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Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Monday, September 6

by Jeff Siegel

September 6, 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: 1:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Colosi; 5-Luck of the Draw

Forecast: In his first start since being claimed by P. Miller (an excellent 25% with this angle), Colosi drops a notch to the $25,000 level, switches to F. Prat, and stretches out to a mile, each a positive factor that points to significant improvement from the veteran gelding. We’re expecting a pace-prompting/stalking trip from the son of City Zip, one that should give him every chance to regain his winning form. Luck of the Draw, claimed in his last three starts and now in the V. Garcia barn, returns to dirt, a surface he might actually prefer over the lawn. The son of Lookin At Lucky has good tactical speed, back numbers that fit, and U. Rispoli knows him well and stays aboard, so at 4-1 on the morning line he’s a “must use” in rolling exotic play.

RACE 2: Post: 1:59 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Picota; 6-Percolate; 8-Corsica Flower; 10-Classically

Forecast: Maiden juveniles meet over a mile on grass with P. D’Amato represented by two major players. Picota could turn out to be another in a long string of relatively inexpensive European imports that have outperformed their overseas form. The English-bred colt, in the money in all three of his starts in the spring, makes his U.S. debut after a handful of main track workouts that indicate he’s plenty fit. Assuming breaks cleanly, he projects to be within range while saving ground, perhaps even in a pace-pressing position. We’ll give him top billing at 7/2 on the morning line. Stable mate Classically, who worked in company with Picota back mid-August and at that time appeared slightly second best, in a first-timer by Into Mischief out of the good race more Fanticola, who was a multi-stakes winner on grass, which explains why this colt is starting his career two-turning on turf. He attracts F. Prat but must deal with the extreme outside post position, Percolate is another making his U.S. debut from England and displayed promise in his only outing when a runner-up in a fairly decent maiden event at Sandown Park in June. Favored in a field of nine, the son of Sir Percy didn’t have the best of runs through the lane and then might have lost a bit of his punch late while still showing enough promise to be purchased by local interests, who then sent to trainer M. McCarthy. He should fit very well in this spot. Corsica Flavor, listed at 20-1 on the morning line, impressed in his OBS June sale preview when he breezed a quarter mile in :21 1/5 seconds while displaying a nice, long stride that lends itself to routing on grass. His work tab for P. Gallagher is brief., so perhaps he’s been training elsewhere, so at 20-1 on the morning line he’s worth including somewhere on your ticket.

RACE 3: Post: 2:29 PT Grade: C+
Use: 6-Who’s the Star; 7-Barbwire

Forecast: Here’s a moderate maiden special weight main track miler in which the main contenders have been thoroughly exposed. Barbwire, in the frame in his last two starts on turf, returns to dirt, over which he finished a fair-at-best fourth sprinting at Los Alamitos in his debut. Perhaps the blinkers that are being added for the first time will help the R. Baltas-trained colt improve enough to graduate. Who’s the Star is a one-paced, grinding, lumbering gelding who finished a distant third behind Bobby Bo in a fast maiden event over this track and distance last month. He should be forwardly placed throughout in a race that doesn’t project to have fast early splits, so with U. Rispoli staying aboard the son of Tonalist probably won’t need to make up a whole lot of ground. We’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play in a race that we’ll otherwise sit out.

RACE 4: Post: 3:02 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Wyfire; 5-Numero Dix; 6-Dicey Mo Chara

Forecast: Numero Dix was given an easy run in his U.S. debut in a race won by his J. Sadler-trained stable mate Crew Dragon yet was beaten just a length when fifth while finding his best stride close home. He gets an extra half-furlong to work with today, switches to U. Rispoli, and should produce a significant forward move. It’s interesting that F. Prat, who rode him that day, jumps off to ride pilot Wyfire, fourth of sixth without any real excuse in the La Jolla S.-G3 last time out but being re-equipped with blinkers, landing the good rail, and returning to the first level allowance ranks. This is a gelding that wants to show speed; maybe this time he’ll be allowed to kick on with it early. We’ll also toss in the improving Dicey Mo Chara, a maiden winner over this course and distance earlier this season. The lightly-raced English-bred gelding got the patient ride he demands in that victory and with a step forward today he could be a late threat at 6-1 on the morning line.

RACE 5: Post: 3:35 PT Grade: C+
Use: 7-Chris Fix; 8-Hay Juan

Forecast: Hay Juan flashed good speed in his debut, weakened late when winding up fourth (beaten four lengths) behind next out stakes winner Joker Boy and today shows up in a $50,000 maiden claimer. J. Sadler is the owner/trainer/breeder, so he answers to no one but it’s a not really a good sign that he’s effectively giving up on this colt after just one start, especially when you consider the larger purse and Cal-bred owner/breeder premium bonus money that goes along with a maiden special weight race. He’s clearly the top pick on paper but when you’re taking a short price you don’t want to have to question the connection’s motives. Chris Fix was off slowly in his debut but produced a one-paced, grinding late bid to finish a fair fourth without really posing a threat. He’s got a right to improve off that outing and it’s a good sign that his connections are protecting him by raising him from $32,000 $50,000. In a race that probably is best left alone, both can be used in rolling exotic play.

RACE 6: Post: 4:07 PT Grade: C+
Use: 2-Fantail; 5-Althea Gibson; 6-A G Indy; 7-Deise Delight

Forecast: First level allowance fillies and mares sprint five furlongs on grass. Anything can happen, so let’s take some shots. Althea Gibson has been off for nine months, but she’s been burning up the track in the morning at Los Alamitos, so we’ll assume she’s fit and ready. Perfect in one start sprinting over the Del Mar lawn, the daughter of Grazen may be a better type off the bench, though based purely on speed figures she’s one of several that could win. Her 7/2 morning line seems about right. The two D. O’Neill-trained fillies, A G Indy and Deise Delight, finished one-two over this course and distance in a starter’s allowance affair last month and step into the allowance ranks today. On figures, they’re right there with these. Fantail tries a rider switch, projects to enjoy a second flight, ground-saving trip and should be in the battle from the furlong pole to the wire. She’s a gambling number at 15-1 on the morning.

RACE 7: Post: 4:37 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-Divine Armor; 7-Laurel River

Forecast: Laurel River stretches out for the first time, and if he’s ever going to get the trip it’ll most likely be in his first try. The son of Into Mischief exits a series of better races and against this group in a race that doesn’t project to be particularly fast early it’s conceivable that he makes the running and never looks back. His B. Baffert-trained stable mate Leading Score shows past performance lines dating back to 2016 so you know he’s been plagued by a myriad of issues throughout his career. Off since April (and before that away since October of 2019), the B. Baffert-trained 7-year-old is eligible for this race only if entered for a $40,000 tag, and even at that price is pretty much unclaimable due to his shaky activity pattern. He’ll likely try to stalk Laurel River from the rail and then we’ll see what he’s got from the quarter pole home. That said, we’ll leave him off our ticket. Divine Armor has improving numbers and should be finishing. If the two Baffert entrants do each other in, he could be the one to pick them up at 8-1 on the morning line.

RACE 8: Post: 5:07 PT Grade:
Use: 5-Mackinnon; 8-Optimising

Forecast: Mackinnon showed the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern prior to his maiden turf victory over this course and distance in late July, doing so stylishly while shading 12 seconds for the final furlong and galloping out strongly. He’s a progressive son of American Pharoah with a pleasing series of works since raced, so we’re expecting the D. O’Neill-trained colt to take a significant forward move as the one to beat in this year’s renewal of the Del Mar Juvenile turf. Stranger danger comes in the form of the M. McCarthy-trained import Optimising. The son of Mehmas won his debut from nine rivals over the sharp left-handed Wolverhampton all-weather track at five furlongs in June, doing so with a rally wide trip while displaying fluid, athletic action. How he’ll act around two turns is a guess, but there’s no reason he won’t handle a mile just fine.

RACE 9: Post: 5:37 PT Grade: B
Use: 4-Pinehust; 5-Murray

Forecast: The two B. Baffert entries – both impressive maiden debut winners this meeting – should slug it out in this year’s edition of the Del Mar Futurity-G1. Murray won his race by almost 11 lengths, lengthening out impressively in the final furlong to give every indication that he’ll enjoy today’s extra quarter of a mile. Pinehurst had to work considerably harder to win his heat by just a half-length but did so on the front end from the rail after reaching back for extra in the final furlong. They’re both fast on numbers, so it’s just a matter which one can make the most progress between their first and second outings. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics while giving a very slight edge on top to Pinehurst

RACE 10: Post: 6:07 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Tembo; 9-Algeria

Forecast: The finale is a starter’s allowance turf miler offering several possibilities. Tembo hasn’t shown all that much in the a.m. while preparing for his first start since beating maiden claimers at over this turf course in November but he’s not much of a worker and he’s a long distance, deep-closing router so he’s never going to be the type to impress in his drills. On pure numbers he’s a solid fit with these and it’s encouraging the trainer M. McCarthy (very strong stats with layoff runners) brings him back protected. U. Rispoli, who was aboard in his victory, keeps the mount, so at 6-1 on the morning line he’ll offer a bit of gamble. Algeria, first off the $50,000 claim for S. Knapp, retains F. Prat after graduating in good style over this course and distance last month with a career top speed figure. He’s never taken a backward move in his four starts since being imported from Ireland and should step forward again today. These are the two we’ll be using in our exotics.