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Saturday, August 08: Saratoga/Del Mar Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

August 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.

Today’s Del Mar Best Plays:

Del Mar – Fifth Race – Post Time: 4:10 PT
1 – Beguiled (15-1)

In her first start since March, this P. D’Amato-trained filly was badly victimized by an extreme outside post position, and after losing considerable ground every step of the way paid the price in the final furlong, weakening to finish eighth, beaten five lengths. The daughter of Orb will leave from the coveted rail today against the same type of competition and this time, with better racing luck, she figures to improve a ton. It’s worth noting that she recently outworked Carpe Vinum (the filly that beat her last time out) (view workout), so we have no doubt she’s much better than her last race shows, so at 15-1 on the morning line, she’s a major play both in the win pool and in the rolling exotics and can be used in exactas and trifectas with 4-Mind Out and 7-Merneith.

Del Mar – Tenth Race – Post Time: 6:40 PT
4 – Superman Shaq (7/2)

Half-brother to Breeders’ Cup Distaff S.-G1 winner Monomoy Girl doesn’t show any fancy workout times in his past performance chart, but make no mistake about it, this colt is a smoker. Breezed a furlong in 20 3/5 seconds at the OBS April Sale and then brought $550,000 at auction before being sent West to trainer P. Miller. Powerful colt by Shackleford is fit, fast, and ready to roll (view workout) for this six furlong maiden special weight sprint for 2-year-olds, and at 7/2 on the morning line offers considerable wagering value at that price if you can get it.

Del Mar – Eleventh Race – Post Time: 7:10 PT
11 – Ya Beauty (7/2)

Irish invader arrives ready to win right off the plane after finishing a strong second in a maiden race at Naas to Soul Search (subsequently Group-3 placed) while almost four lengths clear of the others at the finish. Her 84 Timeform rating makes her a strong fit in this nine furlong maiden turf event for fillies and mares, and with F. Prat taking the call this Irish-bred filly seems set to graduate in her U. S. debut. At 7/2 on the morning line she’s worth consideration in the win pool and as a rolling exotic key.

Saratoga Analysis and Wagering Strategies:

RACE 1: Post 12:00 ET. Grade: B

Use: 1-Glynn County; 3-Doswell; 4-Bay Street Money

Forecast: A fairly competitive maiden special weight middle distance turf affair kicks off proceedings on Travers day. Bay Street Money (6-1) is a progressive son of Street Sense making his third career start, but his first with Lasix. The J. Jerkens-trained colt closed against the grain when second in a similar affair at Belmont Park last month while earning a strong speed figure, and with another forward move today might be able to tag the speed. Doswell, away for 11 months and now in the B. Tagg barn, has back form that is good enough to win and has worked like he should be plenty fit. Based on speed figures he’s the one to beat and projects to enjoy a comfortable ground-saving, pace-stalking trip. Glynn County, a $40,000 claim by M. Maker earlier this meeting, was a solid runner-up with a career top number in his first since December, moves into straight maiden company in a sign of confidence, and has every right to improve with that tightener behind him. The Kitten’s Joy colt is worth some consideration at 8-1 on the morning line.

RACE 2: Post 12:38 ET. Grade: X
Use: 1a-Musical Heart; 3-Shalako

Forecast: Musical Heart, a first off the claim play for R. Atras (powerful 24% with this angle) steps up a notch after missing in a photo over this track and distance last month. With any kind of forward move, he may be able to turn the tables on Shalako, who edged Musical Heart in that race to record his ninth career victory and should be competitive right back. In a race that doesn’t really offer any wagering value, we’ll pass other than to include the two major players in rolling exotic play.

RACE 3: Post 1:15 ET. Grade: B
Use: 3-Risky Mischief; 9-Light in the Sky

Forecast: Light in the Sky had a legitimate excuse when settling for second as the favorite in a similar state-bred first-level allowance grass sprint for fillies and mares last time out and gets a chance to make amends, but at what should be another short price (she’s 6/5 on the morning line). The Tale of the Cat filly lacks tactical speed and always is susceptible to traffic trouble and/or wide trips, but with a clear path today she could be along in time. Risky Mischief is a “must use” on your ticket. In her second start off a layoff for J. Englehart (superior stats with this angle), the daughter of Into Mischief certainly can improve after flashing speed before fading to fourth in a state-bred dirt sprint at Belmont Park in late June. With this return to the allowance ranks and the switch to grass, she’s a strong threat to take this field a long way. In a recent easy breeze around dogs over the turf training track (view workout), she got over the ground very well while giving indication that she’ll handle the switch in surface just fine.

RACE 4: Post 1:49 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Sliding Spring; 3-Field of Courage; 5-Hieroglyphyics

Forecast: Hieroglyphics drops again in class after vanning up from Gulfstream Park and is good enough to beat this field over a course he’s been known to like. The M. Maker-trained gelding has been sparingly raced in 2020 (just four starts) and his last pair were far below his standard, but with a return to the Spa against this level of competition the late-running veteran should have every chance to produce the last run. Sliding Spring, also dropping in class, lands the good rail and seems certain to employ front-running tactics. He’s always been suspect under pressure in the final furlong but if not respected early he could lead this field on a merry chase. Field of Courage is unproven around two turns and is winless in two years but this is his fourth start off of a layoff and he’s not being dropped in class by Rudy, so we’ll take this as a sign of confidence. His speed figures are steadily rising and he appeared to finish with interest in a hot grass sprint earlier this month, so at 8-1 on the morning he’s worth tossing in somewhere.

RACE 5: Post 2:26 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Shackleford Strong; 6-Bottle Rocket Man; 7-Mutasaabeq

Forecast: Here’s a hot maiden 2-year-old sprint featuring a pair of Into Mischief colts making their debuts breaking right alongside each other and another intriguing first-timer shipping up from Ellis Park. Bottle Rocket Man acts like a colt with plenty of speed – he really hasn’t been allowed to show any of it in the morning (view workout) and looks extremely dangerous first crack out of the box for C. Brown (22% with debut runners). Produce by a half-sister to Munnings, this impressive colt brought $350,000 as a yearling and gives every indication of being a win-early type. Mutasaabeq is listed at even money on the morning for T. Pletcher after doing everything asked of him in the morning while easily handling his workmates without ever being set down. Drawn comfortably outside and in a position to pop and go or stalk and pounce, the $425,000 weanling purchase by Shadwell has enough of a foundation to be plenty fit for a top effort right now. Shackleford Strong is a first-timer from the S. Asmussen barn with a few noteworthy drills at Ellis Park. We have to believe his connections think he can run at this level; otherwise, why not run him where he’s been training? It’s a guess, but at 8-1 on the morning he’s worth tossing in on a ticket or two.

RACE 6: Post 3:02 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Secret Potion; 4-Hidden Enemy; 6-Mystical Man

Forecast: This middle distance turf affair for juveniles has several possibilities; those that have raced don’t impress so let’s go with three newcomers and hope that at least one runs to his potential. Mystical Man lands J. Rosario and has worked well since arriving at Saratoga while strictly on his own, typical for the A. Stall, Jr., barn. A $155,000 purchase at the OBS March sale where he was very impressive previewing in :21 2/5 over the all-weather surface, the son of Mucho Macho Man is a leggy colt with plenty of scope and a long stride, and acts like he’ll very much enjoy grass and a distance of ground. He’s at 8-1 on the morning line at that price may be the gamble in the race. Secret Potion is a first-timer by Into Mischief that brought $475,000 as a yearling; he’s out of half-sister to Point of Entry so it’s not surprising that he debuts going long on the lawn. His dirt track drills were just okay but a recent breeze around dogs on grass over the Saratoga training track caught the eye. The C. Brown barn is strong with first-timers (22%) and from the rail under I. Ortiz, Jr. he looks very much like a live item. Hidden Enemy is a son of the world class stallion Galileo from Spinster S.-G1 winner Acoma but went for “only” $150,000 at Keeneland. The work tab is just so-so but he did display ability in a recent breeze over the local lawn and could perk up in the afternoon for the always-productive S. Asmussen/R. Santana, Jr. combo.

RACE 7: Post 3:42 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Serengeti Empress; 5-Letruska; 6-Pink Sands

Forecast: Morning line favorite Bellafina (9/5) certainly can win but she’s been a beaten choice six times during her career and simply isn’t one to trust. Let’s try to get by without her. Letruska has won nine of 11 career starts though never against this level of competition; still, the daughter of Super Saver has a legitimate chance at a price after winning a listed stakes with a career top speed figure at Gulfstream Park in her most recent outing. She’s undefeated around one turn and may actually be most effective at this shorter trip. Drawn outside the other speed types and therefore with the option to stalk the pace if the race shape dictates, she had a nice recent :47 flat breeze over the track (view workout) to have her right on edge. Serengeti Empress is another that should enjoy the turn back in trip. She hasn’t sprinted in more than a year but in 2019 over this track and distance she finished narrow second to Eclipse Award winner Covfefe in the Test S.-G1 and repeat of that performance today will make her very hard to catch. However, as a need-the-lead type she has no options from her rail draw other than to bust and go and take heat every step of the way. Pink Sands, a prototype late-running sprinter, has a prior win over this track and will get the patient ride she needs from I. Ortiz, Jr. The faster the early pace, then better shot she has, and at 10-1 on the morning line the veteran daughter of Tapit is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.

RACE 8: Post 4:22 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Imprimis; 6-Pulsate; 7-Chewing Gum

Forecast: This is a race in which the speed types look vulnerable, so we’ll concentrate on the closers and hope they receive sufficient help up front. Imprimis has a chance to regain his best form in his first start since splitting the field in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint-G1 last November at Santa Anita. He has a history of firing fresh, but now as a six-year-old it’s hard to be sure which version we’ll see in this Grade-3 grass dash that looks fairly wide open. The son of Broken Vow is listed at 8/5 on the morning line – that seems a bit short – but if he can negotiate a clear run from his rail post the late-running specialist could get up in time. Chewing Gum is another deep closer with a chance to make some noise with good racing luck. The son of Candy Ride is solid in the speed figure department and regular jockey J. Rosario knows him well. If a contested early pace materializes the W. Mott-trained horse will be heard from late. Pulsate probably is too big of a number at 15-1 on the morning line and is yet another that could make an impression if the race shape sets up as we expect. This will be his second start off a layoff and the son of Speightstown can be expected to move forward and at least outrun his odds.

RACE 9: Post 5:02 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Mrs. Sippy; 4-My Sister Nat

Forecast: My Sister Nat has yet to register a victory since arriving from France but after a solid prep when finishing second in the New York S.-G2 in her comeback she should be primed for her best effort. A Group-3 stakes winner in France last year and beaten a neck in the 11-furlong Long Island S.-G3 the Big A last November, the C. Brown-trained 5-year-old is quite comfortable at this marathon trip and may be able to produce the last run and tag the other main player, Mrs. Sippy. The G. Motion-trained daughter of Blame, away since the Breeder’s Cup Filly & Mare Turf (she finished ninth) last November, has proven she can fire fresh, having won the Glen Falls S.-G2 over this course and distance in her U.S. debut last year. She’s the 6/5 morning line favorite and probably deserves to be. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll go with the better price – My Sister Nat – slightly on top.

RACE 10: Post 5:39 ET. Grade: X
Single: 5-Gamine

Forecast: Gamine made a mockery of the Acorn S.-G1 with a Ruffianesque performance and if she comes anywhere close that type of effort today she’s home free. Both of her one-turn races resulted in easy, dominating victories, and at this seven furlong trip the B. Baffert-trained daughter of Into Mischief should be able to shrug off whatever pressure Venetian Harbor may apply and then go on with it. At 3/5 on the morning line there’s no value to be found, but you can use her as a short price rolling exotic single or simply pass the race.

RACE 11: Post 6:15 ET. Grade: X
Use: 3-Uncle Chuck; 6-Tiz the Law

Forecast: We know how good Tiz the Law is but we don’t know how good Uncle Chuck is, and that’s pretty much why we expect ‘Law will be odds-on and ‘Chuck to be leave around 2-1 or 5/2 in this year’s edition of the Travers S.-G1. Tiz the Law has the home court advantage and has looked terrific breezing over the Saratoga main track while staying on edge since his dominating Belmont S.-G1 win, while ‘Chuck has been turning heads in the a.m. at Del Mar while acting every bit like B. Baffert’s best 3-year-old since Justify. Is this a two-horse race? It sure looks that way. Since Uncle Chuck will be three-times the price (as he should be) we’ll go with him on top but include both in our rolling exotics in a race that may decide who goes favored in next month’s Kentucky Derby-G1. For more: In Depth Video Analysis with Jeff and Eddie

RACE 12: Post 6:52 ET. Grade: B
Single: 9-Bankers Beast

Forecast: Bankers Beast exits a fairly strong maiden special weight turf sprint and didn’t run badly while splitting the field with an even effort. Bred better for dirt, the daughter of Central Bankers switches to the main track, picks up L. Saez, and goes for a barn that has excellent stats with second time starters (24%). The Monmouth Park shipper lands the cozy outside draw and can pick her spot move when she wants to. At 9/2 on the morning line she’s a win play and rolling exotic single.