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Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Friday, August 6

by Jeff Siegel

August 6, 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-Cali Bay; 8-Gregory’s Pride

Forecast: Gregory’s Pride has trained like he’s fit and ready for his first outing since New Year’s Day and returns with Lasix in a turf sprint that based on the projected pace flow should allow him a lovely stalking trip outside. He’s not really all that quick but won’t have to be a field that came up very soft in early speed. Third in both of his prior outings and beaten a head in his debut over this course and distance last November, the P. D’Amato-trained colt should have every chance to graduate. Stable mate Cali Bay has credentials as well, though we wonder if five furlongs might be a bit too sharp for his liking. Still, the Irish-bred colt overcame a slow start to finishing willingly when second vs. similar in his debut in mid-April and he continues to impress in the a.m. while signaling that improvement is likely. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with slight preference on top to Gregory’s Pride.

RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B+
Use: 1-Li’l Grazen; 8-Kristi’s Tiger

Forecast: Kristi’s Tiger, freshened since May and returning to the first-level allowance ranks sprinting on dirt, draws a cozy outside post and projects to settle in mid-pack and then produce a strong late bid. A winner of her only prior start over the Del Mar dirt track, the daughter of Smiling Tiger shows a series of recent strong drills that should have her primed for a top try. She regains her “win rider” U. Rispoli and has been First or second in eight of 13 career starts. Li’l Grazen gets buried on the rail for the third straight time and her lack of gate speed will make her task tougher than it should be, but the veteran mare always gives her best and will be running on late. A three-time winner over the Del Mar main track and freshened for six weeks, she’s sure to fire her best shot. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with the main push going to Kristi’s Tiger.

RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: C
Use: 2-Magnificent; 4-Who’s the Star; 6-Bobby Bo

Forecast: Bobby Bo has burned money in his first two starts, both times enjoying good trips outside but then coming off the bridle and flattening out under pressure. He’s sure to be heavily backed again today when the B. Baffert-trained colt stretches out to a mile in this maiden special weight main track affair for older horses. On pure numbers, he’s a standout, but can he be counted on? Certainly not. Who’s the Star may be a viable alternative while also sporting the two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern. Today he’ll add blinkers while switching to I. Rispoli and has a pedigree that suggests he’ll be better as the distances increase. However, he’s hard to embrace, too, as he finished six lengths behind ‘Bo last time out. Magnificent, a distant second in a similar maiden miler at Santa Anita in mid-June, has a look if he can continue to improve. In a race loaded with suspect speed and under the assumption that patient tactics will be employed, the son of Frosted may be the most dangerous of the closing types. These are the three we’ll be including in rolling exotic play while otherwise sitting it out.

RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 1-Zebava; 4-Clearly Gone; 7-Perfect Ice Storm

Forecast: Zebava is a tough and genuine race mare seeking her third straight score. After a two month freshening, she returns to the same $25,000 level that she’s successfully been competing at for the Desormeaux brothers while remaining above her claim price. Clearly Gone, away since late May, has hit the board in seven of her last eight starts and can be counted on for another big effort over a turf course we know she loves (two wins in four starts). The T. Yakteen-trained mare has a good stalking style and projects to have dead aim and every chance from the quarter pole home. Perfect Ice Storm returns from Oaklawn Park in her first outing since late April for J. Sadler. She has numbers that fit but is unproven on grass. If she can make the running without pressure she’ll take this field a long way.

Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 8-Spoiled Rotten; 9-Connie Swingle

Forecast: Spoiled Rotten smoked a furlong in 9 4/5 seconds at the OBS April sale and then brought $125,000 through the ring. She has a modest pedigree (only one stakes-placed runner in the first three generations of her female family) but against this band of Cal-bred fillies she may be quick enough to win at first asking. Her San Luis Rey Downs workouts include a couple of bullet gate drills, so we’d have to think she’s fit and ready. Connie Swingle has the benefit of a prior outing, a good runner-up effort when beaten less than a length in a legitimate race for the level at Los Alamitos. The P. D’Amato barn has excellent stats with the second-time starter angle (20% with a massive ROI) so the daughter of Grazen will take some beating, though we’re wondering why J. Hernandez is jumping off while G. Franco, who rarely for this outfit, picks up the mount. Maybe it means nothing.

RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B-
Single: 1-Commanding Chief

Forecast: Commanding Chief finally broke his maiden vs. $50,000 sellers in career start number 14, doing so in good fashion while earning a number that gives him a solid chance to win right back in this starter's allowance affair (runner-up Algeria already has franked the form by scoring easily yesterday). From his favorable rail draw, the J. Sadler-trained horse will settle somewhere in mid-pack while saving ground and then try to produce a similar late kick that produced his recent score. With the other main contender, Ox Bridge, having been scratched after being entered back for Saturday, let's go with 'Chief as a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B+
Single: 2-Smash Ticket

Forecast: Smash Ticket finished second to the highly-regarded filly Wicked Halo in her debut at Lone Star Park in June (she was 10 lengths clear of the rest) and then verified that highly favorable impression the following month when easily breaking her maiden in her local debut by five widening lengths. Her winning speed figure was very strong, one that if repeated will be good enough to win this year’s renewal of the Sorrento S.-G2. The daughter of Midnight Lute is a quick type but doesn’t strike us as a one that necessarily needs the lead, and she shouldn’t have any issue with today’s six furlong trip either, so we’ll take a stand and make her a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: C+
Use: 2-Lady O’Prado; 7-Zahra

Forecast: The nightcap is a main track miler for restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming fillies and mares. It took 26 attempts for Zahra to win a race and when she finally found a field she could handle she did so in style, scoring by more than 11 lengths in a maiden special weight affair at Pleasanton last month (though she was 3/5, which tells you something about the others in the field). Now that she has a confidence building victory on her resume, can she come right back and do it again? Actually, yes, she can, at least based on speed figures and her good stalking style, which will guarantee a soft trip. Furthermore, she has high-percentage connections and catches a field that should be within her capabilities, so let’s give her a chance to extend her winning streak to two. Lady O’Prado had a sprint tune-up at Los Alamitos in her first outing in nearly five months when she rallied to be third in a race that should set her up nicely for this stretch out in trip. She may find herself as the controlling speed and will be dangerous with that kind of trip.