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Friday, February 14: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

February 14, 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: X
Single: 4-Golden Melodie, 5-Zippninthecity; 6-It’s a Riddle

Forecast: The opener, a maiden $30,000 claiming sprint for 3-year-old fillies, appears to offer little wagering value, as the likely favorite, It’s a Riddle, isn’t one to trust. While she’s been in the money in five of six starts, the R. Hess, Jr.-trained daughter of Merit Man just hasn’t been able to seal the deal, and after missing at even money or less in three out of her last four outings she certainly can’t be counted on. But if not her, then who? Golden Melodie, third in the same race It’s a Riddle exits when finishing only a neck behind her, certainly won’t have to improve much to win while Zippninthecity could produce a significant forward move after shortening to a sprint, dropping sharply in class, and moving to the main track after a speed/fade performance in her debut. Best advice is to use as many as you can afford to or better yet pass the race.

RACE 2: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: C
Use: 1-Temple Knights; 5-Polity; 6-Concord Jet

Forecast: Temple Knights and Concord Jet just finished two-three in a similar restricted (nw-2) $12,500 claiming sprint and meet again in an extended sprint at six and one-half furlongs. With an extra eighth of a mile to work with today, ‘Knights, most effective as a late-running sprinter, should have the edge, though the rail draw does him no favors. ‘Jet lands the cozy outside draw and projects to inherit an ideal pace-stalking trip. Worth noting, though, is that together they are winless in 12 lifetime starts over the Santa Anita main track. Polity has been training well for his comeback and could fire a big shot fresh, and he did break his maiden by daylight over this main track, so he be a spoiler. This might be another race that is best left alone.

RACE 3: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: C
Use: 1-Love Not War; 3-Lady Ember; 6-Mrs. Kimberly K

Forecast: Love Not War has the first-time-in-a-claimer angle with speed figures that fit, so, rail and all, she’s the one to beat in this modest affair, but at 6/5 on the morning line there’s not much we can do with her. The barn’s other starter, Mrs. Kimberly K, gets a lovely outside draw and continues to train like a filly that has more ability than she’s been able to show in two prior outings. She gets a break in the weights with the switch to bug boy J. Velez and projects to enjoy a clear stalking trip, so we’ll toss her in as well. Lady Ember has been chasing tougher in two-turn grass races without being competitive, but with the shortening in trip and the return to the main track, the P. Eurton-trained filly could come to life. Tread lightly here.

RACE 4: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: A- Single: 4-She’s Devoted

Forecast: She’s Devoted was a very impressive debut winner sprinting on turf last month and seems quite capable of repeating in this first-level allowance affair restricted to state-bred 3-year-old fillies. The daughter of Grazen rallied from last to first despite a slow start and a wide trip to give every indication that this stretch out to a mile shouldn’t be an issue for her. This could be just another step towards bigger and better things, so we’ll make her a strong straight play and rolling exotic single and hope to get close to her morning line of 5/2.

RACE 5: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 5-Lippy; 7-Miss Megan

Forecast: Miss Megan has much in her favor in this first-level allowance main track sprint for state-bred fillies and mares. Returning from Golden Gate where she failed to act on the all-weather surface, the daughter of Richard’s Kid clearly is more comfortable on conventional dirt and from her favorable outside draw with F. Prat picking up the mount she should have every chance to return to top form. Strictly off her maiden win at Del Mar three races back she should handle this task, especially given the soft pace projection. As a saver or a back-up, Lippy is worth some consideration. A stakes winning now being offered for $20,000, the daughter of Square Eddie may have seen better days, though she continues to look good in the morning and may snap to life with the return to conventional dirt.

RACE 6: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Hootie; 3-Roaring Fork; 5-Mr. Magico

Forecast: Here’s a fairly competitive restricted (nw-3) $35,000 claimer for older horses over a mile on grass. Roaring Fork, a first off the claim for P. Miller (31% with a flat-bet profit with this angle), seems likely to improve a ton for his new connections. The Mineshaft gelding stretches out, moves to grass, gets a weight break with the switch to bug boy J. Velez, and will wear blinkers, so there are a number of reasons to expect a major effort, especially if he inherits his preferred role as the controlling speed. At 6-1 on the morning line he represents a good gamble. Hootie returns to his preferred surface after spinning his wheels in a tougher starter’s allowance event on the main track last month and the M. McCarthy-trained gelding can dangerous with a repeat of his sharp score over this course and distance two races back. The Candy Ride gelding is guaranteed an ideal ground-saving trip and have every chance to fire his best shot. Mr. Magico, freshened since August, returns in a proper spot for a barn that has excellent stats with layoff runners, and a repeat of his sharp score at Del Mar two races back (at 33-1) puts him in the thick of things. Toss him in on a ticket or two.

RACE 7: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Der Lu; 3-First Star

Forecast: First Star ran like a short filly when a non-threatening fourth in the La Brea S.-G1 on opening day in late December but she’s catching an easier field today and stretching out to a middle distance, arguably her preferred trip. With just four starts on her resume, the lightly-raced daughter of First Dude has plenty of upside and on pure speed figures appears to have a decided edge over her four rivals. Der Lu earned a career top number when nosed out in the La Canada S.-G3 last month and today returns to the second-level allowance ranks in attempt to regain her winning form. She loses regular pilot D. Van Dyke (who opts for First Star) but picks up A. Cedillo and projects to settle into a good stalking spot in a race that projects to have only moderate early fractions. Additionally, the lightly-raced daughter of Orb should have another forward move in her in what will be her second start off a layoff. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with a very slight edge on top to First Star.

RACE 8: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 6-Dance Costume; 8-Oh Pretty Woman

Forecast: Dance Costume flashed ability in her debut when she closed with interest to be a solid second in a turf sprint last month and today gets more ground while switching to F. Prat. Certainly bred to improve two-turning, the daughter of Union Rags hails from a barn that has strong stats with stretch-out plays, so we’re expecting the T. Yakteen-trained 4-year-old to be along in time. Oh Pretty Woman, a close third over this course and distance in a similar state-bred affair last month, should be running on strongly again and is the one to fear most. This will be her third start off a layoff and it should be her best.