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Wednesday, August 26: Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

August 26, 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 first race is for hurdlers. We will pass the race.

RACE 2: Post 1:21 ET. Grade: X
Use: 1-Munnings Muse; 5-Snicket

Forecast: Munnings Muse showed promise in her debut 14 months ago at Belmont Park when finishing second beaten six lengths while nine lengths clear of the rest in a very fast maiden special weight five furlong sprint. This will be her first start since and if she returns as well as she left the G. Gullo-trained will be very difficult to beat in this six runner affair. She returns as a first-time Lasix user with I. Ortiz, Jr. taking the call and shows a work tab that while not fancy should have her fit enough. However, at 6/5 on the morning line she really won’t be offering much value. Snicket, in the money in her last three with steadily rising (but not quite par for the level) speed figures, doesn’t have a whole lot of gate speed and will be doing her best work from the quarter pole home. We doubt she can beat ‘Muse if that one shows up with her best stuff but the daughter of Lemon Drop Kid seems clearly the best of the rest and therefore is worth including on a ticket or two as a back-up.

RACE 3: Post 1:54 ET. Grade: C
Use: Pass/No Play

Forecast: There are five entrants in this 11-furlong inner turf event for entry-level allowance fillies and mares, with the morning line prices ranging from the favorite at 2-1, Cap de Creus, to the longest priced runner in the field, Setting the Mood, at 4-1. Each starter has a legitimate claim, and in race that almost certainly will be a contested at a false pace (with Whatdoesasharksay the certain front-runner), anything can happen and nothing would surprise us. With regards to the rolling exotics, we’ll recommend a “buy the race” strategy and let the cards fall where they may.

RACE 4: Post 2:29 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Dash to the Top; 4-Katies Courage; 7-Dressy

Forecast: Dressy was well-backed (5/2) in her debut vs. straight maiden foes but never landed a blow while wide and well-beaten, so this drop into the much softer maiden $50,000 level is warranted. She had trained like she could run a bit prior to that mid-July outing and with three works since she’s on a healthy pattern. If she can run at all, this is the right spot to show it, so let’s give the daughter of Air Force Blue another chance in a lackluster affair at or near her morning line of 6-1. Dash to the Top, a fair third in her debut at this level last month while wide into the lane before losing her punch late, certainly has a right to benefit from that outing and may produce a forward move for a barn that’s about average with this maneuver. She may be the one to beat by default. Katies Courage is a first-timer with a decent gate work on her resume earlier this month and on that alone she’s has to be considered something of a contender. The barn’s okay with first-timers so at 6-1 on the morning she’s worth including somewhere on your ticket.

RACE 5: Post 3:02 ET. Grade: X
Use: 3-Checksandbalances; 9-Kitten’s Romance

Forecast: Here’s another maiden claimer, this one for $40,000 fillies and mares going long on the lawn. Checksandbalances has been a beaten favorite in her first two starts but seems to be improving and with another forward move today should be capable of earning her diploma. The C. Brown-trained Irish-bred filly retains I. Ortiz, Jr., so in a soft spot she’ll most likely leave as the chalk once again. Kitten’s Romance must overcome the outside draw but was second (beaten a nose) in the same race Checksandbalances (who missed by a neck) just finished third in, so they’re very hard to separate. Both are from top-quality outfits, both have left town since that race (Checksandbalances to Monmouth Park and back; Kitten’s Romance to Keeneland back), and both should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 6: Post 3:37 ET. Grade: X
Single: 3-Assume

Forecast: Assume is listed at 6/5 on the morning line in this restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares. Up a notch following a M. Maker claim (a little above average stats with this angle), the lightly-raced 3-year-old crushed a maiden $20,000 field with a career-top speed figure in what just her fourth career start over this track and distance last month, and if she can duplicate that type of effort today she’ll pay quick dividends for her new connections. While we expect her to win, the daughter of Candy Ride probably won’t offer any wagering value at her expected price, so you can use her as a no-value rolling exotic single or simply pass the race.

RACE 7: Post 4:12 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Buy Land and See; 8-Maven; 10-Turned Aside

Forecast: This is a salty overnight stakes for 3-year-old sprinting on grass. Maven in the certain favorite and one to beat. The son of American Pharoah, a Group-3 stakes winner in France last year, returned off a nearly one year layoff and was dominant in a strong allowance race at Keeneland while winning gate-to-wire with a powerful speed figure. Similar pace pressing tactics certainly will be employed today; this time, however, he’ll have to deal with strong pressure from the colt drawn outside him, the stakes-winning Jack and Noah. Actually, at a much better price, we’re most intrigued by the Parx shipper Buy Land and See, a winner of his last three including the Awad S. last fall at Belmont Park. This trip might be a tad sharp for the son of Cairo Prince but he could be dangerous with a hot pace up front and a trouble-free journey from the rail. We’ll double the race using the two listed above and then press in the win pool with Buy Land and See.

RACE 8: Post 4:46 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 4-Blowout

Forecast: Blowout has run in nothing but stakes races since breaking her maiden in her debut, and after a tough 3-year-old campaign that produced a victory in the Pebbles S. last September and a strong runner-up performance in the Valley View S.-G3 at Keeneland in October, she was sent home for a nice vacation. The English-bred filly returns in a three-other-than allowance race when facing a field that she should out-class, and with a work tab that should have her plenty fit for a barn that has superior stats (29%) with layoff runners the C. Brown-trained daughter of Dansili is the logical top pick and one to beat. At 9/5 on the morning line we’ll make her a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 9: Post 5:20 ET. Grade: B
Use: 3-Admaa; 7-Dial Me Up; 8-Let Them Eat Cake

Forecast: The nightcap is a better than average maiden special weight turf sprint for fillies and mares. There are several possibilities; we’ll try to get by using just three. Admaa is an interesting Monmouth Park shipper making her first start for C. Brown after displaying ability in a series of drills, including a bullet half-mile breeze in :48 flat (fastest of 72) earlier this month. She easily could have stayed put and make her first start in a maiden affair in New Jersey but shows up at Sartoga in what we’ll view as a sign of confidence. Certainly bred to win early (The Factor) she offers good gambling value at 4-1 on the morning line. Dial Me Up, runner-up in her first two career outings (both on dirt), projects as a dangerous pace presser/forcer, and if she can produce another forward move and transfer her main track form to grass the C. Clement-trained filly will be a major player at 6-1 on the morning line. Let Them Eat Cake, most effective when held up early and allowed to run late, will receive the patient ride she requires from J. Rosario and with some help up front could make some serious noise in the final furlong.