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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 20, 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

Monday, February 20, 2017

RACE 1: Post 12:00 PT. Grade: B

Use: 3-Gee Street; 6-Tuesdays Supernova; 8-Table for Three

The President’s Day opener is a maiden state-bred turf sprint for sophomore fillies.  As this is written the race remains on turf, but overnight rains could change that.  Tuesdays Supernova has worked like a nice sort for trainer Mike Puype and could come out firing at first asking, though this barn doesn’t often win with debut runners.  The daughter of Tribal Rule has shown plenty of zip in the a.m. and looks dangerous on any surface.  Gee Street failed to run to her backing at Golden Gate Fields in her only start last September but could easily be a better type this time around.  With Flavien Prat riding for good trainer Richard Baltas, the daughter of Street Boos seems like a very live item.  Table for Three ran well in her only outing on turf and if this race remains on the Hillside Course the daughter of Papa Clem should at least hit the board.

​​RACE 2: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B

Use: 1-Lieutenant Colonel; 4-He Will

The second race is a strong conditioned allowance middle distance affair that drew just five runners, each with credentials to win.  We’ll try to get by using just two.  He Will can be effective on turf or dirt and has recent numbers that make him dangeorus.  He’s one of two major contenders from the Jerry Hollendorfer barn, the other being the live comebacker Lieutenant Colonel, who has trained like he’s fit and ready and has won twice in the past over this main track.  With Prat taking the call, the son of Colonel John should be on or near the lead throughout.  Let’s go with He Will slightly on top and have an extra ticket or two keying him in rolling exotic action.

RACE 3: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 3-Chaybaby; 5-Czarina

Trainer Bob Baffert has two of the six entrants in this main track maiden special weight mile event for 3-year-old fillies; they’re hard to separate so we’ll use both.  Chaybaby was a solid runner-up in her debut over a muddy track sprinting last month, has trained very well since, and seems very likely to produce a significant forward move.  Prat takes over for Marty Garcia, who may have opted for Czarina, away since early December but also showing spark in a.m. drills in recent weeks.  Chaybaby appears to have more room for improvement so well put her on top.

​​​RACE 4: Post: 1:30 PT. Grade: B+

Single: 3-Rockantharos

Rockantharos doesn’t have a whole lot to beat in this $25,000 restricted (nw-2) claiming sprint for fillies and mares.  She was nearly five lengths clear of the rest when second in a softer spot over a wet fast track last month but although she’s up in class today her speed figures make her a strong fit.  A healthy work tab at San Luis Rey Downs gives indication that improvement is likely, so let’s make this Peter Miller-trained filly a straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 5: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B+

Single: 6-Kentuckian

Kentuckian, away since September but training like his old self, should fire a huge shot fresh, and from his outside post will have every chance to control this strong second-level allowance race from start to finish.  He’s reunited with Mike Smith, who has won on him in the past, and the Hollendorfer-trained horse has back form that, if repeated, is good enough to beat this field.  At 4-1 on the morning line he’s a strong straight play and rolling exotic single.

​​​RACE 6: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B

Single: 10-Panama Papers

We’ll handicap this race under the assumption that it will be contested on turf.  Panama Papers exits a live race and did well to finish second with a solid figure for the level; his race before last also charts well here so with any kind of good trip this Miller-trained colt should finally break his maiden in his seventh career start.  The outside post shouldn’t be an issue but might be worth an extra point or two on the tote.  Let’s make him a straight play and rolling exotic single if the race is contested on turf; otherwise, we’ll pass.

​​RACE 7: Post 3:00 PT.  Grade: B

Use: 2-Jill Madden; 7-Tiz Seeking a Win

Jill Madden has improving speed figures and looks ready to graduate in her third career start in this maiden claiming state-bred sprint.  The Steve Miyadi-trained daughter of Grenzen retains Prat, continues to look good in the morning, and might be most effective if held up a bit early and allowed to run late.  Tiz Seeking a Win shows up in a claimer for the first time and could easily improve a bunch.  She’s also adding blinkers for the first time for Carla Gaines and against this group has numbers that are competitive.  We’ll prefer Jill Madden on top but use both in our rolling exotics.

​​​​RACE 8: Post 3:30 PT.  Grade: B-

Use: 4-Buy Me a Drink; 7-Singleforareason; 8-Venezuelan Gold

 The eighth race is a starter optional claimer for 3-year-old fillies at the abbreviated sprint trip of five and one-half furlongs.  It’s a contentious affair requiring a bit of a spread.  Venezuelan Gold was a beaten choice in her California debut but ran well under the circumstance and has every right to improve, especially with the blinkers-off angle in play.  The Miller-trained filly has a good stalking style and should draft into an ideal second flight position.  Singleforareason earned a career top number when breaking her maiden over this track and distance last month, retains Prat, and should continue to improve with experience.  She looks like the best of the speed types.  Buy Me a Drink is a Bay Area shipper with respectable figs and three wins from four career starts.  She likes to stalk and pounce and will have every chance to do just that based on the projected race flow.  Let’s use all three in our rolling exotics while slightly preferring Venezuelan Gold on top.

 

RACE 9: Post 4:00 PT.  Grade: B

Use: 4-Curly Road; 7-Fight Thru

The ninth race is a restricted (nw-2) $12,500 sprint that appears to have two major players.  Fight Thru arrives in good from Florida and appears well-spotted for a win in his California debut.  The Miller-trained gelding has a good stalking style and speed figures that put him right there.  Curly Road, second in his last pair, has won over this track in the past and should be part of the pace throughout.  He certainly won’t have to improve much to win.  We’ll prefer Fight Thru on top and will press a bit in the exotics with him on top.

 

RACE 10: Post 4:30 PT.  Grade: B+

Use: 2-Rockin Rudy; 5-Conquest Farenheit

As this is written it is uncertain whether today’s feature race, the Baffle Stakes, will remain on turf.  We’ll handicap the race as if it will be.  Conquest Farenheit failed at 2/5 when trying dirt for the first time in his sophomore (and California) debut so he’s back on grass today and very likely will return to his excellent Canadian form.  The Miller-trained son of Scat Daddy has plenty of talent and should out class this field.  Rockin Rudy won his only start last summer at Del Mar by a pole and was subsequent sold privately; the speedy son of Midshipman has been burning up the track in the a.m. for new trainer Doug O’Neill looks like an excellent alternative should ‘Farenheit fail to start.

 

RACE 11: Post 5:00 PT.  Grade: B+

Single: 8-Pundy

Pundy seems more than capable of outrunning this moderate group of expensive maiden claiming 3-year-olds.  The Miller-trained gelding removes blinkers, earned numbers in both of his starts that are good enough to win, exits a much tougher straight maiden event, and looks very much like the controlling speed while shortening back to six furlongs.  He’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.

 

 

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