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Saturday, January 9: Santa Anita Analysis & Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

January 9, 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.

View today’s Santa Anita Workout Report

RACE 1: Post: 12:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Rip City; 2-Gregdar; 5-Lane Way

Forecast: The Saturday opener is a highly competitive first level allowance turf miler with several legitimate contenders. Rip City seeks his fifth straight score and is guaranteed a good ground-saving trip from his favorable rail draw. A two-time winner over the local lawn with solid, consistent recent speed figures, the son of City Zip should settle in the second flight then have his chance from the quarter pole home. Lane Way exits a pair of stakes races and is back where he belongs. The son of Into Mischief continues to train well and may be the most dangerous of the closing types. Gregdar is lightly-raced and improving with racing, and in a race without much early speed he should find himself close up throughout, perhaps even on the lead. If not respected, he could take this field a very long way.

RACE 2: Post: 12:32 PT Grade: B+
Use: 3-She’s a Dime; 6-Anna Fantastic

Forecast: Anna Fantastic is lightly-raced with rising speed figures and most recently ran a career top when missing by a head while four lengths clear of the rest in a better-than-par race for the level over this track and distance during the fall season. Freshened and training well, the K. Headley-trained filly seems the solid choice at 9/5 on the morning line. She’s a Dime is worth including on your ticket as well, at least as a saver. Impressive in victory at Los Alamitos in a starter’s allowance ($16,000) sprint last month, she’s fast enough on pure numbers to be dangerous and could be heard from late if she can get some help up front.

RACE 3: Post: 1:04 PT Grade: B+
Single: 7-Rose’s Crystal

Forecast: Rose’s Crystal is an eight-race maiden and just failed at 70 cents on the dollar when third in a similar maiden turf miler at Del Mar, but this is her easiest chance to date so we’ll give her a chance to make amends. The daughter of Grazen has run well over this course in the past, has looked sharp and willing in the a.m. in recent drills and should be capable of settling in mid-pack and producing a winning late kick. At 5/2 on the morning line, she’s a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 4: Post: 1:35 PT Grade: C+
Use: 3-Jan Jan Can; 7-Wicks and Chappies; 12-Sweet Sonny; 13-Majestic Mountain

Forecast: Bottom-rung maiden claiming older fillies and mares sprint six furlongs in a race that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Sweet Sonny gets a break in the weights, ran well over this track and distance two runs back when earning a career top speed figure and drops to her lowest level ever. Once a $250,000 auction purchase, the daughter of Twirling Candy may have finally found her friends today. Wicks and Chappies, in the frame in her last pair and most recently a distant third in a fast, highly-rated race, finished a neck in front of our top pick when the faced each other last October and is the one to fear most. Jan Jan Can plummets to the bottom and certainly should improve in this league. She’s a fit on numbers and should be running on late. Majestic Mountain seems to be training well and adds blinkers for the first time, so she could easily be better than shown.

RACE 5: Post: 2:05 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Zucchera; 4-Cover Version

Forecast: Zucchera has been chasing tougher of late but this class drop into the restricted (nw-2) $20,000 claiming ranks seems like a winning move. Although she lacks tactical speed, the daughter of Tapizar should be able to manufacture a sufficient late kick to get up in time. Her recent numbers are better than par for this level and J. Rosario rides her back. Cover Version also has a look on the class drop. The veteran mare actually is a bit faster on pure figures than our top pick but is a deep closing type that needs pace up front and room to rally to have her best chance. Her maiden-claiming win two races back charts quite well with these.

RACE 6: Post: 2:35 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Brananx; 7-Thelusteismine; 10-Rest Easy Two Four

Forecast: Here’s another maiden claiming sprint, this one for $50,000 state-bred sophomores. Rest Easy Two Four joins the V. Cerin barn following a pair of decent runner-up efforts, the first at Golden Gate Fields and then most recently when beaten a neck in a lesser race at Los Alamitos. His numbers are progressing, the switch to hot-riding J. J. Hernandez is a positive factor and at this extended sprint trip the son of Shanghai Bobby should settle just off the leaders and then have his chance when the pressure is turned on. Theluteismine removes blinkers and shows up in a seller for the first time, two strong angles for the high-percentage P. Miller barn. A fit on speed figures and with F. Prat back aboard, the son of Boisterous is a logical contender. Brananx, second in both of his outings but with speed figures that are a little light for the level, certainly has room to improve with added experience and will be a factor if he can avoid trouble from the rail. The A. Mathis-trained gelding vans down from Golden Gate Fields and picks up U. Rispoli, so at 6-1 on the morning line he’s worth including on your ticket.

RACE 7: Post: 3:05 PT Grade: B+
Use: 1-Earls Rock; 7-North Pole

Forecast: North Pole has disappointed in his last pair after a promising debut run but this son of Pioneerof the Nile – purchased as a yearling for $1,050,000 – is a first-time Lasix user removing blinkers and switching to turf and given the projected pace scenario the S. Callaghan-trained colt looks very much like the controlling speed. With the switch to J. Rosario, he looks quite capable of dominating from gate to wire while offering a good gamble at 7/2 on the morning line. We’ll also have on our ticket Earls Rocket, a newcomer from Ireland making just his second career start and his first for P. D’Amato, who always does well with these Euro-imports. A decent runner-up in his debut last September, his local works have been okay, and we suspect he’ll turn up a live item under F. Prat.

RACE 8: Post: 3:35 PT Grade: B+
Single: 3-Fighting Mad

Forecast: Fighting Mad flopped at 2/5 when third in the Zenyatta S.-G2 last September, came out of the race somewhat worse for wear and was given the rest of the year off. She returns in a race she’s supposed to win, and her recent workouts indicate she’s plenty fit and ready. Most effective on the front end but not necessarily a need-the-lead type, the B. Baffert-trained mare is listed at 9/5 on the morning line but seems certain to go lower. She’s a logical rolling exotic single.

RACE 9: Post: 4:05 PT Grade: B+
Single: 4-Lighthouse

Forecast: Jolie Olimpica and Oleksandra have the credentials to win this year’s edition of the Las Cienegas S.-G3 and rolling exotic players who feel the need to include them on their ticket can do so, but we’re going to take a stand with the lightly-raced and improving Lighthouse, winner of a valuable listed sprint stakes at Kentucky Downs last September and before that narrowly beaten in the Daisycutter S. at Del Mar. The daughter of Mizzen Mast has good tactical speed and then can really turn it on when set down in the final furlong. A prior winner over the local lawn and training like she’s primed and ready, the S. Callaghan-trained four-year is listed at 5/2 on the morning line and offers wagering value both in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single.

RACE 10: Post: 4:35 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Defense Wins; 4-Great Power

Forecast: Great Power once was well regarded but never panned out, so he’s making his living now in the moderate claiming ranks. Though beaten at even money when second at Del Mar last time out, the son of Blame has trained well since for new connections and should fire a big shot off the bench. A prior winner over the local main track, he’s projects as a strong pace presence in this six furlong affair and may be able to stick it out. Defense Wins, back sprinting where he belongs for new connections, needs some luck from the rail but has several back speed figures that are more than good enough to win. If he can get strong handling from the 10-lb. bug he’ll be threat in the final furlong.