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Jeff Siegel

'Analysis & Wagering Strategies'

Handicapping with Jeff Siegel
Horse owner, breeder and XpressbetTV analyst, Jeff Siegel also happens to be Southern California's premier handicapper. Check his blog each day before you play!
May 20, 2022

“What You Need to Know” – Santa Anita
By Jeff Siegel, 1stbet.com Handicapper & Analyst

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily Santa Anita Handicapping Analysis, Wagering Strategies, Workout Commentary, and True Odds Calculations (“TOC”) identify those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.
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The “TOC” quantifies the findings of a personal thoroughbred analytics program that contains in its database the results of every race contested at Santa Anita since 2004. More than 75 critical factors in the fields of class, distance, surface, age, and sex have created 227 algorithms that are highly specific to the race being handicapped. The result is a probability line that reflects each contender’s true odds based on a pure 100-point takeout.

The “TOC” applies its mathematical formula only to non-maiden races and displays a maximum of four runners considered the most likely contenders to win. Also listed is the specific algorithm’s sample size plus the top-rated horse’s win percentage and return on investment (ROI). It is suggested that the player utilize the program’s findings to compare each contender’s “true odds” with the morning line and/or actual wagering odds to identify potential overlays and underlays.

Also-eligible runners are not included in any of the calculations until verified as actual starters. When possible, adjustments to the “TOC” will be updated after late scratches.

For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.

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Grade Descriptions:
Grade A=Highest degree of confidence
Grade B=Solid Play.
Grade C=Least preferred or pass
Grade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play

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RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 5-Acquired Class; 6-Helladic

Forecast: The opener is a five furlong sprint on grass for 2-year-olds that have never trained on turf, with four of the seven having been prepared out of sight at San Luis Rey Downs. In what amounts to a guessing game, we’ll double the race in rolling exotic play but otherwise pass. Acquired Class, a $70,000 yearling by Cairo Prince, comes from a winning outfit but shows only four listed training center workouts, the last two from the gate. Maybe he can run some, but who (other than maybe his connections) really knows? Helladic has displayed good speed in morning dirt workouts (see below), as one would expect from a son of Kantharos, but with City Zip on the bottom side of his pedigree he should like the lawn, too, so if he can shake loose early he may be able to keep on going in what appears to be a lackluster group of babies. Tread lightly here.

Notable Workouts:

Helladic (May 11, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.1hg). Grade: B-
Was hustled along from the gate while always outrunning Royal Halo (3f, 34.3hg, asked hard, sent a few ticks lower than given) while earning splits of :23.4, :35.1, :47.4 and 1:01.2 on our watches, slowing up noticeably late and while failing to change leads. Has good zip, probably not much stick, the shorter the better for this juvenile son of Kantharos, have to think he’ll be quite competitive in a soft field.
View Workout Video

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RACE 2: Post: 1:35 PT Grade:
Single: 2-Lunatic

Forecast: Lunatic (TOC=2/5; ML=6/5) is listed as the 6/5 morning line favorite and almost certainly will leave at odds-on in this $20,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares. First or second in her last six starts, exiting a pair of tougher starter allowance sprints but remaining above her $16,000 claim level, the R. Alvarado-trained mare should have no difficultly handling this soft assignment as a no-value rolling exotic single. It’ll be interesting to see how many claims are submitted for her.

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RACE 3: Post: 2:09 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 3-Madiha; 5-Big Clare

Forecast: This California-bred first-level allowance turf miler drew a field of six, but the way we see it really offers only two winning possibilities. Madiha (TOC-Evens; ML=2-1) has finished first or second in four of five career starts over the local lawn and seems well-spotted to fire another big shot. The barn (2-for-60 this year) offers little confidence, but this daughter of Shaman Ghost has a good stalking style that should keep her free of trouble and has numbers – including a career top mark last time out – that are better than par for this level. Big Clare (TOC=2-1; ML=5/2) always has preferred to run second or third (eight times) rather than win (once) but she is another with solid in the speed figured and has a prior victory over this course and distance. She’s never been known to punch it in under pressure but against this group can’t help but be a major player with anything close to her best effort.

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RACE 4: Post: 2:35 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference: 5-Breakfast Ride; 2-Tahoe Secrets

Forecast: Breakfast Ride is the 7/5 morning line favorite in this maiden $40,000 extended sprint for older horses, not because of anything he’s done but simply as a default measure in a woefully weak affair. The J. Sadler-trained colt exits a hot race (speed/fade) but with this monumental class drop the son of Distorted Humor could shake loose early and get very brave. Tahoe Secrets flashed some speed in his debut before fading back to be a distant fourth in a similar affair last month. He’ll adds blinkers today for a barn that has respectable stats with the second-time starter angle, so it’s within the realm of possibilities that the son of Secret Circle improves enough to be a factor.

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RACE 5: Post: 3:07 PT Grade: B+
Single: 4-Ikigai

Forecast: Ikigai (TOC=7/2; ML=3-1) was vanned up north seeking a confidence-building maiden win over the Golden Gate Fields all-weather surface last month and did what was expected when crushing a better-than-par field in a visually pleasing effort that earned a much improved, career top number. As expected, the result was franked when the runner-up returned to graduate in a canter next time. This son of Bayern will be making his first start on grass but the surface switch shouldn’t be an issue, and with the ability to stalk and pounce the R. Alvarado-trained sophomore projects to draft in behind the dueling need-the-lead types Hot Box and Trainer Please and then go on with it when ready. At 3-1 on the morning line, he’s a win play and rolling exotic single.

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RACE 6: Post: 3:39 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 3-Loma Vista; 6-Work to Live; 2-Talkative Gal; 1-Pequena Tormenta

Forecast: This starter’s allowance event for fillies and mares looks highly-competitive, so we’ll spread the race going four deep in rolling exotic play but otherwise sit it out. Loma Vista (TOC=2-1; ML=5/2) has the proper style for this extended sprint distance and should enough help up front to set things up for her closing kick. The P. D’Amato-trained filly has rising numbers and a healthy work pattern since raced, so we’re expecting a career top effort. Work to Live (TOC=6-1; ML=3-1) had little behind her when graduating by 11 lengths in-March and the number was modest but did it with plenty left and returns after a two-month vacation protected in a sign of confidence and from a cozy outside that allows her to dictate the race tempo. Talkative Gal (TOC=5-1; ML=4-1), away since breaking her maiden in a $50,000 affair last October, returns as a first-time Lasix user with a nice series of local workouts that should have her plenty fit. She could easily be a better type this time around and her numbers from last year give her a major look even if she isn’t. Pequena Tormenta (TOC=3-1; ML=3-1) must overcome the rail but she looked decent graduating in her comeback in late March with a nice figure when trained by R. Baltas, and if she duplicate that type of performance for new trainer G. Papaprodromou she’ll be competitive right back.

Notable Workouts:

Porquena Tormenta (May 8, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.3h). Grade: B-
Broke off a length behind Balladeer (5f, 1:00.4h) and finished about a neck back at the wire while a tad second best but without much pressure, splits of :24.1, :36 flat and 1:00.4 on our watches, a tick slower than given but decent, nonetheless. In good shape, should be competitive on the raise.
View Workout Video

Talkative Gal (May 14, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.3hg). Grade: B-
Decent solo gate drill for comebacker in D. O’Neill barn, easy early, asked a bit late, splits of :25 flat, :36.2, :48.1 and 1:00.3 on our watches. Coming back as well as she left, has starter’s allowance conditions.
View Workout Video

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RACE 7: Post: 4:11 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 5-Barsabas; 1-Cowboy Charlie; 4-Shut Up Michael

Forecast: In a high-priced claiming turf sprint restricted to 3-year-olds, Barsabas (TOC=Evens; ML=7/2) turns back in trip after exiting a series of tougher middle distance events and fits nicely on all levels as the logical top pick. He is strong in the speed figure department, shows a prior win over the local lawn and projects to settle into a comfortable pace-stalking position and have every chance from there. The analytics given him an even money chance to win, though he’ll certainly go higher than that. Cowboy Charlie (TOC=6-1; ML=6-1) turns back to a sprint, adds blinkers for the first time and could be the controlling speed if he breaks sharply from the rail. He’s a tad light in the speed figure department but if she can shake loose early he could take this field a long way. Shut Up Michael (TOC=5-1; ML=7/2) broke his maiden sprinting over this turf course in January but wasn’t able to act with allowance foes in four subsequent starts so this drop in class is warranted. We like the blinkers off and route-to-sprint angles and suspect this P. D’Amato-trained Irish-bred gelding will make some noise late.

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RACE 8: Post: 4:42 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference: 4-Team Concept; 9-Big Rosie

Forecast: The nightcap is a nine furlong maiden claiming turf event for older fillies and mares. The two that we’ll be using have a bit more potential (and are less exposed) than the others so we’ll try to get without a stiff investment. Team Concept stayed on reasonably well with third in a similar affair in her first outing on grass and acts like she’ll appreciate today’s longer trip. With any kind of forward move, the daughter of Acclamation should be highly-competitive against this group at 6-1 on the morning line. Big Rosie had a right to be a bit short when making the pace before fading late against much stronger starter optional claiming foes in her first outing since August. She returns to the level at which she was claimed, and in her second off the layoff the daughter of Kitten’s Joy seems sure to improve a bunch. The outside post is no bargain but if good enough she’ll overcome it.

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