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Jeff Siegel

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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!
May 22, 2015

The twilight Friday program (first post 4:00 PDT) begins with a bottom-rung claiming miler for fillies and mares and looks fairly difficult.  Rolling exotic players should consider a spread.  #2 Addendum just won a similar race last month and if she can turn in two alike she’ll figure in the battle once again.  #5 Midnight Lady, second as the favorite behind Addendum in that same race, rates another look but today picks up seven pounds (while Addendum adds only two) but the weight shift might be offset by ‘Lady’s positive switch to Bejarano.  #7 Toomanytomatoes plummets in class and may have seen better days but in this league she has to be respected.  These are the three we’ll be using but not with a great degree of confidence.

A strong group of maiden juveniles sprint four and one-half furlongs in the second race, with #1 Dubdubwatson having the benefit of a prior run, an excellent third (beaten a head) under similar conditions last month.  Unless there’s a good thing among the first-timers (and there may be), the Brocklebank-trained son of Kipling should be hard to beat.  #3 Carlos Dangerous has done some good work in the morning for Bonde and is bred to win right now (Sierra Sunset) while #7 Pistone Steel is a Malibu Moon colt from the stable that sent out yesterday’s hot debut winner and has trained like he’s fit and ready as well.

The Pick-6 begins with the third race, a $20,000 maiden claiming abbreviated sprint for fillies and mares.  #1 Zeekid has very little to beat and probably won’t have to improve much at all off her third place debut performance to win.  She’s worked well since that race for Periban and if she leaves cleanly from the rail she should be on the lead.  Can’t find much to like about any of the others so we’ll make her a default single and hope to get close to her 3-1 morning line.

The fourth race is a $12,500 restricted claiming router for distaffers.  #1 I Heart You, first off the claim for Hess, switches to Desormeaux, lands the good rail, and seems capable of producing the last run in a race that could very well set up nicely for her.  #2 Grey Girl Gone stretches out for the first time and if she can shake loose early without undue pressure she could take this field a long way.  D’Amato has superior stats with this angle.  However, with #3 Kohala also going long for the first time the early fractions could come up pretty hot.  We’ll prefer I Heart You but have a ticket or two as a saver using Grey Girl Gone.

$25,000 claimers meet over a mile on turf in the fifth race; a typical grass grab bag, and we’ll go three-deep and hope to advance.  #5 Ezio returns to his claim and winning level for Moger and gets a break in the weights with the switch to Nicolas.  The veteran gelding likes to win and loves this turf course and should fire a big shot.  #6 Which Market adds blinkers and take a class drop; he’s a fit on numbers and could be a late threat at a decent price.  #8 Jomelo didn’t get the best of runs when a close sixth as the favorite in a similar affair last month; he gets a huge upgrade to Bejarano and looks dangerous from off the pace.

We’ll double the sixth race, a $40,000 claiming main track miler restricted to 3-year-olds.  #6 Templar, first off the claim for Yakteen, finished second as the favorite to #7 Afleet in Time when those two met last month.  The hot pace may have done in Templar in that affair; today’s splits figure to be kinder, so we’ll give the son of Into Mischief a chance to make amends.  Afleet in Time retains Bejarano and will be rolling late.  Both should be included in rolling exotic play.

The featured seventh race is the Mizdirection Stakes, fittingly a downhill turf stakes for fillies and mares, and looks like a proper spot for #8 Home Journey.  The Puype-trained mare has plenty of zip but can stalk and win if the situation dictates, and after taking the Las Cienegas Stakes over this course and distance last month, seems the solid choice right back.  She’s drawn comfortably outside so Bejarano can dictate the trip.  #5 Birdlover, a route-to-sprint play for O’Neill, has never finished off the board in nine starts over the local lawn, with four wins and four seconds, and is reunited with Smith, who has won with her in the past.  She’s most comfortable on the lead but can win from off the pace if required.  We’ll prefer Home Journey slightly on top but use both in our rolling exotics.

The finale is a maiden claimer for bottom-rungers at a mile on the main track.  This is actually a fairly strong race – at least on paper – for the level.  #5 Trash Talkin stretches out for the first time and exits two straight maiden affairs, so we’ll be expecting to see him on or near the lead throughout.  He’s a fit on figures and continues to train like he has some ability.  #8 Sharpener adds blinkers for Glatt and is another likely to be better than shown; he’ll be trying dirt for the first time and two-turns as well, so you have include him as an x-factor in rolling exotic play.  #9 Aaron Again, a second-off-a-layoff play from the Cerin stable, puts the hood on and switches to Bejarano after flashing some early zip in his comeback.  He may try gate-to-wire tactics.  We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics while giving Trash Talkin a very slight edge on top.


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