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Friday, May 08: Jeff Siegel's Gulfstream Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

May 8, 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: 2-All American Jewel; 4-A Beautiful Day; 7-Halfy

Forecast: The Friday opener is a grass grab bag for bottom-rung maiden claiming 3-year-old fillies. A Beautiful Day could find herself as the controlling speed from a comfortable draw in her first start at this level, and if she can sneak away early without undue pressure the daughter of Prospective might get very brave. On the other hand, she’s yet to show any resiliency when challenged in the final furlong, so while we’ll make her our top pick we’ll also protect in our rolling exotics using a couple of other contenders. All American Jewel is a nine-race maiden but finished third in her last pair at Tampa Bay Downs, most recently with a career top speed figure, so with another forward move today the Justin Phillip filly should be dangerous from off the pace. Halfy is a T. Pletcher dropper with room to step forward in just her third career outing. She didn’t get much of a trip when unplaced in a maiden $16,000 affair last month but retains L. Saez, and with a clean start and a ground-saving journey she has a chance to show her best stuff.

RACE 2: Post 1:35 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Just Right Mike; 8-Chasing Artie; 12-Restored Order

Forecast: Maiden juveniles sprint four and one-half furlongs with three legitimate contenders based strictly on connections. Just Right Mike has the benefit of a prior run – he was third in his debut last month in what was a pretty quick race – and with that bit of experience behind him in the son of Cajun Breeze could step forward considerably for the sharp M. Yates barn. Chasing Artie has done some good work in the a.m. for W. Ward, including three successive bullet workouts, and while this Ken Ramsey homebred is bred to run long on the lawn the son of We Miss Artie appears to have pretty good speed, at the very least. Restored Order, originally on the also-eligible list, was re-entered tomorrow but as of this morning’s early scratch time remained in today’s race following three late scratches from within the body of the field. If he starts, he has to be considered a contender after breezing a furlong in 10 seconds flat during the OBS March sale and then bringing $420,000 at auction. From the first crop Frosted, he’s a half-brother to the good California-based 3-year-old filly Der Lu and clearly has ability, though we’re not sure just how much early quickness he has. With L. Saez aboard and at 6-1 on the morning line for T. Pletcher, he’s a “must use” in rolling exotic play.

RACE 3: Post 2:09 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Probably Grace; 2-Peace Control; 3-Sizzling Roma

Forecast: The main contention is this $8,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares is drawn inside, with strong preference on top to Probably Grace. The lightly-raced daughter of Congrats has been claimed three times in her five race career, most recently by trainer L. Rivelli, who had the 3-year-old filly for her first two starts. She earned a career top speed figure when easily handling a $6,250 field over this track and distance last month and should find this one-level class hike within her range, notwithstanding her late-running style coupled with her disadvantageous rail post position. V. Lebron, who just rode her to that easy score, stays aboard for a barn that he’s well-connected with. Peace Control beat a lesser field two runs back but then was overmatched vs. restricted (nw-3) $20,000 foes last time out when a distant fourth. he V. Barboza, Jr.-trained filly gets a positive jockey switch to E. Jaramillo and should find herself in a good stalking position throughout. Sizzling Roma is in good form but needs some help in the speed figure department. She’s been running in softer restricted (nw-3) claiming company and usually hits the board but needs better to beat this field. You can use as a back-up or a saver but not much more than that.

RACE 4: Post 2:41 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Rags for Britches; 3-Mountain Breeze; 8-Jeeker Joe

Forecast: Here’s another difficult maiden claiming $12,500 turf affair, this one for older horses. Mountain Breeze was beaten by almost a sixteenth of a mile in his only outing last summer in straight maiden company when reasonably backed (6-1) and then disappeared. He returns in a soft race over a distance and surface that he’s bred to like with top jockey I. Ortiz, Jr., who rides a lot of live runners for the J. Kimmel barn, taking the call. There’s nothing fancy about the work tab but we have to think this son of First Dude is much better than his only outing shows. Jeeker Joe has the blinkers off angle that we like in his first outing since August while dropping to his lowest level ever. The son of Treasure Beach shows a short but noteworthy work pattern that includes a five furlong grass drill at Palm Meadows in :59 2/5, so the 4-year-old gelding could easily be a better type this time around for new connections. Rags for Britches is a 13-race maiden and clearly not one to trust, but this will be his first start since being gelded so the son of Union Rags has a right to display improved form. The connections don’t inspire confidence but based on speed figures he’s a fit.

RACE 5: Post 3:13 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-R Boy Bode; 6-Kyle; 9-New York’s Finest

Forecast: Kyle tries grass for the first time in his 35-race career and, who knows, maybe he’ll like it. The 7-year-old gelding has plenty of speed and should appreciate this five furlong trip for the excellent trainer/jockey combo of C. David and M. A. Vasquez, and if he can transfer his dirt numbers to turf the can win this race at 4-1 on the morning line. R Boy Bode has good zip as well and has only one way to go from the rail, on or near the lead throughout. A five-furlong specialist (all three of his career victories have been accomplished at this trip), the son of Kantharos returns after a three month vacation in a logical spot for the high-percentage G. Baxter barn, which has super stats with layoff runners. The barn’s go-to” rider E. Jaramillo takes the call. New York’s Finest earned a giant number winning over this course and distance at this level three runs back. Far back in an off-the-grass sprint last time out, the son of City Zip appears capable of bouncing back with the return to his preferred surface. He retains L. Saez, and always has had a winning punch, with eight career scores from 23 stats, but he’ll need to overcome the extreme outside draw.

RACE 6: Post 3:45 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 6-Bardot; 7-Harmonic Thunder

Forecast: Bardot finished a respectable second in her debut for maiden $25,000, but instead of being protected on the raise the daughter of Candy Ride is dropped to the $16,000 in an obvious move to cull her from the stable. The T. Pletcher barn has done this a number of times in recent weeks with some success, so we suspect she’s in this race to win and be claimed. At 9/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower she won’t be offering any real wagering value. Harmonic Thunder looks a bit intriguing for those trying to beat the favorite. The daughter of Honor Code is listed at 20-1 on the morning line but she’ll go way lower than that considering that this trainer/jockey combo (S. Joseph, Jr with T. Gaffalione) has connected at a 32% rate with a massive flat-bet profit at this meeting. She’s back on the main track and returning to a one-turn race, two changes that should bring out her best.

RACE 7: Post 4:17 ET. Grade: X
Single: 8-Enlisting

Forecast: Enlisting has much in her favor in this $8,000 claiming one-turn miler for fillies and mares. Drawn perfectly outside for new trainer V. Barboza, Jr. (an absurdly strong 56% with a massive flat-bet profit with this angle), the daughter of Candy Ride switches to the barn’s favorite rider, bug boy Torres, and projects to control the race flow while either on the lead or from a cozy stalking spot. A nearly five-length winner under these conditions in late March, she’s not being protected on the raise, which is concerning, but such a move from this stable is standard operating procedure. A very generous 2-1 on the morning line, she’ll no doubt go considerably lower on the tote. We’ll make her a short-priced, no-value rolling exotic single.

RACE 8: Post 4:48 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 1-Mandate

Forecast: Mandate is improving with racing and is fresh from a convincing maiden $40,000 victory over this course in late March while earning a career-top speed figure. Protected today in a starters optional claimer, the son of Blame has the proper style for this seven and one-half furlong trip, and from his rail post he projects to inherit an ideal pace-stalking, ground-saving trip. L. Suez, who was aboard him last time, opts for the “other” Pletcher in the race, Rhythm Section, so I. Ortiz, Jr. picks up the mount and, yeah, we can live with that. At 9/2 on the morning line he’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 9: Post 4:53 ET. Grade: B
Use: 2-Frank First; 5-Blueridge Mountain

Forecast: Blueridge Mountain look like a potentially good gamble at 8-1 on the morning line in in this restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming main track miler. The lightly-raced gelding tackles a considerably easier group than he’s been used to seeing in first-level allowance races and appears realistically spotted after a pair of recent dull performances going long on the lawn, conditions that really don’t suit him. He graduated in straight maiden company at this distance on dirt (actually, over a sloppy surface) last winter at Laurel Park and with the switch to the barn’s favorite jockey E. Jaramillo we’re expecting the son of Tapizar to run lights out. Frank First is reunited with “win rider” I. Ortiz, Jr. and is another exiting a tougher spot around two turns on grass. Like our top pick, this gelded son of Lea is most comfortable one-turning on dirt, and while not particular fast on numbers he does have the proper stalking style for the trip. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Blueridge Mountain.

RACE 10: Post 5:25 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-R Happy Ending; 5-Lady Grace

Forecast: R Happy Ending, freshened since mid-February, was a solid third in a listed abbreviated turf sprint stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in February and is realistically spotted in this $50,000 optional allowance claiming five furlong turf dash for fillies and mares. First or second in six of eight career starts over this course and distance, the genuine and consistent daughter of Prospective goes for high percentage connections and should draft into an ideal pace-stalking trip inside and then, assuming room develops, have her chance to wear down the leaders when it matters. She’s an excellent gambling price at 9/2 ln the morning line, but we suspect she’ll go lower. Lady Grace is another major player with excellent recent form and is a “must use” in rolling exotic play. Perfect in two starts this year following an extended vacation and never worse than second in four starts over the local lawn, the M. Casse-trained filly seems most effective when held up early and allowed to blast home. She’ll get that type of ride from T. Gaffalione.

RACE 11: Post 6:19 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Ocean Fire; 11-Summer Shore

Forecast: The nightcap is a $40,000 maiden-claiming turf miler for older fillies and mares. Ocean Fire seems the logical top pick in her first start for a tag after finishing in the frame in five consecutive outings vs. straight maidens. The W. Mott-trained filly has a distinct edge in the speed figure department to go along with her favorable inside draw that guarantees an ideal, second flight, ground-saving trip. You could make a case that this drop into a seller is a bit suspicious and maybe it is, but the daughter of Animal Kingdom is a 4-year-old and it’s possible that her owner/breeder just wants her to finally win a race. Summer Shore is realistically spotted as a first-timer from the T. Pletcher barn and may be the one to fear most at 4-1 on the morning line. The works at Palm Beach Downs look pretty good for this type of race mare, with the main jockey L. Saez aboard she has the credentials to be live and well-meant.