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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!
January 23, 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 (“TPC”) 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 individual
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: 12:30 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 1-Handy Dandy; 4-Barsabas

Forecast: Handy Dandy (TOC=4/5; ML=8/5) was a respectable third in the Eddie Logan S. over this course and distance last month and gets an easier task today while dropping into a starter optional claimer over the same course and distance. With the switch to F. Prat and from the preferred rail post, the Fury Kapcori gelding seems pretty solid at 8/5 on the morning line. Barsabas (TOC=4-1; ML=5/2), in the frame in six of eight career starts, finished fifth in the aforementioned Eddie Logan, switches to Johnny V., and should draft into a good stalking position. A repeat of his race before last – a game runner-up in the Cecil B. DeMille S. at Del Mar – makes him the one to fear most. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with a very slight edge on top to Handy Dandy.

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RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: B+
Single: 1-Sync

Forecast: Sync finished with interest to be a solid runner-up in his debut vs. a softer maiden $20,000 claiming field at Los Alamitos last month; has returned to work well from the gate (see below) and seems very likely produce a forward move in this maiden $50,000 main track miler for 3-year-olds. Despite the raise in class, the son of Unified actually fits very well at this level based on speed figures, so in a five-runner field let’s take a stand and use him in the win pool and in rolling exotic single play and hope to get close to his morning line of 2-1.

Notable Workouts:

Sync (January 8, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.2hg). Grade: B-
Easy gate drill for K. Desormeaux while proving clearly best inside Big Bell (4f, :48.3hg) and Basket Case (5f, 1:01.3hg), splits of :24 flat, :35.4, :48.2 and 1:01.2 before coasting to the wire in 1:16 flat, breezing most of the way. Ran pretty well in his debut when facing bottom-rung maiden claimers at Los Alamitos and probably has plenty of room to improve. Definitely a two-turn type.
View Workout Video

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RACE 3: Post: 1:34 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 5-Viazar; 3-Unusual Ride

Forecast: Here’s another five-runner affair, this over a mile on grass for starter optional claimers. Viazar (TOC=3/5; ML=6/5)  has finished a close second in seven of her last eight starts (in between she won a maiden special weight event over this course and distance), so, on the one hand you can state she is genuine and consistent, but you also must be concerned that she doesn’t always reach back for extra when extra is required. She’s a stretch runner without any real tactical speed in a race that projects to be very slowly run early, but at least the veteran mare shouldn’t have any concerns with traffic. Unusual Ride (TOC=7/2; ML=4-1) is a “must use,” as well. Lightly-raced with further improvement in her, the daughter of Clubhouse Ride earned a career top speed figure when a closing fourth in a $40,000 claimer at Del Mar in a race that got her eligible this event. She’s reunited with “win rider” J. Hernandez, and while slower on pure figures as Viazar she appears to be heading in the right direction.

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RACE 4: Post: 2:06 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference: 5-Niff; 4-Sangre Azul

Forecast: This race has been reduced to four starters, so there’s really not much we can do with it. Niff (TOC=Evens; ML=9/5) was a sharp winner at Hawthorne before being sent to California and the speed figure she earned in that maiden $20,000 sprint makes her faster and better than her three rivals. Drawn comfortably outside, the daughter of Temple City should find herself in an ideal pace-pressing position outside. Sangre Azul (TOC=5/2; ML=6/5) is much slower on figures than Niff but is gradually improving and adding Lasix. She lacks tactical speed and will need some help up front to have her best chance from the top of the lane to the wire. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Niff.

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RACE 5: Post: 2:36 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference): 4-Muay Thai; 8-Nichiren; 6-Sir Flatter

Forecast: Be advised that this race will be run on grass, not dirt, as was indicated in the past performances of Daily Racing Form. It’s a restricted (nw-3) $25,000 claiming sprint for older horses and requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Muay Thai (TOC=3-1; ML=3-1), freshened since mid-November, has the route-to-sprint angle that we like and in fact this six furlong trip might really bring out his best. The J. Sadler-trained colt surely will get outrun early, but if the pace is as quick as projected the Irish-bred gelding could produce a winning late bid, especially with the switch to F. Prat. He shows a healthy recent series of workouts on the training track and is dropping to his lowest level ever, so at 3-1 on the morning line he’s the top pick. Nichiren (TOC=7/5; ML=7/2) is unproven on grass, but his two previous turf sprints came against tougher competition, so were not quite prepared to concede that he doesn’t like the sod. The M. Glatt-trained gelding should be on or near the lead throughout; however, there is other speed signed on, so we’re not sure if he’ll be able to get a breather along the way. Sir Flatter (TOC=4-1; ML=10-1) is listed at 10-1 on the morning line and is worth tossing in somewhere at that price. This will be his first race on grass, but his dirt form has numbers that make him competitive so if he handles the sod, he could easily outrun his price.

Notable Workouts:

Inch (January 15, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02.1h TT). Grade: B-
In blinkers for new trainer J. Mullins following a $16,000 claim, never really asked much while coming the final quarter mile in :24.4. Disappointed in his last three starts but looked okay here and can be expected to improve some for his new connections.
View Workout Video

Big Flame (January 9, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h TT). Grade: B-
In blinkers, smooth drill while strictly on his own, final three furlongs in :12 flat and :37 flat for T. Yakteen. Probably has a bit of improvement in him.
View Workout Video

Muay Thai (January 17, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02.3h TT). Grade: B-
Solo training track drill for J. Sadler, mild coaxing only through the lane, final three furlongs in :12.4 and :37 flat, easy early, plenty left late. Lightly-raced since being imported from England, may be coming around now.
View Workout Video

Crossword (January 16, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.2h TT). Grade: C+
Aggressively ridden through the lane, final three furlongs in :11.4 and :36.3. Looks about the same.
View Workout Video

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RACE 6: Post: 3:09 PT Grade: X
Single: 1-Snark

Forecast: Snark finished a distant second to a stakes-quality maiden in her debut on New Year’s Day and has trained extremely well since. We’re expecting a huge effort from the daughter of Carpe Diem and expect the E. Kruljac-trained sophomore to take control early from the rail and dominate thereafter. At even money on the morning, she’ll be too short to play in the win pool, so we’ll make her a short-priced rolling exotic single but otherwise pass the race.

Notable Workouts:

Snark (January 14, Santa Anita, 4f, :47.3h TT). Grade: B+
Impressive solo training track drill while finishing without need of coaxing and coming home strongly, final three furlongs in :11.2 and :35.1 for E. Kruljac. Chased a very good filly when second in her debut and based on this drill should step forward considerably.
View Workout Video

Chloe’s Girl (January 16, Santa Anita, 4f, :49.1hg). Grade: B-
Easy leaving the gate, was asked midway and wound up slightly second best with Piroli (5f, 1:01.2hg, looked good) for M. McCarthy, splits of :24.2, :35.4 and :47.4 on our watches, much faster than given while in company with a pretty nice maiden 3-year-old colt. Has some run but probably isn’t totally cranked up yet so we’ll probably want to see one first.
View Workout Video

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RACE 7: Post: 3:42 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 5-That’s Amare; 6-Kalon

Forecast: That’s Amare (TOC=2-1; ML=4-1) earned a career top speed figure when beating state-bred first-level allowance foes sprinting on the flat turf course earlier this month and today she’ll tackle open company while switching over the Hillside Course. Never worse than second in four career starts, the Unusual Heat mare likely will settle just off the leaders and then take hold crossing the dirt. There’s wagering value at her morning line of 4-1 if you can get it. Kalon (TOC=8-1; ML=4-1) is better than her last effort shows in a race that was transferred from grass to dirt. Back on the lawn today, the J. Sadler-trained mare has the proper second flight, stalking style that is well-suited for this downhill slalom and numbers that make her a major contender. We’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play with a slight edge on top to That’s Amare.

Notable Workouts:

Honey Jar (January 16, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02.4h). Grade: C
Caught her from the three furlong pole to the wire in :12 flat and :37.4, ridden pretty good in the final stages but laboring a bit late. Been away since last May, was hoping to see better, probably will need a race based on this drill.
View Workout Video

Kalon (January 16, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01hg). Grade: B
Broke sharply but was quickly taken in hand and was just cruising in the opening furlong, was never really asked at any stage and looked good while even but best with Rocky Gibraltar (same time, broke slowly, rushed up, mild coaxing only), splits of :25.1, :36.3, :48.3 and 1:02 flat, a full second slower than given but pretty nice nonetheless for J. Sadler. Better than her last race shows, needs grass for her best effort.
View Workout Video

Carpe Fortuna (January 16, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.4h TT). Grade: B-
Broke off three lengths behind Lottery Pick (5f, 1:01h TT) while under a nice hold to the top of the lane, then was asked (workmate in hand) but couldn’t close the gap and may have actually been losing ground close home, splits of :24.3, :36.2 and 1:00.3 on our watches. Earned bullet drill status but was hoping for better, perhaps she needs grass.
View Workout Video

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RACE 8: Post: 4:13 PT Grade: X
Single: 2-Distractedprincess

Forecast: Distractedprincess (TOC=2/5; ML=1/5) won her debut by 13 lengths, earned a giant number in doing so, and is listed at 1/5 on the morning line to repeat while moving up to the first-level allowance condition and trying two turns. There is no gamble to be found at that price, but it’s hard to imagine her getting beat in a five runner field that should allow Johnny V. to place her wherever he wants. Simply stated, the daughter of Distorted Humor looks like a superior prospect for B. Baffert.

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RACE 9: Post: 4:45 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 3-Lottery Pick; 2-Crosby Beach

Forecast: Lottery Pick appeared to flounder when a distant fourth last month in a similar maiden affair that on the morning of the race was transferred from turf to dirt. The son of American Freedom continues to train well, returns to his favorite surface, gets an extra furlong to work with, adds Lasix, and switches to Johnny V. We’re expecting a career top performance today. Crosby Beach exits the same race as Lottery Pick and he, too, should go much better today on grass. From his inside draw, the son of Gormley is likely to be on the lead from the start and if not pressured early could take this field a very long way. Both should be included in your rolling exotics; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Lottery Pick on top.

Notable Workouts:

Crosby Beach (January 15, Santa Anita, 4f, :47.2h). Grade: B
In blinkers, inside Moraz (same time) for M. McCarthy and was going nicely throughout to prove best by a neck at the wire, final quarter mile in :24.3. Trains well on dirt but form suggests he prefers grass. We’re expecting a much improved next time out.
View Workout Video

Lottery Pick (January 16, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01h TT). Grade: B
Broke off three lengths in front of Carpe Fortuna (5f, 1:00.4h TT), had that one close some of the gap in the upper stretch but then easily held that one off to be clearly best in the final stages, splits of :2.3, :36.3 and 1:00.3 on our watches, good drill for P. Eurton. Never really got untracked in an off-the-turf maiden race last month but should improve a bunch next time when switched back to the grass.
View Workout Video

Dancing Rinca (January 8, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:13.4h). Grade: B
Solid six furlong solo main track drill for recently-gelded maiden 3-year-old in P. Eurton barn, ridden through the lane following splits of :25.3, :37.3, :49 flat and 1:13.4. Was a beaten choice in his last pair but continue to train fairly well, should be live vs. maidens once again next time out.
View Workout Video

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