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Saturday, January 16: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

January 16, 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: 12:00 PT Grade: C+
Use: 1-Agamemnon; 2-Jetovator; 5-Shady Empire; 10-I Wll Not

Forecast: The Saturday opener is a difficult state-bred allowance sprint on dirt that requires a considerable spread in rolling exotic play. Use as many as your budget allows. Shady Empire was nosed out in a similar affair at Los Alamitos last month that produced a career top speed figure, and with another forward move today the J. Bonde-trained gelding may be as good as any, especially with the switch to J. Rosario. Jetovator is eligible to this condition right back after winning an identical race on a different surface (grass) last month. Whether he can be as effective on dirt remains to be seen but based strictly on speed figures he’s a serious player. I Will Not is solid on form, having finished a good second at this level last month at Los Alamitos with a competitive speed figure. The son of Square Eddie projects to settle in the second flight and then have his chance from the quarter pole home. Agamemnon ran well two races back when missing in a photo at 43-1, but then didn’t fire in a similar spot in his most recent outing. The Grazen gelding continues to impress in the a.m. and likes this track, so at 8-1 on the morning line we’ll include him on our ticket.

RACE 2: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: B+
Single: 4-Burnin Turf

Forecast: Burnin Turf has much in his favor in this maiden state-bred turf miler for older horses. The D. Blacker-trained gelding, third in both of his starts with rising speed figures, has worked well since his most recent outing in late November and should continue his improving pattern as he gains experience. With the switch to F. Prat and the always-popular blinkers off angle, the son of Acclamations seems pretty solid at 2-1 on the morning line, and at that price we’ll make him a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 3: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Mister Bold; 4-Swift as I Am

Forecast: Swift as I Am was nosed out in a similar allowance optional claiming sprint at Del Mar in late November, and with steadily rising speed figures and a healthy recent series of workouts the J. Sadler-trained gelding should be hard to beat. The son of Danza was nearly seven lengths clear of the rest when beaten last time out, and with J. Rosario staying aboard he’ll probably leave at a shorter price than his morning line of 3-1.Mister Bold, listed as the 5/2 morning line choice, is the one to fear most and is a “must use” in rolling exotic play. Back sprinting after finishing a close fourth when favored in the one mile King Glorious S. at Los Alamitos last month, the J. Bonde-trained colt gets Lasix, blinkers and F. Prat, so there’s every reason to believe he’ll fire his best shot while turning back to his preferred trip.

RACE 4: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: B+
Use: 1-She’s Devoted; 2-Leggs Galore; 5-Warrens Showtime

Forecast: She’s Devoted gets a class test today while moving in stakes competition after a pair of nice wins to begin her career, her debut last winter over this turf course and then most recently in an entry-level allowance grass dash at Del Mar. She’s developed a late-running style and therefore should appreciate today’s extra furlong, so with some help up front and good racing luck from the rail the daughter of Grazen may be able to to tag the speed at 4-1 on the morning line. Leggs Galore seeks her fourth straight score, with all three of here prior wins accomplished sprinting on turf. She has excellent early speed and projects as a strong pace factor throughout, perhaps even the controlling speed. She’s also 4-1 on the morning line and a “must use” in rolling exotic play. The most dangerous of the deep closers is Warrens Showtime, a four time winner over the Santa Anita turf course but clearly (so far) most effective over a distance of ground. She’ll be running on strongly late.

RACE 5: Post: 2:02 PT Grade: C+
Use: 5-Complete Control; 7-Allergic to Logic

Forecast: We’ll try to survive and advance in this maiden $50,000 claiming sprint for state-bred 3-year-old fillies using just two in our rolling exotics. If you feel the need to spread deeper, go right ahead. Complete Control makes her eighth career start but her first with Lasix while returning to the maiden claiming ranks after finishing a respectable fourth in maiden special weight Cal-bred company at Del Mar in late November. On pure numbers she’s a strong fit at this level and had run well over this main track in the past. She’s hardly a standout but the logical top pick. Allergic to Logic is a first-timer from the B. Koriner barn with win-early breeding (Smiling Tiger) and a work tab that indicates some ability. With F. Prat taking the call she has the look of a live item, even from a barn that doesn’t have good stats with debut runners. Tread lightly here.

RACE 6: Post: 2:33 PT Grade: B+
Use: 6-Closing Remarks; 7-Sensible Cat

Forecast: Closing Remarks ran into a roadblock when attempting to rally along the rail entering the stretch in the Jimmy Durante S.-G3 at Del Mar last month and lost whatever chance she may have had, eventually being taken in hand late and winding up last of 10. She tries state-bred foes today and is reunited with “win rider” M. Smith, so with better luck the daughter of Vronsky may be capable of producing the last run. Sensible Cat, a smart winner of her last two with rising speed figures, is the likely choice and one to beat. She has good tactical speed to ensure a clean trip and can settle just off the leaders and then kick home when called upon. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a couple of extra tickets keying Closing Remarks on top.

RACE 7: Post: 3:05 PT Grade: X
Single: 1-The Chosen Vron

Forecast: The Chosen Vron graduated at first asking in very impressive fashion, establishing the pace in hand and then kicking clear with ease to earn a powerful number like a gelding with a future. The future is today in this year’s edition of the Cal Cup Derby, and from the rail he should be capable of controlling the race from the start to finish over a two-turn trip that we anticipate will be within his capabilities. He’s 8/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, so we’ll make the E. Kruljac-trained sophomore a rolling exotic single and leave it at that.

RACE 8: Post: 3:37 PT Grade: B+
Use: 2-Ward ‘n Jerry; 4-Indian Peak; 8-Acclimate

Forecast: Here’s a deep and competitive nine furlong grass affair for older horses that offers several possibilities. Indian Peak, listed at 8-1 on the morning line, catches the eye in his first start since joining the B. Koriner barn. A stakes winner over this course and distance as a 3-year-old, the son of Comic Strip should receive the patient ride he requires from J. Rosario, and in a race loaded with pace types it’s possible the son of Comic Strip can produce a sufficient late kick to register an upset. The works look good and this colt could easily be a better four year old then he was as a sophomore. Acclimate and Ward ‘n Jerry both exit graded stakes races and should appreciate this softer assignment. The former does his best work on the front end, but with other committed speed types in the field P. D’Amato-trained gelding may be forced to employ stalking tactics, which has never been his favorite type of trip. The latter, a four-time winner over the Santa Anita turf course and back with “win rider” F. Prat, will suited the projected pace flow and figures to come running in the final furlong.

RACE 9: Post: 4:09 PT Grade: B+
Use: 1-Tigre Di Slugo; 3-Fashionably Fast

Forecast: Fashionable Fast is the defending Cal Cup Sprint winner and certainly can win it again this year if he’s ready to fire off a more than five month layoff. The works are decent enough, but the son of Lucky Pulpit doesn’t really have a history of firing fresh, so it’s possible that he’s a race away from behind dead tight. Tigre Di Slugo continues to impress both in the morning and in the afternoon, and if he can negotiate a good trip from the rail the Smiling Tiger gelding figures very strongly. Most effective as a late-running sprinter and with J. Rosario riding him back, the M. Puype-trained gelding earned a career top speed figure when beating a first-level allowance field at Del Mar in late November in his first start in nine months, so we’re expecting a forward move and a big effort despite the class hike. The proven class horse Fashionably Fast gets a very slight edge on top but both should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 10: Post: 4:41 PT Grade: B-
Use: 5-Miss Baylee; 6-Another Eddie; 7-Omg It’s Jessica; 10-Annietown

Forecast: The finale is a grass grab bag for state-bred maiden 3-year-old fillies. Anything goes. Omg It’s Jessica tipped her hand when narrowly missing in her debut at Los Alamitos last month but if she can build on that effort today the daughter of Smiling Tiger from the dam of the good Cal-bred sprinter Oliver should be capable of earning her diploma. She’s the quickest of the known element, but with so many newcomers in the field the pace scenario looks muddled. Another Eddie, third in the same race Omg It’s Jessica exits, goes for a trainer whose second-time starters often improve, and this daughter of Square Eddie certainly is bred on both sides of her pedigree to move on the lawn. Annietown is a Cal-bred by Speightstown debuting for Glatt (solid stats with first-timers) and with F. Prat taking the call she certainly has the makings of a live item. Miss Baylee, a promising second when well-backed in her debut last June, returns for B. Koriner with a series of good works and could easily be a better type this time around.