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'Analysis & Wagering Strategies'
Handicapping with Jeff Siegel
The selections contained within are geared to rolling exotic players. The basic strategy is to isolate those horses that should be included in rolling daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and pick-6.
It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the exact rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.
Unless otherwise noted, all horses listed in the analysis should be used in rolling exotic play. Usually there will no more than three horses listed; occasionally, Jeff will go four-deep in his rolling exotic play and on a very rare occasion he will recommend a “buy the race” strategy.
The selections are available every racing day after 9 a.m. (PST). For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.
Top selection indicated in bold-face.
A=Highest degree of confidence.
C=Least preferred, or pass.
X=likely winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.
Monday, January 21, 2019
RACE 1: Post 12:00 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Anonymously; 8-Hot Rod Gal
Forecast: Ho Rod Gal is trying turf for the first time and based on both sides of her pedigree she has a chance to improve significantly with the switch in surface. Drawn comfortably outside and with the kind of early speed that can place her wherever Pedroza wants her, the Sise-trained filly is competitive on numbers and is training well at San Luis Rey Downs. We like her on top and will use her in the straight pool as well as the rolling exotics. Anonymously represents stranger danger; the daughter of Gio Ponti makes her first start since arriving from the Fair Grounds for Cerin (excellent stats with the first-time trainer angle) and if she leaves cleanly from the rail she might wind up being the speed of the speed.
RACE 2: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-Scattering Mink; 3-Lady Mamba; 5-Gold Arrow
Forecast: Lots of unknowns in this maiden sprint for older fillies and mares. We’ll go three-deep, but you may find the need to add a few more in your rolling exotics. Scattering Mink has trained well enough to expect a good effort first time out for Mandella, though she might be more effective with a bit more ground. The daughter of Scat Daddy has done everything asked in the morning; however, we’re not sure how quick from the gate she will be. Lady Mamba has been running long and mostly on grass throughout her six-race career but in her first start since May the daughter of War Front will sprint on the main track. Her one prior dirt dash came in her debut when she wound up third, beaten 14 lengths, but the winner of that race was somebody named Unique Bella. Gold Arrow is a debuting daughter of Medaglia d’Oro from the Hollendorfer barn. She sports a solid, healthy work tab and lands Rosario, so we suspect she’s plenty fit for a big effort.
RACE 3: Post 1:03 PT. Grade: C
Forecast: This race originally was carded last Thursday but was washed away due to the rain. Each of the seven runners in this $25,000 claiming sprint restricted to 4-year-old fillies exit the same race, an opening day affair won by Amers, who rallied from last to first in the final strides thanks to a pace meltdown. They all finished in a heap, so if there ever was a race to pass, this is it. Rolling exotic players might be best advised to use them all.
RACE 4: Post 1:33 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 5-Rather Nosy; 8-Goodingscominpink
Forecast: This is another race that was part of the cancelled Thursday program and was written back for today. Rather Nosy shows up in a claimer for the first time and certainly will appreciate this much softer assignment. All three of her career outings have been on grass; today she tries dirt but on pedigree the surface switch should agree with her. However, at 8/5 on the morning line, she’s not going to offer much value. Gootingscominpink is much slower on speed figures than Rather Nosy but she’s only had one race (a second-place finish at Los Alamitos) so the daughter of Clubhouse Ride has plenty of room to improve. We’re expecting the winner to be one of these two and both should be included in your rolling exotics.
RACE 5: Post 2:03 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Canadian Game; 4-Wilshire Dude
Forecast: Wilshire Dude stretches out again and a repeat of his race-before-last at Del Mar at this one-mile trip should be good enough. Though well-beaten in a tougher starter’s allowance sprint on opening day the son of First Dude actually earned a career top (buried) number, so with this drop in class he looks hard to handle. Canadian Game, freshened since November and returning on the class drop as a first-time gelding, projects to enjoy a good ground-saving, mid-pack trip and then have every chance from the quarter pole home. He’s 1-for-13 in his career but at least that win came over the Santa Anita main track. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics.
RACE 6: Post 2:33 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Velvet Queen; 2-Courteous; 6-Angel Alessandra
Forecast: Angel Alessandra returns after a 14-week layoff in a turf sprint that should suit her style perfectly. The Miller-trained daughter of Ghostzapper broke her maiden over a mile on grass at Del Mar and then encountered a poor trip in the Juvenile Fillies Turf before being stopped on. The workouts at San Luis Rey Downs should have her fit and ready and Smith will have her rolling in the final furlong. There’s value here at 6-1 on the morning if you can get it. Velvet Queen is buried on the rail, but the Baltas-trained filly won over this course and distance when breaking her maiden at first asking during the fall meeting and switches to Rosario. She’s another with a recent healthy series of workouts at San Luis Rey Downs. Courteous has the route-to-sprint angle that we like in addition to being proven down the hill, having beaten maidens in October. She’s strong in the speed figure department and Talamo knows her well. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics and then press keying Angel Alessandra on top.
RACE 7: Post 3:04 PT. Grade: B
Use: 8-John’s Intuition; 9-Like Really Smart
Forecast: Like Really Smart chased straight maidens sprinting on dirt in his only prior outing in November at Del Mar and today surfaces in a maiden $50,000 affair while adding blinkers, switching to Prat, and drawing the cozy outside post. The son of Cyclotron exits a fairly good race and should find this softer company within his capabilities. John’s Intuition missed by a neck in a similar event on New Year’s Eve at 31-1 but certainly won’t be that price today. The Bonde-trained colt is a fit on figures and will likely be part of the pace throughout. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Like Really Smart
RACE 8: Post 3:34 PT. Grade: X
Forecast: Vasilika had her eight-race winning streak snapped when she finished fourth in the Matriarch Stakes-G1 at Del Mar in early December but appears to have found a nice spot to get back on the winning track. The Hollendorfer-trained mare has won seven of eight starts over the Santa Anita turf course and projects to draft into a good second-flight spot and be ready to pounce when called upon. She offers no value at 6/5 on the morning line but can be used as a short-price rolling exotic single.
RACE 9: Post 4:04 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Captivate; 4-Fast Cotton; 5-Chill
Forecast: This is a highly-competitive starter’s allowance extended sprint and requires a bit of a spread. Chill is a Woodbine shipper making his California debut for Morey (excellent starts with the first-time trainer angle), and while his all-weather and turf form is good he is thoroughly unproven over conventional dirt. A bullet half-mile workout in 46 3/5 seconds Jan. 8 is quite encouraging, so we’ll put him slightly on top. Fast Cotton earned a huge speed figure when winning a restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claimer at Los Alamitos last month and if he can replicate that performance today he can score again. However, the Los Al form doesn’t always transfer. Captivate was disqualified after finishing first in convincing fashion in a similar starter’s race last September. He was stopped on, but hails from the Puype barn, which has good stats with layoff runners). He’ll be tough if he returns as well as he left.
RACE 10: Post 4:34 PT. Grade: B
Use: 4-Ladymidtown; 7-Gemagine
Forecast: Ladymidtown finished a respectable fifth in the Jimmy Durante Stakes last fall in what was just her second career start, was given time off, and today returns to the maiden ranks for O’Neill while picking up Rosario. She’s 3-1 on the morning line but we suspect she’ll go a bit lower. Gemagine, fourth down the hill in a better-than-par race for the level, likely will benefit greatly from the experience and today stretches out to a distance she should like. She’s a “must use” at 6-1 on the morning line.