by Jeff Siegel
August 13, 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:
Use: 5-Velvet Ghost; 8-Mongollon Rim
Forecast: State-bred juveniles meet over a mile on grass in the Friday opener, and in a field in which the known element looks woefully weak, let’s try to get lucky using a pair of newcomers. Velvet Ghost has shown enough in the a.m. to indicate he’ll be able to handle two turns, and against this group that has to be the main point of emphasis in the handicapping process. In a gate work just five days ago, the C. Dollase-trained colt was breezing early and then finished out pretty well in a clear indication that he was being trained specifically to go long first time out. The son of Sharman Ghost certainly didn’t look like any world beater but against this group he certainly won’t have to be. Mogollon Rim is by a good grass runner Finnegans Wake, so if he’s ever going to be anybody it’ll be routing on grass. The works are healthy and steady so at least he should be fit enough. In what isn’t much more than an educated guess, these are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with top billing going to Velvet Ghost.
RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: X
Use: 3-Trouville; 4-Samurai Charm; 5-Varoma
Forecast: We find it necessary to go three-deep in this starter’s allowance main track miler for fillies and mares but in a five runner field that requires us to pass the race. Samurai Charm and Trouville, one-two finishers in a dirt sprint at Los Alamitos last month, meet again, this time around two-turns. ‘Charm, with just three races on her resume, remains protected in a sign of confidence by trainer P. Miller, and based strictly on pedigree the daughter of First Samurai should have no trouble handling the extra distance, especially as the controlling speed, a role which she very well could inherit. Five workouts since raced, all properly spaced apart, indicate that she’s doing well, though A. Cedillo, who rode her last time out, jumps off to stay with Varoma, the filly he piloted to an easy victory at Santa Anita in early June. Trouville also has the bloodlines to improve over a distance of ground and is reunited with “win rider” F. Prat. Unless she proves to be far more comfortable as a late-running sprinter, the daughter of Will Take Charge will be the most dangerous of the closing types. Varoma, protected after being claimed for $50,000 by W. Spawr, shows a healthy and consistent work tab and projects to draft into a nice stalking position behind Samurai Charm. She’s a little shy in the speed figure department but has every reason to produce a significant forward move for her new connections.
RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: C+
Use: 3-Wrong Turn Cupid; 4-Mamba Queen; 6-Kitten’s Kid
Forecast: Mamba Queen ran well over this course and distance as a 2-year-old and returns off a nearly one year layoff still a maiden but with workouts that indicate she’s retained her old speed. The daughter of Square Eddie will race with Lasix for the time while switching to A. Cedillo for a barn that has solid stats with layoff runners. There’s a couple of intriguing first-timers in this field but we’ll put the known element on top. Wrong Turn Cupid appears to have some zip, and as a daughter of Vronsky should love the grass. She shows a series of workouts dating back to mid-May, so she’s assuredly fit, especially for this abbreviated five furlong trip. Kitten’s Kid, listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite, lands F. Prat for her debut and shows a promising series of workouts at San Luis Rey Downs. Due to her high profile connections, the daughter of Boisterous is certain to attract plenty of play. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Mamba Queen.
RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Curious Inji; 8-La Pulcinela
Forecast: La Pulcinela arrives from Churchill Downs seeking some of that valuable ship-and-win bonus money and appears to have found a proper spot to get her share in this bottom-ruing maiden claiming main track miler for fillies and mares. Yes, she’s dropping off a $30,000 claim, not normally a healthy sign, but based strictly on speed figures the R. Moquett-trained daughter of Flatter looks like a stick-out, especially with F. Prat taking the call. A couple of easy breezes over the local main track since arriving in the West should have her fit enough. Curious Inji doesn’t look like a whole lot based on her three career outings, but she has trained well enough for her first start since April to make our Clocker’s “Primed and Ready” list, so on that angle alone she should be included somewhere on your ticket. In her most recent outing, she stumbled badly at the start and lost all chance, and her two other races were sprints, so there are legitimate reasons to believe that the daughter of Misremembered is better than shown and deserves a look at 6-1 on the morning line.
Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: C+
Use: 5-Donner Lake; 6-Tallemark; 9-Big Coupe
Forecast: California-bred maidens meet over a mile in a race that contains several who know each other well. The least exposed of the lot is Donner Lake, who will be making just his third career start and therefore has more room to improve than several of the others who have been pretty much exposed. The Hard Spun colt gets a better draw today and projects to draft into an ideal pace-stalking position and then have every chance from the quarter pole home. Tallemark and Big Coupe, two-three finishers in a similar event in late May at Santa Anita, are what they are but should be running late. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics but feel free to spread deeper if your budget allows.
RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-Scabbard; 9-Box of Chocolates; 10-Alleva
Forecast: Box of Chocolates exits an infinitely tougher race and drops for the money run in this six furlong restricted (nws-3) $20,000 claiming sprint for older horses. He’s just 2-for-25 and therefore not one to trust, but the J. Sadler-trained gelding is strong in the speed figure department and can be a major player with the patient ride he needs from J. Bravo. Scabbard, sent West from the Churchill Downs to take advantage of the ship-and-win bonus, is dropping from the $30,000 level off a claim, not normally a healthy sign, but a repeat of his most recent runner-up effort in mid-June charts quite well with these. He’s been routing most of his career, but his record indicates that the traditional sprint distance of six furlongs is really what he prefers. He’ll get plenty of play with F. Prat taking the call. Alleva, a solid runner-up vs. similar over this track and distance last month, is comfortably drawn outside and seems certain to inherit an ideal second flight, stalking position. He’s not as fast on pure numbers as some of the others but given his projected trip he has a very good chance to at least hit the board.
RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Good With People; 5-Beer Can Man
Forecast: This is a stakes-quality turf sprint restricted to 3-year-olds that is quite contentious, even with just eight starters. We’ll try to get by using just two. Good With People, away since winning a highly-rated dirt sprint at Santa Anita in mid-May, looks like the quickest in the field and should appreciate this five furlong trip. He can handle dirt or grass, and as a winner of four races from 10 starts he’s always been quite reliable when properly spotted. With F. Prat taking the call, the P. Miller-trained colt looks like the most resilient of the speed types. Beer Can Man prefers to stalk and pounce and as such may enjoy an ideal journey should Good With People receive too much early pressure. Off the track since finishing second in the Baffle S. sprinting on turf at Santa Anita in February, the M. Glatt-trained colt has looked just fair in the a.m. while getting the rust off but may be the type that knows the difference between the a.m. and the p.m.
RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-You’re My Boy Kat; 8-Chris Fix
Forecast: You’re My Boy Kat, in the frame in both of his career outings, removes blinkers, switches to F. Prat, and is the logical 5/2 morning line favorite in this maiden $32,000 abbreviated sprint for juveniles. A team gate drill sans the hood in company with his D. O’Neill-trained stable mate River Tiber (entered in today’s seventh race) last week in :48 flat was decent enough (we caught him a bit slower) so if the son of Tale of Ekati can continue his improving pattern he should be able to handle this field. Chris Fix is a first-timer from the S. Miyadi barn (quite clever with debut runners) and has trained a bit better than the raw final times give him credit for. Bred for speed, the son of Grazen should have every chance in a modest field to make some noise under A. Cedillo.