Horse Racing Tips from a Top Race Handicapper

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.

Sunday, April 17, 2011 - 06:54

Closing day begins with a downhill turf sprint that has two main contenders, #1 Lease of Life and #4 Achak. The former adds blinkers – he wore them once without any success – while turning back in trip over a course he’s been known to like, while the latter is a Mitchell class dropper switching to Rosario with plenty of back numbers that would be good enough to beat this field. We’ll use them both in an exacta box and in our rolling exotics.

Friday, April 15, 2011 - 21:25

Saturday’s opener is a competitive downhill turf sprint for tough veteran claimers any one of three could win without causing a stir. #1 El Scorpio, first off the claim for Palma, must overcome the rail but loves to win, exits a hot race, and looks dangerous on the raise. He’s never been tried over this course but has the pace prompting style that should keep him free of trouble. #4 Cherokee Heaven, freshened since mid February and dropping for the money run, retains Bejarano and should be storming home. He’s never been known as a win machine but usually is in the thick of things.

Thursday, April 14, 2011 - 21:25

Friday’s opener looks like a good spot for # 2 Luckarack. The class dropping colt in Jeff Mullins’ barn shortens up, switches to the main track and is reunited with Talamo, who was aboard the son of Lucky Pulpit when he earned a career top Beyer figure (83) in a solid third place effort two races back in what was a pretty strong heat for the level. He should enjoy a nice second-flight stalking trip in this extended sprint for $50,000 claimers and in just a five horse field represents value at 5/2 on the morning line.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 21:25

The final week of the winter/spring Santa Anita season begins with a two furlong baby races that doesn’t offer much to work with. #2 Son de America, from the first crop of the brilliantly-fast sprinter/miler Discreet Cat, has worked like she’s got some gas for Polanco and seems as good as any in a wide open guessing game. Polanco’s other starter - #5 Super Candy – hasn’t shown nearly as much.

Sunday, April 10, 2011 - 10:41

The Sunday Santa Anita program starts off slowly but picks up steam midway and offers some value for Pick-6 players and in the late Pick-4. The opener is a six runner starter’s allowance event that doesn’t look appealing; the 8/5 morning line favorite #4 Champagne Topper is fastest on speed figures but could be vulnerable at this distance and the same can be said for #5 Run Candy Run, a recent five furlong maiden winner in a race in which the front runner practically collapsed in the final sixteenth. Where’s the late speed in here? Find it and you might find the winner.

Saturday, April 9, 2011 - 10:02

Santa Anita Derby Day begins with a series of modest wagering opportunities but really picks up steam midway and the Pick-6 sequence (races 6-11), augmented by a nearly $60,000 carryover, looks well worth attacking. The first race – remember the program begins at Noon - is a $25,000 claimer that provides the recently claimed #6 Job Boss with another chance to prove he can be as effective on turf as he is on dirt. So far, he’s zero-for-eight on the sod, but joins the Doug O’Neill barn following a claim and switches to Bejarano.