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Sunday, June 13: Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

June 13, 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: 4-Pushing Sixty; 5-Freedom Lass

Forecast: Freedom Lass benefits from a useful recent sprint prep that should set her up for today’s grass miler, and with a strong recent workout to have her on edge the M. Puype-trained filly appears ready for a career top effort. She switches to the barn’s “go-to” rider J. J. Hernandez and offers excellent price value at 6-1 on the morning line. Pushing Sixty is worth including on your rolling exotic ticket as well, at least as a backup. She’s looked good in the morning since her starter’s allowance win over this course and distance last month and projects to be forwardly paced throughout.. Based strictly on speed figures, she’s a solid contender.

RACE 2: Post: 1:35 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Chollima; 4-Luck Be Mine

Forecast: Chollima, claimed in her last pair and now in the A. Lerner barn, retains regular rider A. Cedillo and will be tough to beat if she can avoid trouble from her rail draw. First or second in three of four career outings over the Santa Anita main track, the daughter of Paddy O’Prado is overdue for a winning effort, having finished second as the favorite in each of her last two outings. Luck Me Mine beat our top choice in convincing fashion last month and rates a legitimate shot to do it again. Today’s extra furlong may be problematic but the daughter of Lookin At Lucky is a four-time winner and the deserving morning line favorite at 6/5. We’ll give Chollima a chance to turn the tables today, but both should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 3: Post: 2:08 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Rager; 2-Exultation

Forecast: We’ll go two-deep in this five-runner starter’s allowance turf sprint while preferring Exultation on top. Genuine, consistent, and first or second in each of his last five starts, the veteran son of Paynter projects to enjoy an ideal pace-prompting trip and have every chance to seal the deal when the pressure is turned on at the head of the lane. So far during his career he’s much preferred to run second or third rather than win but this is an opportunity he shouldn’t let slip by. Rager, fourth in the same race our top selection just finished second in, will enjoy a ground-saving, second flight trip from his rail post and is the one to fear most. A repeat of his winning race over this course and distance may be good enough.

RACE 4: Post: 2:41 PT Grade: X
Single: 1-Beyond Brilliant

Forecast: Beyond Brilliant is listed as the 1/5 morning line favorite in this maiden main track miler and you don’t have to be Pittsburgh Phil to see why. The Twirling Candy 3-year-old was more than nine lengths clear of the rest when second under these conditions last month, has trained well since, and projects to be the controlling speed from his rail post. In an unplayable race, he’s no-value rolling exotic single.

RACE 5: Post: 3:16 PT Grade: C+
Use: 5-Racetrackers; 7-Unilateral

Forecast: Racetrackers drops to the restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming ranks while retaining F. Prat and projects to enjoy an ideal pace-stalking trip in a race that should be slowly run early and late. A sprint winner three races back over the local lawn, the Tizbud gelding is unproven at nine furlongs but has a grinding style that should be effective at this trip. Unilateral gets an extra furlong to work with today while retaining U. Rispoli, and on off his best race figures as a major player. He’s always been a one-paced type without any turn of foot but against this soft group he should deliver a reasonably effective closing kick. We’ll try to survive and advance using just these two in rolling exotic play but if you feel the need to include others, go right ahead.

RACE 6: Post: 3:48 PT Grade: B
Single: 6-Sauls Call

Forecast: Sauls Call veered out sharply and was bumped sideways at the start, rushed up to display good early speed, loomed a threat wide into the lane but then lost his punch and wound up fourth in a promising debut against a field that was stronger than what he’s facing today. The S. Miyadi stable has excellent stats with second-time starters, and we suspect that this son of Stay Thirsty will step forward in a significant way, assuming he breaks straight and true. At 5-1 on the morning line the juvenile California-bred gelding offers good value in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.

RACE 7: Post: 4:19 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Goldini; 2-Vantastic

Forecast: Vantastic appears ready for a career top effort in this starter optional claimer over a mile on grass. He’s a first-time gelding with recent workouts that give strong indication that he’s better horse now than before, and with the major jockey switch to F. Prat the son of Dialed In should snap to life in his first start for a tag. From where he’s drawn the P. Eurton-trained 5-year-old seems likely to settle into an ideal second flight, ground-saving position. Goldini is a 3-year-old tackling older and is light in the speed figure department, at 5/2 on the morning line the son of Goldencents probably won’t offer much in the way of wagering value. That said, he may have more room for improvement than most of the others, so we’ll include him on a ticket or two in our rolling exotic play while reserving the main punch to Vantastic.

RACE 8: Post: 4:52 PT Grade: B
Use: 5-Thrive; 6-Minister Shane

Forecast: Thrive has burned money as the favorite in all three of his career starts, but he’s a first-time gelding and has shown recent improvement in his a.m. drills, so we’re expecting the son of Competitive Edge to step forward today and be tough to beat. F. Prat knows him well and stays board. Minister Shane is a “must use” in rolling exotic play. Drawn comfortably outside while adding blinkers for the first time, the son of Ministers Wild Cat tries dirt for the first time (bred for it) and has trained very well over the Santa Anita main track before and after his most recent outing. We’re confident the winner will be one of these two, so we’ll include both in our rolling exotics with a slight edge on top to Minister Shane strictly due to price considerations.

RACE 9: Post: 5:26 PT Grade: X
Single: 3-Dogtag

Forecast: Dogtag is listed as the 9/5 morning line favorite in this year’s edition of the Possibly Perfect S., a race she won last year in facile fashion. She was the 4/5 favorite in that race, and we suspect she’ll leave at a similar price again this year. An excellent runner-up in the Royal Heroine S.-G2 in her first outing of the season in April, the daughter of War Front has trained very well in the interim and can be placed just about wherever regular rider U. Rispoli wants her to be. While the R. Mandella-trained mare most likely will be too short to play in the win pool, we can use her as a logical short-priced rolling exotic single.

RACE 10: Post: 5:50 PT Grade: B+
Single: 1-Classier

Forecast: Classier has trained like he’s fit and ready for his 2021 debut and because he won his debut over the Santa Anita main track in the fall of his 2-year-old season we know he can fire fresh. Out of action since finishing off the board in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile S.-G1 last November in what was a case of too much, too soon, the B. Baffert-trained colt has been given enough of a foundation to be set for a major effort in this middle distance main track event, and while others, including 8/5 morning line favorite The Chosen Vron, may look better on resume this colt appears to have the highest ceiling. With F. Prat taking the call and at 2-1 on the morning line he’s a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 11: Post: 6:26 PT Grade: B+
Single: 9-Sweet and Cheeky

Forecast: Sweet and Cheeky resurfaces in a high-priced maiden claimer for her first start since last August and just her third outing overall and the daughter of Candy Ride has trained like she’ll return as well as she left, perhaps even better. This extended turf sprint should fit her second flight, stalking style perfectly, so in a below par race for the level the P. Eurton-trained filly seems solid, so at 5/2 on the morning line she’s a win play and rolling exotic single.