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Jeff Siegel: Del Mar 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: 2:00 PT Grade: C
Use: 2-Falcon Ex; 3-You’re My Boy Kat; 6-Eddiespaghetti

Forecast: The opener is a bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint for 2-year-olds that requires a lot of guesswork. Spread as deeply as you can afford to in rolling exotic play. Eddiespaghetti is bred for speed (Goldencents), gets F. Prat, and shows a series of workouts at San Luis Rey Downs that indicate at least some ability. The D. O’Neill-trained homebred earns top billing by default. O’Neill’s other starter, You’re My Boy Kat, has the benefit of a prior run, a third place finish with a modest speed figure in a maiden $50,000 affair earlier this month in Orange County. The Tale of Ekati gelding has a right to improve, and not much of it will be needed to be very competitive with this group. Falcon Ex is a first-timer by Exaggerator from the K. Desormeaux barn with a so-so work tab, but many debut runners from this stable run better than they work, so we’ll toss him in as well. Tread lightly here.

RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Dark Hedges; 3-Hold Me Black; 6-Cajun Treasure; 7-Red Valor

Forecast: We’ve always believed that Cajun Treasure was a much better one-turn horse than a router, and today the J. Mullins-trained gelding gets a chance to verify the theory in this six and one-half furlong affair for $20,000 claimers. Freshened since late April and with a steady recent series of workouts, the son of Treasure Beach retains regular rider U. Rispoli and appears capable of producing the last run. Worth noting is his record over the Del Mar dirt surface (1-for-1). Red Valorr gets a lovely outside draw and should have every chance to repeat on the raise after easily dispatching of a softer (nw-2) $16,000 field at Los Alamitos in his second off the claim for D. O’Neill. The bad news is his career record at Del Mar (8-0-0-0). Hopefully, he’s a better type now. Churchill Downs invader Hold Me Black takes a substantial class drop in his local bow while seeking some of that lucrative ship-and-win money. A repeat of his race before last – a win in a $20,000 starter’s allowance sprint – could easily be good enough to win. Also, you should consider including – at least as a backup – Dark Hedges, first or second in seven of 13 career starts including a win over the Del Mar main track. The only real knock is the dreaded rail post position, a huge concern for sure.

RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: C+
Use: 5-Anonymously; 7-Gypsy Blu; 8-Loud Loud Music

Forecast: We’ll try to survive and advance tripling the race in this five furlong grass grab bag turf for $32,000 claiming fillies and mares. Loud Loud Music, a $25,000 D. O’Neill claim, missed in a photo last month in her first outing since December and has every right to produce a forward move today for her new connections. Unplaced in two starts over the Del Mar turf course (both routes), she’s always been most comfortable as a pace-stalking sprinter and with “win rider” A, Cedillo staying aboard the daughter of Tizbud projects to enjoy an ideal trip and have every chance. Gypsy Blue, fresh from a game win in an allowance/optional $20,000 claimer at Santa Anita, goes for new trainer R. Hess, Jr. off a claim but loses F. Prat, who opts for Invincibella. She drops 6 lbs. off that victory, switches to U. Rispoli, and shows a prior win over this course and distance. That said, five furlongs might be a tad sharp for her. Anonymously exits a tougher race and is realistically returned to the claiming ranks. Like our top pick, she’ll settle into a stalking/pace pressure position and should remain a strong factor throughout.

RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade:
Single: 8-Sally Stanford

Forecast: Sally Stanford has plenty of zip but maybe not a whole lot of stick, so this drop into the maiden $50,000 ranks appears warranted for the S. Miyadi-trained juvenile who is likely to be taxed when the distances begin to increase. Against this group she should be long gone based on the kind of zip she displayed when leading the way but then being worn down late vs. straight maidens at Los Alamitos last time out. The number she earned in that race is considerably faster than par for this level, so you can take the short price, single her in rolling exotic play, or simply pass the race.

RACE 5. Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B+
Use: 2-Go Big Blue Nation; 5-Star of Africa

Forecast: Most mini-marathon grass events for older fillies and mares in California are carded for stakes performers; this one, however, is first-level allowance event that should be made to order for Go Big Blue Nation. The long-winded daughter of Animal Kingdom exits a pair of graded events in which she ran reasonably well (fourth in both), and against this group from a good inside draw with F. Prat aboard she should have her chance to regain her winning form. Star of Africa looks like the controlling speed and if not respected could take this field a very long way. Overmatched in the Santa Barbara S.-G2 last time out but properly spotted today, the P. Gallagher-trained filly has been freshened since early May and shows a good, steady series of workouts leading up to this race. We’ll have tickets using both in our rolling exotics while preferring Go Big Blue Nation on top.

RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Jan Jan Can; 2-Dozo; 8-Miss Alegria

Forecast: Miss Alegria makes her first start since November in a modest restricted (nw-3) $20,000 claiming sprint and while her condition is a question she shows a few positive factors in her chart that makes her the one to beat. The lightly-raced 5-year-old mare gets the coveted outside draw over a main track that heavily promotes the outside lanes, has a prior win over this Del Mar dirt oval, boasts speed figures that are good enough to win, and a jockey-trainer team (J. Hernandez/V. Garcia) that has excellent stats. The daughter of Munnings projects to settle just off the leaders outside and then rally wide when called upon. Dozo should be the quickest of the quick and will take them as far as she can. She got cooked in a :21 1/5 pace duel vs. tougher last time out and paid the price late but shouldn’t have to go anywhere near the fast to establish the pace against this group. Jan Jan Can, second in a similar affair with a career top speed figure in mid-May, returns with a healthy series of recent workouts to indicate fitness. The problem is her rail draw but if she can get outrun early and then maneuver to the outside the daughter of Grazen could have a decent look at it.

RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B+
Use: 1-Home Screen; 2-Neptune’s Storm

Forecast: Neptune’s Storm may have been a tad short when a narrow second at odds-on in the American S.-G3 at Santa Anita in his first outing since September but should be fit and ready for this year’s renewal of the restricted Wickerr S. over a mile on grass. Winless in four starts over the local lawn but each time running a winning race in defeat, the veteran gelding should be able to take full advantage of a race flow that promises soft early fractions, and in fact wouldn’t be surprising to see the P. Miller-trained 5-year-old inherit the role as the controlling speed. In the frame in 16 of 20 career starts, ‘Storm always has been thoroughly genuine and consistent. Home Screen won five of six in Brazil in races that are difficult to quantify, but the N. Drysdale-trained import looked pretty nice in a workout over the Del Mar turf course last week and could be competitive on this circuit at this level. From what we can gather he’s basically a stretch-running type, so we’ll use him as a back-up or a saver in rolling exotic play while reserving the main punch for Neptune’s Storm.

RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: X
Use: 2-Ko Olina; 8-Bonita Leona

Forecast: Ko Olina technically is still a maiden and therefore eligible to this race, but the daughter of Stanford crossed the wire first in a similar event at Santa Anita last month by a nose over Eda (the pair 13 lengths clear of the rest) before being disqualified for drifting out in the final stages. It was actually a pretty fast race for state-bred for juvenile fillies so if she runs anywhere close to that outing today she’ll probably be home free. Worth including as a back-up is the Northern California shipper Bonita Leona, certainly bred to be quick (Smiling Tiger) and showing a series of decent drills over the Golden Gate Fields all-weather surface before vanning down for trainer A. Mathis. With F. Prat taking the call, we have to assume she can run at least a little bit.

RACE 9: Post: 6:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Angelcents; 5-Thrilling; 10-Anna Fantastic

Forecast: This is a strong race for this level, a non-winners of two turf sprint for fillies and mares that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Thrilling won at first asking and did it the right way, setting the pace under pressure and then finding more when called upon through the lane. The daughter of Uncle Mo has trained steadily since and strikes us as decent type who can dish it out and take it, too. Anna Fantastic was a beaten favorite in a hot race in Arcadia last time out but her state-bred score two runs back charts well here and she has some very fast races to go back to earlier this year. Away since April but clearly capable of firing a big shot fresh, the daughter of Cyclotron shows a bullet :46 2/5 half mile drill 10 days ago to have her on edge. Midwest shipper Angelcents makes her West Coast debut after being claimed for $20,000 out of what was her fourth consecutive victory. This clearly is a tougher assignment but she’s competitive on speed figures and may be the quickest of the quick.

RACE 10: Post: 6:30 PT Grade: B+
Single: 6-Tizamagician

Forecast: After a blowout nine-length win in the 12-furlong Tokyo City S.-G3 at Santa Anita in April, Tizamagican was sent east and finished a distant second behind the sensational Lone Rock in the Brooklyn S.-G1 at this same marathon distance at Belmont Park, but has nobody even remotely that good to worry about in this year’s edition of the Cougar II S.-G3. A versatile sort capable of winning on the lead or from a stalking position, he retains F. Prat, who, from his cozy outside post, can dictate the race flow and move when he wants to. First or second in three of five previous outings over the Del Mar main track, the son of Tiznow shows a bullet five furlong workout in :59 2/5 just five days ago to have him fit and ready. At the short price he deserves to be, the R. Mandella-trained colt is a logical rolling exotic single.

RACE 11: Post: 7:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Javanica; 4-Burgoo Alley; 7-Bleu Ballon

Forecast: The finale is a strong first-level allowance middle distance turf event restricted to 3-year-old fillies. Several of these have competed successfully in stakes races or will in the near future. Javanica missed by a head to subsequent Preakness S.-G1 winner Rombauer in the El Camino Real Derby up north in February but was below form in a pair of graded stakes races since. Freshened, training well, and facing considerably easier foes today, the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro should be capable of getting a confidence building win today with the switch to F. Prat. Bleu Ballon has to prove she can handle two turns – her one prior attempt was disappointing – but she’s a better type now and has responded well in her last two outings with a change to patient tactics. If she can settle early, get some cover and be produced late, the daughter of Air Force Blue will be tough. Burgoo Alley is progressing nicely for P. D’Amato, and after graduating in good style sprinting last month she tackles tougher while stretching out to a distance she showed she could handle earlier this year in Ireland. It would not be out of the question to see her make the running and keep on going. These are the three we’ll be using, with Javanica getting top billing.