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Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Saturday, September 4

by Jeff Siegel

September 4, 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: 12:35 ET Grade: B-
Use: 5-War Smoke; 8-B C Glory Days; 9-Sheriff Bianco

Forecast: The Saturday opener is a state-bred maiden turf sprint for older horses that looks fairly wide open. We’ll use three and hope that’s enough. War Smoke missed by a neck in a similar spot in his debut over this course and distance while producing a strong late kick after a sluggish beginning. The War Dancer colt retains I. Ortiz, Jr., and with a better break today and a clear path from the quarter pole the J. Engelhart-trained sophomore should be hard to contain close home. Sheriff Bianco has plenty of speed and seems likely to display all of it with the addition of blinkers. The W. Ward-trained colt has burned plenty of money in his five-race career but if he can shake loose early, he might get brave late. B C Glory Days , in the money in all four starts, has been freshened since April, lands L. Saez, and may a bit better type this time around. The Brody’s Cause colt should be prominent throughout and have every chance to make some noise at 8-1 on the morning line.

RACE 2: Post: 1:10 ET Grade: C+
Use: 2-Supreme Aura; 3-Grumps Little Tots; 4-Roaming Union

Forecast: We’re not sure what to make of Supreme Aura, other than to be suspicious of the veteran gelding who was claimed for $40,000 out of a sharp muddy track win at Belmont Park in early July and today makes his first start for his new connections in a race for half that price. In the money in 15 of 23 career starts, the G. Weaver-trained son of Candy Ride clearly has problems but if he has at least one good left he’ll probably beat this field. Grumps Little Tots is another class dropper from the $50,000 ranks but in his case there’s nothing sinister; his connections are simply trying to find his proper level. The Sky Mesa gelding is a one-paced grinder and needs to be reasonably close to the early pace to have his best chance. Roaming Union won a $12,500 affair over this track and distance last month while on the pace throughout. Similar tactics will be employed today and on pure numbers the Union Rags gelding should be fairly competitive despite the class hike.

RACE 3: Post: 1:43 ET Grade: B+
Use: 1-North Carolina; 7-Pipeline

Forecast: Pipeline earned a giant speed figure when narrowly missing to subsequent allowance winner Vindictive in a nine-furlong main track maiden event in late July. This turn back to seven furlongs may not be ideal, but the C. Brown-trained colt lands the cozy outside post, has worked extremely well since the race, and has every right to improve with added experience. The son of Speightstown should settle into an outside stalking position and then go on with it when ready. North Carolina had one start a year ago in June at Belmont Park and was unplaced sprinting on grass before being stopped on. He returns as a first-time gelding for new trainer B. Tagg and worked well enough a few weeks ago to earn a spot on our Clocker’s “Primed and Ready” list, so at 5-1 on the morning line he could easily be much better than shown. We’ll prefer Pipeline on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 4: Post: 2:16 ET Grade: B
Use: 6-Harpers in Charge; 7-Risky Mischief

Forecast: Risky Mischief returned off a long layoff to run very well over this course and distance last month, rallying wide and keeping to her task in the lane to wind up second by a diminishing half-length in a similar entry-level allowance event for fillies and mares. She’ll likely be closer to the pace today and if she produces any kind of forward move the daughter of Into Mischief should be along in time. Harpers in Charge has been a considerable disappointment in a pair of 2021 outings, most recently when fading readily at this level on the main track last month. At 4-1 on the morning line, the C. Clement-trained filly rates one more chance to see if can stick better on grass.

RACE 5: Post: 2:47 ET Grade: B
Use: 2-Edie Meeny Miny Mo; 6-Souper Sensational

Forecast: Maryland invader Edie Meeny Miny Mo, unbeaten in two sprints but second as the favorite when stretching out to two-turns in the Monmouth Oaks-G3 last time out, backs up to seven furlongs for this year’s renewal of the Prioress S.-G2 for sophomore fillies. She’s been burning up the track in the a.m. at Pimlico for her first start since late July, adds blinkers, and seems certain to employ gate-to-wire tactics. At 9/2 on the morning line the daughter of Upstart is highly playable. The logical top pick and one to beat is Souper Sensational, an excellent second in the Test S.-G1 over this track and distance last month. She lands the ideal outside post position for her stalking style and projects to have dead aim on our top pick when the pressure gets turned on at the head of the lane. We’ll prefer Edie Meeny Mino Mo on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 6: Post: 3:22 ET Grade: B-
Use: 6-Annapolis; 9-Ohtwoohthreefive

Forecast: Annapolis has trained like a decent sort for T. Pletcher and debuts in what appears to be a below average turf router for maiden juveniles. The son of War Front is a heavy-bodied type but should be fit enough following a string of stamina-producing team drills dating back to mid-June. The best of the known element may be Ohtwoohthreefive, a Union Rags colt with a couple of races already under his belt. In the money in both outings, the G. Weaver-trained colt might prefer patient tactics after looming a strong threat in the upper stretch but then weakening late vs. similar earlier in the meeting. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with the intriguing newcomer Annapolis the preferred top pick.

RACE 7: Post: 3:53 ET Grade: B+
Use: 1-Trafalgar; 4-Misbehaved; 8-Galt

Forecast: Galt has shown plenty of ability in the a.m. for trainer W. Mott and looks plenty fit for a major effort first crack out of the box. A full brother to the top-class filly Songbird, he has done everything asked without really being permitted to show his best speed. With J. Rosario aboard, he looks like a very live item in an open maiden juvenile sprint at seven furlongs. Trafalgar is another that has been fairly impressive in his morning trials, though as a first-time starter his rail post does him no favors. The A. Stall, Jr.-trained son of Lord Nelson appears to have plenty of speed, so if he can leave with his field he should be in the fray throughout. Misbehaved, a full sister to stakes winner Into Mystic, brought $875,000 at the OBS April Sale, where she impressed breezing a furlong in :10 flat without undue pressure. Her local works for T. Pletcher have been good as well, so she’s certain to receive plenty of action on the tote, and deservedly so. We’ll include all three in rolling exotic play with a slight edge on top to Galt.

RACE 8: Post: 4:27 ET Grade: B
Use: 1-Public Sector; 4-Never Surprised

Forecast: Never Surprised was beaten at 30 cents on the dollar in the Kitten’s Joy S. in his last appearance in early January before being turned out. The son of Constitution won his debut so we know he can fire fresh, and while there’s nothing fancy on his recent work tab the T. Pletcher-trained colt will be tough to beat if even close to 100%. In a race that figures to produce very soft early splits, this stakes winner could find himself as the controlling speed and given that trip may prove difficult to catch. Public Sector, a winner of two of his last three starts including the recent Hall of Fame S.-G2 here last month, is a one-paced grinding type but knows where the wire is and can be counted on for a good, consistent performance. Perfect in two previous outings over the Saratoga lawn, the son of Kingman is the logical favorite and one to beat.

RACE 9: Post: 5:01 ET Grade: C+
Use: 1a-Cara’s Dreamer; 3-Lookin to Fly

Forecast: Cara’s Dreamer has just one win to go along with seven seconds and thirds so she’s not necessarily one to trust but in this modest state-bred first level allowance middle distance turf event the M. Friedman-trained filly may be as good as any. A devout closer who needs help up front to have her best chance, she was beaten a nose two runs back when earning a career top speed figure over the Saratoga lawn and then was fourth last time out when somewhat victimized by a lack of pace. We’ll also include on our ticket Lookin to Fly, successful in a maiden $40,000 grass event here last month in good style when rallying into slow fractions to win going away. The number was okay and with further improvement she should be competitive in this league. In a race in which nothing would surprise, we’ll use the two listed above in our rolling exotics but not with a great deal of confidence.

RACE 10: Post: 5:37 ET Grade: B-
Use: 3-Ducale; 6-Olympiad; 8-Baby Yoda

Forecast: This highly-contentious first-level allowance sprint has several major players. We’ll go three-deep with a slight preference on top to Ducale. A recent hot maiden winner in a race that earned a stakes-quality speed figure, the son of Twirling Candy should be highly competitive right back despite the raise in class while likely employing pace-stalking tactics in this six and one-half furlong dash. Baby Yoda seeks his third win from four career starts after beating a lesser starter’s allowance field here in mid-July. The W. Mott-trained gelding isn’t quite as fast on figures as our top pick, but his numbers are strong and rapidly rising with each outing. The Prospective gelding should be prominent throughout. Mott’s other starter, the talented Speightstown colt Olympiad, hasn’t been out in exactly a year but was a pretty decent sort when last seen as a two-year-old and returns as a first-time Lasix user with a strong series of workouts to have him fit and ready.

RACE 11: Post: 6:11 ET Grade: X
Single: 3-War Like Goddess

Forecast: War Like Goddess, a winner of five of six career starts and a proven top class marathon performer, won the Glens Falls S.-G2 here last month with complete authority, has remained razor sharp in the a.m. in the interim, and will be short price once again to extend her current winning streak to four in this year’s edition of the Flower Bowl S.-G1. She likes to lag to the far turn and then blast home, and her speed figures haven’t risen with each of his six career starts so we doubt we’ve seen the best of this late-developing filly. At 4/5 on the morning line, the W. Mott-trained filly is a logical, short-priced, rolling exotic single.

RACE 12: Post: 6:46 PT Grade: B+
Single: 1-Forza Di Oro

Forecast: Forza Di Oro looked terrific winning his recent comeback against a third-level allowance field over this local main track in late July, doing so while pressing the pace throughout and then coming away when ready. His speed figures make him a solid fit in this year’s renewal of the Jockey Club Gold Cup-G1, and the mile and one-quarter trip should be well within his range in a race that projects to produce extremely soft early fractions. In a six-runner affair, the W. Mott-trained colt is the “now” horse in the race, so we’ll make him a win play and rolling exotic single at or near his 8/5 morning line.