jsiegel's blog

The Sunday opener finds big class dropper #1 He’s Not too Shabby as the 8/5 morning line favorite. He’ll win if he has one good one left but this type of play is a loser in the long run. #4 Change of Plan moves up a notch on the claiming scale but chased older foes last time and today faces only 4-year-olds, so he should be competitive, especially considering the enormous break in the weights. These are the two we’d consider for rolling exotic play.

The Saturday Santa Anita program includes a guaranteed $150,000 Pick-6 pool for races five through nine.

The Friday program begins with a short-priced standout, #2 Artemis. The Empire Maker filly has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern plus rising speed figures and a pedigree that suggests she’ll be a whole lot more effective over a route of ground. On paper she looks odds-on.

There’s a $71,475 Pick-6 carryover to spice up an eight-race Thursday program.

The opener looks chalky, to say the least. #3 Electric Eddie remains a maiden but has placed in two hundred-granders and looks head-and-shoulders the best over a modest band, hence his 2/5 morning line odds. #2 Oh Billy Billy may provide whatever competition there is; the Baffert-trained colt continues to impress in the morning and almost certainly is much better than his fading-fourth sprint debut indicates. The son of Unusual Heat seems like a logical exacta partner with ‘Eddie.

Happy New Year! And Happy Birthday to all of the thoroughbreds in the Northern Hemisphere!

Today’s opener offers little in the way of value; #4 Glad’s Gals just broke her maiden by more than 12 lengths with a good figure and anything close to that effort will land her in the winner’s circle right back. However, she’s 4/5 on the morning line so there’s not much we can do with her except single her in rolling exotic play.

The Sunday opener is a straight maiden state-bred juvenile filly dash that sets up well for a fresh face. #5 Made to Worship has done some good work in the morning for Hollendorfer and while she’s probably no world beater the daughter of Minister’s Wild Cat won’t have to be. #8 Shakeitupbetty may be the best of the previous runners; she closed with interest in her debut and has plenty of room to improve off that effort.

A strong Saturday program features two good stakes races and a number of excellent wagering opportunities.

In the opener, #3 Tiz Dynamic looks well-spotted by Baltas and should fire his best shot. The Tiznow gelding loves the Santa Anita main track, has trained quite well for his first start since Del Mar and beat a similar field two races back. We like him on top but in rolling exotic play we’ll also toss in #4 Ezio, a recent Belvoir claim (25% with a flat-bet profit with this angle) with a winning spirit (six for 11 lifetime).

A Pick-6 carryover of $118,415 makes the Friday program especially enticing. The program begins slowly with a pair of five runner fields but picks up noticeably thereafter.

The opener offers little in the way of value, with #2 Kylee’s Star and #4 I’m Not Patsy expected to attract the majority of the money. 'Patsy probably deserves top billing after a decent third place effort in a similar spot during the autumn season and the works since then seem decent enough for a bottom-rung maiden claimer. But she’s 7/5 on the morning line and there are better opportunities later on.

The 2013-14 Santa Anita winter/spring season begins with a solid nine race program that includes three stakes, two of which are Grade-1’s. There’s a half-million dollar guarantee pick-4 beginning with the sixth race.

Closing day has mandatory payoffs in all of the rolling exotics and will start early at 12 Noon due to the reinstitution of Daylight Savings.

The opener is a highly contentious starter’s allowance affair with three main contenders. #1 Muchos Besos has been facing tougher lately and should rebound at this level. He’s especially fond of the Santa Anita main track and has been sharp in the morning lately. #7 Half Dome Dude is in good form and has the proper style for this extended sprint trip. #10 Big Wags is tough at any distance.