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Jeff Siegel's Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies - 8/12/20

by Jeff Siegel

August 12, 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 12:50 ET. Grade:
Use: Pass/No Play

Forecast: The Wednesday opener is for hurdlers. We’ll pass the race.

RACE 2: Post 1:21 ET. Grade: B
Use: 5-Strike That

Forecast: This allowance optional claimer at seven furlongs drew just five entrants, so let’s take a stand and single the second choice on the morning line, Strike That (5/2). Drawn comfortably outside in a race that projects to produce very soft early fractions, the lightly-raced 4-year-old can pop and go or stalk and pounce depending upon the break and the race flow, and with a good recent outing over the track in his second off of a layoff for a barn that has superior stats with this angle (28%) he seems set for a breakthrough performance. Slightly slower on pure numbers than the 6/5 morning line favoriteTiz He the One, the R. Diodoro-trained gelding nevertheless has more room for improvement and offers better wagering value as a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 3: Post 1:54 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Fluent in Sarcasm; 7-Money in the Bank

Forecast: Maryland shipper Money in the Bank seems set for a big effort in this modest state-bred maiden $40,000 claiming turf sprint after finishing a solid runner-up in a similar affair at Belmont Park in mid-June and showing three nice breezes since then to have him ready for a forward move in his second start off a layoff. The Central Banker gelding fits nicely in the speed figure department and projects to enjoy a good pace-stalking journey in a race that should develop with a modest early splits. Fluent in Sarcasm may be the quickest of the quick and if he can shake loose early the Kantharos gelding could get brave. The M. Maker-trained 3-year-old is a tad slower on pure numbers than ‘Bank but given the expected race flow seems the one to fear most. We’ll try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics.

RACE 4: Post 2:29 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Friend of Liberty; 6-Tied Up; 7-Radiantrithym

Forecast: Trainer L. Rice holds the aces here with two uncoupled main players in this $12,500 claiming sprint for fillies and mares, topped by Radiantrithym, the even money morning line favorite. She was haltered for $20,000 last month but today, in her first start for her new connections, drops considerably in class in what can’t be taken as a sign of confidence. That said, the veteran mare, first or second in 22 of 58 career starts though beaten as the choice in two of her last three starts, should enjoy a soft trip outside and is more than good enough to dominate at this level if she has at least one good one left. The “other” Rice entrant, Friend of Liberty, easily won at this level two runs back in March and then was waiver protected when fourth in a $16,000 affair last time out while finishing more than five lengths behind Radiantrithym. The Dominus mare should fire her best shot today but will need the favorite to run below her best. Tied Up is worth considering as a back-up on your rolling exotic ticket. A $10,000 claim by a barn that hits at 24% with this angle, she has form at Finger Lakes that looks decent and also shows a few back speed figures that chart well with these, so at 6-1 on the morning line she may offer a bit of value at or near that price.

RACE 5: Post 3:02 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1a-Freedom Force; 6-Union Colonel

Forecast: Union Colonel shows up in a high-priced maiden claimer for the first time and should thoroughly enjoy the softer assignment and the stretch-out in trip. The M. Casse-trained colt had a speed sharpener when prominent for a half before fading in a quick straight maiden turf dash here last month (his first outing since February), and as a son of Colonel John should enjoy the two-turn trip. The barn has strong stats with the second-off-the-layoff angle, so at 6-1 on the morning line and with regular jockey T. Gaffalione staying aboard he deserves the edge on top. Freedom Force may employ gate-to-wire tactics in his first start for a tag, his first start since early June,, and in his first since arriving from Gulfstream Park. The barn’s “go-to” rider J. Ortiz takes the call, so we’ll include this M. Maker-trained colt in rolling exotic play.

RACE 6: Post 3:37 ET. Grade: B
Use: 5-Bustin Scones; 6-Kinky Sox

Forecast: With the 4/5 morning line favorite Eloquent Speaker an overnight scratch, this first-level state-bred allowance sprint for fillies and mares takes on a much different look. Kinky Sox just won a modest claimer over this track and distance last month, doing so from the rail with a stalking trip and a speed figure that makes her a strong fit right back despite the raise in class. Comfortably drawn outside, the lightly-raced 6-year-old mare should have clear sailing just off what projects to be a modest pace and then have her chance to seal the deal when it matters. Bustin Scones may be the most dangerous of the closing types, though this low percentage barn doesn’t inspire confidence. We’ll include her on a ticket or two as a back-up in our rolling exotics.

RACE 7: Post 4:12 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Tackle; 11-Microsecond; 12-Sandro the Great

Forecast: Here’s a spread race, a maiden special weight miler over the inner grass course for New York-bred older horses. The best of the known element may be Sandro the Great, a lightly-raced colt from the powerful trainer/jockey team of C. Clement and J. Rosario but stuck way outside in the 12-hole and thus susceptible to a wide, ground-losing journey. Two runs back in a grass affair at Belmont Park the son of Empire Maker earned a “buried” speed figure that charts very well against this group, so if he can manage to negotiate a decent trip he should be right there. Microsecond, also victimized by a poor draw (he’s in the 11-hole) tries grass for the first time, though there’s no guarantee based on his pedigree that he’s any kind of cinch to move up on the sod. The T. Pletcher-trained gelding should be forwardly placed throughout, and having finished in the frame in all three career starts certainly has a right to be considered a contender. Tackle is a first-timer from the W. Mott barn, and while he’s certainly bred to run long (Flatter) his female family doesn’t have a whole lot of turf in it. A recent bullet half mile breeze in :47 3/5 (fastest of 65) certainly is encouraging so at 10-1 on the morning line he’s worth including in your rolling exotic play.

RACE 8: Post 4:46 ET. Grade: B
Use: 4-Lil Commissioner; 7-Candy Tycoon

Forecast: Lil Commissioner was scratched last weekend in deference to this first-level allowance affair in a sign of confidence, and the R. Atras-trained gelding seems well-placed to extend his winning streak to three. After earning a career-top speed figure when crushing a $20,000 claiming field in late June at Belmont Park, the son of Field Commission switches to I. Ortiz, Jr. and should settle into a stalking position in this nine furlong main track affair and then have his chance to kick home when it counts. Candy Tycoon stumbled at the start in the Peter Pan S.-G3 and was always far back in a race that we’ll ignore; today the son of Twirling Candy has a strong look in this easier spot and earned a speed figure two runs back at Oaklawn Park that charts very well against this group. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Lil Commissioner.

RACE 9: Post 5:17 ET. Grade: B
Use: 4-Thoughtfully; 5-Lucifers Lair

Forecast: Lucifers Lair was a very pleasing debut winner last month and should go even better today with the extra furlong to work with. The daughter of Quality has the look of a high class prospect, and although her winning speed figure wasn’t particularly impressive she gave the impression of having much in reserve and being capable of stepping up as the situation requires. Thoughtfully won by herself at Churchill Downs in her debut in mid-June and returns for the high-percentage team of S. Asmussen/R. Santana, Jr. with a sharp, healthy work tab that includes a bullet five furlong breeze (1:00 4/5, fastest of 14) nine days ago to have her right on edge. The daughter of Tapit from the dam of Belmont Futurity S.-G2 winner Annual Report is another that should have no difficulty with today’s added distance. We’ll give Lucifers Lair a slight edge on top due to her win being accomplished at Saratoga but both must be included in your rolling exotics.

RACE 10: Post 5:48 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 6-Deeply Analytical; 8-Gringotts; 10-Love Me Tomorrow

Forecast: We have this maiden claiming extended sprint for state-bred fillies and mares down to three major contenders. Gringotts didn’t get the best of runs when a non-threatening sixth in a similar event here last month but with J. Rosario riding her back the daughter of Central Banker certainly can improve with a trouble-free journey. Hopefully, she can find herself somewhere in the second flight and then have her chance from the quarter pole home. Deeply Analytical was a $270,000 OBS March sale purchase last year but after flashing speed and then fading in her debut as a 2-year-old, she was sent home. The daughter of Majestic City returns in a modest seller, not exactly a ringing endorsement by connections who are willing to toss her into the scrap heap in just her second career outing. Nonetheless, she’s a contender by default. Love Me Tomorrow is nicely-drawn outside and seems certain to fold over into a good pace-pressing/stalking trip. If she can shake loose without undue pressure the daughter of Mineshaft may be capable of leading for a long time in a race in which the closers look highly suspect.