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Saturday, May 30: Santa Anita Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

May 30, 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


Gulfstream Park 8th race – Post Time 4:21 ET
12 – Givemetwenty (20-1)

Let’s try to blow out up the tote board with this long shot play. The nicely-bred son of Declaration of War stretches out for the first time in this starter’s allowance middle distance turf affair after closing strongly and galloping out full of run in a recent grass sprint. With the switch to the barn’s “go-to” rider E. Jaramillo, this lightly-raced 3-year-old looks extremely well meant for a trainer who has superior stats with the sprint-to-route angle.

Churchill Downs 8th race – Post Time 4:40 ET
9 – Ashiham (8/5)

Has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern and looks ready to win while adding blinkers and switching to Johnny V. in this middle distance maiden affair. The T. Pletcher-trained colt was impressive in a recent bullet drill at the Palm Beach Downs training center (much the best over a workmate) and with continued improvement could develop into a nice colt. He looks pretty solid in the win pool and in rolling exotic play.

Churchill Downs 11th race – Post Time 6:16 ET
1 – Juliet Foxtrot (5/2)

Produced an outstanding series of races in 2019 after being imported from England and appears set to pick up where she left off in this Grade-3 middle distance turf affair for fillies and mares. Lands the favorable rail and should be forward placed in a race that projects to be slowly run early. A versatile type that can win on the lead or from mid-pack, the B. Cox-trained mare is plenty fast on speed figures and has trained like she’s fit and ready.

Today’s Santa Anita Workout AnalysisView PDF File

RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Warrior’s Moon; 2-Oh Pretty Woman; 8-California Kook

Forecast: Oh Pretty Woman has gradually rising numbers, and with another slight forward move today should be capable of winning this first-level allowance state-bred filly and mare turf miler. She’s reunited with “win rider” A Cedillo, and in a race that projects to have slow-to-moderate early fractions the daughter of Scat Daddy seems likely to draft into a comfortable second-flight, stalking spot and have every chance from the quarter pole home. California Kook was a respectable fourth at 43-1 in the Evening Jewel Stakes in January and could be set for significant forward move with the switch to F. Prat following a series of solid drills at San Luis Rey Downs. She’ll be doing her best work late. Warrior’s Moon lands the good rail and seems certain to enjoy an ideal ground-saving, pace-stalking trip. She needs some improvement in the speed figure department but has won over this course and distance in the past and makes a positive jockey switch to U. Rispoli. We’ll include all three in our rolling exotics and then press with extra tickets keying Oh Pretty Woman on top.

RACE 2: Post 1:02 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Shanghai Curly; 6-Seizetheday Rexy

Forecast: It won’t take a whole lot to win this maiden $25,000 claiming abbreviated sprint. Seizetheday Rexy drops to his lowest level ever in his return from Oaklawn Park and has local races that make him the one to beat with this turn back to a sprint. The D. O’Neill-trained gelding, runner-up in each of his three previous races, doesn’t have a much early speed but should find plenty of room to produce his late kick in a small field that probably will be strung out. Shanghai Curly has the blinkers off angle that we like and also is dropping in class and returning to the main track. His numbers are going in the right direction and the work tab is healthy, so we’re expecting another forward move from this lightly-raced sophomore colt. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotic but neither will offer much in the way of wagering value in a race that lacks depth. Tread lightly.

RACE 3: Post 1:33 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Paige Runner; 2-Destiny’s Journey; 3-Mongolian Sunrise

Forecast: Here’s another race – a main track miler for restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming fillies and mares - that looks challenging and requires a spread. Paige Runner shows up in a seller for the first time and should greatly appreciate this softer assignment. From the rail she’s guaranteed a good ground-saving trip and has numbers that are competitive for this league, so we’ll put her on top. Destiny’s Journey returns to dirt, takes a realistic class drop, and equaled her career top speed figure when third last time out. Not a whole lot more will be needed to win at this level. She does her best running on or near the lead throughout and the projected pace flow should put her when she wants to be. Mongolian Sunrise stretches out again and graduated over this track and distance three races back by almost nine lengths with a speed figures that puts her right there. Her last two outings were disappointing but under these conditions it’s conceivable that she can bounce back to her best.

RACE 4: Post 2:04 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Beaumont Beaux; 4-Prince Ricky; 5-Antithetical

Forecast: Here’s a split of the second race, another bottom-rung maiden $25,000 claimer. Antithetical broke slowly and was given a race at Los Alamitos in a maiden special weight mixed breed dash in his debut earlier this month and seems likely to produce a forward move for a barn that has superior stats with second-time starters. At 5-1 on the morning line he may be as good as any. Prince Ricky has some early speed and against this group could carry it for a ways. The number he earned two runs back when fifth in a slightly tougher race makes him a fit and this shortening up a furlong could help immensely. Beaumont Beaux is wheeled back in six days after earning a reasonable speed figure when finishing eight of nine in a better-than-par maiden $50,000 dash. He’s a major play by default against this group.

RACE 5: Post 2:35 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 6-Count Alexei; 8-Brix; 11-Irreproachable

Forecast: Count Alexei is bred for grass and speed (Vronsky) and has been burning up the track at Los Alamitos while preparing for his racing debut. A $110,00 purchase at last summer’s Santa Anita 2-year-old in training sale, he finally makes it to the post and the B. Koriner-trained colt should be more than fit for a major effort in a moderate state-bred maiden special weight turf sprint. Irreproachable basically has the same resume – a first-timer by Vronsky sprinting on turf for a good outfit with a nice series of workouts at Los Alamitos. We’re not crazy about the extreme outside draw but at 8-1 on the morning he’s worth including. Brix may be the best of the known element, even though he’s already had nine outings. His runner-up effort over this course and distance two runs back was decent enough and not much more may be needed to earn his diploma today. The switch to F. Prat is another positive factor.

RACE 6: Post 3:06 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-She’s a Dime; 5-Eternal Endeavor

Forecast: Only five runners showed up for this seven furlong first-level allowance extended sprint for fillies and mares, with Eternal Endeavor the logical top pick from her cozy outside draw in a race that projects to have very soft early fractions. First or second in seven of 10 career starts, the genuine and consistent English-bred mare should draft into an ideal pace-stalking/pressing position and then be able to exert her superiority when the pressure is turned on. She’s a Dime arrives from Oaklawn Park with a series of solid efforts and speed figures that put her right there. She shows a couple of good recent drills at San Luis Rey Downs and the presence of F. Prat in the saddle make her the one to fear most.

RACE 7: Post 3:37 PT. Grade: B
Use: 10-Guitty; 8-Parkour; 9-Stela Star

Forecast: Stela Star tipped her hand with an impressive effort in her U.S. debut when an excellent runner-up in the one-mile China Doll Stakes over this course earlier this month, rallying from far back while giving every indication that she’ll enjoy today’s nine furlong trip. The lightly-raced Irish-bred filly shows a bullet workout since that outing and therefore can be expected to produce a forward move with that effort behind her. F. Pratt takes over, and in a race that should have normal-to-fast early space he should have this J. Sadler-trained 3-year-old along in time. Guitty, sixth in the same race Stela Star exits but beaten only 2 lengths, is another that seems certain to benefit from the stretch out to a mile and one-eighth. She needs to be held up and allowed to produce one late run and with good racing luck will be heard from in the final stages. Parkour is very fast and the likely controlling speed. A wire-to-wire winner vs. lesser over a mile on grass last time out, she’s questionable at this distance but if the daughter of Carpe Diem can establish the running and then switch off just a little bit she may take this field a very long way.

RACE 8: Post 4:08 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 5-Traffic Stopper; 6-Tiz a Unicorn; 7-Rain Diva

Forecast: Here’s another maiden claimer, this one for $50,000 state-bred fillies and mares. Anything goes. Rain Diva makes the all-important drop from straight maiden company for a barn that has superior stats with this angle and switches to the main track after a pair of mid-pack finishes that produced speed figures compatible with this level. A sharp half mile workout earlier this month (:47 flat, second fastest of 69) gives hope that she’ll handle the main track, so at 5-1 on the morning line the daughter of Temple City deserves strong consideration both in the win pool and in rolling exotic play. Tiz a Unicorn debuts in a proper spot for the always-potent R. Baltas/F. Prat combo and while she doesn’t show any fancy workout times the pattern is healthy and should have her plenty fit. Traffic Stopper, a distant second at this level when last seen in February, has a few numbers back in her chart that fit well with these, so she at least can get a piece of it.

RACE 9: Post 4:38 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-Whirl Candy; 8-Rio Ocho

Forecast: The finale is a fairly competitive nine furlong maiden special weight turf affair. Whirl Candy flashed speed sprinting in his recent comeback before gradually weakening to finish a close fourth and should be fitter and stronger with that tightener behind him. The son of Twirling Candy has trained quite well since and appears set to stretch out and do some damage as the likely controlling speed. The R. Baltas barn has solid stats with the sprint-to-route angle and with the switch to A. Cedilla this lightly-raced colt may never look back. Rio Ocho lands F. Prat for his U.S. debut after finishing a good second of 14 in his debut in a representative race at Dundalk over an all-weather surface in February. The Irish-bred gelding arrives fit, ready, and dangerous. We’ll try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics with the primary gamble going to Whirl Candy.