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Friday, September 4: Saratoga Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

September 4, 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 12:20 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Make Mischief; 2-Rossa Veloce; 5-Summer Brew

Forecast: The Friday opener drew six runners, half of whom have a legitimate claim, so we’ll pass the race while going three-deep to kick off our rolling exotics. Rossa Veloce scored at first asking in game style last month while earning a very strong speed figure for a New York-bred race for 2-year-olds. The daughter of Girolamo has been given enough to time to recover from what had to be a fairly taxing effort, and with two galloping breezes since that race to tick her over the R. Handal-trained juvenile should be set for a similar, if not better, try today. Summer Brew, a solid runner-up in that same race while beaten just a half-length, has just as much right to step forward as ‘Veloce and looms the one to fear most right back. She didn’t break all that well in her debut yet to stayed on nicely after quickly moving up to press the issue, and with the switch to I. Ortiz, Jr. the daughter of Summer Front could easily turn the tables. Make Mischief was a nice debut winner at Belmont Park in June and then stepped into open added money company to finish second in both the Schuylerville and Adirondack Stakes over the local main track. She returns to face state-bred foes while switching to J. Rosario, and if she leaves cleanly from the rail the daughter of Into Mischief might find herself on the front end and be tough to catch from there.

RACE 2: Post 12:55 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Work Out; 5-Saratoga Flash; 8-Judge N Jury

Forecast: There aren’t any world beaters among the known element so let’s go with a fast-working first-timer on top in this state-bred maiden special weight juvenile extended sprint. Saratoga Flash, from the B. Tagg barn (modest stats with first-timers), sports a bullet :59 2/5 solo work in blinkers under mild coaxing only over the local main track last week to indicate he has the kind of ability that must be respected. From the first crop of the promising Uncle Mo stallion Leoban, the $60,000 Saratoga yearling (New York-bred session) purchase looks fit and ready. Work Out and Judge N Jury, two-three finishers in a maiden sprint here in late July, both have a reason to step forward with that bit of experience behind them and both are “must uses” in rolling exotic play. Both are adding blinkers and both are pretty quick, though at this six and one-half furlong distance they could be susceptible to a late-runner in the final stages.

RACE 3: Post 1:28 ET. Grade: X
Single: 6-City Man

Forecast: City Man has much in his favor in the Albany S., a nine furlong main track affair with six starters. The son of Mucho Macho Man adds blinkers for the first time in his eight-race career and with a perfect 2-for-2 record over the Saratoga main track that includes a win in last year’s Funny Cide S. the C. Clement-trained sophomore retains regular pilot J. Rosario and should be on the lead or in a cozy stalking position outside and have every chance when he’s asked to quicken. At 8/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, we’ll make him a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 4: Post 2:01 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 6-Halpert

Forecast: Here’s a reasonable gamble on a first-timer starter showing slow and easy workouts leading up to this middle distance turf event for state-bred 2-year-olds. Halpert has done everything asked in the morning and more, breezing in recent drills while easily getting the best of his workmates. Don’t let the lackluster final times fool you; this colt can run. The son of More Than Ready goes for a barn that has strong stats (20%) with debut runners and we suspect this colt is fit enough to win at first asking over a distance of ground. The J. Englehart-trained colt picks up L. Saez and it won’t be surprising to plenty of support on the tote. At 5=1 on the morning line he’s a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 5: Post 2:24 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Myhartblongstodaddy; 4-Classic Lady; 6-War Canoe

Forecast:With the scratching of Fifty Five, this year's edition of the Yaddo S. takes on a different look, one that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Classic Lady and War Canoe, the one-two finishers in the Dayatthespa S. earlier this season, meet again and are tough to separate after finishing a neck apart in their most recent encounter. 'Lady has a bit more tactical speed than her main rival, so we'll give her a very slight edge on top again. Myhartblongstodaddy is a lightly-raced Scat Daddy mare currently on a roll and could be this good with continued improvement. She's a little shy in the speed figure department but looked good beating a lesser field in her first start since November over this course and distance earlier this meeting, has trained steadily since, and is guaranteed a ground-saving trip from the rail so we'll include her on our ticket as well.

RACE 6: Post 3:16 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Advanced Strategy; 5-Papa Luke; 8-Tercero

Forecast: Older state-bred maidens sprint six furlongs in the sixth race, with the main contention coming from those that raced. Advanced Strategy is solid in the speed figure department and adds blinkers for the first time, so we’ll give the J. Jerkens-trained colt top billing in a race that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. The son of Karakontie returns to the main track after a pair of decent grass sprint efforts but his debut outing – last December over the Big A main track – resulted in a solid third place effort in a race that was stronger than par. Papa Luke also adds the hood and is strictly the one to beat even though he failed at the favorite in his last two races while having his chance but failing to punch it home late under pressure. We’ll also toss in Tercero, away since January after finishing second to a next-out winner at Aqueduct and training well for his comeback for W. Mott. With I. Ortiz, Jr. taking the call, the son of Majestic City seems better than his morning line of 8-1.

RACE 7: Post 3:50 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Eagle Orb; 4-Lookin for Trouble

Forecast: Eagle Orb was a clever winner over six furlongs here a couple of weeks ago and shouldn’t have an issue with today’s extra half-furlong in this year’s renewal of the Funny Cide S. for 2-year-olds. The R. Rodriguez-trained son of Orb showed he could stalk, pounce, and draw off in his initial outing and that style should work very well against this group, assuming he can negotiate a decent trip from the rail. Lookin for Trouble didn’t run particularly fast when breaking his maiden over the local main track in late July but was visually pleasing in victory and certainly has every right to step forward with experience and distance. We’ll see what the son of Into Mischief is made of for the powerful team of M. Maker/J. Ortiz. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Eagle Orb on top.

RACE 8: Post 4:25 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Light in the Sky; 6-Astoria’s Kitten; 8-Summer At the Spa

Forecast: Light in the Sky,runner-up in her last three starts, has burned money in her last pair but encountered rough trips in both and may have had legitimate excuses. This will be her first try around two turns (bred for it) and with a ground-saving trip and clear sailing through the lane, she may be capable of producing a winning late kick. Astoria Kitten does her best running as the controlling speed and if she can secure that type of trip today she’ll be hard to catch. Sprinter-stretching-out Drynachan, drawn just inside ‘Kitten, may spoil those plans. If ‘Kitten can accept a stalker’s role she’ll be fine, but she’s yet to show she can finish with that type of strategy. Summer At the Spa, a closing third in the same race Astoria Kitten exits, has room to improve and will be especially dangerous if the early pace winds up being contested. The daughter of Summer Front switches to L. Saez and could make some serious noise in the final furlong.

RACE 9: Post 5:00 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 8-Freewheeler

Forecast: Freewheeler was nowhere near cranked up for his first outing in almost nine months when second at 4/5 in a recent first-level allowance state-bred turf sprint but with that tightener behind him the son of City Zip should be primed and ready to regain his best form. The T. Pletcher-trained sophomore is wheeled back in two weeks, retains I. Ortiz, Jr., and catches a field that is well within his capabilities. Listed at 2-1 on the morning line but likely to go lower, he’s a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 10: Post 5:34 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Ice Princess; 5-Critical Value

Forecast: Ice Princess was out of her element when last seen in the Fantasy S.-G3 at Oaklawn Park in May but she’s back with state-bred foes today and should be capable of returning to winning form. The Palace Music filly is a fit on numbers and projects to enjoy an ideal second flight trip before being asked for her best from the top of the lane to the wire. Critical Value trounced a similar New York-bred stakes field in her seasonal bow at Belmont Park in late June while earning a career top speed figure and will be tough once again if she can project that sprint form to nine furlongs. She’s “iffy” to do so based on pedigree, and her one prior attempt at this trip when fourth in the Demoiselle S.-G2 last year wasn’t inspiring. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics while preferring Ice Princess on top.

RACE 11: Post 6:07 ET. Grade: B
Single: 7-Therapist

Forecast: Therapist earned a career top speed figure when a strong-finishing runner-up in an open allowance middle distance turf affair here in late July and today shows up in a state-bred stakes that sets up nicely for his closing kick. The C. Clement-trained gelding, a winner of eight of 18 career starts and a stakes winner over this course last year, should be able to settle off the pace and then wear down the leaders late based on this projected race flow that promises a contested early pace. I. Ortiz, Jr. stays aboard, knows him well, and should have this C. Clement-trained son of Freud along in time. At or near his morning line of 2-1, he's a play in the win pool and a single in the rolling exotics.

RACE 12: Post 6:40 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Boom Boom Kaboom; 4-Smite

Forecast: We'll double the nightcap, a turf sprint for older state-bred maiden claimers. Smite shows up in a seller for the first time and against this group seems the logical top pick after finishing a close third vs. tougher over this course and distance earlier this season. The son of Congrats has been vulnerable under pressure in the final furlong of his races but should be able to see out the trip today. Boom Boom Kaboom, third vs. similar with a career top number two weeks ago, lands the rail, projects to settle into the second flight while saving ground, and with good racing luck he'll be bearing down late. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we'll press with extra tickets on top keying Smite.