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Wednesday, March 25: Gulfstream Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

March 25, 2020

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.

Handicappers also are encouraged to access Jeff’s Daily Santa Anita Workout Analysis (see below), an exclusive report containing commentary, fractional times, grades, and a link to the video of the actual workout by each race’s key contenders.

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.

RACE 1: Post 1:00 ET. Grade: B
Use: 10-Mayito; 12-Rapstorerocks

Forecast: Maiden $16,000 claiming 3-year-olds compete over a mile on grass in the Wednesday opener. Tampa Bay Downs invader Mayito joins the high-percentage S. Joseph, Jr. barn and is a first-time gelding dropping to his lowest level ever so it’s logical to think he’ll improve considerably, especially with a pattern that shows rising speed figures in each of his three career starts. The barn’s go-to rider E. Jaramillo takes the call, so we’re expecting the son of Declaration of War to be along in time while offering value at or near his morning line of 7/2. Rolling exotic player looking for back-up should consider Rapstorerocks, poorly drawn in the 12-hole but switching to red-hot P. Lopez and likely to produce a dangerous closing kick if given the patient handling that he apparently prefers.

RACE 2: Post 1:30 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Lookn Fine as Wine; 6-Garner State Park; 11-Harmonic Thunder

Forecast: Here’s another maiden claiming turf miler, this one for 3-year-old fillies. Lookn Fine as Wine, much better drawn today than in her last race, drops to her lowest level ever and projects to enjoy a soft second-flight, ground-saving trip. She’s a fit on speed figures and clearly has little to beat, so we’ll put her on top pretty much by default. Garner State Park, originally a $60,000 Keeneland January yearling buy, is a first-timer from the T. Pletcher barn debuting in a maiden $16,000 affair, so obviously she’s not well-liked by the connections, but how good does she really have to be? The daughter of Lea shows works at Palm Beach Downs that don’t look too bad, so we’ll toss her in. Harmonic Thunder is another worth consideration. The daughter of Honor Code plummets from maiden $50,000 while returning to grass for a high percentage outfit and has numbers fit. Despite her outside draw the S. Joseph Jr.-trained filly has a right to be a strong threat in a weak affair.

RACE 3: Post 2:00 ET. Grade: C
Use: 2-Champagne Bliss; 3-Cory Gal; 4-No Se Vende

Forecast: Champagne Bliss went stale in New York during the winter when facing infinitely tougher competition but today shows up in a restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claimer for new connections and is the one to beat with anything close to her best effort. However, given the sketchy and race workout pattern, the daughter of Into Mischief isn’t one to trust at 2-1 on the morning line, so we’ll spread a little deeper in our rolling exotic play. Cory Gal, double-jumped in class in her first-off-the-claim for G. Delgado (always dangerous with this maneuver), switches to the main track and will take them as far as she can on the front end. She’s just 1-for-17 during her career but at least the one win came over the Gulfstream Park main track. No Se Vende has back numbers that put her right there and her best form has been accomplished over the local dirt strip. She projects to enjoy a good stalking trip and have every chance from the quarter pole home.

RACE 4: Post 2:31 ET. Grade: C
Use: 4-Cuy; 5-Don’t Tase Me Bro; 9-Still Schemin

Forecast: This is a split of the first today and on paper looks like the weaker half. Don’t Tase Me Bro drops from maiden $50,000 to the maiden $16,000, adds blinkers and moves to the S. Klesaris barn. If he can run, this would be a good place to show it and on pure numbers he seems likely to improve considerably against this group. Still Schemin has produced a forward move according to his speed figures in each of four career outings and gets a better draw today while switching to E. Jaramillo. He’ll be doing his best work late. Cuy is improving with racing and represents a late threat, so with another forward move the E. Dobles-trained gelding figures in the picture. On the negative side, the switch to a very low percentage jockey doesn’t inspire confidence. We’ll include all three in our rolling exotics but if you feel the need to spready deeper, go right ahead.

RACE 5: Post 3:03 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Simple Story; 7-Liam’s Lookout; 9-Daily Grace

Forecast: Maiden $50,000 claiming 3-year-old fillies sprint six and one-half furlongs in the opening leg of the 20 cent Rainbow Pick-6 Liam’s Lookout flashed speed before fading in her debut in a fairly strong straight maiden dash last month, gets off the rail today, and drops for the money run while switching to J. Rosario for a solid outfit. She’s 9/2 on the morning line and at that price (or near it) she represents a reasonable gamble against this considerably softer group. Daily Grace had a couple of runs vs. straight maidens before this drop into a seller and is another should greatly appreciate the class relief. A disappointing fourth as the favorite last time out after a promising runner-up effort in her debut, the daughter of Uncaptured should be on or near the lead throughout from a stalking spot and should have no excuses. Simply Story, a very runner-up (while more than six lengths clear of the others) over a sloppy surface at this level at Churchill Downs in November, makes her first start since for S. Hough (competent stats with layoff runners and second-timers) and will be dangerous if she returns as well as she left. The rail post for a filly that didn’t show any gate speed in her only outing looks problematic, but she gets an extra half furlong to work with day and with good racing luck should be heard from late. We’ll include all three in our rolling exotics and then have an extra ticket or two keying Liam’s Lookout on top.

RACE 6: Post 3:34 ET. Grade: B
Use: 5-Liza Star; 6-Day by Day

Forecast: Day by Day seems the solid top pick in this optional claiming sprint for fillies and mares. First or second in 17 of 30 career starts, the genuine and consistent daughter of Awesome of Course switches to L. Saez, is strong based on recent speed figures, and should be in an ideal stalking position throughout. She’s 2-1 on the morning line while her chief rival, Liza Star, is listed as the 8/5 choice and also is a “must use” in rolling exotic play. The P. Walder-trained mare was a bit disappointing when weakening late to finish second at even money in the Lady Bird Stakes last month, but eight of nine career victories have been accomplished over the Gulfstream Park main track and this shortening to six furlongs for the projected controlling speed could make her difficult to catch. We’ll try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics with a very slight edge on top to Day by Day.

RACE 7: Post 4:05 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Verdict Is In; 8-Keepsakekitten; 9-Earthquack

Forecast: Keepsakekitten seems well-spotted in the seventh race, a $16,000 claimer over a mile on grass for 3-year-olds. An all-out winner of a starter’s optional claimer at Tampa Bay Downs in late January, the son of Kitten’s Joy is realistically spotted by the high percentage S. Joseph, Jr. barn, switches to L. Saez, and has a good stalking style that should ensure a trouble-free trip. There’s probably not much value to be found at 9/5 on the morning line, so we’ll prefer him on top but also include a couple of other contenders in our rolling exotics. Verdict Is In missed by a neck when more than six lengths clear of the others in a slightly stronger affair here last month and on pure numbers won’t need to improve much to regain his winning form against this group. The son of Lea likes this course, is drawn comfortable inside, and should draft into a nice second flight, ground-saving trip. Earthquake looked good winning at this level in an off-the-turf sloppy track score last month but actually has stronger speed figures on grass, so this return to the sod shouldn’t impact him at all. The son of Brethen likes to lag and kick it in late and with some help up front should be heard from late.

RACE 8: Post 4:36 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-The Tabulator; 2-Fast Pass

Forecast: This three-other-than sprint should boil down to the two inside runners. The Tabulator, freshened since September, was entered last Friday but remained in his stall when the entire card was canceled. The former graded stakes winner returns in a plausible spot for a barn that boasts superb stats with layoff runners, so we’re going to assume that the son of Dialed In is fit and ready. The lightly-raced five-year-old, a winner of six of 14 career starts including the Iroquois S.-G3 in his younger days, has shown the ability on at least two occasions to fire a big shot fresh, so if he can negotiate a decent trip from the rail the L. Rivelli-trained horse should be hard to contain while either on the lead or from a stalking position. Fast Pass, first or second in 22 of 41 career stars, packs a powerful late kick but his lack of tactical speed may land him in a disadvantageous position that projects to have modest early fractions. He’s a pro’s pro and always must be respected but given the race flow we’ll give The Tabulator a slight edge on top.

RACE 9: Post 5:07 ET. Grade: B
Use:6-Vegas Kitten ; 8-Indian Counselor; 10-Shazier

Forecast: With the scratching of 9/5 morning line favorite Lemonist, this turf marathon for first-level allowance horses takes on a much different look. Vegas Kitten, claimed back by M. Maker (always a good sign) after a gate-to-wire win in a restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claimer, likely will try similar front-running tactics stretching out to a distance he’s never tried but certainly is bred for. The lightly-raced son of Kitten’s Joy switches to hot-riding P. Lopez and deserves top billing despite the obvious raise in class. Indian Counselor returned off a layoff as a first-time gelding and earned a career-top speed figure when breaking his maiden over a mile here last month. It’s hard to say if that form translates to a mile and one-half, but with just five career starts the son of Paynter has a right to continue his improving pattern. Shazier was overmatched in the McKnight S.-G3 over this course and distance in January but gets realistic today. He’s a one-paced grinder but has numbers that fit so we’ll toss him in on a ticket or two as a saver.

RACE 10: Post 5:38 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Mandate; 5-Blessed Journey; 7-Venezuelan Hug

Forecast: Blessed Journey, fourth when earning a career top speed figure despite a very wide trip, drops below his claim level for the first time, switches to P. Lopez, and makes his first start as a gelding. The R. Hess, Jr.-trained son of Gemologist returns to grass should draft into a good second flight position and then grind away from there. Mandate surfaces in a maiden claimer for the first time, is a fit on speed figures and is the likely choice (8/5 morning line) and one to beat. The T. Pletcher-trained son of Blame, originally a $200,000 yearling, was given three chances to show his ability to in straight maiden company but was not really competitive; he’ll find this group far less challenging. Venezuelan Hug, fourth without really posing a threat in a straight maiden turf miler earlier this month, is dropped realistically in class and has a right to improve with that big of experience behind him. He’s a fit on figures and may be a threat from off the pace. These are the three we’ll be using on rolling exotic play but there are a few others with credentials so the best advice is to include as many as your budget allows.