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Sunday, February 02: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

February 2, 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 Workout AnalysisView PDF File

RACE 1: Post 11:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 3-West Sider; 4-Candy Fury

Forecast: West Sider has trained okay for his debut, not like a superstar but good enough to win a race like this, and the B. Baffert-trained colt likely will go favored in a field in which the known element doesn’t impress. Candy Fury may be the best of those with experience and is worth including in rolling exotic play. He’ll add blinkers and should be prominent throughout in this extended sprint that on paper projects to have soft early fractions.

RACE 2: Post 11:59 PT. Grade: X
Single: 2-Honeywhiskeynwine

Forecast: Honeywhiskeynwine drops for the money run and doesn’t have a whole lot to beat in this maiden $30,000 claiming router for sophomore fillies. She has grass numbers that can win, but this will be her first try on dirt, and with a 3% jockey aboard she hardly offers great value at 9/5 on the morning line. We’ll put her on top by default but this is a race that probably is best left alone.

RACE 3: Post 12:29 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Vallestina; 3-Sheza Factor; 6-Leading Indicator

Forecast: This is another race that we’ll pass while going three-deep in our rolling exotics. Vallestina hasn’t been out since December of 2018 and returns cheap, but her workouts indicate she’s fit and ready and she’s shown she can fire fresh, having won her debut by more than 17 lengths. Clearly, the Meah-trained mare she has issues, but she appears quite capable of a firing a big shot off the bench. Sheza Factor returns to her claim level and is realistically spotted after encountering a rough trip in a much tougher allowance sprint at Golden Gate Fields last month. She has a prior win over the local main track, recent numbers that are good enough to win at this level and is reunited with “win rider” E. Roman. Leading Indicator lands the cozy outside post and won’t need much improvement after finishing second in a similar restricted (nw-3) affair here last month. The daughter of Clubhouse Ride should draft into an ideal pace-stalking trip and have every chance from the quarter pole home.

RACE 4: Post 12:59 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Opus Won; 2-Wicked Old Fashion

Forecast: Opus Won was visually impressive winning a first-level allowance event over this course and distance and seems capable of scoring right back despite the class hike. From the rail she’s guaranteed an ideal ground-saving trip and has shown the versatility to win on the lead or from a stalking position. Wicked Old Fashion knows where the wire is (she’s 11-for-24 in her career) and has performed well over this course in the past. She’s another that can be effective regardless of race flow and may be capable of improving her last pair, both of which were below her beset. We’ll have tickets including both in our rolling exotics and then we’ll press keying Opus Won on top.

RACE 5: Post 1:29 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Soldier Boy; 3-Tiger Dad

Forecast: Soldier Boy shortens up a half-furlong, retains Rosario, and is fresh from a career top number when third in a similar affair last month. If he breaks cleanly from the rail,. The J. Sadler-trained colt projects to be the controlling speed and given that type of trip he should be hard to catch. Tiger Dad has been stuck on seconds lately but he’s fast on figures and should have every chance from a stalking position. Give the projected race flow we’ll give Soldier Boy the edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 6: Post 1:59 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Holly Hundy; 6-Storming Lady

Forecast: Storming Lady just won a similar race over this course and distance but was disqualified for causing interference in the lane. She switches to hot-riding F. Prat, and if she runs straight and true today the daughter of Flat Out appears capable of making amends. Holly Hundy, a close third in the same race Storming Lady exits (and took the worst of the crowding in deep stretch when crossing the wire third), is the one to fear most. A two-time winner over the Santa Anita lawn, the V. Cerin-trained filly retains J. Rosario and should inherit a good stalking position and then have her chance to seal deal in the lane. These two are hard to separate so we’ll include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 7: Post 2:29 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 2-La Croix; 4-Rstars and Stripes; 8-Awesome Alessandra

Forecast: The finale is a $50,000 maiden claiming sprint for 3-year-old fillies that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. La Croix returns from the Bay Area after finishing off the board on the all-weather track in straight maiden company in mid-December but her prior outing over conventional dirt – a dead-heat second at this level the previous month - probably makes her the one to beat. The speed figure earned in that race is stronger than par for the level and this field on paper looks considerably weaker than average. Awesome Alessandra, third in three of her last four starts, figures in the fray throughout but will need to some improvement in the speed figure department to graduate. Rstars and Stripes is a first-timer bred for speed but with a slow series of drills for the K. Mulhall barn. Still, she might be able to run some, and with J. Rosario taking the call we suspect she can be competitive first crack out of the box.