Log In

Friday, March 06: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

March 6, 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: 3-Rookie Mistake; 8-Jetovator

Forecast: Rookie Mistake, a solid third after a bit of a slow start in the recent Baffle Stakes, tackles older foes today while dropping a class and is a fit on speed figures. A maiden winner over the local lawn in January, the D. O’Neill-trained son of Square Eddie should be able to settle behind the leaders and then provide his run from the quarter pole home. Jetovator overcame a bit of early trouble to graduate over this course and distance in late January and has trained steadily since, so we suspect the son of Grazen has further improvement in him. Drawn comfortably outside in a race lacking in early speed, the Peter Eurton-trained colt should be on or near the lead throughout in this first-level allowance sprint for state-bred runners. We’re expecting the winner to be one of these two, so we’ll include both in our rolling exotic with a very slight edge on top to Rookie Mistake.

RACE 2: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: B
Single: 5-Lil Sydney

Forecast: At first glance this looks like a treacherous affair, a 14-runner race for bottom-rung maiden claimers. You can spread (and still not be right) or you can take a stand and try to be right. Lil Sydney is a first-time gelding removing blinkers and dropping in class, so the M. Glatt-trained son of Sidney’s Candy has every right to leave his previous form behind in his first outing in 11 months. He’s actually worked better than the work tab gives him credit and appears to be a better type now than when we last saw him almost a year ago. In this league a little will go a long way so let’s make him a straight play and rolling exotic single and hope to get close to his morning line of 4-1.

RACE 3: Post 2:05 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Lucky Romano; 4-Tromador

Forecast: Tromador drops to his lowest level ever after exiting a much tougher restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming turf sprint and at this level the lightly-raced colt may have found his friends. He’s fast enough on pure speed figures off his grass form and in fact won a maiden $40,000 affair sprinting on this main track two runs back. Lucky Romano makes a monumental trainer change to M. Glatt, picks up F. Prat, and seems certain to receive plenty of play based on these two factors alone. The Lucky Pulpit gelding, a runner-up in two valuable state-bred stakes early in his career but way below that form since, should settle in just off the pace and then have every chance to wear down the leaders when it counts. These are the two we’ll be including in our rolling exotics but you may find the need to go a bit deeper.

RACE 4: Post 2:35 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Desert Smoke; 2-Smiling Shirlee

Forecast: Smiling Shirlee, exiting a series of competitive state-bred events, shows up in a softer-than-par entry level Cal-bred allowance main track two-turn affair for fillies and mares and should be short price to regain her winning form. Missing at 6/5 when fourth, beaten three lengths in on a recent grass dash, the daughter of Smiling Tiger finished second in the Soviet Problem Stakes at Los Alamitos three runs back and we don’t expect today’s one mile distance will be an issue, especially against this group. She should be along in time under J. Rosario. Desert Smoke just won a $10,000 claimer in gate-to-wire fashion with a nice speed figure and if she can turn in two alike the E. Truman-trained mare projects to be prominent throughout and have every chance. We’ll have tickets including both in our rolling exotics and then press with Smiling Shirlee on top.

RACE 5: Post 3:08 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Zero Down; 5-Tropical Terror; 7-Brace for Impact

Forecast: Zero Down lands a comfortable inside draw for his first try around two turns, removes blinkers (love that angle) and could inherit the role as the controlling speed if the “send” strategy is employed. With the rails up 30 feet, this appears to be an ideal spot for a theft. We always say that even if a sprinter really doesn’t want to run long, he has a good chance of handling the trip first time he gets a chance and in this case the son of Square Eddie projects to have every opportunity. Tropical Terror looks the most dangerous of the off-the-pace types, and after finishing in the frame in his last three the J. Cassidy-trained colt may be ready to break on through. Brace for Impact has improving speed figures, and while he’s suspect at this distance the B. Headley-trained gelding could be dangerous with the switch to grass. Toss him in on a ticket or two.

RACE 6: Post 3:38 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Concur; 5-Impression; 6-Captivate

Forecast: We’ll go three-deep in this $25,000 main track miler for older horses while slightly preferring the class dropper Concur on top. Likely to draft into a nice second-flight, ground-saving position from his rail post, the veteran son of Curlin drops to his lowest level ever, has a prior win over the local main track, and offers a bit of value at or near his morning line of 6-1. Impression looked good earning a sharp number when a winner in a slightly softer spot two races back but then was in too tough when overmatched in a first-level allowance event last time out. Back where he belongs today, the B. Spawr-trained veteran does his best running on the front end, so we’re anticipating that regular rider T. Pereira will let him roll from the bell in attempt to become the controlling speed. Captivate is another tackling softer today with the expectations of an improved effort. He’ll be close to the pace throughout, and if Impression can’t outrun him early the son of Warrior’s Reward could find himself on the lead in a race in which the closers may be a bit suspect.

RACE 7: Post 4:08 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-Tig Tog; 9-Sugary

Forecast: Tig Tog moves up a notch after a clever win over this course and distance last time out and with J. Rosario staying aboard in a race in which the pace flow compliments this deep closers style, the Irish-bred mare in the J. Sadler should be ready for a similar effort. Given another proper patient ride and with some help up front, she could get up in time. Sugary looked fairly decent winning a $32,000 claiming turf miler in late January and returns for that same price while being given an extra furlong to work with. A winner of three of her last four but not being raised in class, the seven-year-old mare clearly is for sale, but if she has at least one good one left she should be hard beat once again. We’ll slightly prefer Tig Tog on top but use both in all of our rolling exotics.

RACE 8: Post 4:38 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Hoffa’s Union; 4-Justin’s Quest; 8-Lambeau

Forecast: The nightcap is a competitive entry-level allowance main track middle distance affair with several possibilities. We’ll try to get by using three, including the dangerous come-backer, Hoffa’s Union. The P. Miller-trained colt, so well regarded after being purchased privately following a 15 length debut main win that he was unsuccessfully wheeled back in the Wood Memorial Stakes-G1, makes his first start since last July following a string of sharp drills at San Luis Rey Downs that should have him fit and ready. With F. Prat taking the call, the son of Union Rags looks extremely live and well-meant. Justin’s Quest returns off the bench for Baltas and has trained well enough to expect a good effort. He’ll be prominent throughout and has back numbers that make him competitive. Lambeau, third at 70 cents on the dollar in a similar spot last month, might have been a tad short in his first outing since November but won’t have that excuse today. Solid in the speed figure department and retaining V. Espinoza for a barn that sports strong stats with second off layoff runners, the son of First Samurai will be making just his four career start, so there’s plenty of room for further development.