by Jeff Siegel
June 27, 2020
Jeff Siegel’s Day Makers and Best Plays from around the country are offered on a daily basis to members of xpressbet.com and 1stbet.com. Always the day’s the cream of the crop, Day Makers emphasize price and wagering value while Best Plays isolate likely winners and logical rolling exotic singles. Each selection also should be given strong consideration as a key in vertical plays such as exactas and trifectas. NOTE: Selections are listed chronologically according to listed post time.
CHURCHILL DOWNS – 5TH RACE. POST TIME: 3:10PM ET
2 – PIT BOSS (5-1) – Day Maker
Talented maiden is improving with racing – according to his speed figures – and with another forward move today the son of Union Rags could be set to spring a mild surprise while stretching out to 9.5 furlongs on the main track and catching a field without much speed. Exits a pair of stronger-than-par maiden races and today catches a field that looks average at best. With a healthy work tab since raced and with the switch to good speed rider M. Garcia, the W. Catalano-trained colt may find himself as the controlling speed, though his deep-closing rally when second in his debut indicates he can be effective with patient tactics as well. There’s value here to be found at or near his morning line of 5-1.
BELMONT PARK – 5TH RACE. POST TIME: 3:37PM ET
5 – FLYING FINISH (7/2) – Best Play
Walked out of the gate and gave himself an impossible task when closing well but too late in a fifth place finish in his debut at Gulfstream Park in early May vs. open maiden-special-weight foes and then was impressive on the gallop-out (he was in front of the pack at the clubhouse turn), so we know the natural talent is there. Hopefully, the son of Pioneerof the Nile leaves with his field today, and at this extended sprint trip the A. Margotta, Jr.-trained colt may be able to produce the last run. I. Ortiz got to know him in Florida, stays aboard, so at 7/2 on the morning line we’ll have a gamble both in the win pool and in rolling exotic play.
CHURCHILL DOWNS – 6TH RACE. POST TIME: 3:41PM ET
6 – PARIS LIGHTS (2-1) – Best Play
Won like a future star when breaking her maiden by nearly seven lengths in her first try around two-turns over this track and distance last month and seems well-spotted to repeat on the raise in this entry-level allowance affair for fillies and mares. The daughter of Curlin has a good stalking style that should keep her clear of trouble, and in a race that projects to have a better-than-average early pace she should be able to settle in mid-pack and then produce a winning kick when called up. At 2-1 on the morning line, she’s a win play at or near that price and also a rolling exotic single.
WOODBINE – 8TH RACE. POST TIME 4:42PM ET
5-ELIZABETH WAY-IRE (4-1) – Day Maker
Irish-bred mare shows up north of the border for Nassau S.-G2, a one-turn grass miler for fillies and mares that fits her like a glove. Though primarily a marathoner in her nine-race career, the daughter of Frankel appears to be most comfortable at a middle distance, and after recording two solid recent workouts for her Canadian-based trainer she should be primed for a breakout performance at what we expect will be close to her 4-1 morning line. She can be dangerous on the lead or from off the pace, so E. J. Wilson can assess the early pace flow and then pick the proper early position.
CHURCHILL DOWNS – 8TH RACE. POST TIME: 4:43PM ET
6 – CAZADERO (8/5) – Best Play
Seems certain to go lower than his morning line of 8/5 and therefore will be too short to play straight but the son of Street Sense, a visually impressive maiden debut winner over the local main track last month, looks very difficult to deny right back in this year’s edition of the Bashford Manner S.-G3 for 2-year-olds. On pure speed figures he’s a standout, and the way the S. Asmussen-trained colt lengthened out with power in the final stages in his nearly nine length romp over five furlongs makes him likely to be even more dominant at today’s six panel trip. We’ll make him a short-priced rolling exotic single.
LOS ALAMITOS RACE COURSE – 3RD RACE. POST TIME 4:58PM ET
5 – DISCO BALL (9/5) – Best Play
Been away almost a year but we’re expecting this talented 3-year-old to return better than he left in this six furlong maiden sprint. In his only start last year at Del Mar, the son of Orb was forced to race under severe pressure throughout while being mired down in the extremely deep inside lane yet continued to battle back bravely in the final stages and was beaten only a half-length by subsequent stakes winner Collusion Illusion. Sharp recent drills – including a bullet :47 3/5 half mile move (fastest of 57) just six days ago – indicate this B. Koriner-trained colt is ready to roll. At his morning line of 9/5 he’s a strong win play, but if he goes lower we can still him with confidence as a rolling exotic single.
BELMONT PARK – 8TH RACE. POST TIME: 5:04PM ET
7-MEAN MARY (7/2) – Best Play
Though she doesn’t need the lead to win, this daughter of Scat Daddy seems certain to accept the role as the controlling speed in the 10-furlong turf New York S.-G2 for fillies and mares, and given that kind of trip she has an excellent opportunity to take this field gate-to-wire. The lightly-raced 4-year-old filly, a two-time graded stakes winner at Gulfstream Park this past winter, tackles tougher foes today but based on the projected race flow and speed figures that shows she’s improving with every start the G. Motion-trained filly should have every chance to extend her winning streak to four. There’s good gambling value at or near her morning line of 7/2, so let’s make her a win play and rolling exotic single.
GULFSTREAM PARK – 11TH RACE. POST TIME: 5:18PM ET
3 – QUEEN NEKIA (4-1) – Day Maker
Dangerous at any distance but appearing most comfortable in one-turn races, this veteran mare should fire her best shot in the listed Added Elegance S. for older distaffers at this one mile trip. Never off the board in five career starts over the local main track and in the frame in 20 of 25 career outings, the S. Joseph, Jr.-trained daughter of Harlington is as thoroughly genuine and consistent as they come, and her speed figures indicate that she’s more than good enough to regain her winning form after competing in graded stakes races in her last pair. With the switch to one of this barn’s go-to riders, S. Camacho, she should be along in time while offering good value at or near her morning line of 4-1.
CHURCHILL DOWNS – 10TH RACE. POST TIME: 5:47PM ET
6 – BY MY STANDARDS (5/2) – Best Play
Gets the acid test in this year’s renewal of the Stephen Foster S.-G2 and most likely will need a career top effort to upset Tom’s d’Etat but the son of Goldencents continues to improve with each outing and just might be able to pull it off. A winner of five of his last six starts (the defeat being his 12th place finish in the rodeo that was the Kentucky Derby), the son of Goldecents owns a superior pace-prompting style that always seems to ensure an easy, clean trip. That’s what we’re expecting today, as the B. Calhoun-trained colt is comfortably drawn outside the projected leader, Pirate’s Punch, and should be able to use that long shot as a target before being set down. If you can get close to his morning line of 5/2, he’ll be worth a gamble against the heavily-backed favorite.