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Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Wednesday, August 11

by Jeff Siegel

August 11, 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+
Use: 5-Castle Leoch; 6-Munny Bolt

Forecast: Two-year-olds sprint five and one-half furlongs on turf in a competitive affair that brings out the highly-regarded Munny Bolt, from the S. Asmussen barn. The son of Munnings was jaw-dropping at the Timonium sale, where he breezed a furlong in 10 seconds flat, doing it like a good horse is supposed to, and then brought $460,000 through the ring. A strong, powerful colt with quick action but a long stride as well, he’s done everything asked of him leading up to his debut, and if he breaks running and handles the grass he’ll be hard to beat. Trainer W. Ward has two in the field, with the better one being Castle Leoch, a second-timer who was beaten at 60 cents on the dollar in his debut at Gulfstream Park in a fast race for the level. With that bit of experience behind him, the son of American Pharoah should be more focused, so today so we may find out what kind of colt he’s going to be. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to the exciting newcomer Munny Bolt.

RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: B-
Use: 1-Extra Effort; 7-Bustin Bay

Forecast: Busty Bay draws the lovely outside post and has the perfect stalking style for this extended sprint trip, so we’re expecting the daughter of Bustin Stones to repeat her facile score last month at Belmont Park in this restricted (nw-3) $16,000 claimer for fillies and mares. She likes to settle early and accelerate late and is a perfect two-for-two at today’s seven furlong trip. Extra Effort has been quite popular at the claim box, having changed hands in her last three stats, and today goes for the R. Atras stable, which enjoys off-the-charts success with the first-off-the-claim angle. She’s actually dropping from the $20,000 level, not normally a healthy sign following a narrow second place finish, but this outfit runs them where they can win, and this Flashback filly certainly can win here. The barn’s “go-to” rider R. Santana picks up the mount and should have this filly on or near the lead from her inside post. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with a very slight edge on top to Bustin Bay.

RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: X
Single: 2-Mr. Bluff

Forecast: Mr. Bluff, away since slipping and sliding to a fifth place finish (beaten 17 lengths) as the favorite in the Commentator Stakes over a muddy Belmont Park dirt strip last May, returns for J. Kimmel in this year’s edition of the Evan Shipman Handicap over nine furlongs on the main track. The works look solid, and he’s run well fresh in the past, so we’re expecting the veteran gelding to outclass his foes and secure career victory number 18. He does his best work on the lead but doesn’t need it, so regular rider J. Alvarado can play the race flow by ear and then execute the proper strategy.

RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: B+
Use: 4-Gotta Go Mo; 8-Too Sexy

Forecast: This turf dash for second-level allowance fillies and mares appears to have two main players, and both should be included in rolling exotic play. Gotta Go Mo has a distinct speed figure advantage over the others and should take full advantage of this class drop after facing stakes company in her two most recent two outings. She’s clearly the controlling speed if she wants to be and won’t have to go anywhere nearly as quick as the :20 2/5 and :43 2/5 early fractions that she pressed at Monmouth Park last time out. A repeat of her nose defeat in The Very One S. at Pimlico two runs back is all she’ll need to return to winning form. Too Sexy moves up a level after a clever score from off the pace over this course and distance earlier this meeting. She can turn it on late and rates a reasonable look, though her regular rider J. Rosario jumps off to ride Secure Connection, for whatever reason. ‘Sexy should inherit a good second flight trip from her outside draw and then have dead aim from the quarter pole home.

RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: B+
Use: 1-Tivoli Twirl; 4-Blitz to Win

Forecast: Tivoli Twirl stretches out around two-turns for the first time, lands the good rail, and catches a maiden state-bred group that should allow him to be the controlling speed without having to be used at all. Whether or not the son of Twirling Candy wants nine furlongs remains to be seen, but if he can’t get the distance with this projected pace flow, he never will. The barn has good stats with the stretch-out angle and the colt’s sprint figures are pretty good, so with J. Rosario taking the call we’re expecting a flag fall to that’s all performance. Blitz to Win also is trying two turns for the first time and has numbers that make him the one to fear most. A one-paced grinding type, the B. Tagg-trained gelding will try to be within range at the head of the lane and then hope that Tivoli Twirl can’t see out the trip.

RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: B-
Use: 2-Shining Colors; 3-Ms Penelopepitstop; 5-Bonkers

Forecast: We’ll spread this maiden claiming sprint for fillies and mares in our rolling exotics but otherwise sit it out. Ms Penelopepitstop, after being backed down to 9/5 favoritism, flashed speed vs. straight maidens in her debut at Monmouth Park in June but gradually weakened to finish fourth, beaten three lengths. She takes a realistic class drop to the $30,000 level, adds blinkers, and catches a field she should be able to outrun early and then hopefully hang on. Shining Colors, a distant second in a bottom-level maiden $20,000 event here over a sloppy track last month, goes for new connections today following a claim and projects to be forwardly placed in a race without much early speed. In the frame in six of seven career starts, the daughter of Paynter should at least hit the board again and maybe do even better than that. Bonkers is a wild card of sorts. She’s been routing on grass and in the mud lately without any success, but if you go back to last year you’ll find a couple of sprints vs. tougher foes that weren’t too bad and in fact earned speed that put her right there with these. You have to use her.

RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: B+
Use: 2-Magisterium; 11-Town Avenger

Forecast: Town Avenger makes just her third career start, and this class drop to the first-level allowance ranks should allow the promising daughter of Speightstown to return to winning form. She graduated at first asking last spring at Churchill Downs in clever fashion sprinting on turf and then took a monumental class hike when trying seasoned stakes fillies in the Tepin S. over a mile on grass in late June. Rallying wide into the teeth of slow fractions, the B. Lynch-trained 3-year-old closed as well as could be expected to wind up fourth, beaten less than three lengths, while earning a speed figure that should be more than good enough to handle this group. Additionally, her local workouts have been outstanding and provide evidence that the best is yet to come. She’s a strong pick on top. Magisterium is still seeking her first U.S. win after being imported from Europe, and with gradually improving speed figures and making her second start since being claimed by O. Noda for $62,500 the Irish-bred filly seems likely to produce another forward move. She’s a one-paced grinding type but switches to L. Saez, so you can use her as a back-up or a saver while reserving the main push for Town Avenger.

RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: B-
Use: 2-Betsy Blue; 4-Trinni Luck; 6-Honey Money

Forecast: Betsy Blue has won four of six career starts, including a state-bred stakes two runs back at Belmont Park, so she’s certainly the one to beat in this second level allowance sprint for New York bred fillies and mares. However, each of her last four outings - all very good races – were contested on wet tracks, so we’re not sure if she’s truly good or just an off-track specialist. Perhaps we’ll find out today. Trinni Luck moves up a notch after winning a state-bred entry-level allowance sprint at Belmont Park by five widening lengths. It was just her fourth career start, so the R. Rodriguez-trained filly may have a bit more upside than some of the others and is a versatile type than can win on the lead or from a stalking position. She’ll probably need a career top performance to win at this level but may very well have it in her. Honey Money also is coming off a nice score, doing so over the local main track last month while pressing the pace throughout. She earned a career top number, but because she’s returning on short rest (12 days), there’s a possibility that she may not be quite as sharp today. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Betsy Blue.

RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: B
Use: 1-Into the Sunrise; 8-Arrest Me Red

Forecast: W. Ward holds the aces in this sprint turf stakes restricted to 3-year-olds. The speedy Into the Sunrise will bust out and go from his rail position but he won’t be alone, as there are others, most notably Memos and Jaxon Traveler, that are likely to have the same front-running strategy in mind. ‘Sunrise, a grass sprint stakes winner at Ellis Park last month, seeks his third straight victory and the way he’s been training since arriving at the Spa the gelded son of Into Mischief is ready for another big effort. If he’s forced to go too fast early, his stable mate Arrest Me Red should be locked and loaded at the head of the lane and ready to blow past everybody. Undefeated in two starts sprinting on grass, the 3-year-old colt gets ideal conditions today in his first outing since December and his first since being transferred to Ward’s care. His recent drills indicate he’s fit and ready and given the projected race flow the son of Pioneerof the Nile looks very much like the one to fear most.

RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade:
Use: 4-Clever Fellow; 10-Viking Zim

Forecast: Clever Fellow and Viking Zim both are making the all-important class drop from straight maiden to maiden claiming and both should be able to separate themselves from the rest against this lesser competition. ‘Fellow, still winless at age five but in the money in five of six career starts, obviously has his problems and has failed as the favorite in each of his last four starts. The connections probably could win a maiden special weight affair with him eventually, but at this stage they’re probably ready to move on. I. Ortiz, Jr. stays aboard for C. Brown and should have him along in time, but at a short price. ‘Zim, a closing fourth in the same race Clever Fellow exits, has no tactical speed and seems to run the same type of race whether the fractions up front are fast or slow. His best might be good enough to beat this bunch.