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Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Sunday, August 1

by Jeff Siegel

August 1, 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: 1:05 ET Grade: B
Single: 2-Everesting

Forecast: Everesting has very little to beat in this maiden $50,000 claiming turf sprint and with blinkers on from a favorable inside draw the S. Joseph, Jr.-trained colt projects to be on or near the lead throughout. His runner-up at this level over a mile at Gulfstream Park last spring charts well here and his close fourth vs. straight maidens at Belmont Park two runs back earned a speed figure good enough to beat this group. There’s not a lot of value to be found – he’s 2-1 on the morning line – so in a race that could be won by anybody if it’s not our top pick we’ll make the son of Frosted a rolling exotic single but otherwise pass the race.

RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: B+
Single: 5-Silvery Rill

Forecast: Though the listed workout times don’t jump off the page, Silvery Rill was included in our “Clocker’s Primed and Ready List” this week and should be fit and ready for a major effort first time out of the box for C. Clement. The daughter of War Front has done everything required of her in the a.m. while always looking best (and with plenty left) in team drills, so from a barn that has superb stats with debut runners (23% with a massive ROI) we’re expecting this very promising juvenile filly to take care of business as the 8/5 morning line favorite.

RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: C
Use: 1-Lookin for Loki; 4-Frosted Indian; 6-Dee Bro

Forecast: We’ll go three-deep in the third race, a $25,000 claiming sprint for older horses, but not with a great deal of confidence. Lookin for Loki, a $50,000 claim last spring at Churchill Downs, returns for half that amount in his first start for D. Gargan so it’s anybody’s guess as to what kind of shape he’s in, though it should be noted that this stable hits at 39% with the first-off-the-claim maneuver primarily because of an aggressive approach such as this. Obviously good enough if healthy, the Into Mischief gelding will be within range throughout while saving ground and have every chance if he’s feeling up to it. Dee Bro is racing in good form while moving up in class off a claim and projects to be prominent throughout with a comfortable trip outside. He’ll need strong handling from the 10-pound bug rider. Frosted Indian lacks tactical speed but should be running on late after finishing a decent but distant second in a lesser spot earlier this meeting. He’s not as fast on speed figures as the others but at least has a reasonably healthy pattern.

RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: C+
Use: 5-Smooth Pebble; 6-Jades Gelly; 9-Jill’s a Hot Mess

Forecast: Here’s a spread race for starter’s allowance fillies and mares sprinting on grass. Smooth Pebble seeks her third straight score and should maintain her good form while shortening in trip. She’s not particularly fast on speed figures but is being protected for the first time in her career and has proven to be a versatile type that can win on the lead or from a stalking position, so J. Rosario can play the break, assess the pace flow and choose his strategy. Jill’s a Hot Mess has dangerous early speed and if she can shake loose early without pressure she could prove to be an elusive target. Jades Gelly is a bit faster on numbers than our top pick and looked good when beating a restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claiming group at Belmont Park last month. Given her improving form and high percentage connections, the daughter of Lea should offer good value at or near her morning line of 6-1

RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: C+
Use: 1-Whittington Park, Who Hoo That’s Me; 3-Rotknee

Forecast: We’ll focus on the inside three runners in this main track sprint for New York-bred juveniles. Whittington Park has done some good work in the a.m. for the high-percentage B. Cox barn and if leaves cleanly from the rail the Midnight Lute could be a major factor in a wide-open affair. The barn is just okay with debut runners but according to the work tab this colt should be plenty fit for a winning effort. Who Hoo That’s Me, a Keen Ice homebred colt, shows a steady and healthy work tab for trainer J. Abreu, whose stats with newcomers is off the charts (28% with a huge flat-bet profit). A bullet gate work (5f, 1:00.3hg) last month catches the eye. Rotknee, a reasonable third in his debut over a muddy track last month at Belmont Park, has every right to produce a forward move for the M. Maker barn (solid stats with the second-time starter angle) while adding blinkers. The son of Runhappy shows a bullet three furlong blowout (:35 3/5) since raced and switches to the stable’s “go to” guy J. Ortiz. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with perhaps a very slight edge on top to Whittington Park.

RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: B
Use: 1-New York Girl; 2-Platinum Paynter; 5-Miss Teheran

Forecast: The allowance/optional claimer looks made to order for New York Girl. Overmatched in the Just A Game S.-G1 last time out, the W. Mott-trained filly is realistically spotted today after being consistently competitive in graded stakes company earlier this year. From the rail, the Irish-bred filly may be able to outclass this field. Miss Teheran has a reasonable look at 7/2 on the morning line. Second in photos in her last pair, the C. Brown-trained mare is due for some better luck and with a little help up front may be able tag the speed close home. Platinum Paynter likes the front end going long and if not pressured early could take this field a long way. Winless in four starts in 2021, the ex-claimer has numbers that make her dangerous, so we’ll toss her in as a back-up or a saver.

RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: B
Use: 3-Town Classic; 6-Aloha West

Forecast: Town Classic crushed a $50,000 field at Belmont Park, was promptly claimed by M. Maker, and looks tough on the raise in this allowance/optional claiming main track sprint. Previously, the veteran son of Speightstown had earned a reputation as a gelding who’d rather finish second or third (31 times) than win (seven times) but based on his most recent authoritative score he can successfully handle the class hike. Aloha West was a tad disappointing when fourth in a listed stakes in late June at Churchill Downs but against this band the Hard Spun could easily bounce back. The W. Catalano-trained colt switches to J. Rosario and will be running on late. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: B-
Use: 2-Mirabell Mei; 6-Amortization; 7-Exotic West

Forecast: Here’s a real grass grab bag for restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claiming fillies and mares. Use as many as you can afford to. Exotic West, dropping off a $50,000 claim and removing blinkers while picking up J. Rosario, has a right to significantly improve under these conditions and at 8-1 on the morning line offers good long shot value. She should be prominent throughout, maybe even on the lead, and given that type of trip she could get very brave. Mirabell Mei is a deep closer exiting a pair of tougher starter’s allowance races and should be heard from late. On numbers, she’s right there with these. Amortization is lightly raced with some improvement in her. Her maiden win two runs back last December at the Big A earned a number that fits at this level but a poor run in June at Monmouth Park as the favorite in her comeback was disappointing. She’s reunited with “win rider” M. Franco, so perhaps she can step forward.

RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: X
Single: 3-Jackie’s Warrior

Forecast: We get a rematch of the terrific Woody Stephens S.-G1 in this year’s edition of the Amsterdam S.-G2 at the slightly shorter six and one-half furlong distance with Drain the Clock and Jackie’s Warrior renewing their rivalry. ‘Clock got the best of ‘Warrior at Belmont Park but the latter is perfect in two starts at Spa, having won both the Saratoga Special S.-G2 and the Hopeful S.-G1 last year, so perhaps with the change in venue the son of Maclean’s Music can turn the tables. Truthfully, either one can win, but with ‘Warrior favorably drawn outside he’ll be able to dictate the race flow and therefore have the edge.

RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: C
Use: 1-Esotica; 5-Elusive Site

Bottom-rung maiden claiming fillies and mares sprint six furlongs in the nightcap in a race that should boil down to main contenders. Elusive Site, listed at 5-1 on the morning line, displayed good speed before weakening late to wind up fourth, beaten 13 lengths, in her debut here last year and then was stopped on. She’s being tossed away by T. Pletcher (27% with layoffs) while adding Lasix in this modest affair, not a healthy or encouraging sign, but against this group she might get loose and get brave, so we’ll put her on top. Esotica was a voided claim at this level in late May at Belmont Park when a decent third over a sloppy surface, so, similar to our top pick, she has a big condition question. From the rail, she’s likely to be sent from the bell. This is an “anything goes” type of race and probably is best left alone.