by Jeff Siegel
April 10, 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.
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: C+
Use: 1-Joe Benjamin; 6-Traceability; 8-Power
Forecast: The Friday opener is a difficult maiden $20,000 claiming turf miler. We’ll go three deep in our rolling exotics; you may find the need to use a few more. Traceability is improving with racing and with another forward move today may be capable of earning his diploma. A closing runner-up over this course and distance in a similar affair last month, the son of Munnings switches to J. Rosario, shows three nice breezes since raced, and with only two career races may have upside that most of the others don’t. At 6-1 on the morning line, we’ll put him on top. Joe Benjamin lands the good rail, removes blinkers, switches to P. Lopez and has rising speed figures in each of his three career starts. The son of Hard Spun should have enough speed to take full advantage of his inside draw and may even find himself as the controlling speed. Power finished far back at a big price when facing infinitely tougher maiden special weight foes in his debut in early February and is realistically spotted today for a barn that has solid stats with second-timers. With the switch to T. Gaffalione, the Brazilian-bred son of Midshipman will have every opportunity to show what he can do, so at 10-1 on the morning line we’ll toss him in.
RACE 2: Post 1:30 ET. Grade: C
Use: 4-Silver Maker; 9-Hail Michigan
Forecast: Silver Maker, purchased for $800,000 as a yearling, is being thrown away in just his third career start in this maiden $12,500 claiming main track miler by T. Pletcher. The son of Empire Maker failed to make a dent when facing maiden special weight foes in his first two career starts, most recently when beaten more than 16 lengths in a two-turn main track event last month while lacking speed throughout, but even in defeat earned a speed figure that makes him a fit in this bottom-rung affair. With the switch to L. Saez, he’ll get plenty of play based both on the huge class drop and the winning connections, but at even money on the morning there is no value to be found. Those who wish to look elsewhere can consider Hail Michigan, freshened since early February and dropping in class again for B. Tagg. His form looks bleak, but he has “buried” numbers that make him a strong fit in this league. With the switch to P. Lopez, the son of Bernardini should be close up throughout and have every chance. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play is a race that probably is best left alone.
RACE 3: Post 2:00 ET. Grade: C
Use: 2-Donder ‘n Blitzen; 3-Days of Spring; 4-Beasaichi
Forecast: Here’s another extremely difficult affair, this one for $20,000 claiming 3-year-old fillies over a mile on grass. Anything goes. Days of Spring is listed as the 5/2 morning line favorite and certainly looks as good as any. After being overmatched in her last pair while earning descending speed figures, the daughter of Uncle Mo returns to the level at which she was claimed in February, and with the switch to E. Zayas and with a prior win over this course and distance, she has a right to regain her best form. Donder ‘n Blitzen just won a race under identical conditions last month, capitalizing on a perfect pace-stalking trip to register an all-out victory in a race in which the field finished in a heap. If she can turn in two alike, the A. Sano-trained filly should be in the fray again. Beasaichi, a closing third in the same heat Donder ‘n Blitzen exits, was claimed for the second straight race, this time by low a profile barn. The good news is that she retains T. Gaffalione and was a decent runner-up to our top pick two races back. Look for this daughter of the Big Beast to be doing her best work from the quarter pole home.
RACE 4: Post 2:31 ET. Grade: C
Use: 2-Teenage Kicks; 3-Carolyn’s Smile; 5-Bird Map
Forecast: Here’s another maiden claimer, this one for $50,000 fillies and mares sprinting six furlongs on the main track. Bird Map makes a logical class drop from the straight maiden ranks and seems to have found a good spot after earning a decent speed figure when fourth in a productive race over this main track in early February. She shows a healthy recent series of workouts for N. Casse, switches to L. Saez, and should have every chance from a second flight, stalking position. Carolyn’s Smile is another showing up in a seller for the first time, removes blinkers, and will be making her second start off a layoff, so improvement is possible due to several factors. T. Gaffalione stays aboard and knows her well. Teenage Kicks is slower on speed figures than the other two main contenders but she, too, sports the maiden-to-maiden claimer angle and lands J. Rosario. The daughter of Into Mischief has some early speed and against this group projects in the first flight, perhaps even in front. At 9/2 on the morning line, we’ll consider her a “must use.”
RACE 5: Post 3:03 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Algodonal; 4-So Charming
Forecast: We’ll try to survive and advance using just two in the fifth race, a restricted (nw-3) $16,000 claiming turf miler for fillies and mares. So Charming is logically spotted after winning a $20,000 non-winners of two over this course and distance last month with a good pace-stalking trip. She must pick up five lbs. off that victory but the V. Lebron/S. Joseph, Jr. team has been red hot of late and this veteran daughter of English Channel has speed figures that exceed par for this level. Algodonal, in her second off the claim for M. Eppler, likely will be the controlling speed from the rail. She was worn down close home in a $25,000 affair here last month while earning a speed figure good enough to beat this field, so as the morning line favorite at 5/2 she’s a logical main contender.
RACE 6: Post 3:34 ET. Grade: X
Single: 1-Take Charge Dude
Forecast: Take Charge Dude returns to dirt – he’s effective on any surface – and will dominate this starter allowance $8,000 field with anything close to his best, hence his morning line of 3/5. The S. Joseph, Jr.-trained gelding is quick enough to make the lead from his inside draw, and at this abbreviated sprint trip should be able to take whatever early heat the others dish out and then go on when called upon. There’s really no other option, and since he’ll be far too short to play in the win pool we can use him as a no-value rolling exotic single but otherwise sit out the race.
RACE 7: Post 4:05 ET. Grade: C
Use: 2-Get Rewarded; 11-Gioielli
Forecast: Gioielli is another one of those class-dropping T. Pletcher runners showing up cheap while clearly being culled from the stable. This lightly raced mare is a very short price favorite on the morning line after a poor run with a bit of trouble sprinting on dirt in a recent state-bred first-level allowance race. Today she shows up in a much softer restricted (nw-2) $12,500 affair while stretching out again to a mile and switching to grass, a surface she’s yet to win on, and she must do so from an unfavorable outside draw. Let’s just say we’ve seen better 6/5 morning line favorites than her, though it wouldn’t be surprising in the least if she took control early and kept on going. Those looking for a tote-busting long shot may want to examine Get Rewarded, victimized by a wide trip when unplaced in a $16,000 seller last month but a winner (before being disqualified) in a $25,000 non-winners of two over this course and distance to runs back. She has a good stalking style and will have dead when it counts for low profile connections that ensure a decent price.
RACE 8: Post 4:36 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 8-Four Graces
Forecast: Four Graces is one of six entrants in this stronger-than-par first-level allowance main track miler for 3-year-old fillies exiting a maiden win. She was the most impressive of the bunch and earned the best speed figure as well, so rather than spread the race let’s take a stand and single the daughter of Majesticperfection. In her debut win last month at seven furlongs, the I. Wilkes-trained filly flashed good gate speed from the rail to establish the pace under heaver pressure to the head of the lane, then found reserve energy when asked and kicked clear impressively while indicating that the extra furlong of today’s race won’t bother her in the least. Drawn comfortably outside, she can pop and go or settle and pounce, giving C. Landeros the ability to assess the race flow during the long straightaway half mile run before the field reaches the far turn. At 3-1 on the morning line we’ll gamble that she’ll complete the task and make her a strong win play and rolling exotic single.
RACE 9: Post 5:07 ET. Grade: C
Use: 1-Direct Approach; 3-Positive Phil; 4-Crypto Gold; 5-Youshouldbesolucky
Forecast: This wide-open grass grab bag for $20,000 claimers has several possibilities, so we’ll use four in our rolling exotics including two at nice prices. The likely favorite is Positive Phil, listed at 5/2 on the morning for J. Rosario and M. Maker, a jockey/trainer combo that you don’t see very often. The son of Paynter drops a notch below his claim level after finishing a solid third over this course and distance last time out despite being carried out and losing valuable ground that might have cost him the race. Today, from a comfortable 3-post draw, a good, ground-saving trip is pretty much assured, so there should be no excuses. Youshouldbesolucky, a solid runner-up in a softer $16,000 restricted affair three weeks ago while earning a par speed figure for this level, switches to E. Jaramillo and is another that projects to enjoy a good second flight trip and have every chance when it counts. Direct Approach, somewhat appealing at or near his morning line of 8-1, lands the good rail and should draft into a good spot after being forced wide when rallying too late against a strong field last time out. With a bit of help up front, his late-running style could allow the Congrats gelding to outrun his odds and maybe do even more than that. Also worth tossing in is Crypto Gold, a maiden claiming winner here last month with a good rally-wide late kick. He’s the “other” M. Maker entrant and picks up L. Saez, so at 10-1 on the morning line he provides a chance at a nice rolling exotic playoff.
RACE 10: Post 5:38 ET. Grade: X
Single: 11-R Man Joe
Forecast: It’s really difficult to get past R Man Joe in this maiden special weight turf sprint, so much so that we expect he’ll go lower than his morning line of 9/5. The speedy Kantharos gelding shows rising numbers with each start and most recently missed by a neck after being worn down late in the Texas Glitter Stakes over this course and distance, a performance that if repeated today seems likely to be more than good enough to beat this field. The outside 11-hole post shouldn’t be problem for a gelding that seems capable of exerting his superiority before the field turns for home, if not sooner. He’s a short-price rolling exotic single to finish out the Friday program.