushed a starter’s allowance field at Los Alamitos last time out and a similar effort today in this $20,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares might be good enough for a repeat score. However, she’s only 1-for-14 over the Santa Anita main track, so there’s no guarantee that she can repeat that type of performance today. All three should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Edna on top.

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

Forecast: Velvet Queen is a genuine and consistent filly trying to make amends for her recent narrow defeat as the favorite in a similar first-level allowance middle distance event. She switches to J. Rosario but is facing much more early speed today and may have to accept a stalker’s role rather than her preferred front running trip. If she can relax early and pounce late, the R. Baltas-trained filly should be hard to beat, but that might be a big if. Miss Stormy D lands the rail, stretches out for the first time, and seems sure to employ gate-to-wire tactics. If she’s ever going to handle two turns, it’ll be in her first try. In a five-runner race, we’ll try to survive and advance using just these two.

RACE 4: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Quinnie; 2-Violette Szabo

Forecast: There appears to be an abundance of early speed in this first-level allowance state-bred turf mile for fillies and mares so let’s toss on the front running types and concentrate on the stalkers and closers. Violette Szabo has been knocking on the door without entering in recent sprint and seems to have enough of a foundation now to stretch out successfully. While she has good early speed, the daughter of Grazen projects to settle into a comfortable second flight, stalking spot and then have every chance to tag the speed when the pressure is turned on in the final furlong. Quinnie won a solid $32,000 claimer over this course and distance two runs back but then appeared to lose her punch when second over nine furlongs in her most recent outing. She’s back at a flat mile – clearly her favorite trip – and from the rail the C. Gaines-trained daughter of English Channel is assured a clean, ground-saving trip. Two of her three career victories have been accomplished over the local lawn.

RACE 5: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Freiburg; 6-Italiano; 7-Oil Can Knight

Forecast: Prototype late-running sprinter Italiano was a tad disappointing when a no-threat fifth in a first-level allowance sprint earlier this month but this drop into a starter’s allowance $25,000 affair should allow the V. Belvoir-trained gelding to regain his top form. F. Prat stays aboard, knows him well, and should give the veteran son of Twirling Candy the patient ride he needs. Oil Can Knight switches to J. Rosario and projects to enjoy a perfect trip from his comfortable outside draw. He was a respectable third behind Italiano two runs back over a wet track at Los Alamitos but in a field without much early speed, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the S. Knapp gelding pop the gate, take control early, and prove hard to catch. Freiburg remains protected in a sign of confidence by M. Glatt and returns to dirt after failing to get involved in a quick grass dash at Del Mar in early December. Freshened since then and training quite well in the interim, the son of Langfuhr earned a number when winning at Emerald Downs two races back and puts him right in the thick of things.

RACE 6: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Little Bird; 2-Carpe Vinum; 3-She’s So Special

Forecast: Little Bird was given a run in her U. S. debut when allowed to finish on her own courage in the listed Blue Norther Stakes last month and should get much more serious today with that effort under her belt and this drop into the first level allowance ranks. The Irish-bred filly was making her first start since August, had won two of her three previous starts, and shows a bullet five furlong training track drill since raced. Today we should find out what she’s made of. She’s So Special was a visually pleasing winner of a maiden turf sprint here in mid-January and there’s no reason she shouldn’t be comfortable with this stretch-out to a mile. The daughter of Hard Spun will need to step it up against this tougher group, but could be up to the task, though it’s fair to point out that J. Rosario jumps off her to ride Little Bird. Carpe Vinum also a was a recent maiden winner, scoring with a good stalking trip over this course and a distance, and given the projected pace scenario she could easily inherited the role as the controlling speed.

RACE 7: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 4-Itsthattime; 9-Promise Nothing

Forecast: Promise Nothing stretches out for the first time, removes blinkers (love that angle), drops to his lowest level ever and switches to the barns go-to rider, T. Pereira. The son of Street Boss doesn’t have a whole lot to beat in this maiden $30,000 middle distance claimer for 3-year-olds and if he can establish the pace without pressure he could easily take this field gate to wire. Itsthattime, second in his last pair with speed figures that fit nicely in this league, may be the most dangerous of the closing types and is worth tossing in on a few tickets as a saver or a back-up.