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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!
February 26, 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, February 26, 2017

RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B+

Single: 2-Giant Influence

The first race has been taken off the turf, so there’s a possibility of some late scratches.  Giant Influence returns as a first-time gelding for new trainer Peter Eurton and has trained like a much better type for his first start since last June.  The lightly-raced son of Giant’s Causeway is being protected in straight maiden company in a sign of confidence and looks primed to fire a big shot in what appears to be a slightly below par field for the level.  Let’s make him a straight play and rolling exotic single.

​​RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 1-Pashito; 7-Metrocity

Metrocity may have been a tad short in his comeback when finishing a weakening second after cutting out the early fractions but won’t have that excuse today in this soft bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint.  Drawn comfortably outside, the Vladimir Cerin-trained gelding should be the controlling speed and have every chance to take this field gate to wire.  Pashito represents stranger danger.  The first-timer hasn’t recorded any fancy workout times but has done what’s been asked and might have enough ability to act at this level.  The rail draw is no help but if he can run at all the post might not matter much.  Let’s prefer Metrocity on top but use both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: B+

Use: 1-Forest Blue; 4-Where Y’at Joe Joe

We’ll double the third race, a $20,000 claiming sprint over seven furlongs for older horses.  Forest Blue moves up a notch for new trainer Jeff Mullins after a clever win vs. restricted (nw-3) company early last month.  In a field without too much zip, the son of Tale of Ekati could grab control early from the rail and never look back.  Where Y’at Joe Joe continues to impress in the morning and looks ready for a significant forward move in his first off the claim for Mark Glatt (superior stats with this angle).  With the switch to Prat, the veteran gelding offers value at 6-1 on the morning line and is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.

​​​RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 3-Zinvor; 5-Rangi; 10-Guggenheim

The fourth race, which kicks off the Pick-6, has been taken off the turf so there’s a possibility of some late scratches.  Zinvor, first off the claim for Steve Knapp, was beaten as the favorite in an off-the-turfer earlier this month but seems capable of better.  He projects to be on or near the lead throughout.  Rangi just won the race that Zinvor exits and looked good doing it; the Peter Miller-trained gelding should fire a similar shot today.  Guggenheim has been away since October but has trained well enough to be fit and could be the best of the closing types.  Let’s use all three in our rolling exotics.

 

​​RACE 5: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 2-Mudge; 4-Goliath’s Girl; 6-Street Goddess

Street Goddess comes off a pair of nice wins for $6,250 and is tackling a bit tougher today but in her present form she may deserve a slight edge on top.  She’s a first off the claim for a low percentage outfit but if the daughter of Street Boss has one more good one left she may be tough to contain in the final furlong.  Goliath’s Girl missed in a photo in an $8,000 affair last month and a similar effort today puts her in the hunt.  She’s always liked this main track and may have a bit of improvement in her.  Mudge is genuine and consistent and today is protected in this rarely-carded starter-handicap sprint for fillies and mares.  That’s the good news.  Zero-for-18 lifetime over the Santa Anita main track is the bad news.  However, due to her good recent form we’ll toss her in.

​​​RACE 6: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 6-W. Giles; 8-Drover Crazy

Drover Crazy lands the cozy outside post and looks primed for another big effort.  The Richard Baltas-trained gelding just won a $40,000 affair with a good pace-pressing trip and projects to enjoy a similar journey again.  He’s a fit on speed figures, continues to look good in the morning and seems the solid pick.  W. Giles, an excellent second in the same race our top selection just won, looks like the one to fear most once again.  Genuine and dependable, the son of Swiss Yodeler has finished in the money in 11 of 14 career starts over the Santa Anita main track.

 

​​​RACE 7: Post 3:30 PT.  Grade:  B-

Use: 1-Sawyer’s Hill; 2-Atomic Rule; 4-Sky Preacher

The seventh race is a contentious $75,000 claimer over a mile on grass that has a number of possibilities.  We’ll use three and hope that’s enough.  Sawyer’s Hill should enjoy a lovely ground-saving trip and figures to produce a forward move in his second off a layoff for Kristin Mulhall.  He’s fast on figures and seems likely to be on or near the lead throughout.  Atomic Rule is an old pro with a winning spirit; despite being up in class he fits very well at this level based on speed figures.  The Tribal Rule gelding should be able to settle in mid-pack and then produce his run.  Sky Preacher usually is a late threat and should least hit the board with the switch to Prat.

 

​​​​​RACE 8: Post 4:00 PT.  Grade: B

Use: 2-Magic Mark; 5-Acceptance

Acceptance was scratched yesterday for this softer spot and seems well-placed for a big effort.  The Kenny Black-trained horse likes this main track and should be a strong pace-presser every step of the way.  He can handle a mile, though probably not much more.  Magic Mark runs an occasional smasher and has trained nicely for his first start since November.  When he’s feeling good the veteran Benchmark gelding can act at this level and trainer Ron Ellis has a superior record with layoff runners, so beware.  Let’s give Acceptance a slight edge on top but double the race in our rolling exotic play.

 

​​RACE 9: Post 4:30 PT.  Grade: B-

Use: 4-Moments Notiz; 5-Celebrity Status

The finale is a bottom-rung ($6,250) sprint at seven furlongs.  Moments Notiz drops for the money run for the hot Bill Spawr barn, switches to Martin Pedroza, and gets his favorite distance.  The son of Tiznow seems the logical choice.  Celebrity Status exits a fast race, shortens to a one-turn affair and switches to Edwin Maldonado.  He’ll be running on late.  Let’s use both in rolling exotics while preferring Moments Notiz on top.

 

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