- Santa Anita Park
Handicapping with Jeff Siegel
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, readers are 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.
C=Least preferred, or pass.
X=likely winner but odds will be too short to play.
Thursday, March 22, 2018
RACE 1: Post 12:00 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 4-Fire to the Wire; 7-Moonman
Forecast: As this is written, the track condition is unknown, but we’ll assume the races are off the turf and the main track will be wet in some form. Fire to the Wire drops to his lowest level ever and has several back numbers that are good enough to beat this field. If he handles the track he should handle this assignment, though at 2-1 on the morning line he won’t be offering much value. Moonman, third in a similar spot last time out while earning a career top speed figure, switches to Desormeaux and is the one to fear most.
RACE 2: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: C
Use: 3-So Euro; 6-Blame the Weather
Forecast: So Euro flipped in the paddock and was scratched out of a straight maiden event last week; today she reappears in a bottom-rung maiden claimer. Obviously this is suspicious and it wouldn’t shock us if she winds up being scratched. If so, Blame the Weather will be a short price. The daughter of Stormy Atlantic blew a four length lead in mid-stretch and wound up second while nearly four lengths clear of the rest in a maiden $25,000 up north; she should be quick enough to outrun this group early and then hang on late.
RACE 3: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 8-Meanie Irenie; 13-Lady Ninja; 14-Starr of Quality
Forecast: We’ll handicap this race under the assumption that it will be off the turf. Lady Ninja stretches out after a series of decent sprint races and did manage to finish second at this distance last summer at Del Mar. She’s clearly the controlling speed if she wants to be and she displayed off-track ability in her most recent runner-up outing vs. similar earlier this month. Starr of Quality was claimed by a sharp outfit last month and is protected today in a sign of confidence. We’re expecting she’ll receive the patient ride she requires. Meanie Irene has the blinkers off angle we like and a pedigree that suggest she’ll improve on an off track. She also gets in lights, so we’ll include her in our rolling exotic play at a price.
RACE 4: Post: 1:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Twisted Road; 5-Beneficent
Forecast: Beneficent, a $700,000 yearling purchase by Uncle Mo, finally makes his debut in March of his 4-year-old season and does so in a moderate affair. With a smart series of local drills, he’s the logical top choice in a race begging to be won by a fresh face. Twisted Road is the best of the known element and is worth including on your rolling exotic ticket; the Mandella-trained colt has plenty of early zip and if he enjoys the wet track he could be hard to catch.
RACE 5: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Onassis; 7-Mischievous Song
Forecast: Mischievous Song is listed as the 6/5 morning line favorite in this maiden $30,000 claiming router for older fillies and mares. This is her lowest level ever after being pulled up in a maiden $75,000 affair on turf last time out; we’ll assume she’s healthy and if she so shouldn’t have much issue with this group off her best race. Onassis is worth including as well; the Miller-trained filly is slow on numbers but seems to be improving and shows the two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern that always catches our eye.
RACE 6: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 5-Tizno’s Dilemma; 7-Tiki Bar Logic
Forecast: Tizno’s Dilemma ran well at this level two runs back, was in too tough when raised to $25,000 in her most recent outing, and is back facing $12,500 foes in this restricted (nw-2) event for older fillies and mares. She has an off-track pedigree and numbers good enough to beat this field. Tiki Bar Logic needs the lead to run well if she can establish the pace without too much pressure she should take this field pretty far. Let’s try to get by using just these two with preference on top to Tizno’s Dilemma.
RACE 7: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: X
Single: 6-Ax Man
Forecast: Ax Man removes blinkers, gets off the rail and should regain his best form after failing badly as the 2/5 favorite in the San Vicente Stake last month. His maiden win two races back will demolish this field, if repeated. Let’s make him a short priced rolling exotic single.
RACE 8: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Wild at Midnight; 10-Pretty Owl
Forecast: Baffert holds the aces here with two fillies capable of winning this abbreviated maiden special weight sprint. Wild at Midnight finished a close second in her debut last May before being stopped on; she’s trained well enough to be fit for a big effort off the bench and should be hard to beat. Pretty Owl makes her first start since September and ran her best race in her debut, so we know she can fire fresh. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics but then have extra tickets keying Wild at Midnight.