Log In

Friday, May 15: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies and Workout Report

by Jeff Siegel

May 15, 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 12:30 PT. Grade: C
Use: 3-Rager; 5-Drop the Chalupa; 6-She’s So Special; 10-Thanks Mr. Eidson

Forecast: The Friday opener is a wide-open, messy first-level allowance grass sprint with several possibilities. We’ll go four-deep in our rolling exotics but even that might not be enough. Use as many as your budget allows. Drop the Chalupa graduated at first asking while earning a strong speed figure when beating a very good colt in American Code (see today’s ninth race). The class hike doesn’t concern us, but the switch to turf and the shortening to five and one-half furlongs are huge question marks for a gelding that apparently lacks positional speed. While closers can win over this course and distance, traffic trouble in a full-field could make his task problematic. We’ll put him ever so slightly on top, but not with any real confidence. Rager may be in the same boat. A first-time gelding with a maiden win and a runner-up effort in the Baffle Stakes over this course and distance, the son of Into Mischief can turn it on late but is another that could be susceptible to traffic trouble and/or a wide trip. If he’s fortunate, he’ll be right there. She’s So Special is a filly tackling the boys, but the P. Miller barn often does this. She broke her maiden sprinting on grass earlier this year, attracts F. Prat, and should be forwardly placed and free of trouble. Thanks Mr. Eidson is stuck way outside but earned speed figures as a 2-year-old that fit nicely with this group and is bred to move up on the lawn (More Than Ready). The J. Bonde-trained colt is pretty quick and projects to be in the first flight throughout, so at 12-1 on the morning line he’s worth including somewhere on your ticket.

RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-Curvaceous; 5-Talia; 8-Queensbeccaandjane; 12-Spreckels

Forecast: On paper this looks like another difficult challenge, a maiden $50,000 state-bred sprint for fillies and mares. Small ticket players wanting to cut down on this race should zero in on Talia, a 4-year-old finally making it to the races after a series of slow but visually pleasing recent drills that should have her plenty fit and ready. The daughter of Algorithms has done everything asked of her in the morning while consistently looking competitive in team drills, and while her workout times haven’t been fast she may be the type that will turn it on when turned loose. The barn’s go-to rider A. Cedillo takes the call and at 6-1 on the morning line the P. D’Amato-trained filly demands play both in the win pool and in the rolling exotics. If you can afford back-ups, consider the other three that are listed above. Curvaceous has recorded some decent clockings at San Luis Rey Downs and could have some run, while Queensbeccaandjane displayed good speed in a solo gate work (:46.4hg) over this local main track last month. Spreckels chased tougher in her debut and has a right to improve with experience. She’s worked decently and is a somewhat enticing 10-1 on the morning line.

RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: X
Single: 9-Tale of the Union

Forecast: Tale of the Union was B. Baffert’s best two-year-old in 2018, but after winning his debut by eight widening lengths with a Grade-1 quality speed figure the $925,000 Timonium 2-year-old in training purchase was beset with a number of issues that kept him away for nearly 21 months. Finally, the now 4-year-old colt appears to have his problems behind him and recent workouts indicate the son of Union Rags is ready to pick up where he left off. Drawn comfortably outside, he can pop and go our stalk and pounce but at 8/5 on the morning line with the likelihood of going shorter there probably won’t be much wagering value to be found, other than as a short priced rolling exotic single.

RACE 4: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Stick Up; 3-Christmas Pickles

Forecast: A little will go a very long way in this bottom-rung maiden $20,000 claiming sprint for older fillies and mares. Stick Up returns cheap for the P. D’Amato barn and has back numbers that make her a strong contender at this level. The work tab should have her fit enough, so if the daughter of Suances leaves cleanly form the rail she should be within range and have every chance to earn her diploma. Christmas Pickles displayed brief early speed before faltering in her only outing vs. straight maidens last summer at Del Mar and could perform considerably better this time around, especially against this group. G. Franco is a live rider for the M. McCarthy barn and the works look okay, so at 10-1 on the morning line she’s a “must use.” None of the others inspire, so let’s try to survive and advance using just these two in our rolling exotics.

RACE 5: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Heathers Grey; 5-Hollywood Girl; 11-Gypsy Spirit

Forecast: First-level allowance fillies and mares meet over a mile on grass in another contentious affair that contains several legitimate contenders. Heathers Grey has looked especially sharp in the a.m. for her first start in more than two months and we suspect the M. McCarthy-trained filly will fire a big shot fresh. Comfortably drawn inside and with excellent previous form over this course and distance, she retains regular pilot A. Gryder, and with the benefit of her rail draw she projects to enjoy an ideal ground saving, pace-stalking trip while offering good value at or near her morning line of 8-1. Hollywood Girl, away since last summer, has looked fit and ready in the a.m., and because she won her debut the layoff shouldn’t be any issue. A daughter of Giant’s Causeway from the Grade-1 winning mare Hollywood Story, she’s a half-sister to the Santa Anita Derby-bound 3-year-old Honor A. P., and with just three career outings has plenty of room for improvement with added experience and maturity. The barn’s “go-to” rider M. Smith takes over and will have her rolling in the final furlong. Gypsy Spirit, stakes-placed on several occasions in Europe, makes her U.S. debut as a first-time Lasix user with a series of good main track drills that should have her plenty fit. The extreme outside draw does her no favors but she attracts F. Prat, and with a good trip could make her presence felt from the quarter pole home.

RACE 6: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Treasure Hunter; 9-Adens Dream

Forecast: Adens Dream has much in his favor and at 9/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower he’s the obvious horse to beat in this six furlong $25,000 claiming sprint. With the proven ability to win following off a layoff, the J. Sadler-trained gelding takes a realistic drop to his lowest level ever, lands the cozy outside post, and shows a steady, healthy work pattern for his first outing in three months. A two-time winner over the local main track with a low profile jockey who won him two races back, the son of Wildcat Heir should be on or near the lead throughout. For backup, you may want to consider Treasure Hunter on a ticket or two. First or second in eight of 13 career starts over the Santa Anita main track, the M. Glatt-trained gelding drops below his claim level, switches to A. Cedillo, and projects to have his chance from a second flight, stalking position. A bullet three-furlong blowout (:34 3/5, fastest of 15) six days ago should have him on his toes.

RACE 7: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Csaba Momma; 4-Kayla’s Cowgirl; 5-Civil Suit

Forecast: The seventh race is a split of today’s fourth, a maiden $20,000 claiming sprint for older fillies and mares. Csaba Momma had a couple of non-productive outings more than a year ago during the winter at Gulfstream Park but returns for new trainer Peter Miller with a series of what looks to be a pretty decent work tab at San Luis Rey Downs and could easily be better than shown, especially against this group. She gets Lasix and A. Cedillo for a stable that does well with layoff runners, so at 5-1 on the morning she looks intriguing in a race that contains nothing but question marks. Kayla’s Cowgirl shows up in a seller for the first time and should improv enough to be a major contender. She’s pretty quick, and while the J. Wong-trained daughter of Will Take Charge has yet to show any desire to finish under pressure, she might find her confidence in this much softer spot. Civil Suit is another dropping to the bottom after chasing much stronger straight maiden foes in a pair of grass sprints earlier this year. She removes blinkers, retains V. Espinoza, and has figures that fit, so while her morning line of 3-1 is no bargain we still have to include her in our rolling exotic play.

RACE 8: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 1-Quick

Forecast: Here’s where we’ll take a stand. Quick has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern, a lovely inside draw, and a healthy series of recent drills for the powerful J. Sadler/U. Rispoli team, so it all adds up to a pretty solid top selection. We know the added distance won’t be an issue – she won at a mile and one-quarter last summer in England – and both of her local outings at a sprint trip that was likely too sharp for her were actually quite good. At 5/2 on the morning line she’s worth using strongly both in the win pool and in rolling exotic play.

RACE 9: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 4-Big Mel; 6-American Code

Forecast: The B. Baffert barn holds the aces in this maiden special weight abbreviated sprint, with American Code well-spotted to make amends after being worn down late at 3/5 in his debut in early March. The son of American Pharoah should be fitter and tougher with that effort behind him, especially at this shorter trip, and after continuing to impress in the morning with a series of powerful drills he’s likely to show his best stuff for a stable that hits with an impressive 26% with second-time starters. We anticipate that he’ll go lower than his morning line of 5/2. Big Mel, an $800,000 yearling purchase by Quality Road, absolutely can run as well. These two stable mates actually worked together on May 10 when they were both timed in 1:12 4/5, fastest for the distance, though ‘Code was going the better of the two and “won” the drill (but not by much). We’ll include both in our rolling exotics and then have extra tickets keying American Code on top.