Jeff Siegel: Santa Anita Analysis/Workout Commentary | Saturday, March 5, 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:  12:00 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 8-Gold Phoenix; 10-See Through It; 4-Cane Creek Road; 12-Southern Horse

Forecast: We’ll begin the 11-race program with an inscrutable downhill slalom event for entry-level allowance turf sprinters that attracted a full gate load of 12 runners, at least half of which have a reasonable chance depending upon trips and race flow.  Morning line favorite (5/2) Gold Phoenix (TOC=3-1; ML=5/2) ran well in his U.S. debut in a similar affair over the flat course in mid-January, closing well to be second in what was just his second career start, and a repeat of that race makes him the one to beat.  However, a somewhat lethargic recent training track drill puts his current condition into question, so we’ll use him in rolling exotic play even though we’re not quite sure what we’ll be getting.  See Through It (TOC=7/2; ML=5-1) has hit the board in his last five starts, so he’s likely to be in the fray once again, though his habit of weakening under pressure in the final stages after pressing the pace is somewhat concerning.  He appears most comfortable when held up early and allowed to produce a late kick and given that strategy the B. Koriner-trained gelding might punch it in more effectively.  Cane Creek Road (TOC=15-1; ML=8-1) has the route-to-sprint angle that always has been quite effective when handicapping the Hillside Turf Course. The analytics aren’t favorable, and yes, he’s a little light in the speed figure department, but we’re of the opinion that he could improve a bunch with the turn back in trip.  Southern Horse (TOC=9-1; ML=12-1 is a deep-closing sprinter coming off a solid runner-up effort in a $40,000 claimer over the flat course.  He’ll need some help up front and room to rally through the lane to have any kind of chance but if things break his way the Argentine veteran should at least outrun his 12-1 morning line.  These are the four we’ll be including in rolling exotic play but best suggestion is to spread as deeply as your budget allows.


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RACE 2:  Post: 12:28 PT Grade: B
Use (in order of preference): 4-Taiba; 5-Mauritius; 6-Temth Street Don

Forecast: Trainer B. Baffert has a couple of hot first-timers in this contentious six furlong sprint for sophomores, including the $1.7 million Fasig-Tipton 2021 March 2-year-old in training purchase Taiba, a Gun Runner colt who has done everything right in the morning and is clearly highly-regarded and the likely short-priced favorite at 8/5 on the morning line.  His stable mate, Mauritious (morning line 5/2), may be pretty good as well, having displayed plenty of talent in his morning breezes and is worth including in the rolling exotics as well.  Also deserving of some consideration is Tenth Street Don, listed at 8-1 on the morning line.  The V. Cerin-trained colt by Practical Joke brought $240,000 at the 2021 OBS April Sale and has done some good work this winter without being asked for his best.  The barn doesn’t have great stats with debut runners but this one should be used on a ticket or two as a back-up or a saver.  

Notable Workouts:

One More Bid (February 27, 5f, Santa Anita, :58.4hg).  Grade: B
Broke better today than in his last gate work and left Pillow Candy (3f, :37.4hg) far behind while being ridden most of the way, splits of :23.4, :35.1, :47 flat and :59.2 on our watches, a few ticks slower than given time but sharp nonetheless, the galloped to the wire in 1:13.2, solid drill for un-raced maiden.  Not particularly quick in the opening furlong but can turn it on midway and should be competitive first time out for Hanson.  
View Workout Video

Overrule (February 27, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00hg).  Grade: B-
This was a gate work (“g” left off the tab) in company with Take Action (5f, 1:01.2hg) for R. Mandella, mild urging with splits of :24 flat, :35.3, :47.2 and 1:00 flat.  Previous works weren’t much but this was a step in the right direction.   Mastery colt might be a down-the-road type.  
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Pioneering Papa (February 26, Santa Anita, 4f, :46.3hg).  Grade: B
Classic Empire gelding turned in a nice solo gate drill under mild urging only, splits of :23.2, :34.4 and :46.4 on our watches in a good display of speed, best drill of a series leading up to his debut.  Has some run and should be reasonably competitive in a maiden sprint soon.  
View Workout Video

Taiba (February 20, Santa Anita, 5f, :59hg).  Grade: B+
Smart gate drill for Baffert in company with McLaren Vale (same time) and Lil Light Hearted (4f, :47.4hg), splits of :23.4, :35.1, :46.4 and :59 flat while appearing slightly best and then coasted to the wire in 1:12.4.  Gun Runner colt appears to be made of the right stuff, seems fit, and should be very live at frisking.  ‘Vale was a debut winner early this meeting, further framing this gate work in a favorable context.
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Mauritius (February 26, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h).  Grade: B
In company outside Rockefeller (same time) and may have been a tad second best but worked strongly nonetheless, splits of :23.2, :35.2, 1:00.2 and 1:13 flat for a full six furlongs while traveling out to the seven-furlong pole for Baffert.  Should be fit enough by now, clearly has ability and should be competitive right off the bat vs. maidens.  
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Tenth Street Don (January 9, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02h)
Saw him back in early January in a team drill with Street Ruckus (same time) and looked fairly decent for Cerin, splits of :24 flat and :49.2, never really asked, about two lengths clear at the finish after breaking off a similar margin in front.  Practical Joke colt was a $240,000 OBS April sale purchase last year, has been given a good foundation and should make the entries soon.  Might be an okay type.  
View Workout Video

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RACE 3:  Post: 12:58 PT Grade: C+
Use (in order of preference): 6-Sadie Bluegrass; 5-Savvy Gal; 8-Storming Lady

Forecast: We’ll forego a win wager in the third race, a starter’s allowance turf sprint for $25,000 older fillies and mares while spreading three-deep in rolling exotic play.  Win-machine Sadie Bluegrass (TOC=8/5; ML=4-1) (11-for-19 in her career) seems the logical top pick, though success established at Golden Gate Fields isn’t always repeated on this tougher Southern California circuit.  That said, she’s a strong fit on speed figures based her two most recent victories at the starter’s $12,500 level and regular jockey B. Pena flies down to ride her, so at this abbreviated sprint distance the J. Wong-trained mare projects as a major player and a strong pace factor throughout.  Savvy Gal (TOC=6-1; ML=3-1) always does her best running when held up early and then let loose late, and she was up in time to win a similar five furlong event over the local lawn in late January. A similar effort today, especially if the early pace comes up contested, will make her quite dangerous right back. Storming Lady (TOC=7/2; ML=3-1) was fourth as the favorite in the same race that Savvy Gal just won but could bounce back today with an extra furlong to work with.  She’s always been effective over the Santa Anita turf course (first or second in seven of 12 outings) and with three nice breezes since raced the J. Mullins-trained mare should be heard from late.  

Notable Workouts:

Bristol Bayou (February 27, 4f, :48.3h).  Grade: B
Was well off the rail and breezing through the lane in solo half mile drill for Cerin, final three furlongs in :11.4 and :36.4.  Always genuine and consistent, holds her form, might be most comfortable around one turn and her record suggests she much prefers dirt over turf.
View Workout Video


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RACE 4:  Post: 1:28 PT Grade: B-
Use (in order of preference: 1-Brickyard Road; 3-Canadian Pride; 4-Cezanne

Forecast: Brickyard Road (TOC=4/5; ML=3-1) just wired the field in the Tiznow S. over a mile vs. state-bred foes two weeks ago and is wheeled back quickly while moving into graded stakes company at this seven furlong trip in this year’s edition of the San Carlos S.-G2, a race he won easily last year.  The veteran son of Clubhouse Ride has only one way to go from the rail – on the lead for as far as he can carry his speed – and if he can shake loose early (like last year) the C. Lewis-trained horse will be hard to catch once again.  Canadian Pride (TOC=5-1; ML=5-1) earned a career top triple digit Beyer speed figure when winning an allowance race here last month and projects to enjoy a similar pace-stalking trip today.  Relatively lightly-raced (three wins from 12 starts), the P. Eurton-trained gelding gets tested for class in is first ever appearance in stakes company but in his present form deserves a serious look.  Cezanne (TOC=5/2; ML=5/2) was a non-threatening third of five at 3/5 when clearly rusty off a layoff in the Palos Verdes S.-G3 in late January but can expected to step forward considerably with that tightener behind him. Two bullet workouts since raced are encouraging, but he still might be a race away from being where he was last year.  Have to use him, though.  

Notable Workouts:

Cezanne (February 27, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:12.3h).  Grade: B
Ridden a bit through the lane to be even but slightly best outside Spielberg (same time) for Baffert, splits of :23.4, :35.2, :59.3 (to the wire) and 1:12.3 (to seven furlong pole), solid work, better than what we’ve seen of him lately.  Might be coming around and getting fit, was far below his best form when last of three in the Palos Verdes S.-G3 in his comeback in late January.  
View Workout Video

Eight Rings (February 21, Santa Anita, 4f, :46.3h).  Grade: B+
Never really asked in quick half mile solo drill, splits of :11.3, :22.3 and :46.3 while sharpening his speed after a series of two-turn races.  Might appreciate a turn back in trip.  Maintains his edge.
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Shooters Shoot (February 25, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.2h).  Grade: B+
In blinkers, mildly coaxed late, final three furlongs in :11.3 and :36.1 for Baltas.  Maintains his form after narrowly missing in the Pals Verdes S. last time out.  
View Workout Video


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RACE 5:  Post: 1:58 PT Grade: B+
Use (in order of preference): 5-Leggs Galore; 10-Going to Vegas

Forecast: Leggs Galore (TOC=6/5; ML=7/2) returned to winning form in her first outing since August with an authoritative gate-to-wire score down the Hillside Course in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint in mid-January in a fast, highly-rated affair that indicates she’s as good now as ever.  A winner of five races from seven starts over the local lawn, the daughter of Bayern has won at this mile distance, but that victory was not against this level of competition, so while she’s easily the controlling speed and will take this field a very long way, that final sixteenth of a mile will be stretching her limit.  Going to Vegas (TOC=9/2; ML=3-1), herself a Santa Anita grass specialist (first or second in eight of 11 career starts), was out of her element in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf last November but has trained well enough to be fit and ready for her first start since, and as a Grade-1 winner over the Arcadia grass she is clearly good enough to win with her best race.  We’re expecting the daughter of Goldencents to settle in the second flight and then have dead aim and every chance from the quarter pole home.  Both should be used in rolling exotic play with Leggs Galore – based on recency and the projected race shape – given the slight nod on top.  

Notable Workouts:

Keeper of Time (February 25, Palm Meadows, 5f, 1:00.2b TC).  Grade: B
In a team drill on turf (no dogs), trailing Sunstrike (5f, 1:00.4h TC) and Vantarsi (5f, 1:01.2h TC) to the head of the lane before angling 3-wide and finishing slightly behind Sunstrike (hard held) at the wire, never really asked, final half mile in :24.1 and :47.4 on our watches.  Likes to lag and then blast home, arrives following a clever overnight handicap winner at Gulfstream Park.  
View Workout Video

Leggs Galore (February 27, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h TT).  Grade: B- In blinkers, broke off a few lengths behind Gregory’s Pride (5f, 1:00.2h TT) and closed a gap through the lane but couldn’t catch the winner despite being urged a bit in the final furlong (workmate always breezing), splits of :24.2, :36.1 and 1:00.1.  Certainly doesn’t want to be rated in the afternoon, prefers to be let roll from the gate.  
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Going to Vegas (February 26, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00h TT).  Grade: B+
Training track drill In company outside Granola Girl (same time) for P. D’Amato and was always going the better of the two, hard held and extremely keen early and then a half in front at the wire while never really being asked, splits of :24 flat and 1:00 flat, steady and even while appearing very sharp following a vacation.  Tough on the front end but can be comfortable stalking and pouncing as well.  Ready to fire a big shot.
View Workout Video


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RACE 6:  Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B
Single: 6-Forbidden Kingdom

Forecast: Forbidden Kingdom (TOC=8/5; ML=8/5) stretches out to a middle distance for the first time in this year’s San Felipe S.-G2 for 3-year-olds, and if he’s ever going to get the trip, it most likely will be in his first try.  The son of American Pharoah was dominant in his gate-to-wire victory in the seven furlong San Vicente S.-G2 last time out and was flattered when runner-up Pinehurst returned to win the Saudi Derby-G3 overseas last week.  He’ll easily be the controlling speed if his connections permit him to be – hopefully they will allow him to use his best weapon - and given the lack of effective closers among the five other runners we’re expecting the R. Mandella-trained colt to roll all the way to the wire.  At 8/5 on the morning line and likely to go shorter, he won’t be offering a lot of value other than as a logical short-priced rolling exotic single.  

Notable Workouts:

Armagnac (February 25, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:12.2h).  Grade: B
Head-and-head throughout inside Doppelganger (same time) while traveling out to the seven furlong pole, slightly best to the wire but slightly second best late while under strong pressure in the final furlong, splits of :23.3, :35.2, 1:00.1 and 1:12.4 on our watches.  Decent work for both but neither looked all that great late.  We’ll find out what each is made of in the San Felipe S.
View Workout Video

Doppelganger (February 25, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:12.2h).  Grade: B
See Armagnac, above.
View Workout Video

Forbidden Kingdom (February 24, Santa Anita, 7f, 1:25h).  Grade: B
Broke off about six lengths behind Micro Share (7f, 1:26h), engaged workmate on the turn, put his head in front in the upper stretch but then appeared to lose some of his steam late and was second best to the breezing ‘Share at the wire and also continuing out to the seven furlong pole under some coaxing, splits of :23.3, :35.2, :47.1, 1:11.4 and 1:25 flat on our watches, excellent final time but not quite what we were hoping to see.  Probably wants to be let roll and utilize his best weapon (his early speed) and easily projects be the controlling speed in the San Felipe.
View Workout Video


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RACE 7:  Post: 3:00 PT Grade: X
Single: 1-Got Thunder

Forecast: Got Thunder (TOC=6/5; ML=6/5) has burned a considerable amount of money in his last two starts, finishing a distant second at 3/5 in a main track maiden sprint in late December and then failing again, this time at 2/5, when a non-threatening third (of six) in a dirt miler last month.  Yet, he’s listed at 6/5 on the morning line and that’s probably close to where he’ll leave at in at this one mile grass event that came up unusually light in quality and offers no viable alternative.  Trust him?  Can’t do it but based on speed figures he almost has to win, assuming he handles the grass.  In a race that his best left alone, you can use the son of Arrogate as a no-value rolling exotic single or better yet just pass the race.  

Notable Workouts:

Got Thunder (February 27, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.1h).  Grade: B+
Easy to the top, was ridden some through the lane and responded very well, final half mile on our watches in :12.3, :24.2 and :47.3, impressive late kick.  Arrogate colt continues to impress in the morning but has been quite disappointing when it matters in the afternoon.  Possibly just a morning glory, will get a chance to prove otherwise on grass next time out.  
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Barnfield (February 26, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:13.4hg).  Grade: C+
Second best in gate drill with Kirstenbosch (6f, 1:13.3hg) and Baby’s Dream (5f, 1:01hg), head-and-head until mid-stretch before weakening late and winding up more than a length back at the wire, splits of :24 flat, :36 flat :48.2 and 1:15 flat on our watches, much slower than given and not impressive while doing his best to the end.  Down the road type at this stage.  
View Workout Video


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RACE 8:  Post: 3:30 PT Grade:
Use (in order of preference): 11-Honey Jar; 6-Kalon; 10-Xmas Surprise

Forecast: The first leg of the late Pick-4 is another challenging Hillside Turf Course sprint, this one for fillies and mares in the first allowance condition.  Honey Jar (TOC=3-1; ML=7/2)   returned following an eight month layoff to finish a weakening fourth as the favorite over this course and distance last month in a race that she very well could have needed.  Given that she produced a significant forward move in her second outing last year, the M. McCarthy-trained filly seems likely to follow a similar pattern this time around.  “Win rider” F. Prat stays aboard, and from a comfortable outside draw the daughter of Kantharos projects to draft into a lovely stalking position and have clearl sailing from the head of the lane to the wire.  Kalon (TOC=9/2; ML=6-1) is winless in five starts over the Santa Anita turf course but turned in a career-top performance in her first try down the Hill when a rallying second at 21-1 in a similar affair in late January.  She’s a prototype late-running sprinter and will get the patient ride she requires from J. Hernandez, so at 6-1 on the morning line she deserves inclusion on your ticket.  Xmas Surprise (TOC=18-1; ML=20-1) is for long shot players.  She’ll require a major forward move in the speed figure department in her first outing since October but the L. Powell-trained daughter of More Than Ready has been quite impressive in her recent morning breezes and could very well be much improved off the layoff.  She’s nicely bred, lightly-raced and probably better than her 20-1 morning line gives her credit for

Notable Workouts:

Xmas Surprise (February 9, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.1h TT).  Grade: B+
Away since October and appears to be a better type on the comeback trail, extra sharp in this half mile solo training track breeze, final quarter without being asked in :23 flat for L. Powell.  Has a prior win over the local turf course and should fire a big shot fresh.
View Workout Video


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RACE 9:  Post: 4:00 PT Grade: X
Single: 3-As Time Goes By

Forecast: As Time Goes By (TOC=4/5; ML=4/5) is listed as the 4/5 morning line favorite in the Beholder Mile-G1 after her recent runaway score by more than 13 lengths in the La Canada S.-G3 on New Year’s Day.  The five-year-old mare has finished first or second in all seven starts over the Santa Anita main track, continues to impress in morning workouts, and looks well-placed to pick up where she left off.  The B. Baffert-trained daughter of American Pharoah finished second in the Beholder last year behind Swiss Skydiver, and that brilliant mare’s trainer Ken McPeak is represented again, this time with Envoutante, (TOC=8/5; ML=8/5)
Notable Workouts:

Varda (February 26, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00h).  Grade: B
Comebacker in B. Baffert barn went in company As Time Goes By (5f, :59.2h) and led that one by a couple of lengths early, was put to pressure into the lane and was unable to match strides late while winding up more than a length back at the wire (workmate looked terrific), splits of :11.3, :23.2 and :47.1 for the final half mile.  Been away since winning the Starlet S.-G1 in December of 2020, may need a bit more work based on this drill before being dead fit.
View Workout Video

As Time Goes By (February 26, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.2h).  Grade: A-
Caught her the final half mile a couple of lengths behind Varda (5f, 1:00h) down the backside but then catching up with that one and going by quickly in the final furlong with an impressive display of late speed, final half mile on our watches in :23.1 and :46.4, mostly on her own.  Couldn’t have looked better; fresh from a 13-length romp in the La Canada S.-G3.  
View Workout Video


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RACE 10:  Post: 4:29 PT Grade:
Use (in order of preference): 3-Beyond Brilliant; 4-Count Again; 8-Space Traveller

Forecast: The Frank E. Kilroe Mile-G1 is a good gambling affair that offers a 12-runner lineup and several possibilities at decent prices.  Beyond Brilliant, (TOC=4-1; ML=8-1) winner of the Hollywood Derby-G1 at Del Mar last November and then beaten a half-length in the off-the-turf Mathis Bros. Mile-G2 in late December, returns to his preferred surface, lands a comfortable inside draw, switches to V. Espinoza, and has trained exceptionally well of late to indicate a career top performance may be forthcoming.  Most effective on the front end but capable of stalking and pouncing if the situation dictates, the son of Twirling Candy is listed at 8-1 on the morning line and is a play in the win pool at anywhere near that price.  He can also be a main punch in rolling exotic play, though we’ll use a couple of others on our ticket for protection.  Count Again (TOC=9/2; ML=7/2) is the best of the deep-closing types and is fresh from a sharp win in the Thunder Road S.-G3 over this course and distance last month.  He’ll need good racing luck and some help up front to have his best chance but as a relatively lightly-raced seven year old gelding (five wins in 14 starts) and with F. Prat in the saddle he’s the one to fear most.  Florida invader Space Traveller (TOC=6-1; ML=5-1) was an unlucky third in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational-G1 last time out when he finished strongly after being too far back early.  A repeat of that race with clear sailing makes him quite dangerous at 5-1 on the morning line.  

Notable Workouts:

Subconscious (February 26, Santa Anita, 5f, 100.3h).  Grade: B
In blinkers, slightly best at the wire outside Laforgia (5f, 1:01h) for Mandella, final three furlongs in :11.2 and :35.2, nice drill for a grass specialist on dirt.  Missed at 3/5 in Thunder Road S.-G3 after stumbling at the start, can do better with a cleaner start.  
View Workout Video

Beyond Brilliant (February 278, Santa Anita, 4f, :49.2h).  Grade: B
Easy solo main track breeze, splits of :12.2, :24.2 and :49.2, sharp throughout.  Freshened since late December, looks eager and fit, needs the lead for his best chance in the afternoon.  
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Count Again (February 27, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.1h TT).  Grade: B+
In blinkers, broke off seven lengths behind Flintmore (5f, 1:00.3h TT) and made up the margin through the lane to be a head back at the wire, neither one asked much in the final furlong, splits of :23.2 and :46.3 for the final half mile for ‘Again.  Seven year old gelding has had only 14 career starts, so he’s fresh and still with room for a bit of improvement.  
View Workout Video


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RACE 11:  Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B+
Single: 6-Express Train

Forecast: Express Train (TOC=3/2; ML=8/5) was a sharp runner-up in the 2021 Santa Anita Handicap-G1 and this genuine and consistent 5-yerar-old appears every bit as good now as then, having won both the San Antonio S.-G2 and the San Pasqual S.-G2 leading up to this year’s Big ‘Cap.  This is not a particularly strong field for this type of race, so we’re expecting the J. Shirreffs-trained horse to justify his high weight of 124 lbs. and his 8/5 morning line favoritism with a good stalking trip in a race that projects to have a modest early pace.  The son of Union Rags is the ultimate grinder and will be where he needs to be – looming a threat and ready to pounce - when the field turns for home.

Notable Workouts:

Express Train (February 27, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.4h).  Grade: B+
Probably went faster than given while appearing extra sharp in easy solo breeze while gearing up for Big ‘Cap, final half mile under a nice hold throughout in :23.3 and :47.4.  Maintains his top form.  
View Workout Video





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