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Saturday, September 5: Saratoga Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

September 5, 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.


Jeff Siegel’s Best Plays for Saturday, September 5, 2020

Churchill Downs 1st race – Post Time: 11:00 ET
4 -Midnight Sands (4-1)

After ripping apart good competition in Dubai when reeling off five straight impressive wins, the son of Speightstown makes his U.S. debut as a first-time Lasix user in this extended allowance sprint that should be well within his capabilities. A series of sharp workouts at Ellis Park should have him fit and ready for good trainer B. Walsh (strong stats with overseas shippers), and with the barn’s “go to” rider T. Gaffalione taking the call we’re expecting this talented and blossoming colt to pick up where he left off last winter. At 4-1 on the morning line he’s a strong win play and rolling exotic single.

Churchill Downs 2nd race – Post Time: 11:30 ET
5 – Idol (5-1)

Expensive ($375,000) Curlin colt ships in from Southern California to make his debut on the big stage and this highly-promising 3-year-old is here to win. The R. Baltas-trained sophomore had been working lights out over the deepish Del Mar main track before arriving in Kentucky, where he got a feel of the track with a five furlong drill in :59 4/5 (fourth fastest of 36) last week to have him right on edge. At 5-1 on the morning line he’s worth a gamble in the win pool and in rolling exotic play.

Churchill Downs 13th race – Post Time: 5:50 ET
8 – Sacred Life (6-1)

Left his previous form behind with a career top performance when winning the Oceanport S. at Monmouth Park last month while producing an electric turn of foot from furlong pole to the wire. The C. Brown-trained import clearly is tackling a tougher bunch today in this year’s edition of the Turf Classic-G1 but the genuine and consistent French-bred horse (first or second in 12 of 15 career starts) could easily be up to the task while offering excellent wagering value at 6-1 on the morning line.


Saratoga Analysis and Wagering Strategies:

RACE 1: Post 11:45 ET. Grade: X
Use: 1-Kaz’s Beach; 3-Tackle

Forecast: Tackle made good headway into slow fractions when a very promising runner-up in his debut last month, and with any kind of forward move today the W. Mott-trained colt will earn his diploma in this middle distance grass affair for older maidens. Two easy breezes since raced will have him on edge. Kaz’s Beach may be worth including on your ticket as well. Runner-up in his debut at Penn National while more than eight lengths clear of the rest in a race that produced a good speed figure, the son of Karakontie actually has just as much right to improve as our top pick and from the rail projects to earn a good ground-saving trip.

RACE 2: Post 12:18 ET. Grade: X
Single: 1-Win With Pride/1a-Wegotoldyougotsold

Forecast: Assuming they both enter the starting gate, the M. Repole entry could run one-two in this $16,000 sprint for older horses, but at an extremely short price. Win With Pride drops to his lowest level ever while obviously being culled from the stable but a repeat of his race before last at Gulfstream Park will bury this field. Entry-mate Wegotoldyougotsold, claimed for $32,000 in March and returning for half that amount today, shows the kind of pattern that is best avoided, but if the veteran gelding has one good one left he’ll be hard to beat. You can use the entry as a no-value rolling exotics single or better yet just pass the race.

RACE 3: Post 12:53 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 4-Fractorzation; 6-Magnolia’s Lady; 7-Silky Blue

Forecast: This state-bred turf sprint is fairly contentious and requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Each of the three listed above has credentials to win and are “must uses” on your ticket. Magnolia’s Lady has improved in each of her three starts and figures to continue her upward mobility after graduating in good style over this course and distance in late July. The daughter of Freud has an effective stalking style, speed figures that fit, and rates a slight edge on top. Silky Blue is right there on numbers and has never been worse than second in three career starts. She’s turning back from a route and projects to be outrun early but very dangerous late. Fractorzation has only one way to go – on the lead – and actually defeated our top pick when graduating gate-to-wire at Belmont Park in early July. The layoff is a bit troubling but she’s competitive on numbers and like the others is eligible to improve with experience and maturity.

RACE 4: Post 1:26 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Civil Union; 4-My Sister Nat

Forecast: Civil Union appears to have found her niche as a mini-marathoner and at this 11-furlong trip the lightly-raced mare, with rising speed figures in each of her six career starts, looks quite capable of winning this year’s renewal of the Glens Falls S.-G2. Her victory at 12 furlongs in the listed River Memories S. at Churchill Downs in July was excellent, and although this is a tougher assignment she seems capable of handling the task. My Sister Nat was visually quite pleasing when winning the Waya S.-G3 with a career top speed figure last month and not much more will be needed for a repeat score. It may be significant that J. Ortiz, who rode them both, opts for ‘Nat over ‘Union. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with slight preference on top to Civil Union.

RACE 5: Post 2:01 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Caddo River; 5-Olympiad; 6-Greatest Honour

Forecast: Olympiad finished a distant third in a fast, highly-rated race in his debut here last month and seems certain to use that outing as a springboard for a significant forward move in this seven furlong maiden special weight sprint for 3-year-olds. The son of Speightstown finished willingly without being knocked about while giving indication that today’s extra furlong will suit him just fine. Caddo River has moved like a nice sort in morning breezes and is a dangerous first-timer from the B. Cox barn. The son of Hard Spun hasn’t really been asked for much in his works leading up to this race, but he should have enough of a foundation to perform well enough to make his presence felt. Greatest Honour is a first-timer by Tapit with a decent series of works on his resume. He’s probably not totally cranked up by Shug but seems to have some promise and is worth including somewhere on your ticket.

RACE 6: Post 2:38 ET. Grade: B
Use: 4-Pop a Choc; 5-Timely Tradition; 7-Say Moi

Forecast: Say Moi has the route-to-sprint angle that we like so much and this turn back to seven furlongs – which may prove to be her favorite trip – can propel this daughter of Union Rags back into the winner’s circle in a strong first-level allowance main track sprint for fillies and mares. She should be able to secure an ideal pace-stalking trip and then have every chance to seal the deal just as she did in her maiden win at Churchill Downs last spring. On pure numbers she’s plenty fast enough to win. Pop a Choc, third as the favorite in a similar affair last month, has plenty of room to improve and may find herself as the controlling speed. She was forced into some wicked fractions last time out and understandably weakened late to be third, but this pace flow seems likely to be more comfortable. Timely Tradition is a tough-as-nails mare with 10 career victories and speed figures that are solid for this level. She’s won at Saratoga in the past and projects to be comfortably placed in a pace-pressing position and then have every chance from there.

RACE 7: Post 3:11 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Restored Order; 9-Hidden Enemy

Forecast: Hidden Enemy ran fairly well in his debut when finishing a close fourth here last month and seems certain to be fitter, sharper and more serious in this maiden two-turn grass affair for juveniles. The son of Galileo has the makings of a good colt, especially as the distances increase, and the S. Asmussen barn hits at a strong 23% with second-timers. The switch to J. Rosario is another plus. Restored Order is the one to fear most. With the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern, the son of Frosted lands the rail and almost certainly will find himself as the controlling speed. I. Ortiz, Jr. stays aboard the $420,000 OBS March sale purchase who has a pedigree that suggests he’ll easily handle the added distance.

RACE 8: Post 4:21 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 3-Good Old Boy

Forecast: Good Old Boy has plenty in his favor in this state-bred entry-level allowance two-turner on grass. The veteran gelding returned off a year layoff to register a smart victory in a $25,000 claimer over the local lawn last month and in a sign of confidence is protected today after earning a career top speed figure in that clever win. Drawn nicely inside and likely to enjoy the same type of stalking trip that produced his recent victory, the M. Maker-trained son of Freud will offer value at or near his morning line of 4-1. Let’s make him a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 9: Post 4:21 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Happy Saver; 6-Dr Post

Forecast: This year’s renewal of the Jim Dandy S.-G2 serves as a Preakness prep and has a few very nice prospects in the field. Happy Saver is undefeated in two starts and truly gets tested today. After winning his debut sprinting at Belmont Park with a powerful figure, the son of Super Saver stretched out over this track and distance to win a first-level allowance event vs. older horses with stakes quality speed figure, one that makes him a major player despite the raise into graded stakes company. He’ll more than likely settle into a ground-saving, stalking position and then do his best work from the quarter pole home. Mystic Guide performed like he desperately needed blinkers when third in the Peter Pan S.-G3 here in mid-July and we anticipate a career top effort today with the addition of the hood. He’s a bit slower on speed figures than our top pick but the son of Ghostzapper hasn’t come close to showing his best stuff just yet. We’ll sink or swim using just these two in our rolling exotics; if you feel the need to add Dr Post (the 7/5 morning line favorite) go right ahead.

RACE 10: Post 4:57 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Kimari; 5-Frank’s Rockette

Forecast: The Prioress S.-G2 is a salty sprint for sophomore fillies topped by Frank’s Rockette, a thoroughly genuine and consistent sprinting sophomore who has been first or second in all eight of her career outings, seven of them stakes. Winner of the Victory Ride S.-G3 at Belmont Park in early July, she returns off a two month respite with a series of slow and easy local drills that we’re going to assume will have her fit and ready. The projected pace flow looks favorable so the the W. Mott-trained daughter of Into Mischief surely will be on or near the lead throughout. Kimari, back from Royal Ascot where she finished an admirable second (of 16) in the Commonwealth Cup-G1, can handle any surface but had the misfortunate of drawing the rail and may encounter severe traffic along the way due to her lack of gate quickness. Nonetheless, she’s a high-quality type and needs to be included somewhere on your rolling exotic ticket.

RACE 11: Post 5:30 ET. Grade: X
Single: 2-Tacitus

Forecast: Tacitus earned a confidence building win when blasting his rivals by more than eight lengths in the Suburban S.-G2 at Belmont Park in early July and has been kept on edge with a healthy series of drills in the interim that should have him primed and ready for a similar run in this year’s edition of the Woodward S.-G1. Even money on the morning line and looking every bit of it on paper, the son of Tapit displayed an affection for the Saratoga main track last year when second in both the Jim Dandy S.-G2 and Travers S.-G1 at Saratoga, races that quite frankly were tougher than the one he’s in today. The W. Mott-trained colt is a logical short priced rolling exotic single.

RACE 12: Post 6:08 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Our Country; 8-Life On Top; 9-Traffic Pattern

Forecast: We’ll spread the nightcap, a restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claimer for older horses over a distance on ground on grass. Life On Top adds blinkers for the first time and certainly should improve while showing up in a seller for the first time. The Carpe Diem gelding has speed figures that make him a legitimate fit in this softer affair and looks to be the most dangerous of the deep closers. Traffic Pattern earned a number when breaking his maiden at first asking two runs back that makes him a fit in this league. The son of Temple City was out of his element in a first-level allowance race last time out but this class drop while being reunited with “win rider” I. Ortiz, Jr. makes him a “must use.” Our Country is another dropping into a claimer for the first time and in this league the Constitution gelding may be able to get back on track. Drawn nicely inside, the G. Weaver-trained 3-year-old has earned solid speed figures, so at 6-1 on the morning line he’s worth tossing in as well.