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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!
January 22, 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, January 22, 2017

RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: C

Use: 2-Drover Crazy; 3-W. Giles; 6-Too Fast to Pass

The opener is a difficult affair with half of the six runners capable of winning with their best effort.  We’ll pass the race but use all three in our rolling exotics.  W. Giles returns in a $40,000 claimer so he must be doing very well; the speedy gelding hasn’t been out since last March but is training like he hasn’t lost a step.  He’s run well fresh in the past and should be on the pace from the get-go.  Too Fast to Pass demolished a $32,000 band on New Year’s Day, lands the cozy outside post and should  have every chance to repeat in his present form.  Drover Crazy was in too tough when a distant third two weeks ago but is realistically spotted today and rates a big look off his highly-rated win two runs back.

​​RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: C

Use: 1-Super Touch; 4-Geologist

The second race is a weak maiden $40,000 claimer with six runners; we’ve got the main contention down the just two.  Super Touch, freshened since early December, exits a hot race and seems the one to beat by default.  However, we’ve seen better 4/5 shots.  He may have to deal with the Woodbine shipper, Geologist, who has trained nicely for his local debut and has speed figures (albeit in route and turf races) that should make him dangerous at this level.

 

​​RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 3-Anatolian Heat; 4-Jonny’s Choice

 Five entry-level main track milers meet in the third race with Jonny’s Choice, so popular at the claim box lately and now in the Gary Stute barn, possibly the one to beat, though his 1-for-11 lifetime record over the Santa Anita main track hardly inspires confidence.  The veteran gelding should be prominent throughout, though we suspect the pacesetter will be Anatolian Heat, stretching out again after being freshened since late November.  Suspect on dirt (and certainly on an off-track as well), the Peter Miller-trained gelding apparently has been training superbly at San Luis Rey Downs and in a field lacking in effective closers could take control early and keep on going.

 

​​​​RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT. Grade: B+

Use: 3-Paradise Woods; 6-Princess Julia

Princess Julia is the logical top pick after finishing a strong second on opening day in a better than par maiden special weight sprint while four clear of the others.  She’s trained well since for Jerry Hollendorfer and probably won’t have to improve much to win. The first-timer Paradise Woods has done everything right in the morning for Richard Mandella and should come out firing.  We should be able to get by using only these two.

 

​​RACE 5: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: C+

Use: 5-Aikau; 7-Outthink’em

 The fifth race, a $6,250 claiming sprint, looks better suited for Los Alamitos, but here we are.  Outthink’em, in fact, comes of a runaway score at the Orange County track and did so over a wet surface similar to what he might encounter today.  He’s won three of his last four starts and looks tough once again.  Aikau ran a bit better then line will show when caught very wide vs. $8,000 sellers here earlier this month.  He’s at least a trier; the Surf Cat gelding has been first or second in half of his 10 career starts and should be in the fray once again.

 

​​​​RACE 6: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B-

Use: 2-Taima the Hawk; 4-River Hoss; 6-St. Reno

The sixth race is a fairly competitive starter’s allowance sprint that requires a bit of a spread.  Taima the Hawk was vanned off following an excellent runner-up try over a mile on turf at Del Mar in November; he returns in a main track sprint over a track he’s shown he likes, and the works say he’s fit and ready. St. Reno is lightly raced with room to improve, and his numbers are moving in the right direction, so this five-year-old son of Awesome Again is a “must use.”  The John Sadler-trained horse has issues but remains protected in a sign of confidence. River Hoss is winless in seven starts over the Santa Anita main track but he was a close third in a similar spot after being struck over the nose by another rider’s whip in the stretch and still kept on willingly.  He should be running on late.

​​RACE 7: Post 3:30 PT.  Grade: C+

Use: 3-Ready to Hula Lula; 7-Lemon Orchid; 8-Time for Ebby

 The featured seventh race is a state-bred first-level allowance sprint for fillies and mares.  Time for Ebby looked good beating a starter’s allowance field in the mud two weeks ago, so if the track turns up wet as expected she should be right at home.  Drawn nicely outside, the Gary Sherlock-trained filly is likely to settle in mid-pack and then produce a good late kick.  Lemon Orchid broke her maiden at Los Alamitos in December in decent fashion and with another bit of improvement should be a fit on the raise.  Marty Garcia will have her in the first flight throughout.  Ready to Hula Lula has plenty of zip and will take them as far as he can, though six furlongs might be stretching her limit.  Her kind of zip always is dangerous on a wet surface, so we’ll toss her in.

​​​​RACE 8: Post 4:00 PT.  Grade:  C+

Use: 5-Long Game; 7-Budokan; 11-Dynamic Ruler

The nightcap is a maiden claiming middle distance affair for sophomores; let’s try to get by using three.  Long Game is a one-paced plodder but his numbers are improving and with another forward move might able to tag the speed.  He’s bred for an off track.  Budokan, a close third in a similar spot last month, really won’t have to improve much to win, while Dynamic Ruler earned a fairly decent number when second at Del Mar in early December and a repeat of that race today might be good enough to beat this field.

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