Log In

Friday, January 22: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

January 22, 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: 3-Kitten’s Cat; 4-Via Egnatia; 7-Mystery Messenger

Forecast: The Friday opener, something of a grass grab bag for $40,000 older claiming sprinters, may set up nicely for Mystery Messenger, a prior winner over the local lawn and guaranteed a good stalking trip outside in a field without much early speed. In the frame in his last pair and with speed figures that are good enough to win, the V. Cerin-trained gelding should be able to settle in the second flight and then have his chance from there. Kitten’s Cat is a New York invader that has been quite popular at the claim box of late, most recently joining the R. Falcone, Jr., barn after finishing second in a $25,000 seller at Belmont Park before shipping west. Now seven years old, the veteran son of Kitten’s Joy is solid in the speed figure department and has won over the local lawn in the past, so we’re expecting an in-the-money finish at the very least. Via Egnatia is back sprinting over a course he’s been known to like and in a race that should have comfortable early splits the R. Baltas-trained gelding projects to be prominent throughout. We’ll give Mystery Messenger a slight edge on top but use all three in our rolling exotics.

RACE 2: Post: 1:02 PT Grade: X
Use: 1-Cashlings; 5-Lance the Legend

Forecast: Cashlings is listed as the 6/5 morning line favorite in this maiden $30,000 claiming sprint for 3-year-olds and probably will leave even lower than that. A solid runner-up to stable mate Love My Jimmy in his debut here last month in a race that produced a good speed figure, the P. Miller-trained son of Ghostzapper won’t need anything more than that to handle this weak assignment, but the class drop along with the “for sale” sign that it appears to represent indicates he’s really not that highly-regarded by the connections. Lance the Legend is a first-time gelding with numbers that are okay for the level, so if the favorite for whatever reason fails to fire the J. Bonde-trained son of Shanghai Bobby will have a strong look at it.

RACE 3: Post: 1:32 PT Grade: B-
Use: 4-Black Storm; 9-Awhitesportscoat

Forecast: Awhitesportscoat lost a toughie when missing by a neck in a $10,000 claimer earlier this month and today moves up a notch for new connections in a race that came up weaker than par. If the son of Hansen can turn in two alike, he can win, and with nine victories on his resume the A. Sherman-trained gelding certainly knows where the wire is. Black Storm is a four-time winner over the Santa Anita main track and has the route-to-sprint angle that we like. The J. Mullins-trained gelding will be doing his best work late. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play in an extended sprint that projects to have a very soft early pace.

RACE 4: Post: 2:05 PT Grade: B+
Use: 6-Hockey Dad; 8-Minehunter; 9-Bob Daniels

Forecast: Bob Daniels ran like a short horse in his debut when weakening in the final furlong to wind up fourth in a state-bred maiden dash at Los Alamitos last month but we’re expecting the son of Race Day to step forward significantly with that effort behind him. The J. Mullins-trained sophomore switches to turf, adds Lasix, retains T. Baze, puts on blinkers, and recorded a sharp recent workout while wearing the hood to indicate he’s primed to show his best stuff. Hockey Dad, another second-timer with every right to improve, exits a fast, highly-rated and productive race and shows two solid gate workouts since that late December outing. The jury is out on the Nyquist runners on turf but if he handles it the D. O’Neill-trained colt will be factor from just off the early pace. Minehunter is bred to be a quick colt and may be more dangerous than his moderate series of workouts would indicate. At 5-1 on the morning line, he’s worth including somewhere in your rolling exotics.

RACE 5: Post: 2:34 PT Grade: C+
Use: 2-Chevelita; 3-Sideways Suances; 5-Made in Karoo

Forecast: Here’s another spread race, this one for $40,000 maiden claiming 3-year-old fillies over a mile. Chevelita, taken for $50,000 by R. Hess, Jr. in November at Del Mar, drops in price (never a positive sign) but she’s drawn comfortably inside, adds Lasix, and has trained like she’ll appreciate two turns. She’s a contender by default. Sideways Suances, like all newly-turned 3-year-olds eligible to add Lasix, finished second in a similar affair at Los Alamitos last month and her experience around two turns guarantees that she’s fit for the trip. Made in Karoo has been well-beaten in both starts but against infinitely tougher straight maidens and actually has a major look based strictly on speed figures. She’s yet another adding Lasix, so there are at least a couple of reason to expect a much better effort today.

RACE 6: Post: 3:04 PT Grade: B-
Use: 5-Constantia; 9-Anonymously; 10-Claro Que Si

Forecast: Let’s go with a price in this extended grass sprint for fillies and mares Claro Que Si won a similar affair on dirt her earlier this month, and if she can duplicate that type of effort in her first try on the lawn, she could be dangerous right back. The daughter of Competitive Edge owns a good stalking style for this distance, sports a sharp recent training track blowout to keep her on edge, and seems better than her 8-1 morning line. Anonymously, away for 10 months, returns for a barn that usually does well with layoff runners and has finished first or second in four of eight career starts over the Santa Anita grass course. She’ll be part of what should be a moderate early pace and may stick around for a long time. Constantia, a winner of two of her last three, rallied from far back over this course and distance to spring a 19-1 surprise three weeks ago while registering a career top number, and there’s no reason the J. Sadler-trained filly can’t be dangerous once again. With good racing luck and some help up front, the daughter of Munnings seems likely to be heard from in the final furlong.

RACE 7: Post: 3:34 PT Grade: B
Use: 5-Va Va Vegas; 8-Found My Ball; 9-Luckys Last Stand

Forecast: Va Va Vegas probably wasn’t completely cranked up when closing to be second in his debut at Los Alamitos last month but with that effort behind him the B. Baffert-trained could be ready to produce a significant forward move. The son of Empire Way has trained well since that race, adds Lasix, switches to J. J. Hernandez, and gets an extra half furlong to work with. We’re expecting him to be along in time. Found My Ball, third with a very wide trip in his debut, is another that should improve with experience and Lasix. The son of Square Eddie has trained a little bit better than his work tab might indicate, though he’ll most likely have to do his work from off the pace. Luckys Last Stand, another second time starter, exits a maiden $50,000 affair in which he pressed the pace before weakening to wind third while earning an okay speed figure. He’s looked decent in the morning since, so the son of Lucky Pulpit, listed at 5-1 on the morning, should be included somewhere.

RACE 8: Post: 4:04 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Hartel; 4-Mystery Man; 8-Exultation

Forecast: The finale is a messy restricted (nw-2) claiming sprint on grass for $25,000 older horses. We’ll go three-deep and hope that’s sufficient. Exultation, away since April and returning from Oaklawn Park as a first-time gelding, has trained well enough to be fit and ready and has run well over this turf course in the past. In the frame in eight of 10 career starts, the son of Paynter attracts hot-riding U. Rispoli and should be dangerous from a second flight, stalking position. Mystery Man shows up in a seller for the first time while clearly being culled from the stable, but the once well-regarded colt is a strong fit on numbers and has the route-to-sprint angle on his resume. He also gets in light and projects to be on or near a moderate early pace. Hartel appears to be the quickest in the field and if he can shake loose early, he could take this group a very long way. The P. Miller-trained gelding missed as the favorite in his comeback at Del Mar but with that effort underneath him coupled with the class drop, he’s a “must use.”