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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 7, 2016

The Super Bowl Sunday eight-race program begins early at 11:00 in order to avoid conflict with the Big Game.  Come on out and you won’t miss a thing.


Race 1: The opener, a mile turf maiden special weight affair for sophomore fillies, looks fairly wide open; we’ll go three deep and hope that’s enough.  #11 All That Heat didn’t run badly in her debut – she finished second to her stablemate – and today makes her first start for new trainer Glatt.  As a daughter of Unusual Heat, she’s bred to improve a ton on grass and gets that chance, though her outside post doesn’t do her any favors.  She does, however, make a major switch to Bejarano, so we’re expecting a huge run.  #5 Tinderette showed brief speed in her only start at Los Alamitos; she should be fitter and tougher today and is another that should move up on ton on turf based on pedigree (More Than Ready).  #7 Lynne’s Legacy, a solid third under similar conditions when last seen in early November at Del Mar, should be forwardly placed throughout and with only slight improvement could be the one to beat.


Race 2: The second race is a $20,000 claiming sprint with two main contenders.  #2 Moments Notiz takes a two-level class drop after appearing a tad rusty in his recent comeback; the Jacobson-trained gelding switches to Bejarano and has back numbers that would easily beat this field.  It’s about time this stable started to heat up a bit.  #5 Moonlight Meeting was re-claimed by Hess – always a positive sign – and has won half of his six career starts over the Santa Anita main track.  He’s much slower on pure numbers than Moments Notiz, but if that one fails to fire for whatever reason this son of Malibu Moon figures right there.


Race 3: The Pick-6 begins with the third race, a maiden special weight main track middle distance event with a number of contenders and lots of question marks.  #8 Cupid has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern for Baffert and a pedigree that should allow him to handle the extra ground.  His numbers are rising, he continues to train well, and Garcia should have him in a perfect pace-stalking spot.  #6 Inhibition also is stretching out after a pair of sprint preps and should improve considerably.  The son of Street Sense figures to be running on late.  #2 Adios Reality, a $1.2 million yearling buy, has worked well for Baffert and lands Bejarano.  He’s probably a race or two away from being at his best, but might be good enough to make a run for it nonetheless.  We’ll toss him in.


Race 4: We’ll also double the fourth race, a seven furlong $50,000 claimer for 3-year-old fillies.  #6 Tribal Headdress, freshened since November, returns from the Bay Area following a series of solid races and should fit very nicely at this level and at this extended sprint trip.  She has a good stalking style, a healthy recent work tab, and rates a slight edge over #4 Precious Audrey, in too tough in a recent downhill turf sprint vs. allowance foes but realistically spotted in this seller.  She switches to Bejarano and the D’Amato barn has superior stats with second-off-layoff runners.  Both should be used in rolling exotic play.


Race 5: The fifth race is a highly competitive nine furlong starter’s allowance handicap on turf.  There are several contenders, so use as many as you can afford to.  #1 Oligarch removes blinkers (love that angle) and should be the controlling speed, assuming his connections don’t do something foolish and try to take him back.  The speedy son of Congrats has won twice at this trip; in fact, in his younger days he was a dangerous front-running turf router.  Garcia stays aboard and knows him well.  #3 China Girl Lover looked sharp winning a first-level allowance race over this course last month and may be the most dangerous of the deep closers.  There should be plenty of pace in here to compliment his style.  #6 Hobbit’s Hero has won four of six over this turf course, though he was beaten at even money without apparent mishap earlier this meeting.  He switches to Stevens and should draft into a good pace-prompting position and a bullet workout at San Luis Rey Downs since his last start should have him perked up and ready.  #8 It Is Living Water, claimed in his last pair and now in the Carava barn, looked sharp beating a lesser field last month down the hill; this nine furlong trip should be within his range and Prat stays aboard.  Let’s go with the speed on top – Oligarch – but use all four in rolling exotic play.


Race 6: The Palos Verdes Stakes is carded as the sixth race; quite frankly we’ve seen stronger $200,000 Grade 2 sprints over the years than this.  #6 Cautious Giant earned a career top figure when winning a strong allowance race here last month and has been burning up the track since; the Mulhall-trained gelding has never run in a stakes race, let alone win one, but this is a field he can handle if he can maintain his current condition.  From his outside post he’ll be able to draft into an easy pace stalking spot, so at 4-1 on the morning line he’s a strong straight play for us and a rolling exotic single.


Race 7: The seventh race is a second-level nine furlong affair and a typical grass grab bag.  #6 Patentar was beaten just over a length in a similar spot at Del Mar (he finished eighth) when attempting to rally but lacking a clear path in the final sixteenth.  He retains Bejarano, sports a steady work tab since that race, and is far more dangerous than his 12-1 morning line would suggest.  We’ll have him in the straight pool as well as the rolling exotics.  #3 Chips All In removes blinkers, stretches out again and loves this turf course.  He’s never been this far but if left alone on the front end the old pro may never look back.  #9 A Red Tie Day has been a way for a year and a half but returns with Smith for a barn that has good stats with layoff runners and this lightly-raced 5-year-old is a perfect two-for-two over the Santa Anita lawn.  The works indicate fitness, another major plus.


Race 8: The finale is a bottom-rung maiden claiming abbreviated sprint with very little in it.  #11 Mad Mango is listed at 7/2 on the morning line but we suspect she’ll go a bit lower.  Second off the claim for D’Amato, the lightly-raced filly has finished in the money in all three starts and should be on or near the lead throughout.   #6 Ryderoo has back numbers that can win and seems likely to produce a forward move after appearing rusty when fourth in her first start in 16 months earlier this meeting.  The Fanning-trained mare is a 15-race maiden but has hit the board eight times, retains Baze, and shows a sharp five furlong workout just five days ago.  We’ll included both in our rolling exotics.



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