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Friday, June 04: Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

June 4, 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: 2-Lemonade Stand; 3-Henchman

Forecast: The Friday opener, a maiden $50,000 claimer on turf, drew just five entrants, topped by the 9/5 morning line favorite Lemonade Stand. The T. Yakteen-trained gelding had no excuse when a non-threatening fourth in a similar affair last month, but the race earned a pretty decent number and today’s nine furlong distance should produce a much more comfortable early pace. The lightly-raced son of Lemon Drop Kid may have a bit more improvement in him than the others and based on the projected pace flow he could inherit the role as the controlling speed if such a strategy is employed. Henchman was a well-beaten fifth at 71-1 in his debut, but he exits a live, productive and highly-rated maiden special weight event and with that bit of experience behind him seems certain to improve in this much softer affair. The barn is solid with second-time starters, so at 8-1 on the morning line this Grazen gelding is worth including in rolling exotic play.

RACE 2: Post: 1:35 PT Grade: B+
Single: 4-Flatterwithjewels

Forecast: Let’s go with the sprinter-stretching-out angle in this restricted $16,000 claiming miler for fillies and mares. Flatterwithjewels is bred to run long and seems likely to produce a forward move after chasing a much tougher group in a starter optional claiming sprint two months ago in what was just her second career start and her first since a debut maiden win at Los Alamitos last summer. The daughter of Flatter switches to the barn’s “go-two” rider J. J. Hernandez and should find herself in an ideal pace stalking/pressing early position and then have every chance to seal the deal when her best is needed. The D. Hofmans-trained filly is 2-1 on the morning line but if she leaves lower than that we can still use her as a rolling exotic single.

RACE 3: Post: 2:10 PT Grade:
Use: 3-Sunshine Babe; 4-So Very Smart

Forecast: We’ve got this race down to two main players. Sunshine Babe, the 6/5 morning line favorite, is gradually improving with racing and most recently earned a career top number when a non-threatening second while well clear of the rest in a similar maiden special weight turf miler for California-bred fillies and mares. She’s likely to draft into a comfortable second flight stalking position and then have dead aim on the leaders from the top of the lane to the wire. So Very Smart, a $50,000 claim by D. O’Neill last month, closed well but too late when fifth in a dirt sprint lats month in what was just her second career outing. She is being raised into straight maiden company today in a sign of confidence and is bred to improve a ton going long on the lawn and, so we’re expecting her to step forward under today’s conditions. Additionally, the barn has strong stats with the first-off-the-claim angle (21%) so at 6-1 on the morning line she offers legitimate wagering value.

RACE 4: Post: 2:43 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-We All Agree; 5-Ruby Ray; 6-Harddiane

Forecast: We All Agree is a homebred first-timer by the promising freshman stallion Unified from a barn that excels with two-year-old runners this time of the year. A bullet three furlong gate workout (34 3/5 seconds, fastest of 34)) last month catches the eye as does a subsequent half mile drill on the flat of 47 4/5 seconds, 11th fastest of 65), so let’s assume this L. Mendez-trained filly is a fit and ready. Harddiane has the benefit of a prior run – a non-threatening but willing runner-up in a fast race last month – and seems likely to improve with that race behind her and today’s extra furlong to work with. We’re expecting this daughter of Hard Spun to be running on late. Ruby Ray has done some good work in the a.m. for D. O’Neill and must be considered as well. From the first crop of Del Mar Futurity-G1 winner Klimt, she was purchased at the OBS March Sale for $55,000 after previewing nicely in 10 1/5 seconds and has been given a good foundation since arriving in California.

RACE 5: Post: 3:18 PT Grade: X
Single: 4-Lucky Peridot

Forecast: Lucky Peridot is listed as the even money morning line favorite in this five-runner $25,000 claiming turf miler for fillies and mares, and while her overall record (three wins, 12 seconds/thirds in 23 starts) doesn’t quite justify heavy backing in the win pool the P. Miller-trained mare certainly should have this field over a barrel. Strong in the speed figure department and stretching out again to her preferred trip, the daughter of Itsmyluckyday was a sharp winner over this course and distance in January and didn’t run badly in three subsequently starts against considerably tougher foes than she’s facing today. She projects to settle into a cozy stalking position and then be able to exert her superiority when given her cue. You can take the short price if you’d like or simply pass the race.

RACE 6: Post: 3:50 PT Grade: X
Single: 1-Illumination

Forecast: Here’s another heavy favorite that looks hard to ignore. Illumination, a maiden in four starts during her juvenile season but stakes-placed twice, has been burning up the track for her first outing since October and appears bigger, stronger, and quicker this time around based on her recent workouts. The B. Baffert-trained daughter of Medaglia d’Oro adds Lasix while returning for what should be easy pickings in this five-runner maiden sprint and thus is listed at 3/5 on the morning line. She’s an obvious no-value rolling exotic single.

RACE 7: Post: 4:22 PT Grade: B
Use: 5-A New Peace; 6-Nice Ice

Forecast: A New Peace earned a career top speed figure when missing by a neck in a fast, highly-rated and productive starter’s allowance event over this course and distance in late April and has trained well since, so with any kind of forward move the daughter of Declaration of War should be hard to beat. The S. Knapp-trained mare, with just six starts on her resume after missing her entire four year-old campaign, has a good stalking style and should be forwardly placed and free of trouble throughout. Nice Ice can be tough on the front end or from a stalker’s position so regular rider T. Baze, who knows her well, can assess the pace flow and then pick his early position. A repeat of her clever score when facing $40,000 claiming rivals two runs back probably would be good enough to win. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics with a slight preference on top to A New Peace.

RACE 8: Post: 4:49 PT Grade:
Use: 2-Call Nine One One; 3-Stir the Pot; 4-Moon Mischief; 9-Mad Catter

Forecast: The finale is an inscrutable bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint for older horses. Nothing would surprise us, so the best advice is to include as many as you can afford in rolling exotic play. We’ll go four deep but with no real degree of confidence. Moon Mischief is a first-time gelding with a bullet recent workout at Los Alamitos following a distant runner-up effort vs. similar last month. The son of Into Mischief was claimed by a low percentage outfit last time out but may not have to improve much at all to outlast this bunch. Call Nine One One has a gradual improving pattern and may be a late threat after finishing a willing but non-threatening third in a decent race for the level last month. If he can produce another forward move, the son of Graydar should be heard from late. Stir the Post looks the like the quickest in the field but he’s a 12-race maiden and always has been suspect in the final furlong. Perhaps against this group he’ll be able to hang on. > Mad Catter is the least exposed in the field, having finished a fair third in a Turf Paradise sprint in early April. He’s drawn comfortably outside and shows a healthy series of local workouts since raced but is ridden by a jockey (E. Flores) who is just 2-for-101 at the meeting.