by Jeff Siegel
July 25, 2021
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 (approximately 10:30 a.m.). 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: 2:00 PT Grade: X
Single: 6-Bobby Bo
Forecast: Bobby Bo somehow managed to get himself beat in his debut despite having worked as well as any maiden in the B. Baffert barn all year. He was sent off at 50 cents on the dollar in what was assumed to be a forgone conclusion but after pressing the pace for a half mile he gradually weakened to wind up fourth, beaten almost six lengths. Since that early April outing, the son of Speightster has returned to be just as impressive as ever in his a.m. drills, so we’ll give him another chance at a short price from his cozy outside draw that really should make this task pretty easy for him. No excuses.
RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Sumter; 2-Drink the Wind; 6-Murray; 7-Barossa
Forecast: This appears to be quite a contentious race for juveniles with several of these well-regarded first timers working extremely well. With so many question marks and unknowns, we’ll spread the race in our rolling exotics but otherwise pass. There are three in the field from the B. Baffert barn, including a pair of intriguing well-bred youngsters, Barossa and Murray, who worked in a team drill from the gate July 18 and looked good, Barossa (Into Mischief) giving the impression of being the quicker of the two, while Murray, by Street Sense, going a bit stronger at the end. Additionally, the P. Miller-trained Drink the Wind looks dangerous off his bullet 46 1/5 gate work at San Luis Rey Downs six days ago. He’s a homebred by colt by More Than Ready and is listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite. Without having seen him, we’re flying blind, but given the connections we’re going to assume he’s a major player. Finally, there’s Sumter, who has been sharp enough in the a.m. to be included in our Clocker’s “Primed and Ready List.” Had he not drawn the dreaded rail, the son of War Front might have wound up being our top pick, but from the inside post he’ll have no room for error.
RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: C+
Use: 2-Gates of Heaven; 7-Gator Shining; 10-Hot Box
Forecast: Here’s a challenging $50,000 claiming turf sprint restricted to 3-year-olds. Hot Box is the quickest of the quick and will take them as far as he can, but his pattern isn’t healthy and we’re just not sure which version of him we’re going to get. Away since early May and plummeting from the optional claiming $100,000 level, the Cal-bred sophomore ran very well in both of his turf sprints at Santa Anita while earning speed figures that are more than good enough to win at this level. But why the layoff? The work tab is sketchy, and the barn hasn’t had a good year, so we’ll use him but include a couple of others as well in our rolling exotics. Gator Shining shows up in a seller for the first time, but in his case the class drop is entirely justified. The son of Noble Mission is trying to find his proper level and distance; it seems he’s most comfortable as a late-running grass sprinter and against this group he could make some serious noise late. Gates of Heaven, a $16,000 claim by P. Miller (27% with flat-bet profit with his angle), is raised significantly in class for his new connections while being wheeled back in eight days and picking up F. Prat. The son of Kantharos shows two dull turf efforts on his resume, so we’re not quite sure what to expect, but out of respect for this jockey/trainer combo we’ll toss him in.
RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Bibleman; 3-Major Cabbie; 5-Alexandros
Forecast: Churchill Downs invader Alexandros will be seeking some of the valuable ship-and-win money in his first West Coast appearance following a $25,000 claim last month and based on speed figures and his recent form the son of Flatter has a chance to produce an immediate return on investment. A winner of his last two and now in the J. Mullins barn, the veteran gelding should have enough early speed to always be within range and then have every chance to the seal the deal late. Bibleman, a $25,000 claim at Lone Star Park by T. Flincher, is another seeking the Del Mar purse bonus in his local bow but unlike our top pick really has only one way to go and that’s on the front end for as long as he can stay there. Inside speed has been disadvantaged on this track so far this meeting but if he can shake loose early and find the better lanes off the rail he could take this field a long way. Major Cabbie has the route-to-sprint angle that we like and is realistically dropped in class while switching to F. Prat. Patient tactics likely will be employed over a main track that he’s enjoyed success in the past.
Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Suki; 6-Deise Delight
Forecast: Deise Delight hit the front but was worn down late when second at this level at Santa Anita in late May, and if the D. O’Neill-trained filly produces another forward move today she should be capable of regaining her winning form. F. Prat stays aboard and will have this Irish-bred 3-year-old in an ideal stalking position in a race that seems likely to produce soft early splits. Suki is an intriguing shipper from Churchill seeking a good portion of the ship-and-win bonus money. She’s a strong fit at this level on speed figures and has produced a forward move in each of her last four starts, so with arguably the most effective late kick in the field the daughter of Upstart is strictly the one to beat. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play
RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B-
Single: 4-I’m Winning
Forecast: With the scratching of logical top pick Sauls Call, this maiden claiming sprint for juveniles becomes completely wide open. We suggest you use as many as your budget allows, as nothing would surprise us. I’m Winning didn’t run badly in his debut sprinting against tougher foes when staying on to finish fifth but was virtually eased next time out over a mile on grass. He returns as a first-time gelding with a class drop and with blinkers off, so there’s a reasonable chance that the A. Kitchingman-trained juvenile will display considerable improvement. With a selection that is nothing more than an educated stab, let’s try him in the wind pool and in the various rolling exotics at 8-1 on the morning line.
RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 4-Constantia; 5-Superstition; 10-Bruja Escarlata
Forecast: Superstition was a bit below her best form in her two most recent outings, but she’s been freshened since early June, has looked very much like her old self in recent main track drills, and sports a perfect two-for-two record sprinting on grass at Del Mar. The R. Mandella-trained filly is reunited with “win rider” F. Prat and appears capable of stalking, pouncing, and winning this year’s Daisycutter S. for fillies and mares. Constantia upset Superstition in the Mizdirection S. last spring at Santa Anita and then most recently finished ahead of her main rival again when a rallying well but too late to be second in the Monrovia S. in early June. She’ll probably fire another good shot today, but we’re concerned that as a deep closer this five furlong trip might be a bit too sharp for her liking. Bruja Escarlata, unbeaten in three starts but untested in stakes competition, tackles the big girls today and had the misfortune of drawing the extreme outside post position. She looks like the best of speed types and has numbers that are reasonably competitive, so we’ll include her as well in rolling exotic play.
RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Howbeit; 7-Colt Fiction; 8-Fashionably Fast
Forecast: Fashionably Fast may have lost a step at age six but the Del Mar main track always has been his favorite, so from an ideal outside post position in an extended sprint for second-level allowance older horses the veteran gelding could easily regain his best form. The son of Lucky Pulpit projects to draft into a comfortable second flight early position and then hopefully utilize the sling shot effect from the middle of the far turn to the wire. Colt Fiction, second in the same race our top pick just finished third in, also has the horse-for-course angle in his resume, having won three of four career starts over the local main track. The son of Ministers Wild Cat equaled his career top speed figure when second in the highly-rated Thor’s Echo S. behind the blazingly fast Brickyard Ride last month at Santa Anita. Howbeit earned his best ever speed figure when dismantling a softer field on the front end last month. He’s hooking more speed while stepping up in class, but in his present form the M. Glatt-trained colt warrants inclusion in rolling exotic play, at least as a backup.
RACE 9: Post: 6:00 PT Grade: C+
Use: 7-Galilean; 9-Brandothebartender; 10-North County Boy
Forecast: Several of the 10 intended starters in this year’s edition of the California Dreamin’ S. for older state-bred middle distance turf horses have a legitimate chance in a typical grass grab bag that requires a spread in rolling exotic play, especially since the logical top pick, North County Guy drew the extreme outside post position in his first outing since mid-April. The works at San Luis Rey Downs indicate fitness and the R. Baltas-trained gelding always has run well over the local lawn, but unless he’s lucky enough to work out a good trip the task doesn’t figure to be easy. Brandothebartender returns to his preferred surface (grass) after a relatively flat performance on the dirt at Los Alamitos when fourth of five in the Bertrando S. last month. Always thoroughly genuine, the son of Tribal Rule may be the best of the closers but with his style a good trip is always problematic. Galilean, the defending race champion, makes his first start since last November but has run well fresh in the past and shows a work tab that should have him fit enough. In a race that might have modest early splits, the son of Uncle Mo should be favorably placed close to the pace, if not on it.
RACE 10: Post: 6:30 PT Grade: C+
Use: 8-Rowangoeshollywood; 12-Kind But She Lies
Forecast: Bottom-rung ($20,000) maiden claiming fillies and mares close out the program sprinting six and one-half furlongs on the main track. Kind But She Lies is assured a soft trip outside and may have found a field she can beat. The daughter of Exaggerator has good tactical speed, retains regular rider K. Desormeaux, and in a lackluster affair may be the beat by default. Rowangoeshollywood, freshened since May when she was stopped on after being a voided claim, adding Lasix for the first time and has a few back numbers that makes her dangerous. A month’s gap in the work pattern in mid-June is hardly encouraging but against this group she has to be considered a threat.