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Friday, August 14: Saratoga (TB) Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

August 14, 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 Best Plays:

Laurel Park – 7th race. Post Time: 3:58 PT
5 – Clear Vision (8-1)

Back at the scene of his debut maiden win in his first outing since February, and if the J. O’Dwyer-trained colt returns as well as he left he can spring a surprise in this first-level allowance middle distance affair. The barn’s “go-to” rider J. Toledo takes the call on this lightly-raced son of Artie Schiller, who has figures that fit and enough tactical speed to be within range in a race that should have soft early splits. There’s good value to be found in the win pool in Stronach-5 play (Leg A) at or near his morning line of 8-1.

Del Mar – 5th race. Post Time: 4:09 PT
3 – Raymundos Secret (9/5)

Makes her first start since last October for new trainer P. D’Amato and has a history of firing fresh, both in her runaway winning debut and in her first California appearance last summer over this course and distance following a six month vacation. Recent works have been superb and indicate she hasn’t lost a step, so this lightly raced but talented turf specialist should be hard to catch under top rider F. Prat in this second-level allowance miler. At 9/5 on the morning line she’s win play and logical rolling exotic single.

Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies

RACE 1: Post 1:10 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Spanish Peaks; 7-Ain’t None Lucky

Forecast Indiana Downs shipper Spanish Peaks drops for the money run in this modest maiden $20,000 extended sprint for fillies and mares and catches a field without her kind of early speed. If the B. Cox-trained filly leaves cleanly from the rail, she should be able to establish the pace without pressure and be tough to catch, though at this extended sprint distance that final sixteenth of a mile will be interesting. Ain’t None Lucky is strictly the one to fear in the closing stages. The Maryland invader shows up in a seller for the first time, lands the cozy outside post, and has speed figures that are good enough to win. The daughter of Candy Ride might be most effective if held up early and then turned loose late. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with a very slight edge on top to Spanish Peaks.

RACE 2: Post 1:44 ET. Grade:
Use: 5-Tiple; 6-Notorious R B G

Forecast: We’re not certain Notorious R B G will offer at any real wagering value if she leaves close to her morning line of 7/5 but the race sets up nicely for the lightly-raced 3-year-old representing the powerful C. Clement/J Rosario team and with the class drop from the listed Lady Shipman S. to this first-level allowance event she certainly shouldn’t have any excuses. Apparently most effective when allowed to settle early and produce a late run, the daughter of Speightstown seems likely to enjoy the proper race shape to promote her style. Tiple has numbers that fit and is a perfect one-for-one over the local lawn, having won a restricted claimer last year with a strong late kick. Fresh from a career top score at Belmont Park in a starter’s allowance race, the Irish-bred filly will be motoring late, and with a bit of help up front and good racing luck should be heard from in the final furlong.

RACE 3: Post 2:20 ET. Grade: B
Single: 7-Mosienko

Forecast: Mosienko is a first-off-the-claim from an outfit that does very well with this particular angle, so the daughter of Hat Trick has a reasonable chance to repeat her convincingly win last month at Belmont Park while competing for this price in the softer nw-2 condition. She likes to settle and make a run and as such should be perfectly suited for this extended sprint trip under J. Rosario, who stays aboard for new trainer R. Falcone, and with the other main contender, Hefty G. an off-the-program scratch, we’ll make her a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 4: Post 2:54 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 5-Feel Glorious

Forecast: Feel Glorious makes her third start off a layoff and it should be her best. The improving English-bred filly finished a respectable third in the pace-less New York S.-G1 behind the high-class Mean Mary in her seasonal bow in June and then last month finished strongest but too late when third in the Matchmaker S.-G3 at Monmouth Park, a sharp effort that produced a career top speed figure. The C. Clement-trained daughter of Bated Breath has been kept on edge with a couple of slow and easy breezes since that race, is reunited with “win rider” J. Alvarado, and seems capable of producing a surprise at 5-1 on the morning line in this year’s edition of the Perfect Sting S. The pace of today’s race should be borderline creepy-crawler, so hopefully she won’t be given too much to do from the quarter pole home.

RACE 5: Post 3:28 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 4-New Frontier; 5-It’s a Wrap

Forecast: It’s a Wrap makes the all-important class drop from straight maiden to maiden claiming in his third start off a layoff and appears to have found a proper spot to earn his diploma in this abbreviated turf sprint for older horses. A repeat of his race-before-last when second beaten a neck at Belmont Park should be good enough to handle this lackluster field. New Frontier is a 14-race maiden and certainly not one to trust, but he has back numbers good enough to win and early speed in a race that has little of it. If the M. Maker-trained gelding clears without pressure, he could get brave, so we’ll reluctantly include him in our rolling exotics.

RACE 6: Post 4:04 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1a-Clench; 6-Life in Shambles

Forecast: Florida shipper Life in Shambles is a popular old pro with a winning spirit and the proven ability to fire a big shot fresh. First or second in 24 of 56 career starts (with 12 wins), the 9-year-old gelding makes his first start for the L. Rice barn while dropping to the $20,000 level. Given his late-running style, the son of Broken Vow should have every chance to tag the speed at this extended sprint trip, so with I. Ortiz, Jr. taking the call let’s put him on top and hope to get close to his morning line of 7/2. Clench is another dangerous class dropper with a strong look off his best effort. Fourth in a hot race here last month,, the B. Cox-trained son of The Factor has only one way to go – on the front end – and appears to be the most dangerous of the pace-types .

RACE 7: Post 4:41 ET. Grade: X
Single: 3-Fig Jelly

Forecast: At first glance Fig Jelly seems pretty solid in this restricted (nw-3) $35,000 claiming turf sprint; he’s 8/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower. However, his lifetime record (2 wins in 25 starts with 12 seconds) makes him very difficult to trust. The son of Forestry has never raced this cheaply but you can’t find his last win unless you look it up at equibase.com, (we did, it was July of 2018 at Belmont Park 15 races ago). Stakes-placed twice over this course and distance in his younger days, the B. Cox-trained 5-year-old arrives after missing by a neck in a second level allowance grass dash at Indiana Downs last month while earning a speed figure good enough to win today. The bottom line is that you can use him as a no-value rolling exotic single or simply pass the race.

RACE 8: Post 5:14 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Thorny Tale; 4-Tale of the Union; 5-Leaky Cup

Forecast: Tale of the Union regained his winning form with a confidence-building score last month at Belmont Park while earning a speed figure that makes him tough right back despite the one level class-hike. The lightly-raced son of Union Rags shook off his pace rivals in that race and likely will have to do the same today in a race that contains other speed types that should keep him occupied throughout. Still well regarded with further room to improve, the B. Baffert-trained colt gets the edge on top but certainly not as a slam dunk single at 8/5 on the morning line. Thorny Tale blew past ‘Union when the met in early June but a sloppy track may have muddled the form. Today, over fast going, the G. Weaver-trained colt should be able to do his best work from a second flight, stalking position, and given the projected race flow may be the last one standing in the final furlong. Leaky Cup has a prior win at Saratoga but it was accomplished over a sloppy track and it may well be that the Central Banker gelding requires a wet surface to maximum his abilities. He will assure a quick pace but we’re not really sure if he can clear the field and may need to do just that to win at this level.

RACE 9: Post 5:46 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1a-Value Engineering; 4-Mr. Alec

Forecast: The lightly-raced Mr. Alec, a facile winner in a mini-marathon here earlier this month vs. first-level allowance foes, faces tougher while moving up a level on the class ladder while shortening up to a mile and three-sixteenths, but the 4-year-glding seems on the verge of getting very, very good, as his recent stakes-quality speed figure would indicate. The C. Clement-trained son of Mr. Sidney has shown the ability to win as the controlling speed or from a pace-stalking position but given the pace projection we’ll be quite surprised if gate-to-wire tactics aren’t employed. Value Engineering missed at 4/5 when being worn down late while pressing the pace throughout over a mile and three-eighths last time out. He may be more effective at this shorter trip with patient handling so we’ll see if a change tactics is employed.

RACE 10: Post 6:18 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 8-Lucky Latkes; 9-Running On Entry; 10-Unicorn Sally

Forecast: We’ll go three-deep in the finale, a state-bred maiden claiming turf miler for fillies and mares. Unicorn Sally had all kinds of trouble when eighth but beaten only four lengths in straight maiden company here last month and with a good trip today against this softer group the daughter of Point of Entry should be capable of producing the last run. Running on Entry, another Point of Entry filly and exiting the same race as ‘Sally, makes her second start off a layoff and her first in a claimer, and seems likely to step forward for a barn that has superior stats (from a small sample) with these angles. With decent early fractions to set things up and good racing luck she’ll be heard from late. Lucky Latkes has hit the board in both of her career starts with less than ideal trips and could easily be better than the form shows for C. Clement. While her morning line price (5/2 favorite) isn’t especially attractive, the daughter of Lookin At Lucky is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.