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!
February 26, 2015

A new week of racing begins with a $20,000 claiming sprint for 3-year-olds.  #3 Justonemorething drops to his lowest level ever and seems well-placed to regain his winning form.  A repeat of his race-before-last – his maiden claiming win – charts very well with these.  #2 One More Roll is another big class dropper likely to improve in this league.  He’ll be part of the pace throughout and should stick around for at least a piece of it.

The second race is a $32,000 claiming miler that has two main contenders.  #5 Thesheetsguy shortens up a furlong and remains above his claim level; the O’Neill-trained gelding can beat this field with a repeat of his race before last.  Both of his wins have come over this main track.  #3 Muchos Besos seeks this third straight; he has a good stalking style and knows where the wire is.  We’ll give a very slight edge on top to Thesheetsguy.

The Pick-6 begins with the third race, a second-level allowance turf miler for fillies and mares.  #3 Elektrum tipped her hand in her U.S. debut when missing by a half-length in an excellent effort; she figures to move forward today for Sadler (strong stats with second-off-layoff runners) and with Smith riding her back the daughter of High Chaparral should be able to produce the last run.  We’ll also use #4 Aguafria.  The Drysdale-trained mare finished a head behind Elektrum in that common race Feb. 1 and retains Prat.  There’s really not a whole lot to separate them; however, Elektrum may have a tad more room to improve.

Maiden claiming 3-year-old fillies meet over a mile in the fourth race; we’ll go three-deep and hope that’s enough.  #3 Kyankes shows up for a tag for the first time while stretching out and retaining Bejarano.  She’ll be on the lead and could easily take this modest field gate-to-wire.  #7 Lob City was poorly drawn in her debut, lost a considerable amount of ground while making a premature move wide on the turn, and then understandably lost her punch late, still winding up a respectable third.  She’s a raised a notch today but with any kind of forward move could prove quite formidable.  Dollase is solid with second time starters.  #5 I Heart You should at least get a piece of it; she’s a one-paced grinder and will benefit if the early pace comes up faster than par.

We’ll double the fifth race, a maiden special weight downhill turf sprint for older fillies and mares.  #8 Taylor Lane and #2 Kristinite finished two-three behind Humoristica in a better-than-par race over this course and distance last month and both should come back to run well again today.  Taylor Lane was nearly four lengths clear of Kristinite in that event and deserves top billing today; she’s drawn comfortably outside and retains Baze.

The sixth race is a bottom-rung middle distance claimer with a potential pace standout.  #6 My Jealous is a need-the-lead type that can get very brave when uncontested early on.  He catches an ideal situation and should easily be the controlling speed.  Under this projected scenario, the Fernandez-trained gelding looks capable of dominating from start to finish as a straight play and rolling exotic single.

The featured seventh race offers a short-priced favorite in #6 Fantastic Style, listed at even money on the morning line.  The Baffert-trained daughter of Harlan’s Holiday was worn down late in her debut but was fitter and tougher in her next start and won with something left while earning a big figure.  A series of strong workouts since that race indicate she’s prepared for a forward move, and from her cozy outside post she can dictate the race.  She’s a rolling exotic single but offers no value in the straight pool.

The nightcap is a maiden claiming abbreviated sprint for 3-year-olds and is a decidedly below par race for the level.  #7 Sunshine Bandit has some early speed and is a first time gelding, so we’re projecting a rather significant forward move for the D’Amato-trained sophomore.  Pedroza will have him out winging.  #8 Price of Glory, third in his last pair and with a few back numbers that would make him tough is nicely drawn outside and should have every chance in a soft spot.

Select your Handicapper