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Saturday, October 24: Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

October 24, 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: 2-One Flew South; 4-Brickyard Ride

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Forecast: Backyard Ride returned to winning form with strong main track score last month that produced a legitimate speed figure and a repeat of that performance today should be good enough for a repeat win. He’s capable on any surface so this return to grass shouldn’t be an issue. If ‘Ride is pressured into a hotter-than-expected early pace, the race-shape could benefit One Flew South, who makes his first start since returning from Meydan after a couple of unsuccessful performances in valuable handicaps last winter. The work tab at San Luis Rey Downs indicates the D. O’Neill-trained colt is fit enough and the presence of F. Prat in the saddle is another positive factor. A close third in his only prior outing over this course and distance, the son of Giant’s Causeway projects to settle into a second flight, stalking spot and have his chance from there.

RACE 2: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 5-Secret Club; 6-Chipper

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Forecast: Chipper failed to land a blow in a dull effort two-turning on grass vs. maidens two weeks ago but there’s a good chance he delivers his best stuff today with this shortening to a sprint and the return to the main track. The M. Glatt-trained gelding is comfortably drawn outside, retains F. Prat, and seems likely to settle into a stalking position and then have dead aim from the quarter pole home. Secret Club had a rough trip in his debut (stumbled at the start and raced wide) when and wound up fourth but he has every right to produce a forward move today with a clean journey. The son of Clubhouse Ride retains D. Van Dyke, shows a solid five furlong drill six days ago and probably has more upside than some of the other more exposed entrants. We’ll try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics.

RACE 3: Post: 2:01 PT Grade: C+
Use: 3-Tiz Vicious; 4-Prince Magician

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Forecast: This six-runner maiden $50,000 claiming extended sprint should be treated with a bit of caution. We’ll use two in our rolling exotics but not with a great deal of confidence. Prince Magician, away since last November, returns in a soft spot for H. Palma (solid stats with layoffs) and earned a speed figure two races back when second in a maiden special weight sprint over this main track that would easily be good enough to win. The work tab looks promising, so let’s put the son of Cairo Prince on top and hope he can fire his best shot off the bench. Tiz Vicious was last of nine, beaten 16 lengths, in his only prior outing in June in a mile grass affair vs. straight maidens. However, he returns with F. Prat and a series of quick workouts that really catches the eye, so we anticipate that the son of Violence will improve a bunch in a weak affair.

RACE 4: Post: 2:34 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Fierce for Sul; 4- La V.; 6-Superstition

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Forecast: Superstition retuned off a long layoff for her second career start and performed admirably when a close second sprinting on grass at Del Mar last month. The R. Mandella barn is strong (21%) with the second-off-a-layoff statistic so we’re expecting a forward move from the daughter of Ghostzapper. From her outside draw she can pop and go or stalk and pounce under F. Prat. Fierce for Sul has only one option from the rail – bust out and make the running – but she strikes us as being a tad suspect under pressure in the final furlong. This will be her third career start and her speed figure dropped eight points between her first and second outing, not a good sign. If she’s going to develop into a decent sort she’ll have to show it today. La V. tries grass and adds blinkers for the first time and might be better than her first two races indicate. She’s worth including on a ticket or two as a back-up or a saver.

RACE 5: Post: 3:03 PT Grade: C+
Use: 2-Potantico; 5-Order and Law

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Forecast: This second-level allowance main track middle distance event drew a field of only five, and it’s a noticeably weak event with nothing to trust. Order and Law seems the logical top pick in a race that projects to have soft early splits. He was a gate-to-wire grass winner two runs back but has been successful over this main track in the past, so we suspect the surface switch won’t be an issue. The concern is inconsistency; the V. Cerin-trained colt has finished off the board in 15 of 22 lifetime starts. His uncoupled stable mate, Potantico, is winless in five previous races over the local dirt strip and was virtually eased in the 12-furlong Tokyo City S.-G3 in his most recent outing. He’s facing a considerably easier group today, gets a break in the weights with the switch to bug boy A. Centeno, and shortens to a middle distance, so the Gemologist gelding seems likely to return to good form. These are the two we’ll be including in our rolling exotics but if you feel the need to spread deeper or even buy the race, go right ahead.

RACE 6: Post: 3:37 PT Grade: B+
Use: 4-Tripoli; 7-Three Ay Em

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Forecast: Tripoli is lightly-raced and improving with each outing, so we’ll go with the J. Sadler-trained colt on top in this first-level allowance nine furlong grass event. The son of Kitten’s Joy wound up third in a similar affair at Del Mar behind Scarto, who returned to finish an excellent second in the Twilight Derby-G2 last weekend, and a repeat of that effort today should be good enough. Additionally, recent workouts have been sharp, so we’re actually anticipating a career top performance. Three Ay Em is worth including on your ticket as well. A sharp winner when claimed for $25,000 two runs back, the E. Truman-trained colt ran equally well when a rallying third vs. similar over the local lawn last month while giving every indication that he’ll be just as effective if not more so at this longer distance. The switch to U. Rispoli is significant, so we’ll make this son of New Year’s Day a strong contender and a “must use.”

RACE 7: Post: 4:07 PT Grade: B
Single: 6-Magnolia’s Hope

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Forecast: Magnolia’s Hope gets what appears to be an easy chance to regain her winning form in this restricted (nw-2) $25,000 extended sprint for fillies and mares. A repeat of her maiden claiming win two races back – she popped the gate and was the controlling speed throughout – will be more than good enough to win and with a projected favorable pace flow the daughter of Ministers Wild Cat can settle off La Rose Drive (if that one is gunned from the rail) or take the initiative and establish the running. Reunited with “win rider” R. Gonzalez and comfortably drawn outside, the J. Wong-trained mare can be used in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single.

RACE 8: Post: 4:37 PT Grade: B+
Use: 1-Jo Jo Air; 5-Magic At Midnight

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Forecast: Magic At Midnight is unbeaten in four starts but gets her stiffest test yet in this year’s edition of the Senator Ken Maddy S.-G3 for fillies and mares over five and one-half furlongs on turf. Never headed in each of her victories that includes an impressive grass sprint score at Del Mar two runs back, the daughter of Midnight Lute clearly is the controlling speed on paper and will be difficult to run down if she can shake loose early without undue pressure. Also, she continues to impress in the a.m. for M. Glatt and is fast enough on pure numbers to handle the class hike, so we’ll put her on top while also giving some consideration to Jo Jo Air, the winner of the Daisycutter Handicap at Del Mar when she shipped West last July. The W. Ward-trained daughter of Scat Daddy has a good stalking style and should have Magic At Midnight within sight at the head of the lane and then have her chance to catch the leader in the final stages.

RACE 9: Post: 5:07 PT Grade: B+ (Leg 1 of the Golden Hour Pick-4
Use: 1-Classier; 6-North Pole

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Forecast: In his debut at Del Mar in August North Pole finished a promising second to Wyfire, who was stakes-placed in his next start, so with any type of forward move today the S. Callaghan-trained colt should be able to earn his diploma in this fairly decent maiden special weight extended sprint for 2-year-olds. A son of Pioneerof the Nile which brought in excess of $1 million as a yearling, this well-regarded colt shows a healthy series of drills since raced, retains F. Prat, and should get nothing but better as the distances increase. He’s likely to be a short-priced single on many tickets. Classier is a first-timer from the B. Baffert barn with plenty of ability but must leave from the rail. He’s displayed some greenness in the morning, and probably isn’t a quick type, so we’re really looking at the son of Empire Maker as a “down the road” sort. We’ll use him on a ticket or two as a back-up while reserving the main push for North Pole.

GOLDEN GATE FIELDS (Leg 2 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Race 9: Post 5:22 PT Grade: B

Use: 1-Ready for a Fight; 4-Flicflac

Forecast: Ready for a Fight is a lightly-raced and progressing gelding with rising speed figures and room for further development. With a break in the weights with the shift to bug rider S. Rivera, the son of Boisterous should settle into a pace-stalking, ground-saving position from the rail and then have every opportunity to produce a winning late kick. Most recently a close second while just failing to tag the leaders with a strong wide kick, he’s back in 15 days for a high-percentage outfit and will offer value at or near his morning line of 4-1. Flicflac is racing in good from and should fire another big shot after rallying to be a sharp runner-up with a career top speed figure in a similar first-level allowance dash three weeks ago. The T. Bellasis-trained colt lacks good positional speed but with clear sailing should be heard from in the final furlong. We’ll try to get by using just these two in our Golden Hour Pick-4.

RACE 10: Post: 5:37 PT Grade: B- (Leg 3 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Use: 8-Shadow Sphinx; 9-Mithqaal

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Forecast: The finale is a $25,000 claimer over a mile on grass and looks like a replay of a $32,000 seller earlier this month in which Shadow Sphinx and Mithqaal finished one-two over this course and distance. They meet again and both should run similarly well, with ‘Sphinx getting top billing after overcoming some traffic trouble at the head of the lane to prevail as best and record his third local win from six starts. The class drop off a victory never is a healthy sign, but if the R. Baltas-trained gelding has at least one good one left he’ll be hard to deny once again. Mithqaal is most effective on the lead and could easily inherit the role as the controlling speed given the projected pace flow. The veteran gelding has nine career victories and is worth including on your rolling exotic ticket.

GOLDEN GATE FIELDS (Leg 4 of the Golden Hour Pick-4)
Race 9: Post 5:52 PT Grade: C+

Use: 2-Argosy Fleet; 3-Potente Alba; 9-Malibu Max

Forecast: Here’s a messy affair with several possibilities; you probably should include as many as your budget allows. We’ll try to get by using just three. Potente Alba drops again in class after a couple of dull outings but could be capable of snapping back at this level. A four-time winner over the local all-weather track, the veteran gelding has winning conditions and the type of early speed that should allow him to fold into an ideal stalking position. He’s had three nice drills since last race and should be set for a good try. Argosy Fleet was claimed for $16,000 in August but hasn’t shown much in a pair of subsequent outings for the high-percentage J. Martin barn. He’s never raced this cheaply and is more than good enough to win at this $8,000 level, so we’ll toss him in. Malibu Max should have clear sailing outside and will be heard from late if he can manage to avoid a wide trip. On pure numbers he’s right there with these and remains above his claim level in a sign of confidence.