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Sunday, May 30: Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

May 30, 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: 4-Midnight Mystery

Forecast: Midnight Mystery got caught in a torrid pace duel (:21 1/5, :43 4/5) in a similar starter optional claiming turf sprint last month and paid the price late, but since that race he’s worked very well (as usual) and projects to face less pace pressure today. We’re expecting the War Front gelding to be on or near the lead and this time keep on going, so at 5/2 on the morning line we’ll make him a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 2: Post: 1:35 PT Grade: C+
Use: 3-Rock N Rye; 4-Barsini Red

Forecast: Barsini Red and Rock N Rye finished a distant second and third, respectively, behind runaway winner Big City Lights when they debuted in maiden sprint for juveniles earlier this month. We can say with a high degree of certainly that there is nothing in here remotely as good as ‘Lights, so with any kind of improvement off that race each has a legitimate to earn their diploma in what appears to be a below par race for the level. In that race ‘Rye was finishing with interest despite failing to change leads while winding up just a half length behind ‘Red and may have a bit more room to improve, so we’ll give him a very slight edge on top while including both in rolling exotic play. Tread lightly here.

RACE 3: Post: 2:07 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Circleofchampions; 2-Funkenstein; 8-Harbor Sky

Forecast: Let’s take a 10-1 flyer on the first-timer Harbor Sky in this challenging maiden state-bred turf miler that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. The S. McCarthy-trained gelding has done some good work in the a.m. and gets a considerable break in the weight with the presence of J. Pyfer in the saddler. The barn’s first-timers often run better than they work, and this son of Majestic City appears to be a good mover with some ability. Circleofchampions may be the best of the known element and is guaranteed a ground-saving trip from his favorable rail draw. The C. Gaines-trained colt exits a highly-rated race that produced a career top speed figure and not much more will be needed today. Funkenstein is a progressive type with a nice recent workout to indicate he’s ready for another forward move. We’ll be expecting this son of Smiling Tiger to settle in mid-pack and then take hold from the quarter pole home.

RACE 4: Post: 2:41 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-Hapi Hapi; 5-Full Draw

Forecast: Full Draw returns to dirt and a repeat of his seven length maiden claiming victory over this track and distance three runs back should be good enough to handle this soft assignment. He’s been fairly consistent for a cheap type, having hit the board in four of five career starts over the local strip. Hapi Hapi also has a solid record over the Santa Anita main track (in the frame in five of seven starts) and was a better-than-looked third with a wide trip in a similar affair last time out. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics in a race that we’ll otherwise not get too involved with.

RACE 5: Post: 3:15 PT Grade: B
Use: 6-Sensible Move; 7-Chao Mar; 8-Beautiful Temple

Forecast: Sensible Move is a first-timer bred for speed and grass (Summer Front) and comes from a capable outfit while showing a series of workouts that should have her fit and ready for a major effort first crack out of the box. The D. Pederson-trained filly is a good mover with a touch of quality and really doesn’t have a whole lot beat in this state-bred affair for older fillies and mares. Beautiful Temple is another debut runner that deserves some consideration in an open affair. She’s bred for grass on both sides of her pedigree (Temple City from a Kitten’s Joy mare) and has displayed good speed in the morning, though she really hasn’t been finishing well in her drills. Perhaps she’ll stick much better on turf. Chao Mar closed with a bit of interest in her debut to finish third when outrunning her 26-1 price in a similar maiden turf sprint earlier this month. She has a right to produce a forward move and should appreciate today’s extra half-furlong.

RACE 6: Post: 3:48 PT Grade: X
Single: 9-Sweet Sonny

Forecast: Sweet Sonny is a 10-race maiden and not one to trust, but she has numbers that are good enough to handle this weak maiden claiming field of fillies and mares. In the frame in her last pair and never off the board in four starts over the Santa Anita main track, the B. Koriner-trained filly is drawn comfortably outside and should be on or near the lead throughout. However, she offers no real value at 9/5 on the morning line (and likely to go lower) so you can use her as a rolling exotic single but otherwise pass the race.

RACE 7: Post: 4:21 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-Keep Dancing; 5-Prance; 7-Unbreakable

Forecast: Prance backs up to a mile, a distance that we suspect will bring out her best, so in a below average starter optional claiming turf event for fillies and mares the N. Drysdale-trained filly may be capable of settling in the second flight and producing a winning late kick. She’s 8-1 on the morning line and at that price is worth at least a small play. Keep Dancing handled a modest state-bred maiden field earlier this month in decent fashion and a repeat of that race puts her in the thick of it, class hike notwithstanding. The daughter of Clubhouse Ride is most effective when held up early and cut loose late. Unbreakable probably doesn’t offer good wagering value at 2-1 on the morning line (she just failed as the favorite in a similar spot) but on pure numbers she’s a major player based on her maiden score two runs back, so we’ll toss her in as well.

RACE 8: Post: 4:52 PT Grade: X
Single: 4-Soothsay

Forecast: Let’s stick with Soothsay this five-runner edition of the Summertime Oaks for sophomore fillies, though the K. McPeek-trained shipper Crazy Beautiful has strong credentials as well. Soothsay is undefeated in two starts and won the Santa Anita Oaks-G2 following a maiden sprint, so she’s a filly of some quality and produced a significant forward with regards to speed figures between her first and second start. The daughter of Distorted Humor continues to train well and projects to be in a good stalking position outside and have every chance to extend her perfect streak to three. At 4/5 on the morning line, she’s a rolling exotic single but most likely will be too short to play in the win pool.

RACE 9: Post: 5:26 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-George Herman Ruth; 4-Beaudacious; 5-Fly to Mars

Forecast: Fly to Mars lost a toughie at 2/5 last time out over this course and distance after being off the track for two months but will be a bit better price today in this allowance optional claimer for state-bred older turf horses. The veteran gelding projects to draft into a good stalking position and then have his chance to exert his superiority under F. Prat, who’s always gotten the most run out of him. Beaudacious earned a career top speed figure when easily handling maidens last time out and if he can turn in two alike he’ll be dangerous on the one-level raise. George Herman Ruth will enjoy a ground-saving trip from the rail in his third start in his current form cycle, and with another forward move – his speed figures have risen with each outing - the son of Grazen will be right there. We’ll give preference on top to Fly to Mars but include all three in our rolling exotics.