Log In

Sunday August 02: Saratoga/Del Mar Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

August 2, 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:
Del Mar – Third Race. Post Time: 3:00 PT
3-Touchdown Brown (2-1)

Loved his Santa Anita debut score, as the son of Cairo Prince displayed good athleticism and a powerful late kick to win going away like a colt who will do nothing but improve as the distances increase. With an extra furlong to work with in today’s Graduation S., the R. Becerra-trained juvenile should be able to take care of business when the pressure is turned on from the top of the stretch to the wire. At 2-1 on the morning line he’s a strong win play and rolling exotic single.

Del Mar – Tenth race. Post Time: 6:30 PT
6 – Fighting Mad (4-1)

Returned to winning form in a 10-1 upset in the Santa Maria S.-G2 last time out and has trained like she’s every bit as sharp now as then, so there’s no reason to think the B. Baffert-trained filly can’t come right back and do it again. Always partial to the Del Mar main track and with the versatility to win on the lead or from a stalking position, the daughter of New Year’s Day can bust out and go from her outside draw or pick a comfortable spot just off the leaders. Lightly-raced and still improving, she’s worth play both in the win pool and in the rolling exotics at or near her morning line of 4-1.

Today’s Saratoga Analysis and Wagering Strategies:

RACE 1: Post 1:10 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Feeling Pretty; 3-Mrs Frankel; 7-Delaware Dixie

Forecast: Delaware Dixie has done some very good work in the a.m. leading up to her debut and this filly from the first crop of Exaggerator hails from the blistering hot C. Clement barn, which boasts exceptional stats with first-time starters. Mrs Frankel has the benefit of a prior run; she was given a race when fifth sprinting at Belmont Park in mid-June and seems certain to improve with that effort behind her. She’s done very nicely in the a.m. since arriving at the Spa and goes for an outfit that is pretty good with second time starters. Feeling Pretty is another well-regarded newcomer with a right to run well going long on the lawn based on pedigree and morning workouts. The difference is the connections; J. Kimmel rarely wins with a first-timer so so we suspect this filly may show her best stuff down the road. We’ll include all three in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Delaware Dixie.

RACE 2: Post 1:44 ET. Grade: C
Use: 2-Mills; 7-Walkoff

Forecast: Walkoff was claimed for $20,000 in late June after finishing a reasonable runner-up after forcing the pace under pressure with strong splits. He’s a first-off-the-claim for M. Maker (about average with this maneuver) but returns on the drop in a $12,500 seller, not a healthy sign. Most effective when held up early and allowed to run late, the son of Street Sense seems certain to use proper tactics today but the question is, how healthy is he? Certainly at 7/5 on the morning line there’s not a lot of value to be found. Mills is a 10-gelding returning to his winning level and is a viable alternative to the favorite. He’s winless in five starts over the Saratoga main track but has hit the board four times, so we’re going to assume he’ll run his race. In a race that otherwise probably is best left alone, both can be used in rolling exotic play.

RACE 3: Post 2:20 ET. Grade: X
Use: 1a-Tide of the Sea; 5-Mr. Alec

Forecast: Mr. Alec has run well at this marathon distance in the past and but so has his main rival Tide of the Sea, so we’re going to assume the winner will be one of these two in this 11-furlong maiden turf affair for older horses. Neither will offer much wagering value. It’ll be interesting to see which one takes the initiative to make the running and which will settle into a stalker’s role. They’re very difficult to separate so we’ll include both in our rolling exotics but that’s about it.

RACE 4: Post 2:54 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 7-Kilmarknock; 9-Dreamofasamurai

Forecast: Kilmarknock was victimized by an impossible start last time out and did well to finish a distant third in a similar low-level maiden claiming sprint at Belmont Park in late June. With a clean break today, the Big Brown gelding should find himself on or near the early lead and then have every chance to exert his superiority from the quarter pole home. Stranger danger comes in the form of the comebacking Dreamofasamurai, away since December and showing up in a seller for the first time while landing the comfortable outside post. He’ll race without blinkers, gets a break in the weights with the switch to bug boy Cardenas, and shows a workout tab that doesn’t looks half bad for this level of horse. At 10-1 on the morning line, the J. Abreu-trained son of Japan is worth including on your ticket.

RACE 5: Post 3:28 ET. Grade: X
Use: 2-Ian Glass; 7-Unleveraged

Forecast: Unleveraged is 3/5 on the morning line and obviously isn’t worth playing at anywhere near this price. Clearly being culled from the stable with the yearling sales approaching, this once well-regarded son of Scat Daddy has back numbers that would bury this field, but at age five he’s been stopped and started on a numbers of times so the connections are ready to move on and thus have dropped him into a $35,000 claimer. If he has one good one left, he’ll beat this field. Ian Glass will be the controlling speed and if not respected could take this group a long way. Second off the claim for R. Handal and his second off a long layoff while switching to J. Rosario, the Hard Spun gelding should be fitter today and is worth including on your ticket as a back-up or a saver.

RACE 6: Post 4:04 ET. Grade: B
Use: 6-Lady Lilly; 9-Beautiful Farewell

Forecast: Let’s double this race using the best of the known element and the best (we think) of the first timers. Beautiful Farewell certainly ran well enough in her debut at Belmont Park last month, pressing the pace throughout before weakening late to wind up a close third while earning a fair-to-okay speed figure. She’ll probably need to produce a forward move to win but with a healthy work pattern at Fair Hill since that race – including a bullet half mile drill in :48 2/5 (fastest of 19) - the M. Stidham-trained daughter of Frosted can be expected to step forward. She retains J. Castellano, removes blinkers and is listed at 9/2 on the morning line. Lady Lilly is a debuting daughter of Nyquist from the S. Asmussen barn (solid with first-timers) and has shown enough in the a.m. to expect a big run under J. Rosario She’s recorded two bullet workouts since arriving from Kentucky, most notably a five furlong breeze from the gate in :59 2/5 11 days ago, so this $280,000 yearling purchase is fit and ready and may offer good value at or near her morning line of 7/2.

RACE 7: Post 4:32 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Banana Thief; 8-Kitten’s Cat

Forecast: Here’s a contentious $25,000 claimer for older grass sprinters. We’ll double the race but if you find need to include more, go right ahead. Banana Thief had a nice tightener over this course and distance last month in his first outing since November and didn’t run badly, closing with some interest to be fourth, beaten three lengths, in a tougher first level allowance optional claimer., The S. Asmussen barn has good stats with the second-off-the-layoff angle (22%) and with two prior wins over the local lawn this veteran gelding should be capable of producing the last run under the assumption that he can avoid traffic trouble. Kitten’s Cat, second off the claim for L. Rice, was in over his head when matched with $62,500 foes just a few days ago but this barn has an amazing record when wheeling back runners off short rest such as this (37% with a flat-bet profit), so with this drop below the claim level and with J. Ortiz staying aboard, this son of Kitten’s Joy is a major player at 6-1 on the morning line.

RACE 8: Post 5:14 ET. Grade: A-
Single: Fort Worth

Forecast: Fort Worth broke his maiden with a sensational speed figure in his second career start in April of 2019, doing so like a top prospect, but then disappeared. The City Zip colt, always highly-regarded by the T. Pletcher barn, should completely outclass this field if ready and his workouts both locally and at Palm Beach Downs during the spring, indicate he’s set to make up for lost time. Comfortably drawn outside for a barn that hits at an amazing 30% with comebackers, he’ll be a short price worth taking as a logical rolling exotic single.

RACE 9: Post 5:46 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 6-Moretti

Forecast: Moretti, a distant second in the Suburban S.-G2 behind Tacitus and before that a facile winner of the mini-marathon listed Flat Out S. over a sloppy track, is a proven main track marathoner that has has been thoroughly genuine and consistent so far in his 10-race career. The T. Pletcher-trained colt will race without blinkers – we always like that angle – and at this mile and three-quarter journey the son of Medaglia d’Oro should be able to gallop his foes into submission. At 8/5 on the morning line he’s a win play at that price and a rolling exotic single.

RACE 10: Post 6:18 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Striking Speed; 2-Tactician; 9-Double Advantage

Forecast: We’ll spread 3-deep in the nightcap, a maiden $30,000 claiming nine furlong main track event for older horses. Double Advantage had a run sprinting at Gulfstream Park in June, finishing a fair sixth (beaten three lengths) in a tougher maiden $50,000 affair that earned a competitive speed figure compared with this group. The T. Pletcher barn is strong with the second-time starter angle (24%) and well as the sprint-route-play (22%) so with I. Ortiz, Jr., taking the call this son of Tapiture appears to have found his friends. Tactician, a first-off-the-claim for $20,000 by R. Diodoro (31% with a massive flat-bet profit), moves up a notch, is re-equipped with blinkers, and shows a similar two-turn maiden claiming race during the winter at Fair Grounds that charts very nicely with these. The barn’s “go-to” rider D. Cohen takes the call. Striking Speed will try to be the controlling speed from the rail and with this return to the main track combined with a substantial class drop and a good inside draw the L. Rice-trained gelding could be hard to catch if not pressured early.