by Jeff Siegel
July 1, 2021
Every Thursday through Sunday 1/ST BET handicapper Jeff Siegel offers his best wagering opportunity from a selected North American racetrack. These “Best Plays” can take the form of a win wager, exacta, trifecta, or a daily double, pick-3, pick-4 or pick-6. Selections are listed in chronological order.
Gulfstream Park Race 3 – Post time: 1:54 ET
3-My Sassenach (8-1)
A pair of fillies by the good regional stallion Uncaptured top the field in this Florida-bred maiden juvenile sprint at five one-half furlongs. Lara’s Lady will be trying to make amends for her no-excuse runner-up at 50 cents on the dollar in her debut last month after displaying good quickness to take control early but then being worn down late while more than four lengths clear of the rest. From a barn that has excellent stats (25%) with second time starters, she’s very likely to clear the field from her rail draw but today must negotiate an extra furlong and might prove vulnerable again in the closing stages and she may not offer much value at even money on the morning line My Sassenach impressed in a :10 1/5 breeze prior to the April OBS Sale and then sold for $152,000 through the ring, so she’s clearly well-regarded. Low profile connections should ensure a square price (she's 8-1 on the morning line), so let’s put D. Braddy-trained filly her on top as a win play and then for protection hook her up in a solid exacta box with the speedy Lara’s Lady.
Belmont Park Race 5 - Post time: 3:02 ET
5-Sweet Sugar Baby (12-1)
This maiden juvenile dash for New York-bred fillies should boil down to the two daughters of Mission Impossible drawn side-by-side outside in this six runner event. Sweet Sugar Baby, a $40,000 OBS March sale purchase after a strong :10 1/5 breeze during the preview session, vans down from Finger Lakes after a series of steady but unspectacular workouts that should have her fit enough for a major effort first crack out of the box at a juicy 12-1 on the morning line. Clearly, she won’t have to be a world beater to act with this group, her main contention coming from the second-time starting Parx shipper Darn That Song, off slowly before finishing a respectable third in a hot race just eight days ago. She’ll have no excuses from her cozy outside draw. We’ll use both in an exacta box and then press in the win pool with the much higher priced Sweet Sugar Baby on top.
Ellis Park Race 6 – Post time: 3:42 ET
3-Costa Terra (9/2)
By the highly-promising freshman sire Gun Runner from the dam of the good Stakes winner Pneumatic, Costa Terra debuts in this five furlong dash for juveniles and looks to have found a proper spot to win at first asking. A couple of sharp gate workouts in May at Keeneland catch the eye, and in a field in which the known element doesn’t impress the S. Asmussen-trained colt appears cranked up for a major effort. He’s 9/2 on the morning line and at anywhere near that price he’ll offer good wagering value in the win pool and in rolling exotic play.
Woodbine Race 7 – Post time: 4:24 ET
2-March to the Arch (9/5)
Primarily a high-class grass performer throughout his 25-race career but highly-capable over the local synthetic surface as well, March to the Arch faces what appears to be a stiff task in his first outing since finishing unplaced in the Breeders’ Cup Mile last November in this year’s edition of the 8.5 furlong Dominion Day S.-G3. A deep closer that generally requires help up front to have his best chance, the M. Casse-trained gelding will need to be fit and ready in a race that projects to be slowly-run early. However, the local work tab is sharp and steady, so with a distinct class edge and a history off firing huge off a layoff we’re expecting the son of Arch to overcome an unfavorable race flow and make him a strong play in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.