Jeff Siegel: What You Need to Know - Santa Anita | Sunday, October 1, 2023

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily Santa Anita Handicapping Analysis, & Wagering Strategies identify those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.
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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

RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: B-
Main ticket: (in order of preference): 1-Gianola; 2-Dark Marcus
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.  

Forecast: Gianola might be better than shown, and if so the Andy Mathis-trained son of Noble Mission has a chance to pull off a surprise at 8-1 on the morning line in this below standard state-bred maiden turf miler for older horses.  He’s a first time gelding exiting a pair of stronger races and both of his starts to date actually weren’t half bad.  From a good inside draw, he’s assured a ground-saving trip and should be forwardly placed throughout.  Dark Marcus is the logical top pick, but as a 14-race maiden he certainly isn’t one to trust.  The Peter Miller-trained gelding has been in the frame in five of his last six stars and may have finally found a field he can beat.  


RACE 2: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: B+
Main ticket: (in order of preference): 6-Elegant
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.  

Forecast: Elegant got run over in her debut as the even money favorite at Del Mar but we’re willing to give her another chance.  The Bob Baffert-trained filly flashed good speed before caving in late, but with that race under her belt for a barn that has strong stats with the second time starter angle (21%) we’re expecting the daughter of Omaha Beach to be a whole lot fitter today.  She’s 8/5 on the morning line and at that price we’ll make her a rolling exotic single.  

RACE 3: Post: 2:00 PT Grade: B
Main ticket (in order of preference):  7-Petcoff; 5-Bad Uncle Barry
Backups/savers/Underneath: 1-Sea of Cortez.

Forecast: Petcoff appears well-placed to graduate.  Third in a similar maiden turf miler at Del Mar off relatively short rest last month, the Tim Yakteen-trained colt projects to enjoy a good second flight journey and then have every chance when the pressure is turned on.  Bad Uncle Barry displayed promise in his sprint debut at Del Mar when crossing the wire fourth and finishing with good energy.  Bred to run long, the son of Good Magic switches to Umberto Rispoli and can be expected to produce a significant forward move.  We’ll try to get by using just these two on our main ticket in rolling exotic play.

RACE 4: Post: 2:33 PT Grade: X
Main ticket (in order of preference): 1-Adare Manor
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.

Forecast: Adare Manor is listed as the 2/5 morning line favorite in this year’s renewal of the Zenyatta Stakes-G2 and may even lower than that.  She has finished first or second in seven of eight career starts over the Santa Anita main track and has won her last four outings, most recently the Clement Hirsch S.-G1 at Del Mar.  Additionally, she’s the controlling speed with just three rivals to worry about.  Enough said.  


RACE 5: Post: 3:05 PT Grade: B
Main ticket (in order of preference): 6-Ruby Nell; 1-Justique; 8-Wide West
Backups/Savers/Underneath: 9-Fast and Shiny.

Forecast: Ruby Nell found nine furlongs a bit too taxing when setting the pace before weakening to finish fourth in the Del Mar Oaks-G1 last time out.  She turns back to a sprint, should love the Hillside Course, and that combined with the class drop into restricted stakes company makes her the one to beat.  We’re expecting the daughter of Bolt d’Oro to settle in the second flight and then cut loose crossing the dirt.  Justique is back sprinting where she belongs and is trying turf for the first time.  She seems sure to offer a strong late kick and could be dangerous despite her disadvantageous rail draw.  Wide West may be the quickest in the field and could get brave if she can shake loose early.  Toss her in somewhere.  


RACE 6: Post: 3:37 PT Grade: C+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 1-Missed the Cut; 4-Order and Law
Backups/Savers/Underneath: 2-Kiss Today Goodbye.

Forecast: There’s really nobody to trust in this year’s renewal of the Tokyo City Cup-G3 for older marathons.  On his best day, Missed the Cut is the best of the lot but he was well below his peak form in a pair of main track races at Del Mar and we’re really not sure if he cares for conventional dirt.  Order and Law won the mini-marathon Cougar II Stakes at Del Mar but then was beaten nearly an eighth of a mile in the Pacific Classic-G1.  So, who knows?  Tread lightly.  


RACE 7: Post: 4:09 ET Grade: B+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 7-Gold Phoenix
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.

Forecast: In his present form, Gold Phoenix is the obvious pick to continue his winning ways in this year’s edition of the John Henry Turf Championship-G2.  Successful in his last pair facing similar foes, the Phil D’Amato-trained gelding has maintained his edge since his most recent win with a steady series of solid drills, so there seems little reason to expect anything other than a top effort again.  No matter the race shape, the Irish-bred gelding should be along in time as a win play and rolling exotic single.


RACE 8: Post: 4:41 PT Grade: B-
Main ticket (in order of preference): 5-Bus Buzz; 2-Will Be; 10-Positively
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.

Forecast: Bus Buzz is back on dirt and facing softer rivals in this first level allowance sprint, so the quick son of Stay Thirty should be capable of returning to his best form in this stronger than par affair.  A Cal-bred stakes winner two races back, he’s facing open company today but has numbers that put him right there.  Will Be earned a giant figure breaking his maiden at Del Mar in mid-August, and if he can repeat that type of effort against this considerably stronger group the son of Will Take Charge can be a major player right back.  Positively is comfortably drawn outside in his first-off-the-claim outing for Kristin Mulhall.  On pure numbers, he can be dangerous off his best race, and with a good stalking trip the son of Paynter should have every chance from the quarter pole home.  


RACE 9: Post: 5:13 PT Grade: B
Main ticket (in order of preference): 2-Tio Magico; 5-Sarwar
Backups/Savers/Underneath: 3-Hurricane Cloud.

Forecast: Tio Magico is progressing nicely for trainer Phil D’Amato, and after handling a first level allowance field at Del Mar last time out the son of Uncle Mo looks capable of coping with this raise in class.  He’s clearly much improved off his earlier form and his recent speed figures are right on par at this level.  Sarwar is the one to fear most.  The Leonard Powell-trained edged our top choice in his most recent race at Del Mar in late July and will be making his first start since.  The work tab is a bit shaky but if ready he’ll be right there.  


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