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Saturday, March 21: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

March 21, 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 12:30 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 4-Lets Get Wild

Forecast: Lets Get Wild was 10 lengths clear of the rest when second to next-out winner Lofty in a similar state-bred turf sprint for fillies in late January and was subsequently entered but scratched when she failed to draw into the race from the also-eligible list the following month. The E. Kruljac-trained daughter of Ministers Wild Cat sports a steady work tab in recent weeks so we’re expecting her to produce her best effort, one that should make her tough to beat. Nardini is lightly raced, improving, and bred for grass (Acclamation). She picks up F. Prat, and with another forward move may be dangerous at 6-1 on the morning line. Preference on top goes to Lets Get Wild but both should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-Mystery Messenger; 5-Oliver

Forecast: Mystery Messenger appears well-placed to extend his winning streak to three in this second-level allowance main track miler that drew just five entrants. The Point of Entry gelding, fresh from a clever win in a productive race up north, projects as the controlling speed, though he certainly doesn’t need the lead to win. Reunited with “win rider” U. Rispoli, the D. O’Neill-trained gelding probably will have to worry most about stable mate Oliver, a strong runner-up in the recent Tiznow Stakes over this track and distance earlier this month. While the Santa Anita dirt strip is his least favorite surface (he’s much more effective at Del Mar and Los Alamitos), the son of Papa Clem should draft into a good stalking position outside and then have every chance to engage ‘Messenger from the head of the lane to the wire. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics and then have an extra ticket or two keying Mystery Messenger on top.

RACE 3: Post 1:29 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 4-Scarlet Heat; 5-Sassyserb

Forecast: Sassyserb continued her improving pattern when following up a good maiden score with a sharp runner-up effort in a similar first-level state-bred allowance event over the local lawn last month. Today she makes her first start since being transferred to the high percentage R. Baltas barn, so her upward mobility figures to continue. Today’s extra furlong shouldn’t be an issue for the granddaughter of Galileo, and with the switch to top grass rider U. Rispoli, she should be forwardly placed and trouble free throughout. Scarlet Heat is worth including somewhere on your ticket as well. The daughter of Unusual Heat adds blinkers, has steadily rising speed figures, retains F. Prat, and owns the late-running style that makes her dangerous at this nine furlong distance.

RACE 4: Post 2:02 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Rossman; 5-Ultimate Mystery; 8-Outright

Forecast: This bottom-rung maiden claiming extended sprint looks like a messy affair so we’ll go three-deep and hope to survive and advance. Rossman is stuck on the rail – not usually the place to be at this seven furlong distance – but the lightly-raced son of Data Link just finished a solid runner-up in a similar affair 15 days ago and really won’t need to improve much to earn his diploma. This will be his second start off a long layoff, so a forward move is probable, and in a race in which most of the others have been thoroughly exposed, this J. Carava-trained gelding at least has somewhere to go. Ultimate Mystery is an intriguing newcomer in a very soft spot. This barn rarely wins with a first-timer but this son of Ultimate Eagle does show a bullet half mile gate drill (:47 flat) at Los Alamitos back in November, so maybe he can run a bit. Outright is a first-timer gelding from the R. Hanson barn with numbers that aren’t half bad, and in just his third career start he might have a forward move in him. A fair third in a similar event in early February charts pretty well here.

RACE 5: Post 2:33 PT. Grade: X
Single: 2-Bound for Nowhere

Forecast: Bound for Nowhere has registered six consecutive bullet workouts at Turfway Park while preparing for this year’s edition of the San Simeon Stakes, and the lightly-raced six-year-old – he’s won 6 races from just 12 career starts – arrives fit and ready for trainer Wesley Ward, who hits at a strong 22% with layoff runners. With a history of firing fresh and with several triple-digit Beyer speed figures on his resume, the son of The Factor simply outclasses this field. However, at 6/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, he won’t offer much value other than as a short price rolling exotic single.

RACE 6: Post 3:05 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Order and Law; 4-Zorich

Forecast: This starter’s allowance main track miler has several possibilities. We’ll double the race but if you feel the need to spread deeper, go right ahead. Zorich didn’t get the best or runs when third after losing ground throughout in a similar affair last month but the son of Hard Spun retains U. Rispoli and should draft into an ideal pace-stalking trip and have every chance to reproduce his best form. Never off the board over the Santa Anita main track in four starts and with two easy breezes since his last outing, the M. Glatt-trained gelding may offer a bit of value at or near his morning line of 4-1. Order and Law is just 1-for-17 and winless on dirt, but the V. Cerin-trained son of Violence is very competitive based on his recent turf speed figures, so if he can duplicate his grass form on the main track he could be hard to handle. The V. Cerin-trained ridgeling will be doing his best work from off the pace.

RACE 7: Post 3:35 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Oscar Dominguez; 6-Ward ‘n Jerry

Forecast: Oscar Dominguez has developed into a genuine and consistent turf stayer and should continue his strong recent form in this year’s edition of the San Luis Rey Stakes over 12 furlongs down the Hillside course. The veteran gelding picks up U. Rispoli and will get the patient ride he requires. With good racing luck he should be able to wear down the leaders close home. Ward ‘n Jerry, third when beaten a neck by our top pick in the Hollywood Turf Cup-G2 at Del Mar in early December, was subsequently second in the Cal Cup Turf Classic here in January and today stretches back out to a marathon trip while switching to F. Prat. A three-time winner over the local lawn, the son of Lucky Pulpit has a bit more tactical speed than ‘Dominguez and will be getting four lbs. from his main rival. You have to include him at least as a saver in rolling exotic play.

RACE 8: Post 4:07 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Taco Waco; 5-See Through It; 8-Blazing Home

Forecast: This is a split of the second race, a seven furlong maiden $20,000 claimer for older horses. We’ll use three but not with any real degree of confidence. Taco Waco must overcome the rail but he’s a fit on figures and has enough tactical speed to be within range throughout. He’s been facing a bit stronger fields than this, so with any kind of improvement he’ll be right there. See Through, a weakening seventh in his debut after flashing some early speed, should be fitter and stronger today, so if he can produce any type of forward move the A. Sherman-trained gelding may have a chance to do some damage at 6-1 on the morning line. Blazing Home hasn’t gotten even remotely close in his first two starts – he’s been beaten a total of 28 lengths – but he hails from the high percentage R. Baltas outfit and lands F. Prat. On the chance that for whatever reason he’s much better than shown, we’ll toss him in as well.

RACE 9: Post 4:39 PT. Grade: C+
Use:1-Miss Tokyo; 3-Tagline; 10-Lookintogeteven

Forecast: The finale is a borderline inscrutable maiden turf miler for fillies and mares. We’ll triple the race but you should spread as deeply as your budget allows. Tagline finished an okay third after being a bit rank early in her first start in nine months and just her second overall, so the daughter of Bellamy Road may have more right to improve than most of the others. She switches to M. Smith – always one of this barn’s go-to riders – so if she can settle early and produce a late run, the J. Mullins-trained filly might get up in time. Miss Tokyo lands the rail and likely will try gate-to-wire tactics after getting tagged right on the money in the same race Tagline exits. This shortening to a mile won’t hurt, especially in a field without much other speed signed on. Lookintogeteven, a deep closer that always seems to be a day late and a dollar short, will make her run again today, but from the extreme outside post. She’ll need some help up front, but one of these days the daughter of Ghostzapper will break through and in an open fray she’s worth including at 8-1 on the morning line.