Jeff Siegel’s Horse Racing Picks for 1/7


Xpressbet writer Jeff Siegel offers his top plays for Saturday with both at Santa Anita.

Santa Anita Race No. 4 (4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT)
#3 Thorn House (5-2)


Disappointed when second at 70 cents on the dollar in a similar Hillside turf sprint last fall, but we’re expecting a bounce-back effort today from the speedy son of Clubhouse Ride. The Dean Pederson-trained gelding earned giant numbers in his previous two starts that would easily handle this entry-level allowance state-bred field. He must prove he is as good on grass as he is on the main track, but with Thorn Song on the bottom side of his pedigree, the switch in surface shouldn’t be an issue. We’ll make him a Win play and rolling exotic single.

Santa Anita Race No. 7 (6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT)
#1 Thirsty John (4-1)

Was a highly impressive debut winner last spring and returns for new trainer Peter Miller in this year’s edition of the California Cup Derby, no easy task to be sure, but the talented son of Stay Thirsty has put together a series of strong of workouts at San Luis Rey Downs that should have him fit and ready. He projects as the controlling speed from the rail under Juan Hernandez, so at 4-1 on the morning line (if you can get it), he offers excellent wagering value in the Win pool and in the various rolling exotics.

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