by Jeff Siegel
December 11, 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.
The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes. 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: 12:35 ET Grade: C+
Use: 5-Monte Ne; 7-Vicmar
Forecast: Modest older maiden-claiming turf sprinters kick off the Friday program in a race in which the known element doesn’t impress. Fresh face Vicmar debuts for a barn that has very good stats with first-time starters and the son of Revolutionary has the look of a live item with hot-riding P. Lopez taking the call. He’s bred for grass and has displayed a hint of speed in the a.m. so at 9/2 on the morning line he’s worth a play. Monte Ne, a $15,000 M. Maker claim at Churchill Downs last month, should be quick enough to be on or near the lead against this group and is the likely choice and one to beat. His one prior grass outing wasn’t much but he broke slowly, raced wide, and faced much tougher straight maidens so we won’t hold that effort against him.
RACE 2: Post: 1:04 ET Grade: B+
Use: 2-Reservenotattained; 6-Wicksters Dream
Forecast: We’ll double the second race, a restricted (nw-2) $35,000 main track seller for older horses. Wicksters Dream, claimed in his last three starts, most recently for this price at Belmont Park in late October, appears properly spotted in his first start for new trainer R. Crichton (solid stats with this angle) and lands the cozy outside post that should project him into a soft, pace-stalking position. Fast enough on pure speed figures to beat this field, the son of New Year’s Day has a prior win over this main track and will offer wagering value at or near his morning line of 5/2. Reservenotattained is another with very good form over the Gulfstream Park main track – never off the board in five starts with two wins – and with the switch to P. Lopez should be a strong pace factor. The edge on top goes to Wicksters Dream but we’ll include both in our rolling exotics.
RACE 3: Post: 1:33 ET Grade: C+
Use: 2-Makisupa; 4-Witch Moon
Forecast: Makisupa has a bit of a suspicious pattern but certainly can win this turf miler for maiden claiming older fillies and mares if he she returns as well as she left. After finishing a good second over the local lawn in a straight maiden miler last April, the English-bred filly was stopped on, and today returns for a $50,000 tag in what is just her third career start (you’d think that if she was well-liked, they would be protecting her). The D. Fawkes barn has solid stats with layoff runners and the work tab, though relatively brief, seems healthy, so we’ll put her on top while also including in our rolling exotics Witch Moon, a Woodbine shipper also dropping out of maiden special weight company. The G. Motion-trained daughter of Malibu Moon picks up L. Saez and is listed as the 9/5 morning line favorite.
RACE 4: Post: 2:03 ET Grade: C+
Use: 7-Think It Thru; 8-Skyfly
Forecast: Skyfly debuts showing only three workouts n her past performance chart but two of the drills were good, a :59 3/5 drill Nov. 23 (second fastest of 23) and a bullet gate drill Dec. 4 (1:02 flat, best of five). From a high-percentage outfit, from a cozy outside post, and with the stable’s “go-to” rider E. Jaramillo taking the call, the daughter of Jess’s Dream may prove best of a weak lot. Think It Thru is the most preferred from the experienced group, having finished a distant second in her debut at GPW in late October. However, her speed figure was 15 points lower than par for this level, which is the main reason why we’re opting for a newcomer on top. In a race that should be treated with caution, both should be included in your rolling exotics.
RACE 5: Post: 2:36 ET Grade: B
Use: 2-Pleasecallmeback; 5-Battalion
Forecast: Battalion returns to the claiming ranks (but above his purchase price) in this $50,000 restricted (nw-2) affair on grass while switching to T. Gaffalione (31% with this barn) so we suspect the son of Tiznow will regain his winning form after a failed attempt in a race in the mud at GPW in late October. A strong, healthy work tab since raced should have this S. Joseph, Jr.-trained gelding primed and ready. Pleasecallmeback is a Woodbine invader for R. Attfield fresh from a good runner-up effort in an allowance race that produced a career top figure, one that may be good enough to beat this field. The Hard Spun gelding projects to enjoy an ideal ground-saving, second flight journey and then have his chance from the quarter pole to the wire.
RACE 6: Post: 3:06 ET Grade: B
Use: 6-Uncaptured Soldier; 9-Dreaming Thousand
Forecast: Uncaptured Soldier, a fading sixth after some early trouble in his debut when facing tougher maiden $25,000 foes, drops for the money run while adding blinkers and switching to T. Gaffalione (32% with a massive ROI with this trainer) in this bottom-rung sprint for juveniles. A nice five furlong breeze at GPW since raced is a positive sign, so we’re expecting the J. Delgado-trained colt to step forward and handle this soft task. Dreaming Thousand, freshened since early October, ran well over this main track last summer while earning a speed figure three races back that certainly can win. However, his other five starts weren’t much, so he’s not one to trust. We’ll have tickets using both in our rolling exotics and then press with Uncaptured Soldier on top.
RACE 7: Post: 3:36 ET Grade: C+
Use: 2-Jimmyssmokedcarrot; 4-Wicked Mercury; 5-Sunset Promise
Forecast: Sunset Promise shows up in a claimer for the first time in her second start off a layoff, and with a prior win over the course and speed figures that are good for the level the M. Maker-trained filly seems reasonably solid. She’ll be doing her best work late. Wicked Mercury graduated in her ninth career start when last seen in mid-September at Monmouth Park while earning a career top speed figure, one that makes her competitive in this affair. The concern is that she’s zero-for-five over the local lawn, so we’re not convinced she’s trustworthy. However, her good stalking style guarantees a clean trip, and if she runs back to her last race she’ll be in the battle. Jimmyssmokedcarrot won her debut over this course in maiden state-bred company rather stylishly (but with a modest number) in February when trained by C. Brown and then disappeared. She returns in a seller for new conditioner J. D’Angelo while wearing blinkers and picking up L. Saez, so at 5-1 on the morning line she’s worth consideration as a saver or a back-up.
RACE 8: Post: 4:06 ET Grade: C+
Single: 1-Starship Blanca
Forecast: Starship Blanca just broke her maiden for a $12,500 tag and today surfaces in a conditioned (nw-2) $6,250 sprint for fillies and mares, an aggressive move on paper but not really that surprising considering this high-percentage outfit. The concern is that her win was accomplished over a sloppy track at GPW and that her previous four outings were all routing on grass. How will she sprint on dry land? We’ll find out in a race in which nothing else inspires. We’ll consider the daughter of He’s Had Enough a possible single in rolling exotic play – mostly by default – in a race that actually may better served being left alone.
RACE 9: Post: 4:36 ET Grade: B+
Use: 3-Risk Manager; 4-Whatmakessammyrun; 5-Rarantino
Forecast: Risk Manager won his debut on grass at Keeneland at this one mile distance in mid-October and looked like a fairly decent prospect in the process, so we’re expecting this son of Lookin At Lucky to come right back in this competitive first-level allowance affair. The M. Maker-trained colt settled in the second flight before accelerating when asked to win going away, and T. Gaffalione, who was aboard that day, stays aboard. Tarantino invades from Southern California where he also was a debut winner before verifying that favorable impression by just missing by a nose in the Zuma Beach Stakes at Del Mar when trained by B. Baffert. He’s now with R. Brisset and will be the one to beat with a repeat of either one of his first two outings. Whatmakessammyrun, third in listed turf stakes at Aqueduct after breaking his maiden by almost nine lengths sprinting on grass at Belmont Park, is another major player with a decent amount of upside. We’ll include all three in rolling exotic play and then have extra tickets keying Risk Manager on top.
RACE 10: Post: 5:06 ET Grade: X
Single: 6-Pay Any Price
Forecast: Professional race horse Pay Any Price, 10-years-old and still plying his trade, makes his first start since winning a $75,000 stakes sprint over this course and distance in early July and today shows up carrying a $25,000 tag in this allowance optional claimer. The layoff and the class drop are of concern, of course, but we doubt he’d be in the entries if he wasn’t reasonably okay. At 9/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, the son of Wildcat Heir - a winner of 16 races from 24 starts over the local lawn – is worth cheering for, if not wagering on.