- Santa Anita Park
- Late Pick 4 Guarantee $300,000 Friday, September 30
- Late Pick 4 Guarantee $750,000 Saturday, October 1
- Pick 6 Guarantee $100,000 Saturday, October 1
- Golden Gate Fields
- Golden Pick 6 Jackpot $0 Thursday, October 20
- Super High 5 Carryover $0 Thursday, October 20
Handicapping with Jeff Siegel
Friday, September 30, 2016
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.
A=Highest degree of confidence. B=Solid Play. C=Least preferred, or pass
Top selection indicated in bold-face
RACE 1: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 9-Tribal Fighter; 11-Zinvor
Zinvor is a very capable turf sprinter – he’s arguably more effective running short than long – and this turn back in trip to a course and distance that he’s shown he can handle could get this Mark Glatt-trained gelding back in the winner’s circle. The son of Tribal Rule employs an effective pace-stalking style, is a strong fit on speed figures, and retains Santiago Gonzalez, who knows him well. Another son of Tribal Rule, Tribal Fighter, also has the route-to-sprint angle working for him could be the speed of the speed for the very percentage jockey-trainer combo of Rafael Bejarano and Richard Baltas. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics and then press a bit with Zinvor on top.
RACE 2: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: C
Use: 4-Gavin Streetsense; 8-Jimmy the Juice
This weak bottom-rung maiden claimer offers little wagering value and probably should be left alone. Gavin Streetsense shortens to this abbreviated sprint distance and has enough early speed to be dangerous in a field without much zip. Jimmy the Juice, a route-to-sprint play, has a race two runs back that wasn’t half bad and from his outside post should draft into an ideal pace-prompting spot. We suggest you include these two in rolling exotic play and then toss in whatever else catches your eye.
RACE 3: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Tiz Seeking a Win; 4-How About Zero
How About Zero was more than five lengths clear of the rest when a distant second to Miss Sunset in her racing debut at Del Mar in the Generous Portion Stakes, and today drops to the maiden ranks in search of her diploma. The daughter of Square Eddie should improve with that experience behind her, but even if she doesn’t, the Doug O’Neill-trained juvenile will be hard to deny based strictly on speed figures. Tiz Seeking a Win didn’t earn much of a number when runner-up in her debut in a similar state-bred maiden affair at Del Mar in August, but she actually ran quite well, overcoming severe trouble at the start to finish with interest in a promising performance. With a clear trip today, she could give the favorite a little bit of a run.
RACE 4: Post: 2:30 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Buymeabond; 4-Fritz Johansen; 7-Sky Preacher
In a typical grass grab bag for mid-grade claiming turf milers, we’ll go three-deep and hope to survive and advance. Buymeabond was a beaten choice up north earlier this month so he drops a notch on the class ladder, returns to a course he’s won on twice in the past and picks up top New York rider Irad Ortiz. A repeat of his dead-head win two races back at Del Mar should be good enough to win here, though his deep-closing style in a large field may require a bit of racing luck. Fritz Johansen just missed in a photo when dropped into a $32,000 claimer in the same race Buymeabond exits up north and today’s another notch, not exactly a healthy pattern. However, the Glatt-trained gelding has a prior win over the course, switches to Flavien Prat, and has enough tactical speed to inherit a good stalking position. Sky Preacher adds blinkers for the first time, drops to his lowest level ever, switches to Bejarano and has a prior win over the course. You probably should include him somewhere.
RACE 5: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 4-Captain Akers; 6-Jes Jaa; 7-Trump Diesel
This extended sprint for $25,000 claimers is restricted to 3-year-olds and looks treacherous. We’ll spread in our rolling exotics but otherwise pass the race. Trump Diesel must have issues; once a $260,000 auction purchase, he returned off a long layoff to graduate in a bottom-rung affair with a strong number and was claimed by a low percentage. The fact he’s not protected by his new connections indicate they’re not thrilled with the merchandise, but if the son of Sidney’s Candy has one more good race left in him he should be tough to beat. Jes Jaa, a strong runner-up in a hot race at Del Mar last month, has run well over this main track in the past and has the proper style for this extended sprint distance. Tyler Baze knows him well and stays aboard. Captain Akers, raised three notches on the class ladder for a new outfit after winning a $12,500 event at Los Alamitos 12 days ago, is a fairly genuine and consistent gelding and is worth tossing in as well.
RACE 6: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 4-Mrazek; 8-Hunt; 9-Why Two
The gamble here is that the speed types will cancel each other out, setting the race up for the deep closers. Why Two, vastly improved since switching to turf, is a powerful late-running sprinter whose style should be complimented by the race’s projected race-shape. Both of his victories over five furlongs at Del Mar were visually quite pleasing and this downhill course should be ideal for his style. With good racing luck he should be along in time. Hunt is a course specialist (four wins in seven starts) and is another that should benefit from the anticipated fast early pace. He was a beaten choice in the Green Flash Handicap at Del Mar (won by Why Two) but we’re expecting to see his “A” game today. Mrazek is a prototype late-running sprinter trying grass for the first time. He has numbers that fit, a pedigree that okay’s the surface switch and good form in graded stakes company, albeit vs. his own age group. At 12-1 on the morning line he offers good price value in the exotics.
RACE 7: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 9-R Sunday Surprise
R Sunday Surprise finally get a chance over a distance of ground and we suspect California Chrome’s full-sister will take full advantage of the opportunity. Her outside post does her no help, but her numbers continue to rise with experience, she exits a hot sprint, and she catches what appears to be a considerably weaker than par field for straight maiden juvenile fillies. If she’s going to develop into a decent sort, she should show it today. Let’s make her a straight play and rolling exotic single.
RACE 8: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-Indexical; 3-Mesa Sky
Two races back Indexical finished a willing though distant second to the likely Breeders’ Cup Sprint favorite Lord Nelson in the Big Crosby S.-G1 at Del Mar and then was a distant third in the Pat O’Brien S.-G2 behind another strong Breeders’ Cup candidate, Masochistic. Today he shows up in a $62,500 claimer. The class drop might be warranted for a gelding who has but three wins in 10 starts, but it does seem a little a little suspicious from a low profile barn. We’ll use him but not necessarily trust him. Mesa Sky earned a huge figure when beaten a first-level allowance field at Del Mar in his first outing in 11 months and if he can produce a forward move today – and we suspect this lightly-raced Peter Miller-trained gelding can – then he’ll be the one to beat. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics and then press with extra tickets using Mesa Sky on top.
RACE 9: Post 5:00 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Holy Lute; 4-Bottle Rocket; 6-Ohio; 10-So Sweetitiz
The second division of the Eddie D. Stakes doesn’t appear quite as strong as the sixth race’s first division but it’s still a highly-contentious affair requiring a spread. We’ll go four deep and hope that’s sufficient. So Sweetitiz is a filly tackling the boys for the first time but she’s won two out of three over the course, is as strong fit on speed figures and has the kind of pace-stalking style that should keep her free of trouble. She’s a quality filly and it wouldn’t surprise us if she proves up to the task. Ohio, was primarily sprinter in his native Brazil and will be shortening up for the first time today since being imported to the States. His numbers are strong and we suspect he’ll be heard from late. Bottle Rocket makes his first start since being claimed for $62,500 by Jeff Mullins and his narrow miss to Why Four two runs back at Del Mar makes him a major player with this group. He’s better than his 12-1 morning line suggests. Holy Lute returned to winning form at Del Mar, has plenty of back quality and is worth inclusion on your ticket if you can afford to go this deep.