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Sunday October 11: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

October 11, 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: 1:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Empress of Fire; 5-On Mars

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Forecast: On Mars is improving with racing – she earned a career-top speed figure when second vs. similar last month at Del Mar – and should continue to step forward at this nine furlong trip that she seems certain to enjoy. A deep closing daughter of Vronsky, the P. D’Amato-trained filly likely will rally against the grain but should be good enough to produce the last run. Empress of Fire, a beaten choice when sixth in the same race On Mars exits, draws inside and projects to enjoy an ideal ground-saving trip. In a pace-less affair, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see her on the lead, and if left alone without pressure the P. Eurton-trained daughter of He Be Fire N Ice could take this group a very long way. We’ll prefer On Mars on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 2: Post: 1:36 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Mystery Man; 4-Seiche

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Forecast: Mystery Man shows the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern and has the pedigree to move up over a distance of ground, so we’re expecting the son of Violence to produce a career top effort in this maiden special weight main track mile affair. The R. Mandella-trained colt continues to impress in the a.m. and retains M. Smith, so if he’s going to develop into a useful type, this is a race he’s supposed to be able to win. Sieche, in the frame in both starts and second at this trip in a similar affair at Del Mar, will be the one to beat if he can slow down during the early stages. The Super Saver gelding blazed away in :21 4/5 and :45 4/5 and paid the price in the final furlong; today he’ll likely have a much easier time of it up front. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Mystery Man.

RACE 3: Post: 2:07 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Psycho Dar; 4-Mystery Messenger

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Forecast: Psycho Dar just won in good style over this course and distance when facing $40,000 foes and today seeks a repeat off relatively short rest while dropping to the $32,000 level. Normally this would constitute an unhealthy pattern but we suspect trainer S. Miyadi is simply trying to strike while the iron is hot. The Storm Wolf gelding likely will be on or near the lead again from his rail post and if he can turn it two alike, he’ll be hard to beat. Mystery Messenger has the always-dangerous route-to-sprint angle and won going short on the local lawn earlier this year. With a little help up front, the Point of Entry gelding could pose a serious threat from the top of the lane to the wire. Both should be used on your rolling exotic tickets.

RACE 4: Post: 2:40 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Paid Informant; 5-Li’l Grazen

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Forecast: Li’l Grazen just demolished a $20,000 state-bred optional claiming field while equaling her career top speed figure and was promptly claimed by M. Ortiz (solid with the angle), who raises the veteran mare to the $40,000 level while tackling open first-level allowance company. Drawn comfortably outside and first or second in seven of 13 career starts over the Santa Anita main track, the daughter of Grazen should be tough right back despite the class hike. Based on her interior fractions, she appears to be the quickest of the quick. If a speed duel develops, look for Paid Informant to be the most dangerous of the closers. A good runner-up behind the unbeaten Magic At Midnight last time out, she’s facing nobody that tough today and if the lightly-raced daughter of Into Mischief continues her improving pattern, she could easily mow ‘em all down late. We’ll give Li’l Grazen a slight edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 5: Post: 3:11 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Siena Silk; 8-Constantia

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Forecast: Constantia finished eighth but beaten less than three lengths in a maiden special weight affair over this course and distance last month and this class drop into the maiden $50,000 ranks – her proper level – should allow the daughter of Munnings to finally earn her diploma. A good runner-up effort in a similar event at Del Mar in late August beats this field if she repeats it. Siena Silk was given a run sprinting on turf in her debut at Del Mar last month and wound up sixth beaten four lengths and then galloped out nicely in what should serve as a good prep for today’s stretch-out. The R. Baltas barn has good stats with second-time starters, and from a nice inside draw the daughter of Shanghai Bobby can be expected to produce enough tactical speed to be in a good ground-saving, second flight position. We’ll give Constantia the edge on top but include both in rolling exotic play.

RACE 6: Post: 3:42 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Sapphire Silk; 3-First Empress

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Forecast: First Empress, claimed in her last pair and a perfect one-for-one over the Santa Anita main track, doesn’t have a whole lot to beat in this restricted (nw-2) $16,000 main track miler for fillies and mares and seems as good as any off her best effort. Now in the R. B. Hess, Jr., barn, the daughter of Cairo Prince should be forwardly placed in a race that seems likely to produce soft early fractions and given that type of trip she should be capable of returning to winning form. Sapphire Silk was overmatched in a starter’s allowance affair on grass eight days ago but she earned a career top “buried” number in that race she seems likely to improve a bunch against this easier group. Her maiden claiming win two runs back charts reasonably well in this spot so we can use her as a back-up or a saver in rolling exotic play while keying First Empress as the main push.

RACE 7: Post: 4:13 PT Grade: B
Use: 4-Baja Sur; 6-Galilean

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Forecast: Galilean is tough at any distance or surface and seems well-placed for a big effort while returning to state-bred stakes company. Fifth when overmatched in the Del Mar Mile H.-G2 behind Breeders’ Cup-bound Mo Forza last time out, the J. Sadler-trained colt tackles a much softer group today and projects to enjoy an ideal pace stalking trip outside and then have every chance to seal the deal when the pressure is turned on. Baja Sur, a strong-runner up in the Green Flash S.-G3 at Del Mar last time out, is plenty fast on speed figures to win and projects to be on or near the lead throughout. First or second in eight of 10 career starts, the Smiling Tiger gelding is thoroughly genuine and consistent and sports a bullet six furlong work (1:14 1/5, fastest of eight) at his home base at Golden Gate Fields last week to have him right on edge. Slight preference on top goes to Galilean but both should be included on your rolling exotic ticket.

RACE 8: Post: 4:44 PT Grade: C+ (Leg 1 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Use: 2-Investment Account; 9-Wedding Groom

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Forecast: Wedding Groom has finished second in both of his career starts but is relatively slow on numbers so he’s no slam dunk despite being the obvious top pick in this extended sprint for maiden $50,000 state-bred juveniles. A switch to U. Rispoli from a cozy outside post are positive factors, so this son of Hard Spun may be able to outlast this group either on the lead or from a stalking position. Investment Account is another with modest speed figures on his resume but he’s dropping into a seller for the first time and may have found his friends. He’s also returning to the main track, shortening in trip, and he’s managed to hit the board twice sprinting on dirt earlier in his career. In a race that probably should be left alone, we’ll try to survive and advance using just these two.

GOLDEN GATE FIELDS (Leg 2 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Race 8: Post 5:00 PT Grade: B

Single: 3-Jimmy D

Forecast: Jimmy D is unproven at this marathon grass trip but in his present form the J. Wong-trained gelding beats this field if he can relax early and see out the trip. The gamble is that he will, even though there’s probably not much value to be found at or near his morning line of 8/5. We’ll use him as a rolling exotic single but otherwise sit out the race.

RACE 9: Post: 5:15 PT Grade: B- (Leg 3 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Use: 6-Fly to Mars; 7-Coalinga Road

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Forecast: Coalinga Road is improving with racing and moves up from a maiden state-bred turf sprint victory into first-level allowance company. Still a bit green and sloppy on his leads, the Quality Road gelding will need to produce another forward move, but with solid works since raced the C. Gaines-trained homebred has a chance to move up the ladder. Fly to Mars, a former graded stakes winner, clearly has seen better days but is re-equipped with blinkers, drops to the $20,000 optional claiming level and shortens to a sprint. Perhaps he’ll remember who he once was.

GOLDEN GATE FIELDS (Leg 4 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Race 8: Post 5:30 PT Grade: B-

Use: 2-My Lucky Mark; 3-Uber Star; 5-Klondike Creek

Forecast: Klondike Creek has been facing much tougher down south and shows up for the money run with two previous very good races over the all-weather surface. Anything close to his best is good enough to win. My Lucky Trip stretches out for J. Wong (solid 20% with this angle) and from ins comfortable inside draw the Lucky Pulpit gelding poses a serious threat to take this middle distance $12,500 claiming band gate-to-wire. His sprint numbers are solid and this trainer/jockey combo is a powerful 26% during the season. The “other” J. Wong entrant is the first-off-the-claim Soberana, a two-time synthetic track winner and very likely to improve for a barn that hits with a remarkable 35% after joining this barn via the claim. He’ll be running on strongly late.