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Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Wednesday, July 21

by Jeff Siegel

July 21, 2021

Specicically 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: X
Use: Pass/No Play

Forecast: This steeplechase race has been canceled. 

RACE 2: Post: 1:38 ET Grade: C+
Use: 4-Democratic Values; 6-Copa

Forecast: Copa takes a nosedive in class for an aggressive claiming barn that isn’t opposed to stealing a purse with this type of maneuver. The son of Liam’s Map handled a restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claiming field of older horses two runs back at Keeneland with a solid speed figure but then was burned up in a pace duel in a much tougher starter’s allowance miler at Churchill Downs in his most recent start. Against this restricted (nw-3) $16,000 group from a cozy outside draw while being re-equipped with blinkers the R. Diodoro-trained gelding lands a good spot to regain his winning form. Democratic Values, listed at 6/5 on the morning line, is another big class dropper after being claimed for $40,000 last winter but clearly is not at that level now. His maiden claiming win earned a big figure, one that could beat this field, so against this group we wouldn’t be surprised to see the R. Rodriguez trained son of Honor Code snap back to life. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: X
Use: 2-Coalition Building; 9-Evvie Jets

Forecast: Coalition Building has a well-deserved reputation as a money burner, having been beaten as the favorite in each of her last three starts. The four-year-old daughter of Lemon Drop Kid shows up for the first time in a seller ($75,000) while also getting Lasix for the first time, so we’re fully expecting the C. Brown-trained filly to take full advantage of the opportunity to earn her diploma, but as a short price once again. Evvie Jets is another dropping into a claimer for the first time and has speed figures that are quite comparable to the favorite. This will be her second start off a layoff for A. Dutrow and she, too, will be racing with Lasix for the first time. In a race that we’ll otherwise pass, these are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play.

RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: A-
Single: 5-Ready A. P.

Forecast: Ready A. P. didn’t run particularly fast when winning her debut earlier this month at Belmont Park, but the clock doesn’t really tell the true story. The daughter of More Than Ready broke slowly and was bumped and knocked back at the start to trail, but then quickly got into gear to move within range without being asked into the turn, took complete control when ready and then won eased up in the closing stages in a visually very impressive performance. An athletic filly with a lovely, easy stride, the C. Clement-trained juvenile received some gate education last week and looked terrific, leaving cleanly and breezing every step of the way in a team drill while going in :48 flat, the second fastest of 110 workouts for that distance. Though she’s facing males today, this is a very good New York-bred filly and from her comfortable outside draw she should be able to break well and control the pace flow while offering good wagering value in the win pool and in rolling exotic play.

RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: C+
Use: 5-Gallina; 7-Raffinity

Forecast: We have this maiden claiming extended sprint for fillies and mares down to two main players. Raffinity returns to the $40,000 ranks after failing in three consecutive outings as the favorite in tougher straight maiden events, two of which were over a wet track that she may not have cared for. Against this group the daughter of Tonalist shouldn’t have any excuses, unless it rains again, but at 3/5 on the morning line you’re not going to find any wagering value. Gallina turns back in trip, has breezed well over the track and may have some improvement in her. She’ll be running on late. There’s not a whole lot to work with here in a race that might be best left alone.

RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: B-
Use: 6-Let’s Be Clear; 8-Solib; 9-Next Tuesday; 10-Take the Backwoods

Forecast: This is a maiden special weight sprint for juvenile fillies restricted to those that went through the sales ring for $45,000 or less and therefore isn’t likely to have any monsters in it. Next Tuesday performed well in her debut when a distant runner-up to the exceptionally fast Mainstay in a strong open maiden affair at Monmouth Park last month, and with nothing that quick to worry about today the daughter of Kantharos may have found a proper spot to earn her diploma. The K. Breen stable has superior stats with the second-time starter angle (26% with a powerful ROI) so if this filly produces any kind of forward move she should be hard to beat. There are a few others to consider if you’d prefer some protection. Let’s Be Clear and Take the Backroads, two-three finishers when heads-apart at the wire in a maiden race at Churchill Downs last month, are both eligible to step forward for barns whose maidens often improve with experience. Toss in the debuting American Pharoah filly Solib (J. Rosario rides) following a series of okay drills and you’re dealing with a race with plenty of unknowns and question marks that may require a spread in rolling exotic play.

RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: C
Use: 7-Absam; 9-Prefect; 12-Gimme Some Mo

Forecast: Gimme Some Mo looks best on paper in this restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claimer over the inner turf course, but the T. Pletcher-trained colt drew the 12-hole and will need luck to secure a decent trip from that far out. Freshened since early May and exiting three tougher starter’s allowance events, the son of Uncle Mo is dominant in the speed figure department and is reunited with “win rider: I. Ortiz, Jr., but his maiden win was accomplished in front-running fashion, and he’ll have to be used early to get over and secure that type of trip. Absam surfaces in a claimer for the first time and should fit with these, especially if a decent pace materializes to compliment his late-running style. The M. Maker-trained colt was beaten as the favorite vs. first-level allowance foes at Churchill Downs last time out so this class drop is warranted. Prefect has no tactical speed but is another dropping in for a tag for the first time in his first start since March and seems likely to improve against this group. He’s solid in the speed figure department but will need some racing luck. With a low degree of confidence, we’ll include all three in our rolling exotics in a race in which no result would surprise us.

RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: B
Use: 5-Swashbuckle; 10-Three Outlaws; 12-Fast Getaway

Forecast: Fast Getaway drops into a claimer for the first time, adds blinkers, and has several speed figures in his past performance chart that are good enough to win a race at this level. Freshened since May, the L. Rice-trained gelding finds a field without too much early speed for an abbreviated turf sprint and projects to be on or near the lead throughout. Additionally, he’s run well over this course in the past. Worth some consideration in rolling exotic play are Swashbuckle and Three Outlaws. The former is lightly-raced with improvement possible and charts well with these off his state-bred allowance score two runs back, while the latter has a prior win over this course and distance and projects to enjoy a second flight trip and then have his chance from the quarter pole home.

RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade:
Single: 3-Highest Honor

Forecast: Highest Honor has much in his favor in this competitive third-level allowance event over nine furlongs on the main track. Now five but with just six career starts on his resume, the son of Tapit returned to winning form at Belmont Park last month with a sharp tally vs. slightly softer foes in his second start off a layoff. With a healthy work tab in the interim and being a stakes winner over this track and distance, the C. Brown-trained horse seems set to produce another forward, perhaps even a career top performance. He’s most effective when allowed to settle and produce a late kick and the projected race flow seers more than sufficient early speed signed on to compliment his style. At 5/2 on the morning line, let’s make him a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: B
Use: 4-Fast Gordon; 7-Sandor Clegane

Forecast: Fast Gordon returns to the maiden $40,000 ranks and finds a field he should be able to handle. The son of Alpha likes to settle in mid-pack and then produce a late run, and against this group with good racing luck he should be along in plenty of time. In his only prior race at this level 10 months ago he missed by a neck while well-clear of a next-out winner, and anything close to that today will be good enough. Worth using as a back-up is Sandor Clegane, away since last October and surfacing in a claimer for the first time. The son of Constitution looks the most dangerous of the speed types based on his two races from last year.