by Jeff Siegel
April 30, 2020
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.
RACE 1: Post 1:00 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Abdaa; 4-Gatto Marrone; 8-Limetini; 11-Cardiac Kid
Forecast: Abdaa didn’t run badly in his debut, stalking the pace and then staying on reasonably well to finish fourth in a similar two-turn maiden claimer. In that race he displayed tactical speed, so from his favorable draw should find himself forwardly placed throughout, perhaps even in front. The barn has a very good record from a limited sample with second-timers so this son of Animal Kingdom can be expected to produce a forward move and be a major player in an open affair. At 9/2 on the morning line, we’ll put him slightly on top. Cardiac Kid and Limetini exit the same maiden-special-weight turf event earlier this month and both are being dropped sharply into the maiden $25,000 ranks while trying to find their proper level. ‘Kid ran better than Limetini in that race but the latter was making his first start and therefore has more room to improve. Gatto Marrone is a first-timer by Big Brown with a decent series of drills from a barn that does well with debut runners. In a field in which there clearly are no world beaters and at 15-1 on the morning, he’s worth including somewhere on your ticket.
RACE 2: Post 1:35 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Special Inclusion; 2-Missing Link; 3-Sunshine City
Forecast: Maiden 2-year-olds entered to be claimed for $25,000 meet at four-and-one-furlongs with Sunshine City certainly destined to receive plenty of play primarily because of her connections (I. Ortiz, Jr./W. Ward). The daughter of Creative Cause didn’t look like anything special in a pair of recent turf breezes, which explains why she’s starting off cheap, and at 7/5 on the morning line she’ll offer little wagering value. But if it’s not her, then who? Missing Link is bred to win early (Kantharos) and shows a couple of three furlong drills over this main track that don’t look too bad. While Special Inclusion has three slow gate works on her resume but hails from a barn that can get them fit without tipping them off in the a.m. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics in a race that probably is otherwise best left alone
RACE 3: Post 2:09 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 6-Monmouth Dr; 9-Uncle Curly
Forecast: Monmouth Dr plummets to the bottom $6,250 level and returns to dirt while being reunited with I. Ortiz, Jr., who was aboard the Stay Thirsty gelding when he finished a strong runner-up over this track and distance two runs back in a performance that is good enough to beat this field. But at even money on the morning line, there’s not much we can do with him. Uncle Curly is comfortably drawn outside and has several back speed figures that are considerably stronger than par for this level, but all were accomplished on grass. In his only prior dirt race, the son of Curlin finished a distant fourth in an off-the-grass straight maiden affair in November of 2018. On the positive side, his only career race around one turn resulted in a New York-bred maiden special weight win at Belmont Park last summer. Toss him in at 10-1 on the morning line.
RACE 4: Post 2:41 ET. Grade: C
Use: 4-Farm Strong; 7-Winning Factor; 11-Beach Traffic
Forecast: Here’s a modest maiden $16,000 claimer on grass that presents little to work with. Winning Factor is an 11-race maiden but at least he’s hit the board in four of his last five starts and has numbers that are better than par for this maiden $16,000 level, so we’re expecting he’ll graduate eventually, maybe even today. He’s a one-paced grinder that should be able to settle into a forward position and not have too much ground to have to make up. R. Maragh knows him well and stays aboard. Beach Traffic, fourth in the same race Winning Factor just finished third in (they were a half-length apart) is hung out in the 11-hole but may be able to get over and secure a decent stalking spot. Low percentage connections notwithstanding, the Cross Traffic gelding must be considered a contender. Farm Strong has no early speed but can provide a little bit of a late kick and with some help up front could be heard from in the final furlong. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics but not with any real degree of confidence.
RACE 5: Post 3:13 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Miz Chaplin; 4-Bimini; 8-Mystic Nile
Forecast: Bimini nosedives to the restricted (nw-3) $16,000 level and on pure numbers is more than good enough to win in this league. The class drop really doesn’t bother us – at this stage of her career this is probably where she belongs – and the work tab looks steady and healthy for a barn that has done very well in recent weeks. She can be tough on the lead or from a second flight position, so at 5/2 on the morning line the daughter of Brethren is clearly the one to beat. Miz Chaplin seeks her third straight win while moving up from the much softer $12,500 nw-2 league after winning with something left last month. Claimed in her last pair and now in the S. Matier barn, the daughter of Rattlesnake Bridge must negotiate an extra furlong today but if she can shake loose and relax early she may be able to get the trip. However, based on her speed figures she’ll really need to improve to worry our top pick. Mystic Nile is tad light on numbers but was a closing fourth in a $20,000 six furlong dash earlier this month and should appreciate today’s extra furlong. Considering her low profile connections you’d probably want a bit more than her morning line at 7/2 but we’ll include on a ticket or two as a back-up.
RACE 6: Post 3:45 ET. Grade: B
Use: 3-Coin the Phrase; 9-Fuddled
Forecast: Coin the Phrase has been knocking on the door with gradually rising speed figures and should be in the battle every step of the way again in this five furlong turf sprint for older fillies and mares. She’s the quickest in the field, exits a productive race, switches to L. Saez, and shows a healthy work tab for her first start in nearly two months. At 9/2 on the morning line she offers a chance at a bit of a price. Fuddled represents the best of the closers after rallying strongly to be a close third in a promising debut last month over this course and distance. On pure numbers, she’s considerably faster than Coin the Phrase and has room for more upside, so at 2-1 on the morning line and likely to go lower she’s the logical favorite and clearly the one to beat.
RACE 7: Post 4:17 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Bean Counter; 3-Augusta Moon
Forecast: Bean Counter seems fairly solid in this restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claiming turf miler for fillies and mares after finishing second with a career top speed figure in a similar affair over this course and distance last month. She has a good stalking style, a favorable inside draw, and retains L. Saez. It all adds up solid favoritism at 8/5 on the morning line for the T.Pletcher/L. Saez team. August Moon, in the frame in her last three starts with rising speed figures, exits a pair of starter’s allowance races and is properly spotted while remaining above her claim level. You could make a case that with one career win combined seven seconds and thirds she lacks a winning punch, but she’ll be in a good second flight position and have every chance from the quarter pole home. We’ll have tickets using both in our rolling exotics and then press with Bean Counter on top.
RACE 8: Post 4:48 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Legal Deal; 7-Chill Haze; 8-Bourbon Street
Forecast: Bourbon Street, runner-up in his last pair vs. similar maiden $50,000 foes, earned a career top speed figure in a strong race for the level last time out and may be ready to earn his diploma in his fifth career start. The Curlin gelding gets off the rail and should be on or near the lead throughout under L. Saez. Chili Haze is solid on numbers with a good stalking style, and if Bourbon Street is unable to find more under pressure in the final furlong, the S. Joseph, Jr.-trained will have every chance to pick him up. Price players should take a look at Legal Deal, away for almost a year after debuting in a maiden special weight juvenile sprint as the favorite here last May. The Khozan gelding didn’t show much in that race, but he returns as a first-time gelding with a brief (but somewhat sneaky) work tab and could have easily returned in a much cheaper maiden claimer without anybody batting an eye, so maybe he’s better than shown. At 12-1 on the morning line he’s worth tossing in somewhere.
RACE 9: Post 5:19 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Ghostly Beauty; 2-Sister Otoole; 8-Yolanda’s Pride
Forecast: This a competitive affair with three main players and requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Yolanda’s Pride is in good form with improving numbers and is well-placed in this first-level allowance turf miler for fillies and mares. The main concern is that she was beaten a neck vs. similar with a good stalking trip last time out and both of her wins were accomplished in gate-to-wire fashion. There are other front-running types drawn inside her today, so the S. Klesaris-trained daughter of Prospective may have to work a bit to become the controlling speed, and if she can’t make the top she may be susceptible to the closing kick of Ghostly Beauty, who finished a half-length behind ‘Pride in their common race earlier this month. ‘Beauty, listed as the 9/5 morning line favorite, is guaranteed a ground-saving trip from her rail post and any help up front she can get will promote her chances. It may be significant that L. Saez jumps off ‘Beauty to remain aboard Sister Otoole, who he rode to a clever state-bred maiden win over this course and distance last month. The G. Motion-trained filly is much slower on pure numbers than both ‘Pride and Beauty but she’s only had three starts and is clearly headed in the right direction. At 6-1 on the morning line, you have to include her.
RACE 10: Post 5:49 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Crown and Sugar; 7-Cuddle Kitten
Forecast: Today’s feature race is a second-level main track miler for fillies and mares. Cuddle Kitten, claimed for $62,500 by H. Alter, is a veteran mare who does her best work on the front end. In her first start for new connections she shows up carrying a $50,000 tag off a two and one-half month layoff while switching to the barn’s “go-to” rider E. Zayas and on paper clearly looks like the controlling speed. Now six year old and with nine career wins on her resume, the daughter of Kitten’s Joy should have every chance to regain her winning form and provide the barn with its first victory over the year. Crown the Sugar is better than her morning line of 10-1 based on her strong and consistent grass form, but this will be her first career outing on dirt. Based on pedigree she shouldn’t have any issue with the switch in surface but she still has to go out and show it. She loves to stalk and pounce and with L. Saez riding for a high percentage outfit the daughter of Crown of Thorns is a “must use.”
RACE 11: Post 6:19 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 4-Proquestor; 6-Preacher Marsee; 8-Spinning Kitten
Forecast: The finale is a low level restricted (nw-2) middle distance claimer with little to trust. Use as many as you can afford to in rolling exotic play. Preacher Marsee, first off the claim for A. Sano (excellent stats with this angle) returns at the same level after finishing a close fourth as the favorite and retains L. Saez. The lightly-raced son of Bernardini didn’t get the best of trips but finished willingly once clear and should run at least as well if not a bit better today, so we’ll put him slightly on top. Spinning Kitten, third in the same race Preacher Marsee exits, ran well for this low percentage jockey in that race and should be somewhere in the fray again. Proquestor exits a pair of tougher starter’s allowance races and has numbers that fit. However, the connections don’t inspire confidence and this veteran gelding is just one-for-24 in his career. It’s that kind of race.