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Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Friday, July 23

by Jeff Siegel

July 23, 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: B-
Use: 2-We All Agree; 7-Seven Exes

Forecast: Maiden $50,000 claiming juvenile fillies sprint five furlongs in the Friday opener in a race in which four of the seven entrants are making their racing debuts. There’s lots of guesswork involved in identifying the major contenders, so tread lightly. Seven Exes looked fairly decent in a team drill 10 days ago while appearing to display enough ability to act at this level. She lands the cozy outside draw, and with a clean break she should be able to show her best stuff. We All Agree has the benefit of two prior outings and seems to be improving with experience. After finishing a distant second in a hot straight maiden dash at Los Alamitos last month, the L. Mendez-trained daughter of Unified drops into a seller and should be prominent throughout and have every chance. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics but if you have the budget to include a few more, go right ahead.

RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 4-Man Friday; 6-Vantage Point

Forecast: This $40,000 claiming turf miler is restricted to 3-year-olds. Man Friday exits a series of much more difficult races, picks F. Pat, and appears to have found his friends based on his tactical speed and numbers that are better than par for this level. The son of American Pharoah brought $325,000 as a weanling but his connections have decided to move on, thinking that if somebody wants him, they can have him. Vantage Point broke his maiden for a high priced tag two runs back but then found first level allowance company too strong, so he, too, is dropped to a realistic level. The son of Uncle Mo earned a number two races back that puts him squarely in the fray. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with the edge on top going to Man Friday.

RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: C+
Use: 4-Mad Catter; 7-Union Bliss

Forecast: Here’s a bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint that probably should be left alone. Rolling exotic players may choose to spread; for those with a smaller budget we suggest you go two-deep, with slight preference on top to Mad Catter. The L. Powell-trained gelding has just two prior outings so he may have more room for improvement than the others and based on our pace projection he looks the quickest of the quick. Off for six weeks but showing a healthy, steady work pattern, the sophomore gelding may be able to get clear early and then hold on. Union Bliss is a strong fit on speed figures and should be running on late, especially over a main track that promotes the rally-wide types. He’s seen better competition in his three race career and this group could easily be within his scope.

RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-Bold Endeavor; 3-Family Biz

Forecast: At first glance Bold Endeavor appears to have much in his favor in this second-level allowance main track miler for older horses. A two-time winner over the Del Mar main track and with good recent races that have produced strong speed figures, the veteran gelding should have every chance to regain his winning form. However, he’s been stuck on seconds (four in a row) and has been a beaten favorite in each of those four runner-up efforts, so he may be a bit hard to trust. We still like him on top, but not as a single. New York shipper Family Biz is a first-off-the-claim for P. Miller (27% with a high ROI) and seems sure to improve for these connections. The Fed Biz gelding likes to settle and produce a late run, a style that is usually extremely productive over the rally-wide biased Del Mar main track. A couple of recent sharp workouts since arriving in the West should have him on edge for what could be a career top effort.

Del Mar Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: C+
Use: 1-Tacoflavoredkisses; 4-Chasing Fame; 8-Man On the Moon; 9-Twilight Rider

Forecast: This $20,000 claiming main track miler for 3-year-olds looks treacherous, with lots of moving parts and a severe track bias from the past weekend that makes any result plausible. We’ll go four deep and hope that’s enough. Tacoflavoredkisses lands the dreaded rail but if he can extract himself and manage to find the outside lanes from off the pace the class-dropping Bay Area invader may be able to tag the speed close home. He’s won over this main track in the past, hails from a high percentage outfit, and hopefully will receive the patient ride he requires from U. Rispoli. Chasing Fame stretches out again and has a good look at this level if, like our top pick, he is taken back early and allowed to produce a late run. The Tapiture gelding received that type of ride in a good recent sprint and today drops to his lowest level ever while retaining regular jockey M. Gutierrez. Trainer J. Wong is extremely proficient with the first-off-the-claim angle (34%) and has two in this field sporting that angle. Man On the Moon ships in from Churchill Downs after being haltered for $30,000 and is capable of producing a dangerous late kick off his winter Fair Grounds form, while Twilight Rider, raised from the $16,000 level, vans down from the Bay Area and is guaranteed a good trip from the favorable outside lanes after leaving from the 9-hole. He’s light in the speed figure department but could step up considerably in his first start for this outfit.

RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Thanks Mr. Eidson; 6-Commander; 9-Distant Vista

Forecast: Distant Vista was a very impressive winner over this course and distance last year in a fast, highly-rated first-level allowance race, but then disappeared. The Irish-bred gelding returns for a barn that boasts superior stats with layoff runners (24% with a massive ROI) and the works, while not flashy, indicate the P. D’Amato-trained gelding is fit and ready. From his outside draw he can settle in the second flight and then blast home. Commander, like our top pick a prototype late-running sprinter, also won sprinting on grass here in 2020, doing so with a powerful late kick when facing claiming company. He’s a better type now and always has been genuine and consistent, having finished first or second in eight of 16 career starts. With a little help up front and with good racing luck the P. Miller-trained gelding will be heard from late. Mr. Eidson, yet another major player with a prior win over the Del Mar turf course, should settle into an ideal stalking position and have every chance from there. He’s not big on winning (just 2-for-16) but should at least get a piece of it.

RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B+
Single: 2-Closing Remarks

Forecast: Let’s take a stand (and a leap of faith) by singling a filly who has never raced on dirt in this year’s renewal of the Fleet Treat S. for state-bred sophomore fillies. Closing Remarks hasn’t sprinted since winning her debut with a furious late kick in a five furlong grass dash here 11 months ago, and while she’s performed quite well in subsequent outings over a distance of ground she may in fact be most effective around one corner. Exiting a pair of graded stakes races, she’s certainly faced tougher foes than she’s seeing today and a recent blistering five furlong workout over the Del Mar main track (:58 3/5 seconds, fasted of 25) that earned her a spot on our Clocker's "Primed and Ready List" gives hope that the switch to dirt won’t be an issue. At this extended sprint distance, the daughter of Vronsky can settle early, maneuver (hopefully) to the best lanes outside and then produce a winning late kick.

RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-Takelessworkmore; 10-Donner Lake; 12-Really Big News

Forecast: Half of the 14 entrants – including the three main contenders in this race - exit the same race, the six furlong turf sprint at Santa Anita June 18 won by Constant Conflict. This stretch out to a mile should positively affect a few of these, so let’s concentrate and those that figure to improve around two turns. Takelessworkmore was given a race in his debut but still closed with interest and galloped out well in the aforementioned event, winding up fifth but beaten less than four lengths. The barn generally does well with second-timers and this gelded son of Summer Front is bred to improve going long, so in a wide open affair let’s put him on top. Really Big News, second in that same after racing in traffic to the head of the lane, finished willingly with a grinding late kick that indicates the son of Mr. Big should be well suited by the stretch out in trip. The main concern is the 12-hole post and likelihood that the T. Yakteen-trained colt will have to overcome a wide trip, but if he can get over and save some ground he’ll be the one to fear most. Donner Lake stretches out after flashing speed and then weakening late to wind up third in a race that should tighten him quite a bit. The R. Baltas stable does very well with second-timers (25% with a powerful ROI) and with three good workouts at San Luis Rey Downs in the interim the son of Hard Spun may be quick enough to make the lead and take this field a very long way.