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Jeff Siegel

'Prime Picks'

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!
March 29, 2015
Race 1:

Sunday’s nine-race program begins with a bottom-rung $8,000 claimer.  #4 Traweek might not be one to trust but his best is good enough, he’s a first-off-the-claim for Mulhall and he switches to Pedroza.  #2 Timeless Indy comes off a win over a mile vs. similar just eight days ago and is wheeled back quickly by Periban.  He can be effective sprinting when he feels like it and bug boy Pena seems to get decent run out of him.  We’ll use both in our rolling exotics.

Race 2:

#2 Sir Barclay clearly is the one to beat in the second race, a $16,000 claiming sprint restricted to 4-year-olds.  He knows how to win, likes this track, and the class drop seems warranted.  #3 Dynamo Dixie is a route-to-sprint play for Glatt, switches to Bejarano, and drops for the money run.  The last time he showed up at this level he won, so we’re expecting his beast.  Both should be used in rolling exotic play; we’ll give Sir Barclay the edge on top.

Race 3:

High priced maiden claimers meet over a mile in the third race.  #7 Larry Birdstone was nosed out in a similar spot earlier this month and has trained well since, so he’s the one to beat; however, he’s even money on the morning line and offers no value at that price.  #1 Bentley’s Gone (8-1) seems better than his price would indicate; the Jones-trained colt is improving with racing, exits a fairly strong race and should enjoy an ideal ground-saving trip from his rail draw.  Baze stays aboard.  #3 Derby Glass earned a career top speed figure when third vs. slightly softer foes recently and with another forward move could make a serious run for it.  He switches to Van Dyke and will be wearing blinkers for the first time.  All three should be included in rolling exotic play.

Race 4:

The fourth race kicks off the Pick-6 sequence; it’s a starter’s allowance race around two-turns on the main track and appears fairly wide open.  #6 Lucky Views was nosed out in a restricted $25,000 claimer last time out but earned a speed figure that makes him a solid fit in this tougher spot.  He should draft into a nice pace-prompting position.  #4 Brave Act lacks a winning punch – he’s 1-for-17 lifetime – but he often hits the board and could be dangerous off his last try with Bejarano riding him back.  #5 Silent Ruler has run consistently well over this main track and may be the most dangerous of the deep closers.  He’s reunited with Desormeaux, who won on him three races back.

Race 5:

We’ll double the fifth race, a starter’s allowance affair for fillies and mares down the Hillside course.  #6 Q’ Viva is winless in six starts over this turf course but she’s usually in the thick of things and could fire a big shot fresh in her first start since early January.  We’ll use her in our rolling exotics but we’ll prefer #5 Jan’s Spirit on top.  A nice winner in her recent comeback, she was claimed by Baltas who protects her on the raise and tries her on turf (and with Unusual Heat on the bottom she should like it).  Baze stays aboard and figures to have this daughter of Lucky Pulpit in an ideal stalking spot.

Race 6:

Maiden claiming 3-year-old fillies sprint six furlongs in the sixth race with two main contenders.  #3 Dixie Dame missed at even money vs. similar when second without mishap; she may be a hard one to trust but she may not have to improve much to win.  #2 Sweet Silver, third in his last pair, isn’t particularly  fast on speed figures but he’s a grinder who tries and that’s more than most in here can say.  We’ll give ‘Dame the edge, even more so if the filly that just beat her, Jan’s Spirit, franks the form 30 minutes earlier in the fifth race.

Race 7:

#7 Circling is the solid pick in the seventh race, a strong entry-level allowance turf miler for fillies and mares.  She missed by a half-length vs. similar in a noteworthy U.S. debut earlier this month and has trained well since; the Drysdale-trained filly retains Smith and should be along in time.  #8 Thewandaofu is worth including in rolling exotic play; the Callaghan-trained Irish import was given a once around in her U.S. debut, has trained smartly since, and should be much more serious today.

Race 8:

The featured eighth race is the Santana Mile on the main track and has two main possibilities.  #6 Galicado is a highly-regarded unbeaten import from Argentina and makes his U.S. debut for McAnally following a series of smart local workouts.  He looks cranked up and ready to show his stuff as a first time Lasix user under Smith.  #3 Blue Tone was overmatched in the Donn Handicap but isn’t today and should regain his best form.  The Hess-trained gelding is winless in five starts over this main track but he’s faced much tougher lately and should fit nicely against this listed stakes company.

Race 9:

The nightcap is a maiden downhill turf sprint for 3-year-olds.  #10 Young and Hungry should get most of the play; the Proctor-trained gelding has two sharp tries under these conditions this meeting and his numbers are moving in the right direction.  He’ll be a relatively short price to graduate.  #4 Foreverly and #2 Tizzing are both second time starters likely to flash considerable improvement today; they’re both nicely-bred and have trained sharply since their respective debuts.  You should toss them in on a ticket or two.




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