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Sunday, July 14: Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

July 14, 2019

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. 

It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level. 

The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing. 

Jeff Siegel’s Daily Analysis & Wagering Strategies 
Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Today’s Day Makers: 
Fourth Race – https://www.xbtv.com/video/day-makers/jeff-siegels-top-play-in-race-4-at-saratoga-on-july-14th-2019/ 

Eighth Race – https://www.xbtv.com/video/day-makers/jeff-siegels-top-play-in-race-8-at-saratoga-on-july-14th-2019/ 

RACE 1: Post 1:00 ET. Grade: C 
Use: 5-Days of Spring; 7-Miss Marissa; 9-Sweet Melania 

Forecast: The Pletcher barn is represented by two main contenders, both of which are stretching out after two sprint preps. Sweet Melania, from the first crop of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, has been a money burner so far, though she did improve her Beyer speed figure 13 points between her first and second starts. In both outings she flashed good early speed before weakening under pressure; in stretching out she’s very likely to be the controlling speed while enjoying much softer splits and then, if she has it in her, be able to keep on going. Days of Spring was one-paced in both of her starts while displaying a bit of improvement in her most recent outing. With Empire Maker on the bottom of her pedigree, the daughter of Uncle Mo should handle the extra ground, and in a modest affair ranks as a contender by default. Miss Marissa was a bit green in her debut but still managed a runner-up effort while five clear of the rest in a muddy track affair last month. We doubt she’s any kind of world beater but won’t have to be against this group. In a race full of question marks, nothing would surprise, which is why we’ve graded this race “C” (pass the race). 

RACE 2: Post 1:36 ET. Grade: C 
Use: 3-Keeping the Pace; 6-Hot Mesa 

Forecast: After being claimed for $50,000 during the spring, Keeping the Pace graduated in a straight maiden race at Monmouth Park in late May with a career top speed figure, but off that race shows up in a restricted (nw-2) S25,000 claimer, not exactly a sign of confidence from the Servis barn. Trainers that win at 30% can get away with maneuvers like this, so if the son of Elusive Quality has at least one good one left he’ll help the barn pad the stats. Hot Mesa also is fresh from a maiden score and is waiver protected in his first start since beating $20,000 sellers by daylight at Aqueduct in December. Even though it took the Sky Mesa gelding 12 starts to earn his diploma, he’s actually a strong fit on speed figures and the work tab is steady and healthy. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics in a race that we’ll otherwise pass. 

RACE 3: Post 2:12 ET. Grade: C 
Use: 2-Wild Boar; 4-Crack Shot; 8-Risp 

Forecast: Crack Shot seems the logical top pick after setting the pace through modest early splits and then getting worn down late when second at 25-1 in a similar maiden turf sprint last month. The son of Freud shortens a half-furlong, switches to I. Ortiz, shows three easy breezes since raced and finds himself as the morning line 2-1 choice in a rather shallow straight maiden state-bred affair for older horses. Wild Boar displayed fair form in three starts as a 2-year-old and could be a better type this time around, though the Kimmel-trained son of Tale of the Cat has been something less than impressive in workouts leading up this comeback. On the chance that he moves up on grass, we’ll toss him in, as we will Risp, who showed nothing as the favorite in his comeback last month on dirt but retains Rosario and could run back to his promising Saratoga debut with the switch to the sod. 

RACE 4: Post 2:48 ET. Grade: B+ 
Single: 4-Bank On Shea 

Forecast: Bank On Shea was visually very impressive when previewing at the OBS April sale, breezing a furlong in 10 seconds flat before galloping out strongly like a superior prospect. The $110,000 son of Central Banker has been training slow and easy at Monmouth Park for Servis (a typical pattern for this stable) but there’s no doubt he has plenty of speed and will show it when asked for it. This stable hits at a powerful 25% with first time starters and with I. Ortiz taking the call this New York-bred juvenile looks primed and ready. Though the race looks stronger than par – Titan’s Will ($85,000, OBS April); Blame the Cake ($160,000, OBS April); and No Salt ($200,000 Saratoga yearling) all are well regarded - we’ll stick with Bank on Shea and hope to get close to his morning line of 7/2 both in the straight pool and as a rolling exotic single. 

RACE 5: Post 3:28 ET. Grade: B- 
Use: 8-Positive Skew; 10-Free to Fly 

Forecast: We’ll double the fifth race, a $40,000 inner turf middle distance claimer for 3-year-old fillies. The C. Brown-trained Positive Skew drops into a seller for the first time and seems well-spotted after not quite cutting it in entry-level allowance company when well-backed sprinting on grass in late May. She stretches out again, adds blinkers for the first time (barn 28% with this angle), retains Castellano, and should settle in a second flight, stalking position and then have every chance to punch it in. Free to Fly handled $30,000 claimers three runs back in solid fashion and remains well above her purchase price ($20,000) while shipping in from Monmouth Park for this logical spot. She’s a strong fit off her third place effort in an allowance affair at Delaware Park two runs back and will get the patient ride she needs from Gaffalione. ‘Skew gets the edge on top but both should be included in rolling exotic play. 

RACE 6: Post 4:03 ET. Grade: C+ 
Use: 1a-Lady Love; 4-Fetching; 5-Flush 

Forecast: This rather uninspiring entry-level turf router for state-bred fillies and mares finds the second, third, and fourth place finishers from a similar affair June 14 hooking up again, this time over nine furlongs. Fetching, with just two career starts, probably has the most room to improve after winding up a close third despite a less than perfect trip and acts like the extra distance will be of some help. Franco stays aboard and will try to produce her from the head of the lane to the wire. Flush made the running through easy splits and then was worn down late in that common race; it was her first try around two turns (and turf) and she had every chance but couldn’t seal the deal. She’s a contender, but we’re not sure she’ll run better today and maybe even not as well. Lady Love was too little, too late when fourth in that affair but she retains Rosario and should appreciate today’s nine-furlong trip, so we’ll toss her in as well. 

RACE 7: Post 4:39 ET. Grade: C 
Use: 1-Sudden Surprise; 2-Zonic; 5-T Loves a Fight; 8-Binkster 

Forecast: With no real conviction in this state-bred second-level allowance extended sprint, we’ll pass the race and use four in our rolling exotics. Spread deeper if you feel the need. Binkster is comfortably drawn outside and can dictate the race depending upon how much pressure materializes inside during the early stages. The Bluegrass Cat gelding has been successful on the lead or as a stalker and is more than fast enough to win on speed figures, but his last pair have been below his standard, though a bullet half mile workout in 48 1/5 seconds over the Saratoga main track last week is encouraging. Horse-for-course specialist Sudden Surprise (four wins, 6 starts at Saratoga) returns to his claim level for Rudy after failing in three stakes sprints since being haltered in March. Johnny V. has no choice but to bust out and go from the rail. T Loves a Fight climbs dramatically in class following two sharp, highly rated wins, most recently for $25,000 last month at Belmont Park. He’ll be running on late after hoping for some help up front. Zonic is a first-time gelding with a prior win at the Spa. He usually clunks up for at least a piece of it. 

RACE 8: Post 5:15 ET. Grade: B+ 
Single: 8-Catch a Bid 

Forecast: Catch a Bid was very impressive breaking her maiden at first asking for Brown/Castellano last month at a generous 7/2 and earned a speed figure that makes her double tough right back. The daughter of Real Solution has been kept on edge with a healthy series of easy workouts over the Saratoga training track and seems primed for another major effort – and perhaps even a significant forward move – in her second career start. Let’s make her a straight play and rolling exotic single. 

RACE 9: Post 5:51 ET. Grade: X 
Single: 4-Break Even 

Forecast: With the scratching of pace adversary A Bit of Both, the featured Coronation Cup for 3-year-old fillies sprinting on turf looks made to order for unbeaten Break Even in her first try on grass. The Cox-trained filly, perfect in five starts, has won on fast, sloppy, and good dirt track, so turf shouldn’t bother her, and as the controlling speed and with a distinct advantage on speed figures over main challenger My Galina she projects to dominate from gate to wire at this abbreviated sprint trip as a no-value short price rolling exotic single. 

RACE 10: Post 6:25 ET. Grade: C+ 
Use: 8-Mine the Coin; 11-Star of the West 

Forecast: The finale is a messy maiden claiming extended sprint for older horses. We’ll try to survive using just two. Mine the Coin shows up in a claimer for the first time after three runs and is a first-time gelding, so improvement is possible. A $300,000 yearling, the son of Speightstown has much better than par speed figures for this level but is clearly being culled from the stable in his first outing since February, so his condition is a question. The first-timer Start of the West may have some run; the son of Flashback has taken a while to get to the races despite a series of good workouts in early spring, and in debuting for $20,000 the barn clearly is not enamored with the colt that originally brought $50,000 as a weanling. Still, a little will go a long way in this soft spot, so the Sharp-trained sophomore must be considered a contender by default.