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.
Santa Anita ushers in the New Year with a strong 10-race program offering plenty of attractive wagering opportunities. The popular handicapping contest Showvivor begins today and #6 In The Slips will be the selection of the great majority of contestants. She'll also be the shortest price favorite on the day, and the program’s surest winner.
The final racing program for 2009 kicks off with a $25,000 claimer for juveniles and appears ideally suited for the class dropping #4 Cat Calloway. Unplaced in his last pair against subsequent stakes winner Caracortado, the Polanco-trained colt is realistically spotted and has little to beat. If he handles the extra ground – and he should – Cat Calloway should regain his winning form.
Wednesday's opener is a modest $50,000 maiden claimer that might be best left alone. #5 Swiss Currency, #3 Big Bad Boo and #1 Sky’squickscore all exit straight maiden events but none have done enough to inspire confidence even at this level. Of the three, Swiss Currency may have the most upside. #6 Good Turn is a first timer with a couple of bullet works to his credit but hasn’t really impressed the private clockers. And #4 Swiss Emperor has speed breeding and solid connections but really hasn’t shown much gate zip in the morning. Might be best to go with the usher’s tip in this one.
Monday’s program doesn’t have the quality of the first two days of racing at Santa Anita – how could it? – but there’s money to be made and we’re going to try to get our share. We’re passing the eighth race which precludes our participation in the Pick-6 and late Pick-4, so let’s hope we can tab a couple of those early rolling Pick-3’s to make the day worthwhile.
On opening day yesterday the main track played pretty much like expected – an edge to closers with the outside lanes slightly preferred. Malibu Stakes winner M One Rifle did win gate-to-wire with a relatively soft trip on the front end, but the player should continue to promote the stalkers and closers and slightly favor those leaving from an outside post.
Santa Anita’s 75th anniversary season begins with a stellar 10-race program that offers plenty of rolling exotic value. The Pro Ride surface generally offers the closers a bit of an advantage, especially in races with contested speed, so don’t be afraid to back a late runner and you just might get a nice price doing just that.