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Friday, January 8: Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

January 8, 2021

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.

Click to view today’s Santa Anita Workout Report

RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Blue Star; 3-Big Flint; 8-Circleofchampions

Forecast: Many of these exit the same race, a maiden turf miler at Del Mar in mid-November and are hard to separate. Circleofchampions got into a speed duel in that race while having to deal with torrid early fractions and paid the price in the final furlong, weakening to wind up 10th without being knocked about in the closing stages. Today he removes blinkers, adds Lasix, and retains U. Rispoli, so this time with patient handling the C. Gaines-trained sophomore could improve considerably at a nice price. He’s 6-1 on the morning line so let’s go for a price and put him on top. Blue Starhad no visible mishap when sixth beaten just over two lengths in that same race but gets Lasix, blinkers, and a comfortable inside draw while retaining J. Rosario and therefore seems likely to produce a forward move at 5-1 on the morning line. Big Flintwas a race-shape aided runner-up in that same race in what was his debut and has every right to improve with that performance under his belt. He’s another adding Lasix for the first time and shows a steady, healthy work tab for P. Eurton, so we’ll include him as well, though at 9/5 on the morning line he’s probably not going to offer much wagering value.

RACE 2: Post: 1:02 PT Grade: B-
Use: 5-Vangogo; 7-Enriched by Deb

Forecast: Enriched by Deb takes a nosedive in class and may have found her friends in this restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares. Freshened since early November, training well for R. Baltas, and with a prior win over the local main track, the daughter of Munnings should find herself on or near the lead throughout. Vangogo broke her maiden by herself at Los Alamitos last month and earned a fairly competitive speed figure in the process. This is a tougher group but the J. Wong-trained mare may be the quickest of the quick, so if she can get loose on the lead again she could take this field a very long way. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Enriched by Deb on top.

RACE 3: Post: 1:32 PT Grade: B+
Use: 6-Hail Freedom 10-That Corey

Forecast: Hail Freedom flashed excellent speed before weakening in the lane in his debut sprinting on dirt last month in what was an extremely fast, highly-rated affair. Today, the D. O’Neill-trained colt stretches out to a distance he’s bred to like and switches to grass, a surface he’s bred to love. With the addition of Lasix and retaining J. Rosario in a race without much speed, the D. O’Neill-trained colt could easily take this group gate-to-wire and will offer good wagering value at or near his morning line of 3-1. For protection, you may want to include on a ticket or two That Corey, poorly drawn outside but with improving form for B. Cecil and with the always-dangerous two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern. We’re expecting the son of Square Eddie to be comfortably placed outside in a stalking position and then have every chance from the quarter pole home.

RACE 4: Post: 2:05 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Lunatic; 5-Agreetodisagree; 8-Peachtree Road

Forecast Maiden 3-year-old fillies meet over a mile on the main track, with Peachtree Road showing the proper pattern (two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out) that often leads to a significant forward move. The daughter of Quality Road adds Lasix, retains M. Smith, and was a respectable third in a productive race last time out while earning a speed figure that projects to be good enough to beat this field. Lunatic also is adding Lasix and has two sprints under her belt so she, too, seems likely to improve over a distance of ground for the hot P. Miller barn. She’s slower on speed figures than our top pick but at least the numbers are moving in the right direction. Agreetodisagree, yet another with two solid educational sprint runs behind her, took the overland route to finish a credible fourth vs. similar in her most recent outing, adds Lasix, and projects to be forwardly placed early and then have her chance late.

RACE 5: Post: 2:34 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-Windy City Red; 6-Gator Shining

Forecast This race is loaded with speed – Teton Valley, Exhalting and Superman Shaq are among those that have only one way to go – so let’s zero in on a pair of contenders who have shown the ability to settle early and produce a late run. Gator Shining adds Lasix and graduated gamely when rallying from mid-pack at Del Mar in his second career start in mid-November. The R. Baltas-trained colt should once again be able to settle early and produce a good late kick. Windy City Red was overmatched in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint-G1 at Keeneland but before that ran quite well over this turf course when third beaten just a half-length in the Speakeasy S. during the fall meeting. The J. Wong-trained colt adds Lasix and vans down from Golden Gate Fields where he’s been training steadily but unable to race due to the track’s temporary closure.

RACE 6: Post: 3:03 PT Grade: B
Use: 8-Sybil’s Kitty; 9-Wandering Patrol

Forecast: Sybil’s Kitty returns to her favorite track – both of her wins were earned over the Santa Anita dirt strip – so we’re expecting this K. Mulhall-trained mare to regain her winning form in this soft $10,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares. She should be part of the pace throughout in a field without much projected speed. Wandering Patrol is guaranteed an in-the-clear stalking journey from her outside draw, and in her first start in a claimer the daughter of Square Eddie could improve considerably at this level. Way back in the spring of 2018 the B. Cecil-trained mare broke her maiden at first asking over this track and distance. We’ll try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics with a preference on top to Sybil’s Kitty.

RACE 7: Post: 3:32 PT Grade: B+
Single: 3-Salvator Mundi

Forecast: Salvator Mundi was beaten a neck when third in a similar affair at Del Mar in mid-November and not much more will be needed to return to winning form in this competitive turf miler for allowance optional claiming older horses. Successful over this course and distance last summer and with strong, consistent recent speed figures, the P. D’Amato-trained gelding retains regular U. Rispoli and projects to settle in an ideal second flight, stalking position and then kick home when called upon. At 4-1 on the morning line, he’s a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 8: Post: 4:01 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Zestful; 8-Pubilius Syrus

Forecast: Ex-classer Pubilius Syrus has really gotten good of late, winning his last three with authority while earning consistently rising speed figures, most recently at Los Alamitos in a starter’s allowance race with a number just three points below his career best. With a nice five furlong workout since raced, the V. Cerin-trained horse seems set for another major effort, so with the patient ride he requires and a bit of help up front the son of Candy Rise looks capable of extending his streak. Zestful will employ gate-to-wire tactics from the rail and if not pressured early seems likely to take this field a very long way. A 10-time winning son of Ghostzapper, the veteran gelding shortens from nine furlongs to a flat mile, a distance that has produced four of his victories, and his recent numbers make him dangerous once again. We’ll prefer Pubilius Cyrus slightly on top but use both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 9: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Foray; 6-Worthy Turk; 7-Fly to Mars

Forecast: Fly to Mars went too fast too early and paid the price when fading back to seventh in a tougher optional $40,000 grass affair at Del Mar in late November but against this softer crew the P. Miller-trained gelding should return to good form. He prefers the front end, but with Foray drawn inside of him and likely to employ gate-to-wire tactics the veteran gelding should be content with a pace-stalking journey, a trip that he’s been successful with in the past. “Win rider” F. Prat gets back aboard and the work tab in recent weeks at San Luis Rey Downs looks steady and healthy. Worthy Turk does his best work over this course and at this mile trip. With the switch to F. Prat and the class drop to the $25,000 level he could be dangerous as a deep closer should a legitimate pace materialize. Foray, away for 11 months and returning for a moderate tag, has a condition question but if ready certainly can be dangerous on the front end. He’s shown a liking for the local lawn in the past, so we’ll include him in our rolling exotic play, at least as a back-up or a saver.