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Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Sunday, August 15

by Jeff Siegel

August 15, 2021

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

The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.

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: 2:00 PT Grade: C+
Use: 6-Miss Kitness; 8-Smiling Annie

Forecast: The Sunday opener is an absolute mess, a $25,000 claiming turf sprint for fillies and mares. Simply stated, it’s not a race we’d prefer to get involved in, so we’ll tread lightly using just two price chances in our rolling exotics. Miss Kitness tries grass for the first time while returning off a six month layoff for a low profile but very capable outfit, and with a sharp recent gate drill (4f, :47.2hg) and the presence of good bug girl J. Pyfer in the saddle this daughter of Competitive Edge should display the kind of early speed that is dangerous in these abbreviated turf sprints. She’s never been fast on numbers – that’s primarily why she’s a big price – but perhaps at this distance on this surface off a vacation while getting in light will all add up to a career top effort. Smiling Annie has never had much luck over the Del Mar turf course – she’s hit the board once in five starts – but the veteran mare has been chasing first-level allowance optional claiming state-bred foes recently and based strictly on speed figures should be much more competitive against this group. The M. Glatt-trained mare projects to be in a good pace-stalking/prompting position and remain a strong factor to the wire in a race with suspect late speed.

RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: C+
Use: 5-Thirsty Chapo; 6-Sauls Call; 9-Toasted At Dawn

Forecast: Sauls Call shows up in a claimer for the first time and will greatly appreciate this softer assignment. Assuming he breaks well, the son of Stay Thirsty should find himself on or near the lead throughout, and while he’s always been suspect in the final furlong, he can be capable of hanging on against this group. Thirsty Chapo, runner-up in both starts, is a contender even if he doesn’t improve much, though his numbers did rise between his first and second starts, so he may step forward again. Toasted At Dawn is also progressing with experience. He’s still pretty slow on figs but may go better today in his first start in blinkers. At 12-1 on the line, you can toss him in.

RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Gidgetta; 5-Fantasy Heat; 7-Five Pics Please

Forecast: Gidgetta exits graded stakes company and shortens to a sprint, so the lightly-raced daughter of Fast Anna appears properly spotted to regain her best form in a stronger-than-par race. The R. Baltas-trained mare projects to be in a second flight, stalking position and then have her chance from the top of the lane to the wire. The pace is expected to be quick, which will help her chances. Fantasy Heat, away for more than a year but a two-time winner over this course and distance, hails from a barn that is quite capable with comebackers and seems likely to draft into a stalking position similar to the type of trip that Gidgetta should enjoy. She’s run well off layoffs in the past, so we’re expecting a big effort from the veteran daughter of Unusual Heat. Five Pics Please displayed good speed before weakening in the much tougher Daisycutter S. last month but against this group should stick around a lot longer. She’s fast on figures, retains U. Rispoli, and offers some price value at 8-1 on the morning line.

RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: X
Single: 2-Paint Me Lucky

Forecast: Paint Me Lucky is listed as the 8/5 morning line favorite in his third start of the year, the other two resulting in runner-up efforts as the chalk at this same maiden $20,000 level. The blinkers come off – maybe that will help – and he’s likely to be the controlling speed, so the B. Baffert-trained six-year-old gelding may finally earn his diploma. The son of Paynter won’t be offering any wagering value so you use him as a rolling exotic single, find something you think can beat him (there’s a few to choose from) or simply sit it out.

Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-Helens Well; 4-Liam’s Dove; 5-Hemmerle; 10-A Crown for Kitten

Forecast: Maidens meet over a mile on grass in a race that contains several promising 2-year-old fillies. Hemmerle is listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite after a series of strong workouts that should have her plenty fit. A half-sister to the good local turf filly Dogtag from European champion Shamardal’s stakes-placed half-sister Diamond Necklace, she understandably makes her debut on turf, though she’s never had a chance to train on it. In her drills she displays a long stride with good late power, so we suspect she’ll take some beating. Helens Well had a prior run in Ireland in late May, finishing a close fourth (of 10) while earning experience that should serve her well today. The local dirt workouts indicate fitness, and the P. D’Amato barn has superior stats with these European imports, so you have to use her. Liam’s Dove is a bit intriguing at 8-1 on the morning line. Though she was well-beaten sprinting on dirt in a hot race in her debut last month, the daughter of Liam’s Map has returned to work well for P. Miller (always dangerous with the second-time stater angle) and given her comfortable draw this $120,000 OBS April purchase with a devout European turf bottom lime might clear this field early and prove troublesome. Also worth including, perhaps on a backup ticket, is A Crown for Kitten, a second-timer who moved about a furlong too soon while very wide in her debut and then lost her punch late when a fourth without changing leads in a decent race in her debut. With that effort behind her and with a patient ride today, the daughter of Kitten’s Joy has a right to display improvement.

RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: C
Use: 1-Pasito; 2-Traffic Stopper; 8-Flat Out Joy; 9-Angel’s Advocate

Forecast: There is nothing to trust in this $16,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares in a race in which the main contenders come from low percentage outfits. Negative angles appear in just above every entrant’s past performance chart. The 5/2 morning line favorite, Flat Out Joy, drops two levels in class and has numbers that can win, but she just finished second as the chalk despite a perfect trip and comes from a barn that is 1-for-44 this year. Pasito just missed at 35-1 in a similar event and gets an extra half furlong to work with, but she’s winless in six starts over the Del Mar main track and is buried on the rail without any tactical speed. Traffic Stopper has recent form that charts pretty well with these, but her trainer is 3-for-47 this year and the daughter of Stop Traffic has been off the board in all three of her local main track starts. Angel’s Advocate gets off the rail, had some early trouble in a better-than-looked last race and projects to enjoy a soft second flight trip outside. However, she’s a six-year-old mare with just five career outings. We can do this all day – a one step forward, two steps back analysis – while realizing that yes, somebody is going to finish first. The three listed above are most logical but you should include as many as your budget allows.

RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Leggs Galore; 7-Warren’s Showtime

Forecast: Warrens Showtime is listed as the 6/5 morning line favorite and on pure form deserves to be after winning the Wilshire S.-G3 at Santa Anita in June and returning to listed California-bred company today. However, Leggs Galore recently has traded victories with ‘Showtime and is dangerous once again, especially in a race with a pace scenario that projects fairly soft. Furthermore, Leggs Galore is unbeaten in two prior outings over the Del Mar lawn and shows a bullet workout around dogs a couple of weeks ago (5f, 1:00.1h TC DU) that was fastest of 13. The winner should be one or the other but due to price considerations we’ll give Leggs Galore the edge on top.

RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 6-Leprino; 7-Causeididitmyway

Forecast: Leprino got the best of Causeididitmyway when they squared off in the first race on opening day last month, but it was the latter who did all the dirty when pressing the pace throughout while the former enjoyed a perfect, second flight trip outside to get the verdict close home while being greatly aided by the favorable outside lanes. They meet again on the one-level raise over a track that has played fair in the past few weeks, so let’s give Causeididitmyway a chance to turn the tables on his rival and put him on top but include both in rolling exotic play.

RACE 9: Post: 6:00 PT Grade: C
Use: 6-Seeking Refuge; 9-Liar Liar; 11-Sea of Liberty

Forecast: Here’s another nearly impossible handicapping puzzle in a race with nothing to trust, and that includes the logical top pick Liar Liar, just 2-for-15 in his career and a four-time beaten favorite in his most recent nine starts. The good news is that he was a close third at 17-1 in a stronger allowance optional/claimer over this course and distance last time out and likely will win this race with a similar effort. That said, Sea of Liberty is a more attractive gamble primarily because he’s listed at 10-1 on the morning line. The Boisterous gelding remains protected by P. Miller in what we’ll take as a sign of confidence and has prior speed figures that make him a major player. Furthermore, he was a closing fourth, albeit race-shape aided, in a fast state-bred first level allowance turf miler here last month. Seeking Refuge, freshened since mid-June, was a solid runner-up vs. similar at Santa Anita and is a prior winner over the local turf course, so we’re expecting a solid effort from him as well.