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Late Pick 4 Guarantee $300,000 Friday, April 28
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Golden Pick 6 Jackpot $89,891 Thursday, April 27
Late Pick 4 Guarantee $100,000 Saturday, April 29
Jeff Siegel

'Prime Picks'

Handicapping with Jeff Siegel
Horse owner, breeder and XpressbetTV analyst, Jeff Siegel also happens to be Southern California's premier handicapper. Check his blog each day before you play!
April 23, 2017

The selections contained within are geared to rolling exotic players.  The basic strategy is to isolate those horses that should be included in rolling daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and pick-6.

​It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the exact rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis.  Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, the reader is encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.

​Unless otherwise noted, all horses listed in the analysis should be used in rolling exotic play.   Usually there will no more than three horses listed; occasionally, Jeff will go 4-deep in his rolling exotic play and on a very rare occasion he will recommend a “buy the race” strategy.

The selections are available every racing day after 9 a.m. (PST).  For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.

Top selection indicated in bold-face.  

A=Highest degree of confidence.

B=Solid Play.

C=Least preferred, or pass.

X=likely winner but odds will be too short to play.

SANTA ANITA

Sunday, April 23, 2017

RACE 1: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 1-Up With the Birds; 5-Frank Conversation

The Sunday opener is a five-runner allowance race on turf over nine furlongs.  Up With the Birds has put together a strong, healthy work tab (see video) for new trainer Phil D’Amato and looks fit and ready for a top effort in his first start since November.  His best effort is more than good enough to beat a field of this quality.  Frank Conversation exits a string of seven graded stakes races and should really enjoy this class relief.  Away since December, the Doug O’Neill-trained colt has won two of four over the local lawn and should find himself in a good stalking spot in what projects to be a slowly run affair, at least early on.  Preference on top goes to Up With the Birds but we’ll use both in our rolling exotics.

 

​​​RACE 2: Post 1:29 PT. Grade: C

Use: 2-Monterey Shale; 4-Specimen

Bottom rung maiden claimers sprint six furlongs in the second race.  Monterey Shale is a 10-race maiden and not one to trust, but his numbers actually make him the one to beat and with the switch to Rafael Bejarano the Hard Spun gelding figures to be heavily played (he’s 8/5 on the morning line).  Specimen, away since September, returns in a very soft spot for trainer Gary Mandella.   The work tab isn’t inspiring but if he returns as well as he left the Smart Strike gelding will be in the thick of it throughout.  Both should be used in rolling exotic play in a race that we’ll otherwise pass.

 

​​RACE 3: Post 1:59 PT. Grade: X

Single: 3-Princess Kendra

Princess Kendra moves up a notch following a solid score in late March for trainer Bill Spawr and looks more than capable of repeating for her high percentage connections.  The daughter of Benchmark has little to fear in this five runner affair and we suspect she’ll go lower than her morning line of 2-1.  We can use her as a rolling exotic single but that’s about it.

 

​​​​RACE 4: Post: 2:34 PT. Grade: B

Use: 2-Sense of Glory; 3-Night’s Watch

 Night’s Watch lost a toughie when nailed late as the 4/5 favorite in a similar starter’s allowance event in late March.  He’s been quite sharp in the a.m. since for trainer Leonard Powell (see video), so we’re willing to give him another chance.  However, Sense of Glory is considerably faster on speed figures and is the likely choice and one to beat.  Freshened since early March, the Ron Ellis-trained gelding does his best running when on or near the lead and that’s where he projects in this affair.  Both should be used in rolling exotic play; Night’s Watch certainly will be a better price so we’ll give him the edge on top.

 

RACE 5: Post 3:05 PT. Grade: B+

Use: 3-Venezuelan Gold; 6-Friendly Request; 7-Kencho

The fifth race is a Hillside turf scramble for $50,000 claiming sophomore fillies.  Friendly Request looks especially intriguing (see our Day Maker video) due to several factors, including the route-to-sprint angle and the switch to leading rider Prat.  We’re expecting this D’Amato-trained filly to be rolling in the final furlong and at 10-1 on the morning she offers considerable value both in the straight pool and in rolling exotic play.  Venezuelan Gold just failed at 40 cents on the dollar after being brought back on short rest; she’s had about a month off since that outing and could rebound for trainer Peter Miller while trying turf for the first time (bred for it).  She seems most effective when held up early and allowed to run late.  Kencho has numbers that fit and a prior win over the course.  Drawn comfortably outside, she looks like the best of the pace-types for the Desormeaux brothers.

 

​​​​RACE 6: Post 3:37 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 4-Second Proposal; 6-Courageous Dave; 8-Moments Notiz

The sixth race is a $6,250 claiming sprint; we’ll go three deep and hope that’s sufficient.  Moments Notiz returns to his claim level for Miller, has speed figures that are better than par for the level, and boasts an amazing record of 20 wins from 50 career starts.  He is, however, winless in seven starts at Santa Anita.  From his cozy outside draw, the nine-year-old gelding should draft into an ideal pace-prompting position.  Second Proposal has good recent form at the level and should be running on late.  Courageous Dave has gotten into the habit of leaving slowly from the gate but removes blinkers, gets a break in the weights, and probably is a bit better than his 10-1 morning line gives him credit for.  Toss him in on a ticket or two.

 

RACE 7: Post 4:09 PT.  Grade: C+

Use: 1-Nap Lajoie; 8-Lovely Anzi

The seventh race is a California-bred maiden special weight sprint that really doesn’t have much depth.  The first-timers don’t inspire, so let’s go with two that have shown a bit of run.  Lovely Anzi, away since last July, has plenty of zip but needs to display more stick.  An aggressive work tab should have him fit and ready for new trainer Oscar Garcia and with Tyler Baze aboard you can expect this six-year-old gelding to take them as far as he can. Nap Lajoie displayed some early speed before gradually fading in his debut up north last month; he’ll be fitter today for the Steve Miyadi barn and with Prat taking the call he looks like a live item.  Tread lightly here.

 

 ​​​​​RACE 8: Post 4:00 PT.  Grade: X

Single: 1-Stormy Liberal

The Siren Lure Stakes attracted five runners, but Richard’s Boy was only entered to make the race go for his Peter Miller-trained stablemate Stormy Liberal and will scratch.  ‘Liberal has never been better and will be odds-on to win his third straight added money event over this course and distance.  It’s an unplayable race but you can use ‘Liberal as a no-value, rolling exotic single if you’d like.

 

RACE 9: Post 5:13 PT.  Grade: B+

Use: 5-Miss Remembering; 6-Faypien

 The finale is an extended sprint for older maiden fillies and mares.  Trainer Bob Baffert saddles two main contenders and we’ll use both in our rolling exotics.  Faypien has the benefit of a prior run – she finished a willing third in an abbreviated sprint in March and should appreciate this trip – and has come back to train nicely since that outing (see video)Miss Remembering and Anchor Babe (likely to scratch) worked together on April 18 (see video) with ‘Remembering appearing the stronger of the two late while looking to be an exceptional prospect.  We’ll have extra tickets keying her on top.

 

 

 

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