Jeff Siegel: Santa Anita Analysis / Workout Commentary | Monday, May 30, 2022

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: B-
Use (in order of preference): 7-Lil Nas; 5-Lil Richards Bello

Forecast: Lil Nas shows a spotty pattern – he had a couple of runs in 2020 and one last year – and launches another comeback in this moderate California-bred turf sprint that is ripe for the taking.  The J. Sadler-trained colt is now a four-year-old but in a sign of confidence remains protected in maiden special weight company and attracts I. Ortiz, Jr., so while there’s nothing fancy showing on his work tab we’ll operate under the assumption that the J. Sadler-trained colt is fit and ready.  His only turf sprint over the local lawn as a 2-year-old actually was pretty good.  Lil Richards Bello, away since February of last year, has trained well for P. Eurton and might be a better type this time around.  He’ll likely be heard from late.  These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with the bulk of the action going to Lil Nas.  

Notable Workouts:

Lil Richards Bello (May 23, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.1h TT).  Grade: B-
Even but slightly best inside Lady Aces (same time) for P. Eurton, never really asked and finishing with something left, final quarter mile in a sharp :23.3.  Been away for more than a year, appears to be coming back in good enough shape.  
View Workout Video

College Boy (April 30, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.3h).  Grade: C+
Broke off a length in front of Fuente Ovejuna (5f, 1:01.2h) and was under some coaxing through the lane to wind up almost a length back at the wire (workmate not asked much), final three furlongs in :12 flat and :37.1.  Probably needs more work but doesn’t appear to be anything special at this stage.  
View Workout Video


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RACE 2:  Post: 1:30 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 2-Wine and Whisky; 4-Hail Freedom

Forecast: The two main contenders in this main track, entry-level, state-bred miler show mostly grass and/or all-weather form, so it might be wise to tread lightly.  Wine and Whisky (TOC=9/5; ML=8/5) has a record of 4-1-1-1 on dirt so we’re hoping he’ll adapt well, especially with a clear edge in the speed figure department based on his recent grass and synthetic races at Golden Gate Fields.  Second in a strong optional claimer up north last month, the J. Wong-trained horse projects to enjoy an ideal second flight trip and then have every chance from the quarter pole home.  Hail Freedom (TOC=8/5; ML=9/5) was a distant fourth in his only dirt outing, but that race was sprinting in his debut, so we really can’t make much of it.  He’s never won around two turns but he did score gate-to-wire in a downhill turf sprint last time out so we’ll project him to be close up throughout or perhaps even on the front end as the controlling speed.  


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RACE 3:  Post: 2:08 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 2-Dancing Crane; 5-Red Diamond

Forecast: Dancing Crane (TOC=2-1; ML=5/2) has been away since November but returns for a barn that has strong stats (20%) with the layoff angle and projects to be the quickest of the quick in this six furlong turf dash for fillies and mares.  She won her debut so we know she can fire fresh, and in a race without much early zip the daughter of Tapiture looks pretty solid.  I. Ortiz, Jr. appears to have secured another live mount.  Red Diamond (TOC=8/5; ML=2-1) is the most dangerous of the late runners, is preferred by the analytics, and is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.  A closing second in a similar affair with a career top speed figure over this course and distance last month, the R. McAnally-trained 5-year-old is lightly-raced with further improvement possible.  We’ll have tickets using both while reserving the main punch for Dancing Crane.  


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RACE 4:  Post: 2:47 PT Grade: B+
Use (in order of preference: 4-Defunded; 5-Stilleto Boy; 2-Royal Ship

Forecast: Not that he’s any kind of long shot, but Defunded (TOC=4-1; ML=3-1) is the best price of the three main players in this year’s renewal of the Hollywood Gold Cup – he’s listed at 3-1 on the morning line – so we’ll put him on top and gamble that the rapidly improving gelding can wire the field.  The son of Dialed In certainly doesn’t need the lead to win but we suspect gate-to-wire strategy will be employed, and if he can shake loose early without undue pressure he could take this field a very long way.  With just eight career starts and fresh from a career-top performance in his first start in nine months, the S. McCarthy-trained four-year-old may not have shown his best stuff quite yet.  Stilleto Boy (TOC=6/5; ML=7/5) is drawn outside Defunded and likely will settle into a good stalking position.  He was superb in victory when holding off heavily-favorited Express Train in the Californian S.-G2 in late April, an effort that produced a career top 108 Beyer figure, which if repeated today most likely will win.  Since that race, the son of Shackleford has looked terrific in the a.m.  Royal Ship (TOC=5/2; ML=6/5) was beaten a head by subsequent Saudi Cup winner Country Grammer in last year’s Gold Cup and in his seasonable bow in the John Shear Mile in mid-April showed he was as good as ever with a runaway five-length romp.  While we rate him no better than third in this field, the Brazilian-bred gelding certainly is capable of winning.  You can waive the white flag and use all three in rolling exotic play or take a stand and gamble on Defunded in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single.  

Notable Workouts:

Royal Ship (May 15, Santa Anita, 7f, 1:26h).  Grade: B+
Strong work without every really being asked much, breaking off five lengths behind Kura (6f, 1:13.3h) and catching that one at the wire before continuing out to 7/8 pole, splits of :24.3, :36.3, :48.2, 1:13.1 (to the wire) and then out in 1:26.1 on our watches.  Was impressive in comeback win and holds that form for R. Mandella.  
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Defunded (May 23, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.4h).  Grade: B+
Excellent drill by rapidly-developing Dialed In gelding while best outside Triple Tap (same time), splits of :23 flat, :46.3 and :59.3 from the half mile pole to the seven furlong pole on our watches, mild coaxing through the lane while finishing with plenty left.  Gets the acid test in the Hollywood Gold Cup.
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Stilleto Boy (May 23, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.2h).  Grade: A-
Blazed-faced chestnut was always going the better of the two while finishing almost a length in front of Tarantino (same time), final three furlongs in :11.3 and :36.1, breezing throughout.  Comes off stellar victory in the Californian S.-G2 and maintains that form.
View Workout Video


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RACE 5:  Post: 3:18 PT Grade: B+
Use (in order of preference): 5-Smooth Like Strait; 2-Count Again

Forecast: Smooth Like Strait (TOC=4/5; ML=4/5 has failed to win in seven of his last eight starts, which is hard to fathom since he’s always been a genuine and consistent performer.  The son of Midnight Lute is the defending Shoemaker Mile S.-G1 champion and once again is likely to inherit the role as the controlling speed, so we’ll put him on top while recognizing that at 4/5 on the morning line he won’t be offering much wagering value.  Count Again (TOC=4-1; ML=5/2) is the most dangerous of the late-runners and won the Kilroe Mile-G1 over this course and distance two races back.  However he has finished behind Smooth Like Strait in all five races in which they have faced each other.  You can play it safe and have tickets using both in rolling exotic play, but the bulk of our play will go to Smooth Like Strait.  

Notable Workouts:

Count Again (May 15, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.3h TT).  Grade: A-
Broke off a couple of lengths in front Cash Equity (5f, 1:02h TT) in training track drill and went past that one in the final furlong, a half-length in front at the wire while strictly on his own, final half mile in :24.4 and :48 flat, powerful late.  Right on edge for the Shoemaker Mile.  
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Smooth Like Strait (May 23, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.3h).  Grade: B+
Full of run through the lane in solo half mile main track breeze, splits of :24.2 and :48.3, never asked.  Always genuine and consistent in the afternoon and is overdue for a win.  
View Workout Video


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RACE 6:  Post: 3:50 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 3-Warren’s Queen Bee; 9-Cal

Forecast: Warren’s Queen Bee is clearly the best of the known element, and despite already having nine chances to break her maiden the daughter of Clubhouse Ride should leave as a relatively short-priced favorite in this extended sprint for state-bred fillies and mares.  Second in her last pair and more than five lengths clear of the rest in her most recent outing, the C. Lewis-trained filly may only need worry about the newcomer, the P. Aguirre-trained Cal.  The cleverly-named daughter of Stanford has shown enough ability in the a.m. (see below) to warrant a look in a soft spot, and from her comfortable outside draw she should have every chance to pop and go or stalk and pounce.  We’ll have tickets that include both in rolling exotic play.  

Notable Workouts:

Cal (May 15, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.4hg).  Grade: C+
Slow leaving the gate but then moved up inside Max Cherry (4f, :49hg) and was always going the better of the two without undue pressure, splits of :24.4, :36.2 and :48.3, fair-to-moderate for P. Aguirre.  Has some speed and probably should be able to fit with maiden claiming types.  
View Workout Video


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RACE 7:  Post: 4:20 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 2-Isola Mia; 4-Exit Soul

Forecast: Expensive ($100,000) maiden claiming fillies and mares meet over a mile on grass in a race that should be handled with care.  Spread if you feel the need to do so; we’ll try to survive and advance using just two.  Isola Mia exits a series of maiden special weight affairs and should find this group well within her capabilities.  Nicely drawn inside wile switching to top rider J. Hernandez, she shows the always-favorable blinkers off angle and a race two back that if repeated today would most likely land her in the winner’s circle.  Exit Soul is another with the maiden-to-maiden-claiming angle while turning back from nine furlongs and adding blinkers.  We’re expecting gate-to-wire tactics to be employed by this M. McCarthy-trained daughter of Animal Kingdom.  


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RACE 8:  Post: 4:52 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 6-Famous Star; 1-Recall and Reload; 5-Show Time

Forecast: This maiden special weight sprint is quite challenging, even with just six entrants.  We really don’t think Famous Star can beat a good maiden, but it may take one to beat him and we’re not convinced there’s one in the field.  The son of Frosted increased his Beyer speed figure by nine points when a distant second to next-out winner (but subsequently disqualified) Special Ride last time out and has trained solidly since, so from his cozy outside draw the J. Sadler-trained colt should have no excuses as the 9/5 on the morning line favorite.  The fast-working first-timer Recall and Reload is certain to attract plenty of play, especially with F. Prat picking up the call.  The quick drills are readily apparent, though the son of Tapizar isn’t any world beater based on what we’ve seen.  Still, you have to use him.  Show Time is bred to win early (Into Mischief) and has shown enough in the a.m. to be included on your ticket, as well.  

Notable Workouts:

Recall and Reload (May 16, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.2hg).  Grade: B
In blinkers, was asked from the gate and ridden most of the way outside Multi Platinum (same time) for S. McCarthy, splits of :23.2, :34.3, :46.1 and :59.2, losing a bit of his steam late after displaying good speed to the top of the lane.  Obviously can run some and should make the entries soon.  
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Still On the Books (May 14, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.4hg).  Grade: B-
In team gate drill with Havana Love (5f, :59.2hg) and was outrun in the opening quarter, then engaged speedy work mate on the turn but proved no match after a half and gradually fell back, splits of :24.2, :35.2, :47.2 and 1:00 flat while gearing up for debut.  O’Neill-trained son of Practical Joke has some run but might need a race based on this drill.  
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Anaheim (May 23, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.3h).  Grade: B-
In company with Vetoed (4f, :48.1h. up at wire) and maybe was slightly second best, not really asked much to the wire but then put to some pressure when continuing out an extra furlong to 7/8 pole, splits of :23.4, :48.1 and 1:00.4 on our watches, okay drill, nothing great.  Wouldn’t mind seeing him on grass, bred for it on both sides.  
b>View Workout Video

Show Time (May 25, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.2h).  Grade: B
Light coaxing through the lane while even inside Big City Lights (same time) for R. Mandella, final quarter mile in :24.2.  Good mover by Into Mischief seems like a trier, not sure how quick he is.  
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Famous Star (May 13, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h).  Grade: B+
Ridden a bit through the lane inside Unbridled Mary (same time, urged late) and may have been slightly best, final quarter in :25 flat.  Caught a monster when a distant second last time out, probably has some improvement in him.    
View Workout Video


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RACE 9:  Post: 5:23 PT Grade: B+
Single: 8-Mubtadaa

Forecast: Mubtadaa (TOC=5/2; ML=7/2 finished second over this course and distance at this level last time out while earning a career-top speed figure that, if repeated today, should be more than good enough to win.  The V. Cerin-trained gelding veered in a start, took a solid bump to lose favorable early position, then was floated out a bit wide crossing the dirt before staying on gamely through the lane while unable to catch the sharp front-runner.  Drawn comfortably outside, the son of War Front should be able to control proceedings on the front end or from a stalking position, so at 7/2 on the morning line we’ll make him a win play and rolling exotic single.  


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RACE 10:  Post: 6:00 PT Grade: B+
Single: 6-Going Global

Forecast: Going Global (TOC=7/5; ML=8/5) was 30 cents on the dollar in the Royal Heroine S.-G2 last month and though making hard work of it won as expected while earning a strong speed figure, but one not quite what she’s capable of on her best day.  We’re expecting to see her best day today, as a recent training track workout (see below) tells us she’s as good as ever. The Irish-bred filly is reunited with regular pilot F. Prat, who should have her somewhere in mid-pack to the top of the lane before cutting her loose.  A perfect five-for-five over the Santa Anita turf course, the P. D’Amato-trained filly is 8/5 on the morning line and will offer value at that price if you can get.  

Notable Workouts:

Going to Vegas (May 16, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.4h TT).  Grade: A-
Broke off far behind Ma France and Roxbury (5f, 1:01.4h TT) and rallied along the rail to go on by that pair in the final furlong while never being asked a drop, final three furlongs in :11.3 and :35 flat for P. D’Amato.  On top of her game.  
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Going Global (May 213, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h TT).  Grade: A-
Broke off a length or so behind talented Hong Kong Harry (5f, 1:00.3h TT) and engaged that one entering the lane before finishing head-and-head at the wire, neither one asked, splits of :24.4, :36.4 and 1:00.2, both with plenty left late.  Looks ready for another huge effort.
View Workout Video


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