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Jeff Siegel

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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!
October 3, 2015

There’s a Pick-6 carryover of $31,579 for the Saturday program that features the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship, the eighth race on the 10-race card.

In the opener, #3 Straight N Strong makes that all-important drop from straight maiden to maiden claimer and also returns to dirt while backing up to a sprint. In a below par field for the level, the D’Amato-trained filly need only run back to her debut effort – a third place finish in a maiden special weight sprint at Los Alamitos – to earn her diploma. However, at 9/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, the daughter of Quality Road really doesn’t offer much in the way of value. You can pass the race, or use her as a no-value rolling exotic single.

#5 Wild Street Party won at first asking but isn’t protected in the second race and obviously isn’t all that well-regarded by her connections. On the other hand, this is the proper spot, and claiming trainers like Miyadi win races because they run them where they belong. A repeat of her debut effort should be good enough in a soft affair, especially with the late scratching of contender #3 Flat Footed Mama. We’ll make Wild Street Party a rolling exotic single but otherwise not get involved.

#11 Sutton’s Smile is a progressive daughter of Paddy O’Prado and looks ready to graduate in the third race, a below par field of straight maiden juvenile fillies. The return to a sprint won’t be an issue and the D’Amato-trained filly switches to Bejarano while continuing to impress in the a.m. She’s a solid top pick, but we’ll also include on a ticket or two #9 Active Runner, a second-timer from the Baffert barn (good stats with this angle) with a pedigree to improve on the lawn.

The fourth race is a maiden juvenile main track mile event that provides #7 Arabian Leopard with another chance to show us his potential. The son of Scat Daddy failed to run to his press clippings in his debut when beaten at odds-on but he continues to train like a world beater for Baffert and seems certain to improve a ton while stretching out to a distance he’s bred to love. He exits a fast, highly-rated and productive sprint and Baffert’s second-time maidens click at an impressive 23 percent, so we’re guessing we’ll see the real Arabian Leopard today. Baffert actually has two other entrants in the race, #5 Nate’s Tizzy and #3 Nightly News, but we’re thinking Arabian Leopard is decidedly the best of the group and we’ll use him as a straight play and rolling exotic single.

The Pick-6 begins in the fifth race; there’s a carryover of $31,579. #6 Small Town Shuffle drops again in class, removes blinkers, is reunited with Nakatani and is a solid contender in this very modest maiden claimer for juveniles. #4 Greyson and John returns to the claiming ranks in his second off the claim for Desormeaux and also has the route-to-sprint angle working for him. He actually produced a forward move in his second start but was well-beaten against much tougher company; today he’s in with his friends. We’ll give ‘John a very slight edge on top while using both in our rolling exotics (both are 5-1 on the morning line); however, feel free to spread the race if you can afford to.

The Eddie D. Stakes for older sprinters down the Hillside Course is loaded with possibilities and may be another race that requires a spread. We’ll go three deep and hope to get by. #9 Chips All In was many lengths the best when third over a mile against claimers last time out; this is a step in class, for sure, but he’s always loved this turf course and looks to be on top of his game for Brocklebank. Effective at any distance and thoroughly genuine and consistent, the son of North Light offers value at 5-1 on the morning line. #1 Jimmy Bouncer failed to stay two-turns in the much tougher Del Mar Mile Handicap but shortens up today, tackles a considerably easier group, and looks like the one to beat, rail and all. He’s unbeaten sprinting and should be on or near the lead throughout. #7 Toowindytohaulrox just won a strong turf allowance miler but his form down the hill is solid and Pereira will have him rolling late. We’ll put Chips All In slightly on top and will try him in the straight pool as well.

#9 Chief of Staff crushed a first-level allowance state-bred field at Del Mar and in today’s seventh race tackles tougher open competition, but if the son of Majestic Warrior continues his improving pattern for Hollendorfer he can score right back. A colt with excellent tactical speed and the ability to produce a second move under pressure, he has numbers that continue to rise and a recent sharp six furlong drill should have him spot on. #4 New Summit stretches out for the first time and there’s no reason to believe he won’t be as effective routing as sprinting. The lightly-raced son of Sky Mesa seems somewhat enticing at 6-1 on the morning line. #6 Skip Tony, the second of the two Hollendorfer entrants, has been first or second in 20 of 44 career starts and the old pro seems likely to at least hit the board. He prefers patient handling and will be doing his best work late. Let’s use all three in our rolling exotics and then press a bit with Chief of Staff on top.

#2 Masochistic was beaten at 40 cents on the dollar in the Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar in late July but has worked like his old self of late for Ellis and we’re going to assume he’s ready to bring his best stuff today. A winner of three of four lifetime over the Santa Anita main track, the 5-year-old gelding has a history of firing big shots off the bench and seems primed to do just that today. The rail isn’t really ideal but we doubt that it will be much of a factor.

The Swingtime Stakes is a restricted one mile turf event for fillies and mares and has many possibilities. At 12-1 on the morning line, #9 Intoxicating Move is especially intriguing. Though moving up considerably in class for new trainer Carava, the daughter of Milwaukee Brew is an absolute fit on speed figures and always has been effective on this turf course. Nakatani rides her back and will have this tough, veteran mare bearing down strongly in the final furlong. Don’t underestimate her. #3 Gender Agenda seeks her third straight win and must be respected. Relatively lightly-raced with a bit more improving to do, the Gaines-trained filly has good tactical speed and should have every chance from her second flight, stalking spot. Her nice win over this course and distance two races back charts very well here. #2 Journey On, a troubled third (beaten just over two lengths) behind Gender Agenda at Del Mar last month, lands a good inside post, should enjoy a ground-saving trip and has won over this course in the past. She switches to Bejarano and is a “must use” in exotic play. These are the three we’ll be including in our rolling exotics; however, we’ll be pressing with Intoxicating Move in the straight pool.

Hollendorfer is well-represented in finale, a $50,000 claiming sprint for 3-year-olds with two major contenders. #3 Mr. Jay D is out of conditions so this is a logical spot for this Pomeroy gelding; he’s reunited with Bejarano (who has won with him in the past) and we suspect he’ll regain his best form at this level. His uncoupled stablemate, #13 Great Lou, is a true horse-for-course, with four wins in five starts over the Santa Anita main track. Additionally, he’s a first-off-the-claim for a barn that hits at 28 percent with this angle and should fire his best shot in his first start since late July. #1 Well Maybe shows up in a claimer for the first time for Sherman and has a race over this main track earlier this year that would beat this field if repeated. If he can negotiate a decent trip from the rail, he could easily outrun his 8-1 morning line odds.

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