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Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Saturday, July 24

by Jeff Siegel

July 24, 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: 3-Tmorrowisalongtime; 5-Buzz of New York; 6-Red Diamond

Forecast: The Saturday opener is a contentious two-turn maiden turf affair for fillies and mares that doesn’t appear to have a whole lot of early speed signed on. We’ll spread and hope to get a price horse home. Tmorrowisalongtime had one dirt sprint last year during her juvenile campaign, a distant third place effort in a fast, highly-rated race won by the talented Private Mission. The daughter of Frosted kept to her task in the lane while giving the impression that she’ll probably be best suited by a distance of ground. Nine months later she returns going a mile on grass following a string of what appears to be good workouts at San Luis Rey Downs for a barn that excels with layoff runners. From a comfortable inside draw and with good grass rider U. Rispoli taking the call, the R. Baltas-trained filly has a chance to be forwardly placed, maybe even on the lead, and given that type of trip she could be very dangerous at a nice price. Let’s put her on top. Buzz of New York ran well when beaten a neck in a decent handicap over the left-handed Leopardstown course in April and based on that race should be quite competitive when returning to the maiden ranks for her U.S. debut. The local works are okay for a trainer that has superior stats with first-out European imports, and with F. Prat taking the call she’s certain to attract plenty of play. Red Diamond exits a live race and should be capable of handling the added ground, although her one prior outing around two-turns last year over this course and distance wasn’t particularly impressive. Perhaps she’s a better type now. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics while recognizing that Rhythm and Grace (the possible pace-setter) and Norma Jean B. (in the frame in five of nine career starts) both have solid credentials as well.

RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Sachel de Ritches; 3-Awhitesportscoat

Forecast: Proponents of the “horses for courses” theory will be lined up to back Awhitesportscoat in this $12,500 claiming sprint after a series of good recent races during the Los Alamitos thoroughbred season on the big track and before that around the hook during the evening programs. Actually, the seven-year-old gelding is tough just about anywhere when he’s feeling good, especially at Del Mar, where he’s won three of four lifetime starts over a rally-wide track that compliments his late-running style. Bug boy C. Ortega, who knows him well, stays aboard the son of Hansen, who seeks his 11th win from what will be his 40th career start. Satchel de Ritches, claimed in two of his last three starts and now in the R. Hess, Jr. barn, missed by a head when last seen in mid-May competing for a $16,000 price. The two month layoff and the class drop cause some concern, but on pure numbers he’s dangerous if can deliver one of his better efforts. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Awhitesportscoat.

RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: X
Single: 2-Sea Dreamer

Forecast: Sea Dreamer was more than eight lengths clear of the rest when runner-up in her debut behind Just Distorted last month, earning a powerful speed figure in a hot race from which the third place finisher already has come back to win. Anything even remotely close to that effort today will easily handle this group of maidens. The S, Callaghan barn is quite proficient with second-time starters, hitting at 25%, and with F. Prat staying aboard, the daughter of Into Mischief surely will be a very short-priced favorite and therefore unplayable other than as a logical, no-value rolling exotic single.

RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 4-Trainer Please; 6-Just About Enough; 9-Oncoming

Forecast: Here’s another maiden turf miler, this one for the boys, and just like today’s first race we’ll be seeking some price chances while trying to beat logical contenders such as Hollywoodhellraisr (nosed out vs. similar last time out with a perfect trip) and Lone Scout (first time gelding). Just About Enough was given a race in his debut when winding up a troubled ninth, beaten five lengths, after rallying on his own courage in traffic to finish willingly but much too late. The son of Twirling Candy gets an extra quarter of a mile to work with today while adding blinkers and switching to J. J. Hernandez for trainer M. Glatt, whose record with second-time starters (28% with a powerful ROI) is encouraging, to say the least. With a healthy series of workouts since his debut in mid-June, this grey gelding seems certain to step forward significantly, and with good racing luck could pull off an upset. Oncoming displayed promise in his lone start as a two-year-old last October when rallying with interest to finish a solid third over this course and distance. The son of Quality Road makes his first start since with a series of strong drills to have him fit enough, and as a first-time Lasix user with U. Rispoli riding him back this homebred colt looks dangerous. Trainer Please flashed good early speed before weakening his first two career starts, both times winding up in the money in what were better than par races for the level. Bred to run long and handle turf (Orb from a War Front mare), the D. O’Neill-trained gelding is certain to be the controlling speed, and we suspect that if he’s ever going to successfully handles two-turns, it will be in his first try. You have to throw him in somewhere.

Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT GRADE: B-
Use: 2-Sponsored; 3-Bold Voyager; 9-Blue Star

Forecast: Bottom-rung maiden $20,000 older claimers meet over a mile in a race that doesn’t have a whole lot in it. Blue Star drops to his lowest level ever, and although he’s already had nine chances his numbers suggests that he’s finally found his friends. His only prior dirt race – his debut as a 3-year-old – wasn’t terrible and with the switch to F. Prat this D. O’Neill-trained gelding may be capable of producing the last run. Sponsored, claimed in both of his career starts and now in the R. Hess, Jr., barn, has numbers that fit after displaying some spark when a closing third in a maiden $30,000 extended sprint at Churchill Downs last month. Eligible for the lucrative ship-and-win purse bonus, the son of Runhappy picks up U. Rispoli and more than likely will be reserved early and then produced as the field heads for home. Bold Voyager is another sneaky type worth including in your rolling exotics. This will be his first start in a maiden claimer and his first over conventional dirt, so the son of Grazen has a right to be better than shown and gets an ideal spot to prove it. Additionally, he’s competitive on speed figures, gets a break in the weights with the shift to bug boy C. Ortega, and projects to be forwardly placed and free of trouble.

RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Memo Daddy; 5-Uncle Addouma; 7-Exultation; 10-Ottawa Fire

Forecast: This first-level allowance turf miler is deep and contentious, with several having the credentials to win. Memo Daddy, third in both starts since being imported from Chile, should produce another forward move today in a race that will probably find him saving ground behind the leaders, locked and loaded, waiting to be turned loose. The M. McCarthy-trained horse found himself on the lead going nine furlongs last time out and dug in gamely before going down by less than a length. Today, In his third start off a layoff and shortening back to a mile, the son of Scat Daddy can be expected to produce a career top performance. Uncle Addouma didn’t get the best of runs and by all rights should have been in the picture when fourth, beaten less than three lengths, in a similar event at Santa Anita last month. Saving ground but with nowhere to go, the Uncle Mo colt took hold late but simply ran out of room in a much better performance than the line will show. With Hernandez opting for Memo Daddy, this M. McCarthy-trained 4-year-old gets significant weight off with the switch to bug girl J. Pyfer. Exultation makes career start number 16 today but his first around two turns, and we suspect gate-to-wire tactics will be employed. The son of Paynter is solid in the speed figure department and has won two of his last three in starter allowance company; he tackles tougher today but could produce a significant forward move if not policed on the front end. Also worth tossing in is the Irish invader Ottawa Fire, who makes his U.S. debut for the powerful F. Prat/P. D’Amato team. He’s a first-time Lasix user arriving with good spring form in solid handicaps that drew huge fields of 23 and 15 runners. With just five career starts, the four-year-old gelding clearly has room for further development.

RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B+
Single: 5-Honor It

Forecast: Honor It is a Tapit filly out of the outstanding local stakes winning grass filly With Honors from the remarkable family of Kitten’s Joy and Dreaming of Anna. She’s a quick-actioned, athletic filly that has been breezing under restraint most of her recent works and makes her debut in this five and one-half furlong main track sprint with a steady foundation of drills that dates back to mid-April. Indeed, she appears to be blessed with a ton of natural talent but as a first-timer we’re not sure how quick she’ll be leaving the gate. Her trainer (R. Mandella) has a reputation of not winning as often as he should with fast-working first timer starters, though the stats say that at 20% he’s actually more proficient than most. The three inside fillies in the field (Mirasol, Mitigation, and Bicameral) all have workout times that are impressive at face value and could be dangerous if Honor It doesn’t perform up to expectations. We’re hoping that she will.

RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B+
Use: 3-Say the Word; 6-Smooth Like Strait

Forecast: We’re going to take a stand against the defending Eddie Read S.-G2 winner United, who was far below his best form when last of four without any apparent excuse in the Charles Whittingham S.-G2 at Santa Anita in his most recent start in late May. Of course, the high class gelding could easily bounce back, and if he does, we’ll tip our hat, but instead we’ll gamble using just Say the Word and Smooth Like Strait in our rolling exotics. Say The Word has been a marathoner most of his career, but he can be equally effective in middle distances affairs. The son of More Than Ready appeared on top of his game when finishing full of run to be second in the Shoemaker Mile-G1 last time out and at a mile and one-eighth we could easily see the P. D’Amato-trained gelding produce a winning late bid. Nine furlongs may be stretching the limit of Smooth Like Strait but he’s so genuine and consistent that no matter what the pace flow turns out to be he always digs down deep when the pressure is turned on late. The son of Midnight Lute likely will stalk the expected pace-setter Award Winner to the head of the lane before making his move and then have his chance to strike the front sometime during the final furlong before attempting to fend off the late closers, such as Say the Word. May the best horse win.

RACE 9: Post: 6:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 5-First Prez; 6-Clem Labine; 7-Jazz Hands

Forecast: Jazz Hands is a 3-year-old tackling older for the first time but he’s fast enough on speed figures to beat this field and is comfortably drawn one from the outside where the better lanes are. The son of Square Eddie switches to J. Hernandez and projects to stalk the inside speed types (Push to Start, I’ll Stand Taller) and then have every chance to go on by from the top of the lane to the wire. First Prez has rising speed figures for D. O’Neil,l and with patient handling he could be the most dangerous of the closing types. He’s been a grass specialist most of his career but ran well on dirt two runs back and after a six week freshening could be set for a career top mark. Clem Labine, a prototype late-running sprinter and therefore idealyl suited for this extended sprint distance, is fast on numbers and always reliable, having finished first or second in 15 of 23 career starts. He’s run well over the Del Mar main track in the past and should be heard from in the final furlong.

RACE 10: Post: 6:30 PT Grade: X
Single: 2-Going Global

Forecast: Going Global is unbeaten in four starts since being imported from Ireland and it doesn’t appear she’s going to have her streak snapped any time soon. Her speed figures continue to rise, she’s been training better than ever, and from a comfortable inside draw in this year’s edition of the San Clemente S.-G3 the P. D’Amato-trained filly is guaranteed a ground-saving trip against a field that on paper looks completely outclassed. She’s an obvious no-value rolling exotic single as she awaits for stiffer challenges down the road.

RACE 11: Post: 7:00 PT Grade: B-
Use: 6-Traffic Stopper; 10-Big Passion

Forecast: The finale has two main players and it’ll be surprising if this modest restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares isn’t won by one or the other. Traffic Stopper, freshened since late May, retains F. Prat and consistently has earned speed figures that can beat a soft field such as this. First or second in four of her last five starts, the M. Puype-trained filly isn’t the type to make up much ground, so she’ll need to break well and establish her position close to the pace. Things will get dicey if she’s forced to rally from farther back than a second flight, stalking position. The one she’ll have to beat is Big Passion, second while five lengths clear of the rest earlier this month at Los Alamitos. Her late kick is a bit more trustworthy than Traffic Stopper’s and her numbers are rising, so from a good outside post position the T. Yakteen-trained daughter of Mr. Big seems quite likely to continue her improving pattern.