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Friday, October 23: Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

October 23, 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-Big Chick; 4-My Princess Ellie

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Forecast: Big Chick made up a ton of ground and galloped out strongly when a distant but better-than-looked fourth vs. maiden $32,000 foes on turf at Golden Gate Fields earlier this month and today returns to the main track, adds blinkers, picks up U. Rispoli and draws the inside post in this soft maiden claiming miler for juvenile fillies. She appears to be progressing with experience and if she can display improved tactical speed the T. Yakteen-trained daughter of Mr. Big may be capable of producing a winning late bid. My Princess Ellie is the logical top pick and one to beat after being considered good enough to be entered as a maiden in the Juvenile Fillies Turf S. at Del Mar last month. Clearly, this is an infinitely easier group, and with high percentage jockey/trainer combo of P. Miller and F. Prat combining with the class drop into the maiden $40,000 ranks this daughter of Temple City projects to be a short priced favorite. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics and then, because she’ll be a better price, press a bit using Big Chick in the win pool.

RACE 2: Post: 1:33 PT Grade: X
Use: 4-Flash Magic; 5-Beautiful Gift

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Forecast: This maiden-special-weight main track miler drew just five entrants, two of which are stable mates in the B. Baffert barn. Beautiful Gift finished a decent third sprinting in her debut at Del Mar in a race that produced the one-two finishers of the last Sunday’s Anoakia Stakes and in doing so earned a speed figure that is good enough to beat this field. The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro seems likely to improve with distance and experience and shows a recent bullet gate drill (5f, :59 1/5, fastest of 38) to indicate she came out of her first start in fine fettle and likely will step forward. Flash Magic was a highly-promising runner-up to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies S.-G1-bound Princess Noor in her debut in August but then missed by a nose as the 3/5 favorite in a subsequent maiden sprint here last month. Instead of producing a forward move as expected, the daughter of Pioneerof the Nile had her Beyer speed figure drop 13 points and really didn’t have any apparent excuse. She stretches out to a distance she’s bred to like, and if she bounces back to the effort that she produced in her first start she’ll be tough. In a race that probably is best left alone, we’ll use the two Baffert fillies in our rolling exotics but otherwise not get involved.

RACE 3: Post: 2:09 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-City Rage; 4-Rip City

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Forecast: This starter’s allowance miler on grass boils down to a pair of familiar rivals. Rip City, an impressive high-priced maiden-claiming winner over this course and distance on New Year’s Day, didn’t make it back to the races until late August but returned as well as he left when registering a game starter’s allowance win by a desperate nose over City Rage, who franked the from by scoring in convincing fashion earlier this month. They meet again under similar conditions and are extremely difficult to separate. Rip City has more tactical speed of the two and projects to draw into an ideal stalking position behind the likely pacesetter Dr. Troutman and then have every chance to get the first jump on ‘Rage when cut loose at the top of the lane. ‘Rage retains F. Prat will be within range throughout and certainly can win. On pure speed figures, the two are practically dead-even. We’ll give Rip City a very slight edge on top but use both equally in our rolling exotic play.

RACE 4: Post: 2:41 PT Grade: B+
Single: 6-Pretty Saylee

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Forecast: Let’s take a stand with Pretty Saylee in this six-runner maiden $32,000 claiming sprint for juvenile fillies. Drawn comfortably outside and sporting the always-dangerous blinkers off angle, the daughter of Shackleford easily projects as the lone speed, and in a field with suspect closers she’ll have every chance to keep on going. Freshened since early August and showing a bullet half mile drill (:47 2/5, fastest of 65) since raced, the L. Mendez-trained filly is a logical rolling exotic single.

RACE 5: Post: 3:13 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Master Ryan; 6-N. K. Rocket Man

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Forecast: Master Ryan projects to be the favorite again in this state-bred maiden turf sprint, but can you trust him? In the frame in seven of eight career starts but a beaten choice five times including his last four starts, the son of Grazen shows speed figures that have stagnated, so what you’ve seen is probably what you’ll get, However, in a below average race for the level the P. D’Amato-trained gelding may have found a field he can outlast. N. K. Rocket Man, a close fifth in the same race ‘Ryan exits, may be more appealing. With just four career outings the son of Unusual Heat probably has a bit more upside than ‘Ryan and today will race without blinkers for the first time after appearing erratic and unfocused in each of his four starts. It’s debatable whether the equipment change will help, but if he drops his head and concentrates on the task at hand the D. Pederson-trained 4-year-old has enough natural ability to produce a dangerous late kick. Both should be included in rolling exotic play but due to price considerations we’ll give N. K. Rocket Man the edge on top.

RACE 6: Post: 3:44 PT Grade: C+
Use: 1-Bam Bam Again; 2-Gryffindor; 5-Next Revolt

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Forecast: The three listed above exit the same race, with Bam Bam Again, who was even money in that Oct. 3 event over this track and distance, trying to make amends after failing to land a blow when checking in a well-beaten fifth. A $16,000 claim by R. Santana out of that affair, the son of Awesome Again has a right to rebound for his new connections from an inside draw that guarantees a ground-saving, pace-stalking trip. A repeat of his race before last (second, beaten less than a length while four clear of the others) is good enough to win. Gryffindor and Next Revolt finished two-three in that Oct. 3 race won by Debt Monger and both have a strong look right back. Gryffindor was used hard after a sluggish start to make the running and in a form reversal proved hard to down, beaten less than a length. Next Revolt had every chance when finishing reasonably well to be third, retains F. Prat, and shows a bullet half mile workout (:47 flat, fastest of 53) seven days ago that really catches the eye. All three should be included on your rolling tickets; we’ll give Bam Bam Again a very slight nod on top while hoping that he’ll recapture his best form for his new connections.

RACE 7: Post: 4:14 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Hurley; 5-Nice Ice; 6-Clearly Gone

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Forecast: Nice Ice was in too tough when setting the pace but weakening late vs. stronger first-level allowance competition but she returns to the straight $40,000 claiming ranks today and catches a field that should allow her to be on or near a soft early pace throughout. A repeat of her clever score two runs back should be good enough to beat this field, and it’s significant that while she’s dropping in class the J. Mullins-trained mare still remains well above her claim level. A sharp recent training track breeze is another positive factor. Clearly Gone, first off the claim for P. Miller (an amazing 35% with a massive flat-bet profit with this angle), likes to lag well off the pace and blast home, and if she can get some help up front she should make her presence felt in the final furlong. The raise from $25,000 to $40,000 is a very good sign that she’s well-liked by her connections. Hurley, a $32,000 claim by E. Truman in mid-August at Del Mar, returns on the raise, gets a good inside post, and switches to U. Rispoli, so we’re expecting the Mucho Macho Man filly to fire a big shot. Nosed out by Clearly Gone last time out, she shows a healthy recent series of workouts and projects to enjoy an ideal second flight, ground-saving trip. In a race that any one of the three listed above can win, we’ll give the potential pacesetter Nice Ice a very slight edge on top.

RACE 8: Post: 4:44 PT Grade: B (Leg 1 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Use: 2-Camby; 3-Posterize

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Forecast: Posterize should be too quick for this $20,000 claiming group and we’ll prefer him on top while using Camby as a saver on our rolling exotic ticket. In his second start since being claimed for $25,000 by D. O’Neill at Del Mar, the Shackleford gelding drops a notch below his purchase level after finishing third in a race that was marked by torrid early fractions. The pace flow projects to be considerably softer today and a solid five furlong workout last week in addition to the monumental jockey switch to F. Prat should have him set for a strong effort over a track that has produced all three of his career victories. Camby just won at this level in game style and has finished first or second in six of eighth career outings over the local main track. The son of Candy Ride should be set for another good try but most likely will have to deal with quicker early splits.

GOLDEN GATE FIELDS (Leg 2 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Race 8: Post 4:59 PT Grade: B

Use: 1-Check Out; 4-Mime

Forecast: Mime drops considerably in class and returns to sprinting, so we’re expecting the Q, Howey-trained filly to regain her winning form in this restricted (nw-2) $6,250 dash for fillies and mares. She has several back numbers in one-turn races that are better than par for this level, and with the break in the weights with the switch to bug rider S. Rivera she should be along in time. Check Out represents inside speed in a field with little of it so it’s not inconceivable that she makes an easy lead and gets brave. Her maiden win over this all-weather surface last spring charts very well in this modest spot. Both should be used in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Mime.

RACE 9: Post: 5:14 PT Grade: B (Leg 3 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Use: 1-Squared Shady; 6-Mensa On Tao; 8-Westward Breeze

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Forecast: The nightcap is an abbreviated turf sprint for state-bred juvenile fillies. For the purpose of this analysis, we’re going to assume that the certain favorite Allie’s Pal will not draw into the field from the also-eligible. Obviously, if she does, she’ll be the one to beat and we’ll update our wagering strategies later in the morning. Squared Shady lands post one (a good place to be when the rails are out 30 feet), adds blinkers, and switches to grass, so J. Bonde-trained filly seems likely to improve a ton. After displaying promise when flashing good early speed but weakening late in her debut at Del Mar, she went backwards with a very wide trip in her most recent appearance but should be capable of doing much better over this course and distance. Westward Breeze is a first-timer by Munnings with a useful series of drills, and while we doubt she’s any world beater and the barn doesn’t often win with debut runners, she still should be competitive. We really have no idea whether the San Luis Rey Downs-based shipper Mensa On Tap can run, but she’s bred for turf and to have early speed. The barn hasn’t won a race this year but the work tab looks promising, so at the price this daughter of Smart Bid is worth including somewhere on your ticket.

GOLDEN GATE FIELDS (Leg 4 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Race 9: Post 5:29 PT Grade: C

Use: 1-Awesome Silver; 5-Punaluu; 7-Tina’s Exchange

Forecast: This restricted $6,250 contains several old pros that are eligible due to the non-winners since August 1 restriction so we’ll triple the race on our ticket but suggest to those with bigger budgets to spread as deeply as you believe is necessary. Tina’s Exchange won a $20,000 turf sprint in late August but today surfaces for $4,000, so assuming he passes the morning veterinarian inspection the S. Miyadi-trained 7-year-old obviously will be the one to beat. He’s never raced over an all-weather surface, which prevents us from taking a stand and making him a single. Punaluu is another plummeting in class and is just 1-for-13 over this all-weather surface but based on his recent speed figures and a break in the weights the I. Tamayo-trained gelding looks reasonably dangerous. He likes to settle and produce a late run and with clear sailing could be heard from late. Awesome Silver has won 10 races at Golden Gate Fields and 15 overall and today he’ll be making his 75th career start. His recent numbers aren’t bad but he’s returning of short (12 days). Out of respect, we’ll toss him in.