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Saturday, February 13: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

February 13, 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

Click Here to View Risen Star S.-G2 Video Analysis

Click Here to View El Camino Real Derby Video Analysis

RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 4-Sunshine Babe; 7-Big Clare; 10-Alot of Magic

Forecast: Maiden state-bred sophomore fillies sprint six furlongs on turf in the Saturday opener and we’ll focus on a pair of second-time starters exiting the fast, highly-rated Jan. 17 event won by Disko Fever, who yesterday franked the form by easily defeating a first-level allowance field. Sunshine Babe is listed at 12-1 on the morning line but we suspect is a lot better than that. The daughter of Grazen was off poorly but closed a gap to wind up fourth, adds Lasix today, and has returned to work pretty well to indicate improvement is probable. She’s from a low profile outfit but definitely has some ability. Big Clare also was slow away from the gate but then steadily advanced to wind up a willing but green third, beaten four lengths. She has every right to step forward for a barn that has powerful stats with the second-time-starter angle. We’ll also toss in Alot of Magic, a first-timer for the R. Baltas barn with a steady but unspectacular work tab at San Luis Rey Downs. She’s bred for turf on both sides of her pedigree, gets top grass rider U. Rispoli, and may be better than her moderates dirt track times indicate.

RACE 2: Post: 1:03 PT Grade: X
Single: 4-Curry

Forecast: Curry is listed as the 2/5 favorite in this five-runner first-level allowance sprint for older horses. On pure numbers he’s many lengths better than his rivals and the workouts indicate the son of Cyclotron is plenty fit for his seasonal bow. At the price he is unplayable so you can use him as a no-value rolling exotic single or simply pass the race.

RACE 3: Post: 1:36 PT Grade: B+
Single: 2-Labor Union

Forecast: Four of the eight entrants in this maiden $50,000 claiming turf miler for 3-year-olds exit the same race, the Jan. 18 affair over this course and distance won by Goldini. Labor Union finished a game third in that race after making the pace under pressure throughout, and with just three career outings the son of Union Rags probably has more room for improvement than the others. Additionally, the P. Eurton-trained gelding has worked very well in the interim and in a race should be slowly run early he projects to be the controlling speed. At 2-1 on the morning line he’s a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 4: Post: 2:08 PT Grade: B-
Use: 6-D K’s Crown; 8-Rickey B

Forecast: D K’s Crown, now in the D. O’Neill barn, earned a career top speed figure in a sharp score at Los Alamitos in mid-December from a softer group, doing so in such a manner that suggests he can take this class hike in stride. A prior winner over the Santa Anita main track, the Dominus gelding can draft in behind the leaders and then produce his best bid when the field straightens for home. Rickey B lands the cozy outside post and projects to be either on the lead or in a comfortable stalking position. He remains above his claim level, has won on this main track in the past, and has speed figures that fit. We’ll give D K’s Crown the edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 5: Post: 2:42 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Ghoul; 3-Highly Distorted; 6-Chaos Theory

Forecast: Highly Distorted is clearly the quickest in the field, and if he can shake loose again without being pressured the lightly-raced M. Puype-trained gelding could capture his third straight race while at the advanced age of six continuing his climb up the class ladder. He’ll need to produce another forward move to outrun this tougher group, but with numbers that continue to rise and with winning form over the course the son of Distorted Humor looks hard to handle at 5/2 on the morning line. Chaos Theory returns to his claim level after failing to land a blow in the Joe Hernandez S.-G2 last time out. He’s more than good enough on his best day to win but lacks tactical speed and may be at a disadvantage due to the projected race flow. Ghoul was a clever winner under these conditions two runs back but failed to duplicate that performance when fifth of six with a less-than-ideal trip in the subsequent Clocker’s Corner Stakes last month. He’s reunited with “win rider” J. Rosario and with good racing luck should be heard from late. All three should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have extra tickets keying Highly Distorted on top.

RACE 6: Post: 3:14 PT Grade: B+
Single: 7-Captain Scotty

Forecast: This abbreviated sprint should belong to Captain Scotty, assuming the stakes-winning gelding has at least one good one left. The son of Quality Road, a fading fifth in the Palos Verdes S.-G3 here last month, returns to the $32,000 claiming ranks, and in a field lacking his kind of zip the P. Miller-trained veteran should be too quick and too classy for this moderate group. He’s 5/2 on the morning line but we suspect he’ll go lower, so we’ll make him a logical short price rolling exotic single in a race that we’ll otherwise pass.

RACE 7: Post: 3:46 PT Grade: B+
Single: 5-Kakistocracy

Forecast: Let’s take a stand and single Kakistocracy in this nine furlong state-bred first-level allowance affair on grass. Listed at 8-1 on the morning line, the son of Point of Entry had a right to be rusty when eighth (but beaten just over two lengths) in a similar event over a mile last month in what was his first start in 11 months. Rallying against slow fractions and never really being knocked about, the C. Gaines-trained gelding gets an extra furlong to work with today, retains “win rider” D. Van Dyke, and shows a strong, healthy work pattern since raced. With a win over the local lawn on his resume, the lightly-raced five-year-old gelding seems primed for a career top effort, so we’ll make him a solid play in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.

RACE 8: Post: 4:20 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Fair Maiden; 5-Qahira; 6-Golden Principle

Forecast: Fair Maiden looked terrific winning the La Brea S.-G1 over this track and distance in a race restricted to 3-year-olds last time out and today tackles older fillies and mares for the first time in this year’s edition of the Santa Monica S.-G2. A winner of half of her eight career starts with her most recent win producing a career top speed figure, the daughter of Street Boss likes to settle and blast home, a style that is usually most effective at this seven furlong distance. R. Gonzalez stays aboard, knows her well, and can have this E. Harty-trained filly along in time. Golden Principal, a sharp runner-up (though beaten 2.5 lengths) to Fair Maiden in the La Brea, has come back to work splendidly and gets a four pound break in the weights compared to her chief rival, so it’s certainly within the realm of possibility that she can turn the tables. The B. Baffert-trained daughter of Constitution has good tactical speed and should enjoy a pace-stalking, trouble-free trip. Qahira, a winner of four of her last five starts, is another Baffert trainee that must be included somewhere on your ticket. She’s not quite as fast on pure numbers as Fair Maiden but looked good winning the listed Kalookan Queen S. last month and against this stronger group seems likely to get at least get a piece of it.

RACE 9: Post: 4:55 PT Grade: B-
Use: 8-Indian Peak; 10-Scarto; 11-Taishan

Forecast: The finale is a difficult second-level allowance turf mile for older horses with the two main contenders drawing the disadvantageous two outside post positions. Scarto and Taishan both exit a series of stakes races and will enjoy this much welcomed class drop, though both may have difficulty securing a decent trip from where they’re drawn. The former has consistently earned speed figures that can win at this level and will be running on strongly late, while the latter, freshened since November, picks up J. Rosario and ran well in graded company when a close second in the American Turf S.-G2 at Churchill Downs on Derby Day in early September. Also worth including on your ticket is Indian Peak, a non-threatening but somewhat troubled sixth of 11 in the Cal Cup Turf Classic here last month. The stakes-winning son of Comic Strip lacked room into the lane, lost some of his momentum, and really should have finished closer. He’s another that will enjoy this return to the allowance ranks and being reunited with “win rider” M. Smith.