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Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Friday, July 30

by Jeff Siegel

July 30, 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: 1-Beautiful Temple; 9-Queen of Pompeii

Forecast: Beautiful Temple has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-pattern and a pedigree that suggests she’ll produce a significant forward move going long. The daughter of Temple City has the benefit of the inside draw that she could utilize to gain a front-running trip, and if she continues to improve as her speed figures indicate she will, the S. Ruis-trained sophomore filly will be able to handle this modest field. She’s listed at 7/2 on the morning line and at that price offers good wagering value. Queen of Pompeii shows the same pattern – going long for the first time after two sprint preps – and like our top pick is a daughter of Temple City and therefore likely to enjoy this longer trip. Unlike Beautiful Temple, this C. Gaines-trained filly projects to do her best work from off the pace. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Beautiful Temple.

RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Trip to Freedom; 6-Melting Snow

Forecast: We’ll double the second race using a pair of ship-and-win-seeking newcomers in this $40,000 claiming sprint restricted to 3-year-old fillies. Meltdown Snow, claimed for $40,000 at Churchill Downs in late May, shows up for the same tag in her California debut and looks well-placed for a major effort for W. Morey. The Dialed In filly does her best work from a second flight, stalking position and seems likely to enjoy the type of trip that produced three of her four career victories. With numbers that fit and a healthy work tab since raced, she seems the solid pick. Atlantic seaboard shipper Trip to Freedom is clearly the quickest in the field, so she’s always been suspect under pressure from the quarter pole home. If not policed early she can get very brave, and in her first start for J. Hollendorfer the Maryland-bred filly could fire a huge shot fresh. We’ll give Melting Snow the edge on top but include both in rolling exotic play.

RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: B+
Use: 1-Zuboshi; 6-French Franc

Forecast: Zuboshi had every chance but weakened late to finish second as the 6/5 favorite in her debut at Los Alamitos earlier this month but gets her chance to make amends today while switching to grass and landing the good inside post. The juvenile daughter of the promising freshman stallion Straight Fire was six lengths clear of the rest, so if she produces a forward move today as expected she’ll be hard to catch. French Frac, second when well-backed (2-1) in her debut sprinting on turf at Gulfstream Park in early June, is another second-time starter with a right to step forward with a race under her belt. She actually earned a slightly better speed figure than our top pick though we suspect she’s not quite as quick. The first-timers don’t really impress, so let’s stick just these two while preferring Zuboshi on top.

RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B
Use: 2-I’m the Boss of Me; 5-Taming the Tigress

Forecast: This is another race we’ve boiled down to two main players, both trained by P. Miller. I’m the Boss of Me returned off a long layoff and pulverized a soft maiden $30,000 claiming field at Los Alamitos by 11 lengths and today is protected in starter’s allowance company while adding Lasix. She shows two excellent workouts over the Del Mar main track to indicate she’s ready to step forward once again, so with A. Cedillo riding her back the daughter of Midshipman should be hard to catch right back. Taming the Tigress likewise ran well in her seasonable bow off a layoff, finishing a willing second in her return to racing at Santa Anita last month. She’s not as quick as her stable mate but projects to inherit a good stalking journey and then have her chance from the top of the lane to the wire. Preference on top goes to I’m the Boss of Me but both should be included in rolling exotic play.

Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B+
Single: 10-Lena’s Big Day

Forecast: This is a split of today’s opener, a maiden turf miler for older fillies and mares. Lena’s Big Day was given an educational run last month at Santa Anita in her sprint debut when never really being asked until the final furlong and then responding late to wind up a willing fourth, beaten less than three lengths. The daughter of Mr. Big seems certain to step forward with that tightener behind her and today’s stretch out to a two-turn mile. The main concern is her 10-hole post but F. Prat stays aboard the C. Gaines-trained filly, who at 7/2 on the morning line offers good gambling value in the win pool and as rolling exotic single.

RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B+
Use: 1-The Chosen Vron; 4-Atomic Drop

Forecast: The Chosen Vron is a standout on resume in this seven-furlong sprint restricted to California-bred 3-year-olds, with the main obstacle his rail post position in the seven runner affair. He’ll likely get outrun early and then be maneuvered to the more favorable lanes outside before launching his bid from the quarter pole home. He’s 6/5 on the morning line and deserves to be. Atomic Drop left his previous form far behind when trouncing maidens by eight widening lengths last month with a 90 Beyer speed figure, which happens to equal the career-best mark of the race favorite. He’ll have to carry his speed an extra furlong today while taking on tougher foes, but the manner in which the son of Mucho Macho Man dispatched of his rivals indicates he could easily be up to this level of competition. Preference on top goes to The Chosen Von but we’ll have tickets using both in all of our rolling exotics.

RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: C+
Use: 4-Luvluv; 6-Lure Him In

Forecast: This 11-furlong mini-marathon for older horses has drawn a full field of 10; we’ve boiled it down to two main players but if you find the need to spread deeper, go right ahead. Luvluv has never had much success over the Del Mar turf course and like most of these is unproven around three turns, but his recent form shows improvement, and his numbers are solid, so if he can stay the trip, he can pull off a mild surprise at 6-1. The J. Sadler-trained gelding likely will settle in mid-pack and then have his chance to produce a winning late kick. Lure Him In was overmatched in the San Juan Capistrano-G3 last month but fits much better at this level and projects to enjoy a stalking, second flight trip, ideal for a one-paced staying grinder. He’s been first or second in nine of 18 career starts and usually can be counted on for a good try.

RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: C+
Use: 1-Paint Me Lucky; 5-Sometimes Always; 7-Poseidon Wrath

Forecast: Paint Me Lucky is listed as the 8/5 morning line favorite and certainly is capable of winning this bottom-rung maiden claiming extended sprint, but he just failed in a similar spot at Los Alamitos at 6/5 and has never been one to trust. You have to use him in rolling exotic play but from the dreaded rail he’ll not likely offer any wagering value. Those that will be better prices and have a reasonable look to upset the chalk include Sometimes Always and Poseidon Wrath. The former, claimed in three of his last four starts, is a Churchill Dows invader eligible for the ship-and-win bonus money with speed figures that make him competitive for a high-percentage outfit, while the latter is a dangerous class dropper with enough speed to gain control early and perhaps get very brave with that type of front-running trip.