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 Derby week begins with a nice Pick-6 carryover and a better-than-par maiden route affair. Chief Havoc got burned up in a speed duel in his U.S. debut and faded in a fast, highly-rated race. He seems sure to benefit from that effort and with a patient ride from Gomez, figures to improve a ton today. Roman Tizzy flashed some ability in his debut sprinting last month and is another likely to step forward today. Talamo rides him back and probably will have him on or near the lead. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics and then press a bit with Chief Havoc on top.
In the Easter Sunday opener, Farayya shortens to a sprint, returns to turf and has little to beat in this straight maiden downhill dash for fillies and mares. There’s not much value to found in the straight pool, so you can pass the race or use her as a rolling exotic single.
Ubelongtomemissy is 2/5 on the morning line in the second race so this is another unplayable affair unless you think you can beat here. We don’t. You can use her as a rolling exotic single or pass the race.
In the Friday opener, Jessie’s Giacomo returns from the Bay Area where she won a modest starter’s allowance event with a so-so figure. She’s realistically spotted and could be dangerous from off the pace. Island Frolic looks like the controlling speed and drops for the money run. Her kind of zip might play better over conventional dirt rather than the all weather at Golden Gate Fields. Both should be used in rolling exotic play; we’ll put Island Frolic on top.
Comebacking Fly High should be a short priced favorite to win the Thursday opener, a maiden special weight sprint for older runners. The Baffert-trained colt earned a sharp number when second in his only outing last summer and has trained like he’s fit and ready for a barn that excels with comebackers. He’s a logical no-value rolling exotic single.
King Maya probably beats the first race field if he’s ready in his first start since September but at 6/5 on the morning line there’s not much we can do with him. And, quite frankly, we’ve seen better 6/5 shots. Use him in your rolling exotics if you’d like, but also include Congregationalist; he’s a nine-race maiden but has improving speed figures and was a decent third vs. tougher last time out. Both contenders are trained by Cerin. This might be a race you opt to sit out.