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Sunday, August 09: Saratoga/Del Mar Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

August 9, 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:

Second Race – Post Time: 2:30 PT
3-Heywoods Beach (3-1)

Exits a strong edition of the Oceanside Stakes and this drop to the first-level allowance ranks combined with a much better post should allow the J. Sadler-trained colt to regain his winning form. Ran better then line shows when forced to lose ground without cover from a poor draw in the Oceanside, but with the addition of blinkers the son of Speightstown projects to be on or near the lead throughout. Reunited with “win rider” U. Rispoli, he’s listed at 3-1 on the morning line and will offer good value in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single at or near that price.

Tenth Race – Post Time: 6:30 PT
6 – Smooth Like Strait (5/2)

Projects as the controlling speed in this year’s edition of the La Jolla Handicap and given that type of trip the M. McCarthy-trained colt should be very difficult to catch. A stakes winner over this turf course as a 2-year-old and fresh from a highly-rated score in the War Chant Stakes at Churchill Downs in the May, the son of Midnight Lute has looked sharp in a series of recent easy dirt drills to have him fit and ready. He switches to top turf rider U. Rispoli and likely will continue his improving pattern. We’ll use him as a win play and a key in our rolling exotics at or near his morning line of 5/2.

Saratoga Analysis & Wagering Strategies:

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

Use: 2-Stoney Bennett; 3-We Should Talk

Forecast: The main players in today’s opener – a $12,500 claiming sprint – have question marks, though it would hardly be surprising to see them run one-two. Stoney Bennett, second off a long layoff for L. Rice but plummeting in class after a sharp runner-up effort in an optional/starter’s allowance sprint at Laurel Park in June, certainly is fast enough to beat this field but the veteran gelding had been off for more than a year prior to his last start, so his current physical condition is suspect. We Should Talk, claimed in four of his last five starts, returned to the R. Atras barn when haltered for $12,500 in February but has been away since then. If he returns as well as he left the Gemologist gelding, first or second in nine of 21 career starts, clearly will be the one to fear most. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics but otherwise pass the race.
RACE 2: Post 1:44 ET. Grade: X
Single: 5-Seasons

Forecast: Seasons is a first-timer by Tapit from Winter Memories and has trained like a good thing for J. J. Toner. A bullet recent workout around dogs on grass (4f, :48.3, fastest of 11) was visually quite pleasing (view workout), so in a juvenile maiden two-turner on turf for fillies that didn’t come up particularly strong, she appears well-placed to win at first asking. Listed at 9/5 on the morning line but likely to go lower, she can be used as a logical rolling exotic single.

RACE 3: Post 2:20 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Say Moi; 4-Critical Value

Forecast: Say Moi shows rising speed figures with each outing and earned a huge number when second to Spice Is Nice while more than seven lengths clear of the rest in a hot allowance race at Belmont Park last month. The Union Rags filly retains J. Rosario, shows a recent bullet recent workout (4f, :48.1b, fastest of 83) and seems likely to be the controlling speed. However, there’s really not much we can do with her at even money on the morning line. As a saver in your rolling exotics you may want to consider the progressive Bodemeister filly Critical Value, a sharp state-bred stakes winner over seven furlongs in her sophomore debut in late June. She’s nowhere near as fast on pure numbers as ‘Moi but projects to enjoy a good stalking trip and appears to have room for further improvement.

RACE 4: Post 2:54 ET. Grade: B
Use: 3-Lightfoot Miss; 6-Saratoga Commando; 7-Fouette

Forecast: This looks like a pretty good maiden special weight sprint for juvenile fillies and we expect that it will take a nice sort to win it. Saratoga Commando has been impressive in the a.m. with a series of sharp, breezing drills and is bred to win early (Majesticperfection). The C. Brown-trained filly acts like she has plenty of early speed but hasn’t been allowed to show it. Fouette, a $400,000 yearling filly by Nyquist, is comfortably drawn outside for the powerful S. Asmussen/R. Santana, Jr. team and at 9/5 on the morning line is the likely choice and one to beat. A bullet gate drill (5f, :59 flat, fastest of 26) over the Saratoga main track last month jumps off the page. Lightfoot Miss is a W. Mott first-timer by Violence and has done everything asked of her in the morning. The workout times aren’t fast, but a :47 3/5 gate drill last month (third fastest of 70) indicates she has plenty of ability, and at 6-1 on the morning line she’s certainly worth including somewhere on your ticket.

RACE 5: Post 3:28 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 2-Ms Boombastic

Forecast: Ms Boombastic finally makes it to the races in August of her 3-year-old season and does so in a middle distance turf event for older maiden fillies and mares that didn’t come up particularly strong. A $125,000 auction purchase at the 2019 OBS March Sale, where she previewed in :21 seconds and looked terrific doing it, the daughter of Mr Speaker has worked smoothly for W. Mott without being asked for speed while looking plenty fit and ready for a big effort first time out. Certainly bred to run long on the lawn, she’s listed at 6-1 on the morning line and will offer plenty of wagering value at or near that price both in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single.

RACE 6: Post 4:07 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 5-Secondary Market; 6-Primacy; 8-Palio Flag; 8-Pop a Choc

Forecast: Here’s a much better than par first level allowance sprint for fillies and mares that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Several of these appear on their way to bigger and better things. Pop a Choc turned back to a sprint for the first time, switched to dirt, and demolished a fairly representative maiden field from the rail last month at Belmont Park while earning speed figure that makes her tough right back. Drawn comfortably outside and appearing the type that can win on the lead or from a stalking position, the daughter of Bernardini retains Johnny V., wo can choose his spot depending upon how the race flow develops. Primacy crushed a maiden field in June at Belmont Park with a career top figure and while there wasn’t a whole lot behind her the daughter of Union Rags did it the right way and certainly should be capable of better if needed. A strong, healthy work tab since that race indicates the C. Brown-trained filly is right on edge. The other C. Brown entrant, Secondary Market, is a “must use” as well at 6-1 on the morning line.. When last seen 11 months ago the daughter of Into Mischief was burying a good maiden field at Belmont Park with huge figure and her work tab on the comeback trail at Monmouth Park indicates she hasn’t lost a step. Palio Flag was a maiden debut winner at Keeneland last month in good style with a nice number, and as a daughter Curlin should continue to improve with experience and maturity. She has a good stalking style and is ideally suited for this extended sprint distance.

RACE 7: Post 4:43 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Aunt Nadine; 5-Mo Me Mo My

Forecast: Mo Me Mo My shows up in a seller for the first time, remove blinkers, switches to J. Rosario, and has back speed figures that are better than par for this level. The D. O’Neill-trained daughter of Uncle Mo exits a much stronger race and should greatly appreciate this softer assignment. Aunt Nadine ran well to be second in a similar restricted (nw-2) $40,000 turf sprint here last month in her first outing since vanning up from Gulfstream Park and in her first start since joining the S. Asmussen barn. The daughter of Uncle Mo has every right to produce a forward move and should settle into a comfortable second flight, stalking spot and have every chance when it counts. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with a preference on top to Mo Me Mo My.

RACE 8: Post 5:17 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Venezuelan Rug; 3-Shamrocket; 8-City Man

Forecast: Let’s take a shot at a price in this stronger than par first-level allowance affair restricted to 3-year-olds over nine furlongs on the inner turf course. Venezuelan Hugearned a big number two runs back when winning a starter optional claimer from Givemetwenty, who came out of that race to win a similar event and then yesterday captured the $100,000 Not Surprising S. at Gulfstream Park. In his most recent outing, the son of Constitution had a dreadful trip while every wide without cover in a race won by Decorated Invader and wasn’t knocked about through the lane when the cause was lost. From his good rail draw and with a series of sharp local drills to have him ready to bounce back, the D. Gargan-trained colt retains L. Saez and may be good enough to pull off a surprise at 6-1 on the morning line. City Man is a major player after finishing fourth but beaten less than a length in the Transylvania S.-G3 at Keeneland last month. The C. Clement-trained colt returns to the allowance ranks today and has enough tactical speed to be positioned wherever regular rider J. Rosario wants him to be. Shamrocket, the “other” C. Clement entrant, is a legitimate contender based on speed figures,. He continues to improve with every outing and with another forward may be hard to contain in the final furlong.

RACE 9: Post 5:50 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Endorsed; 4-Its All Relevant

Forecast: Endorsed was in too tough when a respectable seventh in the Met Mile but before that was an excellent runner-up to Code of Honor in the Westchester S.-G3 while six clear of the rest when earning a triple-digit Beyer speed figure. Stakes-placed over this track and distance last year, the W. Mott-trained colt looks every bit the 7/5 that he is on the morning line and should be capable of producing a winning late bid. Its All Relevant is the controlling speed and if not policed will take this field a very long way. A winner of 12 of 27 starts and never sharper since being claimed for $32,000 by Rudy last December, the veteran Hard Spun gelding has speed figures that make him a threat, so at 6-1 on the morning line you probably should include him as a saver or a backup.

RACE 10: Post 6:22 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Imperio D; 8-Brunate

Forecast: The finale is a modest maiden claiming New York-bred sprint with not much depth. The logical contenders are Imperio D and Brunate, the two-three finishers in a similar affair here last month, with a neck separating the pair at the wire. Brunate may have bit more improvement in him so we’ll give him a slight edge on top in a race that we’re not planning to get too involved in. Both can be used in your rolling exotics.