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Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Friday, July 16

by Jeff Siegel

July 16, 2021

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 (approximately 10:30 a.m.). 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: 1:05 ET Grade: B
Use: 4-Gun It; 5-Shashashakemeup

Forecast: Shashashakemeup has the proper style for this extended sprint distance and always has been a dependable type, having finished first or second in half of his 16 lifetime outings. The son of Shackleford is fast on figures, and in a race without much early speed the P. Miller-trained colt projects to enjoy a cozy second flight trip and then have dead aim and every chance from the quarter pole home. Gun It shows two wins and 10 seconds/thirds from 19 career starts on his resume and thus can’t be considered trustworthy. He most recently failed as the favorite when a no-excuse runner-up in a similar second-level allowance affair at Churchill Downs last month. Still, he’s a major contender once again and should be included in rolling exotic play, at least as a back-up.

RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: X
Single: 8-Quick Return

Forecast: Quick Return looks every bit the short-priced favorite that he’s certain to be in this modest maiden claiming sprint for older state-bred runners. He’s moving up from the maiden $25,000 ranks after missing by a nose (while 10 lengths clear of the rest) in a sloppy track affair at Belmont Park in his first start since August just 13 days ago, and if he doesn’t bounce to the moon he’ll beat this field. However, considering his low percentage connections, the gamble hardly seems attractive so you can use him as a no-value rolling exotic single or simply pass the race.

RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: B
Use: 3-Timeless Journey; 6-Chocolate Cookie

Forecast: We’ll double the third race, a middle distance turf event for New York-bred fillies and mares competing in the second-level allowance condition. Chocolate Cookie was impressive in victory when last seen almost 10 months ago but the T. Pletcher barn has superior stats with layoff runners (28% with a strong ROI) so we’ll operate under the assumption that the daughter of Declaration of War will return as well as she left. A maiden winner over the local lawn last year, she’s shown she can be effective as a pace presser or a late runner so I. Ortiz, Jr., who has won on her in the past, can assess the early pace flow and then choose his strategy. Timeless Journey failed to handle a muddy track when a distant fourth in state-bred stakes company at Belmont Park in late May but she’s back on grass today and it is hard to ignore that she’s a perfect two-for-two over the Saratoga turf. The C. Clement-trained daughter of Verrazano likes to lag early and then blast home and J. Rosario is back aboard and knows her well. We’ll give Chocolate Cookie a very slight edge on top due to her edge in tactical speed.

RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: B+
Use: 5-Flaming Rouge; 7-Angelou

Forecast: Angelou had a bit of a rough go when missing at 3/2 in her comeback last month vs. similar maiden fillies and mares but at this mini-marathon trip the daughter of Curlin shouldn’t have any excuses. She’s likely to make the running in a race that projects to have creepy-crawler early fractions, so given that type of trip we’ll give her the edge on top over the other main player in the race, Flaming Rouge. Second in both of her U.S. outings since returning from France, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Kitten’s Joy is a one-paced grinding type that should settle in behind the leaders and then have every chance when it matters the most. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics and then have extra tickets keying Angelou on top.

RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: B-
Use: 2-Yes I’m Evil; 5-Absolute Love

Forecast: We’ve never been inclined to take Indiana Downs form too seriously, but Absolute Love arrives fresh from a fast, highly-rated victory in starter’s allowance company last month and in fact has won two of her last three starts, both wins that if repeated would be good enough to handle this $12,500 claiming field of older routing fillies and mares. The big class dropping Yes I’m Evil is the one to fear most. A lifetime winner of 12 races (with 19 other placings) for 42 career starts, the Keeneland shipper has been freshened since mid-April and appears spotted for the money run by solid connections. With J. Rosario taking the call and from a favorable rail draw, the veteran daughter of Yes I’s True projects to settle in mid-pack and then make her move from there. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Absolute Love.

RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: B
Use: 2-Let Her Inspire U; 4-Kant Hurry Love; 7-November Rein

Forecast: New York bred juvenile fillies sprint five and one-half furlongs in the first leg of the late Pick-5 in what appears to be a pretty strong race for the level. Kant Hurry Love was off slowly and very green early to be far back during the opening stages of her debut performance at Belmont Park last month but appeared to figure things out approaching the top of the lane and came home strongly (though much too late) to wind up a better-than-looked third before galloping out strongly past the wire (on our watches she came the final three furlongs in a sharp :36 flat). With that bit of experience behind her and with J. Rosario riding her back for C. Clement (a very good 20% with second-time starters), the daughter of Kantharos seems certain to produce a significant forward move today, one that might be good enough to pull off a mild surprise. November Rein is the logical top pick and one to beat after displaying excellent speed before missing by a neck in her debut while finishing almost five lengths in front of Kant Hurry Love in that same June 18 sprint. The K. Breen barn is another with superior stats with the second-time starter angle (25% with a significant ROI), so this Street Boss filly deserves to be a strong favorite. Let Her Inspire U breezed well (10 2/5 seconds) at the Fasig-Tipton sale at Gulfstream Park in March and then brought $500,000 through the ring, so she’s obviously highly regarded and may be worth including on a ticket or two in rolling exotic play.

RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: B-
Use: 2-Too Sexy; 4-Miner’s Queen; 9-Bay Jewel

Forecast: This abbreviated turf sprint for entry-level allowance fillies and mares came up fairly contentious, so we’ll go three-deep and hope that’s enough. Bay Jewel won a pair of turf sprints at Belmont Park in May in good style but then missed by a head when second at this level in an off-the-turf affair over sloppy track in her most recent outing. She prefers to settle and produce a late run and was successful under J. L. Ortiz when employing this style two races back. With some help up front and room to rally from the quarter pole home the daughter of New Year’s Day may be able to tag the speed. Too Sexy is another that likely will be outrun during the early stages and from the rail she’ll need a bit of luck somewhere along the way but with clear sailing she’s good enough to produce a dangerous late kick for the always-potent J. Rosario/C. Clement jockey/trainer combo. Miner’s Queen may be the most dangerous of the pace types and earned a competitive number when breaking her maiden over the Churchill Downs turf course last month. Toss her in somewhere.

RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: B
Use: 6-Easy to Bless; 8-Patty H

Forecast: Patty H has plenty in her favor in this $40,000 claiming sprint restricted to 3-year-old fillies. A winner of her last pair, mostly recently over a sloppy track at Indiana Downs, the B. Cox-trained daughter of Flatter is realistically spotted to extend her streak and is comfortably drawn outside where she can dictate the race flow. Effective on the front end or from a stalking position, she seems pretty solid, though a strong case can be made for Easy to Bless, herself a winner of four in a row and five out of her last six with numbers that stack up nicely with our top pick. Haltered four times in her last six starts, the daughter of Flat Out remains above her claim level and should fire her usual good shot, though having drawn inside of Patty H she has no option other than be gunned from the gate. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Patty H.

RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: B
Use: 3-Value Proposition; 9-Sacred Life

Forecast: We’re going to give Sacred Life a very slight edge on top in this year’s renewal of the Forbidden Apple S.-G3 for older horses over a mile on the inner turf while recognizing that that the improving Value Proposition, with more tactical speed, is likely to benefit from a better trip. Truthfully, they’re hard to separate so we’ll include both in our rolling exotics. Sacred Life will be making just his third start of the year and seems likely to return to top form after winding up a close fourth in the Dinner Party S.-G2 on Preakness day at Pimlico. The veteran French-bred horse, first or second in 12 of 18 career starts, switches to J. Rosario, shows a health, steady series of recent workouts and ran well over this course two years ago when nosed out in the Lure S. There should be enough early pace today to set things up nicely, assuming good racing luck. Value Proposition earned a career top-equaling figure when winning a hot allowance race at Belmont Park last month and from where he’s drawn is guaranteed an ideal second flight, ground-saving trip. He’ll have to be better than he’s ever been to be successful at this level but in just his third start of the year the C. Brown-trained 5-year-old could be set for another forward move.

RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: C+
Use: 1-Baudi Moovan; 4-U Should B Dancing; 9-Fancy Feline

Forecast: U Should B Dancing is a seven-race maiden and obviously can’t beat a decent New York-bred field of maiden fillies and mares but this appears to be a moderate group so she may have finally found her friends. A first-time Lasix user coming off a career top effort when second vs. similar at Belmont Park last month, the P. Kelly-trained daughter of War Dancer deserves top billing by default. Baudi Moovan is a first-timer by Twirling Candy that brought $260,000 as a yearling and is from a barn that has okay stats with newcomers. The female family is modest so she must be an exceptional individual and she’s trained like there’s enough ability to make her dangerous first crack out of the box. Fancy Feline finished with a bit of interest when a distant third in her debut in an off-the-turf maiden sprint at Belmont Park in early June. With Kitten’s Joy on the bottom side of her pedigree she’s supposed to be better on grass and today, weather permitting, she’ll get her chance. L. Saez stays aboard the daughter of Flat Out and in a modest field she deserves a decent look.