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Santa Anita Park
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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!
February 19, 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 19, 2017

RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: X

Single: 4-Broadway Nika

Broadway Nika just demolished a bottom-rung field over this track and distance with a career top speed figure in lifetime start number 53, and it’s hard to pick against him despite the quick 16-day turnaround.  There’s no value at 6/5 on the morning line, but we can use him as a rolling exotic single while otherwise passing the race.

 

​​​RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 1-Mintenized; 6-Dixie Ballet

Bottom-rung maiden claimers sprint seven furlongs in the second race.  Mintenized has hit the board in his last three and may win one eventually, though his speed figures are modest and aren’t getting any better.  He’s a contender in a soft field but certainly not a single.  Dixie Ballet closed a bit of a gap in his debut over a muddy track last month and has every right to produce a forward move for the good Richard Baltas barn.  The extra furlong and a half of today’s race should help, too, so we’ll put him on top in a race we won’t get terribly involved with.

 

​​RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: C+

Single: 3-Melanistic; 4-Ipray

Ipray has been popular at the claim box lately but today finds herself in a low percentage barn.  If she runs back to her last race – a thoroughly convincing win for $8,000 last month – she’ll be tough to beat right back.  Melanistic takes a significant class drop and the Baltas-trained mare has never raced this cheaply.  Her recent numbers aren’t bad, so these should be her friends.

 

​​​​RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT. Grade: B+

Single: 5-Night’s Watch

Night Watch shows up in a claimer for the first time and also makes his first start as a gelding.  With the proper style for this extended sprint trip and numbers that fit, the son of Midnight Lute should leave his previous form behind in this modest affair.  With the addition of Flavien Prat, the Leonard Powell-trained 3-year-old looks very much like a strong straight play and rolling exotic single.

 

​​RACE 5: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B

Use: 5-True Testament; 10-Mischievous Champ

Mischievous Champ flashed good ability in her debut at Del Mar in December, closing with interest to be a solid third while needing more distance.  The Neil Drysdale-trained filly has the perfect profile for this downhill turf course, and with the switch to Prat coupled with a strong series of recent drills the daughter of Into Mischief looks ready to graduate.  True Testament probably is worth using as a saver; the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained daughter of Hansen ran quite well over this course during the autumn season and her kind of early zip could be especially dangerous if she can shake loose early without undue pressure.

​​​RACE 6: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: C

Use: 2-The All Button; 3-Interrogator; 6-Who Cares

The sixth race has just six starters with three reasonable contenders, so we’ll pass the event but triple the race in rolling exotic play.  Who Cares has solid form for trainer Jeff Mullins and likely has plenty of improvement in him.  The son of Papa Clem should settle in mid-pack and then produce a run.  The All Button looks to be the controlling speed and if not policed will take his field a very long way.  He’s a first-off-the-claim for Eddie Truman and switches to Prat, so beware.  Interrogator has rising speed figures and a solid late kick and with some help up front will be heard from in the final furlong.

 

​​​RACE 7: Post 3:30 PT.  Grade: X

Use: 5-Sunday Rules

Sunday Rules is 3/5 on the morning line and looks it on paper.  The daughter of Tribal Rule makes her first start since last summer but she can fresh and has trained well enough to be fit enough.  Five wins in six career starts over the Santa Anita main track certainly qualifies her as a horse for course.  Let’s make her a no-value rolling exotic single.

 

​​​​​RACE 8: Post 4:00 PT.  Grade: C+

Use: 6-Chileanna; 9-Gio’s Lady

Maiden $30,000 claiming sophomore fillies meet over a mile in the eighth race that offers two main contenders.  Chileanna exits much tougher straight maiden events and should thoroughly enjoy this class relief.  The Bob Hess-trained filly also will be trying dirt for the first time, but she’s trained well enough on the main track to expect the surface switch won’t be an issue.  The addition of Prat is another positive.  Gio’s Lady is a seven-race maiden but fits on figures and probably is worth tossing in as well.  She’ll be running on late.

 

​​RACE 9: Post 4:30 PT.  Grade: B

Use: 4-The Big Train; 8-Start a Runnin

The ninth race is a first-level allowance state-bred turf miler.  Start a Runnin has only one way to go – on the front end – and always is dangerous when he establishes a clear lead.  The son of Tribal Rule lost a toughie under these conditions when nailed right on the money six weeks ago, but he’s trained well since and appears to be holding his form.  The Big Train earned a career top speed figure when third in the same race Start a Runnin exits and with another forward move today could make a serious run for it.

 

 RACE 10: Post 4:30 PT.  Grade: B-

Use: 7-Smuggler Union; 8-Hook ‘Em Kurt

The finale is a maiden $50,000 claimer for older horses.  Hook ‘Em Kurt is a first-time gelding exiting straight maiden company and should find this group well within his range.  Away since October but training like he’s fit and ready for Ron Ellis, the son of Tale of the Cat should settle into a good second flight, stalking spot.  Smuggler Union also sports the first-time-in-a-claimer angle and may improve considerably in this league.  There’s some price value here at 8-1 on the morning line, so we’ll toss him in as well.

 

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