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Saturday, May 01: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

May 1, 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 Santa Anita Workout Report

RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Little Jewel; 5-Red Diamond; 7-Lady Macarena; 9-Xmas Surprise

Forecast: The Saturday opener is loaded with suspect speed, so in a spread affair let’s put the late-running Red Diamond on top. Away since last July, the daughter of Afleet Alex displayed some talent in two previous starts and has trained well for her comeback. With some heat up front and room to rally in the stretch she will have a chance to pull off a surprise at 8-1 on the morning line. Xmas Surprise was 48-1 when finishing a good second in a similar turf sprint here in March and if she produces a forward mover today the L. Powell-trained daughter of More Than Ready will be in the picture once again. Lady Macarena has plenty of speed and may stick around for awhile if she can clear the field during the early stages. Her first race was solid, her second not so much, but we expect the M. McCarthy-trained filly to bounce back today. Little Jewel flashed a bit of ability in her debut sprinting on grass at Churchill Downs last June but then was stopped on. She has worked okay for her comeback and could be a better type this time around, so at 8-1 on the morning line she’s worth including as well.

RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: C+
Use: 1-Kenzou’s Rhythm; 5-Studly Perfection

Forecast: This race looks treacherous – even with just five entrants – so our strategy is to tread lightly. Studly Perfection is a three-time winner over the Santa Anita main track and drops to a realistic level after fading to finish fourth vs. tougher foes going long on the lawn at Golden Gate Fields. He should stick better with this group, especially with the weight break he gets due to J. Pyfer taking the call. Kenzou’s Rhythm, first off the claim for R. Hanson (20%) likely will settle off the pace and then try to tag the leaders. In a race in which the race flow may promote his style, the veteran Algorithms gelding is a “must use.”

RACE 3: Post: 1:34 PT Grade: X
Use: 1-Eel Point; 5-Two Thirty Five; 6-Shadow Sphinx

Forecast: Here is another race that might be best left alone. We will go three-deep in our rolling exotics but otherwise pass. Two Thirty Five is listed as the 4/5 morning line favorite and, yes, he can win, but that’s a shorter number than he probably should be. The good news is that he remains at his ($50,000) claim level so the barn must still like him and if the son of Stay Thirsty, a winner of four races over the local main track, shows up with his “A” game he will most likely justify the short price. Shadow Sphinx is fast on speed figures based on his recent grass races, but he’s not nearly as accomplished on the main track. The veteran gelding knows how to win (nine career victories) so he has to be somewhat respected. Eel Point had a brutal trip up north sprinting last time out and today stretches out a distance that should suit him. He can handle the dirt, as his runaway maiden win at Keeneland shows, and with a nice recent workout the Into Mischief gelding may be capable of producing a significant forward move.

RACE 4: Post: 2:15 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Memo Daddy; 7-Keystone Field

Forecast: Keystone Field has an improving pattern and looks ready to regain his winning form in this entry-level turf miler for older horses. The R. Mandella-trained gelding can be effective on the front end or from off the pace, so V. Espinoza can assess the early race flow and then choose a spot. Memo Daddy has looked decent in the a.m. for M. McCarthy and should be able to fit in this league in his U.S. debut. The Chilean-bred horse has been away for more than a year and his South American form isn’t great, but he could easily be better than his resume indicates. The son of Scat Daddy is a first-time Lasix user, and we suspect will turn up a live item.

RACE 5: Post: 2:46 PT Grade: X
Single: 4-Missy P

Forecast: Missy P. won off by herself in her debut and earned a stakes-quality speed figure without ever really taking a deep breath. She faces considerably tougher company today, but we doubt the class hike will have much affect on her. Drawn outside of her three rivals, including her talented R. Mandella-trained stable mate Astute, the daughter of Into Mischief has the option of popping and going or stalking and pouncing. In either case, she’ll likely win but will be too short to play, so let’s just make her a no-value value rolling exotic single while otherwise sitting out the race.

RACE 6: Post: 3:22 PT Grade: B
Single: 8-Titrate

Forecast: This is the kind of race that you can spread deeply and still might not have enough coverage, or simply take a stand and hope to be right. We will opt for the latter strategy. Titrate, claimed by M. Puype out of a runner-up effort for $50,000 sprinting on grass last month in what was just his second career start, stretches out today to a distance he should enjoy, and with another forward move should be capable of graduating from a lackluster bunch. The son of Violence doesn’t have a whole lot of early speed, but if he can secure a mid-pack position and finish like he did in his most recent sprint the 3-year-old gelding could produce a sufficient late kick to be along in time. At 4-1 on the morning line, he’s a win play and an aggressive rolling exotic single.

RACE 7: Post: 4:37 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Shotgun Ruler; 3-Luck is Golden

Forecast: Shotgun Ruler, a first-time gelding from the J. Bonde barn, should improve enough to be a major player in this soft maiden $50,000 sprint for sophomores. It would help matters if he could leave cleanly and be part of what projects to be a modest pace. Luck Is Golden, listed as the morning line favorite at 8/5, has the always-significant class drop from maiden special weight to maiden claiming along with the route-to-sprint angle and the switch back from grass to dirt. He is hardly a trustworthy sort but is the one to beat by default. We will include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 8: Post: 5:10 PT Grade: B-
Use: 6-No Foolery Here; 8-Hudson Ridge; 10-Airman

Forecast: No Foolery Here seems to be an improving sort, both in the afternoon and in his recent workouts, so let’s try this 3-year-old colt on top in a wide open affair in which no result would be considered too surprising. With the just two career outings under his belt, the R. Baltas-trained colt may have some upside that most of the others don’t. Hudson Ridge continues to impress in the a.m., most recently registering a bullet five furlong drill on the training track while lengthening out nicely in the final furlong. Perhaps the son of American Pharoah is starting to figure things out. He has some early speed, and we’d like to see A. Cedillo allow him to use it today. Airman was a bit unlucky when finishing a fast-closing second in a similar maiden special weight turf miler last time out. With better luck today the son of Tonalist may be able to tag the speed. He doesn’t really have a good turn of foot – we would have liked him better if this race were at nine furlongs – but in an open fray he has to be used.

RACE 9: Post: 5:40 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Notre Dame; 3-Octopus

Forecast: Stable mates in the D. O’Neill barn appear to hold the aces in this starter’s allowance sprint, with Notre Dame seeking his third straight win after earning a career top score in late March and Octopus, a winner for $16,000 last time out and protected off the claim in a sign of confidence, both appearing capable of firing big shots in their present form. Notre Dame probably is the quicker of the two and could find himself as the controlling speed, while Octopus can stalk and pounce if the situation dictates and should have the likely leader within range throughout. Let’s give Notre Dame a very slight edge on top but include both in rolling exotic play.

RACE 10: Post: 6:10 PT Grade: B+
Single: 4-Closing Remarks

Forecast: We’re going to single Closing Remarks in the Saturday finale, the Senorita S.-G3 for sophomore fillies over a mile on turf. Madone could be included as a saver or a backup on a ticket, but we are operating under the assumption that she is a race away from being in winning form in what is her first outing since November. ‘Remarks earned a career top speed figure when an excellent second in the Providencia S.-G3 last month and this turn back to a one mile distance might actually suit her better. The daughter of Vronsky has excellent tactical speed and projects to enjoy an ideal stalking trip and then have every chance from the quarter pole home.