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Friday, February 05: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

February 5, 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-Coulthard; 8-Hudson Ridge

Forecast: The Friday opener brings together an intriguing group of 3-year-olds sprinting six furlongs on the turf. Coulthard makes his U.S. debut for a barn that has done quite well with European shippers and this colt – a five-race maiden but in the frame in his last four – could very well display improved form in his first outing since October. He’s a first-time Lasix user with good recent training track drills, and with the stable’s “go to” rider U. Rispoli taking the mount we suspect this P. D’Amato-trained 3-year-old is fit and ready. Hudson Ridge, a fast-working first-timer from the B. Baffert barn (a massive 31% with debut runners), appears to have considerable early speed, and as a son of American Pharoah from a mare by Galileo he’s bred on both sides to excel on grass. His dirt track workouts are good, but on turf (he’s never trained on it) he’s likely to be very effective. We’ll give Coulthard a very slight edge on top but use both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 2: Post: 1:03 PT Grade: B+
Use: 1-Frosteria; 4-Donna Bella

Forecast: This main track miler for maiden 3-year-old fillies drew just five starters but there are at least two good ones in the field. Donna Bella shows a number of positive angles in her past performance chart that indicate she’s ready to produce a significant forward move, most notably the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern. After being nosed out in a strong maiden special weight sprint here last month, the daughter of Not This Time tries a two-turn mile (certainly is bred for it), sports an impressive five furlong workout last week to indicate she’s doing well, removes blinkers (love that angle), and retains hot-riding U. Rispoli. The S. Callaghan-trained filly seems likely be the controlling speed and may never look back given that type of trip. Frosteria, second in all four of her career outings with strong speed figures, most recently finished a sharp runner-up to her talented stable mate Kalypso in the Santa Ynez S.-G3. The B. Baffert-trained filly probably can’t beat a real good filly, but it may take a real good one to beat her. Also, she may be more comfortable around one turn. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have extra tickets keying Donna Bella on top.

RACE 3: Post: 1:35 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Soulong; 4-Amanofmystature; 9-Mongolian Ford

Forecast: There are plenty of question marks in this maiden claiming turf sprint fort 3-year-olds, requiring a spread in rolling exotic play. We’ll go three-deep and hope that’s enough. Amanofmystature drops into a seller for the first time, removes blinkers, exits a fast, highly-rated race, makes his first start since being gelded, and retains F. Prat. The son of Into Mischief sports a healthy series of drills at San Luis Rey Downs since raced and projects to be on or near the lead throughout, so we’ll give him top billing in a grass grab bag. The “other” Miller in the race – the second time starterSoulong - lands the rail, removes blinkers, and switches to J. Rosario in his first local outing after closing a big gap to be fourth in his debut at Tampa Bay Downs when facing $32,000 maiden claiming foes in early December. He’s likely better than that race shows and could be a late threat if he can get some help up front and secure room to rally from the quarter pole home. Low profile connections notwithstanding, Mongolian Ford is a price chance worth considering on your ticket. Sent off at 104-1 in his debut, the son of Shackleford cut out fast interior fractions routing on the main track before understandably weakening in the lane at the maiden special weight level last month and seems certain to stick better with the shortening to a sprint, the switch to grass, and the drop into the maiden claiming ranks.

RACE 4: Post: 2:08 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Coalinga Road; 6-Desmond Doss

Forecast: We’re going to try to survive and advance using just two in this allowance optional claiming main track miler for older state-bred runners, but if your budget permits feel free to spread deeper. Desmond Dess returned off a five month layoff to run quite well sprinting in his first career outing on dirt last month when a sharp runner-up at this level in a race he had a right to need. Today, the son of Grazen stretches out to a distance we know he can handle, shows two nice drills since raced, retains A. Cedillo, and should be able to draft into a good second flight stalking position and then have every chance from there. Additionally, the S. Miyadi barn shows strong stats with the second-off-a-layoff angle. Coalinga Road, second in a similar affair over this track and distance last month while finishing eight lengths clear of the others, won’t need much better than that to win today. His numbers are solid for the level and his pace-stalking style should ensure a trouble-free trip.

RACE 5: Post: 2:40 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Sweet Devil; 5-Eyes Open; 6-Witch Moon

Forecast: Older maiden fillies and mares meet over a mile on grass to kick off the late Pick-4. Eyes Open is a progressive sort going long and trying grass for the first time, and with rising speed figures the daughter of Street Sense has a right to step forward again for a barn that sports excellent stats with the stretch out angle. We suspect gate-to-wire tactics will be employed. Sweet Devil had a recent sprint tightener in her first outing since August – she finished a respectable third – and with U. Rispoli riding her back the M. McCarthy-trained filly seems certain to produce a forward move over a course and distance that should bring out her best. The daughter of Daredevil looked nice in a recent dirt workout to indicate she’s spot on and our pace projection indicates she’ll draft into a nice stalking position and then have dead aim from the top of the lane to the wire. Witch Moon is an Eastern shipper making her California debut for P. D’Amato and seems likely to produce improved form her new connections. The daughter of Malibu Moon has trained well locally in blinkers (she’ll wear them for the first time), attracts F. Prat, and could be the most dangerous of the closing types.

RACE 6: Post: 3:12 PT Grade: B
Use:5-Multiplier; 6-Pubilius Cyrus

Forecast: Here’s a challenging $50,000 claiming main track miler for older horses that offers at least a couple of possibilities, including the big class dropping 7-year-old gelding Multiplier, a narrow runner-up in last year’s Santa Anita Handicap-G1 but winless since 2019 and just 3-for-33 overall. Numbers-wise he’s certainly good enough to win at this level, and his recent fourth place finish in the San Gabriel S.-G2 wasn’t bad, but throughout his career he’s never been one to trust. With the switch to F. Prat (who’s gotten good run out of him in the past) and a healthy series of recent drills at San Luis Rey Downs, the P. Miller-trained gelding should have no excuses. Pubilius Syrus has regained his old form since being re-claimed by V. Cerin, for whom he was a stakes winner in his younger days. The six-year-old has climbed back up the class ladder after putting together a win streak that now numbers four, and based on a career top speed figure earned in his most recent victory the son of Candy Ride should fire another big shot today, especially in a race that projects to have enough early speed to compliment his late-running style. We’re expecting the winner will be one of these two so we’ll double the race in our rolling exotics.

RACE 7: Post: 3:45 PT Grade: B+
Use: 1-Gator Shining; 2-Earls Rock; 5-Sword Zorro

Forecast: This year’s edition of the Baffle Stakes. appears to be a stronger than average event that brings together several nice 3-year-old turf prospects, many of whom should be quite comfortable sprinting on the lawn. Earls Rock made his U.S. debut in a grass miler here last month and was visually impressive when producing a superior turn of foot from the top of the lane to the wire. Though backing up to six furlongs today, the Irish-bred colt should not be inconvenienced by the shorter journey and in fact looks quite dangerous from off the pace despite stepping up from the maiden ranks into this listed affair. The P. D’Amato-trained colt continues to impress in the morning, retains F. Prat, is fast on figures, and should have enough help up front to set things up nicely for his closing kick. Gator Shining is developing nicely into a very effective late-running grass sprinter – all three of his career outings have been excellent with steadily rising numbers – and like Earls Rock should be motoring home from the quarter pole home. Sword Zerro is the wild card in the field. The Irish-bred colt makes his U. S. debut for the J. Rosario/J. Sadler team and his form overseas and his local work tab make him intriguing. Toss him in somewhere, at least as a back-up or a saver.

RACE 8: Post: 4:16 PT Grade: C+
Use: 1-Wild Arch; 2-Moreavino; 3-A J Rock

Forecast: The finale is a messy bottom-rung maiden claiming main track miler for older fillies and mares. Anything goes, so use as many as you can afford do. A J Rock gets a break in the weights with the switch to good bug girl rider J. Pyfer, stretches out, and projects to be forwardly placed throughout. She’s a fit on numbers and this barn has a history of doing well with the sprint-to-route angle. Wild Arch returns to dirt, stretches out again, lands the good rail and has numbers that make her competitive. This is her lowest level ever, so she’s a main player by default. Moreavino, third in her last two starts, is a one-paced grinder but at least can be counted on to be moving in the right direction in the late stages. If the speed collapses, she projects to be in the position to produce the last run.