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Saturday, October 03: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

October 3, 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-Goodtingscomeinpink; 7-Lavender

Forecast: Lavender makes her first start since joining the P. Miller barn and makes an equally pivotal jockey change to F. Prat, so a significant degree of improvement may be expected from the Irish-bred filly in this starter’s allowance grass miler for fillies and mares. She has a prior win over the course and a dangerous closing kick, so with good racing luck she’s the likely favorite and one to beat. Goodtingscomeinpink, in the frame in all five of her outings over the local lawn, projects to draft into an ideal ground-saving, stalking trip and have dead aim from the head of the lane to the wire. We’ll try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics with a very slight edge on top to Lavender.

RACE 2: Post: 12:59 PT Grade: B-
Single: 4-Madam Barbarian

Forecast: Madam Barbarian, first off the claim for R. Hess, Jr. and dropping from $20,000 to $16,000 (modest stats for this barn with this angle), is listed at 9/5 on the morning line in this five-runner race that offers little wagering value. The seven-year-old mare remarkably will be making her 73rd career start while seeking her 13th lifetime victory, and at this extended sprint trip she should be able to settle early and produce the last run, assuming she has at least one good one left. Her only prior outing over the Santa Anita main track resulted in a nice win against a slightly softer group during the spring meeting. We’re not sure why regular rider F. Prat isn’t aboard, though J. J. Hernandez certainly is more than capable of doing the job. You can use her as a rolling exotic single or simply pass the race.

RACE 3: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-Sedamar; 4-Cordiality

Forecast: The restricted Swingtime S. over a mile on grass for fillies and mares drew a field of six with two apparent main contenders. Cordiality does her best work on the front end and projects to be the controlling speed over a turf course that she’s clearly fond of (four career wins). Though she was tad disappointing when fourth in the Solana Beach S. at Del Mar last time out, the T. Yakteen-trained mare should be capable of returning to winning form under these conditions, though Sedamar, who was nosed out in the same race Cordiality exits and also finished ahead of her main rival when second in the Fran’s Valentine S. here in June, has legitimate credentials as well. They’re really tough to separate, so while we’ll give Cordiality a very slight edge on top, both should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 4: Post: 2:10 PT Grade: C+
Use: 1-Rain Diva; 3-Saints Paynter

Forecast: This uninspiring five-runner restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares probably should be left alone but rolling exotic players can consider at least doubling the race, with a slight preference on top to Saints Paynter. She has an edge on pure numbers, is dropping into a seller for the first time, adding blinkers, and projects to be comfortably placed on or near the lead. Rain Diva also should be close up throughout from her rail draw and is a perfect one-for-one over the Santa Anita main track, having won her maiden last spring in gate-to-wire fashion by almost seven lengths. You may feel the need to add the 9/5 morning line favorite, Malibu Cat, nicely drawn outside and retaining F. Prat, but at that price her lackluster recent form makes her a play-against on our ticket.

RACE 5: Post: 2:55 PT Grade: B
Single: 3-Octopus

Forecast: Octopus, first off the claim for D. Pederson, returns for the same $20,000 tag, shortens up a half-furlong and catches a field that should allow him to be the controlling speed in this restricted sprint for older horses. Second at this level while earning a career top speed figure in his most recent outing at Del Mar, the lightly-raced 3-year-old switches to the barn’s “go-to” rider T. Pereira and seems like a reasonable gamble as the 2-1 morning line favorite. Let’s make him a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 6: Post: 3:25 PT Grade: B-
Use: 4-Rustic Canyon; 6-Sea of Liberty; 7-Johnny Podres

Forecast: Here’s a good gambling race that offers a number of contenders in a one mile turf affair for state-bred first-level allowance horses. Johnny Podres, with two recent sprint preps following a six month layoff, stretches out to his preferred trip and seems primed for a significant step forward move after earning a career top figure when third in a quick turf dash at Del Mar last month. A good runner-up in his only prior start over this course and distance last winter, the son of Grazen shows a healthy recent work pattern, retains J. J. Hernandez, and with a bit of help up front should be able to produce a winning late kick from off the pace. Sea of Liberty, fifth in a similar spot last month while encountering traffic trouble at a critical stage in the final furlong, can be a major contender with clear sailing today and always has run well over the Santa Anita grass course, hitting the board in all six starts while winning twice. The Boisterous gelding does his best running when relatively close to the pace and should be able to gain a favorable early position based on the projected race flow. Bay area shipper Rustic Canyon doesn’t win very often (2-for-28) but usually gets at least a piece of it and at 6-1 on the morning line may be worth including on a ticket or two as a back-up or a saver.

RACE 7: Post: 3:55 PT Grade: B-
Use: 5-Nasreddine; 6-Namesake; 7-Laurel River

Forecast: Maiden juveniles sprint five and one-half furlongs in the first leg of the late Pick-4, with three promising first-time starters, including a pair from B. Baffert’s barn, likely to receive the bulk of the play. Namesake, a son of Bernardini, probably won’t show his best stuff until tried over a longer distance, but he’s done everything nicely in the morning and acts like a decent sort of prospect. Stable mate Laurel River, a son of Into Mischief, may be the quicker of the two and should be more than fit for a top effort first time out. Based on his “win early” breeding and a slightly quicker series of drills, the Juddmonte Farm homebred seems likely to go favored. Also worth using is the filly tackling the colts, Nasreddine, a $360,000 Saratoga yearling purchase from the M. McCarthy barn. Though this barn has a low percentage with first timers, the daughter of Nyquist appears to be fairly quick and lands F. Prat, so at 4-1 on the morning line she looks like a live item.

RACE 8: Post: 4:25 PT Grade: A-
Single: 7-Mo Forza

Forecast: Mo Forza looked spectacular in his recent comeback when easily winning the Del Mar Mile H.-G2 by more than four lengths and earning a career top speed figure without really being knocked about. A three-time winner over the Santa Anita turf course, the P. Miller-trained colt shows a couple of easy drills at San Luis Rey Downs since that race to tick him over. The son of Uncle Mo is listed as the 8/5 morning line favorite but seems certain to lower than that while taking another step on his way to the Breeders’ Cup Mile-G1. We’ll make him a strong win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 9: Post: 4:55 PT Grade: B (Leg 1 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Use: 4-Next Revolt; 5-Bam Bam Again

Forecast: Bam Bam Again is lightly-raced and has steadily improved since being dropped to a realistic class level. The son of Awesome Again was more than four lengths clear of the rest in a similar restricted (nw-2) $16,000 main track miler at Del Mar last month and sports a significant bullet workout (6f, 1:12.3h, fastest of eight) since that race to have him on edge. Additionally, the S. Miyadi-trained colt earned a career top speed figure in his first start since being claimed and a repeat of his last start should be good enough to beat this field. Next Revolt, claimed by T. Yakteen when a disappointing fourth as the favorite in the same race Bam Bam Again exits, has a right to step forward for his new connections and attracts F. Prat, who’ll probably give him the patient ride he prefers. Both should be used in rolling exotic play with Bam Bam Again receiving top billing.

GOLDEN GATE FIELDS (Leg 2 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Race 8: Post 5:10 PT Grade: B

Use: 1-Alice Marble; 6-Legalita; 8-With Open Eyes

Forecast: After three consecutive outings routing on grass, With Open Eyes shortens back to a sprint and her debut race around one turn at Pleasanton (a closing second) indicates she may be most comfortable as a late-running sprinter. Drawn comfortably outside for the high percentage J. Wong barn, the daughter of Tiznow may be capable of tagging the speed. Legalita has been burning up the track in the a.m. while preparing for her debut for a barn that has excellent stats with first-time starters. She’s plenty fit and looks extremely live. Alice Marble needs to leave with her field, something she has failed to do in her first two starts. She’ll be running on late and probably is better than her modest speed figures give her credit for. We’ll use all three in our Golden Hour Pick-4 while giving a slight edge on top to With Open Eyes.

RACE 10: Post: 5:25 PT Grade: B (Leg 3 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Use: 1-Avisse; 6-Pizzazz; 10-Quattroelle

Forecast: The nightcap is a maiden special weight turf miler for juvenile fillies that requires a bit of a spread in rolling exotic play. Irish invader Quattroelle makes her U. S. debut after displaying good ability in her debut overseas in August and should fit very well against this group despite drawing an unfavorable outside post. Third of 18 at 66-1 when by less than a length despite some traffic trouble close home at Leopardstown, she arrives off the plane fit and ready and shows three easy local breezes that should allow for quick acclimation. Pizzazz had a nice introduction to racing when a willing runner-up in a grass sprint at Del Mar in late August, shows three nice workouts since raced, and stretches out to a distance she’s bred to handle. M. Smith stays aboard and should have this daughter of War Front within striking range throughout. Avisse is bred to run long on the lawn, lands the rail, and stretches out after a reasonably decent third place effort behind the top filly Princess Noor in a dirt sprint at Del Mar. You’d have to expect her to display good early speed from her rail draw, so at 6-1 on the morning line we’ll toss her in as well.

GOLDEN GATE FIELDS (Leg 4 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Race 9: Post 5:40 PT Grade: B

Use: 3-Songofthedesert; 9-Lotsa Pepper

Forecast: Songofthedesert seems to have found her niche as turf sprinter and after two excellent outings over the local lawn the J. Wong-trained mare can regain her winning form after settling for second as the favorite in a similar affair in late August. She earned a career top speed figure in defeat and should be capable of another forward move today. Lotsa Pepper faces winners today after graduating at first asking over this turf course at this abbreviated sprint trip two weeks ago. She’ll pop and go from her outside draw and if she can get over and establish a clear lead the daughter of Peppered Cat may be tough to catch right back.