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Saturday, October 17: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

October 17, 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: 3-Blue Star; 7-Warrens Candy Man

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Forecast: Blue Star and Warrens Candy Man finished two-three when they squared off in a similar maiden special weight state-bred turf miler last month and they comprise the main contention again today. ‘Star was the better of the two in that race, rallying from last on the extreme outside through the lane to be beaten just a half-length in what was just his second career start. With another forward mover today coupled with a ground-saving trip, the Bluegrass Cat gelding should be along in time. Warrens Candy Man makes a significant jockey switch to F. Prat and is another that should be doing his best work from off the pace.

RACE 2: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: C+
Use: 1-Starship Chewbacca; 5-Crankin; 6-Cal’s Gem

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Forecast: This Cal-bred maiden $50,000 claiming extended sprint drew a field of six, with at least half of the field worthy of some consideration. Crankin has trained fairly well for his debut and looks like a live item first crack out of the box for the capable L. Mendez outfit. The son of Lookin At Lucky has a work pattern that should have him plenty fit, so let’s try him on top at 4-1 on the morning line. Starship Chewbacca, an okay third in a similar event at Del Mar in late August, should continue his improving pattern for his low-profile connections and projects to be on or near the lead most of the way. Cal’s Gem, a stable mate of Crankin and surfacing in a seller for the first time, is another worth including in your rolling exotic play. His runner-up effort two races back at Pleasanton charts well here and the son of Calimonco gets a big break in the weights with the switch to bug girl J. Pyfer.

RACE 3: Post: 2:02 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Solitaire; 6-Lavender

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Forecast: Lavender has put together two really good recent races, a closing third (beaten less than a length) in $32,000 claimer at Del Mar in late August and then a sharp starter’s allowance tally in her first start since joining the P. Miller stable two weeks ago that produced a career top speed figure. If the Irish-bred filly can produce a similar effort off relatively short rest today she can score again. F. Prat got to know her last time out and stays aboard. Solitaire was a beaten choice over the all-weather surface at Golden Gate Fields last month but turned in a solid performance when finishing second and today returns to grass while being reunited with “win rider” V. Espinoza. She has good tactical speed and projects to inherit a comfortable stalking position and then have her chance from the quarter pole home. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics and then press with a few extra tickets keying Lavender on top.

RACE 4: Post: 2:40 PT Grade: X
Single: 1-September Secret

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Forecast: September Secret is listed as the 4/5 morning line favorite and gets any chance to make amends after being worn down late at even money in a similar starter’s allowance sprint at Del Mar in late August. The P. Miller-trained filly looks quick enough to make the pace from her inside draw without having to be sent hard, and over the Santa Anita main track that usually is kinder to speed types than the track at Del Mar she projects to dominate throughout. In a race that probably is best alone, she can be used as a no-value rolling exotic single.

RACE 5: Post: 3:11 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Danceformunny; 6-A Thousand Dreams

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Forecast: Six of the nine entrants in this restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claimer on turf for fillies and mares competed in a similar event at Del Mar in late August. We’ll try to survive and advance using just two. Although she finished eighth of 11 in that race, Danceforthemunny encountered significant trouble while appearing to have plenty of run entering the far turn while in a good second flight, stalking position and lost all chance. She’s drawn nicely inside today and should draft into a comfortable ground-saving position just behind the leaders. With clear sailing today, the R. Baltas-trained daughter of Munnings can produce a serious bid when the pressure is turned on, so at 5-1 on the morning line she’s a play in the win pool and a “must use” in the rolling exotics. A Thousand Dreams is the likely choice and one to beat while dropping to her lowest level ever. Third last time out when facing $40,000 sellers here earlier this month, the daughter of Carpe Diem has numbers that can beat this field and a second-flight style that should produce a clean journey.

RACE 6: Post: 3:42 PT Grade: C+
Use: 1-Summer Fun; 6-Hapi Hapi

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Forecast: Hapi Hapi is a one-paced grinder and certainly not one to back with confidence at a short price, but somebody has to win this woefully weak maiden $25,000 claiming main track miler and is might as well be him. In his second off a claim for P. Eurton, the son of Clubhouse Ride finished a distant but willing runner-up over this track and distance last month while earning a career top speed figure, so if can improve just a little bit he should be graduate. However, we’ve seen better 8/5 shots. Summer Fun lands the rail and seems likely to employ gate-to-wire tactics in a field without much speed. The C. Gaines-trained gelding has yet to hit the board in five career starts but this is this softest group he’s faced and he’s a fit on numbers. These are the two we’ll be including in our rolling exotics.

RACE 7: Post: 4:13 PT Grade: B
Use: 5-Colt Fiction; 8-Antithetical

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Forecast: Colt Fiction probably didn’t have a whole lot behind him when graduating in a maiden $50,000 main track sprint at Del Mar in late August but he did it with plenty left in the tank and appeared to be to be looking around a bit while on the lead for most the journey. He’s tackling tougher today and switching to grass in this starter’s allowance sprint but he’s also adding blinkers, which could improve his concentration considerably. He offers some value at 6-1 on the morning line. Antithetical has the route-to-spring angle that we always like and speed figures that have risen in each of his five career starts. The Slew’s Tiznow gelding appears most comfortable when held up early and allowed to run late. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Colt Fiction.

RACE 8: Post: 4:44 PT Grade: X
Single: 7-Suzi Qzz Brother

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Forecast: We’ll take a stand and single Suzi Qzz Brother in this state-bred maiden extended sprint for 2-year-olds that came up fairly light. The son of Commissioner produced a forward move in his second career outing last month at Del Mar when finishing with interest to be a solid runner-up while improving his Beyer speed figure by seven points. If he can step forward again, the M. Glatt-trained gelding shouldn’t have much trouble graduating against this group. He’s 9/5 on the morning line and probably will go lower, so we can make him a logical, short-priced rolling exotic single and leave it at that.

RACE 9: Post: 5:15 PT Grade: B+ (Leg 1 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Use: 1-Mind Out; 5-Warren’s Showtime

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Forecast: Warren’s Showtime is back at her favorite distance – a flat mile – and also is tackling easier foes after hitting the front in mid-stretch before weakening late to wind up third in the nine-furlong Del Mar Oaks-G1 in her most recent outing. Freshened since mid-August, the daughter of Clubhouse Ride drops into the Autumn Miss S.-G3 while picking up F. Prat, so with much in her favor the C. Lewis-trained filly is the logical 9/5 morning line favorite. Mind Out is a versatile and capable of daughter of Tapit from the S. Callaghan barn that has hit the board in five of six career starts. She lands the good rail and should inherit an ideal second flight, ground saving trip and then be able to launch her bid from the top of the lane to the wire. She’ll have to improve a bit to worry our top choice but at 8-1 on the morning line she’s worth including on a ticket or two as a back-up or a saver.

GOLDEN GATE FIELDS (Leg 2 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Race 8: Post 5:30 PT Grade: B-

Use: 5-Arch Prince; 6-Heck Yeah; 9-Premium Forest

Forecast: Here’s a fairly contentious Golden Gate Fields allowance/optional claimer that occupies the second leg of the Golden Hour Pick-4. Premium Forest has won nine of his last 12 starts and always has to considered to be the one to beat at this level. The son of Forest Command likes to settle in mid-pack and then produce a late kick, and with all of the speed signed on in this middle distance affair the I. Tamayo-trained 5-year-old should have every chance to continue his winning ways. Heck Yeah has been sprinting in all of his recent starts but won the Cal Cup Derby a couple of years ago over a route of ground so this stretch out in trip shouldn’t bother him at all. He’s not what he once was, but at this level the son of Acclamation could easily regain his best form at 12-1 on the morning line. Arch Prince, first or second in eight of 10 career starts over the local all-weather surface, has solid recent speed figures and is reunited with “win rider” C. Martinez. He’s listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite, though we suspect he might drift a bit. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with preference on top Premium Forest.

RACE 10: Post: 5:45 PT Grade: B- (Leg 3 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Use: 2-Saving Sophie; 5-Save the Story

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Forecast: Save the Story didn’t break sharply, was uncomfortable behind horses and never really picked it up in a disappointing comeback try as the favorite at Del Mar last month but we’re willing to give the daughter of Will Take Charge another chance in this maiden $25,000 claiming sprint for older fillies and mares. She turned in an improved recent workout while wearing the blinkers that she’ll be adding today and also will receive a break in the weights with the switch to bug boy A. Centeno. If she can clear the field in the early stages, the R. Baltas-trained 3-year-old may never look back. Saving Sophie is the logical morning line favorite at 8/5 after rallying from far back to be second vs. a tougher maiden $40,000 group in early August. She gets an extra half furlong to work with today, so with a decent pace up front and room to rally in the lane she may be hard to contain in the final furlong. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics while preferring Save the Story on top.

GOLDEN GATE FIELDS (Leg 4 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Race 9: Post 6:00 PT Grade: B-

Use: 2-Eskimo Roses; 5-Look At My Hooves; 7-Tom’s Surprise

Forecast: In a wide open scramble, let’s go for a price. Look At My Hooves, listed at 12-1 on the morning line, turns back from a couple of route tries and should be much more effective at this distance after graduating sprinting at Pleasanton three races back. A close fifth with a career top number last time out, the J. Thomas-trained gelding can act with these if he can produce another slight forward move. Eskimo Roses is a Southern California shipper dropping into a modest restricted (nw-2) $12,500 claimer and may have found his friends based on competitive numbers earned when chasing tougher foes in all of his recent outings. He’s been primarily a turf runner throughout his career so he could easily enjoy this switch to the all-weather surface. Tom’s Surprise takes a sharp drop in class after exiting a hot starter’s allowance sprint last month and should go much better at this level. He has speed figures that fit and is a “must use” at 5-1 on the morning line.