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Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Thursday, August 5

by Jeff Siegel

August 5, 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: C
Use: 4-Paige Runner; 7-Smiling Anne

Forecast: Northern California shipper Smiling Anne makes her third start off a long layoff, landing in a modest bottom-rung claiming main track miler for fillies and mares that should be within her capabilities. An old pro with 11 career wins, the B. McLean-trained daughter of Trappe Shot likes to stalk, pounce, and go, and in this $8,000 seller she should be able to pick her spot close to the pace and then have her chance from the quarter pole home. Paige Runner was a 13-length winner earlier this year at Santa Anita in a starter optional claimer that earned a speed figure 16 points better than what is par for a bottom-rung seller such as this. But since then, in three races, she really hasn’t gotten close, hence the sharp drop in class. She does have a prior win over the Del Mar main track so perhaps against this group she’ll bounce back. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play in a race that we’ll otherwise sit out.

RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B+
Use: 1-Tom’s Surprise; 4-Respect the Hustle

Forecast: Tom’s Surprise just missed in the Bertrando S. at Los Alamitos when earning a career top speed figure in a much tougher spot than this starter’s $16,000 allowance turf miler. Though he’s unproven on grass – in his only prior turf start he finished fourth in a five furlong sprint up north – the son of Tom’s Tribute is bred to run long on the lawn and today gets his first chance to do just that. He has good tactical speed, so from the rail the J. Wong-trained gelding projects to enjoy an ideal pace-stalking, ground-saving trip. For protection, you can include Respect the Hustle on a back-up or saver ticket. The veteran son of Colonel John is slower on figures than our top pick but is a genuine and consistent type and broke his maiden over this course and distance as a 2-year-old a few years back.

RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 1-Esagerare; 4-Angel of Freedom

Forecast: Angel of Freedom, third in each of his three starts and earning a career top speed figure in her most recent outing despite a rough trip, has trained well over this track for her first outing since mid-May, and the daughter of Flatter should fire her best shot in this maiden main track miler for fillies and mares. We’re expecting the daughter of Flatter to settle in behind the leaders and then grind away from the quarter pole home. Esagerare exits a softer maiden optional claiming sprint in her California debut but earned a decent speed figure when staying on with interest to finish third. She stretches out to a distance she’s bred to like, adds blinkers and Lasix, and switching to K. Desormeaux. From her rail post she should enjoy a ground-saving, stalking trip for a low profile but underrated outfit. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play.

RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Studly Perfection; 2-T Bones Trick

Forecast: T Bones Trick returns to his claim and winning level after finishing a distant second for $16,000 behind a next-out winner in a highly-rated race at Los Alamitos in late June. Back with $8,000 sellers, the J. Wong-trained gelding should be capable of regaining his winning edge. The veteran son of Midnight Lute prefers patient tactics and will be doing his best work from the top of the lane to the wire. Studly Perfection got burned up in a speed duel on opening day when the track was quite deep along the fence, so while he did falter under pressure in the final furlong, the K. Mulhall-trained gelding should stick a whole lot better today against this easier group over a main track that has gradually moved toward being bias-free. Always at his best as the controlling speed, the son of Majesticperfection knows where the wire is (nine career victories) and seems likely to take full advantage of his rail draw. We’ll prefer T Bones Trick on top but include both in rolling exotic play.

Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: C
Use: 1-Bossy Soul; 5-Patriot Missile; 8-Consider Me Gone

Forecast: One of these bottom-rung maiden claimers will earn a diploma in this lackluster main track miler for fillies and mares. We’ll try to get by using just three in a race that we’ve graded a “C” (least preferred, or pass). Consider Me Gone seems logical after finishing second in a similar affair at Los Alamitos in a race in which she pressed the pace throughout and then hung on gamely through the long stretch drive. She returns following a month layoff with a couple of recent easy drills to have her on edge, so we’ll put the P. Eurton-trained daughter of Dialed In on top and hope that she can turn in two alike. Bossy Soul is guaranteed a ground-saving trip from the rail and won’t have to improve much off her second place effort at Los Alamitos on the same day but a different race that our top pick exits. ‘Soul’s race actually had quicker early splits and a tick faster final time, so with just four previous starts the M. Glatt-trained filly has every right to be a major player. Patriot Missile makes a significant trainer change to C. Gaines and could improve a bunch with this class drop from straight maiden company. She continues to work like she can run a bit, at least enough to be competitive against this group.

RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 3-New Ice; 7-Bella D; 11-Keep Dancing

Forecast: This grass grab bag for first-level allowance state-bred fillies and mares over a mile has a several possibilities. Nice Ice, the probable pace-setter from her favorable inside draw, is a two-time winner (and twice placed) in six starts over the Del Mar turf course. The J. Mullins-trained mare has been freshened for a couple of months after a grueling runner-up effort when tagged close home in a starter/optional affair at Santa Anita that earned a good number. Give that same time of trip, she should be capable of regaining her winning form. Bella D., a fast-finishing third sprinting on grass in her last two outings, stretches out again and has routed well in the past, so the extra distance shouldn’t be an issue. Third with a career top number last time out, the M. Puype-trained filly will need some help up front but if the fractions are at least normal she should have an opportunity to make some noise late. Keep Dancing is stuck way out in the 11-hole, but she’s been genuine and consistent of late, so if she can manage to get over and get some cover the daughter of Clubhouse Ride may be a legitimate threat from off the pace.

RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-At the Spa; 4-Gianna’s Wild Cat; 7-It’s Simple

Forecast: It’s Simple broke her maiden at first asking from the rail at Santa Anita and looked good doing it, shaking off a pace rival entering the lane and then drawing clear. She was visually more impressive than the 55 Beyer speed figure gives her credit for, so based on pure numbers she will have to improve, but we think she’s seems likely to do just that. However, it should be noted that the daughter of Nyquist is entered back tomorrow in the Sorrento S.-G2 and therefore not a certain starter today, though this state-bred event certainly is where she belongs. At The Spa, also entered tomorrow in the Sorrento, already is a stakes winner after breaking her maiden in her debut and then returning to capture the Fasig-Tipton Debutante S. at Santa Anita in June. Yet, her speed figures aren’t really better than most of the others in this field and she’s only defeated a combined eight runners in those two races, so it’s hard to gauge just how good she really is. Gianna’s Wild Cat, far back when chasing home It’s Simple in her debut, franked the race by returning to graduate easily over the Del Mar main track while making a jump of 41 on the Beyer speed figure scale (now, that’s what we call improvement!). She’ll most likely be outrun early today but could be heard from late if the speed types do each other in.

RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B+
Single: 3-Algeria

Forecast: The finale is a maiden claiming turf miler that looks made to order for the 9/5 morning line favorite, Algeria. The Irish import will be making his fourth start since arriving in the States, and each of his three previous outings produce rising speed figures, most recently in mid-June when he missed by a neck while well clear of the others in a similar affair at Santa Anita. The R. Baltas-trained gelding switches to leading rider F. Prat, is comfortably drawn inside, and shows a healthy series of workouts at San Luis Rey Downs to tick him over. It all adds up to a logical short-priced rolling exotic single.