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Sunday, May 24: Santa Anita Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

May 24, 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 Makers:

7th Race – Churchill Downs – Post Time: 4:08 ET
2-Oak Room (5-1)

Into Mischief colt was a very promising third in his debut at Oaklawn Park last month in what was a fast, highly-rated race won by the promising Skol Factor, and the B. Cox-trained sophomore seems sure to improve significantly with that race under his belt combined with this stretch out to a one-turn mile. Was pinched back at the start and was far back to the top of the lane, then took hold while angling to the outside and finished strongest to the wire before galloping out full of run to be in front of the pack into the clubhouse turn. The Cox barn hits with a terrific 26% with second-time starters, so at 5-1 on the morning line this Juddmonte Farm homebred offers value both in the straight pool and in rolling exotic play.

9th race – Churchill Downs – Post Time: 5:12 ET
3-Chaleur (7/2)

Makes her U.S. debut in a second-level allowance race as a first-time Lasix user and though unproven at nine furlongs should be fit and ready following a series of solid drills at over the deepish Payson Park training track in South Florida. Her English form in valuable handicap races was quite strong and her triple-digit Timeform ratings make her a major player at this level. Worth noting is the large fields she’s been used to competing in and the amount of weight she was carrying. At 6-1 on the morning she offers good value in an open affair.

Today’s Workout AnalysisView PDF File

RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Raul Rosas; 2-Bench Judge; 3-Unbridled Ethos; 5-Jetovator

Forecast: The Sunday opener is a challenging first-level allowance turf sprint that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. We’ll go four-deep and try to get a nice price home. Bench Judge won at first asking over this course and distance despite breaking slowly and racing greenly. When it mattered in the final furlong the J. Sadler-trained did what he had to do. On pure numbers he falls a little short of some of the major players in this race, but we’re thinking he’ll be a bit more professional with that first start out of the way and be able to improve enough to register a mild surprise right back. Raul Rosas earned a big figure breaking his maiden here off a year layoff and then was vanned to Los Alamitos to win mixed-breed race last month in order to remain on edge during the enforced layoff. The Thorn Song gelding lands the good rail and appears to be the most dangerous of the committed speed types. Unbridled Ethos has been stopped and started on a few times throughout his career and today shows up for the first time since last June. He’s one-for-one sprinting on turf and has trained like he’s fit to fire a good shot off the bench for J. Mullins (strong stats with come-backers). Jetovator has one win and seven seconds/thirds so he may not be one to entirely trust, but F. Prat stays aboard and the Grazen gelding should draft in behind the first flight and then have every chance from the quarter pole home.

RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 4-Madame Barbarian; 5-Easy Grader; 6-Mongolian Window

Forecast: Easy Grader, away since January of 2019, launches a comeback at age seven for E. Truman and shows up in a low-level claimer for the first time, not a healthy pattern, to be sure. But if she has one good one left – and this will only be here 12th career outing – it most likely will be in her first race back. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Madame Barbarian, an Oaklawn Park invader making her 70th career start and her first for new trainer J. Mullins. A deep-closing sprinter with speed figures that make her a fit at this level, she has 10 wins on her resume including a clever score two races back that makes her an “in form” entrant, and with the presence of F. Prat in the saddle the daughter of Stroll is a “must use.” Mongolian Window has been running long on the lawn most of her career but a she continues to train in the morning on dirt like she’ll handle the surface if given the chance, and today she gets that chance. The daughter of Drosselmeyer drops to her lowest level ever and has several back figures that make her extremely dangerous. All three should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Brickyard Ride; 5-Foreign Protocol

Forecast: Brickyard Ride hit a wall in mid-stretch when 4/5 in a similar starter option claiming sprint for 3-year-olds last time out while paying the price for going too fast (:21 3/5) too early. If he can slow down during the opening quarter today, he’ll stick much better and perhaps roll all the way to the wire. Foreign Patrol, a first-time gelding, arrives from the Bay Area with speed figures over the all-weather surface that are more than good enough to win if he can repeat them over conventional dirt. If the pace-types go too fast, he’ll likely be able to exploit his role as the race’s most dangerous late-running sprinter. Both should be used in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Brickyard Ride on top.

RACE 4: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-Nurse Goodbody; 8-Zest; 10-Enchanted Nile

Forecast: Nurse Goodbody received no action debuting in a turf sprint in March and it was easy to see why after she was last, 11 lengths off the leader, heading for home. Suddenly, the daughter of Kitten’s Joy took hold and flew home to finish fourth, beaten two lengths, and then galloped far out in front while tipping her hand for a much improved effort next time over a route of ground. Next time is today. The E. Kruljac-trained filly switches to top grass rider U. Rispoli and should improve enough to produce the last run in this mile grass affair for older maiden fillies and mares that on paper looks a little stronger than normal. Zest, a Tapit filly from Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic-G1 winner Life Is Sweet, has been away for almost a year but has trained rather nicely for her comeback and could easily be a better filly this time around. When last seen she ran very well over this course and distance when third after hitting the front in mid-stretch and a repeat of that effort today puts her right there. Enchanted Nile, unplaced in her first two career starts but clearly heading in the right direction, continues to improve in the a.m., and the feeling is that this daughter of Pioneerof the Nile is ready to produce a significant forward move following a good, healthy recent series of workouts. The N. Drysdale-trained filly gets the worst of the draw, but if she can drop back and save some ground to the of the lane, should make some serious noise in the final furlong.

RACE 5: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Camby; 7-Sky Jumper

Forecast: Sky Jumper earned a powerful 91 Beyer speed figure when missing by a half length in a starter’s allowance sprint here in March, a number that is 12 points higher than par for this restricted (nw-2) $25,000 sprint. Obviously, this class drip raises a red flag, and we assume that the connections are hoping (and perhaps expecting) to lose him, but with a couple of nice recent five furlong drills the son of Jump Start should have at least one good one left, and if he does, he’ll beat this field. But at 6/5 on the morning line, he’ll offer no wagering value. Camby, nowhere near as fast as Sky Jumper on numbers but relatively sound and reliable, is a viable back-up in rolling exotic play just in case the favorite fails to fire. The veteran Candy Ride gelding should be part of the pace throughout and have his chance.

RACE 6: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Fivestar Lynch; 2-Red King; 3-Turn the Switch

Forecast: The main contention in this first-level allowance turf miler will leave from the inside three post positions, so there should be no excuses. Red King has been racing in much longer races for more than a year but shortens to a trip that he’s won twice at, so perhaps at this distance he can regain his winning form. The son of English Channel continues to train well for P. D’Amato, switches to A. Cedillo, and may be capable of producing the last run in a race that should have a normal amount of pace. Fivestar Lynch earned a career top speed figure when graduating over this course and distance for a high-priced tag in early February and has been kept in steady training since. F. Prat can have him on the lead if it’s handed to him or settle for a second flight, ground-saving trip. On pure numbers he’s right there. Turn the Switch wore down Fivestar Lynch when they squared off in late December and the lightly-raced gelding could do it again if taken back, provided some cover, and then produced from the quarter pole home. Given that type of ride from regular pilot E. Maldonado, the son of Giant’s Causeway could easily outrun his morning line odds of 5-1. We’ll give Red King a slight edge on top but use all three in our rolling exotics.

RACE 7: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 4-Full Draw; 5-Show Business; 8-Most Sandisfactory

Forecast: Maiden $40,000 older horses meet in this six and one-half furlong sprint that is sprinkled with dangerous first-time starters and others dropping from straight maiden company. It’s challenging, to say the least. Full Draw finally makes it to the post at age four and is realistically spotted by trainer J. Sadler, who has strong stats with debut runners. The barn’s “go-to” rider V. Espinoza takes the call and the work tab indicates ability, so let’s put him on top, since the known element isn’t especially inspiring or trustworthy. Most Sandisfactory, away since last summer and making his first start on dirt after three in-the-frame grass tries vs. moderate maiden special weight foes in Kentucky, returns with blinkers off and lands F. Prat, so we’ll assume he’s a live item for the P. Miller barn. His San Luis Rey Downs work tab should have him fit enough if he’s good enough. Show Businesshas been unplaced in his first five career starts but he looks okay in the morning and this much softer assignment, his first for a tag, could be a confidence booster. At 8-1 on the morning line, the R. Mandella-trained gelding is worth tossing in.

RACE 8: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Madman; 5-Irish Heatwave; 6-Border Town

Forecast: Border Town is improving with racing and the lightly-raced son of War Front looks capable of winning right back in this first-level allowance turf miler after a facile maiden score with a career top speed figure in his most recent appearance in February. He’s looked good in the a.m. since, including a sharp bullet six furlong dirt workout (1:12.1h) while stride-for-stride with high class stable mate United earlier this month. Madman, nosed out under these conditions in late January, appears fit and ready for a similar effort following a string of good workouts at San Luis Rey Downs and is guaranteed an ideal ground-saving trip from his rail post. Irish Heatwave is back from Fair Grounds, where he failed to win four starts, but he’s now in the D. O’Neill stable, removes blinkers and always has preferred the firm Santa Anita turf course. The Cal-bred stakes winner is a prototype turf miler and should be forwardly placed throughout under A. Cedillo. We’ll press with Border Town on top but use all three in our rolling exotics.

RACE 9: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: B
Single: 11-Lil Richards Bello

Forecast: The finale is a maiden special weight California-bred sprint that at first glance looks wide open. Those that have raced haven’t earned speed figures that are par for the level so let’s take a gamble on a fresh face. Lil Richards Bello, a debut runner from the P. Eurton barn (excellent stats with first-timers), lands the cozy outside post following a series of sneaky good workouts, including a recent five furlong drill (1:00 1/5) that was 5th fastest of 59 for the distance and was accomplished without any urging with pretty quick early splits. Although not really bred to be a sprinter (Richard’s Kid), the home-bred gelding has trained like a win-early type and appears very live at 6-1 on the morning line. At that price or anywhere near it, we’ll make him a win play for us and a rolling exotic single.