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!
Handicapping, in short, refers to analyzing the race to come up with best predicted outcome, or pick. There are many angles when it comes to picking a winner. Using some of the help from the professional handicappers below, you can determine your own angle on placing a bet. For more information on how to bet or wager, click here.
Today’s opener looks like a two-horse race between #5 Mossad and #6 Thor’s Bullet. Mossad returns to the main track and earned a big figure when graduating two races back and a repeat of that effort today puts him right there. Thor’s Bullet returned off a long layoff and blew away a maiden claiming field in fast time at Hollywood Park in December, hasn’t been seen since, but has worked sharply of late to indicate fitness.
We’ll begin this glorious 11-race Big ‘Cap card using three horses in the 1st race in an exacta/trifecta box and the same three in our rolling exotics. #2 Captain Charisma has an improving pattern, shortens up a furlong and with another forward move should be able to outrun his 12-1 morning line odds. He’ll probably get out-footed early but might be able to produce a decent finish with waiting tactics. #3 Leavin in a Limo drops to the bottom rung for his third career start and has numbers that make him a solid threat. These should be his friends.
In today’s 1st race, #1 Dana Dynamo exits what I thought was a pretty good straight maiden California-bred heat and today drops into a maiden claiming affair after hitting the board in both of his starts to date. Perhaps trainer Bruce Headley is simply trying to win a race during a season in which his stable has been pretty cold for the most part. The rail is of some concern, but he should have enough zip to gain favorable early position in a field without a whole lot of speed.
We’ll start our action in the 4th race, a one mile maiden affair on turf for California-bred 3-year-olds, and the two that should benefit most from the conditions are #3 Thorondor and #8 Jacob’s Little Bro. The former is bred for turf on both sides of his pedigree and exits by far the best race. He faces restricted company today and seems the one to beat. Jacob’s Little Bro must overcome the outside post (not really the place to be when the rail is up 30 feet) but with Lear Fan on the bottom of his pedigree he should enjoy the lawn and the added distance.
The first three races on the program don’t offer much in the way of wagering value, so we’ll begin our play in the 4th race and look for #1 Hoist the Sail to successfully move up one notch on the claiming scale and score again. The Sadler-trained gelding does his best running on the lead and seems capable of controlling this race from gate to wire from his good inside draw.
2. Pioneerof the Nile
3. Old Fashioned
4. The Pamplemousse
5. Quality Road
6. Friesan Fire
7. Desert Party
9. Stardom Bound
Dunkirk maintains the top spot as he awaits the Florida Derby on the last Saturday of March. Pioneerof the Nile will be a short priced favorite when he returns to action a week from Saturday in the San Felipe Stakes. Old Fashioned should reappear in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.