Log In

Friday, July 17: Saratoga Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

July 17, 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 1:10 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 6-Value Engineering

Forecast: The opener is a mini-marathon allowance event over a grass course labeled “good” that looks made to order for Value Engineering. The son of Lemon Drop Kid colt is improving with racing and should be well-suited by this 11-furlong trip. Never off the board in five starts and fresh from a game win in a productive entry-level event at Belmont Park, the C. Brown-trained colt has enough tactical speed to be anywhere J. Castellano wants him to be, perhaps even on the front end of no other pace materializes. Considering his connections, his rising speed figures and his potential, the lightly-raced 4-year-old is worth a play in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single.

RACE 2: Post 1:44 PT. Grade: X
Single: 1-Slew’s Early Light

Forecast: Dawn’s Early Light is a seven-race maiden and already a three-time beaten favorite so he’s hard to trust, but at this maiden $25,000 level the Bayern colt really should be able to earn his diploma. The D. Gargan-trained colt returns to the main track and projects to be close up throughout and possibly on the front end from his rail post in this extended sprint affair that is noticeably lacking in early speed. Based purely on speed figures, he’s simply faster than his weak foes, so you can either take the short price, use him as a no-value rolling exotic single, or simply pass the race.

RACE 3: Post 2:20 PT. Grade: X
Single: 4-The Rock Says

Forecast: The Rock Says is a first off the $50,000 claim by R. Diodoro (31% with a massive flat-bet profit with this angle) so improvement is likely, if not certain. The son of Uncle Mo adds blinkers after failing at 50 cents on the dollar at Churchill Downs last month but a sloppy surface may have given him a legitimate excuse, and the fact that his new connections choose to protect him is a sign that they like the merchandise. Strong on numbers, in the frame in eight of nine career starts, and showing a good race last year over this track and distance, the four-year-old gelding seems pretty solid as a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 4: Post 2:54 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Customerexperience; 4-Pick Up the Fone; 5-Stunning Munnings

Forecast: Sophomore fillies entered to be claimed for $25,000 sprint six furlongs in difficult affair that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Customerexperience, fresh from a game win with a career-top speed figure at Gulfstream Park, moves up from the $16,000 ranks but has numbers that make her a strong fit in this league. The S. Joseph, Jr.-trained filly attracts J. Rosario and looks very live, though as a late-running sprinter from the rail she’s going to need help up front and good racing luck. Pick Up the Fone is the quickest of the quick and will take them as far as she can. Life-and-death to beat $20,000 field in Florida last time out, the T. Pletcher-trained filly moves up a level in a sign of confidence but isn’t particular strong in the speed figure department and will be tested, for sure, in the final furlong. Stunning Munnings, in the money in her last pair and likely to find herself in a pace-prompting position just outside Pick up the Fone, should have every chance from the top of the lane to the wire. However, her only victory came in gate-to-wire fashion and that scenario doesn’t seem likely today. We’ll try to survive and advance using just these three with Customerexperience the clear top pick; feel free to spread deeper if you find the need.

RACE 5: Post 3:28 PT. Grade: C+
Use: 4-Open Lengths; 7-Scuttlebuzz; 10-Sandro the Great

Forecast: This race has been taken off the turf and will be contested at a mile and one-eighth. Tread lightly, for sure. Scuttlebuzz missed by a neck in a turf sprint last month and today stretches out around two-turns for the first time in this state-bred maiden special weight affair. His main track form isn’t too bad and if he’s ever going to handle a distance of ground it will be in his first try, so we’ll put him on top while also including Open Lengths, a $225,000 Keeneland yearling and an intriguing first time starter from a barn that has very strong stats (22% with a flat-bet profit) with debut runners. The work tab doesn’t jump off the page, but we suspect this son of Lea has at least some ability. Also toss in Sandro the Great, an Empire Maker colt with winning connections (C. Clement/J. Rosario) who should have no trouble handling the track and trip.

RACE 6: Post 4:04 PT. Grade: B
Use: 3-Mission Wrapitup; 8-Big Thicket

Forecast: Big Thicket is comfortably drawn outside and projects to enjoy an ideal pace-stalking trip in this seven furlong affair for first-level New York-bred sprinters. The son of Union Rags was waiver-protected when winning a $25,000 seller with a career-top speed figure two runs back and then overcame some traffic trouble to finish an excellent second to odds-on Tale of the Union in a hot race just a few days ago. The quick-turnaround is always of some concern, but less so though when it’s a R. Rodriguez-trained runner. I. Ortiz, Jr. stays aboard and knows him well Mission Wrapitup, in his second off the layoff for C. Brown and exiting a state-bred stakes race, switches to J. Castellano and should have some improvement in him. However, he’ll need a significant boost in the speed figure department to win. We’ll have tickets using both in our rolling exotics, with the main push going to Big Thicket.

RACE 7: Post 4:40 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 3-Passing Out; 4-Clara Peeters

Forecast: This year’s edition of the De La Rose Stakes is a listed affair but sure looks on paper to be at least of Grade 3 quality. Clara Peeters moves into stakes competition following a very impressive and visually pleasing seven furlong allowance win at Belmont Park last month, and while the step up in class surely will test her, the English-bred filly could easily be up to the task. Today’s added distance won’t be an issue at all, and with J. Castellano riding her back the B. Cox-trained import certainly will get the patient ride she requires. Passing Out was in too tough when third behind Rushing Fall in the Beaugay S.-G3 last time out and won’t have to face anybody that good today. The daughter of Orb should draft into a comfortable stalking position and with continued improvement should have every chance. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics and then have extra tickets keying Clara Peeters on top.

RACE 8: Post 5:14 PT. Grade: B+
Single: 3-Lady Lawyer

Forecast: Lady Lawyer has much in her favor in this second-level abbreviated turf sprint for fillies and mares. Beaten a half-length in a similar type of race over seven furlongs last month at Belmont Park, the daughter of Blame shows a steady, healthy series of works since for C. Brown, whose stats with the second-off-the-layoff angle are off the charts. J. Rosario stays aboard and should have her on or near the lead throughout, so with any kind of forward move she should be able to shrug off whatever pace pressure she gets and handle this assignment as a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 9: Post 5:46 PT. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Risky Mandate 5-Indian Pride

Forecast: Indian Pride is listed at 6/5 on the morning line in this year’s edition of the listed Shine Again S. and there’s no question she’s the likely choice and one to beat. The daughter of Proud Citizen returned off an eight month layoff to beat a first-level allowance field at Belmont Park but was pretty much straight as a string to do so, and the runner-up came back to disappoint as a short priced favorite, so we’re wondering how strong of a race it really was. Of course, the C. Brown-trained filly has every right to move forward off that race and if she does she may never look back. That said, we’re going to try a gamble with Risky Mandate, a closing second with after a disastrous start from the rail in her recent comeback at Churchill Downs. A winner over this main track last year and then third in the Prioress S.-G2, the T. Amoss-trained filly has the proper style for seven furlongs and speed figures that make her a major threat. However, with the scratching off Estilo Femenino she’ll have to leave from the rail again, and this time she’d better break. Both should be included in rolling exotic play, but since ‘Mandate will be the better price of the two we’ll have extra tickets keying her on top.

RACE 10: Post 6:18 PT. Grade: C
Use: 5-Diannesimpazible; 6-Operative

Forecast: Maiden claiming $40,000 New York-bred older horses meet at the shortened distance of seven furlongs on the main track, a distance and surface switch dictated by overnight rains. Diannesimpazible - with okay prior dirt form - returned off a layoff in a grass affair and ran okay from a poor draw, winding up fifth while closing with some interest into an unfavorable race flow last month, and with any kind of forward move the D. Donk-trained gelding may be capable of producing the last run I. Ortiz, Jr. stays aboard and should be able to secure a mid-pack, ground-saving position and have every chance when it matters. Operative, the “other” Donk entrant, shows up in a seller for the first time, is a fit on numbers and could be a threat if he can handle dirt. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics but not with any degree of confidence in a race that probably is best left alone.