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Saturday, August 29: Saratoga/Del Mar Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

August 29, 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.

Del Mar Best Plays:

Del Mar 5th race – Post Time: 4:10 PT
5 – Fierce for Sul (5/2)

This blazingly quick filly set sizzling splits before being worn down late by next-out winner Secret Keeper while well clear of the rest in a promising debut performance at Santa Anita in May. She’s been entered twice and scratched since then, but the daughter of Speightstown has looked very sharp of late while breezing without blinkers while appearing sharp and relaxed. Bred for grass on both sides, the B. Baffert-trained sophomore should excel at this abbreviated sprint trip, so at 5/2 on the morning line she’s a win play and rolling exotic single.

Del Mar 6th race – Post Time: 4:40 PT
6 – Vittorio (2-1)

Promising juvenile colt lost all chance at the start in his debut earlier this month and then displayed excellent mid-race speed while wide to enter contention into the lane before racing greenly and then coasting home to finish fifth, beaten eighth lengths in a hot race for maiden 2-year-olds. This highly-regarded son of Ghostzapper should be much more professional today with that bit of experience behind him, so if leaves with his field he can be expected to make short work of his rivals and then go on to bigger and better things. He’s win play and rolling exotic single at or near his morning line of 2-1.

Del Mar 7th race – Post Time: 5:10 PT
1 – Beguiled (6-1)

This P. D’Amato-trained filly was victimized by a brutal trip in a similar one mile grass event here three weeks ago and wound up fourth beaten a half-length after being blocked badly throughout most of the stretch and then getting clear too late to make up the needed ground. She galloped out in front of the pack to indicate she was best, so today, with the switch to the A Cedillo and from the rail post position, the daughter of Orb needs only to find room to run to handle this task. There’s plenty of value here at her morning line of 6-1 if you can get it.

Del Mar 9th race – Post Time: 6:10 PT
3 – One Bad Boy (4-1)

The 2019 Queen’s Plate winner makes his first start in more than a year and has trained like he’s returning better than he left while dropping into this second-level allowance grass event for a trainer that has off-the-charts statistics with layoff runners. The high-class son of Twirling Candy won his only prior grass start all by himself and his comeback workouts have been extraordinary. Drawn comfortably inside and with the kind of tactical speed that should place him a good pace-stalking position, the R. Baltas-trained 4-year-old is generously listed at 4-1 on the morning line.

Del Mar 10th race – Post Time: 6:38 PT
5 – C Z Rocket (4-1)

The veteran gelding is vastly improved since being claimed by red-hot trainer P. Miller last spring and is a perfect three-for-three for his new connections with a trio of fast, highly-rated victories against lesser foes in the Midwest. He’s tackling Grade 2 company today but should be up to the task at this seven furlong distance that is ideal for his second flight, stalking-style. With F. Prat pick up the mount and with a nice easy breeze over the track to have him on edge, the son of City Zip appears capable of wearing down the leaders late while offering good wagering value at 4-1 on the morning line.

Saratoga Analysis and Wagering Strategies:

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

Use: 6-Happy Sophia; 7-Enough Love

Forecast: Handicappers are at the mercy of a wet/sloppy/muddy surface that some horses will love and others will flounder over. Enough Love finished a willing runner-up in a slightly tougher spot here last month while earning a career top speed figure and a repeat of that effort in this restricted (nw-2) $16,000 sprint for fillies and mares should be good enough. She’s late-running sprinter and a perfect one-for-one at this six and one-half furlong trip. Let’s hope she handles the wet track. Happy Sophia plummets in class in her first outing for a tag and may have found her friends. Very competitive in this league based strictly on speed figures, the Flat Out filly projects as a strong pace presence and could get very brave if she can shake loose early. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with perhaps a very slight edge on top to Enough Love.

RACE 2: Post 1:43 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 1-I Love Jaxson; 10-Wn Wye Cee

Forecast: This race has been transferred to the (sloppy) main track and will be contested at a mile and one-eighth. MTO entrant I Love Jackson has a history of handling a wet surface, exits a series of strong races, and projects to enjoy a comfortable second flight, ground-saving trip and have his chance to wear down the leaders in the lane. En Wye Cee returned off a long layoff and earned a career top speed figure when missing by a neck at this level on grass earlier this month. If he builds on that performance today – and handles the off track – he’ll be the one to beat. Tread lightly here.

RACE 3: Post 2:18 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Vanzzy; 4-L’Imperator; 5-Don Juan Kitten

Forecast: L’Imperator was a three-time winner over soft ground in France in good company while racing in the provinces and though making his first start since March the French-bred colt has worked like he’s fit and ready for C. Brown. The son of Holly Roman Emperor might be more effective at a long distance but he did graduate at this one mile trip and should be able to settle within range and then kick home when asked. The bulk of our action will go to this highly-promising import, but for protection we’ll also include on a back-up ticket Vanzzy and Don Juan Kitten. The former represents dangerous inside speed and comes off a nice score in the Jersey Derby at Monmouth Park while the latter is a lightly-raced and improving Kitten’s Joy colt fresh from a career-top score here from first-level allowance company here last month and could easily be this good.

RACE 4: Post 2:51 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1a-Tied Up; 2-Bustin Please

Forecast: The fourth race is a better-than-par extended sprint for $20,000 claiming fillies and mares. Tied Up looked quite sharp winning a $12,500 affair two weeks ago and is double-jumped in class by a barn that has terrific stats with repeat winners. Though relatively cheap on paper, the daughter of Even the Score has compiled a remarkable record of 12 wins from 23 starts (with five seconds and thirds). Additionally, she’s a perfect two-for-two at this six and one-half furlong trip, and an off-track freak (five wins in eight starts). Bustin to Please is another win machine, having won six of 12 lifetime outings. Today she drops below her claim level for the money run after being pitched a tad too high when unplaced in a state-bred optional $40,000 affair last month. Most effective on or near the lead, she needs to break cleanly from the rail and if she’s able to establish the running inside she could be hard to run down. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 5: Post 3:24 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Letmetakethiscall; 2-My Roxy Girl; 4-Archumybaby

Forecast: Archumybaby, a real pro (14 career wins) and fresh from a game win for $25,000 here earlier this month, is protected on the raise by new trainer R. Rodriguez, retains her favorite pilot L. Saez, and seems capable of paying a quick dividend for her new connections in this state-bred second level allowance optional claiming ($40,000) extended sprint. Never worse than second in six career starts (with four victories) at this exact seven furlong trip and a three-time winner on an off track, the daughter of Archarcharch has an ideal stalking style and should be able to wear down the leaders when it counts. Letmetakethiscall lands the rail and seems certain to be sent from the gate to establish the pace. Always dangerous when she can shake loose early, the L. Rice-trained mare doesn’t figure to have much pressure during the early stages so if she can get away with a comfortable opening quarter and half, she may never look back. My Roxy Girl, first or second in 19 of 39 career starts (and in the frame in seven of eight wet track outings), is a dependable sort that could improve with today’s extra furlong to work with. She figures for at least a piece of it. All three should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 6: Post 3:57 ET. Grade:
Use: 1-Newcomb; 4-Highly Motivated

Forecast: This maiden special weight sprint for juveniles is comprised entirely of first-time starters. Newbomb has trained like a quick colt for T. Pletcher, and as a son of Speightstown from the dam of graded stakes winner My Happy Face he looks very much like a win-early type. With a clean break from his rail draw, this $155,000 Fasig-Tipton fall yearling purchase should find himself on or near the lead throughout. Highly Motivated is another very promising newcomer with every right to run to his pedigree and good works. The son of Into Mischief was produced by Strong Incentive, a stakes-winner in her one and only start in Canada and brought $240,000 as a weanling at Keeneland. The local works have been strong for C. Brown and should have this colt plenty fit and ready. Let’s try to survive and advanced using just these two in rolling exotic play.

RACE 7: Post 4:32 ET. Grade: X
Use: 2-Yaupon; 3-Long Weekend

Forecast: Long Weekend projects as a strong favorite in this year’s renewal of the Amsterdam’s S.-G2 , though he’s perhaps a little less trustworthy after failing at 20 cents on the dollar in the listed Gold Fever S. at Belmont Park last month. The track was listed as sloppy for that race, perhaps giving him a legitimate excuse, but faces a similar very wet surface today based on the weather forecasts. Also, his only truly poor run in his career was here last year when he was a fading sixth in the Saratoga Special S. despite being well-backed on the tote. Finally, this will be his sixth different rider in his seven-race career. Yaupon earned a giant speed figure when beating first level allowance runners over this track and distance and last month and takes on much tougher and more experienced foes today. Unbeaten in two starts with the kind of early speed that could find him on the lead today, the son of Majesticperfection retains J. Rosario and shows a healthy series of recent workouts to indicate another forward move is likely. In a race that we’ll otherwise pass, both should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 8: Post 5:07 ET. Grade: B
Use: 2-Whitmore; 6-Complexity; 10-Mind Control; 11-Fortin Hill

Forecast: The Forego S.-G1, the premiere sprint stakes at the Saratoga meeting, came up very competitive while lacking a true star, so there’s a good chance a nice price in this seven furlong affair. Complexity, not normally a front-runner, catches a field with very little zip in it so it’s entirely possible the lightly-raced son of Maclean’s Music finds himself on the front end. Given that type of trip, he could be hard to beat. Fresh from a facile (and highly-rated) allowance win at Belmont Park in early July, the C. Brown-trained colt has been kept on edge with series of easy, steady workouts, and so we’re expecting a career top performance from this 4-year-old colt who won his debut over the Saratoga main track as a 2-year-old a couple of years ago. Whitmore and Mind Control, two-three finishers behind North America’s top sprinter Volatile, won’t have that one to worry about today and both are tough-as-nails competitors with proven winning form over wet surfaces. Fortin Hill has something to prove at this level – this will be his first stakes outing in just his fifth lifetime start – but the Mucho Macho Man colt is drawn comfortably outside and earned a sharp triple-digit Beyer speed figure in winning a strong allowance race at Belmont Park in early July at this exact extended sprint distance. He’s also won over a sloppy track. We’ll find out how good he is today.

RACE 9: Post 5:46 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 5-Corelli; 6-Cross Border; 8-Sadler’s Joy

ForecastCross Border and Sadler’s Joy meet again in what looks to be a repeat of the Bowling Green S.-G2, this time at a mile and one-half in the Sword Dancer S.-G. ‘Joy finished first last time out but was disqualified for causing interference to the fourth place finisher in mid-stretch, and while the number had to come there was no doubt he was best. How he’ll handle the soggy ground is a concern, though. Cross Border backed into the win – he’s now officially perfect in five career starts over the Saratoga turf course – and there’s really no reason why won’t fire his usual best shot once again. Sadler’s Joy actually drops two pounds off that race while Cross Border has the same impost, for whatever that’s worth. We’ll also toss in Corelli, a soft turf specialist in Europe and rounding to form after finishing a close third in the United Nations S.-G1 last month. In a race that we have no plans on playing, these are the three we’ll be including in our rolling exotics..

RACE 10: Post 6:16 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Always Carina; 3-Jouster; 5-Zainalarab

Forecast: The known element seems average in this maiden juvenile filly sprint but there are a number of promising first-timers in the field and its among that group that we expect the winner to come from. Always Carina has trained like a nice filly for C. Brown and seems plenty fit following a string of solid drills in a somewhat brief but healthy series that began in mid-July. She appears to have good speed, but if there’s anything to be concerned about its her lack of consistency in changing leads in her drills. She was pretty much stride-for-stride with stable mate Zainalarab (both 4f, :47.1bg) in a gate drill last week with both able to go faster if turned loose. The latter is a $1 million daughter of War Front from Monmouth Oaks-G3 winner Delightful Joy and definitely has some run as well. Jouster is bred more for grass (Noble Mission) on the top side of her pedigree but her female family is strictly dirt and we suspect she’ll be live and well-meant in in her debut for T. Pletcher. A recent :59 4/5 gate drill (second fastest of 20 just five days) ago catches the eye.

RACE 11: Post 6:49 ET. Grade: B
Use: 3-Elonquent Speaker; 5-Flashpackinbarbie; 7-Midnight Surprise

Forecast: Midnight Surprise won her debut in clever fashion, not breaking any stopwatches in the process but showing a bit of moxie while winning with plenty after being geared down near the wire. She gets an extra half furlong to work with today and should enjoy the trip, so at 7/2 on the morning line the daughter of Flatter may be capable of repeating on the raise. Flashpackinbarbie, runner-up in a similar first-level allowance state-bred sprint for fillies and mares last month, makes her third start off a long layoff and we suspect it will be her best. She should find herself in a good pace-stalking/pressing position and have every chance from the quarter pole home. Eloquent Speaker has produced a forward move in each of her three career starts based strictly on speed figures and also shows the route-to-sprint angle that we like. The daughter of Flatter may get outrun early but should be heard from in the final furlong. Let’s use all three in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Midnight Surprise.