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Jeff Siegel

'Prime Picks'

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 17, 2015
Race 1:

The Friday opener – a mile turf event for maidens – is a below par affair with the known element uninspiring.  So let’s try a fresh face.  #4 Malibu Moon, away since January, makes his first start on turf and his first with Lasix; the Drysdale-trained colt switches to hustling rider Garcia and continues to flash ability in the morning.  His form is uninspiring, but he could easily be better than shown, so let’s take a swing with him at 8-1 on the morning line as a straight play and rolling exotic single.

Race 2:

The second race marks the long awaited debut of Zenyatta’s first foal, #1 Cozmic One in a straight maiden main track miler for 3-year-olds.  The son of Bernardini has trained okay, but certainly not like a colt capable of winning at first asking.  #3 Moe Candy has the benefit of two prior runs and was most recently a very sharp runner-up in a fast, highly rated race won by Whiskey Ticket, who has been entered back  tomorrow in the $400,000 Illinois Derby.  A Sadler-trained son of Candy Ride, Moe Candy looks very much like a short-priced rolling exotic single.

Race 3:

The Pick-6 begins with the third race, a $20,000 claiming main track mile event with two main contenders.  #1 Senor Rain is strong in the speed figure department, should enjoy an ideal ground-saving trip, and stretches out to a trip that’s well within his range.  The Glatt-trained gelding knows how to win races and is especially fond of the Santa Anita main track.  #4 The Mad Hungarian just beat a slightly stronger field and his record over this strip (four wins in seven starts) is a major plus.  The Miller-trained gelding retains hot-riding Baze and should be on or near the lead throughout.  We’ll use both in our rolling exotics.

Race 4:

#6 Majestic Presence is listed as the 6/5 morning line favorite in the fourth race, a first-level allowance main track mile affair for sophomore fillies.  She’s a consistent daughter of Majestic Warrior from the Hollendorfer barn stretching out again to a trip she’s proven she can handle, and the switch to conventional dirt won’t be an issue.  While she offers no value in the straight pool, we’ll make her a rolling exotic single.

Race 5:

Next we have the program’s fifth consecutive event at a flat mile, this one on grass for $25,000 older claimers.  We’ll spread using three and hope to survive.  #8 Delta Ranger made a very favorable impression in his local debut, the Bay Area invader missing by less than a length when runner-up vs. similar last month.  He’s a first-off-the-claim today for Sherman, retains Gryder, and figures to draft into an ideal second flight position.  There’s a bit of value here at or near his 4-1 morning line.  #1 Jomelo has to come from way out of it and could use some help up front, but with racing luck the Baltas-trained gelding might be heard from in the final furlong.  We’ll toss him in along with #2 Empty Headed, fifth in the same race Delta Ranger exits but nicely drawn inside and retaining Baze.

Race 6:

Maiden $50,000 claiming older fillies and mares sprint six furlongs in the sixth, and if you can afford to buy the race by all means do so.  Small ticket players should consider three newcomers because those that have previously started are thoroughly uninspiring.  #14 Claudita has been burning up the track at Los Alamitos so maybe she can run some; we’ll use her despite low profile connections.  #12 Forbidden Command has some okay works for Miller at San Luis Rey Downs and this stable can be quite clever with this type of shipper.  #11 Minister’sadventure is a Bejarano-Hollendorfer production; she’s probably no world beater but won’t have to be against this group.

Race 7:

The featured seventh race brings back #8 Forest Chatter, already a winner of three downhill turf sprints this meeting and appearing to be well-placed for his fourth in a row.  The Mandella-trained gelding has the perfect stalking style for this course and continues to look sharp in the morning.  With numbers that continue to rise with each outing, the son of Dixie Chatter looks logical as a straight play and rolling exotic single.

Race 8:

The finale is a maiden claiming $30,000 sprint for 3-year-old fillies; we’ve got it down to two but with a low degree of confidence.  #7 Class Divine was far back vs. stronger in her debut but got a fair amount of action (8-1) and today adds blinkers while switching to the main track.  She has some decent back works at San Luis Downs, so there’s a good chance she’s better than her only outing indicates.  #10 Sparkling Peg, a decent runner-up vs. similar in her just her second career start last month, likely has another forward move in her and the Palma-trained filly should be a strong pace factor throughout.


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