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Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Saturday, August 28

by Jeff Siegel

August 28, 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: 3-Valentina Ghada; 5-Electric Ride; 6-Captaire

Forecast: This looks like a very strong maiden juvenile sprint for fillies, and it may very well take stakes-quality performer to win it. California Chrome’s half-sister Captaire lands the cozy outside post and should inherit a lovely stalking trip and then be able to kick home when called upon. She’s certainly quick but it wouldn’t surprise us to see A. Cedillo employ stalk and pounce tactics. Electric Ride has worked well enough to make our Clocker’s “Primed and Ready” list and most likely will try to bust out early and be on or near the lead throughout. Valentina Ghada has the benefit of an excellent race over the track, a sharp runner-up to the highly-regarded Grace Adler. If she improves as expected, the two hot-shot first-timers better not make any mistakes. All three should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Captaire.

RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: C+
Use: 5-Whisky My God; 6-Magic Tiger

Forecast: Magic Tiger is a first-off-the-claim play for M. Maker and adds blinkers for the first time as well, so there are at least a couple of reasons to expect this son of Smiling Tiger to improve enough to beat this modest restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming field of older horses. A fair third under these conditions here last month, the lightly-raced sophomore should find himself in a good stalking position and then have every chance to wear down the expected front runner Whisky My God in the final stages. The later plummets in class trying to find his proper level after displaying good early speed but then faltering badly when facing considerably tougher foes on grass last time out. The Argentine-bred gelding might shake loose early and get brave late. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics in a race that offers no real viable alternatives.

RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Uncle Jeff; 4-Johnny Podres

Forecast: Johnny Podres was a better pitcher back in the day than he’s been as a race horse, but in this moderate starter’s allowance turf sprint the S. Miyadi-trained gelding looks well-placed to regain his winning form. Sparingly-raced, the son of Grazen has been away since April and his work tab can best be described as uninspiring, but the barn has good stats with layoff runners and this Cal-bred gelding has run well over this course and distance in the past (in the money in three of four starts). A repeat of his runner-up effort to Fratelli last time out will handle this task. Uncle Jeff turns back to a sprint and has won going short on grass, having done so in his debut at Santa Anita in June. We’re expecting the son of Uncle Mo to display good tactical speed from the rail and then have his chance to outrun the faint-hearted front-runners when the pressure is turned on.

RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Barsabas; 5-Prince Hussar; 8-Cute Impact

Forecast: Cute Impact, a filly tackling the boys, won at first asking from a next-out easy winner and did so from off the pace, a style that might be work quite well in this starter’s allowance dash for juveniles that is loaded with front-running types. She’s a fit on numbers, is drawn comfortably outside, and should appreciate today’s extra furlong. There may be some wagering value at or near her morning line of 7/2. Barsabas wired a maiden-claiming field in good style with an identical Beyer speed figured earned by our top pick. The issue, though, is that he’s facing similar early heat so there are no options other than to be sent hard from the gate and hope he’s good enough to survive the pressure. Prince Hussar, a clever first-out winner two weeks ago, is wheeled back on short rest to take advantage of a condition that may be written back for a while. He’s competitive on speed figures and the :21 3/5 opening quarter split of his debut win may make him the quickest of the quick. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics and then press with an extra ticket or two keying Cute Impact on top.

RACE 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Little Liliana; 7-Beautiful Temple; 10-Chantal

Forecast: In a grass grab bag for older maiden fillies and mares sprinting five furlongs, we’ll go three-deep and hope to get a decent price home, but if you feel the need to spread even more, go right ahead. Little Liliana displayed ability in her 2-year-old debut over this course and distance last November, finishing second by a neck after disputing the pace every step of the way. She was stopped on after that race but returns as a first-time Lasix user for a barn that has solid stats with layoff runners, and with a series of good works at Los Alamitos, including a bullet five furlong drill in :58 3/5 two weeks ago. The J. Sadler-trained daughter of Square Eddie may be a fresh facing worth gambling on at 7/2 on the morning line. Beautiful Temple has the route-to-sprint angle that we like, and with a repeat of her good second place effort at Santa Anita two runs back the S. Ruis-trained filly projects as a major player. Chantal is a first-timer from the clever P. Miller barn bred for grass on both sides of her pedigree. Her workouts at San Luis Rey Downs give a hint of ability, so at 8-1 on the morning line she’s worth tossing in as well.

RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B+
Single: 5-I Got No Munny

Forecast: In his present and consistently improving form, the lightly-raced I Got No Munny looks well-spotted to build on his recent sharp win over the local main track that produced a strong, career-top, stakes quality speed figure. The M. Glatt-trained gelding can be tough on the lead or from a stalking position; in this case we expect him to be outside the likely pacesetter Fratelli and then have every chance when J. Bravo pushes the button. Successful in three of his last four starts – his streak was interrupted two runs back by the razor sharp Team Merchants – this late-developing four year is listed at 9/5 on the morning line and will offer good wagering value at or near that price. We’ll make him a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-Love My Jimmy; 4-Jazz Hands; 7-The Hulk

Forecast: Let’s take a shot with the class-dropping The Hulk, who was strictly a sprinter overseas and finally gets his first chance stateside to run short after a pair of non-productive turf routers vs. much tougher allowance foes. He’ll get outrun to the top of the lane for sure, but in a field with suspect speed types he might come running late under K. Frey at a nice price. Love My Jimmy is the quickest of the quick and against this group should stick better after displaying sharp early speed but then fading in the lane in a pair of tougher recent turf sprints. The son of Tapiture will take them as far as he can. Jazz Hands has turf sprint numbers that fit and may be first over on Love My Jimmy if that one weakens in the final furlong. He’s a contender at 3-1 on the morning line.

RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Rockefeller; 5-Durante; 10-Encode

Forecast:We’re expecting the winner of this maiden juvenile sprint to be one of three well-regarded first-timers. Encode and Rockefeller has worked together in the a.m. for B. Baffert and have appeared fairly even, though in viewing the videos we got the impression that in an actual race Encode might be the quicker of the two. Both have trained like they’re plenty fit, but the cozy outside draw gives Encode an advantage, so we’ll put him slightly on top at 6-1 on the morning line. Rockefeller might prove better in time as the distances get longer and he’s player today, as well, so we’ll use him. Durante has trained like a quick type for D. O’Neill but the barn’s win percentage with debut runners (7%) is considerably below average. We’ll have tickets including all three in our rolling exotics and then press a bit with Encode on top.

RACE 9: Post: 6:00 PT Grade: B+
Single: 8-Me and Mr. C

Forecast: This first-level allowance mini-marathon turf affair has several possibilities so a proper strategy for rolling exotic players may be to spread the race deeply and hope to find a price. Small ticket players don’t always have that luxury, so with that in mid we’ll take a stand and single the M. Maker shipper Me and Mr. C, listed at 7/2 on the morning line. A stakes winner at Tampa Bay Downs earlier this year, the son of Khozan is questionable at this mile and three furlong trip but his middle distance speed figures are strong, and he has the perfect second flight, stalking style that lends itself to success as a long-distance galloper. Freshened since late June but working steadily and easily since arriving in California several weeks ago, the four-year-old gelding always has been genuine and consistent (first or second in nine of 20 career starts) so let’s go with this fresh face as a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 10: Post: 6:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Howbeit; 6-Classier; 8-Flagstaff

Forecast: Several of the main players exit the Bing Crosby S.-G1, a race in which most of the field finished in a heap and the resulting speed figure came up soft. Let’s look elsewhere. Classier, listed at 12-1 on the morning line, won his only sprint very impressively (his debut), and while he’s been routing ever since – and just won the Los Alamitos Derby over nine furlongs – the son of Empire Maker might just be most effective around one turn. Freshened and training superbly as always, the B. Baffert-trained sophomore tackles tough, seasoned, older horses for the first time and will need a significant boost in the speed figure department, but he’s certain to continue his improving pattern and at the price might be able to pull off a surprise. Flagstaff, a seven furlong specialist and a close runner-up in this race last year, returns from New York where he finished a good second to Belmont Park specialist Firenze Fire in a race that produced a career top 101 Beyer speed figure. A similar performance today puts him right there. Howbeit was claimed for $32,000 earlier this year by M. Glatt and has improved dramatically for his new connections. Though untested in stakes competition, he’s a major player based on speed figures, and he couldn’t have looked better when winning a recent second level allowance event over this main track in a hot race. He has shown the versatility to win on the lead or from off the pace, so at 6-1 on the morning line he's worth including on your ticket.

RACE 11: Post: 7:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Zip Now; 4-Carmelita’s Man; 9-Cool Your Jets

Forecast: The finale is a challenging middle distance turf affair for state-bred first-level allowance older horses. Cool Your Jets took 15 races to break his maiden and when he finally did – after returning from a seven month layoff that apparently cured whatever was ailing him – the son of Unusual Heat looked vastly improved, so much so that he may be capable of winning right back on the raise. It was a visually pleasing performance from off the pace that featured a turn of foot from the top of the lane to the wire than we’d never seen from him before, so perhaps he’s simply just a better racehorse now. Additionally, he’s a fit on numbers, retains J. Bravo, and should find enough early pace up front to compliment his one-run style. Zip Now was a stylish debut winner sprinting on turf earlier this month, but truthfully, he had nothing behind him. A nicely-bred colt by Tiznow out of the terrific race mare Unzip Me, the C. Gaines-trained colt is drawn nicely inside and probably will try gate-to-wire tactics, though he certainly could have some company up front. Carmelita’s Man may have had his form flattered when a race-shape aided third in a similar affair last month, but he’s been first or second in six of 11 career starts, including a prior win over the Del Mar turf course. The D. Pederson-trained gelding should at least get a piece of it.