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Saturday, February 27: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

February 27, 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 here to view today’s Daily Workout Report

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Click here to View Southwest Stakes-G3 Video Analysis

RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Hockey Dad; 5-Big Talker

Forecast: Hockey Dad, back on short rest (seven days), stretches out for the first time and returning to what we believe is his best surface (grass), rates top billing in this six-runner affair confined to state-bred competition. The son of Nyquist is solid in the speed figure department and projects to settle in a stalking, second-flight early position and then have every chance to tag the leaders when the pressure is turned on. Big Talker shortens up a furlong after graduating with a good late kick in part due to a highly-favorable race shape in a modest Cal-bred affair earlier this month. He’ll be running on late again but will need considerable help up front to compliment his one-paced grinding style. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Hockey Dad.

RACE 2: Post: 1:05 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1=Synthesis; 4-Pubilius Syrus

Forecast: Pubilius Syrus was scratched Feb. 5 and didn’t work until nine days later, so we’ll assume he came up with some type of physical problem, but the veteran son of Candy Ride appears to have gotten over what it may have been and returns protected in this starter’s allowance main track miler that appears to be a proper spot to produce an extension of his four race winning streak. Perfect in two career outings over the Santa Anita main track, the V. Cerin-trained six-year-old likes to lag early and blast home, and in a field with just five starters he’ll not likely encounter any traffic issues along the way. Additionally, the pace scenario projects to be favorable. Synthesis, a distant third to our top pick two runs back and then beaten in a photo in his most recent start, goes for new trainer J. Mullins following a $32,000 claim and could improve enough to pose a threat. He’s worth tossing in on a ticket or two for protection, but the main push goes to Pubilius Cyrus.

RACE 3: Post: 1:38 PT Grade: B+
Use: 1-That’s Amare; 3-Kalon

Forecast: That’s Amare, an excellent runner-up in her debut last summer in a turf sprint at Del Mar, returns for P. D’Amato (outstanding stats with layoff runners) and has trained like she’s fit and ready for this six furlong maiden affair on grass for fillies and mares. The daughter of Unusual Heat should draft into a stalking, ground-saving position and then exert her superiority when asked. She’s 8/5 on the morning line but probably will go lower. Kalon, third in her only start in November, has done some solid recent work in the a.m. for J. Sadler, attracts the barn’s “go to” rider U. Rispoli, and will be running on late. Strong preference on top goes to That’s Amare but we’ll have tickets including both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 4: Post: 2:12 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Studly Perfection; 6-Impression

Forecast: Impression was well below his best form when a no-threat fifth in a slightly stronger event earlier this month but in a weak $10,000 claiming miler the son of Smart Strike should have every opportunity to get back on the beam. First or second in 13 or 31 career starts, the veteran gelding always has been fairly dependable, so we’ll expect him to bounce back. Studly Perfection, making his second off a layoff and vanning down from Golden Gate Fields, does his best work on the front end so we’ll expect he’ll be sent from the bell in an attempt to be the controlling speed. First or second in five of seven career starts over the local main track, the son of Majesticperfection has several races on his resume that make him dangerous, so with a recent bullet workout at Golden Gate Fields and at 10-1 on the morning line he’ll be offer a legitimate price chance to our ticket.

RACE 5: Post: 2:45 PT Grade: X
Single: 5-Ruthless Racer

Forecast: Ruthless Racer has little to beat in this $20,000 claiming sprint for 3-year-old fillies and from her cozy outside draw the P. Miller-trained daughter of Flashback should settle into an easy stalking position and then take control when given her command. She’s back sprinting where she belongs, reunited with “win rider: F. Prat, and seems likely to go lower than her morning line of 6/5. She’s a logical no-value rolling exotic single.

RACE 6: Post: 3:20 PT Grade: B-
Use: 6-Mahaamel; 8-El Joy; 9-Got Curly

Forecast: Let’s go with a trio of 3-year-olds dropping from the straight maiden ranks into a high-priced maiden claimer in this nine furlong turf affair that came up light in quality. Mahaamel closed a gap without really posing a threat in his U.S. debut in a race he most likely needed, and with that prep under his belt the J. Mullins-trained gelding should greatly appreciate not only the softer assignment but also the stretch out from six furlongs to a mile and one-eighth. With T. Baze riding him back, the Irish import may be capable of producing the last run. Got Curley removes blinkers (love that angle), shows up for a tag after five middling performances when facing straight maiden foes, and has produced consistent speed figures that make him a major player at this level. At 4-1 on the morning line, he’s a “must use.” El Joy was overmatched vs. Du Jour and other nice prospects last time out but his two previous maiden claiming outings were quite solid. He makes a major jockey change to U. Rispoli and has the closing style that should be enhanced by today’s longer distance.

RACE 7: Post: 3:52 PT Grade: X
Single: 6-Handr’sdream

Forecast: Handr’sdream was claimed for $30,000 out of her debut at Los Alamitos in December and makes her first start for new trainer P. Miller (26% with a strong ROI with this angle) for the same price in a rather shallow race for 3-year-olds. The son of Palace Malice flashed good speed before weakening to wind up fifth in that race but gains Lasix and is a first time gelding so considerable improvement is likely. With F. Prat picking up the mount, there will be no price to be found (he’s 6/5 on the morning line) so let’s make him a no value, short price, rolling exotic single in a race that’s we’ll otherwise pass.

RACE 8: Post: 4:26 PT Grade: B+
Single: 5-Rock Your World

Forecast: Rock Your World won like a future star in his debut sprinting on grass earlier this meeting while earning a huge speed figure, and today stretches out while advancing into stakes competition in this year’s edition of the Pasadena Stakes for 3-year-oids. Today’s two-turn trip won’t be an issue at all, so we’re expecting the J. Sadler-trained colt to draft into an early stalking position and then move quickly whenever he’s given his cue. We’ll take his morning line of 2-1 if we can get it and also make the son of Candy Ride a rolling exotic single.

RACE 9: Post: 4:57 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Threearchbaymedia; 3-Malakai Moxie; 8-Brazilian Summer

Forecast: We’ll go three-deep in the finale, a restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming sprint for older horses. Malakai Moxie was worn down late at 22-1 in a slightly softer affair here last month but has trained well since and should improve enough to stick it out to the end. Additionally, this will be his second off a layoff in a projected pace flow that should allow him to be the controlling speed. Threearchbaymafia, third with a wide trip vs. similar last time out, needs a bit of help in the speed figure department to worry our top pick, but with just four career starts the V. Cerin-trained son of Will Take Charge certainly has room for improvement. The barn’s “go to” rider U. Rispoli stays aboard. Brazilian Summer, away for more than a year but training quite well for his return, is waiver protected by new trainer V. Garcia and could fire a big shot off the bench. He’s run well over this track in the past and probably is a bit better than his 12-1 morning line gives him credit for.