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Monday, May 25: Santa Anita Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

May 25, 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:

Churchill Downs – 7th race. Post Time: 4:08 ET
2-Union Maiden (7/2)

Blew the break and lost all chance when a well-backed favorite at 4/5 in her debut at Gulfstream Park in February but closed a big gap to be a close fifth and galloped out full of run in a much better-than-looked performance. Away for three months, the daughter of Union Rags returns for C. Brown with a healthy, steady series of workouts, retains J. Castellano, and gets an extra half furlong to work with. Hopefully, she leaves with her field this time and if so she can make amends at 7/2 on the morning line.

Today’s Workout Analysis: View PDF File

RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 4-Mystic Flight-GB; 7-Big Runnuer; 8-Torosay

Forecast: Big Runnuer can fire fresh (won his debut) and has been victorious over this course and distance (again, in his debut). Away since December but with a healthy work tab that should have him fit and ready, the son of Stormy Atlantic is lightly-raced with further improvement likely and will be wearing blinkers for the first time, so he should be in the fray throughout. Reunited with “win rider” R. Fuentes, the lightly-raced 5-year-old is fast on figures and has the ideal stalking style to keep him free of trouble. At 7/2 on the morning line, he deserves top billing, but there are others in here that are quite capable as well, so he’s not quite a single in our book. Torosay, back from Dubai where he hit the board in two starts in good company, has looked sharp in the a.m. and should return to his best form in this considerably softer first-level allowance dash. The Goldencents gelding broke his maiden easily over the local lawn at this trip last fall and on paper appears to be the most dangerous of the need-the-lead types. For a price, we’ll toss in the English invader Mystic Flight-GB, listed at 12-1 on the morning line. Away since September of 2018, the gelding hasn’t impressed in his recent workouts but all of his local preparation has been done on dirt, and he’s clearly a grass specialist. Based on his Timeform numbers from a couple of years back, the R. Ellis-trained 5-year-old is more than good enough to act at this level and as a first-time Lasix user he could be dangerous over firm ground he apparently prefers.

RACE 2: Post 1:01 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Hendavid; 6-Dyn O Mite; 7-Lozlovian

Forecast: We’re largely guessing in this maiden 2-year-old sprint, so we’re not going to get too involved other than to include the three logical main contenders in our rolling exotic play. Hendavid hails from a barn that specifically points its young stock for win-early performances at this meeting and the son of Overanalyze appears to have done some good work at the training center in Utah prior to his arrival. We’ll put him on top while also including Dyn O Mite, certainly bred to be quick (Goldencents) and attracting F. Prat, who usually only rides first-time starting 2-year-olds if he gets a “story,” and Lozlovian, a San Luis Rey Downs shipper with a couple of bullet workouts on his resume and with a pedigree (Rattlesnake Bridge) to be a quick type.

RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-Colonial Creed; 4-Message

Forecast: Colonial Creed, in her second start off a long layoff, should be fitter today while returning to the main track and switching to F. Prat, so we’ll give the Jimmy Creed filly a slight edge on top in a race that she projects to be the controlling speed (her preferred trip). Good recent workouts indicate the R. Baltas-trained filly is right on edge. Message disappointed in the La Canada S.-G2 after which she was given plenty of time off, and she, too, has been working like she’s ready to bounce back in a big way for Baffert. She’ll likely enjoy an ideal pace-stalking trip and have every chance from the quarter pole home. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 4: Post 2:03 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Trouville; 5-Enriched by Deb; 11-Kelani Kim

Forecast: There appears to be three main players in this maiden $40,000 claiming extended sprint for fillies and mares. Trouville, in the frame in her four last starts and overdue for a win, may have found a field she can finally beat. She’s reunited with F. Prat, has a good stalking style to allow for a trouble-free journey, and on pure numbers is good enough to win. Enriched By Deb flashed speed before gradually weakening in a maiden $50,000 affair here in February but has looked much improved in the a.m. since, so we’re expecting a forward move from the R. Baltas-trained daughter of Munnings. She goes from A. Espinoza to J. Rosario, so there’s that, too. Kelani Kim, drawn comfortably outside, has the route-to-sprint angle we like along with being a first-time-in-a-claimer play, so this Union Rags filly is a “must use” in rolling exotic play. Additionally, she’s shown improvement in the a.m. and switches to A. Cedillo, so the M. Glatt-trained filly, already a contender based strictly on numbers, absolutely is a “must use.”

RACE 5: Post 2:34 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Stealthediamonds; 7-Jolie Olimpico-BRZ

Forecast: We’re going to try to get past the Monrovia S.-G2 using just two in our rolling exotics, but if you feel the need to spread a bit deeper, go right ahead. Jolie Olimpico-BRZ was defeated for the first time in five career starts when she was worn down close home in the Buena Vista S.-G2 over a mile. She’s back sprinting where she’s clearly most comfortable, continues to look sharp in the a.m., and should bounce back with a huge effort in a race in which she projects to draft into an ideal second flight, stalking spot. Her triple-digit Beyer victory in the Las Cienegas S.-G3 over this course and distance in January makes her strictly the one to beat. Stealthediamonds in the most dangerous of the pace types and from the rail she has only one way to go, on the lead, every step of the way. Winner of the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint under these conditions earlier this year, the daughter of Unusual Heat always is tough to get by when she can control the proceedings from the start. If Surrender Now – the other speed in the field – doesn’t keep her honest, the M. Puype-trained filly may take this group a very long way.

RACE 6: Post 3:05 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-Ragtime Blues; 4-Scarto

Forecast: The recent private purchase Scarto arrives fit and ready following a sharp score in a listed stakes at Gulfstream Park and with two easy breezes over the Santa Anita main track for new trainer M. Puype the son of Paynter should be capable of picking up where he left off. He’s very fast on speed figures but may settle into a stalker’s role due to the presence of recent Oaklawn Park maiden winner Ragtime Blues, a hit-and-run winner for B. Baffert after doing all of his preparatory work at Santa Anita. The son of Union Rags continues to impress in the a.m., picks up I. Ortiz, Jr. and probably is a bit quicker than his chief rival, so we’re expecting gate-to-wire tactics to be employed. On numbers Scarto is the better of the two, but ‘Blues has plenty of upside and could step forward in a big way in just his third career start, just as Scarto did in his third outing. We’re expecting the winner to be one or the other, so we’ll include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 7: Post 3:36 PT. Grade: B
Use: 5-Sea of Liberty; 8-Lemon King; 9-Three Ay Em

Forecast: Lemon King showed some moxie in graduating at first asking two-turning on grass at Del Mar last August but then was stopped on. The son of Lemon Drop Kid returns with a series of good works (looking better now than he did then) and we’re expecting the T. Yakteen-trained sophomore to settle off the pace and then produce a strong late kick. F. Prat, who was aboard ‘King last summer, stays aboard. Sea of Liberty seeks his third straight score after winning a state-bred maiden affair before repeating vs. starter’s allowance foes, both wins accomplished over this course and distance. A versatile type who can win on the lead or rallying from mid-pack, the Boisterous gelding has been kept on edge by doing good work in the a.m. for J. Sadler, and with rising speed figures with each start he appears strictly the one to beat. Three Ay Em, genuine and consistent and in the frame in six of his last seven starts but away since December, is a 4-year-old eligible to his state-bred affair due to the fact that he’s been entered for the $20,000 tag. Based on speed figures he’s worth more than that, so we wonder if his connections are trying to lose him, or simply going after the big $51,000 pot (or perhaps both). In any event, we’ll toss him in as a back-up or a saver.

RACE 8: Post 4:07 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Buyer’s Remorse; 9-Fierce for Sul

Forecast: Fierce for Sul, a $650,00 2-year-old in training purchase last year, was entered earlier this month in a turf sprint but was scratched. She’s trained very well since, so she’s obviously healthy, and the B. Baffert-trained daughter of Speightstown looks to have plenty of talent, certainly enough to win at first asking in this maiden special weight abbreviated sprint for fillies and mares. However, at 9/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, she probably won’t offer too much in the way of wagering value. She’ll be the main push in our rolling exotics, but we will have a ticket or two as a saver using Buyer’s Remorse, who showed promise last year as a 2-year-old but was overmatched in a pair of stakes races after a good runner-up debut as a maiden at Del Mar. Freshened and working like her old self, the daughter of Liam’s Map will be right there should Fierce for Sul make any mistakes.

RACE 9: Post 4:38 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Without Parole; 5-War of Will; 6-Blitzkrieg

Forecast: This year’s edition of the Shoemaker Mile-G1 is an absolute scramble. Use as many as your budget allows. We’ll go three deep and try to blow out the tote board using Blitzkrieg on top at 20-1 on the morning line. Back from Dubai where he performed admirably in top class sprint company, the son of War Front can be equally effective at this one mile trip, and in a field with a projected pace that could be moderate at best, the D. O’Neill-trained gelding should be comfortably placed on or near the lead throughout. A former $25,000 claimer, he’s improved a ton for his new connections and is especially lethal on the type of firm ground that he will see today. Based on pure numbers he’s right there with the rest of them off his best effort. Without Parole lands the good rail and should inherit an ideal second flight, ground-saving trip. A closing third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile over this course and distance last fall, the C. Brown-trained son of Frankel is reunited with I. Ortiz. Jr. (who rode him in that race), and after a disappointing run in the Pegasus World Cup Turf-G1 in January the English-bred horse has trained like he’s ready to snap back to top form. War of Will, last year’s Preakness winner, makes his four year old debut and could return to form in his first start since finishing unplaced in the BC Classic in November. He’s trained like he’s fit and ready and picks up F. Prat, and while he must prove himself against older horses (and grass) we’re willing to toss him in on the chance that he can somehow regain his past glory.

RACE 10: Post 5:09 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Studly Perfection; 2-Camino de Estrella; 4-Fire When Ready

Forecast: Studly Perfection clearly is the controlling speed from his rail post in this main track miler for modest claiming older horses. First or second in four of six career starts over the local main track, the J. Wong-trained gelding picks up J. Rosario and hopefully will be allowed to utilize his best weapon, his early speed. He’s been guzzled and throttled down in recent races in the Bay Area but if turned loose today he could be capable of running his rivals into the ground. Fire When Ready returns to his claim level, and as a two-time winner over the Santa Anita main track and with sharp drills in recent weeks, the J. Mullins-trained son of Empire Way seems well-placed to regain his best form. We’re expecting the veteran gelding to be close up throughout and have every chance. Camino de Estrella is a sharp Turf Paradise invader with numbers that fit and a good recent series of workouts to have him on edge. First or second in 11 of 25 career starts, the Mineshaft gelding will be doing his best work from off the pace.

RACE 11: Post 5:39 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Etoile; 2-Ollie’s Candy; 3-Lady Prancealot

Forecast: Etoile arrives fit and ready from the Payson Park training center in South Florida for this year’s Gamely S.-G1 and if she duplicates her outstanding French form she will be hard to beat. The C. Brown-trained filly, away since last fall, was a Group-3 winner at Saint-Cloud last year and was fourth, beaten less than a length, in the French Oaks-G1, before tailing off against Europe’s best in two subsequent outings. She gets the rail, Lasix, and J. Rosario for a barn that has a spectacular record with these European imports. Ollie’s Candy lost a heartbreaker in the Apple Blossom H.-G1 at Oaklawn Park last month and today tries to duplicate that performance on grass and minus Rosario, who opts for Etoile. The daughter of Candy Road is winless in four starts on turf but she was an excellent second on turf in the nine furlong Del Mar Oaks-G1 as a 3-year-old. It’ll be interesting to see if new jockey D. Van Dyke employs the same front-running tactics that nearly stole the Apple Blossom. Lady Prancealot may be the most dangerous of the deep closers. She switches to Johnny V. and will be heard from late if the pace is fast or at least normal.