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Friday, July 31: Saratoga/Del Mar Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

July 31, 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.

Today’s Del Mar Best Plays:

Fifth Race – Post Time: 4:07 PT
3 – Happier (4-1)

Makes her debut for B. Baffert following a string of very impressive workouts that should have the daughter of Street Sense fit enough to win at first asking in this competitive seven furlong affair for fillies and mares. A half-sister to graded stakes winner King Zachary, she brought $800,000 as a yearling and looks the part. She’ll have to beat her more experienced stable mate Himiko (2-1) but at the price she’s worth the gamble (and be sure to include her in exactas with 6-La Vie (15-1), who should improve a ton after finishing a distant third in her debut.

Ninth Race – Post Time: 6:07 PT
4 – El Tigre Terrible (2-1)

Been victimized by poor racing luck of late that has significantly compromised his form, but at this seven furlong trip the P. Miller-trained gelding should enjoy clear sailing from off the pace and get back to the winner’s circle. Most effective when held up early and allowed to blast home, the son of Smiling Tiger shortens in trip, returns to dirt, retains F. Prat, and has proven winning form over the quirky Del Mar strip. At 2-1 on the morning line he’s a strong win play and rolling exotic single.

Today’s Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies:

RACE 1: Post 1:10 ET. Grade: C

Use: 2-Stylish Rags; 6-Pazzion

Forecast: We’re largely guessing in today’s opener, a maiden $50,000 sprint for juveniles. None of these have shown all that much in the morning but Stylish Rags (W. Ward) and Pazzion (T. Pletcher) hail from outfits that win at an excellent rate with first-timers, so these two certainly will get the bulk of the play on that basis alone. Both can be included in rolling exotic play in a race that we’ll otherwise pass.

RACE 2: Post 1:44 ET. Grade: X

Forecast: Getoffmyback won a waiver-protected $16,000 claimer in his first outing since February in early June and returns at the same level off a nearly two month layoff, not exactly an encouraging sign for a tough-as-nails gelding that owns 13 career victories, including four of his last six. If the veteran son of Good Journey has at least one good left he’ll probably continue his winning ways from his cozy outside post, but at what should be a very short price. In a race that is best left alone, we can use him as a no-value rolling exotic single or simply sit it out.

RACE 3: Post 2:20 ET. Grade: X
Use: 3-Prairie Wings; 6-Sursum Corda

Forecast: Sursum Corda is bred to enjoy a marathon and in her first attempt at this trip the daughter of Constitution (from a Sadler’s Wells mare) could leave her previous form behind. In the frame in her last two outings and overdue for a maiden score, she shows middle distance speed figures that continue to gradually rise, so with another forward move the Kentucky shipper should be hard to beat. J. Rosario, who doesn’t often ride for the I. Wilkes barn, will be aboard in what we’ll take as an additional positive factor. Prairie Wings appears to be the likely pacesetter after stretching out from a one-turn mile at Gulfstream Park in late May. She, too, is out of a Sadler’s Wells mare so we’re thinking the daughter of Tapit will handle the 11-furlong journey just fine. A strong, healthy series of recent workouts should have her fit and ready, so at 7/5 on the morning line the T. Pletcher-trained filly clearly is the one to fear most. Both should be used in rolling exotic play; we’ll press with extra tickets keying Sursum Corda on top.

RACE 4: Post 2:54 ET. Grade: X
Single: 4-Liza Star

Forecast: Liza Star moves up a level after wiring an optional $62,500 field at Gulfstream Park late last month for the high-percentage P. Walder barn. A winner of 11 of 31 career starts, the veteran daughter of Cool Coal Man is equally comfortable on the lead or from a stalking position, so R. Santana, Jr. can assess the pace flow and pick his spot. Clearly fast enough to beat this field on pure numbers, she’s listed at 9/5 on the morning line favorite; however, we suspect she’ll go lower as a logical, short-priced rolling exotic single.

RACE 5: Post 3:28 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Sandra’s Mine; 4-Silent Empress; 5-Love Me Tomorrow

Forecas Here’s a maiden $40,000 claiming grass grab bag for older state-bred fillies and mares. In a race in which the known element doesn’t really inspire, we’ll go three-deep and hope that’s enough. The first-timer Silent Empress gets top billing if for no other reason than she has the powerful C. Clement/J. Rosario working for her. The barn has superb stats with first-timers (27% with a massive flat-bet profit), and while the works aren’t fancy they should have her fit enough. Putting it simply, if she can run, she can win. Sandra’s Mike adds blinkers for the first time and makes her second start off a layoff, so a forward move can be expected. The daughter of Mineshaft is an 11-race maiden and therefore difficult to trusts, but she does have back numbers that make her a fit and with the addition of the hood she has a right to improve. Love Me Tomorrow is the quickest of the quick but is always suspect under pressure in the final furlong. She’ll take them as far as she can and if not pressured early could prove to be an elusive target.

RACE 6: Post 4:04 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Empire Line; 2-Cobble Hill

Forecast: The main contention is drawn inside in this extended sprint for restricted (nw-3) $35,000 claimers. Former stakes winner Empire Line was six lengths clear of the rest when beaten by a next-out winner in a $20,000 seller at Belmont Park last month in what was his first start in almost a year. Given several weeks to recover from what had to be a hard, taxing effort, the son of Morning Line is raised in class for protection, regains J. Ortiz, and has the back class to get this task done with a trouble-free trip from the rail. Cobble Hill is the one to fear most. Claimed by Rudy for $16,000 after a seven length win last month, the Verrazano gelding is a prototype late running sprinter and therefore should (theoretically) enjoy this seven furlong distance if a reasonable race flow materializes. That said, the pace projection looks soft, but after producing a career top figure last time out he’s worth including.

RACE 7: Post 4:40 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Blanket of Roses; 8-Me and Mr. C; 10-Dynadrive

Forecast: This middle distance grass claimer is restricted to 3-year-olds and has a few possibilities. Dynadrive just won a $40,000 affair at Gulfstream Park and returns at that same level today, this time on grass, but from a disadvantageous outside position. The Temple City gelding can handle any surface and has the versatility to win in a pace-pressing position or from mid-pack with cover, so I. Ortiz, Jr. doesn’t have to commit to any one strategy, only that he needs to get over and save some ground. Blanket of Roses returns to the mid-level claiming ranks after finishing a a none-threatening fourth in a tougher allowance race at Churchill Downs last month. The Lookin At Lucky colt can turn it on late, so with a decent trip and fractions to run at the M. Maker-trained colt should be heard from late. Me and Mr. C was overmatched in the Kent S.-G3 at Delaware Park last time out but with this drop into a claimer for the first time and with a repeat of his nice Tampa Bay Downs score two runs back the Khozan gelding is a major player at 5-1 on the morning line.

RACE 8: Post 5:14 ET. Grade: X
Use: 8-Flashpackinbarbie; 9-Jewel of Arabia

Forecast: Jewel of Arabi graduated for fun in her second start off the bench for C. Clement, but the win was accomplished over a wet surface which may have moved her. In the frame in each of her four career outings, the daughter of Daredevil switches to J. Rosario and projects to be in a good pace pressing position outside throughout. Flashpackinbarbie has won two of her first three outings, most recently an easy score in a restricted (nw-2) $25,000 sprint with a good pace-stalking trip. The number came up light, but it was her first outing in 11 months, she’s protected today in a sign of confidence, and she does have a big figure to go back to (her debut victory). We’re expecting the winner to be one of these two (they’re certain to be the first and second choices in the wagering) and both should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 9: Post 5:6 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 6-Bredenbury; 8-Artie’s Princess; 9-She’s My Type

Forecast: The Coronation Cup is a highly competitive turf sprint for 3-year0old fillies. Bredenbury is an Irish-bred filly fresh from a clever score in the listed Lady Shipman S. at Belmont Park that produced a career top speed figure. She has an ideal pace stalking style to always be clear of trouble and with a repeat of her last race the G. Motion-trained Irish-bred will be in the fray throughout. Artie’s Princess is bred to enjoy grass and gets her first chance on the sod after a nice allowance score in her sophomore debut over the all-weather surface at Woodbine last month. Stakes-placed at two, the daughter of Wee Miss Artie shows rising figures when every start, picks up I. Ortiz, Jr., and is a “must use.” She’s My Type, second in the aforementioned Lady Shipman S., is most comfortable as a late-running sprinter. If she can secure racing room when turned loose at the head of the lane, the C. Clement-trained filly will be heard from in the final stages.

RACE 10: Post 6:18 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Hurricane Breeze; 7-Come Storming; 9-Princess Fawzia

Forecast: The finale is a starter’s allowance middle distance turf event for $50,000 fillies and mares and is yet another that requires considerable coverage. Come Storming projects as the controlling speed and if she can obtain that type of trip the lightly-raced daughter of Get Stormy could get very brave and never look back. A maiden claiming winner in gate-to-wire style last time out with a strong speed figure, the T. Bush-trained filly retains J. Castellano and seems certain to employ similar tactics. Hurricane Breeze, a close fifth in a similar affair at Belmont Park last month, lands the good rail and should enjoy an ideal ground-saving trip from the second flight. She was below her best form last time out but a repeat of her race before last when nosed out at Gulfstream Park (an effort that produced a career top number) could be good enough to win. She loses Castellano (who opts for Come Storming) but picks up J. Ortiz. Princess Fawzia, beaten a head at 14-1 in the common race with several of today’s contenders, switches to I. Ortiz, Jr. and has plenty of room for further improvement. She’s likely to fold over into a stalking spot and then have her chance when the pressure is turned on.