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Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Thursday, August 12

by Jeff Siegel

August 12, 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: 2-Raisebeforetheflop; 5-Mongolian Ford

Forecast: The Thursday opener is a maiden $40,000 claiming miler that looks to have two main players. Raisebefortheflop shows up in a seller for the first time while stretching out and adding Lasix, so the Liam’s Map gelding seems likely to produce a significant forward move following a rusty sprint comeback in late June at Los Alamitos. If there’s anything that the P. Miller barn has below average stats with, it’s the sprint-to-route angle, but with the switch to F. Prat and showing a good race over this main track last year the sophomore gelding may be more trustworthy over Mongolian Ford. The Shackleford gelding ran a race two back that would bury this group (second while more than 10 lengths clear of the rest) but comes from a stable that is winless in 41 starts this year, so you just don’t know what you’re going to get. You can use both in rolling exotic play, or better yet simply pass the race.

RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B-
Use: 2-Barristan The Bold; 3-Ian Glass

Forecast: Similar to the opener, the second race is an unsettling event with question marks that doesn’t allow for a solid opinion. Ian Glass is a versatile type than can be effective on the lead or from off the pace, so regardless of race flow he can adjust. However, we’re a little concerned about the form pattern. After winning three of his last four starts, the Hard Spun gelding hasn’t been out in nearly three months, though we must point out that the recent work tab is steady and healthy, and this is the class level that fit’s him best. So, we’ll operate under the assumption that he’s ready for a major effort and if so he certainly can extend his winning streak for a barn that runs them where they belong. Barristan the Bold, unplaced and overmatched in the San Simeon S.-G3 in his comeback in mid-March (he’d been away for more than a year), returns off yet another layoff (five months) and plummets to the $32,000 level. The English-bred gelding has numbers that are better than par for this level, so if he’s okay he should be right there. The M. Glatt-trained gelding will be doing his best work from off the pace. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play but not with a great deal of confidence, so if you find the need to spread deeper, go right ahead.

RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-Jacrodra’s Devil; 5-Super Renee

Forecast: Jacrodra’s Devil ran better then line will show in a decent debut vs. maiden $50,000 types, and with that race behind her she’s likely to improve enough to win at this level. Off slowly and then pinched back badly at the start to lose whatever chance she may have had, the H. Palma-trained filly kept to her task in the lane and finished with interest before galloping out nicely. She shows a bullet blowout (:36.3h, fastest of 26) since that race, retains T. McCarthy, and will be tough to beat with a clean start. Super Renee is a first-timer from the K. Mulhall barn (solid stats with this angle) and shows a :47 2/5 gate work (fifth fastest of 115) last month that catches the eye. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Jacrodra’s Devil.

RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B+
Use: 6-Dendera; 7-Peppermint Flirt; 9-Eleuthera

Forecast: State-bred maiden juvenile fillies meet over a mile, with the debuting Eleuthera getting top billing at 8-1 on the morning line (we suspect she’ll go lower). Bred to like grass (Square Eddie) and training very much like a route type, the B. Cecil-trained homebred recently worked since furlongs in company in 1:15 on the main track – she finished 15 lengths in front of her workmate - and came the final three furlongs on our watches in :37 3/5, a very nice closing split at this distance for an unraced juvenile. The outside draw is of no concern, so in a race in which the others are highly suspect at this distance let’s make this filly a strong play in both the win pool and in the various rolling exotics. For those who prefer some protection, consider Dendera and Peppermint Flirt on back-up tickets. The former is bred for distance/grass, switches to F. Prat, and has the benefit of a prior run in a stronger-than-par five furlong dash, while the latter breezed well at the June 2-year-old in training sale and certainly is bred on both sides of her pedigree to run long on grass.

Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B
Use: 3-American Dancer; 7-Invictatatus

Forecast: American Dancer, overmatched on grass last time out, makes his second start off a S. Callaghan claim while returning to dirt and dropping one notch below his claim level to $20,000. Keying on his runaway win two races back, the veteran gelding appears well-spotted to regain his winning form in a restricted (nw-3) miler. The son of Bernardini apparently does his best work with a pacesetting or pace pressing trip and should be comfortably placed stalking the expected front-runner and one to fear most, Invictatatus. The son of Strong Mandate clearly is a need-the-lead type and most likely will be sent from the bell to ensure his role as the controlling speed. Freshened since mid-June but with a healthy recent work pattern, the A. Marquez-trained gelding has a gate-to-wire win three back that would win this race, and both of his previous two starts over the Del Mar main track, while producing off-the-board finishes, weren’t too bad.

RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B+
Single: 1-Fireproof

Forecast: She may not have earned a great number but Fireproof was much the best in her winning debut in May of 2020, and assuming she’s ready off the nearly 15 month layoff the R. Baltas-trained filly appears well-spotted to pick up where she left off in this turf sprint for state-bred entry-level allowance fillies and mares. In her win in that grass dash at Santa Anita, the daughter of Unusual Heat broke poorly and fell far back, steadily picked up rivals when rallying widest into the lane and was up in time in clever fashion. While we’re not entirely sure why F. Prat, who was aboard in her victory, isn’t listed to ride her back (he has no mount in the race), it should be noted that this filly was entered in a similar event here last month (with T. McCarthy named) but failed to draw in from the also-eligible list. Her work tab at San Luis Rey Downs indicates she’s fit for a stable that hits at a remarkable 27% (with a massive ROI) with the layoff angle, so at 5-1 on the morning line, we’ll make her a gamble in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single.

RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: C+
Use: 1-Carpe Donum; 2-Chasing Fame; 7-Half Right; 8-Joe Don Looney

Forecast: Here’s a messy $25,000 claiming sprint restricted to 3-year-olds that offers all kinds of possibilities. We’ll spread four deep hoping to get a price home. Joe Don Looney exits a much tougher race, is realistically returned to the claiming ranks and has a prior win over the local main track. The Boisterous gelding retains A. Cedillo and has numbers good enough to win so we’ll give him a very slight edge on top while recognizing that he’s far from a sure thing. Chasing Fame, first off the claim for M. Ortiz, is back sprinting where he belongs, removes blinkers, and switches to T. Pereia, who has had success in the past riding for this outfit. He has numbers that fit, so at 12-1 on the morning line he’s an interesting possibility. Carpe Donum won for fun in his debut in a soft maiden $30,000 event at Los Alamitos in late June, was subsequently scratched five days ago in a $16,000 seller vs. older horses and shows up today vs. his own age group. If he can negotiate a decent trip from the rail, the P. Miller-trained gelding should be competitive in this league. Half Right had absolutely no excuse when runner-up in a $20,000 affair here last month but goes for J. Mullins off a claim (always a high percentage with this angle) and is therefore eligible to produce a significant forward move.

RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B+
Single: 2-Crew Dragon

Forecast: Crew Dragon adds blinkers for the first time and returns to the first-level allowance ranks after narrowly missing with a career top number in the opening day Oceanside S. in his first outing since joining the J. Sadler barn. The son of Exaggerator turned in what appears to be an impressive six furlong turf workout around dogs in 1:13 2/5 since that race, retains U. Rispsoli, and projects to inherit a good stalking trip and then have every chance to seal the deal from the quarter pole home. At 5/2 on the morning line he’s a win play and rolling exotic single.