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Saturday, June 6: Santa Anita Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

June 6, 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 – 8th race. Post Time: 4:46 ET
6-Volatile (2-1)

Won like a future star in his sophomore debut at Oaklawn Park in late April, flashing speed to press the pace in hand and then kicking clear when turned loose to earn a career top speed figure for his third victory from just four lifetime starts. Moves into stakes company for the first time, but this son of Violence should be able to take the class hike in stride. Perfectly drawn outside, the S. Asmussen-trained colt can press the issue and then move when he wants, so there’s plenty of wagering value at 2-1 on the morning line if you can get it.

Churchill Downs – 10th race. Post Time: 5:50 ET
8 – Edgeway (3-1)

Was miles the best in a recent allowance win at Oaklawn Park, overcoming a sluggish beginning and very wide trip to win as much in a fast allowance sprint to improve her record to two wins in three starts to accompany a third place finish in a stakes. The daughter of Competitive Edge can control this race either on the front end or as a pace-presser from her lovely outside draw, and with a series of recent terrific workouts over the local main track the J. Sadler-trained filly should be extremely difficult to deny. Hopefully, we can get close to her morning line of 3-1 in the win pool and in the exotics.

Belmont Park – 9th race. Post Time: 5:36 ET
11-Vekoma (7/2)

Came back better than he left when winning a strong allowance race with a career top speed figure in late March at Gulfstream Park and should build on that impressive performance today while tackling a tougher group in today’s Carter H.-G1. Genuine and versatile son of Candy Spot is tough at any distance – he won last year’s 9-furlong Blue Grass S.-G2 – but he may be most effective sprinting and in fact in undefeated in three starts around one-turn. Drawn comfortably outside in a race without pace, he’s guaranteed an ideal pace-stalking trip, so at 7/2 on the morning line there’s plenty of wagering value to be found.

Belmont Park – 10th race. Post Time 6:08 ET
4 – Tale of the Union (8/5)

Was extremely rusty when seventh of eight in his first start in 21 months in a first-level allowance sprint at Santa Anita in mid-May but has returned to work extremely well since that race before being put on a plane for this first-level allowance extended sprint. The son of Union Rags catches a field without much speed, so we’re expecting the B. Baffert-trained son of Union Rags to out-class this field while or near the lead throughout .

Belmont Park – 11th race. Post Time: 6:40 ET
6 – Lonesome Fugitive-IRE (5/2)

Was very green in his only outing and cost himself the race when lugging in through the stretch yet still finished with purpose to be second in a promising effort at Gulfstream Park in January. The C. Brown-trained colt has displayed none of those tendencies in recent workouts so we’re expecting the this talented Irish-bred colt to run straight and true and earn his maiden diploma in this mile grass event for older maidens. At 5/2 on the morning line he’s a strong win play and rolling exotic single.

Today’s Workout Analysis: View PDF File

RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Sedamar; 2-Super Patriot

Forecast: The Saturday opener is a highly-contentious state-bred stakes over a mile on turf that drew six runners, each of whom have a look at it. We’ll try to survive and advance using just two; you may feel the need to go deeper. Sedamar, freshened since January and sporting a pair of bullet training track drills to indicate that she’s fit and ready, seeks her third win from her last four starts and projects to enjoy a lovely stalking, ground-saving trip. From a capable barn that shows good stats with layoff runners, the daughter of Richard’s Kid is strong in the speed figure department and has shown a liking for the local lawn in the past. B. Blanc stays aboard and fits her well. Super Patriot was overmatched in the Buena Vista S.-G2 in her most recent appearance in February but she’s back with California-bred company today and makes a monumental jockey change to F. Prat. She’s always been somewhat pace dependent, so in a race that may have modest early fractions she’s not guaranteed the proper race flow, but against this group she may be able to overcome it. We’ll give Sedamar a slight edge on top due to her tactical speed but both should be included in rolling exotic play/

RACE 2: Post 1:01 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Sonic Brees; 5-Rombauer; 6-Exhalting

Forecast: This five-furlong juvenile dash has at least three newcomers with credentials to win early, with trainer D. O’Neill saddling a pair that are “must uses” in rolling exotic play. Sonic Brees has done some excellent work in the a.m. over the local main track, displaying good ability in a pair of recent team gate drills, so the $80,000 Keeneland yearling purchase looks fit and ready to fire. Those his listed clockings have been just moderate, this colt appears to have plenty of early gas. Stable mate Exalting also has displayed talent in the a.m. and looks like a very live item as well. A $42,000 yearling purchase last fall in Florida, the son of Chitu tuned up with a sharp :47 3/5 gate drill while best of a team and moves like a colt with some quality. Also worth some consideration, at least on a back-up ticket, is Rombauer, a nice prospect by Twirling Candy and another with workouts that are better than the final times might indicate. The M. McCarthy barn doesn’t win with many first-timers but this colt should at the very least give a good account of himself.

RACE 3: Post 1:31 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-Silken Prince; 4-Kneedeepinshow

Forecast: Kneedeepinshow lost a toughie in his return to California when pressing the pace throughout and then getting tagged right on the money in a fast, highly-rated race at this level that produced a career top speed figure. The son of Flat Out, with just six career outings, has room for further improvement, and in a field that lacks early speed he should be comfortably placed on or near the lead throughout. With the switch to A. Cedillo and an easy breeze since raced, the S. Ruis-trained colt should be primed for another big effort. Silken Prince, a prototype late-running sprinter, finished sixth in the same race Kneedeepinshow exits but didn’t get the best of trips, was beaten only 2 � lengths, and today gets an extra furlong to work with. A repeat of his dynamite score over this track and distance two runs back makes him a major player. Due to the projected soft race flow, we’ll give Kneedeepinshow a slight edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 4: Post 2:01 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-El Tigre Terrible; 4-Rookie Mistake

Forecast: El Tigre Terrible won the Speakeasy Stakes over this course as distance as a 2-year-old in October in his only prior outing on turf, but then disappeared. The Smiling Tiger colt returns following a healthy series of drills at San Luis Rey Downs, and if returns as well as he left the P. Miller-trained colt should be hard to deny. In a race that should contain enough early speed to set things up for a closer, ‘Terrible will be capable of producing the last run with good racing luck. Rookie Mistake, tough on any surface but already a two-time winner over the local lawn, earned a career top speed figure when beaten a head in the Echo Eddie S. on dirt last month and should be equally dangerous under these conditions. Like ‘Terrible, this son of Square Eddie is most effective when held up early and allowed to blast home. Since today’s course will have the rail set at a “zero” setting and therefore kind to the late runners. we’ll give El Tigre Terrible a slight edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 5: Post 2:32 PT. Grade: X
Use: 1-Swiss Skydiver; 2-Merneith; 3-Speech

Forecast: This year’s edition of the Santa Anita Oaks-G2 will have just four entrants and three of them are exceptional, while the other filly (Real Beauty) is merely very good. This is a pass race, plain and simply. Merneith should be the controlling speed, and although she failed to stay a mile when nosed out at 6/5 at this trip in February, we’re thinking that she’s a much better filly now, especially following in 10 length maiden romp at Oaklawn Park in her most recent start. She continues to train superbly over a Santa Anita main tack that is much tighter and firmer than it was during the winner, and if this daughter of American Pharoah shakes looks early without being pressured she may take this field a very long way. Swiss Skydiver winner of both the Gulfstream Park Oaks-G2 and the Fantasy Stakes-G3, will be very hard to beat if she can reproduce that form on the West Coast. Very fast on numbers and projected to enjoy an ideal pace-stalking trip, the daughter of Daredevil picks up M. Smith and is a genuine and versatile type that can win regardless of pace flow or early position. Speech continues to improve with experience, earning a career top speed figure when a narrow second to the highly-regarded Gamine in an overnight race at Oaklawn Park last month. She switches to F. Prat and is likely sit just behind the leaders and then produce her best bid from the quarter pole home. A recent bullet five furlong drill in :59 flat indicates she’s spot on for another huge effort.

RACE 6: Post 3:03 PT. Grade: X
Use: 1-Cezanne; 2-Brazen’ 4-Mystery Man; 4-Rayray; 5-Mystery Man

Forecast: All eyes in this hot maiden special weight sprint will be on Cezanne, an exceptional prospect by Curlin that brought $3,650,000 at auction in the winter of 2019. He finally makes it to the post following a string of very impressive workouts in recent weeks and was recently a late nomination to the Triple Crown. That said, the B. Baffert-trained colt had the misfortune of drawing the rail and must break cleanly to avoid trouble. He doesn’t strike us as a particularly quick colt leaving the barrier so the opening furlong may tell the tale, but if runs to his press clippings he’ll be good enough to graduate at first asking and then go on to bigger and better things. Stable mate Brazen, drawn right next door in the 2-hole, is another good prospect and must be considered a contender as well. He recently worked stride-for-stride with unbeaten Charlatan and did it without pressure, so you know the ability is there. The son of Ghostzapper is plenty fit and ready. Mystery Man is yet another newcomer with excellent credentials. The R. Mandella-trained son of Violence has handled everything led up to him in the morning and has done it like a colt that could be formidable first crack out of the box even though his pedigree suggests he’ll be better with more distance. Rayray has the benefit of a recent local outing, having finished a strong second in a similar maiden sprint that earned a strong speed figure. He could easily be the controlling speed, but today will have to negotiate an extra furlong. Any one of the four could win without really causing an upset, but the colt with the fancy price tag - Cezanne - probably is the one to fear beat.

RACE 7: Post 3:34 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-Prince Earl; 8-Lieutenant Dan

Forecast: There should be enough pace in this state-bred turf miler to compliment the late-running styles of Prince Earl and Lieutenant Dan, both of whom are good enough to win with any kind of proper trip. Prince Earl, winner of the Del Mar Mile-G2 last summer following a nine-month layoff, returns this time off a similar vacation and has trained well enough at Los Alamitos to expect a top effort off the bench. The P. D’Amato-trained gelding picks up top grass rider U. Rispoli and should settle somewhere in mid-pack and then have his chance to produce the last run. Lieutenant Dan, fresh from a game win in the Sensational Star Stakes sprinting over the local lawn in March, can be just as effective around two turns but most avoid getting caught wide early from his outside draw. The son of Grazen should be able to settle in the second flight and then kick home when asked. We’ll give Prince Earl the edge on top for having won graded stakes in open company, but if he’s not quite cranked we’ll still have Lieutenant Dan as a saver in rolling exotic play.

RACE 8: Post 4:09 PT. Grade: X
Use: 6-Honor A. P.; 7-Authentic

Forecast: Authentic may have won this year’s edition of the Santa Anita Derby at the draw. Drawn cozily outside of seven, the unbeaten 3-year-old now has the option of settling off the other speed types (Shooters Shoot, Rushie) if the situation demands, or he can take control early if the others aren’t sent. The main thing, though, is that D. Van Dyke will have plenty of time to decide before the field hits the clubhouse turn where he wants to be. How will Authentic – a gate-to-wire winner in each of his three previous starts – react if stalking tactics are employed? The gamble is that the B. Baffert-trained colt will handle that strategy just fine. Fast on figures and training in superb fashion, the son of Into Mischief won’t be offering any value at 4/5 on the morning line, but clearly he is the one to beat. Honor Code is worth considering as a saver on a ticket or two if your budget allows. A willingly and respectable runner-up to Authentic when they met in the San Felipe S.-G2 in early March, the son of Honor Code has every right to be fitter, sharper and better as he gains experience and maturity, and if the pace comes up faster than expected he’ll be heard from late as the most dangerous of the closers.

RACE 9: Post 4:42 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-K P All Systems Go; 7-Hariboux

Forecast: There are two main contenders in this year’s renewal of the Cinema Stake, and trainer Jeff Mullins trains them both. Hariboux is unproven at nine furlongs but his form over a mile suggests that today’s extra furlong shouldn’t be an issue. A strong runner-up at 34-1 in the fast-paced Eddie Logan Stakes in December and then victorious in the highly-rated but race-shape-aided Pasadena Stakes in late February, the English-bred gelding can really turn it on late but will most likely have to switch off early and find some cover in a race that probably will be slowly run early. If he can do that without becoming keen or rank, the J. Mullins-trained 3-year-old should continue his winning form. K P All Systems Go seemed like he was on the road to nowhere early in his career, but his past two outings shows that the son of More Than Ready has blossomed into an exceptional grass prospect. A six length romp from maidens over this course and distance in January followed by a clever entry-level allowance score when rallying against creepy-crawler fractions has propelled the late-charging colt into stakes competition, and while he’ll need a boost in the speed figure department he strikes as a colt that may be capable of rising to the occasion. Both of the Mullins entrants should be included in your rolling exotics.

RACE 10: Post 5:12 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 5-Improbable

Forecast: There may be some question as to whether Improbable is a true mile and one-quarter horse but given the small field and the lack of pace this 4-year-old will never have a better opportunity to prove that he is. The B. Baffert-trained colt, training as well or better than he ever has, should be able to dictate the race flow while either on the lead or from a stalking position, depending upon how committed to the lead Midway and/or Brown Storm choose to be. Additionally, he’ll have to mind his manners in the gate – something that’s always a concern – but if he behaves himself in the barrier and then performs up to his ability we’re expecting the son of City Zip to take home his second Grade-1 win of his career. At 2-1 on the morning line he’s a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 11: Post 5:42 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 7-Homehome; 8-Takethediamondlane; 9-Dim Lights

Forecast: The finale is a challenging state-bred, first-level allowance extended sprint for older fillies and mares. Takethediamondlane will be a bit of a price in her first outing since mid-January. The daughter of Bodemeister has trained pretty well of late and may be a better type off the layoff for a barn that has superior stats with come-backers, and although she finished far back as the favorite last time out in a similar affair she switches to U. Rispoli and may be capable of bouncing back. If not, Dim Lights could be the one to beat. From her outside draw the S. Miyadi-trained filly has the option of popping and going or stalking and pouncing, and if she duplicates her grass form on the main track the daughter of Munnings will be formidable throughout. Homehome returns to the allowance ranks after being overmatched in a pair of stakes. She’s won over this main track in the past and projects to settle in a good second flight position and then have every chance when the pressure is turned on. These are the three we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with a very slight edge on top to Takethediamondlane.