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Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Saturday, August 7

by Jeff Siegel

August 7, 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-I Got No Munny; 6-Laurel River

Forecast: Laurel River got burned up setting hot fractions and paid the price late when weakening to finish second behind The Chosen Vron in the Laz Barrera S.-G3 in mid-May but after being freshened for nearly three months the B. Baffert-trained colt returns to the first-level allowance ranks, shortens up a furlong, and is comfortably drawn outside the other speed. The son of Into Mischief will have the opportunity to stalk and pounce if A. Cedillo so chooses, or simply pop and go if the situation presents itself. If a closer is going to win this abbreviated sprint affair, it’ll probably be I Got No Munny, rail and all. The son of Munnings loses regular pilot J. J. Hernandez (who opts for Fratelli) but picks up the capable J. Bravo, who can let the front-runners go and they try to pick them up late, a strategy that has worked with this M. Glatt-trained gelding in the past. We’ll use ‘River and ‘Munny on our rolling exotic single and then press with Laurel River on top.

RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade:
Use: 4-Queen Goddess; 6-Cedar’s Stars

Forecast: Trainer M. McCarthy has a pair of live entries in this maiden middle distance turf event for older fillies and mares and we’re expecting the winner to be one or the other. Queen Goddess overcame some traffic through the lane to finish strongly (and gallop out far in front) in a smart runner-up debut performance vs. similar last month, and after racing somewhat greenly and being sloppy on her leads the daughter of Empire Maker seems likely to produce a significant forward move with that experience behind her. Furthermore, she gets Lasix and an extra half furlong to work with for stable that has off-the-charts statistics with the second-time starter angle. Jockey J. J. Hernandez rides her back and should have learned plenty about her from her first race. Cedar’s Stars, third in her last pair when facing winners in moderate (Class 5) handicap company in England, is fresh off the plane, having most recently appeared in mid-June in a at Doncaster that was won by an older gelding with four career wins. Back with maidens today and almost certainly facing easier competition, the daughter of Sea the Stars adds blinkers and Lasix for her U.S. debut, most likely will be doing her best work from the quarter pole home. We’ll give Queen Goddess the edge on top and will press with extra tickets in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.

RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: X
Use: Pass/No Play

Forecast: This restricted (nw-2) $16,000 five and one-half furlong dash for older claimers offers nothing to trust and is pretty much inscrutable. Twirling Derby is fastest on speed figures and the one to beat after finishing second in a similar affair here last month but there are major issues, most notably his 1-for-16 career record and today’s distance, which in the past has proven to be too sharp for a gelding that lacks tactical speed (he has failed to hit the board in three prior attempts at this abbreviated trip). He may be able to tag the leaders but seems certain to be undervalued on the tote. The other main contender looks just as shaky. Summer Fire, claimed for $25,000 off a long layoff, finished a dull fifth with no visible excuse and today returns following another break (two months) while dropping well below his purchase price for a barn that is winless with more than 30 starters at the current season. The Creative Cause gelding has back numbers that are considerably better than par for this level but that was then, and we can’t be sure what we’re getting now. No result would be surprising, so best advise is to either spread deeply in rolling exotic play or simply pass the race.

RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B+
Use: 1-Montebello; 2-Derecho Dandy; 5-Forbidden Kingdom

Forecast: This has the makings of an outstanding 2-year-old maiden event, with at least three superior prospects showing up in the same race. Montebello is a colt with immense talent and should be fit enough to win at this six furlong distance based on a gate drill he had with stable mate Enbarr on July 22. In that workout, the B. Baffert-trained son of Curlin from the multiple New York stakes winner Beautiful But Blue was inside his workmate and was always going the better of the two, eventually pulling clear late to record a bullet time of :59.1 before galloping out six furlongs with plenty left in 1:12.3. Enbarr, it must be noted, debuted last week and finished second by a half-length to the outstanding prospect Pinehurst while more than 11 lengths clear of the rest. A $400,000 Keeneland yearling purchase, Montebello had the misfortune of drawing the rail but if he breaks cleanly he should have enough early speed to use the draw to good advantage. Drawn right along side is the first-timer Derecho Dandy, from the J. Sadler barn. A classy colt who has been thoroughly professional in his morning trials, the son of freshman stallion Connect appears to have plenty of talent and has series of workouts that should have him cranked and ready. Forbidden Kingdom may be the most talented of the three and if he makes no mistakes he could easily win, though he’s been a bit green on occasion and is less likely to break sharply than his main rivals. A beautiful mover and a stunning athlete by American Pharoah, the R. Mandella-trained colt can be any kind when he figures things out. Hopefully, that will happen sooner than later.

Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B+
Use: 3-Uncle Jeff; 5-Zippy Baby; 6-Midnight Jostar

Forecast: Uncle Jeff won his debut on turf sprinting in a maiden $50,000 affair at Santa Anita in mid-June, and while he may not have beaten a whole lot the son of Uncle Mo did it stylishly. In his next start, from the 10-hole over a mile on turf, the V. Cerin-trained gelding had no chance after being fanned five-wide into the first turn and remaining at least four-wide thereafter while pressing hot early fractions. Still, he managed to salvage fourth money in a much better performance than the line will show. Today, from a much more favorable and back on grass, the four-year-old gelding seems certain to regain his best form. Midnight Jostar is a deep closing type from Churchill Downs eligible for the valuable ship-and-win money, and a recent sharp main track drill in 1:00 4/5 seconds while best of a team indicates he’s set for a significant forward move. Good grass rider J. Bravo will have him rolling late, and if the early fractions are faster than par, all the better for his chances. Zippy Baby, a $50,000 claim in Kentucky in mid-June, is with his sights set on bonus cash in his first California outing for good Bay Area-based trainer T. McKenna. He’s competitive on numbers and will be adding blinkers for the first time, all of which makes the son of Cairo Prince a “must use” in rolling exotic play.

RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: X
Use: 3-Arthur Spooner; 7-Gold Rush Candy

Forecast: Gold Rush Candy is listed as the 6/5 morning line favorite in this maiden state-bred juvenile sprint and based on his workouts and the lack of depth in the field the J. Sadler-trained colt probably will leave even lower than that. His recent work tab that includes a bullet five furlong drill in 59 1/5 seconds solo move that was fastest of 41 for the distance, points him out as a win-early type for a stable that has superior stats with the first time starter angle. The Danzing Candy colt will get the bulk of our action in rolling exotic play, but we’ll also include as a back-up or a saver Arthur Spooner, a first-timer by Gemologist that has shown better than average ability in his preparation for trainer R. Hanson.

RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B-
Use: 7-Escape Route; 9-Took Charge; 10-Black Belt

Forecast: The first leg of the late Pick-5 is a challenging starter’s allowance sprint that requires some coverage in rolling exotic play. We’ll go three-deep and hope to get by. Escape Route won a similar affair during his two-year-old season over this track and distance last November but then disappeared in good style with a strong speed figure but then had to be turned out. The M. Glatt, eligible due to the non-winners of two restriction, returns in what is essentially the same type of race and if ready should be hard to beat, assuming he returns as well as he left. The work tab looks reasonable for a barn that has solid stats with the layoff angle and this time around the son of Hard Spun is allowed to use Lasix, so we’ll put him on top and hope that there will be enough early pace in here to compliment his late running style. Black Belt is an intriguing Florida invader eligible for the valuable ship and win bonus, so you know he’s live and well-meant. The M. Casse-trained gelding arrives after pulverizing a maiden claiming $35,000 field at Gulfstream Park in late June while earning a number that makes him competitive at this level on this circuit. The son of Not This Time lands the outside draw and should settle in a stalking position and then have every chance from there. Took Charge, a $50,000 claim by R. Baltas (20% with this angle), has been freshened since finishing a well-beaten third as the favorite in a hot race in early May. The Take Charge Indy gelding returns protected in a sign of confidence and may be the most dangerous of the speed types.

RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B+
Use: 2-England’s Rose; 4-Luck

Forecast: Luck has looked terrific in her local workouts since arriving from France and though she was an allowance winner at Chantilly two races back she’s remains eligible for this entry-level allowance conditions because her winning purse was less than the $15,000 that is the cutoff for this race. She appeared best in a team drill with stable mate Bodhicitta (entered in today’s Yellow Ribbon H.) around dogs on grass in late July and gets Lasix and U. Rispoli for her U.S. debut. Both of her victories overseas came on synthetic but there’s no reason she won’t just as comfortable on the lawn. England’s Rose fired a winning shot in her first start in six months when closing rapidly through the lane but falling a nose short in a similar event over the local lawn three weeks ago. She gets an extra half furlong to work with today but is a devout deep closer than may be pace dependent. With normal fractions today, she’s certain to be heard from late.

RACE 9: Post: 6:00 PT Grade: B+
Use: 1-Bet On Mookie; 4-Finneus

Forecast: Bet On Mookie may have been a tad short when displaying good speed but weakening late when finishing second in his debut but then stepped forward impressively in his next outing with a more than five length demolition of maidens in a grass sprint at Santa Anita in mid-June. The son of Uncaptured returns to dirt today, and if can duplicate his grass form on the main track he should be quite capable of winning this year’s edition of the Best Pal S.-G2. The rail certainly is no bargain, but this colt is quick but not speed crazy and appears to have his share of class and quality. Finneus produced an excellent late kick to break his maiden in his second start at Santa Anita in mid-June and has trained like a quality type since, so we’re expecting the son of Stay Thirsty to continue his improvement with experience and distance. He’ll be rolling through the lane and will appreciate early fractions that would compliment his style. We’ll prefer Bet On Mookie slightly on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 10: Post: 6:30 PT Grade:
Use: 4-Dogtag; 8-Princess Grace

Forecast: Assuming both of the P. D’Amato need-the-lead entrants (Raymundos Secret and Charmaine’s Mia) remain in the field, this year’s renewal of the Yellow Ribbon H.-G2 is assured of a quick early pace and thus should set up beautifully for Dogtag. Nailed on the wire when moved to soon to the front in the 10F Possibly Perfect S. at Santa Anita in mid-June, the daughter of War Front surely will receive a more patient ride this time from U. Rispoli, and with the race flow promising to compliment her style we’re expecting the R. Mandella-trained mare to produce the last. She’ll have enough tactical speed to always be within range (hopefully with cover) and then can quicken when produced at the head of the lane. Princess Grace is a winner of four races from five starts, two of those victories accomplished in graded stake events, so at 8-1 on the morning line the shipper from Fair Hill has a legitimate look. Her speed figures are rising with each outing, she has a lovely stalking style that usually results in a perfect trip and with just another slight forward move could pull off an upset. Preference on top goes to Dogtag but both should be included in rolling exotic play.,

RACE 11: Post: 7:00 PT Grade: X
Use: 1-Sweet and Cheeky; 12-Uncaged Kitty

Forecast: The two we’ve listed above are logical contenders in this bottom-rung maiden claiming abbreviated sprint for older fillies and mares, but both have sketchy patterns, so this is another race that probably is best left alone. Sweet and Cheeky, a $50,000 claim in mid-June when finishing a fading seventh as the favorite, returns for $20,000 today, so the new connections clearly aren’t thrilled with the merchandise. You’d think she’d be certain to improve today for new trainer M. Glatt considering the weak assignment, but she must leave from the rail, so she better come out cleanly. Uncaged Kitty, a reasonable runner-up in her debut in April vs. maiden $50,000 foes at Santa Anita when trained by P. Miller, returns four months later for new conditioner A. Mathis in this much cheaper affair, which brings into question her current condition. She’s drawn nicely outside, removes blinkers, and retains R. Gonzalez so by default she’s a major player.