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Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Sunday, July 18

by Jeff Siegel

July 18, 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: 5-Mischief Mogul; 7-Shipsational

Forecast: Shipsational brought $210,000 at auction last spring in Ocala after breezing a quarter mile in a sizzling 20 4/5 seconds while displaying a nice, long, athletic stride. Low profile connections notwithstanding, the son of Midshipman gets the edge on top from a cozy outside draw in a state-bred maiden juvenile sprint that doesn’t appear to have a whole lot in it. Mischief Mogul is a debuting Into Mischief colt from the T. Pletcher barn, and while the workouts don’t jump off the page he’s a major contender based on pedigree and connections. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Shipsational.

RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: B-
Use: 2-Charleston Strong; 8-Amano; 10-Partner’s Hope

Forecast: Here’s a competitive maiden-claiming turf router with several possibilities. We’ll use three and hope to get by. Charleston Strong stretches out again, lands a good inside post, adds blinkers, and earned a career top speed figure last time out when a solid third in a tougher straight maiden sprint in his first outing since November. A similar effort today should earn the son of Flatter his diploma. Amano, another comebacker (away for 10 months), also makes that always-significant class drop from maiden special weight to maiden claiming and is a first-time gelding as well, so the son of Temple City is a major player and a “must use” for the high percentage C. Brown/I. Ortiz, Jr. combo. The work tab should have him plenty fit. Partner’s Hope is bred for grass (More Than Ready) and gets his first taste of the sod in his second off a layoff for K. McPeek`. He’s a bit soft in the speed figure department but lightly raced and eligible to step forward considerably with the surface switch.

RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: B-
Single: 5-Get the Candy

Forecast: This first-level allowance turf sprint for state-bred fillies and mares is a difficult affair in which nothing would surprise. Big ticket players may choose to spread deeply; those with lesser budgets should consider taking a stand with Get the Candy. The M. Nevin-trained filly makes her second start off a layoff after graduating in good style in her sophomore debut over the Belmont Park turf course. Lightly-raced with further improvement likely, the daughter of Twirling Candy is facing much more early speed today but has numbers that fit and may be capable of repeating even if relegated to a stalker’s role. On paper she’s as good as any and better than most.

RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: B+
Use: 2-Misty Veil; 6-Honor Hop

Forecast: Misty Veil was nosed out in a first-level allowance race at Churchill Downs last time out and today shows up in a softer starter’s allowance affair that should be well within her capabilities. The lightly-raced daughter of Tonalist picks up I. Ortiz, Jr. and seems likely to fold in just behind the leaders to secure the type of close-to-the-pace trip that brings out her best. Honor Hop has figures that fit but might be most comfortable on grass or over a wet track. We’ll include her on our ticket as a back-up or a saver but assign the main punch to Misty Veil.

RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: B
Use: 2-Hot Rod Rumble; 5-Stevie; 6-Cozzie’s Attitude

Forecast: This maiden sprint for New York-bred juveniles is a split of the first race and appears to be the tougher of the two. Stevie vans up from Pimlico where the son of Bustin Stones put together a string of good workouts that should have him fit and ready. From a barn that does well with debut runner, this colt recently produced a bullet half mile gate work in 47 seconds flat that indicates he has the speed his pedigree suggests he should. In an open affair, we’ll put him on top. Hot Rod Rumble previewed in 10 1/5 seconds at Timonium before bringing $325,000 through the ring, so you know he’s very well regarded. A strong, powerful colt from the first crop of Midnight Storm, the S. Asmussen-trained colt hasn’t advertised himself in local drills, but we suspect he’ll show his stuff in the afternoon. Cozzie’s Attitude has shown some ability in workouts at Belmont Park and lands J. Rosario, so we’ll toss him in as well.

RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: B
Use: 4-Fortuity; 6-Matta; 9-Summer to R emember

Forecast: Fortuity arrives from Churchill Downs fresh from earning a career top speed figure when finishing a close fifth while facing tougher company and today drops for the money run in this inner turf course miler for restricted (nw-3) $50,000 claimers. He prefers to settle early and produce a late run and with some help up front should make some serious noise in the final furlong. Matta finished with interest when third off a long layoff in a turf sprint prep at Pimlico last month and should be set to stretch out for the first time today and secure a comfortable pace-prompting trip. His pedigree suggests he’ll improve going long and at age five with just seven previous start the son of Take Charge Indy may be set for a career top effort. Summer to Remember is a strong fit on speed figures but just failed at 50 cents on the dollar in a modest affair at Monmouth Park without any excuse, so he may be a hard one to trust. We’ll use him on a ticket or two for protection, but that’s it.

RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: B
Use: 3-Mezcal; 9-Perfect Grace

-Forecast: Perfect Grace had no excuse when beaten into second at 4/5 in early May at Gulfstream Park, but she did finish more than 15 lengths clear of the three others in the field and not much more will be needed to break her maiden today in a seven furlong sprint for older fillies and mares. Drawn nicely outside and likely to draft into a cozy stalking position, the daughter of Tapit really shouldn’t miss this chance unless there’s a newcomer in the field with better than average ability. Mezcal may be just that and is the one to fear most. Purchased as a yearling for $625,000, the daughter of Pioneerof the Nile has done some good work in the morning for T. Pletcher, with three bullet works appearing on her tab. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: B+
Use: 3-Pleasure Luck; 8-Awesome Debate

Forecast: There appears to be two main players in this state-bred allowance sprint for fillies and mares with preference on top to Awesome Debate. She’s a first-off-the-claim for D. Gargan (an amazing 40% with this angle) and from her outside draw can dictate the race flow by either popping and going or stalking and pouncing. A winner of six of 13 career starts, the 5-year-old daughter of Honorable Dillon seems the solid pick. Pleasure Luck is a bit slower on numbers than ‘Debate, but she did earn a career top figure when bravely winning an entry-level dash at Belmont Park in her most recent start. She likes to settle in the second flight and then kick home and with just six career starts (and never off the board) she’s always been a genuine and consistent sort. Most of our action will got to Awesome Debate but we’ll have tickets using both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: B-
Use: 2-Mischiefful; 4-Goin’ Good; 10-Illegal Smile

Forecast: Mischiefful crushed a first-level allowance field in an off-the-turf sprint at Churchill Downs in her most recent outing, earning a stakes-quality, career top number. Today we’ll find out if the daughter of Into Mischief can do the same on grass. A bullet recent workout over a sloppy local main track tells us she’s maintaining her form, so if she breaks cleanly she can be on the lead or just off it, wherever she’s most comfortable. Goin’ Good and Illegal Smile just finished one-two in a good turf sprint in Kentucky last month and they face each other again today as the ones to fear most. ‘Good increased her record to three wins from six starts with a pace-pressing trip outside; today she might find herself stalking the leaders while enjoying a ground-saving trip. Illegal Smile, drawn outside the other speed, mostly likely will settle in mid-pack and then attempt to produce a late rally. She’s never won that way, but this looks like a good spot to experiment.

RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: X
Single: 7-Shining Colors

Forecast: The nightcap is bottom-rung maiden claiming main track sprint that really should be won by Shining Colors. Second in both of her starts following a long layoff, the R. Falcone, Jr.-trained filly was more than three lengths clear of the rest last time out over a sloppy track when facing tougher foes, so while she’s not particularly fast on speed figures nothing else in here is, either. Actually, her best figure was earned two runs back on a fast track at Monmouth Park, an effort that if repeated today should be more than good enough. In a race that probably should be left alone or approached with caution, we can make her a rolling exotic single or if price considerations dictate, pass the race.