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.
The Saturday opener is a good downhill turf dash that should be dominated by #1 Ashton Girl and #6 Surfer Girl. The former has proven form over the course and is the one to beat; however she’s a non-winner in this country (1-for-10 lifetime) and probably will be a short price. Surfer Girl has been impressive in morning workouts leading up to her U.S. debut and this Brazilian-bred filly owned in part by Jim Rome looks cranked up for a big try first crack out of the box.
Today’s opener matches #1 Distinctive Afleet and #3 Lunch Time as the two most logical contenders and either one can win. Distinctive Afleet is shortening up in trip and we’re not keen about the rail, but the Ellis-trained gelding should be part of the pace in a field that doesn’t have a whole lot of zip in it. Lunch Time, likewise a route to sprint play, drops a notch and should be very effective in this elongated sprint. The Walsh-trained gelding is strictly the one to beat.
The first baby race of the season is a two-furlong dash for state breds and from what we understand, the two most precocious juveniles are #8 Turbo Time and #11 My Secret Life, with the latter needing to draw in from the also eligible list.
Today’s opener boils down to #1 Just Charmed and #5 Jan’s Ruling Angel and we’ll use both in an exacta box. Just Charmed flashed improvement when second in a similar spot last month, has trained well since, retains Gomez, and should be close up throughout from the rail. With another forward move today the Craig Dollase-trained gelding should get the money. Jan’s Ruling Angel has been chasing much tougher foes recently and is realistically returned to the claiming ranks. He’s a solid fit on speed figures and should be rolling late.
We’ll begin our action in today’s 2nd race, using #1 Dancing Erin and #5 Chalula One in an exacta box. Dancing Erin seems like the quickest of the quick and if she breaks running from the rail she could be hard to catch. Chalula One seems a bit better than shown for Mandella, continues to work well, and looks primed for her best effort.
The first race boils down to #6 Tap Tap I Win and #7 Forgive Your Sins. The former exits a series of competitive starter’s allowance events and should find this $25,000 claiming field more to his liking. He’ll be running on late. The horse to beat (and our top pick in the race) is Forgive Your Sins, in the money in two pretty decent sprints at the meeting and bred to run long. His one distance race (on turf) last fall at Hollywood Park was better than looked and he’s trained well lately for Vienna.