Log In

Friday October 09: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

October 9, 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: 5-Luvluv; 6-Carmelita’s Man

(View Video Analysis)

Forecast: Older straight maidens compete over a mile on turf in the Friday opener. Carmelita’s Man, now in the D. Pederson barn, has improved in each of his three career starts and was most recently a very good runner-up under these conditions at Del Mar last month. The 3-year-old colt was forced to check sharply and lose all of his momentum entering the far turn but managed to regather himself entering the lane and then finish with courage before running out of room. An easy, healthy series of workouts since that race should have him primed for another forward move, so with clear sailing today the son of Mucho Macho Man should be along in time. Also worth including on your ticket, at least as a back-up, is Luvluv, third in the same race Carmelita’s Man exits and also likely to step forward in what will be his fourth career starts. The J. Sadler-trained colt retains U. Rispoli and projects to be tactically placed in a good stalking position and then have every chance from the quarter pole home.

RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: X
Single: 1-Impression

(View Video Analysis)

Forecast: Impression annihilated a $10,000 field at Del Mar five weeks ago at this one mile main track trip and moves up a level while seeking a repeat score in his first-off-the-claim for P. Miller (an amazing 45% with this angle). Being raised only to the $12,500 in his first start for new connections (and very likely to be claimed again) actually isn’t a great endorsement by Miller but anything close to his last race should be more than good enough to handle this modest class hike. The pace scenario should be soft, so from his inside draw the veteran Smart Strike can take the initiative and make the running or settle and stalk if the race flow dictates. He’s a short priced, no value, rolling exotic single in a race that we’ll otherwise pass.

RACE 3: Post: 1:33 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Bounty of Gold
; 3-Give Me a Hint

(View Video Analysis)

Forecast: Bounty of Gold just won a $20,000 claimer with a career top speed figure in good style at Del Mar but returns in a $10,000 sprint for fillies and mares, not normally a healthy sign. However, it must be noted that her victory came against restricted (nw-3) company and today she’s facing open foes, so the class drop in claiming value actually makes sense. From the high-percentage J. Wong barn, the daughter of Unionize must leave cleanly from the rail but projects as the controlling speed if she does. Give Me a Hint, a perfect two-for-two over the Santa Anita main track, has a good look on pure form but will be ridden by a 10 lbs. apprentice jockey seeking her first career victory. The daughter of Merit Man lacks tactical speed but if she can get some help up front she could make her presence felt in the final furlong. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics and then press with extra tickets keying Bounty of Gold on top.

RACE 4: Post: 2:08 PT Grade: B
: 2-Warrens Candy Girl; 4-Miss Ever Ready; 9-Big Andy

(View Video Analysis)

Forecast: State-bred maiden juvenile fillies meet over a mile on grass to kick off the Pick-6 in a stronger-than-par race for the level. There appears to have three legitimate contenders. Big Andy, certainly bred to run long on the lawn (Mr. Big), returns to the maiden ranks after placing in a couple of state-bred stakes sprinting on dirt at Del Mar, retains F. Prat, and has shown in a couple of recent workouts that she’s spot on for a major effort. The B. Heap-trained filly is drawn farther out than we’d prefer but should be able to get over and secure a decent early position. Miss Ever Ready and Warrens Candy Girl finished two-three in a similar maiden grass router at Del Mar and both ran quite we’ll in what was a legitimate race for the level. The former adds blinkers today, switches to top turf jockey U. Rispoli, and should on or near the lead throughout over a course with the rails out 30 feet and thus should favor the pace-types. ‘Girl was wide most of the way and finished willingly while moving forward considerably off her non-threatening dirt sprint debut. She’ll enjoy a good ground-saving trip and be dangerous with another patient ride from D. Van Dyke.

RACE 5: Post: 2:41 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-Agamemnon
; 4-Quick Finish; 6-Fratelli; 7-Principe Carlo

(View Video Analysis)

Forecast: Here’s a challenging first-level allowance state-bred sprint offering a number of possibilities, some at good prices. We’ll go four deep while hoping looking for some value. Agamemnon was very impressive breaking his maiden at first asking over this dirt track in May, overcoming a sluggish start to rally wide and win going away. He was non-competitive in a subsequent turf sprint and given some time off, but in recent weeks the R. McAnally-trained colt has worked at least as well if not better than he did prior to his win, so in a race that contains enough early speed to aid the closers, this Grazen gelding might be able to produce the last run. Quick Finish struck the front in mid-stretch but was worn down late in a similar dash at Del Mar last month and is a major contender based on that race, though he’s always preferred to run second or third (eight times) rather than win (twice, but none in the last two years). The Vronsky gelding should be within striking range throughout and have his chance with U. Rispoli staying aboard. Fratelli just crushed a softer restricted (nw-2) $25,000 field over this track and distance two weeks ago but leaves the P. Miller barn after being haltered by A. Lerner. If he runs as well for his new connections as he did in his one outing for Miller, the Munnings gelding certainly can be dangerous despite the class hike. Principe Carlo also is making his first start off a claim, his for K. Desormeaux. Although weakening under pressure in a similar optional claimer (the same race Quick Finish exits) last time out, the son of Coil has been first or second in seven of eight career starts over the Arcadia main over and could easily return to form over a track that he clearly prefers.

RACE 6: Post: 3:13 PT Grade: B
 2-War Path; 9-Comradery

(View Video Analysis)

Forecast: Comradery was three-wide without cover yet kept to his task and was well clear of the rest when a good runner-up in a maiden turf miler at Del Mar in August. The progressive colt in J. Sadler’s barn switches to U. Rispoli and though drawn on the extreme outside should have enough tactical to get over a secure a reasonable early position. The Irish-bred appears capable of earning his diploma in his third start since being imported from Europe. War Path is worth including as a backup or a saver. Second in his last pair, most recently when favored at 4/5, the B. Baffert-trained colt can’t beat a decent maiden but apparently it takes a fairly decent one to beat him. The War Front colt should be prominent throughout and remain a factor until the end.

RACE 7: Post: 3:44 PT Grade: C+
Use: 1-Hidden Promise
; 5-Tizhotndusty; 7-Drippin Sauce; 8-Howbeit

(View Video Analysis)

Forecast: The seventh race is a messy $40,000 claiming sprint restricted to 3-year-olds. Best advice is to use as many as your budget allows. Hidden Promise was a visually pleasing winner at this level at Del Mar in August and may be tough right back, rail and all. Assuming he breaks with his field, the Blame gelding projects to be forwardly placed and have his chance, though he’s picking up a bit of weight (5 lbs.) and won’t necessarily enjoy today’s shorter six furlong trip. Tizhotndusty, sixth with a poor trip/ride behind Hidden Promise in that same race, shows a recent bullet workout over the local training track (:48 3/5) and can be expected to improve if he leaves cleanly this time. The lightly-raced Unusual Heat gelding seems to have enough ability to act with this group if things go his way. Drippin Sauce, a beaten choice at 6/5 behind Hidden Promise in that Aug. 21 affair, switches to F. Prat and must be given a chance to snap. The J. Wong-trained colt projects to be a strong pace threat throughout. Finally, we’ll toss in Howbeit, a prior winner over this main track and exiting stronger and faster allowance race here two weeks ago. He didn’t change leads in that race but was wide throughout, finished as best he could, and seems more dangerous than the morning line would indicate.

RACE 8: Post: 4:14 PT Grade: B-
: 2-Zestful; 3-Maestro Dearte; 8-Marckie’s Water

(View Video Analysis)

Forecast: Marckie’s Water, one of two major contenders from the P. Eurton barn in this second-level allowance optional claimer, makes his first start since August of 2019 and returns unprotected while being entered for $62,500 claiming tag. A five-time winner (in 11 starts) over the Santa Anita turf course and successful in the Whittingham S.-G2 three races back, the 6-year-old son of Tribal Rule clearly has issues, so there’s no guarantee he’ll return as well as he left. Additionally, he’s a closer over a course with the rails up that compromises his style. That said, he’s a “must use” in rolling exotic single though certainly not a single. Stable mate Maestro Dearte doesn’t have the credentials that ‘Water has but appears to be rounding to from following two recent runs at Del Mar – he was in the frame in both - and with the switch to U. Rispoli the son of Sydney’s Candy appears ready for a major effort. Zestful looks like the controlling speed at a big price and he’s good enough to take full advantage of the situation if not respected. A nine-time winner (from 27 starts) and freshened since early August, the son of Ghostzapper offers wagering value in both the horizontal and vertical exotics.

GOLDEN GATE FIELDS (Leg 2 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Race 8: Post 4:29 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Imperial Creed
; 2-Gratzie; 5-Northwest Factor

Forecast: Imperial Creed returns from Southern California and drops into a $32,000 seller over a synthetic track she clearly likes, so we’ll put the daughter of Jimmy Creed top while hoping she can regain her confidence at this lower level, She likes to settle and produce a late run and though this pace projects modest the A. Mathis-trained filly should be heard from in the final furlong. Gratzie and Northwest Factor are stable mates in M. Badilla’s barn and both are worth including on a ticket or two as back-ups. The former, a 9-year-old mare with 12 career victories, was nosed out as the choice in a $20,000 affair but has numbers that make her competitive despite the class hike, while ‘Factor should be on or near the front end and could stick around a long time if not respected.

RACE 9: Post: 4:44 PT Grade: C+
Use: 7-Nesbitt
; 9-Etterbay Ucklay; 10-Sorriso

(View Video Analysis)

Forecast: Nesbitt, third in a hot race two weeks ago and a solid runner-up two runs back, makes this third start in five weeks and is capable of winning this modest restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming extended sprint with a repeat of either race. This will be his third start off a long layoff, so he has a right to step forward. Sorriso, freshened for two months and showing a sharp, steady series of quick recent workouts M. Glatt, retains A. Cedillo and figures to be a serious pace challenger throughout. With just four career starts, the son of Smiling Tiger has plenty of room to improve and we know he’ll handle the track, as he graduated nicely over the local main dirt strip last spring. Etterbay Ucklay drops to his lowest level ever, has a good second-flight style, and may be able to wear down the leaders if a favorable race flow develops. With two races under his best following an 11 month layoff, the son of Lucky Pulpit appears ready for a significant forward move at nice price is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.

GOLDEN GATE FIELDS (Leg 4 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Race 8: Post 4:59 PT Grade: B-
: 1-Foothill; 3-Slam Dunk Sermon; 4-Take Me for a Spin

Forecast: Take Me for a Spin makes his first start as a gelding for the high-percentage J. Wong barn, shows a healthy work tab in recent weeks and likely will appreciate this shortened sprint distance. The son of Old Topper certainly is no single but may offer a bit of value at 9/2 on the morning line in this first-level allowance sprint restricted to 3-year-olds. Slam Dunk Sermon earned a career top speed figure when winning from a slightly lesser field her last month and will be tough if he can string together back-to-back wins, something he has failed to do three times previous. The good news is that while he’s comfortable on the lead the S. Specht-trained gelding is versatile enough to stalk and pounce if the race flow dictates. Foothill vans up from Southern California to make his first start over all-weather surface after displaying form in four races on grass. Best as a second flight, stalking sprinter, the Vronsky lands the rail and should settle in just behind the leaders and – if room develops – have a chance to produce a winning late kick. All three should be included in rolling exotic play, including the Golden Hour Pick-4.