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Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Betting Strategy | Thursday, November 4

by Jeff Siegel

November 4, 2021

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, 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: 12:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 7-Big Clare; 8-Taming the Tigress

Forecast: Familiar faces tangle in the Thursday lid-lifter, a state-bred turf miler for first-level allowance fillies and mares. Big Clare earned a career top speed figure when runner-up vs. similar at Santa Anita last month and not much more will be needed to handle this task. She’s a one-paced grinder and may lack a winning punch, but most of the others in the field aren’t all that keen on winning, either. J. Rosario will give her the patient ride she requires, so we’re expecting the P. D’Amato-trained daughter of Mr. Big to be along in time. Taming The Tigress stretches out for the first time, and if she’s ever going to stay a mile it’ll probably be in her first attempt. Bred to sprint but capable of inheriting the role as the controlling speed, the daughter of Smiling Tiger ran quite well in her grass debut last time out at Santa Anita when a willing but troubled runner-up and it may be significant that F. Prat, who has been riding Big Clare, jumps off to pilot this P. Miller-trained sophomore.

RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Defense Wins; 5-Adens Dream

Forecast: We’re normally don’t take Emerald Downs form at face value, but Adens Dream, a Pacific Northwest invader now in the J. Wong barn, always has been a hard-knocking, genuine sprinter and appears well-placed to pick up where he left off in this $16,000 claiming dash for older horses. In a small field of six without much early speed signed on, the veteran son of Wildcat Heir should be quick enough to establish the pace and keep on going while seeking his fourth win from his last five starts. On pure numbers he’s a fit on this circuit at this level. Defense Wins must leave from the rail (again) but drops below his claim level, retains F. Prat, and has never been off the board in five career starts over the Del Mar main track. He’ll be doing his best work late. We’ll give Adens Dream a slight edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 3: Post: 1:31 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-Tilted Towers; 5-Mikes Tiznow; 8-Texas Wedge

Forecast: Here’s a highly-competitive turf sprint for second-level allowance $80,000 optional claimers that drew a field of eight, most of whom have a legitimate look with their best race. Tilted Towers makes his first start following a M. Maker claim for $50,000 and moves up in class following a clever win three weeks ago sprinting on turf at Santa Anita. He projects to be in a good stalking position (behind the speedier Mikes Tiznow) and has shown in the past the ability to win with this type of trip. He’s a fit on numbers, picks up I. Ortiz, Jr., and offers some value at 6-1 on the morning line. Mikes Tiznow has been away for almost a year but his work tab at Golden Gate Fields should have him fit enough and the veteran gelding shows a prior win over the course for a trainer who has superior stats with layoff runners. Additionally, the son of Slew’s Tiznow has a proven record of firing fresh and regular rider R. Gonzalez stays aboard and knows him well. Texas Wedge may have lost a step or two but he’s exiting better races, is guaranteed a clean trip from his outside draw, and is reunited with “win rider” F. Prat. The ex-classer should have no excuses today.

RACE 4: Post: 2:04 PT Grade: C+
Use: 3-Rish and Reward; 6-Zestful

Forecast: Risk and Reward earned a giant speed figure when easily handling first-level allowance foes at Los Alamitos in late September and looks dangerous on the one-level raise in this six-runner field. While form at Los Alamitos doesn’t always translate to the big tracks, this B. Baffert-trained sophomore shows a prior win over the Del Mar main track, picks up F. Prat, and seems certain to attempt gate-to-wire tactics once again, especially if he doesn’t have to be sent hard to make the running. The pace of the race certainly will be impacted if Zestful turns up as a late scratch. He’s entered back on Friday in the Thoroughbred Alliance Aftercare S.-G2 over a marathon trip but could stay put in this race, where he is listed as the 8/5 morning line favorite. He goes runs in this spot he’ll ensure a rapid early pace that won’t do Risk and Reward any favors. The P. Miller-trained gelding was extra game when prevailing in the Bull Dog S. at Fresno three weeks ago for career victory number 11 (from 37 starts) and we suspect that new rider L. Saez will be aggressive with the Ghostzapper gelding, who’s always preferred to get it on early. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics but based on the volatile pace flow we can’t play with any real degree of confidence.

RACE 5: Post: 2:33 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Tezzaray; 3-Gimme Mo Baby; 6-Hemmerle

Forecast: We’ll go three-deep in the fifth race, a middle distance affair on grass for juvenile fillies. Hemmerle is the logical top pick after finishing a decent third in the much stronger Surfer Girl S. at Santa Anita last month. She remains well-regarded by trainer R. Mandella, and with rising numbers and an improving pattern this daughter of Tapit seems set to earn her diploma. Gimme Mo Baby is an intriguing shipper from Kentucky, where she hit the board in both of her starts, most recently when getting nosed out in a similar maiden grass affair at Keeneland while earning a speed figure very close to our top pick’s. The daughter of Jimmy Creed appears to lack tactical speed but her steady, grinding style should make a threat in the final furlong, especially if a decent early pace materializes. Tezzaray represent stranger danger from England in her North American debut. Third in both of her starts with respectable Timeform ratings, the P. Miller-trained daughter of Bated Breath shows a steady series of workouts at San Luis Rey Downs that should have her fit. With I. Ortiz, Jr. taking the call, she looks extremely live at 7/2 on the morning line.

RACE 6: Post: 3:06 PT Grade: B
Single: 5-Fenestra

Forecast: Fenestra was entered and withdrawn at Santa Anita on October 15 (it was a stewards’ scratch, not a vet scratch), worked two days later, and is back in the entries today for the powerful V. Cerin/K. Desormeaux team in his second career start and his first since July of 2020. The five-year-old gelding displayed good speed before weakening when facing much tougher straight maidens at Gulfstream Park in that race and returns at the bottom while showing a bullet five furlong work (5f, :59.1h) last week to have him fit and ready. He’ll also be racing with Lasix for the first time, so we’re expecting the son of Street Sense to bust out and go and hopefully wire the field at 9/2 on the morning line as a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 7: Post: 3:40 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Crew Dragon; 6-Team Merchants; 7-Coulthard; 9-Man Friday

Forecast: Crew Dragon was a clever winner over this course and distance three runs back and a repeat of that effort today should be good enough to take this restricted stakes for 3-year-olds over a mile on grass. The son of Exaggerator earned a career top speed figure when a strong runner-up in a Hillside turf dash at Santa Anita last month, has trained well since, and picks up L. Saez. Coulthard stretches out for the first time, attracts J. Rosario, and projects to be forwardly placed throughout and have every chance. He was fourth in the same race Crew Dragon exits and with only slight improvement today the P. D’Amato-trained colt should be right there. Team Merchants adds blinkers for the first time and has a chance to wire the field if he’s permitted to show his natural speed. Rating tactics in his last pair failed to produce the desired results but with aggressive handling today the son of Nyquist has a chance to get loose on the lead and take this field a very long way. Worth tossing in as well is the steadily improving Man Friday, a winner of his last pair against lesser competition but with rising speed figures and a strong closing kick that will be dangerous if the race flow plays in his favor.

Notable Workouts:

Team Merchants (October 16, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.1h TT). Grade: B+ | VIDEO
Broke off several lengths behind Happy Jack (5f, 1:01h TT) and motored on by approaching the finish while well in hand throughout, splits of :24.2, :36.3 and 1:00 flat on our watches, quite sharp as usual. No blinkers in this drill but is scheduled to add them in his next start. Always impressive in the a.m., still hasn’t put it together in the p.m.

Coulthard (October 23, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00h TT). Grade: B+ | VIDEO
Led early in training track team drill with Hollywoodhellraisr (same time) and Going Global (5f, :59.2h TT, closed big gap, never asked, sharp+) and maintained his advantage to the wire without being asked in sharp style for P. D’Amato, final half mile in :11.4, :23.4 and :47.2, plenty left late. Acts like he’ll handle a distance of ground if given the chance. Had a right to need his last start but should be sharper and fitter next time.

RACE 8: Post: 4:13 PT Grade: B-
Single: 8-Big Stretch

Forecast: The finale is at first glance a treacherous affair for restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming fillies and mares. Big ticket players may choose to buy the race, but we’ll take a stand and ty to be right using Big Stretch as a single. It’s not that she’s any great shakes, but the P. D’Amato-trained filly has been out of her element chasing much better foes going long on the lawn. Her one-turn dirt outings aren’t half bad, so at this extended sprint trip facing much softer company the daughter of Mr. Big has a reasonable chance to wear down the leaders. At 7/2 on the morning line, we’ll make her a win play and rolling exotic single.