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Handicapping with Jeff Siegel
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.
C=Least preferred, or pass.
X=likely winner but odds will be too short to play.
Sunday, June 24, 2018
RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-Nice Haircut; 6-Savagery
Forecast: Savagery makes his debut for Miller (solid with first-timers) and lands Prat, so we suspect this son of Bellamy Road is very well meant in this turf miler for juveniles. He breezed a furlong at the OBS April sale in a sharp 10 seconds fast and then brought $100,000 at auction. Nice Haircut already has two starts under his belt and that experience should serve him well. With Sword Dance on the bottom of the pedigree, the O’Neill-trained colt certainly is bred to handle grass and two-turns. Both should be included in rolling exotic play, with preference on top to Savagery.
RACE 2: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: C
Use: 4-Haylord; 6-Captain N. Barron
Forecast: This bottom-rung maiden claimer probably is best left alone, but rolling exotic players should be able to survive and advance using Haylord and Captain N. Barron. The former turns back to a sprint, switches to Prat, and has speed figures that are better than par for this level. But at 9/5 on the morning line the Powell-trained gelding doesn’t offer any real value. Captain N. Barron is slower on figures than Haylord but appears to be the quicker of the two and might get brave if he can shake loose early.
RACE 3: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B
Single: 6-Fritz Johansen
Forecast: Vending Machine, Tina’s Exchange, and Skelton just finished one-two-three with a neck separating all three in a similar allowance optional claimer over this course and distance earlier this month. If you use one, you almost have to use all three. Instead, let’s take a shot with Fritz Johansen, who returns following a more than six-month vacation protected by a barn that has good stats with layoff horses. Successful three times over the local lawn, the son of Unusual Heat has won fresh in the past, sports a healthy work tab, and seems better than his morning line of 8-1 gives him credit for. If ready, he’s a fit, so let’s try him as a straight play and rolling exotic single.
RACE 4: Post: 2:30 PT. Grade: X
Use: 2-Deputy Bernardini; 6-Flagstaff
Forecast: Deputy Bernardini has done some excellent work in the morning for Baffert and seems cranked up for a big effort first crack out of the box in this abbreviated sprint for older maidens. Flagstaff, however, has the benefit of a prior run over this track, an excellent second place finish behind Explorer last month. A win by either one would not surprise, but neither will offer any wagering value. Let’s pass the race but include both in our rolling exotics.
RACE 5: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B
Use: 6-Ladybug; 8-Himmah; 10-Strengthinnumbers
Forecast: Strengthinnumbers finished willingly to be third in a promising debut at this level last month and should move forward for D’Amato. She’s trained well since that race, switches to Franco, and is comfortably drawn outside. We like her on top but also will include in our rolling exotics to a lesser extent Ladybug and Himmah. The former, second in the same race ‘Numbers exits, has been a money burner of late (beaten choice in last three starts) and probably isn’t one to trust, but still figures in the battle. Himmah is improving with racing, turns back in trip, and should make her presence felt from off the pace.
RACE 6: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 7-Princess Ashlyn; 8-Be a Lady
Forecast: Princess Ashlyn adds blinkers for the first time and should be on or near the lead throughout in this five-furlong starter handicap for fillies and mares. She and Be a Lady are co-high weighted at 126 lbs. and on paper deserve the high imposts. The latter, first or second in 11 of 20 career starts, lands the cozy outside post and can pop and go or stalk and pounce. We’ll give a slight preference on top to Princess Ashlyn but use both in our rolling exotics.
RACE 7: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: X
Forecast: Vasilika lays over this field but must pack 129 lbs. in this starter’s $25,000 handicap over a mile on turf. Will weight bring her back to the field? Probably not. The Hollendorfer-trained filly has won four of five this year against much better company, so she’ll go favored and possibly a bit lower than her morning line of 8/5. If it’s not her, it could be any of the others, so we’ll use her as no-value rolling exotic single but otherwise pass the race.
RACE 8: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 8-Just Grazed Me
Forecast: Just Grazed Me is bred to be quick (Grazen) and has worked better than her moderate final clockings might lead you to believe. Drawn nicely outside and attracting one of D’Amato’s go-to riders (Talamo), she looks well-meant for a huge try first crack out of the box and is listed at 8-1 on the morning line. Let’s play in the straight pool and make her a single in the rolling exotics.
RACE 9: Post 5:00 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 9-Ancient Secret
Forecast: Ancient Secret gets the worst of the draw but should be good enough to overcome it. All three of her races this year down the Hillside course have been excellent and her form suggests that she’s just as good if not better two turning. Prat stays aboard, and if he can negotiate a decent trip, he’ll have this daughter of Kantharos along in time. At 7/2 on the morning line she’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.
RACE 10: Post 5:30 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Best Two Minutes; 3-Desert Law
Forecast: Best Two Minutes is racing in solid form and just earned a career top speed figure when second in a fast, highly rated optional $40,000 affair. Claimed out of that race by Baltas (very strong with this angle), the son of Successful Appeal seems primed for a major effort. We’ll use him in the straight pool as well as the rolling exotics. Desert Law has seen much tougher company of late and switches to Bejarano. He’ll be doing his best work from off the pace and is worth using on a ticket or two.
RACE 11: Post 6:00 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 5-Beach View; 7-Ritzy A. P.
Forecast: Beach View is fast on numbers and just missed by a nose in a similar spot at nine furlongs on this course last month. Today’s extra furlong shouldn’t be an issue for the lightly raced son of Giant’s Causeway if given the patient ride he apparently prefers. Ritzy A. P. was a fading sixth over the Golden Gate Fields all-weather surface in the All American Stakes last month but tries softer foes today, gets back on grass, and stretches out to 10 furlongs. He’s worth using a few tickets, but the main push goes to Beach View.
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