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Friday, February 21: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

February 21, 2020

Jeff Siegel’s Daily Analysis & Wagering Strategies
Santa Anita

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
Single: 6-First Empress

Forecast: First Empress exits an infinitely tougher maiden $75,000 claimer in her debut last month and though well-beaten earned a speed figure that is good enough to beat this field. Granted, that race was on grass and this one’s on the main track, but if the daughter of Cairo Prince can run at all, she’ll handle this modest assignment. Strictly by default, we’ll make the P. Eurton-trained filly a straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 2: Post 12:58 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 3-Smiling Annie

Forecast: Smiling Annie had a rough trip in a stronger first-level allowance race over this course and distance last month but switches to F. Prat, drops into a starter’s allowance affair and has past speed figures good enough to win at this level. A good, healthy work pattern since her last outing should have her primed for a bounce-back performance. We’ll make the daughter of Smiling Tiger is a straight play and logical rolling exotic single.

RACE 3: Post 1:28 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 5-Purdue; 6-Promnesia

Forecast: Here’s a bottom-rung, restricted (nw-2) $12,500 claiming sprint for fillies and mares that probably requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Best advice is to include as many as you can afford to; we’ll try to survive using just two. Purdue, away since last May but with speed to grab control and keep on going, rates top billing if she returns with her best stuff. The work tab, while hardly flashy, points to her fitness for a barn that has enjoyed a strong meeting so far with limited starters. Promnesia, in the frame in her last four, adds blinkers after finishing a reasonable third under these conditions last month and may have enough improvement in her to break through with a win.

RACE 4: Post 1:58 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 7-Love a Honeybadger

Forecast: This abbreviated main track sprint for older $16,000 claiming fillies and mares looks made to order for Love a Honeybadger. The veteran mare was off poorly and eliminated when far back in a much stronger starter allowance dash last time out but this more realistic spot should help get her back on track. Drawn comfortably outside and a winner of five of 10 career starts over the Santa Anita main track, the B. Koriner-trained daughter of Bushwacker need only repeat her highly-rated win two runs back to handle this task. She’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 5: Post 2:28 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-Muralist; 3-Paint Me Lucky

Forecast: Paint Me Lucky is now five years old and hasn’t come close to fulfilling his expectations but the son of Paynter, away since November, continues to sizzle in the morning for B. Baffert and picks up F. Prat. A couple of sharp gate works – most recently in company with 2019 Santa Anita Derby winner Roadster – should have him on edge for a top effort and his race two back – a runner-up effort over this track and distance – charts very well in this spot. Muralist has improving form and rising speed figures, but this will be his first start on dirt, and there’s no guarantee he’ll duplicate his grass form over this much deeper surface. The switch to J. Rosario is a positive factor, making the Street Sense gelding the one to fear most. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 6: Post 2:58 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-Order and Law; 3-Sea of Liberty

Forecast: Sea Liberty is wheeled back quickly by J. Sadler after beating state-bred maidens over this course and distance just 12 days ago. The Boisterous gelding earned a career top speed figure in that clever win that charts very favorably in this starter’s $50,000 nw-2 allowance event. Bug boy J. Velez stays aboard and should have him on or nearly the lead in a race that projects to have soft early splits. Order and Law has yet to hit the board in five starts over the local lawn and hasn’t visited the winner’s circle since capturing the Laurel Futurity as a maiden in September of 2018. But his recent numbers make him a major player in this league, and with the switch to J. Rosario the son of Violence is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.

RACE 7: Post 3:31 PT. Grade: X
Single: 5-Mucho Macho Woman

Forecast: Mucho Macho Woman became eligible for this starter’s allowance condition when she dropped into a maiden $40,000 sprint over this track and distance last month and won for fun with a huge speed figure, one that makes her a very short price to score right back. Drawn perfectly outside, the R. Ellis-trained filly should control the race either on the lead or from a stalking position. She’s an obviously (but no-value) rolling exotic single.

RACE 8: Post 4:02 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Dude’s Dream; 7-Champers; 9-Brother Reid

Forecast: The finale is an intriguing but difficult expensive maiden claiming turf miler for 3-yeaer-olds. On pure form Champers is the one to beat. The R. Hess, Jr.-trained colt has performed well over this course in the past, though he was a distant third as the favorite behind runaway winner Rip City under these conditions last time out. This looks like a considerably easier assignment and with the switch to M. Smith the son of Cairo Prince should have every chance to earn his diploma from a good stalking position. Dude’s Dream was no factor when chasing infinitely tougher straight maiden foes sprinting on grass in his debut last month but should go much with the benefit of that bit of experience under his belt in addition to the stretch-out in trip, the class drop, and an inside draw that guarantees a ground-saving trip. Today we’ll find out if he can run. Brother Reid had an outing in Florida, where he closed a gap sprinting in a decent straight maiden event and the V. Cerin-trained son of Empire Maker seems likely to improve with today’s added distance. Top grass rider U. Rispoli takes the call, another positive factor.