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Friday, August 28: Saratoga/Del Mar Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

August 28, 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 – Race 7: Post Time 5:09 PT.
5 – Carpe Fortuna (6-1)

Let’s take a gamble with this first-time starting juvenile filly in a five furlong turf dash that on paper looks fairly wide open. The daughter of Carpe Diem out of a half-sister to Lucky Pulpit breezed a sizzling quarter mile in 20 4/5 seconds at the OBS April sale preview session while displaying quick action and super speed and should be plenty of fit after a healthy recent series of easy drills for trainer P. Eurton. If she breaks with her field, she can win, so at 6-1 on the morning line let’s use her in the win pool and in all of our rolling exotics.

Del Mar – Race 8: Post Time 5:39 PT
5-Message (7/2)

Freshened since May, Message has been looking quite sharp in morning drills for B. Baffert and should fire a big shot in the five-runner edition of the Tranquility Lake S. for older fillies and mares. Most effective when on or near the lead, the daughter of Warrior’s Reward catches a field without too much speed, so we’re expecting F. Pat to employ front-running tactics and coax her along from there. Her best effort is good enough, so at 7/2 on the morning line she’ll offer value as a win play and a potential rolling exotic single.

Saratoga Analysis and Wagering Strategies:

RACE 1: Post 1:10 ET. Grade: X
Use: 2-Captain Bombastic; 5-Dream Bigger

Forecast: The Friday opener features three-year-olds competing in a 100K New York Stallion S. series race at six and one-half furlongs on the main track in a race that drew just five starters. Captain Bombastic finished a respectable fourth in the H. Allen Jerkens S.-G1 earlier this month and today returns to state-bred company and is listed as the 3/5 morning line favorite. A winner of a similar affair two runs back at Belmont Park, the son of Forty Tales has the proper stalking style for this extended sprint trip and seems likely to produce the last run. Dream Bigger finished third to our top pick in the Mike Lee S. in June and then was out of his element when unplaced in a two-turn turf stakes here earlier this month. He’ll have every chance with a pace-pressing trip outside to turn the tables on ‘Bombastic and must be given a legitimate chance to do so. In a race that we’ll otherwise pass, both should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 2: Post 1:44 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Princess Fawzia; 5-Hurricane Breeze

Forecast: This race remains on grass but has been switched from the inner course to the Widener (outer) track. Princess Fawzia has improved with each start and after a couple of brutal beats vs. similar starter’s allowance company should be able to seal the deal today. The lightly-raced daughter of Cairo Prince can win on the lead or as a stalker depending upon the race flow so I. Ortiz, Jr. can play it by ear. Hurricane Breeze, a closing fourth in the same race our top pick exits, may be the one to fear in the final furlong if the pace turns up better than average (it might) and is worth including on your ticket as a back-up or a saver.

RACE 3: Post 2:20 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 4-Rejected Again; 6-Principal Dancer

Forecast: This race has been significantly impacted with the overnight scratching of two main players, Wardenofthenorth and Swordsman, leaving a field of just six. Principal Dancer has a solid runner-up effort over the local main track under these conditions last month while earning a career top speed figure and a repeat of that race today makes him the one to beat. Rejected Again, freshened since March, shows up cheap for G. Gullo, so he may have issues. The son of Tapizar projects to be part of the pace throughout and against this group could stick around long enough to survive. We’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play

RACE 4: Post 2:54 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Cobble Hill; 2-Stage Left

Forecast: The contention is drawn inside in this starter’s allowance sprint for $50,000 claimers with Stage Left clearly the fastest of the sixpack based strictly on numbers. The W. Ward-trained gelding was in a tad tough when fourth in first-level allowance company earlier this month but a repeat of his sharp, highly-rated score two runs back will be more than good enough to win. The son of Congrats is most effective when on or near the lead throughout and in a field without any blazers he should draft into a comfortable pace-stalking position. Cable Hill is protected in a sign of confidence by R. Rodriguez after being claimed out of a seven length win for $16,000 two runs back and then finishing a strong runner-up on the raise to $35,000 with a career top speed figures when wheeled back last month. If he can avoid trouble from the rail, the late-running sprinter by Verrazano will be heard from in the final furlong.

RACE 5: Post 3:30 ET. Grade: B
Single: 2-Party At Page’s

Forecast: This state-bred maiden juvenile filly sprint has been switched from turf to the main track. Party at Page’s was more than eight lengths clear of the rest when nosed out in her debut over this track and distance last month and a repeat of that effort today should be good enough to land her in the winner’s circle, unless there’s a hot shot first-timer in the field (and we’re not seeing one). The daughter of Gemologist must leave cleanly from the rail but if she does she should be on or near the lead throughout. In the absence of any specific knowledge regarding the first-timers, we’ll settle on this J. Englehart-trained filly as a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 6: Post 4:06 ET. Grade: B
Use: 2-Dovima; 6-Back Channel

Forecast: Dovima appears set to graduate after missing in two photo’s in a pair of grass route affairs to begin her career. Today she shortens to a sprint, switches to the main track and shows an impressive bullet workout (5f, 1:00b, fastest 17) over the local main track to indicate she’ll handle the change in surface just fine. The filly that edged her last time, In Front, came back to verify the strength of the race by repeating on the raise vs. first-level allowance competition. Back Channel, in the money in both of her starts, most recently produced an improved speed figure when third in a hot race last month at Belmont Park and should manufacture another forward move after a recent bullet five furlong drill (1:01 3/5, fastest of 14). The L. Rice-trained filly is worth using on a ticket or two, with the main punch going to Dovima.

RACE 7: Post 4:41 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Battle Station; 2-Sayyaaf; 3-Matta; 5-New York’s Finest

Forecast: This is a messy affair requiring a spread in rolling exotic play. We’ll go four deep but if you find the need to use more, go right ahead. Battle Station is a late-running sprinter in a race that has plenty of front-running types and could produce the last run with clear sailing in the lane. He’s a winner of two of three career starts over the Saratoga turf course and his good recent form at Delaware Park and Parx shows he’s doing well and ready for another top effort. To us he looks more dangerous than his morning line of 10-1 gives him credit for. New York’s Finest is a real pro and will take them on the front end for as far as he can. A winner of 10 of 24 career starts and five of seven over the local lawn, the R. Rodriguez-trained son of City Zip is moving up in class but has numbers that fit well in this league. Matta is lightly-raced and improving and produced speed figures at Laurel Park that make him competitive on this circuit. At 10-1 on the morning line, the Tale Charge Indy gelding lands Johnny V. and offers a decent look at a price. Sayyaaf was a beaten choice when facing many of these same faces over this course and distance last month while encountering a rough trip but if he can secure a clean journey from the rail the C. Brown-trained colt may have a good look in a total scramble of a race. He’s likely to have to deal with plenty of early heat and hasn’t always been generous in the final furlong.

RACE 8: Post 5:14 ET. Grade: B
Use: 2-Irish Front; 4-Blindwillie McTell

Forecast: Irish Front is a promising colt making just his third career start and after crushing a maiden field over this track and distance last month and seems quite capable of repeating on the raise. The son of Summer Front earned a giant speed figure in victory and sports a steady, healthy work tab since for T. Pletcher. He’s 8/5 on the morning line and it would be surprising to see him go a couple of ticks lower. Blindwillie McTell, a recent third in a hot race at this level in his first outing since February, should produce a forward move with that effort behind him and is the one to fear most. A multiple stakes winner in New York bred company, the son of Posse hasn’t quite showcased similar talents in open company but has speed figures that fit and has the proper stalking style for this extended sprint distance. We’ll have tickets including both in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Irish Front.

RACE 9: Post 5:46 ET. Grade: X
Single: 1-Sweet Melania

Forecast: Sweet Melania is listed as the 8/5 morning line favorite and we suspect she’ll go even lower than that in this year’s edition of the Lake George S.-G3 for 3-year-old fillies over a mile on grass. She’s the best filly in the race, is fastest on speed figures, proven over the course, and is the controlling speed in a race that has little of it. The daughter of American Pharoah, fresh from a gate-to-wire win in the Wonder Again S.-G3 in June in her season debut and training steadily in the interim, is a logical short-priced rolling exotic single.

RACE 10: Post 6:16 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 5-Madam Deputy; 8-Cainudothetwist

Forecast: This maiden claimer for fillies and mares has been transferred to the main track and will be contested at nine furlongs. Tread lightly. MTO entrant Madam Deputy is a first-off-the-claim play for Rudy and seems sure to improve after finishing a distant but respectable third in her debut at this level in a better than average affair at Belmont Park last month. The daughter of Constitution should enjoy today’s longer trip and really doesn’t have a whole lot to beat. Cainudothetwist, a solid runner-up in her only outing, is another likely to step forward; however, she’s bred more for grass than dirt so we’re just hoping she can run as well on the main track as she did over the Belmont Park lawn in early July. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics but the best advice is to include as many as your budget allows.