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Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Thursday, August 19

by Jeff Siegel

August 19, 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: B-
Use: 4-Rev Rita; 6-Esagerare; 7-For Love Not Money

Forecast: Rev Rita chased a much tougher field in her debut, has returned to work quite well over this main track, and seems set to produce a significant forward move in this high-priced maiden claiming sprint for older fillies and mares. The pace flow projects to be quite soft, so we’re expecting this daughter of Orb to be forwardly placed, maybe even on the lead. For Love Not Money is another that takes the all-important class drop for maiden to maiden claiming and picks up F. Prat, so on those two angles alone she’s a major player. We’re expecting to see her in a comfortable stalking position outside with every chance to produce a winning late kick. Esagerare has the route-to-sprint angle that we like and ran well going short two races back while earning a speed figure that puts her right there. She’s much better than her last race shows, retains K. Desormeaux, and projects to settle in the second flight and then have dead aim from the quarter pole home.

RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Trouble N Paradise; 6-Island Life

Forecast: Island Life was more than four lengths clear of the rest when displaying good speed but weakening late to finish second in a tougher $10,000 claiming sprint and today drops to the bottom and should be capable of taking this field gate to wire. The J. Wong barn, which seems to win everything north, hasn’t gotten untracked at this meeting (just 1-for-26) but looks to have found a proper spot for this lightly-raced daughter of Ministers Wild Cat. Bay area shipper Trouble N Paradise could be the most dangerous closer. She’s a first-off-the-claim for T. McCanna (powerful with this angle), competitive at this level on speed figures, and gets a huge break in the weights with the switch to bug rider J. Espinoza.

RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 5-A G Indy; 6-Deise Delight

Forecast: Trainer D. O’Neill has two major players in this starter’s allowance five furlong turf sprint for fillies and mares and both have winning credentials. A G Indy earned a career top speed figure when second sprinting on grass last February but then was stopped on. She has a good stalking style, a solid work tab at San Luis Rey Downs that should have her fit and ready, and projects to settle in the second flight and then have her chance from the top of the lane to the wire. Stable mate Deise Delight backs up to a sprint, adds blinkers, and projects to enjoy a good pace stalking/prompting trip. She retains F. Prat and is listed as the 9/5 morning line favorite. We’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play with a slight preference on top to A G Indy.

RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Bombs At Cocal; 8-You’re My Boy Kat

Forecast: Bombs At Cocal flashed speed before weakening late when facing considerably tougher straight maiden foes in his debut earlier this month. Bred to run long and stretching out from a good inside draw, the P. Miller-trained colt make try gate-to-wire tactics, and if he can clear without pressure he could wire this maiden $50,000 claiming field of juveniles. The pedigree okay’s two turns and two local breezes since raced indicate he’s doing well. You’re My Boy Kat is wheeled back on short rest (six days) after finishing second at even money while five lengths clear of the rest in a maiden $32,000 abbreviated sprint, and though he’s moving up in class and stretching out, the son of Take of Ekati should have every opportunity to make amends. The pedigree suggests he’ll handle the extra distance just fine, and with rising speed figures and the likelihood of another forward move the D. O’Neill-trained gelding seems likely to go favored again.

Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: C+
Use: 4-Brittle and Yoo; 5-Prance; 7-Bestrella; 10-Basilia

Forecast: This restricted (nw-2) grass grab bag for $32,000 claiming fillies and mares requires a considerable spread in rolling exotic play. Brittle and Yoo was a tad unlucky when fourth beaten two lengths in a similar affair here last month and today returns for new trainer V. Cerin (superior stats with the first-off-the-claim angle) while being re-equipped with blinkers and switching to the one of the barn’s “go-to” riders, J. J. Hernandez. The concern - and it’s a legitimate one – is that she’s failed the last five times she’s been favored, though in this affair she’ll probably leave pretty close to her morning line of 4-1. Basilia gets the worst of the draw but is reunited with “win rider” F. Prat, exits a tougher race, and likely will receive the patient ride she needs. If she can navigate a decent trip, she’ll be right there. Prance was beaten a nose in the same race our top pick exits while earning a career top speed figure and once again will be doing her best work from off the pace. With a decent pace up front and good racing luck, she’ll be in the fray. Bestrella shows up in a claimer for the first time in her first outing in 10 weeks and should greatly appreciate the class drop. She’s a one-paced grinding type but has speed figures that makes her dangerous. These are the four we’ll be using in rolling exotic play, but you can go deeper if you feel the need.

RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 4-Eddie’s New Dream; 5-Ten the Smart Way; 8-Secret Square;

Forecast: Eddie’s New Dream stretches out again and returns to the state-bred entry level allowance ranks after finishing fifth with a rough trip in the Fleet Treat S. last month. She ran well routing two runs back when a solid second in the Melair S., so given today conditions the daughter of Square Eddie is the likely choice and one to beat. However, based on speed figures, she doesn’t have any significant edge on the others, so we wouldn’t take a short price. Secret Square made a monumental trainer switch to K. Mulhall, dropped to the bottom, and won an $8,000 claimer by 10 lengths while improving the Beyer speed figure from her previous start by 33 points. In fact, the 90 Beyer number she achieved would be competitive with stakes performers on this circuit. In that runaway score, she displayed good early speed to force the pace and then ran her cheap rivals into the ground in a very impressive performance. We’ll see if she can do the same today while being forced to deal with more early speed. We’ll also toss in Ten the Smart Way, bred to run long and stretching out for the first time. The A. Mathis barn has excellent stats with the sprint-to-route angle, and this lightly raced (just four starts) daughter of Smart Bid has encountered early trouble in each of her last two starts that compromised her chances. If she can make the lead, she could get brave.

RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B-
Use: 5-Ward ‘n Jerry; 4-Margot’s Boy; 8-Seven Charms

Forecast: Ward ‘n Jerry wasn’t quite up to beating stakes foes in his last pair of marathons but this return to the optional claiming ranks could get the veteran stayer back on the winning track. Reunited with “win rider” F. Prat and twice successful over the local lawn, the veteran gelding always gives his best and should enjoy a comfortable second flight trip and then have dead aim when the pressure gets turned on. Seven Charms is lightly-raced, improving with each start, and fresh from a first-level allowance score over this course and distance last month that produced a career top speed figure. He’ll need another forward move to extend his winning streak to three, but the son of Cairo Prince, originally $350,000 yearling purchase, gives every indication that further improvement is likely. Margot’s Boy was beaten a head in the Del Mar Derby-G2 last year, so we know he likes the course; the question, though, is how he will handle today’s three-turn journey. The Clubhouse Ride gelding should be prominent throughout – maybe even on the lead – and based on his middle distance numbers he shouldn’t at all out of his element. At 15-1 on the morning line, you have to use him.

RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Hot Pursuit; 3-Perfecto Amor; 7-Tiz Vicious

Forecast: Tiz Vicious, away since February, returns in a soft bottom-rung maiden claimer with back numbers that are good enough to beat this field. The P. Miller barn has solid stats with layoff runners, so with blinkers going back on and with a healthy recent series of workouts at San Luis Rey Downs to have him fit, the son of Violence looks ready to graduate at 9/5 on the morning line. There are two other contenders consider, at least as savers or backups. Hot Pursuit, a $20,000 R. Ellis claim earlier this month, makes just his fifth career start and could improve enough for his new connections to make a serious run for it. His speed figures have risen with each outing and with a break in the weights he could easily continue his upward mobility at 8-1 on the morning line. Perfecto Amor plummets to the bottom, has numbers that are better than par for this level and switches to F. Prat. His one main track outing was poor, so his grass form, which isn’t too bad, may not be applicable in this dirt affair. You can toss him in as a saver but he’s probably not worth much more than that.