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Sunday, August 4: Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

August 4, 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. 
Grade A=Highest degree of confidence. 
Grade B=Solid Play. 
Grade C=Least preferred, or pass. 
Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value. 

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-top-two-plays-at-saratoga-on-august-4th-2019/ 

Today’s Bullet Drills: https://www.xbtv.com/video/bullet-drill/preview-of-races-4-5-8-9-and-11-at-saratoga-on-august-4th-2019-based-on-works/ 

RACE 1: Post 1:00 ET. Grade: B- 
Use: 1-Pure Wow; 4-Daphne Moon 

Forecast: Daphne Moon brought $525,000 at the OBS April sale after breezing a quarter mile in 21 seconds flat (a little late changing leads but went without undue pressure) and has put together a solid, steady series of drills since arriving at Saratoga in mid-May. The daughter of Cairo Prince seems capable of winning at first asking in a seven-runner field that doesn’t look particularly deep or strong. Pure Wow, a close third in her debut here last month, should benefit from that bit of experience and may find herself on the front end if she leaves cleanly from the rail. We’re expecting the winner to be one of these two – we’ll slightly prefer Daphne Moon on top – and include both in our rolling exotics. 
RACE 2: Post 1:36 ET. Grade: C+ 
Use: 2-Data Driven; 5-Curious Cal 

Forecast: Data Driven, first off the claim for D. Gargan (a terrific 32% with this angle), arrives from Churchill Downs after finishing a solid runner-up in a $25,000 affair but today shows up for $12,500, which normally would raise a red flag. However, this barn can be very aggressive with its claiming stock, so we’re going to operate under the assumption that while ‘Driven may have issues, he still should be able to beat this field. Worth noting is that the veteran son of Northern Afleet is a perfect two-for-two at this extended sprint distance. Curious Cal ships in from Monmouth Park in good form, having won two of his last three, and after scoring in a restricted $16,000 dash last month seems realistically spotted in this open $12,500 affair. The J. Navarro-trained gelding has won at Saratoga in the past; however he’s essentially a need-the-lead type and may find today’s extra half-furlong stretching his limit. We’ll prefer Data Driven on top but use both in our rolling exotics. 
RACE 3: Post 2:10 ET. Grade: B- 
Use: 2-Celtic Chaos; 4-Build to Suit; 7-Eye Luv Lulu 

Forecast: The John Morrissey Stakes was a weather casualty earlier this meeting but reappears as today’s third race. Build to Suit has been away since earning a triple digit Beyer speed figure when winning a first-level allowance sprint at Aqueduct in January, and that victory came following a 15 month vacation. Hopefully, the son of Dominus can string together some good races this time around, and his placement in this $100,000 state-bred sprint by C. Brown gives strong indication that he’s fit, ready, and has all of his prior speed. Celtic Chaos also earned a huge Beyer speed figure (100) in his last victory in which he drew away late with authority in a late May second-level New York-bred allowance sprint at Belmont Park. A two-time winner at the Spa, he’s a late-running sprinter that could use some help up front and based on this race’s pace projection he may get what he needs. Eye Luv Lulu is comfortably drawn outside and is an 11-time winner during his long career, but never at Saratoga, where he is zero-for-six. We’ll include him as a back-up or a saver. 

RACE 4: Post 2:45 ET. Grade: B+ 
Single: 8-Sparkling Sky 

Forecast: Sparkling Sky has trained like a very good prospect for T. Pletcher and should be more than fit enough to win at first asking in this two-turn maiden turf affair for juvenile fillies. A $650,000 Keeneland yearling purchase by More Than Ready, she’s a full-sister to multiple grass stakes winner Justa Lady for a barn that has been on a roll lately with first-time starters. In a race begging to be won by a fresh face, this filly fits the bill, so we’ll make her a straight play and rolling exotic single and hope to get close to her morning line of 4-1. 
RACE 5: Post 3:21 ET. Grade: B 
Use: 4-Santa Monica; 6-Gentle Ruler 

Forecast: Santa Monica is a proven marathoner in top class company and therefore deserves her even money morning line status in today’s 12 furlong Waya S.-G3 for fillies and mares. A winner of her last pair in convincing fashion at a mile and three-eighths, she won’t be bothered by today’s extra furlong, and her sharp a.m. drills for C. Brown include an impressive recent workout with her superb stable mate Uni. Gentle Ruler deserves some consideration as well. She finally broke her maiden in career start number 12 and hasn’t lost since, a streak that includes two successive marathon stakes races, most recently a Grade 3 affair last month at Delaware Park with a career top speed figure. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics. 
RACE 6: Post 4:03 ET. Grade: C+ 
Use: 2-The Caretaker; 4-Blue Belt; 8-Tribecca 

Forecast: A full field of $25,000 older claimers makes for a difficult handicapping challenge in today’s sixth race. We’ll use three and hope to survive and advance. The Caretaker drops to his lowest level ever for K. McLaughlin while seeking his first victory of the year and may have found his proper level after a two month freshening. A winner of two of three career starts at Saratoga, the son of Speightstown should be capable of snapping back to form with the change in scenery and facing softer competition while retaining L. Saez, who knows him well. Tribecca earned a giant speed figure when winning a $40,000 seller two runs back but stopped badly in a sloppy track race in early May and has been off the track since. Perhaps he’ll fire fresh, though the J. Toscano barn doesn’t have good stats with this angle. At this level, though, the speedy son of Dustin Stones warrants some consideration. Blue Belt has dangerous early speed but may be compromised by the presence of Tribecca and has gotten into the habit of weakening under pressure, blowing clear leads inside the furlong pole in each of his last four starts. However, like The Caretaker, he may perk up at Saratoga, where he’s a perfect one-for-one, having scored in gate-to-wire fashion last year. This race has the potential to become utterly chaotic, so best advice is to use as many as you can afford to in rolling exotic play.
RACE 7: Post 4:38 ET. Grade: C+ 
Use: 1-Final Frontier; 2-Pagliacci; 9-Battle Station 

Forecast: Here’s another highly-competitive affair, a turf sprint for second-level allowance runners. Final Frontier lands the rail and should be either on the lead or saving ground in a stalking, second-flight spot. He finished first in his only prior outing over the Saratoga lawn last year but was disqualified; more recently he earned a speed figure two races back at Belmont Park that would easily beat this field. If he can negotiate a good trip, the son of Ghostzapper should be along in time. Pagliacci has won two of his last three outings in clever fashion and will be dangerous in his role as a late-running sprinter should a decent pace materialize. A past winner over the Saratoga lawn, the L. Rice-trained gelding is a tad soft in the speed figure department but is reunited with “win rider” I. Ortiz, Jr. Battle Station, a perfect two-for-two at Saratoga on grass, is a “must use” for that reason alone, especially at 6-1 on the morning line. The W. Ward-trained gelding will be making just his third start of the year and appears quite capable of producing a forward move following two sub-standard efforts in the spring. 
RACE 8: Post 5:13 ET. Grade: B 
Use: 8-Chiclet’s Dream; 13-A Little Faith 

Forecast: Chiclet’s Dream has finished in the frame in all seven career starts and should be ready for another top effort in this middle distance state-bred turf event for entry-level allowance fillies and mares. The daughter of City Zip just missed in a three-horse photo when odds-on in her last outing in May, but after some freshening the C. Brown-trained filly should be ready bounce back with her best effort. Additionally, both of her races over the Saratoga grass course here last year were excellent. A Little Faith was miles the best in her debut and is bred to improve with distance. The daughter of Candy Ride trailed to the head of the lane off very slow fractions, angled wide, accelerated when asked and won without really taking a deep breath. She draws in from the also-eligible list and loses J. Castellano (who opts for Chiclet’s Dream) but there’s some real talent here and with a forward move and a decent trip she could be good enough to win right back. 
RACE 9: Post 5:48 ET. Grade: B+ 
Use: 4-Rockemperor; 6-Kadar; 10-Mohawk 

Forecast: Let’s swing for the fences in the inaugural edition of the Saratoga Derby Invitational, a $1 million grass race for 3-year-olds over a mile and three-sixteenths. Kadar is 30-1 on the morning line and is better than that. The lightly-raced son of Scat Daddy was best when beaten in his U.S. debut against much softer first-level allowance foes when he broke slowly, fell far back, rallied widest of all entering the lane and closed relentlessly to finish third, beaten a diminishing head. These are tougher, of course, but the M. Maker-trained colt adds blinkers, switches to J. Ortiz, and hopefully will secure a much more favorable early position. With only three career starts on his resume (the first two overseas), he hasn’t yet come close to showing what he can do. Rockemperor was an impressive third place finisher in the Belmont Derby-G1 in his North American debut last month and has looked terrific in the a.m. since, giving strong indication that he’ll move forward for C. Brown. Group-placed in France earlier this year, the progressive Irish-bred colt retains Johnny V. and will be charging in the final furlong. Mohawk represents stranger danger from Europe and probably is worth including somewhere at 10-1 on the morning line. Fresh from a convincing Group-3 win in which he earned a highly impressive 115 Timeform rating over the left-handed course at Leopardstown, the A. O’Brien-trained son of Galileo gets Lasix and wasn’t sent over simply to enjoy the sights. 
RACE 10: Post 6:23 ET. Grade: B+ 
Use: 2-Frank’s Rockette; 8-Magic Dance 

Forecast: The Adirondack Stakes for 2-year-old fillies may be dominated by a pair of Churchill Downs fillies. Frank’s Rockette won her debut by nearly nine lengths, doing so with a stalking trip and earning a stakes-quality speed figure. She gets an extra furlong and a half to play with today and gives every indication that the added distance will only help her. Magic Dance, unbeaten in two starts in Kentucky including the listed Debutante Stakes in late June, lands the comfortable outside post and should be able to duplicate the same type of stalking trip that she enjoyed in both of her wins. She’s slightly faster on pure figures than Frank’s Rockette, but the later may have more upside. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics and then press a bit keying Frank’s Rockette on top. 
RACE 11: Post 6:57 ET. Grade: B+ 
Use: 3-Malthael; 10-Doswell; 11-Good Governance 

Forecast: The finale is a better-than-par maiden special weight turf miler for older horses. Malthael was an unlucky runner-up in a similar affair last month at Belmont Park and with better racing luck today could easily earn his diploma. In tight quarters through much of the stretch drive and getting out too late to catch front-running Power Player, the son of Noble Mission will hope for clear sailing today and if he gets it we’re expecting the C. Clement-trained gelding to seal the deal. J. Rosario takes over, so at 5-1 on the morning line there’s plenty of value to be found. Doswell and Good Governance are a pair of contenders from the C. Brown barn, and both breezed together in a nice half-mile spin around dogs last week while appearing sharp, fit and ready. Doswell already has three starts under his belt and has finished second in every outing while earning strong speed figures, while ‘Governance, a debuting son of Kingman, seems fit enough to give a good account of himself despite a post position a little farther out than we’d prefer. All three should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Malthael on top.