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Saturday, May 08: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

May 8, 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: 1:00 PT Grade: B+
Single: 3-Dancing Dana

Forecast: Dancing Dana returns to grass and it is significant that her best race came over the local lawn when she finished a sharp third vs. a similar starter optional claiming company three runs back. She stretches out again, is drawn comfortably inside, and projects to enjoy and ideal pace-stalking trip in a field without much early speed. At 9/5 on the morning line the daughter of Clubhouse Ride looks solid in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single.

RACE 2: Post: 1:35 PT Grade: C
Use: 1-Life’s Emotions; 4-Mamma Rama; 7-Sense to Remember

Forecast: Mamma Ramma is listed as the even money morning line favorite, which says more about the opposition in this maiden claiming sprint than anything she has accomplished in a three-race career. This monumental class drop from straight maiden to the maiden $20,000 level is hard to ignore and so is the presence of F. Prat in the saddle, so despite the layoff from last September and an average-at-best work tab the A. Lerner-trained daughter of California Chrome is the top pick by default. Life’s Emotions flashed good early speed in her debut before quickly fading out of the picture when facing tougher maiden $50,000 company last month. Perhaps with that race behind her coupled with the class drop she’ll stick better today and be competitive. Another that is worth including somewhere on your ticket is Season to Remember, a second-time starter adding blinkers while drawing the cozy outside post. Sher also gets a considerable break in the weights, so if the C. Lewis-trained filly can run at all, this would be a good place to show it.

RACE 3: Post: 2:09 PT Grade: B
Use: 4-Real News; 5-The Black Album

Forecast: Trainer P. Miller saddles the two main players in this five-runner $40,000 claiming turf sprint for older horses. Real News returns to his purchase level after finishing a respectable fourth in the much tougher Clocker’s Corner Stakes over the local lawn earlier this meeting. Freshened for more than three months, the 5-year-old gelding has speed figures good enough to win and shows a work tab at San Luis Rey Downs that should have him primed and ready. The Black Album turns back to a sprint after a solid performance when second up north against a lesser group last month. He will need some help up front to be effective as the deep closer he’s projected to be in this spot, but the former stakes winner is re-equipped with blinkers and picks up F. Prat, so he looks very much on paper like a live item.

RACE 4: Post: 2:42 PT Grade: B+
Use: 2-Curvette; 5-Miss Fia

Forecast: Curvette won at first asking like a very nice prospect and has trained very sharply in the interim for B. Baffert. We suspect she will step forward considerably off that win, and at this extended sprint distance the daughter of Curlin looks well-placed to score right back in a competitive first-level allowance affair. Miss Fia, a two-time winner over the Santa Anita main track with recent speed figures that are strong for the level, should enjoy an ideal pace-stalking trip outside and have every chance when asked to quicken. She turns back from a two-turn miler and appears spot on for a major effort. We’ll prefer Curvette on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 5: Post: 3:15 PT Grade: B+
Use: 2-Pythagorean; 4-Sapphire Kid

Forecast: Pythagorean makes her West Coast debut for new trainer P. D’Amato (terrific stats with this angle) and has trained like she’s fit and ready in her first start since breaking her maiden at Aqueduct with a career-top speed figure. We are expecting an even better performance today, one that should be good enough to handle this tougher assignment. Sapphire Kid catches a field without much pace and seems likely to inherit the role as the controlling speed. A four-time winner over the Santa Anita turf course, the California-bred daughter of Richard’s Kid stretches out again and can handle this trip, especially under the pristine conditions that she’ll likely enjoy today. We will prefer Pythagorean on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 6: Post: 3:47 PT Grade: C+
Use: 5-Queen of Arendell; 6-Sweet Sonny

Forecast: This is a split of the second race, and it may be the stronger of the two, but that really isn’t saying much. We will try to get by using just two in our rolling exotics. Sweet Sonny, a decent runner-up in a similar affair last month, probably won’t need to improve much to graduate in this, her 10th career start. We are expecting the B. Koriner-trained filly to be on or near the lead throughout. Queen of Arendell flashed early speed before packing it in when facing a much stronger maiden claiming field here last time out, and against this group the daughter of Frosted seems certain to stick around a lot longer. She has worked well since raced, retains T. Baze, and is competitive on speed figures.

RACE 7: Post: 4:19 PT Grade: B+
Use: 3-Tapwater; 6-Neige Blanche

Forecast: Neige Blanche is a proven marathoner, exits a series of much tougher races and continues to train in sharp fashion. This 12-furlong trip is made to order for the French-bred filly, who was a group stakes winner at a mile and three-eighths last year in Europe. She lacks a true turn of foot but at 4-1 on the morning she should simply out class this field. Tapwater is questionable at this mile and one half journey – she’s primarily been a miler throughout her career – but in her present form the daughter of Tapit must be considered dangerous, especially if she can switch off and relax as the likely controlling speed. A two-time winner over the Santa Anita turf course and back with “win rider” F. Prat, the R. Mandella-trained filly is the one to fear most. We will have tickets using both in rolling exotic play and then press keying Neige Blanch on top.

RACE 8: Post: 4:52 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-Betito; 4-Deuce

Forecast: Deuce stretches out for the first time and the son of Into Mischief should enjoy the extra distance as well as the class drop to this restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming level. The D. Hofmans-trained gelding is technically still a maiden – he did win a mixed breed race at Los Alamitos in February – but on pure numbers he’s a fit and his recent workouts indicate he is ready for a big effort. Betito, in the frame in his last five starts and a maiden claiming winner over this main track last month, is a strong fit on numbers and is back with A. Cedillo, who was aboard in the gelding’s victory two races back. The K. Mulhall-trained gelding should draft into a comfortable pace-stalking position and have every chance to wear down the leaders late.

RACE 9: Post: 5:26 PT Grade: C+
Use: 1-Power Source; 5-Twirling Derby; 6-Blue Star; 9-On Easy Street

Forecast: The finale is a wide-open maiden claiming turf miler with all kinds of possibilities and price chances. We will go four-deep, but you should include as many as your budget allows. Power Source, away since last July for a stable that has terrific stats with comebackers, shows up in a seller for the first time, lands the good rail, and sports a heathy work tab at San Luis Rey Downs that should have him fit enough for a major effort off the bench. The lightly-raced Irish-bred colt could easily be much better this time around. On Easy Street surfaces for a tag for the first time in his ninth career start while also for the first time adding blinkers, so there are at least two legitimate angles that could lead to improvement. The son of Street Boss also switches to good grass rider U. Rispoli and is more than fast enough on speed figures to win, making the P. Gallagher-trained horse strictly the one to beat. Twirling Derby is a 14-race maiden and clearly not one to trust, but this will be his first career start on grass for new trainer M. Glatt following a $20,000 claim so it would hardly be surprising to see a significant forward move. Blue Star is re-equipped with blinkers while dropping out of much tougher straight maiden events, and a repeat of his race before last will put him right there. At 10-1 on the morning line, he has to be used somewhere.