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Sunday, July 28: Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

July 28, 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. 
Today’s Day Makers: https://www.xbtv.com/video/day-makers/jeff-siegels-two-best-plays-at-saratoga-on-july-28th-2019/ 

RACE 1: Post 1:02 ET. Grade: B 
Use: 3-Stanhope; 4-Cleon Jones; 7-Brian’s Last Song 

Forecast: The opener is a fairly strong maiden special weight sprint for New York-bred juveniles that offers a few possibilities. Cleon Jones was bet off the board in his debut but wound up a non-threatening fifth following a less-than-ideal second flight trip between horses. The stable’s go-to rider, Vargas, takes the call, so we’re going to give this Tale of the Cat colt another chance to show his best stuff. Brian’s Last Song is a debuting Pletcher colt with a series of useful drills that should have him plenty fit. From his outside draw, the son of Cairo Prince should have every opportunity to break well and pick his spot. Stanhope is a first timer trained by Shug, whose record with debut runners always has been modest at best. But this son of Street Sense has done some good work in the morning so we’ll toss him in on a ticket or two. 

RACE 2: Post 1:34 ET. Grade: C+ 
Use: 2-Air On Fire; 7-Desert Lights; 8-Laser Loop 

Forecast: Desert Lights was a distant second in his only prior run at Saratoga and his recent form is decent, so the Gullo-trained son of Desert Party seems well-placed for a good effort. He’s especially effective at this extended sprint trip and offers a bit of value at 5-1 on the morning line so we’ll put him slightly on top. Laser Loop was just claimed for $30,000 at Churchill Downs out of a dull seventh place effort and today shows up for $14,000, not what you’d call a healthy pattern. However, Diodoro has an outstanding record with first-off-the-claims – 26% - primarily because he’s very aggressive with his placements. Good enough to win at this level if healthy, the Smart Strike gelding likes to settle and make a run and should be quite comfortable at this seven furlong distance. Air On Fire just crushed a nw-2 $16,000 field over a sloppy track at Belmont Park and last year won a maiden claiming sprint by nearly 15 lengths in the slop at Parx, so we’re kinda thinking maybe he’s a mud freak. His dry track form is okay, not great, but at this level you have to use him. 

RACE 3: Post 2:06 ET. Grade: B- 
Use: 2-Our Last Buck; 3-Fooch; 6-Tenure 

Forecast: Our Last Buck earned a giant figure when last seen finishing a head second (10 lengths clear of the rest) in a hot allowance race at Aqueduct in February. He returns in a logical starter’s allowance abbreviated turf sprint with a light work tab, one that hopefully has his fit enough to win off the bench. He’s actually bred to love turf, so the surface switch shouldn’t be a concern. Tenure graduated in good style at Monmouth Park from straight maidens but is eligible to this race for having started for $40,000 in his debut. The Uncle Mo gelding goes for the always potent Rosario-Clement team, and while he’ll have to improve on numbers to win, he’s certainly eligible to do just that. Fooch has back figures that make him dangerous and is exiting a series of tougher allowance races. The Midwest invader in Ward’s barn should be close up throughout and have every chance.  
RACE 4: Post 2:39 ET. Grade: B 
Use: 5-Runningwscissors; 6-Daddy Knows 

Forecast: Runningwscissors invades from Emerald Downs – you don’t see many shippers to Saratoga from there – and he makes his first start for Amoss (27% with a strong flat-bet profit with this angle) so in this New York-bred first-level allowance race the son of Congaree looks extremely well-meant. The speed figures he earned when stakes-placed in his last pair fit nicely in this spot, so let’s put him on top, though at 8/5 on the morning line he won’t be offering much wagering value. Daddy Knows is worth including on a ticket or two; the lightly-raced Scat Daddy gelding just broke his maiden over nine furlongs 16 days ago and returns to an extended sprint for L. Rice, who has superior stats with the route-to-sprint angle. He’s considerably slower on numbers than the favorite but likely has plenty of room for development. 
RACE 5: Post 3:12 ET. Grade: C+ 
Use: 6-Danny California; 7-Quality Choice; 10-Mo Gee 

Forecast: Here’s a grass grab bag for restricted (nw-2) $30,000 claimers. Danny California finished strongly but ran out of room when second vs. similar at Belmont Park last month and a similar effort today could be good enough. Rosario was aboard for the first time in that race and rides him back, so at 8-1 on the morning line he may be worth a gamble. Mo Gee is drawn farther out than we’d prefer but he’s returning to his claim level and switches to Saez, so he’ll be a factor if he can secure a decent trip. With one with and 11 seconds and thirds from 17 starts and he’s not exactly one to count on, but in an open affair he’s a logical contender. Quality Choice has been chasing tougher without success but has earned competitive numbers compared with this group and switches to I. Ortiz. At the price (8-1 morning line) he’s another in here with a legitimate price chance.  
RACE 6: Post 3:46 ET. Grade: B 
Use: 3-Candy Promises; Turco Bravo 

Forecast: Candy Promises crushed a $25,000 band in May, was claimed by Duggan (excellent stats with the first-off-the-claim angle) and in a sign of confidence is raised to the $40,000 level in his first start in two months. Most effective on the front end but capable of winning from off the pace if the race flow dictates, the son of Twirling Candy is very fast on figures and seems primed for another major effort. Turco Bravo will be making his 80th career start and remains in excellent form. He’ll have to step it up to outrun ‘Promises if that one brings his “A” game but this veteran Chilean-bred gelding will give it everything he has, per usual. This barn knows him well and treats him right. 
RACE 7: Post 4:21 ET. Grade: C+ 
Use: 1-Confessing; 4-Queen Medb; 6-New and Improved 

Forecast: Queen Medb probably can’t beat a decent maiden but there may not be one in this moderate field of older maiden fillies and mares. The Irish-bred filly, second in her last pair with rising speed figures, seems the solid choice, although her debuting stable mate, New and Improved, has worked well enough to warrant consideration. Both must be included in rolling exotic play. We’ll also toss in Confessing, a Churchill Downs invader coming off an okay third place performance last month. The speed figure earned in that race with these, and with just two career starts the daughter of Scat Daddy has plenty of room for improvement. 

RACE 8: Post 4:55 ET. Grade: B- 
Use: 7-Amoss; 8-Blame It On Mom 

Forecast: There appears to be two major players in this state-bred maiden special weight sprint for fillies and mares. Amoss is back sprinting after getting worn down late in a middle distance sloppy track affair at Belmont Park in late June, and in a field without much zip she could find herself comfortably placed on or near the lead throughout. Blame It On Mom, second in both of her career outings but with below par speed figures, is certain to get plenty of play in a soft race. We’ll try to get by using just these two with Amoss, listed at 4-1 on the morning line, the more attractive gamble. 
RACE 9: Post 5:29 ET. Grade: B- 
Use: 2-Fixed Point; 3-So Conflated; 9-Discretionary Marq 

Forecast: So Conflated, away for 13 months, seems most effective as a late-running sprinter, and in his first start since joining the J. Englehart barn the California shipper looks dangerous in a race with plenty of pace to compliment his style. The barn’s stats with layoff runners (24%) is much better than average, so this gelding, a former stakes winner, seems capable of producing the last run with good racing luck. Discretionary Marq returned off a long layoff for new trainer Falcone and scored gamely with a career top speed figure in a first-level allowance event at Belmont Park last month. This time, though, he’ll probably have to employ stalking tactics outside of two or three other speed types, and he’s never really been effective with that type of race flow. However, a bullet half move breeze in 47 2/5 seconds on the training track (fastest of 46) indicates the Discreet Cat gelding has maintained his sharp edge, so at 8-1 on the morning line he’s a “must use.” Fixed Point is one-for-one over the Saratoga turf course and has several back numbers that are good enough to win at this level. He does his best running on the front end and will take them as far as he can. These are the three will be using in our rolling exotics, with So Conflated slightly preferred on top. 

RACE 10: Post 6:04 ET. Grade: B+ 
Single: 3-Dyna Passer 

Forecast: Dyna Passer broke her maiden at this mini-marathon distance two runs back and then ran much better than the line will show when a closing fifth despite a wide trip and a race-shape totally against her style in the Belmont Oaks-G1 earlier this month. She’s back where she belongs – facing entry-level allowance company – and with continued improvement the late-developing daughter of Lemon Drop Kid can handle this assignment. Also, she’s being reunited with “win rider” J. Ortiz, so at 4-1 on the morning line, let’s make the T. Albertrani-trained 3-year-old filly a strong straight play and rolling exotic single. 

RACE 11: Post 6:38 ET. Grade: B+ 
Use: 5-Honest Mischief; 12-Shancelot 

Forecast: Honest Mischief was a beaten favorite in the Woody Stephens S.-G1 in early June but a poor start from the rail probably cost him his best chance. After moving to be within range at the head of the lane, the Into Mischief colt struck the front in the upper stretch but couldn’t follow through and weakened late to wind up sixth, beaten three lengths. Today, with a clean break, he should be well-positioned throughout and have every chance to make amends. Shancelot gets tested for class after blowing out a first-level allowance field at Monmouth Park by more than six lengths while earning a triple-digit Beyer figure. Unbeaten in two starts but catching a much tougher band of sprinters than he’s ever faced, the J. Navarro-trained colt likely will try gate-to-wire tactics, though from his outside post his connections may choose a stalk-and-pounce strategy. In either case, he’s obviously very fast and talented, so we’ll include him in our rolling exotics but prefer Honest Mischief on top.  

RACE 12: Post 7:11 ET. Grade: 
Use: 3-Traci’s Girl; 4-Abby Normal; 7-Fusi 

Forecast: Fusi is a first-off-the-claim for B. Cox and switches to Rosario, so those two factors are enough to put the lightly-raced daughter of Desert Party on top in this maiden claiming turf sprint for state-bred fillies and mares. Third in both starts but with average speed figures, she may need to improve to win, but most likely will. Abby Normal has a good third place finish sprinting on turf two runs back at this level that charts quite well here, and J. Ortiz, who was aboard for that race, gets back in the saddle. The daughter of Birdstone appears the most dangerous of the closing types. Traci’s Girl has displayed plenty of early zip but not a whole lot of stick so far in her career. The blinkers come off along with the switch to L. Saez, so maybe she’ll hang on better today.