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Thursday, May 21: Golden Gate Fields Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

May 21, 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 12:45 PT. Grade: X
Single: 6-On The Key

Forecast: On The Key is listed as the 9/5 morning line favorite in the Thursday opener, a restricted $5,000 claimer over a mile, but we suspect the 10-year-old warrior will go off at lower odds than that. A lifetime winner of 18 races, most recently with an 81 Beyer speed figure that is just two points below his career top figure on a resume that spans 72 races, the M. Badilla-trained old-timer shows two solid recent works to have him on edge for his first outing since early March, and in a race that projects to be run at crawl in the opening quarter and half, he should be comfortably placed outside, ready to pounce when asked by top rider J. J. Hernandez. In a field of just six, you don’t really have the luxury of spreading in rolling exotic play so let’s take a stand and use the son of Ready’s Image as a single while otherwise passing the race due to his closing price that we suspect will be around even money.

RACE 2: Post 1:16 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Sweet Sarah Bear; 7-Sassy Verde

Forecast: Sassy Verde makes her fourth consecutive class drop – not usually a healthy sign – but in this case trainer P. Aguirre isn’t trying to unload her as much as he’s simply trying to find her winning level, and against this bottom-rung field the daughter of U. S. Ranger looks well-spotted to break on through. Numbers-wise she’s a strong fit and from her outside draw she should be able to fold over and settle into a comfortably second-flight position and then have dead aim on the suspect pace-types. Sweet Sarah Bear, plummeting from the $20,000 level in her third career start, appears to have found her friends and is the one to fear most. Clearly exiting a much stronger race and with speed figures that put here right there, the S. Sherman-trained filly projects to be the most dangerous of the closing types. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with a slight edge on top to Sassy Verde

RACE 3: Post 1:48 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Sierra Sunrise; 4-No Spin Zone

Forecast: Sierra Sunrise is listed at 8/5 on the morning line and on pure form looks it, though it’s difficult to project a good trip from the rail for a favorite that lacks any sort of tactical speed. She’s clearly fast enough on speed figures to win and has in fact won two of her last five, so if the J. Bonde-trained filly can negotiate a decent trip she should be along in time. No Spin Zone is extremely dangerous. She’s a first-off-the-claim play from a barn that hits at a remarkable 31% with a significant flat-bet profit with this angle, and though she’s never been what you’d call a win machine (3-for-34 lifetime) this massive upgrade in trainer could make a world of difference. In a race that projects to have very soft early fractions, the daughter of The Factor could find herself on or near the lead throughout.

RACE 4: Post 2:19 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Canada; 5-Malibu Alex

Forecast: Malibu Alexgot a confidence-building win when dropped to the $6,250 level in his last start (his first start under top rider J. J. Hernandez), so the 7-year-old gelding, once a much classier horse than this, may be able to take a modest one-level class hike in stride and win right back. The son of Afleet Alex projects to enjoy a good trip just behind the leaders and then have his chance when the pressure is turned on. Canada has the route-to-sprint angle that we always like so we know he’s fit, and his form suggests he can be effective at any distance. We’re expecting the Giant’s Causeway gelding to be the most dangerous of the closers. In a race in which each of the six entrants have a legitimate claim to be a contender, rolling exotic players may be wise to spread or even buy the race and then press with extra tickets keying the two we have listed above.

RACE 5: Post 2:52 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Darkhawk; 8-Ice Or Fire; 10-Silver Fury; 11-Muskoga

Forecast: Usually these maiden $8,000 claiming sprints don’t have a lot of substance to them but this 11-runner field offers all kinds of angles to work with. It’s a spread race in rolling exotic play, that’s for sure. Muskoka, a first-time gelding for the Desormeaux brothers, nosedives all the way down from the $62,500 level and has turf/route speed figures from down south that are infinitely better than what will be needed to win this race. But son of Twirling Candy has no established form over an all-weather surface or sprinting, so who knows what we’re going to get? A healthy recent work pattern at Santa Anita is encouraging for a 4-year-old that originally was purchased for $120,000 in the OBS March sale a couple of years ago but clearly is being culled from the stable. Darkhawk is another class dropper trying to find his proper level. The lightly-raced son of Smiling Tiger, third in a maiden $20,000 affair at Los Alamitos two runs back, adds blinkers for the first time and has numbers that certainly make him a threat against this group. If he leaves well from the rail, the B. Pitnick-trained gelding should find himself in a good ground-saving position with every chance from the quarter pole home. Silver Fury is a 14-race maiden and may not be one to trust but is yet another dropping to his lowest level ever after finishing a good second while finding his best stride late last time out. The son of Old Fashioned, based at Santa Anita and showing a healthy, steady work tab for his first outing since mid-February, has several speed figures earned in Southern California that are more than good enough to win at this level. Ice or Fire has the kind of early speed to put him the fray throughout and although his speed figures have stagnated of late he really won’t need to improve much to be right in thick of things throughout. He’s another class dropper from the $12,500 level in a race that is appears much stronger than par on paper.

RACE 6: Post 3:22 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Everybody Does It; 5-Splashing

Forecast: Splashing looks pretty solid in this $12,500 turf miler for fillies and mares, though at 7/5 on the morning line she’s not going to offering any real wagering value. Arguably more comfortable on synthetic but certainly capable on this surface as well, the daughter of Tapizar has been in the frame in eight of her last nine outings, including three wins, for the powerful Tamayo/Hernandez team, and given a projected race flow that calls for a legitimate early pace she should be able to produce the last run with her best effort. If there’s a concern, it’s a relatively light work tab for a mare coming off a three-month vacation but the barn’s stats with layoff runners is an off-the-charts 33% so we’ll trust the trainer. Everybody Does It is a versatile sort that can be dangerous on the lead or from off the pace, so C. Martinez can assess the pace flow and adjust his strategy before the field hits the clubhouse turn. A four-time winner over the local lawn, the veteran mare has trained steadily right along and has a history of firing huge off brief layoffs. She’s 8-1 on the morning line and at that price is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.

RACE 7: Post 3:52 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Elevate; 6-Dynamite Ride; 9-My Friend George

Forecast: The finale is a highly-contentious $32,000 restricted claiming miler. We’ll go three-deep and hope that’s enough but if you find the need to include a few more, go right ahead. Old pro My Friend George must leave from the outside 9-post position and it’s difficult to project a good trip from that draw but there’s no doubt the 8-year-old gelding is good enough to win if he’s feeling up to his and his recent form is actually quite solid. The son of Gotham City can be successful on the lead, from a stalking position, or even as a deep closer, so the winner of 12 career starts (eight over the Golden Gate Fields all-weather surface) deserves top billing, though at 2-1 on the morning line there’s not much value to be found. Dynamite Ride may have been a tad rusty in his first start in more than a year when weakening late to wind up fourth in a similar event in late March. Two solid five furlong workouts since that outing should help tighten him up a bit, and if not policed on the front end the son of Candy Ride might get loose and keep on going. Elevate should draft into a very comfortable second-flight, ground-saving position and have dead aim when it counts. Unplaced in a pair of outings since being a voided claim for $5,000 in December, the S. Sherman-trained son of Artie Schiller shows a solid series of recent drills so we’re expecting him to produce a forward move at 5-1 on the morning line.