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Saturday, February 06: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

February 6, 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

View Video Analysis of the Withers S.-G3

View Video Analysis of the Sam F. Davis S.-G3

View Video Analysis of the San Vicente S.-G3

RACE 1: Post: 12:00 PT Grade: B+
Use: 4-Kanderel; 5-Ekklesia

Forecast: The opener is a main track, nine furlong, second level allowance event for older horses. This type of condition rarely fills on dirt, but this one managed to attract seven starters, with Ekklesia the logical top pick and one to beat. Fourth behind the much improved Tizamagician in a hot race last month, the son of Raison d’Etat catches a field without much early speed and with his best effort projects to be on or near the lead throughout. A winner over this main oval during the fall season, the P. Eurton-trained colt retains F. Prat, shows a healthy, steady series of workouts since raced and based on the anticipated race flow shouldn’t have any trouble getting the trip. He’ll get the main punch in our rolling exotics but Kanderel has done some good work in the a.m. on the main track in blinkers, so in his first try with the hood and his first career start on dirt the son of Candy Ride could produce a significant forward move in his first outing since late November.

RACE 2: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Hyland Haven; -Cider Apple; 8-Ivy League

Forecast: Ivy League is the one to beat in this maiden-special-weight grass affair at nine furlongs for sophomore fillies based on her good runner-up effort in a similar affair over a mile here last month. The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro is a one-paced grinding type and should appreciate today’s extra distance. In a race that seems likely to be slowly run early she should be able to fold over and secure a good stalking trip. Cider Apple is a dangerous English invader making her U.S. debut for J. Mullins after displaying a decent amount of ability in four starts overseas. She’ll gets Lasix today and looked fairly decent in a couple of main track workouts leading up to this race. Hyland Haven is stretches out to a distance she’s bred to like (Orb) and lands the rail while retaining F. Prat. She’s a progressive sort in a hot barn, so you have to use her somewhere.

RACE 3: Post: 1:03 PT Grade: X
Single: 3-Moonlight d’Oro

Forecast: Moonlight d’Oro has the makings of an exceptional 3-year-old filly and looks even money or less in this year’s edition of the one mile, main track Las Virgenes S.-G3 for 3-year-old fillies. After a couple of educational runs sprinting to begin her career, the R. Mandella-trained filly graduated in visually pleasing fashion at Los Alamitos in mid-December while earning a much improved speed figure, one that is good enough to win right back despite the class hike. She’s trained extremely well since, so we we’ll make the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro a standout and logical short-priced rolling exotic single.

RACE 4: Post: 1:36 PT Grade: B+
Use: 2-Masteroffoxhounds; 4-Acclimate

Forecast: Given a pace projection that surely makes him the likely controlling speed, course-specialist Acclimate is certain to be short price to regain his winning form in this year’s renewal of the San Marcos S.-G3 over 10 furlongs on grass. Always most effective on the front end, the seven-year-old gelding shows four career wins over the local lawn including the marathon San Juan Capistrano S.-G3 a couple of years ago. That said, Masteroffoxhounds could give him a serious run for his money. Fresh from a romping win in a mini-marathon at Del Mar in November against a lesser group, the ex-Irish performer has trained superbly in the interim for R. Baltas and seems set to launch an outstanding four-year-old campaign. The son of War Front should be within range of the leader to the top of the lane and then have dead aim and every chance when asked for best. At the price, we’ll put ‘Hounds on top but include both in rolling exotic play.

RACE 5: Post: 2:08 PT Grade: C
Use: 1-Smoothlikebuttah; 4-Medusa’s Gaze; 10-Pawnee; 11-Half Hoping

Forecast: Maiden $50,000 claiming state-bred 3-year-old fillies meet over six and one-half furlongs on dirt in a mad scramble that requires a significant spread in rolling exotic play. We’ll try to survive and advance going four-deep and hope to get a decent price home. Smoothlikebuttah was overmatched in the Cal Cup Oaks over a mile on grass last time out but she is realistically spotted today while dropping into a seller for the first time while adding Lasix and switching to J. Rosario. If she can avoid trouble from the rail, the daughter of Mr. Big will have every chance to earn her diploma in her ninth career start. Half Hoping has a nice recent drill that indicates she’s ready to step forward after a decent runner-up effort in her debut earlier this season. She gets Lasix and a cozy outside draw and probably has more upside than most of the others. Among the others, Medusa’s Gaze is gradually improving with racing, and while she’s not particularly fast on speed figures at least her numbers are moving in the right direction, while Pawnee, fourth in her only outing last summer vs. straight maidens two-turning on grass, has a much easier assignment today and gets Lasix and hot-riding U. Rispoli.

RACE 6: Post: 2:42 PT Grade: X
Single: 6-Whisper Not

Forecast: Whisper Not was a bit unlucky when a close third in the Mathis Bros. Mile-G2 on opening day Dec. 26 and this return to the first-level allowance ranks should get him back on the winning track at what we expect will be a shorter price than his morning line of 9/5. The lightly-raced English-bred colt has been burning up the training track in the interim, returns J. Rosario, and in a race with plenty of pace he should secure an ideal second flight, stalking position and then be able to exert his superiority when called up on. He’s a logical rolling exotic single.

RACE 7: Post: 3:14 PT Grade: X
Single: 6-Concert Tour

Forecast: Concert Tour couldn’t have been more impressive than he was graduating at first asking with a huge speed figure, doing so with a pace-pressing trip before drawing clear with ease in the final furlong. From his cozy outside draw, the son of Street Sense should have no difficulty securing a similar pace-prompting journey and then have every chance from the quarter pole home to verify the extremely favorable impression he made last month. The B. Baffert-trained colt surely will be odds-on, so we’ll pass the race other than to use him as a short-priced rolling exotic single.

RACE 8: Post: 3:46 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Hit the Road; 7-Bob and Jackie; 8-Hembree

Forecast: This year’s edition of the Thunder Road S.-G3 is a challenging turf miler with several possibilities that requires considerable coverage in rolling exotic play. Use as many as you can afford to. Hit the Road hasn’t been out since winning the Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar in July, and this will be his first try vs. older horses, so the task won’t be easy. That said, he’s a talented son of More Than Ready with two previous wins over the local lawn, and if he returns as well as he left – and the work pattern looks good - he might be able to pick-up where he left off. Most effective when held up early and allowed to blast home, the D. Blacker-trained colt will get the patient ride he requires from regular pilot U. Rispoli, and with some help up front might be able to tag the speed. Bob and Jackie, himself a stakes winner over this course and distance in his younger days, does his best work on the front end and could easily secure his preferred role as the controlling speed. If so, the son of Twirling Candy could get very brave. Hembree was rather impressive winning his California debut in his first start off the claim for P. Miller in the Joe Hernandez S.-G2 over six furlongs on New Year’s Day. He’s been primarily a middle distance performer through his career, so today’s two-turn trip won’t be an issue. He’s another, though, that needs a quick pace to compliment his late-running style.

RACE 9: Post: 4:20 PT Grade: C+
Use: 3-Dreamer’s Reality; 5-More Bubbly; 8-Threearchbaymafia; 9-Squalatoro

Forecast: This is another difficult affair, a six and one-half furlong affair for restricted (nw-2) $16,000 older claimers. Squalotoro is moving up a notch from $12,500 but he exits a fairly tough race and his fourth place finish (beaten less than three lengths) earned him a career top speed figure. He’s reunited with “win rider” J. J. Hernandez and projects to enjoy a good mid-pack trip outside. With even a slight forward move, the son of Clubhouse Ride may be able to tag the speed. Threearchbaymafia drops to his lowest level ever after finishing eighth of nine in a fast, highly-rated starter’s allowance dash on New Year’s Day. The son of Will Take Charge is a strong fit on speed figures and seems certain improve a bunch at this level in a race that should allow him to lay fairly close to the pace without being used hard. More Bubbly cleverly captured his debut in a maiden $20,000 sprint at Del Mar in late November and is realistically spotted in his first try vs. winners. He’ll need a boost in the speed figure department to score again, but the son of Tiznow could easily improve enough to do just that. Dreamer’s Reality shows up in a seller for the first time while making his first start on dirt. It’s hard to say how he’ll handle the surface switch, but his late-running style gives him a lock at this extended sprint distance.

RACE 10: Post: 4:52 PT Grade: C+
Use: 2-Aadhana; 5-Varoma; 8-Agreetodisagree

Forecast: The nightcap is a somewhat difficult maiden $50,000 claiming sprint for sophomore fillies. Aadhana has the maiden-to-maiden claiming angle on her resume and numbers that are good enough to win at this level. She gets in with a feather and will be running on late, so with good racing luck the daughter of California Chrome could get up in time. Agreetodisagree, another dropping into a seller for the first time, also switches to grass, though we can’t say her pedigree promises any significant improvement due to the change in surface. The speed figure she earned when fourth sprinting on dirt two races back at Del Mar puts her within range and the turn back from a mile won’t hurt, either. Varoma certainly is bred for grass and should improve, though her failure as the favorite in late December in a modest $40,000 maiden claimer doesn’t inspire confidence. She does have some early speed and may find herself loose on the lead.