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Sunday, February 07: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

February 7, 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: 11:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Raneem; 6-Jan Jan Can

Forecast: Jan Jan Can just defeated a maiden $20,000 field with a good late kick and is realistically spotted off that win in this restricted (nw-2) $16,000 extended sprint for fillies and mares. She’s a strong fit on speed figures and today’s extra half-furlong certainly won’t hurt. The B. Baffert-trained Raneem projects as the controlling speed, and while her comeback outing vs. tougher starter’s allowance foes while uninspiring to say the least, she could produce a significant forward move for a barn that has excellent stats with the second-off-the-layoff angle. We’ll give Jan Jan Can the edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 2: Post: 11:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Damn the Torpedoes; 3-Bleu Ballon; 10-Velvet

Forecast: Bleu Ballon was almost four lengths clear of the rest when a sharp runner-up over this course and distance in her debut last month, and so with any kind of forward move today the daughter of Air Force Blue should be hard to beat. The Beyer speed figure she just earned is better than par for the level. Velvet is considerably slower than ‘Ballon on pure numbers but easily could step forward today in just her second career outing and her first since mid-November. The daughter of American Pharoah missed by a neck over five furlongs with a good late surge and today, with an extra furlong to work with for a barn that has sensational stats (30%) with the second-time starter angle, she is a major player and the one to fear most. Damn the Torpedoes has trained okay – not great – but she’s bred for grass and may be a better type on the lawn than here dirt drills might indicate. Toss her in somewhere at 10-1 on the morning line.

RACE 3: Post: 12:01 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Kenzou’s Rhythm; 4-Impression

Forecast: Impression seems fairly solid in this $12,500 main track claiming miler for older horses, so we’ll put him on top but use a couple of others as well in rolling exotic play. Now in the K. Mulhall barn after being haltered for this same price in late December, the eight-year-old gelding shows consistent recent form despite changing barns in four of his last five starts and can be effective either on the front end or from a stalking position. Runner-up in his last try with a career top speed figure, the son of Smart Strike goes for a highly-capable outfit that generally does well with the first-off-the-claim angle. Kenzou’s Rhythm, away for almost 10 months, returns cheap (and not waivered protected) so his condition must be questioned, but the veteran son of Algorithms is a four-time winner over the Santa Anita main track and his recent work tab looks decent enough. You may want to include him on a few tickets as a saver or a back-up.

RACE 4: Post: 12:33 PT Grade: X
Single: 4-Greg’s Diva

Forecast: Greg’s Diva, freshened since November, returns in a first-level allowance grass sprint that on paper appears made to order for the speedy daughter of Shackleford. Second in her last pair as the favorite but in both instances running well in defeat, the P. D’Amato-trained filly turned in a bullet work on the training track six days ago that catches the eye, and in a race that projects to have soft splits she should have no difficulty assuming the role as the controlling speed. At 8/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, she’s a short-priced rolling exotic single.

RACE 5: Post: 1:03 PT Grade: X
Use: 2-Mr. Impossible; 4-Tivoli Twirl;5-Bezos

Forecast: Bezos has been a talking horse for several weeks and finally makes it to the post after showing a string of impressive workouts that ensures he’ll be a short-priced favored in this extended main track sprint for 3-year-olds. The son of Empire Maker looks the part – he was $400,000 yearling purchase – and if he leaves with his field the B. Baffert-trained colt could put on a show. That said, he’ll have to beat the talented Mr. Impossible, who ran quite well in his debut when second to subsequent San Vicente S.-G2 winner Concert Tour in his debut last month while winding up eight lengths clear of the rest. The son of Munnings has returned to work extremely well since that race and should run at least as well if not better with a bit of experience behind him. Tivoli Twirl is the “other” Baffert in the field and isn’t as well regarded as Bezos, but the son of Twirling Candy is a quick, athletic type and shouldn’t be overlooked.

RACE 6: Post: 1:34 PT Grade: B
Use: 6-Translate; 7-Bruja Escarlata

Forecast: Bruja Escarlata didn’t have a whole lot behind her when finally making it to the post and winning at first asking in December of her sophomore campaign, so we’ll find out more about her today as she tackles first-level allowance fillies and mares while switching to grass. Based on the speed figure she earned in that gate-to-wire score, the daughter of Street Boss should be capable of winning right back, though she’s not likely to enjoy the easy front-running trip that came her way at Los Alamitos. The J. Sadler-trained filly continues to sizzle in the a.m., so we suspect she has plenty of room for development. Translate broke her maiden over this course and distance on New Year’s Day in stylish fashion, pressing the pace and then accelerating in the final furlong to win going away. She’s not as fast on numbers as our top pick but is proven on turf, so while we’ll prefer Bruja Escarlata on top we’ll have tickets including both in rolling exotic play.

RACE 7: Post: 2:08 PT Grade: X
Single: 4-Edgeway

Forecast: Edgeway completely outclasses this second-level allowance field of fillies and mares based on her four-race resume from last year and she seems certain leave at a short price despite making her first start since last June. The J. Sadler-trained daughter of Competitive Edge won her debut so we knows she can fire fresh and the work tab, though not flashy, should have her fit enough. She’s a logical short-price rolling exotic single in a race that we’ll otherwise leave alone.

RACE 8: Post: 4:09 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Master Ryan; 3-Shady Empire; 7-Brix; 9-Hammering Lemon

Forecast: The Super Bowl Sunday nightcap is a fairly competitive extended grass sprint for first-level state-bred allowance older horses requiring a spread in rolling play. Brix has a prior win over the local lawn and with racing luck this prototype late-running sprinter will be heard from in the final furlong. In the frame in his last three, each time closing well but too late, the son of Twirling Candy gets an extra half-furlong to work with today so with some help up front he could produce the last run. Shady Empire projects as a serious pace player in his first try on grass, and if the son of Empire Way can transfer his dirt form to the sod, he should be a major player. J. Rosario stays aboard, and a recent bullet workout tells us the lightly-raced gelding is ready for another good effort.Master Ryan is winless in five starts over the Santa Anita turf course, but his speed figures continue to gradually rise, and with another slight forward move today the P. D’Amato-trained gelding – a close fourth in the same race Brix exits – could spring a mild surprise. Hammering Lemon, away since August, has trained quite well for his comeback and may be a better type this time around. He’s 12-1 on the morning line and is worth including on your ticket.