Log In

Sunday, June 21: Santa Anita Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

June 21, 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: B
Use: 3-Ultimate Bango; 4-Sparky Ville; 5-Yes I am Free

Forecast: The Sunday opener is a highly-competitive overnight sprint stakes on grass that has at least three legitimate possibilities. Sparky Ville appears to have found his niche as a turf sprinter, and if runs back to his nose defeat in the Daytona S.-G3 over this course and distance last month he’ll beat this field. The son of Candy Ride earned by far his career top speed figure in that race and projects to be the controlling speed based on his most recent outing. Ultimate Bango, away since November, is a thoroughly genuine and consistent turf sprinter and will be dangerous if cranked up. The work tab looks modest but he’s run well fresh in the past and is a three-time winner over the local lawn, so we’ll include him. Yes I Am Free is a lightly-raced colt with three wins from six starts and is training very well for his first start since February. The son of Uncaptured has had issues in the past – he was a voided claim for $80,000 last summer – but the S. Miyadi-trained colt is a stakes winner with F. Prat in the saddle, so we’re compelled to use him on a least a few tickets.

RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: A-
Single: 6-Bud Knight
Forecast: Bud Knight recently dismantled a maiden field with a career top speed figure and should continue his upward mobility in this starter optional claimer over a mile on grass. The son of Tizbud retains red-hot F. Prat and has the tactical speed to cope with any type of race flow. In this case, we’re expected the Cal-bred gelding to draft into an ideal stalking position and then go on with it when called upon. The L. Powell-trained 4-year-old is listed at 5/2 on the morning and at that price he’ll offer excellent value both in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single.

RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: A-
Use: 2-Dr. Schivel; 3-Ambivalent
Forecast: Dr. Schivel looks and acts like a win-early type and appears cranked up and ready to roll following a string of sharp workouts for a barn that specializes in early-developing juveniles. The son of Violence blew out in :46 3/5 from the gate (fastest of 59) and had impressed in earlier, slower workouts as well. He’s 5/2 on the morning line but we’re expecting him to go lower. As a back-up, you should consider using Ambivalent on a ticket or two. He’s also a very good prospect, but this four and one-half furlong trip might be a tad short. That said, the son of Constitution has a chance to be somebody down the road and is worth protecting with in rolling exotic play.

RACE 4: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Ole Silver; 5-Alice Marble; 8-South Beach Gal; 12-Bella Chica

Forecast: Alice Marble has been burning up the track at Los Alamitos in preparation for her debut, and this homebred 3-year-old filly hails from a barn whose maidens often run better than they work. Out of a mare by More Than Ready, the daughter of Grazen debuts on a surface she’s bred to love, and with the barn’s “go-to” rider T. Pereira taking the call she looks like a very live item in a wide-open state-bred turf sprint for fillies and mares. At 8-1 on the morning line she’s worth a bit of gamble. South Beach Gal is another in the “stranger danger” category; she’s been prepared at San Luis Rey Downs by P. Miller and is another Grazen filly bred to win early and handle grass. A recent five furlong drill in 1:00 flat tells us she’s fit. Ole Silver got her feet wet in a main track sprint last month in which she finished sixth while finding her best stride too late. As a daughter of Acclamation, she’s bred to improve considerably on grass and with a nice recent work since raced the P. D’Amato-trained filly gives every indication that she’ll produce a significant forward move. She’s too big of a number at 12-1 on the morning line. The morning line favorite Bella Chica (3-1) has solid form under these conditions, having hit the board in all four of her career outings. She’s stuck way out in the 12-hole and lacks tactical speed, so she’s certainly vulnerable but still worth including on a few tickets as a back-up.

RACE 5: Post 2:32 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-Your Royal Coil; 7-Mucho Macho Woman

Forecast: Your Royal Coil is progressing with racing, and although she missed as the favorite last time out (third, beaten a half-length), the P. Aguirre-trained filly didn’t get away cleanly and still battled gamely to the wire. She’s returned to breeze very nicely since that race, removes the blinkers that she wore last time out, and projects to be within striking range throughout. Mucho Macho Woman is worth including on a few tickets as well. She was disappointing when a well-beaten fourth on grass in a tougher spot just eight days ago but returns to her preferred surface, drops to a realistic spot, and is comfortably placed outside. Her nine length maiden score over this track three runs back puts her right in the hunt in this restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claimer.

RACE 6: Post 3:03 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 5-Kershaw; 8-Ward ‘n Jerry

Forecast: Ward ‘n Jerry wants to run all day and is ideally suited for the San Juan Capistrano’s mile and three-quarter race (yes, we get to see a Hillside race!). Winner of the San Luis Rey S.-G3 in March and fifth in a tune-up for this race in an overnight affair at a mile two weeks ago, the M. Puype-trained gelding retains F. Prat and should be along in time at 6/5 on the morning line. If you’re looking for a price to use in the vertical exotics (or as a back-up on a small ticket in Pick-3s) consider Kershaw, totally unproven at the trip and with just one prior run on grass. However, the P. D’Amato-trained gelding continues to look very sharp in the morning and projects as the controlling speed. Give that trip he could take this field a very long way.

RACE 7: Post 3:33 PT. Grade: X
Use: 1-Big Sweep; 2-Smiling Shirlee

Forecast: Unbeaten (in two starts)Big Sweep just beat the boys in the Echo Eddie Stakes with a strong, improved speed figure, and in doing so verified the highly favorable impression she made when graduating at first asking two months previous. Today, she stretches out around two turns, and as a daughter of Mr. Big should get nothing but better as the distances increase. She’s fast but hardly speed crazy, so F. Prat can assess the race flow and settle into any position he wants. At 6/5 on the morning line, small ticket players can consider her as a possible single. Those who can afford to may want to consider Smiling Shirlee as a saver. A winner of her last pair including the Evening Jewel Stakes sprinting on this main track in mid-May, the daughter of Smiling Tiger is dangerous at any distance, On pure numbers, she’s reasonably competitive with the favorite.

RACE 8: Post 4:03 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Arya’s Dagger; 10-Danceformunny; 11-Sapori Girl

Forecast: Arya’s Dagger didn’t show much of anything in her main track workouts prior to her debut two weeks ago sprinting on grass, which is why she left at 43-1. But the daughter of Will Take Charge outran those odds when overcoming a rough trip to rally strongly but much too late when sixth, beaten just over four lengths, in a $62,500 affair that produced a decent speed figure. She stretches out to this more suitable mile trip, drops into the maiden $40,000 ranks, retains T. Pereira, and lands a comfortable inside draw. At 10-1 on the morning line she offers intriguing value. Sapori Girl, logically the one to beat, is marooned in the 11-hole and is a 10-race maiden, so she’s not really one to trust. However, her numbers are fairly solid for this level, so if she can negotiate a decent trip under good grass rider U. Rispoli the T. Yakteen-trained daughter of Mizzen Mast could finally earn her diploma.Danceformunny is lightly raced and dropping into a seller for the first time. She also picks up F. Prat and shows a recent bullet workout at San Luis Rey Downs (4f, :47.4h, fastest of 34) so we have to find on a spot on our ticket for her somewhere.

RACE 9: Post 4:33 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Cosmic Girl; 3-With This Vow; 4-M Fast

Forecast: With This Vow finished far back in her debut vs. straight maiden foes last month but we suspect the R. Ellis-trained filly will step forward significantly with that effort behind her combined with this drop into the much softer maiden $50,000 ranks. The daughter of Broken Vow weakened chasing a very hot pace in that debut run and will be much more comfortably placed on or near the lead throughout today. M Fast has a similar pattern – far back in her debut vs. maiden special weight company and dropping into a claimer today – and the N. Drysdale-trained filly also will be adding blinkers following a nice recent training track drill in which she flashed improved early speed. If she can run, this would be a nice place to show it. Cosmic Cowgirl is a “must use” for several reason. The R. Baltas-trained filly must overcome the rail but she has the route to sprint angle that we like coupled with a class drop, a surface change, and a switch to F. Prat. She’s also worked pretty well of late, so against this group she has to be considered a contender.

RACE 10: Post 5:03 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-Cleopatra’s Strike; 4-Blitzkrieg; 5-Sharp Samurai

Forecast: This bunch takes turns so we’ll go three-deep in our rolling exotics and hope to get a price home. If you find the need to include a few more, go right ahead. Blitzkrieg didn’t get the best of trips in the wickedly fast Shoemaker Mile-G1 last month but wasn’t beaten all that badly under the circumstances and shows up today in a decidedly easier spot. The D. O’Neill-trained gelding, a three-time winner over the local lawn, recently worked six furlongs on dirt in a bullet 1:12 flat (fastest of 11) so we know he’s fit, sharp, and ready, and at 12-1 on the morning line he’s more than reasonably priced. Let’s hope that V. Espinoza puts him on the lead in a race without much pace. Sharp Samurai is more than good enough if ready. Away since last August, the veteran gelding has trained well for his comeback and is a course specialist, having won five of eight at Santa Anita. In his younger days, the M. Glatt-trained gelding could win off the bench, so you have to respect him. Cleopatra’s Strike needs more than a mile to be at his best but he’s worked well for his first outing since February, switches to M. Smith, and will be rolling in the final furlong. Yes, this could be a prep for Del Mar, but the son of Smart Strike is worth tossing in at least as a back-up or a saver.

RACE 11: Post 5:33 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Provocation; 5-Himiko; 8-La V.

Forecast: This is an especially strong race for older maiden fillies and mares for this time of the year. The debuting Provocation has done everything in the a.m. like an excellent prospect and appears plenty fit and ready to show her abilities in this extended sprint that should complement what we believe is here stalking/closing style. That’s what she’s been taught to do in a series of very impressive workouts, and as a daughter of Into Mischief she certainly could be any kind. M. Smith, back in B. Baffert’s favor and riding all of the barn’s best prospects, takes the call. Baffert’s other runner, the second-timer Himiko, is no slouch and has to be considered strongly. She failed to land a blow in her debut with a bit of rough trip in a grass sprint, but she’ll be a lot more serious in this event, and with the switch to A. Cedillo the $1 million daughter of American Pharaoh can be expected to display a whole lot more early speed than she did last month. La V. is another that has worked like she has more than her share of ability. The daughter of Midnight Lute is plenty fit, drawn nicely outside, and can be expected to be running on late.

RACE 12: Post 6:03 PT. Grade: B
Use: 9-Colosi; 11-Galloping Mischief; 12-Succeedandsurpass

Forecast: The nightcap is a mile grass grab bag for first-level allowance horses. Succeedandsurpass should win but had the misfortune of drawing the extreme outside post position. Recently transferred to the M. Puype barn, the Irish-bred colt has worked splendidly of late for his new trainer and is Grade-2 placed over this course, having finished an excellent second in the Twilight Derby-G2 last fall. He really should out class this field but needs to drop over and find some cover and not get fanned out early. Colosi is a 15-1 price chance that is worth including on your ticket. He’s a second-off-the-claim for D. O’Neill and making his first start since December following a series of surprisingly good recent workouts on the main track. The time off may have done him some good, and he’s a two-time winner over the local lawn, so there are reasons to be optimistic. The lightly-raced Galloping Mischief, second off a layoff, stretching out for the first time, working well for R. Mandella and retaining F. Prat, has several angles that make us want to include him, at least as a backup.