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Saturday, September 26: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

September 26, 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.

The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.

Grade Descriptions: Grade A=Highest degree of confidence; Grade B=Solid Play. Grade C=Least preferred or pass; Grade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play.

RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-Aqua Seaform Shame; 4-Bulletproof One; 5-Biddy Duke; 7-Moonhall Millie

Keys to the Race: (view video)

Forecast: An excellent turf sprint for 3-year-old fillies – the listed Unzip Me S. – kicks off an outstanding Saturday program and has several legitimate contenders. Aqua Seaform Shame was out of her element when sent nine furlongs in the Del Mar Oaks-G1 and carried her speed as far as she could before running out of petrol approaching the quarter pole. She’s back sprinting where she belongs and in a considerably softer spot, so the daughter of Kantharos should rebound with a big effort. Her first-level allowance win at Del Mar two runs back was visually quite pleasing and produced a speed figure that makes her a solid fit in this league. The switch to F. Prat is another positive factor, so from a second flight, stalking position the R. Baltas-trained filly should have every chance from the quarter pole home. Bulletproof One is at this stage of her career much more dependable on grass, and after flopping as the 6/5 favorite in a dirt sprint at Del Mar she returns to the lawn and looks to be the most dangerous of the pure speed types. A repeat of her highly-rated score two runs back probably beats this field, but she’s winless in three starts over the local lawn, though to be fair in two of those losses she managed to hit the board in stakes company. The route-to-sprint angle can be a powerful tool in these abbreviated sprints and Moonhall Milly, a winner of a good turf miler last month down south, shortens up over a course and distance that produced her maiden win in June. She’s a tad shy in the speed figure department but with some help up front could land a blow in the late stages. Biddy Duke is razor sharp and improving but is unproven on grass. First or second in 11 of 18 career starts, the D. O’Neill-trained filly can at least be used as a back-up or a saver on a ticket or two.

RACE 2: Post: 1:01 PT Grade: B-
Use: 4-Sheza Girly Girl; 5-Cheap Cheap Cheap; 6-Kristi’s Tiger

Keys to the Race (view video)

Forecast: First-level state-bred fillies and mares sprint six furlongs on dirt in a race that requires a bit of a spread in rolling exotic play. Cheap Cheap Cheap looked good winning a state-bred sprint last spring on turf and returns today against opening company while trying to prove she can handle dirt just as well. She’s very strong in the speed figure department based on her last race but she’ll have to duplicate the number on the main track. Despite the layoff she’s clearly fit and ready based on her San Luis Rey Downs work tab and if she can secure her coveted front-running trip in a field without too much other zip she could take control early and never look back. Kristi’s Tiger turns back from a mile after a clever starter’s allowance score at Del Mar that produced a career top speed figure, but she’s equally effective sprinting and certainly will get the patient ride she needs from U. Rispoli. Sheza Girly Girl, out of her element two-turning in the Torrey Pine S.-G3 last month, shortens to her preferred trip, returns to the allowance ranks, and will be doing her best work late. We’ll include all three in our rolling exotics and then have extra tickets keying Cheap Cheap Cheap on top.

RACE 3: Post: 1:35 PT Grade: X
Single: 1-Princess Noor

Keys to the Race (view video)

Forecast: Princess Noor is listed as the 2/5 morning line favorite and may even go lower than that in this year’s five-runner edition of the Chandelier S.-G2, which should serve as an ideal prep for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies S.-G1 at Keeneland a few weeks down the road. Both of her wins at Del Mar were accomplished without being asked for anywhere near her best, and this stretch-out to a middle distance should easily be within her scope. In a race that offers no wagering value, she’s a logical short-priced free bingo space in rolling exotic play.

RACE 4: Post: 2:07 PT Grade: C+
Use: 5-Question Authority; 6-Hapi Hapi; 9-Kazansky

Keys to the Race (view video)

Forecast: Here’s a messy bottom-rung maiden claiming main track miler that has a chaotic look to it. We’ll go three-deep in our rolling exotics but if you find the need to spread even more, go right ahead. Question Authority didn’t receive any action (39-1) in his debut vs. tougher maiden $50,000 types but though he was well-beaten actually earned a decent “buried” number. The Lucky Pulpit colt seems certain to improve with that bit of experience behind him, a significant drop in class, and with the switch to F. Prat. Let’s just say that If he can run, this will be a good place to show it, especially at 6-1 on the morning line. Hapi Hapi is a first-off-the-claim for P. Eurton and is capable of stepping forward following a rather nice recent workout since joining his new stable. The son of Clubhouse Ride, a runner-up at this level over this track and distance two runs back, really won’t have to improve much to win based on that effort. Kazansky has gradually improving speed figure and is another that can be a strong threat if he continues his upward mobility. The E. Truman-trained gelding makes a monumental jockey change to U. Rispoli and projects to enjoy a comfortable pace-stalking trip.

RACE 5: Post: 2:39 PT Grade: B-
Use: 5-Amanzi Yimpilo; 6-Fury Kap; 7-Wyfire

Keys to the Race (view video)

Forecast: This year’s edition of the Speakeasy Stakes is a non-graded affair but a “win and you’re in” race for Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf sprinters. It looks very much like a grass grab bag affair with several possibilities and a few unknowns. Wyfire, privately purchased by shrewd clients of trainer Peter Miller after an authoritative maiden win at Del Mar, moves to the lawn today while picking up F. Prat. While we can’t say he’s loaded with turf breeding the son of Dominus is a nice mover with good athleticism and tactical speed, so we suspect he’ll handle the surface change just fine. He’s 7/2 on the morning line and seems as good as any. New York shipper Amanzi Yimpilio, third in a listed stakes race at Saratoga following a nice debut maiden at Gulfstream Park, makes her third start in her third state for W. Ward and picks up top grass rider U. Rispoli. She has the blinkers off angle that always catches our eye and the tactical speed to land her in an ideal stalking position. Fury Kap probably didn’t have much behind him when graduating by more than nine lengths at first asking at Tampa Bay Downs in late May but he did enough to impress J. Sadler and be acquired via private purchase after that race. At 6-1 on the morning line he’s worth including somewhere on your ticket.

RACE 6: Post: 3:10 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Overdue; 4-Express Train; 6-Kershaw

Keys to the Race (view video)

Forecast: Express Train may be the heir apparent to the recently retired Honor A. P. for the J. Shirreffs barn, and if he’s going to develop into the type of colt he should be capable of winning on the raise after a sharp sprint score his comeback at Del Mar last month. This stretch out to a mile is just what he wants – the son of Union Rags broke his maiden at this distance last year by 14 lengths – so let’s expect another big effort today and hope to get close to his morning line of 5/2. For those wanting to protect a bit in rolling exotic play you should consider as backs-ups or savers Overdue and Kershaw. Overdue exits a pair of graded stakes and makes his first start over conventional dirt in his second start off a layoff while switching to F. Prat. If he handles the surface switch he’ll be formidable. Kershaw fits well on numbers, switches to U. Rispoli, and projects to be forwardly placed throughout.

RACE 7: Post: 3:41 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Tonahutu; 3-Bodhicitta; 6-Lady Prancealot

Keys to the Race (view video)

Forecast: Trainer R. Baltas holds the aces in this year’s Rodeo Drive S.-G1, an important springboard to the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf-G1. Lady Prancealot, winner of the American Oaks-G1 over this course and distance last December, missed by a neck in the J. C. Mabee S.-G2 at Del Mar in her most recent appearance and with today’s extra furlong to work with the Irish-bred mare should be hard to contain. She’s a deserving favorite at 2-1 on the morning line but we’ll give top preference on top to stable mate Bodhicitta, winner of the Yellow Ribbon S.-G2 at Del Mar in early August while continuing her rapid improvement. She’s been primarily a miler throughout her career, but the English-bred filly gives every indication that this 10 furlong trip will be right up her alley. With regular pilot F. Prat staying aboard, the daughter of Showcasing should be tactically placed throughout and then have her chance to seal the deal when the pressure gets turned on from the quarter pole home. You probably should consider using Tonahutu as well, at least as a saver. In a race that should be slowly run early, the D. O’Neill-trained mare might fall into the lead and inherit the role as the controlling speed from her inside draw, though that’s not normally her style. She was nosed out by Bodhicitta in the Yellow Ribbon and then franked the from with a smart allowance win from slightly off the pace earlier this month.

RACE 8: Post: 4:12 PT Grade: B+
Use: 5-Spielberg; 8-Waspirant

Keys to the Race (view video)

Forecast: Spielberg is a maiden after two starts but with his chief nemesis Dr. Schivel on the farm for some R & R the son of Union Rags should be set earn his diploma in the American Pharoah S.-G1, a top prep race leading up to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The B. Baffert-trained colt was well clear of the rest when going down by less than two lengths in the Del Mar Futurity-G1 earlier this month and with this stretch out in trip we’re expecting him to be comfortably placed on or near the lead throughout. There’s value here at 3-1 on the morning line if you can get it. Waspirant isn’t quite as far along as Spielberg but is a talented colt fresh from a maiden win at this one mile distance, and with that bit of experience behind him plus the addition of blinkers the J. Shirreffs-trained colt can be expected to step forward significantly. At 6-1 on the morning line you have to toss him in at least as a saver.

RACE 9: Post: 4:43 PT Grade: B+
Use: 3-United; 5-Salavator Mundi

Keys to the Race (view video)

Forecast: United is listed at 6/5 on the morning line in the John Henry Turf Championship-G2 after just missing as the 3/5 choice in the Del Mar H.-G2 last month. He’s usually along in time but always makes hard work of it, as his last five wins were accomplished by a grand total of slightly more than three lengths. In a field without pace and from a good inside draw, the R. Mandella-trained son of Giant’s Causeway could find himself on the lead if he wants to be, or at least no worse than in a comfortable stalking spot behind slow fractions. In any case, he’ll have every chance to make amends. Certain to offer better wagering value is the rapidly-developing Salvator Mundi, who has performed like an entirely different horse since being claimed for $40,000 just over a year ago. Gelded during his vacation and sporting a sharp record of two wins and a second in three starts in 2020, the P. D’Amato-trained son of Artie Schiller still has some work to do in the speed figure department to worry the favorite but after a visually impressive performance last month at Del Mar he’s appears ready to tackle the big boys. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics while hoping to get the much better price of the two home.

RACE 10: Post: 5:14 PT Grade: X
Single: 5-Maximum Security

Keys to the Race (view video)

Forecast: Maximum Security has crossed the wire first in 11 of 12 career outings and his facile score in the Pacific Classic clearly established that he’s the number one older horse in North America. Drawn outside and therefore able to dictate his trip, the son of New Year’s Day should have clear sailing throughout and go about his business, though at 3/5 on the morning line there’s really not much we can do with him. Stable mate Improbable is on top of his game but was the beneficiary of two very soft trips in his recent back-to-back Grade-1 victories. He’ll have to earn this one.

RACE 11: Post: 5:45 PT Grade: C+
Use: 2-Ingest; 10-Thisluteismine

Keys to the Race (view video)

Forecast: We’ll use the two favorites in the nightcap, a maiden juvenile state-bred grass miler. However, this is a race that should be treated with caution. Ingest is a first-time gelding coming off a solid third place effort in a similar affair at Del Mar and probably won’t need to improve much - if at all - to earn his diploma. The son of Square Eddie projects to be prominent throughout from his inside draw and should have no excuses as the 9/5 morning line favorite. Thisluteismine, from the P. Miller barn (20% with debut runners), is stuck outside and shows only a moderate set of works, but he’s bred for grass, comes from a top barn, and attracts L. Saez. He certainly won’t have to be a world beater to act with these.