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Friday, December 4: Jeff Siegel's Gulfstream Analysis & Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

December 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.

The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes. For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.

Grade Descriptions: Grade A=Highest degree of confidence; Grade B=Solid Play. Grade C=Least preferred or pass; Grade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play.

RACE 1: Post: 12:35 ET Grade: C+
Use: 3-Twirling Fire; 4-Market Development; 8-Todaystheday

Forecast: In a maiden claiming turf sprint for juveniles, the known element looks ordinary so let’s go with a fresh face. Market Development, from the W. Ward barn, brought $60,000 as a yearling and shows up in a $25,000 seller to begin his career, not exactly an encouraging sign, but the son of Maclean’s Music has trained okay on grass at Palm Meadows in recent week so he should be fit enough and perhaps good enough to score at first asking for a trainer that hits with a superb 29% with first-time starters. For protection, you may also want to include on your rolling exotic ticket Twirling Fire and Todaystheday. The former is a Monmouth Park shipper by way of Tampa Bay Downs and has enough early speed to be dangerous at this five furlong trip, while the latter tries the lawn and softer company for a high percentage outfit and could easily be better than shown.

RACE 2: Post: 1:04 ET Grade: X
Use: Pass/No Play

Forecast: This maiden claiming $12,500 sprint for older horses is inscrutable and is best left alone. The logical top pick Makingalegacy is winless in 29 career starts, and that tells you all you need to know about the others. In a race in which nothing would surprise us, rolling exotic players can spread as deeply as their budget allows. We’ll pass.

RACE 3: Post: 1:33 ET Grade: B-
Use: 2-Josefa; 5-Galileos Ballerina; 8-Antigone

Forecast: Antigone returns to turf and has form in California last year on grass that makes her the one to beat in this restricted (nw-2) $16,000 two-turner for fillies and mares. With patient handling, the daughter of Carpe Diem should be capable of producing the last run. Galileos Ballerina, in her third start off a layoff, drops to her lowest level and is another that should make her presence felt from off the pace. Josefa switches to P. Lopez, is comfortably drawn inside, has a prior win over the local lawn and projects to be close up (maybe even on the lead) throughout. All three should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 4: Post: 2:03 ET Grade: B-
Use: 2-Dream d’Oro; 3-Strong Ending; 7-Uncaptured King

Forecast: Here’s another spread race, this one a restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming sprint for older horses. Dream d’Oro has two career wins, both over the local main track, and shortens up a half-furlong after a respectable pace-setting runner-up effort at GPW in late October. Not much more will be needed today. Strong Ending was overmatched in starter allowance company last time out but isn’t today, and his speed figures over this main track during the summer makes him the one to fear most. Uncaptured King, comfortably drawn outside, is another with a pair of local wins on his resume and should have every chance to outrun his morning line of 10-1 with a good stalking trip.

RACE 5: Post: 2:36 ET Grade: B-
Use: 6-Truly; 11-Carmellia Gal

Forecast: Truly finished in the money in each of her previous six starts prior to being stopped on and the daughter of Will Take Charge, in her first outing since April, seems properly spotted by a barn that has good stats in a limited sample with comebackers. The work tab at the Classic Mile training center in Ocala is brief, but we’re going to assume she’s fit and ready, and she does have back speed figures that are better than par for this maiden $20,000 level. Camellia Gal returns to grass after a couple of off-the-turf outings and though poorly drawn does have form that makes her a contender. We’re expecting her to be on or near the lead throughout despite her outside draw. We’re try to survive and advance using just these two.

RACE 6: Post: 3:06 ET Grade: C+
Use: 3-True Identity; 8-Exxtop

Forecast: Though beaten as the favorite in a slightly softer maiden claimer at GPW, Exxtop deserves a chance to make amends in this modest extended sprint for juveniles, though at 8/5 on the morning line he’ll not offer a whole lot of wagering value. The son of Exaggerator projects to settle just off the leaders and then have every chance to seal the deal from the quarter pole home. P. Lopez stays aboard. True Identity, in the frame in his last pair though considerably slower on speed figures than our top pick, is gradually improving and should at least hit the board again.

RACE 7: Post: 3:36 ET Grade: C+
Use: 1-Shining Through; 3-Sharetheblame; 5-Light Fury; 6-Cark

Forecast: This messy $20,000 turf claimer requires a considerable spread in rolling exotic play. We’ll go four-deep and hope that’s sufficient. Light Fury won his only previous turf outing with authority over the local lawn two runs back, and with this return to the sod in his first start since mid-September the Wicked Strong gelding should fire his best shot for a new barn that is capable with layoff runners. The stable’s “go-to” rider M. Vasquez takes the call. Cark, returning off a 10 week vacation, has good tactical speed and should have every chance from a pace-stalking position. His numbers aren’t great but at least they’re going in the right direction. Sharetheblame, quite popular at the claim box of late, goes for the A. Sano barn (22%, flat-bet profit with this angle) and has a prior win over the Gulfstream Park turf course. He’s a horse without at a definitive style but has back numbers that make him dangerous. Shining Through is just 1-for-18 but his speed figures are comparatively strong and with some help up front and good racing luck he looks like the best of the deep closers.

RACE 8: Post: 4:06 ET Grade: B-
Use: 2-Warrior’s Pride; 5-Tiger

Forecast: Warrior’s Pride earned a giant speed figure breaking his maiden at GPW last month and this Poseidon’s Warrior colt looks quick enough score right back in this allowance optional claiming affair for 2-year-olds. The low percentage connections and today’s extra half-furlong will keep the price honest. Tiger has modest speed figures but project to enjoy an ideal pace-prompting trip outside and have his chance when the pressure is turned out. He’ll race without blinkers for the first time in his five race career so we’re expecting rating tactics to be employed.

RACE 9: Post: 4:36 ET Grade: B
Use: 1-Flowmotion; 5-Rhythmia

Forecast: Flowmotion, a five-time winner over the Gulfstream Park turf course, lands the good rail and projects to enjoy an ideal ground-saving, stalking trip in this entry-level middle distance turf event for older horses. The J. Cibelli barn is terrific with layoff runners (28%, powerful ROI), so in his first start since early August the veteran gelding should be hard to beat. When last seen three months ago Rhythmia produced a nice score vs. softer state-bred foes over the local lawn that earned a career top speed figure, and if he returns to that form (and we suspect he will) the S. Joseph, Jr.-trained gelding should be running on strongly late.

RACE 10: Post: 5:06 ET Grade: C+
Use: 2-Positive Phil; 5-Small Hope; 12-Lets Play Hardball

Forecast: The finale is a chaotic grass grab bag for restricted (nw-3) $20,000 claimers. Nothing would surprise us. Positive Phil projects to enjoy a good stalking, ground-saving trip and though moving up from the $12,500 level has numbers that make him dangerous in this league. The son of Paynter also has a prior win over the course and this jockey-trainer team (E. Jaramillo/J. Avila) always has been formidable. Small Hope always has preferred to run second or third rather than win but the Delaware Park invader attracts hot-riding P. Lopez and is a strong fit on figures. Lets Play Hardball is drawn much farther out than we’d prefer but shows a healthy work/race pattern for M. Maker, picks up L. Saez, and has run well over this course in the past. If he can negotiate any kind of decent trip this Constitution gelding will be the one to fear most.