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Sunday, February 14: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

February 14, 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: 6-Love My Jimmy; 8-Tacoflavoredkisses

Forecast: We’ll try to survive the opener using just two in a wide-open grass sprint for starter allowance optional claiming 3-year-olds. Tacoflavoredkisses exits a pair of stakes races and is realistically spotted while dropping in class and continuing to look decent in the morning for Callaghan. The Distorted Humor colt gets Lasix, switches to turf, and picks up F. Prat, so we’re expecting him to be a strong factor with a good stalking trip. Love My Jimmy is a quick type and should be on or near the lead throughout. On pure numbers he’s good enough to win and there’s no reason he can’t duplicate his dirt form on the lawn.

RACE 2: Post: 1:03 PT Grade: A-
Single: 3-Happier

Forecast: Happier was highly impressive winning her debut last summer at Del Mar but then had to be stopped on. She returns for B. Baffert (superb stats with layoffs) and has trained even better now than she did before her first start, so we expect a huge run from the daughter of Street Sense. She’s 9/5 on the morning line but is the second choice behind the smart first-out winner Pharoah’s Heart (7/5), who easily defeated Bye Bye Miss Pie, herself a sharp winner in good style on Friday. You can double the race if you’d like, but we’ll take a stand and use Happier in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single.

RACE 3: Post: 1:36 PT Grade: C+
Use: 1-Capital Call; 2-Waraire; 3-On Easy Street; 10-Cosmo

Forecast: This is a messy turf miler for older maidens, so we suggest you use as many as your budget allows. On Easy Street has hit the board in his last four and was nosed out in his most recent start, so the son of Street Boss may finally be ready to earn his diploma. He should be able to secure a position somewhere in mid-pack and then have dead aim from the head of the stretch to the wire. Waraire, third in the same race On Easy Street exits, will be making just his third career start and thus may have more room to improve than most of the others. J. Rosario got to know him last time out and stays aboard. Cosmo is stuck way outside and is an eight-race maiden without any real turn of foot, but he had a recent sprint tune-up off a layoff when closing with some interest to be third, retains F. Prat, and has speed figures that make him a major player. His N. Drysdale-trained stable mate Capital Call lands the good rail, has trained okay for his first start since September and has run reasonably well over this course in the past. At 12-1 on the morning line, he’s worth including somewhere on your ticket.

RACE 4: Post: 2:08 PT Grade: B-
Single: 4-Royal Blend

Forecast: There’s little substance in this maiden $40,000 claiming sprint for sophomore fillies so Royal Blend, while not offering any real value at 8/5 on the morning line, seems the most likely winner based on the class and numbers that are good enough to win at this level. She also has the route-to-spring angle that we like and a bullet recent half mile workout to have her on edge. She’s a rolling exotic single by default in a race that probably is best left alone.

RACE 5: Post: 2:42 PT Grade: C+
Use: 3-Honos Man; 6-Justin’s Quest; 9-Liberal

Forecast: This restricted (nw-3) $35,000 claiming turf miler came up pretty light. We’ll go three-deep and hope that’s enough. Justin’s Quest has never been known to punch it in under pressure but this shortening to a mile should help and a recent sharp workout indicate he’s doing well. The R. Baltas-trained gelding is solid on numbers and projects to settle in a good second flight position and then have his chance from the quarter pole to the wire. Honos Man, a close fifth in the same race Justin’s Quest just finished third in, is another that might enjoy this one mile journey, and with the switch to F. Prat the P. Miller-trained gelding looks very much like a live item. The son of Afleet Alex will enjoy a nice ground-saving, stalking journey. Liberal drops to a realistic level, picks up J. Rosario, and seems the most dangerous of the deep closers.

RACE 6: Post: 3:14 PT Grade: X
Single: 8-Wicks and Chappies

Forecast: Wicks and Chappies was a no-excuse runner-up in a similar bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint for older fillies and mares last month but she shortens up a furlong today and from her outside post will have every chance to control the race from start to finish. However, she’s 6/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, so you can use her as a no-value rolling exotic single or simply pass the race.

RACE 7: Post: 3:46 PT Grade: B
Use: 6-Royal Address; 8-Pizzazz; 9-Majestic Steps

Forecast: This year’s edition of the Sweet Life S.-G3 for 3-year-old fillies sprinting on turf came up fairly competitive. Royal Address, a stakes winner last September at Chantilly in France, has worked like she’s fit and ready for N. Drysdale and may simply out class this field. The Irish-bred filly can settle behind the leaders and then blast home, so with clear sailing through the lane she should be capable of tagging the speed. Pizzazz showed promise when closing nicely to be second in her sprint debut last summer but has been flattening out in her last couple of two-turn tries so this return to a one-corner affair should make her extremely dangerous from off the pace. She’s 8-1 on the morning line and offers value at that price. Majestic Steps looked good winning her U.S. debut with sharp turn of foot last month and earned a good number in the process. The filly she defeated came back to win, so with top turf rider U. Rispoli staying aboard the Irish-bred filly seems likely to be heard from in the final furlong.

RACE 8: Post: 4:20 PT Grade: B
Single: 2-Uno Trouble Maker

Forecast: Though she failed at 8/5 in a tougher starter’s allowance sprint at Los Alamitos in December, Uno Trouble Maker, a six-time winner over the Santa Anita main track, returns to her favorite strip and should regain her winning form in this modest $10,000 seller for older fillies and mares. She projects to be on or near the lead throughout, and in a race with suspect closer she should be capable of rolling all the way to the wire under F. Prat. If not’s her, it could be just about anybody else, so let’s take a stand and make her rolling exotic single while expecting the six year old mare to be perked after a nearly two month vacation.

RACE 9: Post: 4:52 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Big Talker; 2-Circleofchampions; 9-Big Flint

Forecast: Big Flint, a son of Flintshire and therefore bred to improve as the distances increase, stretches out to nine furlongs today, and with patient handling looks capable of producing the last run. The P. Eurton-trained Cal-bred gelding, in the frame in both of his starts with rising numbers and making major jockey change to J. Rosario, is listed at 5/2 on the morning line and will offer good value at that price if you can get it. Big Talker is guaranteed a good ground-saving trip from the rail and continues to make progress with experience. A nice runner-up while finishing just ahead of Big Flint in that common race in early January, the son of Mr. Big retains F. Prat and is another that should enjoy today’s extra furlong. Circleofchampions, fifth in that same race after pressing the pace throughout, may prefer to be taken back and permitted to make one run. Give that type of strategy, the C. Gaines-trained colt could easily outrun his 8-1 morning line.