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Friday, May 21: Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Full-Card Picks

by Jeff Siegel

May 21, 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
Use: 1-The Longest Night; 4-Silver Moon Road

Forecast: The Longest Night returns waiver protected off a year and one-half layoff for a barn that has superior stats (23%, massive ROI) with comebackers and with a work tab that should have him fit and ready in this maiden $50,000 claiming sprint for older horses. The Paynter gelding lands one of stable’s “go-to” riders in R. Gonzalez, and in a field without much pace he should be on or near the lead throughout. Bay Area invader Silver Moon Road, second in his first two career starts but beaten at 4/5 in his most recent outing in late April, picks up F. Prat and has the proper stalking style for this six and one-half furlong trip. The Secret Circle gelding is clearly one to beat. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with The Longest Night getting the slight edge on top.

RACE 2: Post: 1:34 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Royal O’Haigain; 3-Distorted Diva; 7-Harddiane

Forecast: Royal O’Haigain has been burning up the track in her a.m. preps while getting ready for her debut, and from a barn that sends them fit and ready she figures to get plenty of play in this four and one-half furlong dash for juvenile fillies. She’s listed at 3-1 on the morning line but we suspect she’ll go lower. Distorted Diva has the benefit of a prior run – a respectable third place finish (beaten 7 and one-half lengths) in a fast race earlier this month – and seems likely to move forward with that effort behind her. Based on the early speed she displayed in that race, the daughter of Distorted Humor may be as quick as anything in the field. Harddiane has shown some ability in the morning and is worth consideration as well. A recent half mile workout from the gate in 47 seconds was visually pleasing and from her outside draw the daughter of Hard Spun should enjoy clear sailing and have every chance. All three should be used in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Royal O’Haigain.

RACE 3: Post: 2:06 PT Grade: C+
Use: 2-Peace Pipe; 3-Acai; 7-Vegas Palm

Forecast: Acai was nosed out in a similar affair over this course and distance last time out and though winless in five starts on the Santa Anita lawn and just one-for-14 during her career the D. O’Neill-trained daughter of Square Eddie deserves a slight nod on top. She’s most effective on the front end and projects to be the quickest of this group. Vegas Palm is zero-for-nine on the course and just one-for-17 overall, so she’s not exactly trustworthy, either. However, the veteran mare can turn it on late and should be heard from in the final furlong. Peace Pipe has the first-time-for-a-tag angle that makes her dangerous and has won over the local lawn in the past, albeit in a two-turn event. The daughter of Tribal Rule has numbers that fit and in a soft field deserves at least some consideration.

RACE 4: Post: 2:37 PT Grade: B
Use: 4-Careless Kitten; 9-Winhappy

Forecast: Winhappy has been virtually eased in two career outings but in both races he flashed early speed before fading and both came against stakes quality competition in two of the strongest maiden races of the year. Drawn comfortably outside in a lethargic field that offers no other known early speed, the son of Runhappy should be capable of taking control early and then getting brave and rolling all the way to the wire. He continues to train well so we suspect at this (proper) level the sophomore gelding has found his friends. For protection, you may want to consider Careless Kitten on your ticket, at least as a back-up. He’s a seven race maiden with just one second place finish on his resume but the V. Brinkerhoff-trained gelding exits a productive race and shows a runner-up effort two races back that charts pretty well with these.

RACE 5: Post: 3:08 PT Grade: B-
Use: 4-True Mischief; 6-So Much Happy

Forecast: True Mischief isn’t exactly consistent or dependable and has managed to beat a total of one horse in two prior turf outings but there are reasons to expect a good effort today from the daughter of Into Mischief. Firstly, her grass form isn’t as bad as it looks, as both prior outings were sprinting against much tougher. Secondly, her easy win two races back earned a number good enough to beat this field, and while it was accomplished in gate-to-wire fashion she’s also quite capable of settling in mid-pack and producing a winning late kick, as she did when breaking her maiden by five lengths in December at Los Alamitos. In a field loaded with need-the-lead types, the R. Baltas-trained mare should be capable of settling in mid-pack and then responding when set down for the drive. So Much Happy is a blast-away front-runner with good recent speed figures that make her the one to fear most. The daughter of Twirling Candy gets a massive break in the weights with the switch to good bug girl rider J. Pyfer and if she can switch off just a little during the early stages she could prove very difficult to catch. We’ll sink or swim using just these two in our rolling exotics.

RACE 6: Post: 3:40 PT Grade: B
Use: 4-Lovesick Blues; 7-Press Briefing

Forecast: Press Briefing, first off the second for J. Bonde after being worn down late and missing by a neck for this same $16,000 price last month, returns in this restricted (nw-2) abbreviated dash while switching to F. Prat. Simply stated, he will be hard to deny with anything close to his best race. The son of Khozan shows a healthy work pattern for his new outfit and is guaranteed a good stalking trip from his comfortable outside draw. Lovesick Blues tackles older rivals today after winning a recent sprint at this level that was restricted to 3-year-olds. His numbers are improving but will require another forward move to be competitive against this tougher, older group. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics and then press with extra tickets keying Press Briefing on top.

RACE 7: Post: 4:12 PT Grade: B+
Use: 2-Cibertruck; 7-Letsgetlucky

Forecast: Letsgetlucky, a respectable third in the Echo Eddie S. behind subsequent graded stakes winner The Chosen Vron, tries turf for the first time today in this state-bred first level allowance race and if can duplicate that effort on this surface the K. Mulhall-trained gelding should be hard to beat. We’re expecting the son of Munnings to be on the lead or in a good pace pressing position outside. Cibertruck just graduated over this course and distance and did so in good style from off the pace. With some help up front the son of Vronsky almost certainly will make his presence felt in the final furlong. We’ll give Letsgetlucky the edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 8: Post: 4:44 PT Grade: C+
Use: 2-Kind But She Lies; 3-Avisse; 6-Nobu

Forecast: The finale is a messy affair for maiden claiming sophomore fillies. We’ll go three-deep, but you should include as many as you can afford to. Nobu seems fairly logical on top in her first start for a tag. Beaten at 4/5 vs. straight maidens up north last month, she nevertheless earned a good enough speed figure to handle this group and therefore must be given a chance to make amends. The daughter of Uncaptured gets a break in the weights with the switch to J. Pyfer and while she may be vulnerable under pressure in the final furlong this abbreviated sprint distance will help her see out the trip. Kind But She Lies seems to be gradually improving and today adds blinkers for the first time. A repeat of either one of her last two starts makes her dangerous. Avisse is a nine-race maiden with back numbers than can win, but since being claimed for $50,000 by her present outfit the daughter of Point of Entry hasn’t made any progress. She does the route-to-sprint angle that we like and with patient handling could be dangerous from off the pace, so we’ll toss her in on a ticket or two.