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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!
April 26, 2015

There’s an $80,129 Pick-6 carryover on a Sunday program that offers only eight races, rather than the usual nine.  The Pick-6 sequence will be races three through eight.

Race 1:

In the opener #5 Congrats Seattle stretches out again and his two previous two-turn races were poor.  Combined with speed figures that are headed in the wrong direction, the Diodoro-trained gelding could be vulnerable, though in a weak field you may be compelled to use him on a ticket or two in your rolling exotics.  Our top pick is the improving #3 Templar, fresh from a career top performance when breaking his maiden earlier this month in his first off-the-claim for Desormeaux.  The Into Mischief colt earned a nice number despite drifting out through the lane, and if he can maintain a straight course today he’ll be hard to beat right back.

Race 2:

We’ll go three-deep in the second race, a maiden $50,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares.  #5 Alpha Doll is the best of the known element and has improving speed figures for Puype, so you have to use her along with two first timers that have trained like they can run some.  #1 Bella Breeze has done good work in the morning for O’Neill and if she can avoid trouble from the rail she could be dangerous.  #2 Coronado Cat is another that has trained like she’s got some talent and at 9/2 on the morning line she’s a “must use” as well.

Race 3:

The Pick-6 begins with the third race, a maiden special weight turf miler for state-bred fillies and mares.  #3 Wandering Heart is improving with racing and seems the solid choice, although at 8/5 on the morning line she’s not going to offer much value.  #4 Almost Reality has been fairly impressive in the morning for Drysdale and represents strong stranger danger.  We’ll use both in our rolling exotics.

Race 4:

We’ll also double the fourth race, a bottom-rung claiming miler for older fillies and mares, but not with a great deal of confidence.  #3 Midnight Lady, first off the claim for Canani, has won over this track in the past and is a fit on speed figures, though her recent failure under these conditions at even money doesn’t inspire confidence.  Hopefully, she can bounce back for her new connections.  #6 Chocolate Delight finished almost fourth lengths clear of ‘Lady when second in that common race in mid-March and if she runs back to that effort today she’ll be the one to fear most.  These will be the two favorites and quite frankly neither one is all that trustworthy.  Big ticket players probably will spread and hope for a price and we can’t say that’s a bad strategy.

Race 5:

A good group of first-level allowance fillies and mares sprint down the hill in the fifth race, an open affair that has several possibilities.  We’ll use three and hope to get by.  #4 Artistic Charm flashed some promise in her U.S. debut with a solid third place effort over this course and distance last month, and because she’s come back to train quite well since that race for Callaghan we’re expecting a forward move.  If she breaks cleanly today, she should be close up throughout under Bejarano.  #5 Chati’s On Top won a state-bred race under these conditions last month and today’s tackles open company.  She’s a fit on speed figures but loses Bejarano, so you may get a bit more than her morning line of 9/2 if you like her.  We’ll toss her in somewhere.  #8 Divina Comedia makes her U.S. debut for Canani and has been burning up the track in the a.m.; she ran in good company in France, can fire fresh, and gets Talamo, so you have to think she’ll turn up a live item.

Race 6:

#6 Rocko’s Wheel looks like a good thing at 8-1 on the morning line in the sixth race and we’ll take a stand and use the D’Amato-trained colt as a straight play and rolling exotic single (and for the record, we’re not expecting to get 8-1).  The lightly-raced 3-year-old looked good graduating two runs back and then moved forward considerably when a troubled fourth in a very hot race won by future star Gimme D Lute in the Echo Eddie Stakes earlier this month.  This will be his first try around two turns but he acts like he’ll like it, and with a sharp recent six furlong drill to provide some bottom, the son of Grazen should be set for another major effort.

Race 7:

The featured seventh race is the Wilshire Stakes for fillies and mares over a mile on grass; it’s another contentious affair that may require a substantial spread.  We’ll go three deep but our confidence factor is low.  #8 Birdlover looked good beating a lesser field over this course and distance last month and should be tough again, however, she’s a need-the-lead type and will have to be sent a little from her outside post to get over and establish the pace.  If Bejarano can accomplish this without much resistance, the English-bred mare probably will keep going.  #4 Blingismything is genuine and consistent and switches to Baze.  She should draft into an ideal pace-stalking position.  #7 Indecise, a good second when beaten a half-length by Birdlover in the downhill Wishing Well Stakes, is just as effective two-turning and looks tough despite this being her first start in about 10 weeks.

Race 8:

The nightcap is a middle distance maiden claimer with two main players.  #4 Lucky Shoes to Win ran well routing at Los Alamitos two races back and stretches out again while dropping to his lowest level.  With a sharp couple of recent works to his credit since his recent sprint comeback, the son of North Light should have every chance to earn his diploma.  If you can get close to his morning line of 4-1, take it.  #5 Fancy Shoes stretches out for Hendricks and should be a strong pace factor throughout.  He’s a strong fit in the speed figure department and seems like a logical exacta partner with Lucky Shoes to Win.


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