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Jeff Siegel

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Handicapping with Jeff Siegel
Horse owner, breeder and HRTV analyst Jeff Siegel also happens to be Southern California's premier handicapper. Check his blog each day before you play!
April 25, 2015

The Saturday program begins with a modest six-runner bottom-rung claiming sprint that offers very little in the way of wagering value.  #2 No Contingency and #6 Traweek exit the same race – they finished two-three against a similar field in late March – but Traweek via a claim by the Diodoro barn (28% with this angle) has a chance to step forward.  However, he has three wins and 14 seconds and thirds from 39 starts during his career, so he’s not especially trustworthy.  There are simply too many mixed singles here, so you can use both in your rolling exotics or simply pass the race.

We’ll double the second race, a good second-level allowance sprint.  #1 Kafister is a win machine (eight victories in 17 starts) and retains Smith while seeking his third straight.  The rail is no bargain but the Bernstein-trained gelding should be in the fray every step of the way.  #5 Raised a Secret has finished in the money in his last seven starts and lands the cozy outside post; the main concern is his zero-for-seven lifetime record over the Santa Anita main track.  However, he is shortening back to six furlongs and has been beaten only once in four tries at this specific sprint distance.

We have two main contenders in the third race, a restricted (nw-3) $16,000 claiming dash for fillies and mares.  #1 Lust for Life, first off the claim for Ellis (20% with a flat-bet profit with this angle), is overdue for a win and if she can avoid trouble from here rail post she’ll be heard from late.  #3 Smooth Talker has a big look off her runaway score two races back; we’ll ignore her unplaced downhill turf sprint effort against much tougher foes last time out.  Both should be included in rolling exotic play.

The Pick-6 begins in the fourth race, a contentious state-bred first-level allowance downhill turf sprint.  #11 Hot Market appeared to lose his best chance with a slow start (again) in his most recent outing and actually did quite well to rally and pick up second money over this course and distance.  He gets off the rail today, retains Bejarano, and can beat this field if he can leave with his field.  #1 Gangnam Guy, first off the claim for Canani, is winless over this course and just one-for-16 overall, but he’s been especially sharp in the morning since joining this barn and looks perked up for a forward move.  A 6-1 on the morning line he’s worth using somewhere.

Bottom-rung maiden claimers sprint five and one-half furlongs in the fifth race; #5 Preordained looks the best of a very weak lot.  In the money in his last three and with numbers that fit very nicely at this level, the Periban-trained gelding will never get an easier spot.  Let’s make him a straight play and rolling exotic single and hope to get close to his morning line of 5/2.

The sixth race is a maiden special weight turf miler for fillies and mares and it’s a complete, total, grass grab bag.  We’ll hope to get by using just three, but the only safe way to survive is to buy the race.  #4 Sweet didn’t run badly in her debut down the hill last month and seems sure to improve a ton with that effort behind her, the addition of Lasix, and the stretch-out in trip.  Prat rides her back and at 10-1 on the morning she may offer as much value as anything in the field.  #5 Housemaker adds blinkers for the first time and returns to a flat mile; we’re expecting the O’Neill-trained import to improve as she acclimates and at 8-1 on the morning line she’s another that offers a chance at a price.  #3 Danette was overmatched (but not running all that badly) in the Fair Grounds Oaks, returns to reality today and continues to train like a decent sort for Desormeaux.  She’ll win one eventually.

State-bred first-level main track allowance sprinters occupy the seventh race; it’s another difficult affair requiring a bit of a spread.  #8 Rule He Will came down south for his first conventional dirt try and caught a favorable pace scenario that he parlayed into a gate-to-wire score against state-bred maidens.  He’s improved with each outing and with another forward move today the Glatt-trained gelding will be tough once again.  #3 Frensham was very sharp in a highly-rated win two races back in a similar spot but bounced a bit when fourth as the favorite against open company in his next start late last month.  Freshened and capable of returning to his best form today, the O’Neill-trained colt should settle into a good stalking position.  #2 Run Like a Million has been off poorly in each of his last three starts, and in every case lost his best chance.  Maybe he’s just a bad gate horse, or maybe he’s just been a victim of bad luck.  The Hollendorfer-trained colt does have ability and at 8-1 on the morning line he’s worth giving one more chance to.

The featured Last Tycoon Stakes at 10 furlongs on turf looks to be a battle between #1 Big John B and #2 Power Foot and both should be included in rolling exotic play.  Freshened since finishing a ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf last fall, Big John B has a series of strong drills to have him fit and ready and he’ll get the patient ride he needs from Smith.  Three of Power Foot’s four career victories have come over this turf course and with the switch to Bejarano the Drysdale-trained gelding could return to his best form.  Big John B gets top preference and we’ll have a few extra tickets with him on top.

The nightcap is a maiden special weight extended sprint for older state-bred fillies and mares and is another challenging event.  Best advice is to use as many as you can afford to.  #8 Big Move has done some good work in the morning for her debut and in a race in which the known element isn’t inspiring, the winner could easily be a fresh face.  This Yakteen-trained filly certainly qualifies.  #1 Rockin Dorita has displayed some zip in the morning for Kruljac and probably is worth tossing in.  #5 Jean Edward has finished second in four of six career starts and looks like the best of those that have experience.

 

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