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Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Friday, August 13

by Jeff Siegel

August 13, 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
Single: 7-Big Little Risk

Forecast: Big Little Risk drops to his lowest level ever in his first start since mid-June and his first as a gelding, and he’s also returning to dirt and shortening from a sprint. With so many mass changes to consider, the son of Big Brown could improve a ton or go backwards, but in this case we’re going to operate under the assumption that a career top effort is forthcoming. The J. Bond-trained sophomore switches to L. Saez and projects to find himself in a good pace stalking/pressing position outside and then have every chance from the quarter pole home. His one prior main track outing – a muddy one-turn mile earlier this year at the Big A - earned a speed figure good enough to beat this modest field. We’ll make him a win play and rolling exotic.

RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: B
Use: 2-Price Talk; 5-Summer to Remember; 6-All West

Forecast: This restricted (nw-3) $50,000 middle distance turf event for older horses looks on paper to be a bit of a scramble, so we’ll spread the race going four-deep in our rolling exotics. Summer to Remember shows up in a seller for the first time following a two month freshening and appears realistically spotted over a course he ran well on last year. The son of Summer Front doesn’t have a big kick but from a stalking position he can do some damage, so we’re expecting to see him close up throughout and ready to pounce. His numbers and solid and make him an ideal fit for this level. Price Talk, a good maiden winner on grass at Saratoga last year, is another returning off a brief vacation while taking a proper class drop into the restricted claiming ranks. The Kitten’s Joy gelding prefers to be held up early and then produced at the top of the lane, and with some help up front and good racing luck the J. Abreu stretch-runner could be the one to fear most. All West tries grass for the first time, and if he can transfer his best main track efforts to the lawn he’ll have a legitimate look. He’s a first-time gelding arriving from Ellis Park in his second start off a layoff for a barn that has good stats with this angle, and while his recent form looks bleak the R. Moquett-trained son of Flashback actually has earned some decent speed figures, so at a price we’ll toss him in.

RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: B+
Single: 1-Coalition Building/1a-Infinite Potential

Forecast: Trainer C. Brown offers a two-pronged attack in this maiden claiming middle distance turf event for older fillies and mares while keeping with the pattern by Klaravich Stable runners of being culled at this time of the year to make room for new blood. Coalition Building was virtually eased in an off-the-turf race at this level last month while clearly not handling the dirt surface but she’s back on grass today and repeat of either one of her two previous outings probably will be good enough to beat this field. She doesn’t really have any real turn of foot but projects to enjoy a good second flight trip and have her chance from there. Her coupled stable mate, Infinite Potential, with just two starts on her resume in the second half of her four-year-old campaign, clearly has had her problems but she has finished in the money in both starts vs. straight maidens and earned speed figures to make her tough at this level. In a modest affair, we’re expecting one of the Brown entrants to win and therefore make the entry a single in rolling exotic play.

RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: B-
Use: 3-Six Pack; 4-Air Show

Forecast: We’ll double the fourth race, a restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claiming sprint with preference on top to Air Show, who has a healthier pattern than the other main contender, Six Pack. In the frame in five of six career starts, ‘Show failed at 40 cents on the dollar when last seen at Indiana Downs, though his speed figure in defeat was reasonable and he did finish almost three lengths clear of the rest. The T. Amoss-trained colt projects to have a strong pace presence throughout and gets the edge over Six Pack, who arrives from Churchill Downs following a win (and a claim) in a maiden $75,000 affair at Churchill Downs in mid-June. Away for two months and with the new connections dropping the Flatter colt $35,000 in value in his first start back does not produce much confidence, so we’re just not sure what shape this lightly raced (just four starts) colt is in right now. The G. Weaver barn does have a good record with the first-off-the-claim angle (33% with a small sample) so perhaps they’re just trying to steal a purse.

RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: B-
Use: 1-More Than Vows; 2-Toeris; 4-Bubble Rock; 7-Speedometer

Forecast: Here’s a wide open grass grab bag for sprinting 2-year-old fillies that is loaded with question marks and unknowns but some talented prospects, as well. More Than Vows has looked quite good in the a.m. and should be plenty fit and ready for a major effort first crack out of the box. Bred for turf (More Than Ready) and displaying strength and athleticism in her morning trials, the B. Lynch-trained filly looks like an extremely live item and hopefully will leave cleanly from the rail. Bubble Rock, from the B. Cox barn, is another daughter of More Than Ready that appears cranked up and ready to go. A bullet gate drill at Keeneland (4f, :47bg, fastest of 59) catches the eye and two local main track workouts were decent as well. The concern is that this high-percentage outfit has modest marks with first-timers, but we’ll include her, nonetheless. Speedometer, third in both starts but running below expectations, deserves one more chance with the addition of blinkers and the switch to turf. The S. Asmussen-trained daughter of Tapit exits a pair of stronger-than-par races so against this group she might find easier pickings. Toeris displayed some ability in turf workouts at Palm Meadows before shipping to New York. The daughter of Tourist appears to have some speed and should be more than fit for a good try in her debut. She’ll be a decent price, so we’ll toss her in as well, at least as a backup.

RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: C+
Use: 2-Howdyoumakeurmoney; 3-Mama Said No; 5-Sue Ellen Mishkin; 7-Doc Doc Rock

Forecast: Maiden New York-bred juvenile fillies sprint six furlongs on the main track to kick off the late Pick-5 in a real scramble that offers several possibilities, a few of them at nice prices. Use as many as your budget allows. Doc Doc Rock is a first-timer by Into Mischief from the T. Pletcher barn and has worked reasonably well leading up to this race. She’s plenty fit and based on her video appears to do everything professionally in the a.m. while showing a decent amount of speed. She’s hardly a slam dunk but can be expected to be a major factor throughout. Howdyoumakeurmoney is a first timer bred for speed (Freud) and brought $105,000 through the ring at the OBS April sale. Sue Ellen Mishkin, from the first crop of the promising stallion Mohaymen, shows an unspectacular but steady series of recent drills for trainer J. Abreu, who has a spectacular record with first-timers, many of whom run better (and faster) than they work. You have to use her. Mama Said No attracts I. Ortiz and could be worth a look vanning up from Belmont Park for M. Maker. She might be a down-the-road type but given the connections we’ll use her as a back-up or a saver.

RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: B
Single: 2-More Glitter

Forecast: Seven of the 12 expected starters exit the same race, the July 24 New York-bred middle distance turf affair for fillies and mares won by Mike’s Girl. Our strategy is to toss them all out and try a fresh face. More Glitter, now in the M. Maker barn (from T. Pletcher) and making her first start since April, shows a healthy series of workouts at Belmont Park that should have her ready to fire a big shot off the bench. This once-promising daughter of More Than Ready – a $340,000 Keeneland yearling purchase – still has a chance to be a useful sort after displaying some ability a couple of years ago during her 2-year-old season. She missed all of last year and has only two outings in 20201, but she’s reasonably competitive on speed figures and really won’t have to improve much to be a major player. The trainer/jockey team of Maker and J. Ortiz has hit at 32% with a massive ROI at this meeting, so let’s hope the combo can remain hot. We’ll make ‘Glitter a gamble in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.

RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: B
Use: 1-Shekky Shebaz; 3-Noble Emotion

Forecast: Shekky Shebaz was worn down late after cutting out the splits in a similar allowance/optional claiming turf dash here last month in his second start off a layoff. Theoretically, today should produce the best performance in his current form cycle. The veteran gelding, first or second in four of five career starts over this course and distance, surely will gun from his rail post to make the pace and if Noble Emotion doesn’t pressure him early the C. Clement-trained son of Cape Blanco could be very tough to run down. Noble Emotion most likely will employ stalk and pounce tactics and can win that way, just as he did when recording his second straight victory in sharp fashion here last month while earning a career top speed figure. Lightly-raced and a winner of four of nine career starts, the H. DePaz-trained four-year-old retains J. L. Ortiz and is the one ‘Shebaz has to worry about the most. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.

RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: B-
Use: 2-Shashashakemeup; 4-Wind of Change; 5-Wondrwherecraigis

Forecast: Wondrwherecraigis is facing much more early heat today than he saw when demolishing an allowance field at Pimlico last month in a career top performance that earned a triple digit Beyer speed figure. A winner of four of seven career starts, the son of Munnings gets tested for class today in this year’s edition of the Tale of the Cat S., a listed affair over six furlongs on the main track. The B. Russell-trained gelding doesn’t need the lead to win, so if Wind of Change outruns him from the inside during the early stages then jockey S. Russell may choose to employ stalking tactics. Wind of Change seems likely to bust out and go and always has been a tough customer to get by, having finished first or second in 12 of 21 career starts. An easy winner of the Mr. Prospector S. over a sloppy track at Monmouth Park last time out, the son of Forestry can be just as effective on fast going when he’s on his game. What happens if the two speedster hook up? Shashashakemeup, first off the claim for P. Walder (23% with a strong ROI with this angle) projects to settle in the garden spot and then have every chance from the quarter pole. The son of Shakleford has a good recent runner-up race over the track and back numbers that make him dangerous if things go his way. Given his price, he actually might offer the best wagering value.

RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: X
Single: 9-Well Done West

Forecast: Well Done West was a voided claim for $30,000 last May at Churchill Downs and returns in this $16,000 restricted (nw-2) affair from a cozy outside draw that guarantees a soft pace-prompting trip. If the D. Gargan-trained colt has one good one left he should handle this field, and two recent bullet workouts are encouraging. Of course, this is a clever outfit so there’s a possibilities those fast drills are there to entice a claim. Who knows? In a race that probably is best left alone, you can use him as a short-priced rolling exotic single or simply pass the race.