by Jeff Siegel
August 16, 2019
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.
It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.
Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.
Grade B=Solid Play.
Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.
Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.
The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.
Today’s Day Makers: Jeff Siegel's Best Bets at Saratoga on August 16th, 2019
RACE 1: Post 1:00 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Mo Ready; 5-Turbo Drive; 7-Inside Info
Forecast: Analysis made for turf only. Mo Ready sports the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern for T. Pletcher while retaining I. Ortiz, Jr. and has the pedigree to handle both the added distance and the switch to grass. The son of Uncle Mo likely will continue his improving pattern in this state-bred affair that doesn’t appear to be overly strong. Inside Info breezed well (10 1/5 seconds) at the OBS April sale before bringing $165,000 at auction and the son of Mission Impazible has a steady series of local drills to be fit enough for a good effort. Turbo Drive has improving speed figures, though they’re not particular fast quite yet, and stretches out for the first time while trying grass. Blinkers also will be added as well, so this M. Maker-trained colt could find himself on or near the lead throughout. In an open fray, we’ll include all three in our rolling exotics and then press a bit keying Mo Ready on top.
RACE 2: Post 1:34 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 4-Olympic Village; 5-Walkoff
Forecast: Walkoff returns to dirt, shortens to a sprint, drops into a high-priced claimer and retains J. Ortiz. It all adds up to a major effort by the T. Pletcher-trained colt, who is unbeaten in two prior one-turn races and has speed figures that are good enough to beat this field. We’re expecting the Street Sense gelding to be along in time. Olympic Village, away since last November, earned numbers as a 2-year-old that were actually quite good, so we’re a tad surprised that he’s returning unprotected. The M. Trombetta barn has weak stats with layoff runners but the Fair Hill work tab looks pretty good, so we’ll include the Congrats gelding in our rolling exotics as a back-up or a saver.
RACE 3: Post 2:06 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Value Engineering; 6-Shennan
Forecast: Analysis made for turf only. Value Engineering has failed as the favorite in both of his starts to date, but the son of Lemon Drop Kid remains well-regarded and probably deserves one more chance. Though he finished third in his most recent start, he earned a strong speed figure (10 points better than his debut number) so with another forward move today the C. Brown-trained colt should be able to break through with a winning performance. From the rail, J. Castellano can pretty much put him wherever he wants. Shennan was a respectable third in his U.S. in a mini-marathon turf affair last month and today shortens to a mile and three-sixteenths. If he’s going to develop into a nice sort, today’s the day he’ll show it. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have extra tickets keying Value Engineering on top.
RACE 4: Post 2:38 ET. Grade: B-
Forecast: Taralluci was claimed for $40,000 by R. Handel in June and today shows up for $25,000, certainly not a healthy pattern, but this stable has very good stats with the first-off-the-claim angle (21% with a strong flat-bet profit) so we’ll accept this suspicious class drop as the aggressive move that it appears to be. The daughter of Lemon Drop King will be making her first start on dirt, so there’s that to consider, but with the trainer’s go-to rider J. Rosario taking the call we’ll trust the connections and make her a straight play and rolling exotic single at or near her morning line of 9/2.
RACE 5: Post 3:10 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Life in Shambles; 7-Do Share
Forecast: Life in Shambles is realistically spotted in this high-priced claimer and should enjoy the return to dirt. Winless in five starts this year but with numbers that are good enough to regain his best form at this level, the J. Servis-trained gelding has won 10 races in his career, one of which came over the Saratoga main track, and this seems like a proper spot to get things turned around. Do Share was out of his element in the A. G. Vanderbilt S.-G1 last month but he could get his confidence back against this much softer band. Winner of the Tom Fool H.-G3 earlier this year but no threat in three subsequent outings, the son of Candy Ride is another who can bounce back big time facing this group.
RACE 6: Post 3:42 ET. Grade: X
Use: Zabava; 8-Psalmody
Forecast: Analysis made for turf only. Psalmody joins the J. Sharp barn and shows up in a $35,000 claimer, so we’re expecting the daughter of Harlan’s Holiday to regain her best form in this restricted middle distance turf affair. She switches to L. Saez, who has ridden her well in the past, and at this level she’s more than fast enough on speed figures to win, but at 7/5 on the morning line she won’t be offering much in the way of wagering value. We’ll also toss in Zabava, in good form but considerably slower on numbers that the favorite. We’ll use her as a back-up while recognizing that Psalmody will be hard to beat with anything close to her best.
RACE 7: Post 4:14 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Aquaphobia; 7-Zapperini
Forecast: Analysis made for turf only. Zapperini adds blinkers for the first time while seeking his first 2019 victory. Perhaps the equipment change with put some spark into the Ghostzapper gelding, who continues to earn good speed figures but just hasn’t been punching it in. This will be his third start off a layoff for J. Servis, so the veteran gelding should be primed for his best effort, and at 6-1 on the morning line he might be worth a gamble with I. Ortiz, Jr. staying aboard. Aquaphobia, fourth in the same race Zapperini exits, was away for five months prior to that start so he, too, has a right to step forward with an improved effort. The son of Giant’s Causeway should be able to draft into a comfortable second flight, ground-saving position and then have his chance to kick it in late. We’ll try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics, but if you can afford to spread deeper, go right ahead.
RACE 8: Post 4:46 ET. Grade: X
Forecast: Ratajkowski missed at even money over this track and distance when just failing to stay the trip in her first try around two-turns last month but she earned a career top speed figure in defeat and sports a bullet five furlong workout since that race. She’s almost certain to be the controlling speed, but with the scratching of the other main contender, Behind the Couch, she seems likely to leave at less than even money and offer no real wagering value other than as a logical rolling exotic single.
RACE 9: Post 5:18 ET. Grade: B
Use: 3-Another Miracle; 6-Montauk Daddy
Forecast: Analysis made for turf only. Another Miracle earned a powerful speed figure when breaking his maiden in an off-the-turf affair last month and has trained in superb fashion since for his first attempt on grass. A bullet blowout in 35 seconds around dogs over the Saratoga turf training track five days ago was impressive and gives reason to believe that the son of American Pharoah could be just as good, if not better, on the lawn. Montauk Daddy broke his maiden in visually pleasing fashion on grass at Belmont Park last month and may be capable of winning right back. He’ll race with Lasix today and should be quick enough to be on or near the lead throughout. These are the two main players in this five and one-half furlong grass stakes for juveniles; we’ll use both while preferring Another Miracle on top.
RACE 10: Post 5:50 ET. Grade: C
Use: 4-Mr. Vincent; 9-Prince Halo
Forecast: Analysis made for turf only. Our original top selection, Blue Parrot, has been scratched. Mr. Vincent has improved his speed figures in each of his three starts since returning off a 17-month layoff and if he can step forward again today he can graduate in a modest maiden-claiming turf miler. He should be forwardly placed throughout and seems capable of grinding out a win in a field that has two main contenders – Awesome Adversary and Causeforcelebration – with a combined lifetime record of zero-for-32. Prince Halo is relatively lightly-raced with room for improvement. The Orb gelding has some speed and should draft into a good stalking position with every chance when the pressure is turned on. We’ll consider these two in our rolling exotics in a race that we’ll otherwise not get involved in.