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9.17.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Hoosier Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Friday, September 17

The headliners on the 14-race card at Hoosier Park are two-and three-year-old colts and geldings battling in Indiana Sires Stakes action. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 starts in Race 11, and that sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 113-Brookview Bullet (6-1)-Burke trainee gets the services of Widger tonight and he has taken 2 pictures this year with this 3-year-old. Faded after being used hard from the 8 hole in last but was off 2 weeks before that start.7-Rogers Image (2-1)-Rogers 4 race win streak came to a halt in last but the trip wasn't the best and only missed by a little more than a length. Winner of 6 of 23 at HoP and 5 of 15 this year should be in the hunt. Has won 4 of 6 since starting Lasix.10-T's Raider II (4-1)-Has shown the ability to win from post 10 but needs a big try to take a picture at this level. The price should be fair, plus #1 and #2 do have some gate speed so Tetrick could work a trip and get a decent seat off the gate.Race 123-Big Law (8/5)-Two race win streak was snapped in last when this gelding ran into a 149.2 winner and finished 2nd. Still raced in 150.3 with a 26.4 last quarter and will be tough to beat if dialed on high.8-The Longest Yard (8-1)-Broke very slowly in last and had no chance being 16 lengths behind at the half. With an alert start Oosting should have this Erv Miller pupil close to the lead turning for the wire. Was beaten by #3 on 8-27 by only 1 1/4 lengths over a sloppy track. This barn has posted 23% winners over the past 30 days and the price should be right to use.Race 133-Family Recipe (8/5)-Team Miller entry has been cashing checks versus better and now drops to a spot to shine. This will be the 2nd start off the bench and could wire this crew with a top effort.Race 142-Nick's Monster (5-1)-With this post draw Nick has a punchers chance and did roll home in 53.4 in last. Krueger could get a close-up seat and be in striking range down the lane. Might be a trip out winner at a solid price.4-Ike's Panther (8/5)-Come off a rough trip and the last 2 starts have been versus tough foes. Tetrick will be in the bike and that's a plus. Should enjoy the company and looks like the main player.My Ticket Race 11) 3,7,10 Race 12) 3,8 Race 13) 3 Race 14) 2,4Total Ticket Cost) = $6 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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9.17.2021:

Jeff Siegel: National Prime Plays | Friday, September 17

September 17, 2021 Belmont Park – Race 4. Post time: 2:34 ET1 – Miss You Ella (3-1)The known element doesn’t inspire in this maiden turf mile for juveniles so let’s go with a nicely-bred first-timer with a series of solid works for a high percentage trainer-jockey team. This daughter of Declaration of War has trained like she’s plenty fit for a major effort first crack out of the box, and this C. Brown-trained filly should have every chance from her favorable rail draw to show her best stuff. With I. Ortiz, Jr. in the saddle, she looks like a live item at 3-1 on the morning line.Belmont Park – Race 7. Post time: 4:12 ET6 – Big Everest (7/2)Lightly-raced sophomore is Improving with each outing and was quite sharp in victory when graduating over a mile on turf at Saratoga last time out. The English-bred colt displayed an exciting late turn of foot to win going away, and though stepping into stakes company today seems likely to settle early and blast home late over a sprint distance that should complement his style. Regular pilot J. Rosario stays aboard, so at 7/2 on the morning line the C. Clement-trained colt should offer excellent wagering value.Belmont Park – Race 8. Post time: 4:44 ET5 - Caldee (4-1)Three-year-old daughter of More Than Ready ran quite well in a pair of out-of-town stakes races, finishing second in the Christiana S. at Delaware Park in July and then most recently winding up a close second in the in the Preview Dueling Grounds Oaks S. at Ellis Park last month. The B. Cox-trained filly has been routing most of her career but should greatly appreciate this shortening to six furlongs, especially in a field that lacks her kind of early speed. With aggressive handling from M. Franco, she could take control early and never look back, so at 4-1 on the morning line we’ll make her a win play and rolling exotic single.

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9.17.2021:

Frank Carulli: Stronach 5 Ticket | Friday, September 17

Four of the five winners in last week's Stronach 5 wager went off at 4-1 odds or less. No matter, with a 9-1 winner to round out the sequence, the popular wager returned $24,266 on a $1 bet. Don't miss your chance for a poetntial lucrative score in this week's cross-country wager that offers a low 12-percent takeout. Keep an eye on the weather, though Leg A and Leg B remained on the turf at scratch time this morning. LEG A // LAUREL // RACE 8 (4:18PM ET) // CLAIMING // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (TURF) SLIPPIN JIMMY, first or second at four turf venues in a lightly-raced career, spotted the field several lengths when he lunged at the start when last seen at Belmont in May. He could be a solo play, but use JUSTWAVEANDSMILE, out of $200k-winning dam Anofficerandalady, as a backup. He pressed the class-dropping favorite and held third in a solid grass debut at this level. LEG B // GULFSTREAM // RACE 6 (4:30PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 5 FURLONGS (TURF) LEG B (Gulfstream Park, 6th race, 4:30 EST): The late scratch of favorite AWSUM ROAR turns this into a wide open race, especially considering PALOMITA, the 7-2 second choice on the morning line, has never raced on turf. ROMANTIC TALE showed marked improvement when switched to turf. She ran second on soft footing two back, ahead of the troubled favorite, then dug in to prevail in MSW company next out for the barn's first win at the meet. Punch the 'ALL' button in Leg B. LEG C // LAUREL // RACE 9 (4:50PM ET) // ALLOWANCE // 7 FURLONGS (DIRT) GOING TO THE LEAD is versatile, first or second in 10 of 14 starts and doesn't shy from the photo-finish camera. HEIR PORT has a win, two seconds and a third in his last four main-track sprints excluding a stakes try. LEG D // GULFSTREAM // RACE 7 (5:04PM ET) // CLAIMING // 1 MILE (DIRT) HARD TEN has a win and two near misses in his last three starts, all at one mile at Gulfstream. He was in tight late between runners and just missed against the drifting odds-on winner. LEG E // GOLDEN GATE // RACE 2 (5:14PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 1 MILE (ALL WEATHER) LADY MOHICAN has the best numbers and should sit a good stalking trip for a 24-percent barn, but she hasn't shown a passing gear while facing better. PREDETERMINATION back-pedaled readily the last time she ran one mile, but the lightly-raced 5-year-old could take some catching from the rail for a hot barn. EVENING AMBITION took some money but was outrun against Predetermination, but her dam won races at seven tracks and earned more than $250k, so use her as a price play on the ticket.  STRONACH 5 TICKET LEG A: 8, 9 LEG B: ALL LEG C: 3, 6LEG D: 1LEG E: 1, 4, 6 COST ($1 TICKET): $72

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9.16.2021:

Eddie Olczyk: Saturday Belmont Park Spot Plays | Saturday, September 18

1/ST and NBC handicapper Eddie Olczyk takes his handicapping talents to Belmont Park for a pair of Saturday keys. Follow Edzo’s plays each week – only with 1/ST and Xpressbet! BELMONT // RACE 7 (4:08PM ET) // ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 1 1/16 MILES (TURF) MY PICK: #4 HOT BLOODED (12/1) 0-for-the-year after 7 starts is a concern, but he drops out of a tough, older-conditioned allowance race last out and is back in with 3-year-olds. I’d like to see an off-the-pace run and the value is there at 12-1 morning line. Win-place-show bet. BELMONT // RACE 10 (5:45PM ET) // G1 JOCKEY CLUB DERBY // 1 1/2 MILES (TURF)MY PICK: #3 TOKYO GOLD (8/1) After some travel issues last time, I love to see Johnny V. back up in the saddle. This should have a little quicker pace to run into and that could make the difference after a runner-up finish in the Belmont Derby in July. Win-Place bet.

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9.16.2021:

Jerry Shottenkirk: Woodbine Mile Late Pick 4 | Saturday, September 18

There's no topping the Woodbine card on this Saturday, most notably because of the $250,000-guaranteed Late Pick 4 that includes a pair of Grade 1 races in the Canadian International and the Woodbine Mile. The Canadian International kicks off the sequence as the ninth race (5:35 p.m. ET) and is followed by the Woodbine Mile as the 10th (6:12 p.m. ET). Those are some strong races, and when you get past those, you’ll be looking at a couple of highly competitive $40,000 races as the 11th (6:47 p.m. ET) and the 12th (7:17 p.m. ET). From start to finish, nothing looks easy in this sequence. Here’s a look at a $57.60 suggested ticket on the 20-cent exotic play: RACE 9 (5:35PM ET) // G1 CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL // 1 1/2 MILES (TURF) WALTON STREET comes from the Charles Appleby barn, and that’s not a bad place as far as Europe-to-North America shippers have succeeded this year. Appleby won turf stakes at Belmont and Saratoga and has a good chance to transfer that success to Woodbine with this Godolphin runner. He was third in a Grade 1 in Germany and had a three-win win streak from September through March (one win at Newmarket, two at Dubai-Meydan). He gets the riding services of Frankie Dettori, and that should always get your attention in international affairs. Also on the ticket: DESERT ENCOUNTER, FANTASIOSO RACE 10 (6:12PM ET) // G1 WOODBINE MILE // 1 MILE (TURF) MARCH TO THE ARCH was the 2020 Woodbine Mile runner-up behind the great mare Starship Jubilee and was closing third in the G2 King Edward going a mile last out. He had a remarkable run from 13 lengths back to win the Niagara stakes two back. He followed fractions of :45 1-5, 1:07 1-5 and 1:32 1-5 before finishing the nine furlongs in a sizzling 1:45. He’s at the top of the game for Mark Casse and this is where he does his best running. Also on the ticket: OLYMPIC RUNNER, MARCH TO THE ARCH, RIDE A COMET, SET PIECE, RAGING BULL, SPACE TRAVELLER RACE 11 (6:47PM ET) // CLAIMING // 6 1/2 FURLONGS (ALL WEATHER) IKERRIN ROAD leads the first of two $40,000 claiming races that end the Pick 4 and Woodbine Mile card. He has been solid in his last two with a second and third and could be ready to win for the first time in two years. Trainer Vito Armata has had a solid season with a 7-of-27 record, and the distance looks good for his sprinter here. Also on the ticket: SOLIDIFY, DIXIE’S GAMBLE, SPEEDY HANS RACE 12 (7:17PM ET) // CLAIMING // 6 1/2 FURLONGS (ALL WEATHER) FLYING CURLIN drops out of an allowance race here and has run against tough rivals at Aqueduct and Fair Grounds. Mark Casse has his Curlin gelding in the lowest level he’s seen and can wake up in this spot. Also on the ticket: SPEED WAY, SOUPER RIVER, KID FORESTER WOODBINE 20-CENT LATE PICK 4 RACE 9: 2, 3, 6RACE 10: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10RACE 11: 1, 4, 5, 8RACE 12: 1, 5, 10, 13 COST: $57.60

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9.15.2021:

Jon White: Favorites Struggled at 2017 Del Mar Breeders' Cup | Wednesday, September 15

It turned out that favorites did not do well in Week 1 of the National Football League, winning just four of the 12 games against the spread. How bad did favorites do? It was the worst cover percentage by favorites in Week 1 of the NFL since 1999. To further illustrate how poorly favorites fared in Week 1 of the NFL this year, the underdog won nine games outright. It’s the most outright wins by an underdog in Week 1 of the NFL since 1983. The biggest upset in Week 1 this year was the 23-16 victory by the 6.5-point underdog Pittsburgh Steelers at the Buffalo Bills. Pittsburgh was plus 230 on the money line (meaning if you bet $100 on the Steelers, it resulted in a $230 profit). But if you think favorites had a difficult time in Week 1 of the NFL this year, that’s nothing compared to how favorites did the last time the Breeders’ Cup was held at Del Mar in 2017. How about this? Not a single favorite won a Breeders’ Cup race on the dirt at Del Mar in 2017. It’s certainly something to keep in mind when Del Mar plays host to the Breeders’ Cup again this year on Nov. 5-6. This will be just the second time that the Breeders’ Cup is held at the track “where the turf meets the surf.” Will Breeders’ Cup favorites do better this time at Del Mar? Well, they sure can’t do much worse than in the 2107 Breeders’ Cup. The favorite won only two of the 14 races at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar. The percentage of winning favorites was a measly 14.2%. By comparison, the percentage of winning favorites at the recently concluded Del Mar summer meet was 34.2%, according to Mac McBride, the track’s director of media. Perhaps it was a sign that chalk was going to have a rough time of it at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup when in the very first Breeders’ Cup race, the Juvenile Fillies Turf, the 2-1 favorite, Happily, finished last in the field of 14. The only two favorites to get the job done at that Breeders’ Cup were Mendelssohn at 9-2 in the Juvenile Turf and World Approval at 5-2 in the Mile. Below, listed in the same order from top to bottom in which the races were run, is how the favorite did in the 14 Breeders’ Cup races of 2017: Finish Horse Favored (BC Race) Odds 14 Happily (Juvenile Fillies Turf) 2-18 Mor Spirit (Dirt Mile) 2-11 MENDELSSOHN (Juvenile Turf) 9-24 Elate (Distaff) 2-12 Sound And Silence (Juvenile Turf Sprint) 3-17 Moonshine Memories (Juvenile Fillies) 2-110 Lady Aurelia (Turf Sprint) 9-107 Unique Bella (Filly & Mare Sprint) 11-107 Lady Eli (Filly & Mare Turf) 3-26 Drefong (Sprint) 7-51 WORLD APPROVAL (Mile) 5-23 Bolt d’Oro (Juvenile) 7-103 Highland Reel (Turf) 7-55 Arrogate (Classic) 2-1 For the record, Arrogate finished in a dead heat for fifth in the BC Classic with Gunnevera. The favorite did not win any of the seven 2017 Breeders’ Cup races contested on the dirt at Del Mar. The favorite won two of the seven Breeders’ Cup races run on the grass. ODDS FOR EACH BREEDERS’ CUP WINNER Below is what the odds were for each 2017 Breeders’ Cup winner: Odds Winner (BC Race) 3-1 Rushing Fall (Juvenile Fillies Turf)14-1 Battle of Midway (Dirt Mile)9-2 Mendelssohn (Juvenile Turf)7-2 Forever Unbridled (Distaff)14-1 Declarationofpeace (Juvenile Turf Sprint)17-1 Caledonia Road (Juvenile Fillies)30-1 Stormy Liberal (Turf Sprint)66-1 Bar of Gold (Filly & Mare Sprint)11-1 Wuheida (Filly & Mare Turf)9-2 Roy H (Sprint)5-2 World Approval (Mile)11-1 Good Magic (Juvenile)14-1 Talismanic (Turf)2-1 Gun Runner (Classic) In the BC Classic, Arrogate was sent away as the $2.10 to $1 favorite. Gun Runner was the second choice in the wagering at $2.40 to $1. WHERE DID THE WINNER LAST RACE? You might be surprised that the track from which the most winners at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar last raced was Belmont Park. Three of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup winners had last started there. In fact, runners coming off a race at a New York track did quite well at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup. In addition to the three winners who had last raced at Belmont, two other Breeders’ Cup winners had last started at Saratoga. Below is where each winner at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup last raced: Last Start (Winner) BC Race Keeneland (Rushing Fall) Juvenile Fillies TurfRemington (Battle of Midway) Dirt MileEngland (Mendelssohn) Juvenile TurfSaratoga (Forever Unbridled) DistaffIreland (Declarationofpeace) Juvenile Turf SprintBelmont (Caledonia Road) Juvenile FilliesBelmont (Stormy Liberal) Turf SprintKeeneland (Bar of Gold) Filly & Mare SprintFrance (Wuheida) Filly & Mare TurfSanta Anita (Roy H) SprintWoodbine (World Approval) MileBelmont (Good Magic) JuvenileFrance (Talismanic) TurfSaratoga (Gun Runner) Classic WAS THE WINNER COMING OFF A WIN OR LOSS? Almost twice as many winners at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup were coming off a loss than a win. Only five were coming off a victory, while nine were coming off a defeat. Below is where each winner at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup finished in his/her most recent start: Last Race W or L (BC Winner) BC Race (Last-Race Finish if Loss) W (Rushing Fall) Juvenile Fillies TurfL (Battle of Midway) Dirt Mile (2nd)L (Mendelssohn) Juvenile Turf (2nd)W (Forever Unbridled) DistaffL (Declarationofpeace) Juvenile Turf Sprint (3rd)L (Caledonia Road) Juvenile Fillies (2nd)L (Stormy Liberal) Turf Sprint (8th)L (Bar of Gold) Filly & Mare Sprint (6th)L (Wuheida) Filly & Mare Turf (4th)W (Roy H) SprintW (World Approal) MileL (Good Magic) Juvenile (2nd)L (Talismanic) Turf (3rd)W (Gun Runner) Classic WINNING JOCKEYS & TRAINERS Among jockeys, Ryan Moore and John Velazquez were the leaders with two wins each. Three trainers had two victories apiece: Chad Brown, Aidan O’Brien and Peter Miller. The winning jockey and trainer for each winner at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup is listed below: Winner (Jockey & Trainer) Rushing Fall (Javier Castellano & Chad Brown)Battle of Midway (Flavien Prat & Jerry Hollendorfer)Mendelssohn (Ryan Moore & Aidan O’Brien)Forever Unbridled (John Velazquez & Dallas Stewart)Declarationofpeace (Ryan Moore & Aidan O’Brien)Caledonia Road (Mike Smith & Ralph Nicks)Stormy Liberal (Joel Rosario & Peter Miller)Bar of Gold (Irad Ortiz Jr. & John Kimmel)Wuheida (William Buick & Charles Appleby)Roy H (Kent Desormeaux & Peter Miller)World Approval (John Velazquez & Mark Casse)Good Magic (Jose Ortiz & Chad Brown)Talismanic (Mickael Barzalona & Andre Fabre)Gun Runner (Florent Geroux & Steve Asmussen) WHAT WERE THE WINNING BEYERS? Gun Runner won the BC Classic by 2 1/4 lengths while on his way to being voted 2017 Horse of the Year. He was credited with a 117 Beyer Speed Figure for his BC Classic performance. It was the highest Beyer at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup. Below is a list of the winner’s Beyer Speed Figure for each 2017 Breeders’ Cup race: BSF Winner (BC Race) 85 Rushing Fall (Juvenile Fillies Turf)108 Battle of Midway (Dirt Mile)86 Mendelssohn (Juvenile Turf)99 Forever Unbridled (Distaff)85 Declarationofpeace (Juvenile Turf Sprint)82 Caledonia Road (Juvenile Fillies)103 Stormy Liberal (Turf Sprint)94 Bar of Gold (Filly & Mare Sprint)104 Wuheida (Filly & Mare Turf)111 Roy H (Sprint)107 World Approval (Mile)100 Good Magic (Juvenile)108 Talismanic (Turf)117 Gun Runner (Classic) TOP ALL-TIME BREEDERS’ CUP BEYERS Precisionist’s 125 remains the highest Beyer Speed Figure recorded by a Breeders’ Cup winner. He logged that figure when victorious in the 1985 BC Sprint at Aqueduct. Precisionist was voted a 1985 Eclipse Award as champion sprinter. Below are all of the Beyer Speed Figures of 120 or higher by a Breeders’ Cup winner from 1984 through 2020: Beyer Winner (BC Race, Track) 125 Precisionist (1985 Sprint at Aqueduct)124 Sunday Silence (1989 Classic at Gulfstream Park)124 Artax (1999 Sprint at Gulfstream Park)124 Ghostzapper (2004 Classic at Lone Star Park)122 Alysheba (1988 Classic at Churchill Downs)121 Very Subtle* (1987 Sprint at Hollywood Park)120 Princess Rooney* (1984 Distaff at Hollywood Park)120 Proud Truth (1985 Classic at Aqueduct)120 Black Tie Affair (1991 Classic at Churchill Downs)120 Skip Away (1997 Classic at Hollywood Park)120 Cajun Beat (2003 Sprint at Santa Anita Park)120 American Pharoah (2015 Classic at Keeneland)120 Arrogate (2017 Classic at Santa Anita) *Filly BEST HORSES TO HAVE RUN IN THE BREEDERS’ CUP Who are the best of the best to have participated in Breeders’ Cup races? I have come up with my list of the best horses to have run in the Breeders’ Cup. This is the way I see it. Undoubtedly your list would be different, quite possibly much different, than mine. My approach to was to take all of the Breeders’ Cup starters from my list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th and 21st Centuries to have raced in North America. This is a list that I have updated from time to time. My horses on my Breeders’ Cup list all come from my current Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th and 21st Centuries and are listed in the same order. It turns out the only Triple Crown winner to have ever run in a Breeders’ Cup race, American Pharoah, sits atop my ranking of the best horses to have participated in the Breeders’ Cup, as shown below (in parentheses is where the horse ranked on my list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th and 21st Centuries to have raced in North America): 1. American Pharoah (15)2. Zenyatta (24)3. Sunday Silence (28)4. Cigar (29)5. Easy Goer (33)6. Alysheba (34)7. Curlin (35)8. Arrogate (36)9. Shared Belief (37)10. California Chrome (38)11. Personal Ensign (40)12. All Along (41)13. Wise Dan (42)14. Precisionist (75)15. Ghostzapper (76)16. Tiznow (78)17. Skip Away (79)18. Point Given (82)19. Inside Information (83)20. Gun Runner (84)21. Lady’s Secret (85)22. Beholder (86)23. Azeri (87)24. A.P. Indy (91)25. Silver Charm (94)26. Go for Wand (96)27. Slew o’ Gold (98) The horses ranked from No. 1 down to No. 14 (ranked higher than No. 15 American Pharoah) on my current list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th and 21st Centuries all did not race in the Breeders’ Cup. They are: 1. Man o’ War2. Secretariat3. Citation4. Kelso5. Spectacular Bid6. Native Dancer7. Dr. Fager8. Seattle Slew9. Count Fleet10. Affirmed11. Ruffian12. Swaps13. Phar Lap14. Forego THIS WEEK’S NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL There is no change in the order of the Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll from last week. The Top 10 is listed below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 333 Knicks Go (20)2. 312 Letruska (6)3. 304 Essential Quality (10)4. 164 Gamine5. 152 Maxfield6. 132 Max Player7. 114 Domestic Spending8. 106 Jackie’s Warrior9. 90 Malathaat10. 55 Silver State  

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9.15.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: Assiniboia $266K Pick 5 Mandatory Payout | Wednesday, September 15

Wednesday is closing night of the Assiniboia Downs racing season in western Canada, and that means a mandatory payout in the pick five – which boasts a $266,370 carryover. That alone makes the 20-cent wager appealing tonight. What’s more, track management has guaranteed a $1 million minimum payout if anyone happens to deliver a single-ticket victory. With a 5x6x7x8x8 sequence of field sizes, it’s highly unlikely of a single-ticket winner, but the carryover will automatically deliver an overlay payoff and put tonight’s players in the advantage. To sweeten the pot, Xpressbet and 1/ST BET customers can enjoy up to a $10 Free Bet on the Assiniboia pick five tonight. Xpressbet customers be sure to register for the promo; 1/ST BET app users automatically are enrolled. To assist your handicapping, selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections. You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app. We’ve included the official track morning line odds with each runner. ASSINIBOIA DOWNS // RACE 3 (9:35PM ET) // CLAIMING // 1 MILE (DIRT) #5 Carlos Sixes (4-5) // 30%W #1 Witt Loves Tacos (4-1) // 21%W #4 Dust Roller (6-1) // 18%W #3 Witts Hurricane (8-1) // 15%W ASSINIBOIA DOWNS // RACE 4 (10:05PM ET) // CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Bacoli (6-5) // 31%W #3 Tally (8-1) // 20%W #4 Aniar (3-1) // 15%W #2 Bunchofcash (10-1) // 13%W ASSINIBOIA DOWNS // RACE 5 (10:35PM ET) // CLAIMING // 1 MILE (DIRT) #1 Buckys Pick (5-1) // 26%W #3 Flash of Victory (4-1) // 19%W #2 Darpa (3-1) // 14%W #5 Gold Buyer (8-5) // 12%W ASSINIBOIA DOWNS // RACE 6 (11:05PM ET) // CLAIMING // 7 FURLONGS (DIRT) #2 Good to Me (4-1) // 28%W #5 Tuffenoughtostart (3-1) // 18%W #1 Quietly Quick (25-1) // 13%W #6 Clairessence (9-5) // 11%W ASSINIBOIA DOWNS // RACE 7 (11:35PM ET) // ALLOWANCE // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) #6 Call the Cops (4-1) // 27%W #4 Orange Theory (6-1) // 18%W #3 Etu Babou (2-1) // 13%W #1 Midnight Salute (3-1) // 12%W

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9.13.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Woodbine Mohawk Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Monday, September 13

Woodbine Mohawk Park starts the week with an 11-race card. The headliner comes in Race 8, a Preferred Handicap trot with a $34,000 purse. The feature starts the 0.20 Late Pick 4, and that sequence will be my focus.Comments and sections below are based on a fast track.Race 88-Warrawee Roo (4-1)-This veteran is in fine form taking 3 straight pictures. Beat this kind last week and rolled down the lane to win easily in the 1st start on Lasix. His stablemate below wasn't in the field and appears to be the biggest obstacle to prevent another picture.9-Forbidden Trade (2-1)-Tried to wire the field in the Maple Leaf Trot and it almost worked out. This time the plan will probably be the same but his chances for success are much better.Race 97-Real Good Tan (7/2)-This will be the 3rd race after requalifying because of suffering breaks and showed some ability in both starts. Now McNair will be in the bike and a more aggressive drive could be coming.8-Moneyworth (3-1)-Similar profile to #7 and my take is the price will be better than the morning line. Was moving forward in last so, tonight might be the time for Young to get a better seat and be in striking range at the top of the lane.9-Clockwork Orange (5/2)-Has been facing tough foes and should relish the company. But this post might be cause for concern because Jamieson has been leaving without success albeit versus better. Using but will look to others who will have more value.Race 103-The Prince (5/2)-It's best to not look past this consistent gelding who has hit the board in 7 of 9 with 4 wins and 3 seconds. Winner of 2 straight should be a player again.9-Sweet Soul David (3-1)-Kadabra 3-year-old is also the model of consistency and from the inside would be an odds-on choice. Could still go off as the chalk because Roy can fire him up off the gate and looks like the one to beat.Race 115-Deja Vu Seelster (8-1)-Won and then came back quickly trying to pick-up another win at the same condition but faded down the lane. Moves up but fits with this crew and McNair takes the lines. Draws well again and will look for a big try at a solid price.7-Tugginoncredit (6-1)-Tried to get on the engine from the same post in last but the 26.4 opening quarter took its toll. Comes right back in sequence for the 2nd straight start which hasn't happened in a while. Looking for Roy to work a sharp steer at a nice price.8-Rockinwithcustard (7/2)-Henry provided a smooth steer to capture a win in the 2nd start for the Barrington barn. Best to not discount a similar effort from the same post.My Ticket Race 8) 8,9 Race 9) 7,8,9 Race 10) 3,9 Race 11) 5,7,8Total Ticket Cost) $7.20 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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9.13.2021:

Monday Myths: Draw a Line Through Kentucky Downs Defeats?

Welcome to a continuing handicapping series for our Monday blog space, “Monday Myths.” Each week I’ll use the power of the Betmix database to take common handicapping assumptions and either support or dispel them with data. Betmix data powers the 1/ST BET app and its features like Angler and Birddog give data-minded horseplayers a treasure trove of information in which to query your own curiosities.Assumption:Kentucky Downs is such a unique course that you can excuse a disappointing race from there more easily than most venues.Background:While only 6 days in length, September’s Kentucky Downs meeting annually features huge-field turf racing over an up-and-down course unlike any other in North America. It’s one of the most horse-for-course venues you’ll find – a love/hate relationship in the ledger of many horses. The 2021 KD meet concluded Sunday and now those alumni will be heading to ports of call at Churchill, Keeneland and around the country. Do the numbers justify drawing a line through a disappointing Kentucky Downs effort and playing the rebound?Data Points:I dialed up the Betmix database to look at the next-out performances for well-backed Kentucky Downs runners whom were defeated over the unique course. I looked at the past 5 years, going back to return races starting Sept. 13, 2016. By well-backed, we categories runners as the post-time favorites, those 3-1 or less and those 5-1 or less odds.Kentucky Downs’ beaten favorites in their next starts won 26% with a $1.08 ROI for every $1 bet.All beaten favorites in their next starts won 21% with a $0.81 ROI for every $1 bet.3-1 or less Kentucky Downs beaten runners in their next starts won 23% with a $1.17 ROI for every $1 bet.3-1 or less All beaten runners in their next starts won 20% with a $0.77 ROI for every $1 bet.5-1 or less Kentucky Downs beaten runners in their next starts won 18% with a $0.89 ROI for every $1 bet.5-1 or less All beaten runners in their next starts won 18% with a $0.76 ROI for every $1 bet.Overall Findings:Kentucky Downs alumni returned to win at a higher rate and more profitable ROI than the general population when studied as well-backed favorites, 3-1 or less and 5-1 or less odds. The more heavily bet the horse was last out at Kentucky Downs, the better the next-out win percentage and the more significant difference in next-out results compared to the general population.Bottom line:This one clearly is fact based on the last 5-year numbers. A horse who loses at a short price at Kentucky Downs can be excused for the effort and bet back with profitable consequences.Additional Details:You can go into Betmix and run your own queries for a deeper dive into this theory and any that you can create. For instance, take a look at next-out surfaces and locales for the best success. It’s interesting that turf-to-dirt movers who were well-bet at Kentucky Downs actually out-performed their turf-to-turf contemporaries. From a locale standpoint, those KD beaten favorites who reappear next at Fair Grounds have gone 6: 3-2-0 in limited, but highly effective strikes.

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9.12.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Hawthorne Racecourse Late Pick 4 Analysis | Sunday, September 12

Hawthorne Racecourse has a 14-race card set for this evening. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 11. The sequence has a $25,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 111-Zero Net Profit (5/2)-Wired the field in last with a 59.1 opening half and probably won't be able to get that much of a breather tonight. Usually, this filly is slow leaving and races from the back. Will look for more speed tonight in its 2nd Haw start and bank on the upswing to continue.5-Marcia (3-1)-Has won 3 of 9 here and this will be the 4th start back in the Miller barn. Bender has steered in the last 3 and the last 2 have been versus this kind. One move type should be in the hunt versus this crew with a sharp steer.6-Johnnys Gal June (4-1)-This is a soft bunch and although only 1-13 is still worth using. Team Leonard entry makes the 2nd start for them and she did pace a lively 2nd half in last. This four-year-old might be racing into shape for the upcoming Night of Champions and will look for a strong effort.Race 124-Loyz Say When (6-1)-This Leonard 2-year-old trainee makes its 4th career start and has been racing evenly. There isn't much form in this race. This filly has stayed on stride and has a pilot that can make the most of an inside trip.6-Todos (4-1)-Three-year-old filly broke as an even money favorite on 8-30. Has built a foundation at the fairs and should be a player if minds manners.8-Freddie Da Fox (3-1)-One of these days or years this 6-year-old will win again and there isn't anything to fear in this field. Hopefully the price won't be short, 0-27 in Stickney and 0-32 in the last 2 years but just missed in the last 2 starts.Race 132-Lucky Crusader (5-1)-Won versus similar 2 back and then moved up and was in too deep. Now back with the kind where a win could happen. Should get a way in a good seat and could use one nice move to sweep by down the lane.4-Upbeat Big Guy (25-1)-The program shows this 7-year-old moving up in class but this really isn't any tougher than NW310CL. That said, is only 1-27 lifetime and the trainer/driver takes a seat so might not be bet. But raced the last half in 55.3 on 8-30, and if the pace is solid Big Guy should be rolling down the lane.6-Et Tu Brute (7/2)-Seekman tried a gate to wire plan versus the $8k claimers in last and that didn't work. Same pilot tonight and this is a better spot. The Hansen barn doesn't race often but has booked 33% winners over the last 30 days. Should get the top here and won't have to go .55 in the opening half. Looks like a main player with a smooth trip.Race 142-Sharia (12-1)-Price shot will need a good steer and from this post should be close to the lead throughout. This mare has been an every other good start horse, and this is the time for a good try.8-Dome With Kisses (5-1)-Comes off a win and now steps-up. Lasix kicked in the 2nd try and this is not a deep group so will use after a 57.1 back half. Has hit the board in 4 of 6 with 2 wins at Haw and should offer a solid price. The Eckley barn has batted 28% winner in the past 30 days and Wilfong should be able to get into striking range by the top of the lane.My Ticket Race 11) 1,5,6 Race 12) 4,6,8 Race 13) 2,4,6 Race 14) 2,8Total Ticket Cost) $27 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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9.12.2021:

Jeff Siegel: National Prime Plays | Sunday, September 12

Jeff Siegel’s National Prime Plays for Sunday, September 12, 2021Kentucky Downs – Race 7. Post time: 3:41 CT2 – Koala Princess (6-1)Couldn’t have been more impressive winning her debut sprinting on grass at Monmouth Park last month, taking control quickly and then cruising to an eight length romp without ever being asked for her best. Obviously, this is a much tougher task, but the daughter of More Than Ready acts like a quality 2-year-old that should handle today’s extra furlong without any issues whatsoever. Probably quick enough to make the lead but handy enough to stalk and pounce if the race shape dictates, the A. Delacour-trained filly lands hot-riding J. Rosario and is worth a play at or near her morning line of 6-1.Kentucky Downs – Race 8. Post time: 4:15 CT6 – Tobys Heart (3-1)Talented daughter of Jack Milton was a willing third in the Lake George S.-G3 at Saratoga in late July but today returns to sprinting where’s she’s proven to be most effective. Freshened and training smoothly in the interim, the B. Lynch-conditioned filly has the perfect second flight, stalking style for this course and distance, and with the switch to J. Rosario she should be primed for a major effort. At 3-1 on the morning line, she’s a win play and rolling exotic single.

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9.11.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Woodbine Mohawk Park Stakes Analysis | Saturday, September 11

The headliner on the Woodbine Mohawk Park card rolls in Race 11, the Pepsi North America Cup with a $1,000,000 purse. Besides the Cup there are another six stakes with large purses. In the Race 13 finale, there will be a mandatory payout for the Jackpot Hi-5 and the carryover is $300,257.16.Don't forget about the Xpressbet/1st Bet promo on the North America Cup for those who register. Get up to $10 back on win bets which finish 2nd or 3rd in that race.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 3-Peaceful Way Trot Final-2-Year-Old Fillies-Purse $392,0004-Venerable (4/5)-Made the 1st start at Mohawk last week and was flawless winning by almost 6 lengths. This filly is a great 2-year-old trotter and everyone else is racing for the 2nd place check.6-American Beauty (6-1)-Finished 2nd to the one below last week but won't be 7-lengths behind at the 1st call tonight. Gingras returns and he will be staying in striking range to close nicely and finish 2nd.3-Adare Castle (3-1)-This is a nice filly who has beat up on local trotters and is a perfect 5 for 5. But tonight, she will likely not take a picture but should hit the bottom of the ticket.$15 Exacta 4-6-Total Bet=$15Race 8-Fan Hanover Pace Final-3-Year-Old Fillies-Purse $425,0003-Hot Mess Express (8/5)-There isn't that much difference between this gal and #4 who had a great freshman season. This year this filly appears a bit better and will shade to her side in what should be a fun race to watch. Winner of 8 of 9 in 2021 and has banked $332,000. Won in 150.3 last week with AMac just coasting along and should be difficult to stop here.4-Fire Start Hanover (7/5)-My guess is Dunn will look to get the pocket behind the top choice and slug it out down the lane. These 2 stand well above the crowd and may the best filly win.Race 10-Wellwood Memorial Trot Final-Purse $640,0002-King Of The North (3-1)-The price will be better tonight after tiring as the 2/5 choice last week in the Elimination. Many will look to beat this winner of over $281,000 but that's not my thinking. Drifting out in the stretch after being off almost a month to lose the race by less than one length is not cause for me to play against. The fractions were quicker in the King's Elimination race than the other 2 and he basically cut the mile. Looking for a new winning streak to start tonight.4-Periculum (7/2)-Took advantage of a ground saving trip last week to roll down the lane and beat the odds-on chalk #2. What's important is the fractions were quick, this colt still closed nicely and seems to be getting better. So, will use here and not dismiss the maiden win as just a fluke off a great trip. Not necessarily looking for another picture but does have the ability to close quickly. Should be in the hunt if minds manners.3-Duly Resolved (4-1)-This is a nice gelding and its only loss came on an off-track. Has been the best up North and should hit the ticket.$25 Exacta 2-4, $10 Exacta 4-2-Total Bet =$35Race 11-Pepsi North America Cup Pace Final-Purse $1,000,0004-Bulldog Hanover (9/5)-This Darling trainee is on his home field and has won 10 of 12 at Wbsb. Winner in 4 straight and finished with 26.1 quarters in the last 2 starts. In the Elimination he scorched the 2nd half in 51.4 and was parked out. This guy is a monster and with a decent steer he should land in the winner's circle.9-Rockyroad Hanover (8-1)-Faded in his Elimination but took the lead and tried to wire the field. That's not the usual game plan and make no mistake, although finishing 3rd the last quarter was a snappy 26.2. Expecting a different trip and the fractions should be hot. Dunn can put this talented 3-year-old in play and could provide a nice price for the bottom of the exacta.3-Perfect Sting (2-1)-It wouldn't be a complete shock if this colt won but the trip would need to go his way. Was used hard down the lane to win the Elimination and it's unlikely Miller will be able to set his own pace. The Holloway pupil is a millionaire for a reason, so best to respect.Race 11-$30 Exacta 4-9-Total Bet=$30Check me out on Twitter!

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9.11.2021:

Jeff Siegel: National Prime Plays | Saturday, September 11

Jeff Siegel’s National Prime Plays for Saturday, September 11, 2021   Kentucky Downs – Race 7. Post time: 3:34 CT2 – Princess Grace (2-1)A winner of five of six career starts and with further improvement likely, the daughter of Karakontie is a versatile type that can adjust to any type of pace scenario. Fresh from a career-top performance in the Yellow Ribbon H.-G2 at Del Mar, the M. Stidham-trained filly has been training splendidly at Fair Hill while preparing for this year’s renewal of the $750,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf-G3 and is reunited with F. Geroux, who rode to a sharp victory three races back. At 2-1 on the morning line she’s a strong win play and rolling exotic single.Kentucky Downs – Race 10. Post time: 5:18 CT5 – Miss Amulet (15-1)Let’s take a flier with a long shot in the Franklin-Simpson S.-G2 in a race restricted to 3-year-olds. An excellent third in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf-G1 in her previous U.S. foray, she’ll be tackling colts in this six and one-half furlong grass sprint, but after being pitched over her head in a pair of Grade-1 events in England earlier this year the daughter of Sir Prancealot faces a field that she should be very competitive with. Perhaps most effective as a late-running sprinter, the K. Condon, Jr.-trained sophomore will have every chance to make an impression in the closing stages, so at 15-1 on the morning line she may be worth a bit of gamble.

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9.10.2021:

Eddie Olczyk: Saturday Spot Plays | Saturday, September 11

1/ST and NBC handicapper Eddie Olczyk delivers a couple of key plays from Gulfstream Park this Saturday within the $2.5 million-estimated Rainbow 6 mandatory payout sequence. Follow Edzo’s plays each week – only with 1/ST and Xpressbet!Gulfstream ParkRace 8 // 4:12 pm ET // claiming // 7-1/2 furlongs (turf)#1 Spend Benjamins (4-1 ML)Class drop all the way to $12,500 as 3-year-old meets elders for second time. Not much speed entered in this race, so this one has gotta go from the get-go. Win bet.Gulfstream ParkRace 10 // 5:22 pm ET // optional claiming // 5 furlongs (turf)#9 Discreet Tune (9-2 ML)Outside post could be a plus with lots of speed inside of him to stalk. Horse looks like he is on the improve with a step up in class off a win. Price will be right. Win bet.

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9.10.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Yonkers Raceway Late Pick 4 Analysis | Friday, September 10

Tonight, New York bred two-and-three-year-old trotters and pacers are the headliners at Yonkers Raceway as they will be competing in Sire Stakes Finals. The $1.00 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 7, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 75-Test Of Faith (1/1)-This Pelling trainee is a perfect 5 of 5 at Yonkers and 7 of 8 on the year. The only loss came from post 11 at the Big M and that was by a neck. It would take an off night or a brutal trip for this filly to be defeated and my take is neither will happen.Race 84-Ambassador Hanover (5-1)-Using and will forgive the last sub-par effort at VD. Looking for an aggressive steer and could try to get on the engine and not look back. Has hit the board in 4 of 5 starts here and has taken 2 pictures.6-Ahundreddollarbill (2-1)-Beaten odds-on favorite lost to #7 Balenciaga at Tioga on 8-21. Now back on the 1/2 at Yonkers and should be tough to beat. Has hit the board in 3 of 5 on this oval with 2 pictures. Looks to be a short price and AMac should have in play early in the mile.Race 91-Southwind Petyr (7/2)-Mark Harder 3-year-old may make the most of drawing the rail. Dunn is between the pipes, and he has steered before. This is a competitive leg and Petyr is one of a few who could take a picture.2-I'll Drink To That (4-1)-Winner in 4 of 12 this year should be in the hunt with this crew. Comes off a win at Tioga and Miller steered then and will be back aboard tonight. Is 0-5 here but this will be the 1st time for Miller at Yonkers this year.4-Town Gossip (7/5)-Morning line chalk has been in sharp form in the last 6 starts. Has hit the board in 7 of 8 at YR with 2 pictures. The Jenn B entry could cash the top check if leading turning for the wire but may need to work hard to get the top.6-Natameri (7-1)-Winner in 2 of the last 3 and that was with Kakaley steering. Using although the 7-1 morning line looks generous. Could win without getting the top early in the mile.Race 105-Melady's Monet (3-1)-This 12-year-old still cranks it up and cashes checks on a regular basis. Winner of over $178,000 this year has won 51 out 152 at YR. Should be close to the lead throughout and best to not overlook.6-It's Academic (7/2)-Beaten odds-on chalk faded in its 1st Yonkers start but still finished 2nd. Regular pilot Gingras steers this time and comes back in 7-days instead of 19. Should be better in the 2nd start over the surface and should also be a better price.7-Guardian Angel As (5-1)-Offers value at the morning line and has won 7 of 13 at YR. Beat the 2 above last week and has won 4 of 6 since using Lasix. Kakaley should get the 7-year-old off the gate and looks like a major player even from this post.My Ticket Race 7) 5 Race 8) 4,6 Race 9) 1,2,4,6 Race 10) 5,6,7Total Ticket Cost) $24 for $1.00Check me out on Twitter!

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9.10.2021:

Jeff Siegel: National Best Plays | Friday, September 10

Jeff Siegel’s Best Plays for Friday, September 10, 2021Gulfstream Park – Race 5. Post time: 4:12 ET8-Palmach (7/2)Juvenile filly makes her racing debut in a seven and one-half furlong maiden turf event in which the known element doesn’t impress. Purchased for $90,000 at the OBS June sale, where she looked quite nice when previewing in :10 flat, the Mark Casse-trained daughter of Violence shows a steady, healthy series of recent Palm Meadows workouts to have her fit for a major effort first crack out of the box. This trainer-jockey team has been on fire, so at 7/2 on the morning line she’s worth a play in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.Los Alamitos Race Course – Race 2. Post time: 1:28 PT5 – Her Perfect Vision (5/2)She’s been burning up the track at Golden Gate Fields while preparing for her racing debut, so much so that trainer Jonathan Wong vans her down to Southern California to take advantage of the more lucrative purse and Cal-bred owners premium awards for this abbreviated sprint for juvenile fillies. By the promising freshman stallion Stanford, the Tommy Town Thoroughbreds homebred attracts the barn’s “go to” rider A. Cedillo, so we’re expecting a winning effort while hoping to get close to her morning line of 5/2.

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9.10.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Primed and Ready List | Friday, September 10

Updated weekly, the Primed and Ready List identifies horses that have recorded an outstanding workout within the past seven days and appear ready for a top performance. Workouts originate from Southern California (Santa Anita/Del Mar), New York (Saratoga/Belmont Park) and Florida (Palm Meadows) and can be viewed by clicking the link included in the description or at xbtv.com. Horses are removed following their first race after appearing on the list.Workouts through September 8, 2021CRICKET WEST – (J. Abreu) – September 5, Saratoga, 4f, :51.2b TT TC DUView WorkoutBreezing in company outside Hellman (4f, :51.3b TT TC DU) and looked quite good to prove clearly best without ever being asked, sharp and eager to the wire. New York-bred juvenile filly by Majestic City ran very well sprinting on grass in her debut and seems sure to improve with experience and distance.CURRY – (K. Headley) – September 6, Del Mar, 5f, 1:00.2hView WorkoutLightly-raced gelding has been freshened since April but appeared perked up and ready to resume his career in this solo five furlong drill, never really asked at any stage and finishing with plenty left, final three furlongs in :11.2 and :36.1. Has all of his conditions available (including a first-level Cal-bred event) and should make the entries early in the Santa Anita fall season.MISAWA – (M. Glatt) – September 6, Del Mar, 4f, :47.4hView WorkoutWorked inside Flame McGoon (4f, :48.1h) and was clearly best while breezing to the wire in sharp style, final three furlongs in :36.1, displaying smooth action and galloping out with a ton left. Form isn’t much but this First Samurai gelding must be better than shown. Have to think he can handle soft maidens next time out.MUSIC FESTIVAL - (M.Puype) – September 6, Del Mar, 5f, 1:01.2hView WorkoutIn company outside Walking Boss (5f, 1:01.4h) and was noticeably the better of the two, breaking off a length behind and finishing almost a length in front at the wire, mostly on her own, splits of :25 flat, :36.4 and 1:01.2. Getting fit, bred for grass and probably will debut on the lawn at Santa Anita. Willing and eager for M. Puype.SHAD NATION - (C. Clement) - September 5, Saratoga, 4f, :52b TT TC DUView WorkoutCairo Prince juvenile filly has yet to start but shouldn’t be far away based on this team drill around dogs on grass with Longest Day (4f, :52.3b, TT TC DU), breaking off almost three lengths behind and then moving up easily through the lane to be head-and-head at the wire. Has a nice, athletic stride, moves like she’ll enjoy a distance of ground. Pointing for the fall season at Belmont Park.TEMPERMENTAL - (J. Englehart) – September 4, Saratoga, 4f, :47.4bView WorkoutNew York-bred juvenile filly by Practical Joke breezed inside Sea Pines (same time) and went quite well, final quarter mile in :23.4 under a nice hold (workmate going easily as well) before galloping out strongly and with plenty left. This was just her second recorded workout, but she appeared reasonably fit and with a good degree of ability. Probably be seen in the afternoon sometime in early October, we would guess.Workouts through September 1, 2021CAISSON – (R. Mandella) – August 30, Del Mar, 5f, :59.4hView WorkoutWar Front colt wore blinkers and was breezing inside the hard held Lane Way (4f, :47.3h), splits of :23.3 and :47.1 to the wire before continuing out to 7/8 pole under very light coaxing in :59.4, strong work while getting cranked up. Been away since finishing second in the Cecil B. DeMille Stakes last November, has all of his conditions and probably can be effective on any surface.ONTHEONESANDTWOS (N. Casse) – Aug. 29, Saratoga, 4f, :47bView WorkoutUnder a stout hold in sharp half mile breeze while clearly best over Buckingham Prince (same time), finishing with a ton left late in quick move over training track. Was beaten as the favorite in the Adirondack S. but didn’t get off well and didn’t run her race. Way better than that.RAYMOND ROAD – (J. Englehart) – August 29, Saratoga, 4f, :47.4hgView WorkoutNew York-bred filly was in team gate drill inside Wicked Workout (same time) and was going the easier of the two throughout while just breezing along, able to go faster if permitted. Has speed but displayed nice action and should be more than just a sprinter. Daughter of Flatter looks to be a 2-year-old with a bit of quality and may get ready pretty quickly.Workouts through August 18, 2021GRAFTON STREET – (M. Casse) – August 13, Saratoga, 4f, :47.3b TT TC DUView WorkoutBroke off a length in front of Classic Legend (4f, :48.4b TT TC DU) and easily opened up on that one at will without being asked through the lane, nice stride on what surely will prove to be his preferred surface for Casse. Showed ability in debut when rallying to finish third in dirt sprint and seems certain to improve going long on the lawn.HAMWOOD FLIER – (R. Baltas) – August 12, Del Mar, 4f, :47.3b TT TC DUView WorkoutSophomore filly was in company inside Kartvelian (4f, :48.2h TC DU) and was under a tight hold through the lane to be a few lengths clear at the wire as much the best, able to go considerably faster if turned loose in a very impressive move. Irish import broke her maiden in her fourth career start in June and arrives fit, ready, and appearing much better than the form would show. Has first level allowance conditions.MECCA SPIRIT – (B. Baffert) – August 16, Del Mar, 5f, :59.1hgView WorkoutIn blinkers, in team gate drill outside Marco Polo (5f, :59.2hg) for B. Baffert and proved best by a length in the late stages of the drill while responding to some mild coaxing, splits of :34.4, :47 flat and :59.1, smart drill while gearing up for his debut. Juvenile colt by Bernardini doesn’t act like a quick sprinter but definitely can run and probably will prove best as the distances increase. Should be fit enough by now.LIBERTY M D – (I. Wilkes) – August 14, Saratoga, 5f, 1:00.2bView WorkoutHard held to the top of the lane and then coasted through the stetch to appear extra sharp in five furlong solo breeze for Wilkes. Was rank, got mad, and was overmatched in Shuvee S.-G3, so toss the race out, still a bit inexperienced and probably prefers one turn at this stage of her career. Has second level allowance conditions.

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9.10.2021:

Johnny D: Kentucky Downs Late Pick 5 Analysis | Saturday, September 11

An old handicapping pal and I recently discussed our wagering results, “How’ve you been doing?” he asked. “Not that well,” I responded. “These Pick 5s are killing me. They’re so difficult to hit but I can’t stop playing them.” “You have to stop,” he advised. “There are other ways to make money playing without those tough wagers.” “I know. I know. I just find them alluring. Those big payoffs call to me. I can’t resist.” “You must stop. You’ll go broke before you hit a big one.” “I know. I know.” And I do know. And I advise to do as I say, not as I do. Try skipping the Pick 5s and concentrate on making Win or Exacta Wagers. Even try your hand at a few Doubles or Pick 3s. You’ll probably be surprised at how much you can win with a nice Exacta payoff. I know I was. We avoided Pick 5s and the money drains they are to our bankroll last weekend and came away pretty happy with the results. Maybe you should try the same. So, why do we present a Kentucky Downs Late Pick 5 ticket below? Because it’s a neat way of handicapping and analyzing the last few races on the card. Hopefully, we’ve offered some meaningful suggestions about which horses might prove best. Use that info to construct useful intra-race wagers; maybe bet an Exacta or two along the way. And, if you really can’t resist, go ahead and play the Pick 5. No one will yell at you. Whichever way you decide to play, have fun doing it. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but if the game becomes a burden and you need a confidence boost, try picking a winner…a single winner…or a key horse in an Exacta with three other runners. You might be surprised to find out that you have more fun and make more money than when you were chasing Pick 5 payoffs. Selections below were made before scratches and changes and are for a ‘firm’ turf course. KENTUCKY DOWNS // RACE 7 (4:34PM ET) // G3 LADIES TURF STAKES // 1 MILE (TURF) Single #2 Princess Grace Saturday’s Kentucky Downs Pick 5 opens with a 9-horse field going one mile on turf and #2 Princess Grace seems to hold all the cards. She’s a 4-year-old multiple Gr. 2 winner, 5 for 6 lifetime and 2 for 2 at the distance. Her game travels, too. She’s won at 5 different tracks, including a dirt win at Churchill Downs in an off-the-turf Gr. 2 test. She’s got a style that will find her just off the early leaders and there seems to be plenty of pace. Jockey Florent Geroux has ridden her once before and won on her. Trainer Stidham already is 1 for 1 at the short meet. She’s a single. #3 Abscond has a solid chance to finish in the money. She’s been close against better and close at this level. Her knock is that she hasn’t won in a year when she won the Gr. 1 Natalma at Woodbine and is just 1 for 7 at the distance. #7 Princess Causeway likes Kentucky Downs, 2 wins in 3 tries. That’s important because this course is unique. The issues with the 5-year-old are that her last 3 wins all came in allowance races and she’s 0 for 5 at the distance. KENTUCKY DOWNS // RACE 8 (5:09PM ET) // G3 TURF SPRINT S. // 6 FURONGS (TURF) Use as many as you can afford but must have #3 Bombard. Others that make sense: #9 Got Stormy, #7 Casa Creed, #2 Fast Boat For a six-furlong turf graded stakes sprint there’s very little early speed signed on. #3 Bombard, shipping here from California, seems to be the fastest early. He just missed in this race last year over a ‘soft’ turf course. He may appreciate a firm surface for his best. He appears to have been pointed toward this race by Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella and the 8-year-old gelding will be ridden by regular rider and Golden State top jock Flavien Prat. He’s 10-1 on the morning line and anything near that price is worth a Win wager. If you’re in a gambling mood, single this 10-1 shot on a Pick 5. If he wins, he’ll add plenty of strength to your ticket. If not, oh well, you’ve lost before on worse singles. If you’re not in a gambling mood, then feel free to use as many in here as your budget can handle. A decent case can be made for several of these beginning with the 6-year-old mare #9 Got Stormy. She upset a Grade 1 field of males at Saratoga last out going one mile and she’s now 20 of 30 in the money and 1 for 1 at Kentucky Downs—last season’s Gr. 3 Ladies Sprint. She added a bullet, best-of-51 half mile since the Spa race. #7 Casa Creed is the lukewarm 7-2 morning line choice off a third-place effort to #9 Got Stormy at the Spa going one mile. Before that he upset the six-furlong, Gr. 1 Jaipur field at Belmont and previously won the seven-furlong Elusive Quality. The 5-year-old seems on his game and his best fits. #2 Fast Boat comes in off nice score in the Gr. 3 Troy at the Spa. He’s 1 for 1 here and probably is best going a half-furlong shorter where a hot pace aids his closing kick. He doesn’t figure to get a hot pace Saturday. #4 Gear Jockey just finished third behind #2 Fast Boat at the Spa. He likes a hot early pace to set up his closing kick and he may not get that in here. However, he’s sharp and has youth on his side as a 4-year-old colt against some more experienced foes. #5 Born Great enters off a solid stakes score at Ellis Park. These are tougher, but he’s 2 for 2 at Kentucky Downs—back-to-back races he won within 7 days last year. #10 Chewing Gum hasn’t won a race since June of ’20, but he was second to #7 Casa Creed one back, is also trained by Bill Mott and is 1 for 1 at Kentucky Downs. #11 Stubbins has been working well for trainer Doug O’Neill at Del Mar. This 5-year-old horse has gaps in his past performance lines and hasn’t won since Oct. of ’19. Still, on his best day, he’s another that fits.   KENTUCKY DOWNS // RACE 9 (5:44PM ET) // G2 CALUMET TURF CUP // 1 1/2 MILES (TURF) #5 Arklow#1 Imperador#9 Glynn County Big decision in here surrounds #5 Arklow. His best is good enough to get the job done but, at age 7, does he still have his fastball? Trainer Brad Cox, best in the nation last year and pretty hot this season, brings this guy back quickly off an August 21 effort at Del Mar. We like the move. Arklow loves this course, 2 wins and a second in 3 starts and he’s 8 for 13 in the money at the distance. Pace should be lively enough up front, too. Let’s go, old fellow! #1 Imperador is 15-1 off a runner-up effort in the Gr. 1 United Nations at 23-1. Not bad. He was just 3 back of #5 Arklow in May. Trainer Paulo Lobo can pull off an upset now and then. Trainer Mike Maker has 5 starters in this race. He’s got to win with one of them, right? Maybe. Trouble is we can’t tell which one that might be. #9 Glynn County feels like an improving 4-year-old with a win over the course and at the distance. He’s 15-1 and should get a decent trip behind the early speed, maybe getting first run on the leaders. KENTUCKY DOWNS // RACE 10 (6:18PM ET) // G2 FRANKLIN-SIMPSON S. // 6 1/2 FURLONGS (TURF) #1 Into the Sunrise#10 Point Me By #1 Into the Sunrise has speed and the rail for trainer Wesley Ward. He’s got a pair of bullet works for this race, both at Keeneland at five furlongs. That should have him prepped for his best at this six and one-half furlong distance. #10 Point Me By is a threat from off the pace. He’s won 2 of 3 starts, including the one mile Gr. 1 Bruce D at Arlington Park last out. The six and one-half furlongs should be in his wheelhouse as he’s also won going five and one-half furlongs on turf. KENTUCKY DOWNS // RACE 11 (6:50PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 1 MILE  (TURF) #2 Baj#6 Grael#9 Garmento#10 Seal Beach There are a few ways to go in this finale. Spread the net a bit in here with #9 Garmento from the Brad Cox outfit. Jockey Joel Rosario, who’s been red hot at this meeting is aboard and is strong with this barn. This Empire Maker first timer has been working regularly for his debut. #10 Seal Beach hails from the Mike Maker barn and has Irad Ortiz up and they are a solid combo. This Midshipman colt has been third and second in two starts at Saratoga. #2 Baj showed good speed first out going one mile and one-sixteenth at Saratoga first time out. This cut back in distance ought to help the cause. Tyler Gaffalione rides for Saffie Joseph and they are a strong combo. This son of Can the Man who was an affordable $6,200 purchase may surprise this more expensive bunch. #6 Grael ran well at Ellis Park first out in a one mile turf encounter. That effort in mid-August ought to have him fit for this. Blinkers go ‘on’ in here and trainer Brendan Walsh is 19% with second time starters. MY PICK 5 TICKET RACE 7: #2RACE 8: #3RACE 9: #1, #5, #9RACE 10: #1, #10RACE 11: #2, #6, #9, #10 Race On!

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9.9.2021:

Frank Carulli: Stronach 5 Picks & Preview | Friday, September 10

The popular Stronach 5 wager returns with a difficult five-race sequence, spanning three tracks in an action-packed 90 minutes. Here's a look at today's lineup.PROMOTION ALERT: $10 Stronach 5 Free Bet on Friday, September 10 LEG A // GULFSTREAM // RACE 5 (4:12PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 7 1/2 FURLONGS (TURF) PALMACH, a $90k sales buy, nestled in a 1:02.3 turf breeze on a solid workout tab for her debut. She is by multiple graded stakes-winner Violence (3-4, $623k), who didn't race on the turf, and out of an unraced dam. OCEAN SAFARI ran a troubled second in a well-bet debut. She lost momentum while in tight on the first turn and was forced out by the disqualified winner amid a wide rally in the final eighth. LEG B // LAUREL // RACE 8 (4:20PM ET) // ALLOWANCE // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (TURF) RINCE PERE broke his maiden with Russell aboard and kept quality company in two follow-up starts. He finished between Virginia-bred stakes winner Grateful Bred (4-9, $179k) and Saratoga allowance upsetter Matta (3-8, $137k) when second two starts ago, then lacked a rally in a race that produced next-out allowance winner Cairo Campaign (3-7, $73K). FEDERALE, part of a solid entry for what would be his turf debut, romped twice against lesser rivals at speed-favoring Timonium but looked good doing it. LEG C // LAUREL // RACE 9 (4:53PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (TURF) VIRGINIA FIB was fractious pre-race and made up 9-1/2 lengths in the final half mile when he last sprinted on the turf. He finished 3 lengths behind Smitten Enough, who beat HAIR OF THE DOG next out. FAKE I D takes a disguised class drop out of a weak race, his first start in six months after a near miss against Romario, who won a $25k optional claimer through disqualification last month. BARRISTER finished second in 3 of his first 4 starts, tailed off badly since then, now tries turf on another class drop. LEG D // GULFSTREAM // RACE 7 (5:16PM ET) // CLAIMING // 1 MILE (TURF) SHARM EL SHEIKH, ROCKET JOE COOPER and POSITIVE PHIL are proven turf routers at this level and a combined 17-for-74 with $475k in earnings, so use all three. SPINNING KITTEN ran well off similar rest last winter and is a viable stalke-and-pounce price play from the rail in his bid to top $100k in grass earnings. LEG E // GOLDEN GATE // RACE 3 (5:45PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 1 MILE (ALL WEATHER) WILD WAGER rallied into a slow pace to finish second to a next-out, repeat winner two starts ago under these conditions. DRASARIO finished in the money in six consecutive route races on the turf for Wong but lost by 36 lengths in his only start on the main track. DIAMOND DATA chased a fast pace sprinting in MSW company, then raced 6- and 7-wide while no factor in a $12,500 maiden claimer at this distance.   STRONACH 5 TICKET LEG A: 1, 8LEG B: 1, 5LEG C: 2, 6, 12LEG D: 1, 4, 6, 8LeEG E: 1, 2, 7 TICKET COST ($1 BASE): $144

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9.9.2021:

Al Cimaglia: 2021 Pepsi North America Cup Preview | Saturday, September 11

Here is the field for the 38th running of the Pepsi North America Cup. The richest harness race in North America, with a $1,000,000 purse, will take place on Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park.Take advantage of the Xpressbet and 1/ST BET Money-Back Special on this race and get your cash back, up to $10, if the horse you bet to Win finishes 2nd or 3rd.  WOODBINE MOHAWK PARK // RACE 11 (10:42PM ET) // PEPSI NORTH AMERICA CUP XXXVIII FINAL 1 - JIMMY CONNOR B (15/1) - This is one of two entries from trainer Gregg McNair and this gelding will be driven by his son Doug. This 3-year-old out of Big Jim leads the field in starts with 16 and has hit the board 11 times with 4 wins. Comes off a 5th place finish in the Cup Elimination and has the smallest bankroll in the field with lifetime earnings of $88,605. After going winless as a freshman with only three starts, the arrow has pointed up in 2021.2 - BETTTOR SUN (20/1) - Here is the other McNair trainee and will be handled by one of Mohawk's leading drivers James MacDonald who is fresh off an upset victory with Lindy The Great in last week's Maple Leaf Trot. This son of Sunshine Beach had a solid sophomore season banking over $273,000. Like his stablemate he comes off a 5th place finish in the Elimination race and on Saturday will be looking to notch the 4th win in 12 starts this year.3 - PERFECT STING (2/1) - This son of Always B Miki was undefeated as a freshman in 10 starts and was named the Dan Patch winner as the 2-year-old male pacer of 2020. As a 3-year-old the Joe Holloway pupil has never missed the board in nine starts. This millionaire has taken four pictures in 2021 banking over $474,000. He has lost by less than one length in over half his starts and hasn't won a race with a large purse this season. This colt endured a hard-fought stretch battle with Whichwaytothebeach to win his Elimination and will be driven by regular pilot David Miller. Holloway will be trying to capture his second NA Cup after winning in 1992 with Safely Kept. Miller is a two-time winner, once with Betting Line in 2016, and then Fear The Dragon in 2017.4 - BULLDOG HANOVER (9/5) - This is a very talented son of Shadow Play who comes into this race winning four straight for trainer John Darling and driver Jody Jamieson. After scoring in his elimination in a solid 1.49 the connections were able to pick their post position first ahead of Perfect Sting, and the rest of the field took part in an open draw. This winner in 6 of 8 starts this season and 10 of 14 overall, will be trying to give Darling his second Cup win. Jamieson will be shooting for his third NA Cup victory. The conditioner won with Gothic Dream in 1997 and his pilot was in the winner circle with Tell All in 2007 and Up The Credit in 2011.5 - WHICHWAYTOTHEBEACH (9/2) - Trainer Brett Pelling sends out this son of Somebeachsomewhere, who has been in fine form and will be looking to notch his 8th win in 12 starts this year. Driven by Sylvain Filion the leading driver at Woodbine Mohawk Park, this gelding will be attempting to pad his lifetime earnings of $345,283. Filion will be looking for his first Cup victory while conditioner Pelling won with RocknRoll Hanover in 2005, The Panderosa in 1999 and David's Pass in 1995.6 - DESPERATE MAN (6/1) - Cathy Cecchin is the conditioner for this son of Shadow Play who comes off a narrow defeat to Bull Dog Hanover in last week's Elimination. This gelding is the only horse she has raced at Mohawk this meet. The runner-up role has happened in the last three starts. This 3-year-old was rolling hard down the lane last week and came up a length short. The winner of $353,014 in lifetime earnings will be driven by usual pilot Trevor Henry and has 4 wins in 14 lifetime starts.7 - SIMON SAYS HANOVER (20/1) - This is the first of three entries for trainer Tony Alagna and is likely the one with the slimmest chance of taking a picture on Saturday. Did close with a quick last panel to finish 4th for driver Scott Zeron in the Elimination and has banked the second lowest total in career earnings for this field ($145,537). Zeron won the 2019 NA Cup with Captain Crunch and Alagna took top honors in 2013 with Captain Treacherous.8 - A BUCKABETT HANOVER (12/1) - This Betting Line colt is also an Alagna trainee as his stable will line up in posts 7-8-9. For the most part this colt has been an all or nothing type. He has recorded 5 wins in 11 starts this year but has only hit the board one other time. Did defeat Perfect Sting at Pocono in mid-May by a head but it was the first start of the year for that top colt. In this campaign every win but one has come on smaller ovals. Highly regarded regular pilot Andrew McCarthy will be in the sulky looking for his 1st Cup victory.9 - ROCKYROAD HANOVER (8/1) - This progeny of the great Captaintreacherous didn't do much as a freshman earning only $5,610 with 1 win in 3 starts. This year has been a far different story banking over $292,000. This Alagna pupil is compromised by the post draw but has hit the board this season in 9 of 13 starts with 4 wins. Tried to go gate to wire last week which isn't his usual style and faded to finish 3rd. Top driver Dexter Dunn may try a different type of trip here as he is looking for his 1st NA Cup win.10 - SOUTHWIND GENDRY (20/1) - This Ron Burke entry won 10 of 13 last year and has 3 wins in 10 starts in 2021. For this campaign the son of Always B Miki has done its best work on smaller ovals. Finished 4th in the Elimination beaten by almost 10-lengths and that was the third try on Lasix. Burke did win this race in 2014 with JK Endofanera and Yannick Gingras drove Tall Dark Stranger to victory in this race last year. This longshot has lifetime earnings of a hefty $866,641.11 - HIGHLANDBEACHSBEST (20/1) - Is an Also Eligible entrant and will not race unless another horse scratches. Check me out on Twitter!

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9.8.2021:

Tournament Roundup: Wayne Tam Nets Fun in the Sun Top Prize | Wednesday, September 8

Congratulations to Wayne Tam, winner of Xpressbet’s 2021 top prize for Fun in the Sun -- a weekly handicapping competition each Saturday during Saratoga and Del Mar. He collects $12,240.25—winner’s share of a pot enhanced by a sweet $10,000 Xpressbet infusion. Tam’s Final Table total earnings of $327, based on $10 Win wagers on one horse in each of 10 competition races, was well clear of runner-up Elmer Ramos at $278.50. Ramos collects a $5,563.75 second prize. Mati Raz finished a solid third with $246 in earnings, worth $2,225.50. Frank Foss and David Jaffe finished fourth and fifth at $123 and $104, respectively. They each earn $1,112.75 in prize money. Tam, a veteran Xpressbet tournament player, rallied from fifth to win the season-long Fun in the Sun 2019 championship. He qualified for this season’s big-money Final Table by finishing fourth in Week 2 play with $305 in earnings, just $3 off a triple dead-heat for the win and a mere $1.50 in front of the fifth-place finisher in the closest race of the season. His Final Table total earnings of $327 was well clear of the top weekly player average of $319 set during qualifying season. Buoyed by $12,240.25 collected Saturday, Tam led all Fun in the Sun players in overall prize winnings. But he wasn’t the season’s only cash collector. Nearly $50,000 in cash was distributed to 20 players with no house takeout, skim or rake! Elmer Ramos checked in second with $6,626.88 in total prizes from two second place finishes—at the Final Table and in Week 3 action. Mati Raz, who was third at the Final Table, also took ‘show’ money in Week 2 and earned a total of $3,777.17. Ellis Star, one of 5 players with more than 1 seat at the Final Table that did not earn a main event prize, checked in fourth overall with $3,501.75 in winnings from two weekly paydays—a Week 1 win and a Week 4 third. Here is the complete list of Fun in the Sun prize winners: Wayne Tam $12,240.25Elmer Ramos $ 5,563.75Mati Raz $ 3,777.17Ellis Starr $ 3,501.75David Jaffe $ 3,052.88Michael O’Grady $ 2,551.50Howard Bolte $ 2,268.00Nelson Jaramillo $ 2,205.00Steven Hilbert $ 2,026.50Steven Jones $ 1,551.67Sean O’Malley $ 1,551.67Gordon Maruya $ 1,207.50Nicholas Nagy $ 1,006.25Jon Vanniel $ 945.00Drew Kocsi $ 918.75Edwina White $ 844.38Craig Kaufman $ 724.50Russell Denton $ 567.00Jon Lapczenski $ 551.25Robert Rosen $ 506.63 The highest mutuel earnings total of the season came in Week 1 when Ellis Starr opened proceedings with a bang at $392 based on $10 Win wagers on one horse in each of the last 5 races at Saratoga and the first 5 races from Del Mar. Michael O’Grady came closest to matching that mark when collecting $389 in Week 3. The lowest mutuel earnings total to win a weekly top prize was Steven Hilbert’s $271 in Week 7. Congratulations to everyone that cashed during the summer and thanks to all who played. We hope you’ve had as much ‘Fun in the Sun’ as we did. It’s been a blast. See you next summer. Race On!

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9.8.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: Laurel Park Opening Day | Thursday, September 9

Thursday is opening day of the Laurel Park autumn season, and a brand-new main track has been installed. To assist your handicapping, selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections. You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app. We’ve included the official track morning line odds with each runner. // Laurel Park // Race 1 // 12:40 pm ET // claiming // 7 furlongs #2 Fearless Lassie (5-2) // 29%W#3 My Way Or Else (6-1) // 16%W#6 Meet Michelle (3-1) // 15%W#5 Supreme Blessing (9-5) // 13%W // Laurel Park // Race 2 // 1:12 pm ET // maiden claiming // 1-1/8 miles (turf) #1 King Alan (9-2) // 31%W#9 Leave ‘Em Loaded (6-1) // 15%W#14 War Light (10-1) // 8%W#11 The Monk (15-1) // 7%W // Laurel Park // Race 3 // 1:43 pm ET // claiming // 6 furlongs #1 Victory Element (5-2) // 28%W#3 Keeping the Peace (8-1) // 20%W#2 Kingston Pike (7-5) // 18%W#5 Championship Alley (7-2) // 13%W // Laurel Park // Race 4 // 2:13 pm ET // maiden special weight // 1-1/16 miles #6 Lidstrom (9-5) // 30%W#7 Golden Tone (5-2) // 26%W#2 Award Nominated (4-1) // 15%W#1 Awesome Dynamo (8-1) // 11%W // Laurel Park // Race 5 // 2:43 pm ET // claiming // 1 mile (turf) #2 Mosler’s Image (6-1) // 25%W#9 Maureenlovesfrank (6-1) // 16%W#6 Mavilus (12-1) // 13%W#7 Witty Banter (6-1) // 12%W // Laurel Park // Race 6 // 3:13 pm ET // maiden special weight // 6 furlongs #3 Cost a Fortune (6-1) // 23%W#2 Determined Truth (3-1) // 15%W#6 M’Lady Thatcher (10-1) // 11%W#9 Frosty Brew (6-1) // 8%W // Laurel Park // Race 7 // 3:43 pm ET // allowance // 1 mile (turf) #14 Willing to Speed (5-1) // 19%W#4 US Constitution (8-1) // 10%W#9 Bryce Canyon (9-2) // 10%W#2 Manicomio (5-1) // 10%W // Laurel Park // Race 8 // 4:15 pm ET // allowance // 1 mile #4 Romp (6-5) // 30%W#6 Titan’s Will (4-1) // 21%W#2 Tiz Mandate (5-1) // 14%W#1 Up Against (20-1) // 13%W // Laurel Park // Race 9 // 4:48 pm ET // maiden special weight // 5-1/2 furlongs (turf) #12 Senson (5-1) // 26%W#6 Two Sides of Love (6-1) // 14%W#8 Determined Star (10-1) // 12%W#9 Whiteknuckleflyer (8-1) // 8%W

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9.8.2021:

Jon White: Highlights from Labor Day Weekend 2021 | Wednesday, September 8

There were several splendid performances on the American racing stage during the Labor Day weekend. MAX PLAYER Throwing his hat into the ring as a serious candidate for the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar on Nov. 6, Max Player registered an emphatic four-length triumph at odds of 7-2 in last Saturday’s Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup at Saratoga. Happy Saver came in second at 2-1. Forzo di Oro, sent off as the 11-10 favorite, finished third in the field of six. Ricardo Santana Jr. rode Max Player for Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, who is North America’s all-time leading trainer in wins. Max Player completed his 1 1/4-mile journey in 2:02.49. Max Player went into the Gold Cup off a victory in Belmont Park’s Grade II Suburban Stakes on July 3, which was contested on a sloppy track. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred Honor Code colt was credited with a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 101 in the Suburban. Max Player topped that figure last Saturday. He recorded a 102 in the Gold Cup. Below are the Beyers for the Jockey Club Gold Cup winners going back to 1990 (the figures prior to this year are listed in the 2021 American Racing Manual, which is now digital only and available for free on The Jockey Club’s website): 2021 Max Player(102)2020 Happy Saver (103)2019 Code of Honor (106)*2018 Discreet Lover (103)2017 Diversify (107)2016 Hoppertunity (104)2015 Tonalist (109)2014 Tonalist (106)2013 Ron the Greek (114)2012 Flat Out (109)2011 Flat Out (107)2010 Haynesfield (107)2009 Summer Bird (111)2008 Curlin (111)2007 Curlin (114)2006 Bernardini (117)2005 Borrego (110)2004 Funny Cide (112)2003 Mineshaft (114)2002 Evening Attire (114)2001 Aptitude (123)2000 Albert the Great (119)1999 River Keen (117)1998 Wagon Limit (115)1997 Skip Away (116)1996 Skip Away (117)1995 Cigar (111)1994 Colonial Affair (113)1993 Miner’s Mark (106)1992 Pleasant Tap (117)1991 Festin (114)1990 Flying Continental (117) *Vino Rosso finished first but was disqualified and placed second. The Jockey Club Gold was run at Belmont Park from 1990 through 2020. Not surprisingly, in light of Max Player’s win in the Gold Cup, he moves into the Top 10 this week in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. The Top 10 is below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 323 Knicks Go (19)2. 306 Letruska (6)3. 294 Essential Quality (10)4. 159 Gamine5. 137 Maxfield6. 135 Max Player7. 110 Domestic Spending8. 107 Jackie’s Warrior9. 91 Malathaat10. 50 Silver State ECHO ZULU As mentioned earlier, Max Player won the Jockey Club Gold Cup by four lengths. The following day at Saratoga, Asmussen sent out the Gun Runner filly Echo Zulu to take the Grade I Spinaway Stakes for 2-year-old fillies by the same margin. Asmussen conditioned 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner. Not surprisingly, the trainer hoped he would be the trainer of Gun Runner’s first Grade I winner, a goal that was achieved with Echo Zulu in the Spinaway. Gun Runner finished second to Arrogate in the 2017 Dubai World Cup. Gun Runner never tasted defeated ever again. In Gun Runner’s four 2017 starts following the Dubai defeat, he reeled off victories in the Grade II Stephen Foster Handicap, Grade I Whitney Stakes, Grade I Woodward Stakes and Grade I BC Classic en route to being elected Horse of the Year. Gun Runner’s racing career came to an end when he won the Gulfstream Park’s Grade I Pegasus World Cup early in 2018. He ranks No. 84 on my list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th and 21st Centuries to have raced in North America. Echo Zula, whose final time in the Spinaway was 1:22.51, obviously has the look of a major player for the Grade I BC Juvenile Fillies. According to Asmussen, the plan is for Echo Zulu to make her next start in the Grade I Frizette Stakes at Belmont on Oct. 3. Ten years ago Asmussen won both the Frizette and BC Juvenile Fillies with My Miss Aurelia. My Miss Aurelia recorded a 96 Beyer Speed Figure in the Frizette. She managed to win the BC Juvenile Fillies despite quite a dropoff in the Beyer department to an 86. In Echo Zulu’s only start prior to the seven-furlong Spinaway, she was credited with a 92 Beyer Speed Figure when a 5 1/2-length winner in a Saratoga maiden race at 5 1/2 furlongs on July 15. She received a 90 Beyer for her Spinaway victory as a 3-5 favorite. GUNITE Gunite, another 2-year-old Gun Runner offspring trained by Asmussen, won Saratoga’s Grade I Hopeful Stakes by nearly six lengths in an 11-1 upset. Wit, the 3-5 favorite, had to settle for second. Kevin’s Folly ended up third at 28-1. High Oak, the 5-2 second choice in the wagering, finished fourth in the field of 11. After winning Sunday’s Grade I Spinaway with Echo Zulu, Asmussen took just one day to also become the trainer of the second Grade I winner by Gun Runner in Gunite. On a wet track listed as good in the Equibase chart, Gunite completed seven furlongs in 1:23.08. He continued his improving Beyer Speed Figure pattern. After a meager 43 Beyer on a sloppy track at first asking April 29 at Churchill Downs, he has recorded figures of 44, 73, 81 and then 83 in the Hopeful. According to Asmussen, now it’s on to the Grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont on Oct. 2. “We know what we want his next two races to be and we feel really good about them,” Asmussen was quoted as saying in NYRA’s post-race Hopeful quotes. “The Champagne and the Breeders’ Cup [Juvenile] are what we’re hoping his next two races are. I love his style for the Juvenile.” GRACE ADLER In last Sunday’s seven-furlong Del Mar Debutante, Grace Adler raced sixth early in the field of eight. She rallied to take command turning into the stretch while wide and drew away to win by 11 1/4 lengths at odds of 9-2. Her final time was 1:23.76. Grace Adler, like Echo Zulu, is now two for two. Unveiled at Del Mar on July 31, Grace Adler came from a couple of lengths off the pace to win a five-furlong maiden race by three-quarters of a length for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. When Grace Adler won her first race, she did so despite five furlongs being much shorter than the Kentucky-bred daughter of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin prefers, according to Baffert. Grace Adler provided Baffert with his record 10th Del Mar Debutante victory. Prior to this year’s renewal, Baffert and fellow Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas had each won the Debutante nine times. After recording a 68 Beyer Speed Figure for her debut victory, Grace Adler improved to a 74 Beyer for her Debutante effort, well below the two figures in the 90s logged by Echo Zulu in her first races. Next for Grace Adler, according to Baffert, is Santa Anita’s Grade II Chandelier Stakes on Oct. 1. One gets the feeling that Baffert expects Grace Adler to relish the 1 1/16-mile distance of the Chandelier. Grace Adler, a $700,000 auction purchase, is owned by James Burrows’ Willow Grace Farm and Michael Lund Peterson. The filly is named after a character in the NBC television series “Will & Grace,” which ran from 1998-2006. In addition to directing all of those episodes of “Will & Grace,” Burrows has directed episodes of such popular television programs as “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Laverne & Shirley,” “Taxi,” “Cheers,” “Night Court,” “Frazier,” “Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory.” Baffert’s 10 Del Mar Debutante winners are listed below: 2021 Grace Adler2020 Princess Noor2019 Blast2012 Executiveprivilege2006 Port Ashley2001 Habibti1999 Chilukki1998 Excellent Meeting1997 Vivid Angel1995 Batroyale FLIGHTLINE When Flightline kicked off his racing career last April 24 at Santa Anita, jaws dropped when he zipped six furlongs in 1:08.75 and won by a little more than 13 lengths. The 3-year-old Kentucky-bred Tapit colt posted an excellent 105 Beyer Speed Figure. Flightline did not compete again until last Sunday at Del Mar. Once again, jaws dropped. As Flightline was cruising home to again win an allowance/optional claiming sprint in isolated splendor, this time by 12 3/4 lengths, track announcer Trevor Denman posed a darn good question during his call of the race. “Is this the next superstar?” Denman said. A $1 million auction purchase, Flightline flirted with 1:07 and change for his six-furlong win last Sunday, which was accomplished in 1:08.05. He received a 114 Beyer. The 114 Beyer is tied for the highest figure recorded so far this year. Last Saturday, Baby Yoda likewise reached 114 on the Beyer scale when he won an allowance sprint at Saratoga. The Grade II Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 2 and the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Del Mar on Nov. 6 are logical possible races for Flightline in the near future. But it appears that trainer John Sadler is not inclined to be all that aggressive with Flightline just yet with only two starts under his belt. Sadler seems more interested in targeting Santa Anita’s Grade I Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs on Dec. 26. “He’s a rare, gifted horse,” Sadler said in Monday’s Del Mar stable notes. “He’s so fast, but I think he’ll stretch out to two turns. It’s way too early to make early plans. But the realistic goal is the Malibu Stakes.” If a Malibu future book existed, I’d have to think Flightline would be about a 3-5 favorite. BABY YODA This is quite a story. Unraced at 2, Baby Yoda splashed his way to an eight-length win on a sloppy track this past May 30 at Pimlico while making his career debut in a six-furlong maiden $10,000 claiming race. He received a mediocre 69 Beyer Speed Figure. Baby Yoda improved to a 79 Beyer in his next start when he finished third in an allowance/optional claiming contest at Pimlico on June 26. Charles Frock trained Baby Yoda for his first two races. Hall of Fame horseman Bill Mott then took over as trainer of the Florida-bred Prospective gelding. Baby Yoda’s first start for Mott resulted in a 1 1/4-length victory in a Saratoga starter allowance race on July 17. And then last Saturday, Baby Yoda won a Saratoga allowance race by 4 1/4 lengths. Finishing second was Olympiad, also trained by Mott. Baby Yoda completed 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.33 and, as noted earlier, received a 114 Beyer Speed Figure. The 114 figures credited to Baby Yoda and Flightline last weekend are the highest Beyers in the U.S. since Shancelot recorded a 121 at the 2019 Saratoga meet. Andrew Beyer wrote this for the Daily Racing Form regarding Baby Yoda’s 114: “Members of the six-person team that calculates Beyer Speed Figures look skeptically on numbers that appear to defy logic. Aberrations in final times can be caused by imperceptible changes in track conditions, by errors by an electric timing device or by other factors. If a speed figure makes no sense, we will sometimes change it arbitrarily rather than publish a number we believe incorrect. “In judging the trustworthiness of a big figure, we examine all of the horses in the field, not just the winner. If many horses show dramatic improvement in their figures, we may suspect that all of the numbers have been inflated because of some aberration. “Baby Yoda won by 1 1/4 lengths over his stablemate Olympiad, who was making his first start in a year; there was a gap of six lengths between Olympiad and the rest of the field. While we couldn’t assess Olympiad because of the long layoff, all of the other runners in the field had recent form that could be compared with the Saturday race.” Beyer pointed out that the figures for the 3-4-5-6 finishers in Saturday’s race were comparable with their most recent start, as shown below: Sept. 4 Beyer -- Prior Start Horse 92-97 Ducale85-87 Rejected Again84-84 Crowded Trade87-83 Tuggle “Nothing in this data suggests that the winner’s figure was inflated,” Beyer wrote. “The Saratoga racing surface appeared to be consistent throughout the day. Baby Yoda’s winning time appeared to be correct. And based on Saturday’s evidence, Baby Yoda may indeed be America’s champion sprinter.” Even though Baby Yoda showed that he can run a 114 Beyer Speed Figure, my guess at this point is that when all is said and done, he will not end up being voted a 2021 Eclipse Award as champion male sprinter. CORNICHE A $1.5 million auction buy trained by Baffert, Corniche came out running when he made his debut in a Del Mar maiden race for 2-year-olds at 5 1/2 furlongs last Saturday. Backed down to 1-2 favoritism, the Kentucky-bred Quality Road colt won in front-running fashion by 4 1/4 lengths in 1:03.01. Corniche recorded a 98 Beyer Speed Figure. It’s the highest Beyer to date by a 2-year-old male or female. PINEHURST Baffert was represented by both Murray and Pinehurst in Monday’s Grade I Del Mar Futurity. Murray started as the 3-5 favorite in the seven-furlong affair, but he finished a disappointing fifth in the field of six. Pinehurst won at odds of 4-1. Finneus, off at odds of 35-1, ran second. American Xperiment came in third at 5-1. Pinehurst moved up quickly to get the lead soon after the start and set the early pace. Murray raced just off the lead in the early going before faltering in the final quarter of a mile. After Pinehurst kicked well clear to boast a three-length advantage at the eighth pole, he came home strongly and ultimately prevailed by 4 1/2 lengths in 1:23.55. Murray finished 10 lengths behind Pinehurst. Pinehurst has yet to lose in two starts. His 4-1 price Monday was rather surprising in that the 86 Beyer notched by the Kentucky-bred Twirling Candy colt in his Aug. 1 maiden win was the highest figure recorded by anyone going into the Del Mar Futurity. He actually regressed Beyer-wise to a 79 on Monday, yet still was able to get the job done by daylight. In an extraordinary feat, Baffert now has won the Del Mar Futurity a record 15 times. Those 15 winners are listed below: 2021 Pinehurst2018 Game Winner2016 Klimt2014 American Pharoah2012 Rolling Fog2011 Drill2009 Lookin At Lucky2008 Midshipman2002 Icecoldbeeratreds2001 Officer2000 Flame Thrower1999 Forest Camp1998 Worldly Manner1997 Souvenir Copy1996 Silver Charm

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9.6.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Woodbine Mohawk Park Early Pick 4 Analysis | Monday, September 6

Woodbine Mohawk Park starts the week with an 11-race card. The feature rolls in Race 9, a Preferred Trot with a $34,000 purse. The 0.20 Early Pick 4 begins in Race 4, and that sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 41-TT Conway (10-1)-Goes from post 9 to the rail and will look for Roy to have this 7-year-old in striking range at the top of the lane.3-Angry Eyes (9/2)-Bumps-up after a nice win from the 8 hole. This is the 3rd start off the bench and will look for another strong effort.8-Serinity Cruise (3-1)-Takes a significant drop and should be driven aggressively. This looks like a wake-up call, last win came on 7-2 at this class.Race 58-Rockinwithcustard (10-1)-Took the long way around from the 9 hole in the 1st start for the Barrington barn. The trip can't get much worse and will look for a big try here.9-Baywatching (7/2)-Winner of 2 straight moves from post 6 to post 9 but has the gate speed to get a nice seat. Has been too good to overlook.10-Hallsglensmavis (3-1)-Almost made the 1st start in the Moreau barn a winning one, just missed from this same post. Has been racing well in the past 2 despite drawing poorly and will expect more of the same tonight.Race 61-Mask of Zoro (15-1)-Comes off a break but now is back on the big track and McClure is between the pipes. This pilot had previous success, and this is a juicy price in a race without a standout.6-Archery Seelster (9/2)-Performed well enough versus Gold company to earn a spot on the ticket. Should offer a decent price and the Barrieau barn has posted 27% winners over the last 30 days.Race 72-Wilddriverbumblebee (3-1)-This 7-year-old is on the comeback trail after missing at least a year. McClure takes a seat and meets a suspect field. Worth a swing and hopefully the price will be fair.7-Modern Rock (10-1)-Is only 1-22 this year but has been in the hunt in the last 4 races and now makes its 1st start for the Moreau barn. Maybe that pushes this 4-year-old into the winner's circle at a solid price.9-Im Not Bad (9/2)-This 8-year-old is trip dependent but has closed well in the last 2 starts. Steps-up but this isn't a strong group, and this race could set-up nicely with a more alert start.My Ticket Race 4) 1,3,8 Race 5) 8,9,10 Race 6) 1,6 Race 7) 2,7,9Total Ticket Cost) $10.80 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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9.6.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Monday, September 6

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: 1:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-Colosi; 5-Luck of the DrawForecast: In his first start since being claimed by P. Miller (an excellent 25% with this angle), Colosi drops a notch to the $25,000 level, switches to F. Prat, and stretches out to a mile, each a positive factor that points to significant improvement from the veteran gelding. We’re expecting a pace-prompting/stalking trip from the son of City Zip, one that should give him every chance to regain his winning form. Luck of the Draw, claimed in his last three starts and now in the V. Garcia barn, returns to dirt, a surface he might actually prefer over the lawn. The son of Lookin At Lucky has good tactical speed, back numbers that fit, and U. Rispoli knows him well and stays aboard, so at 4-1 on the morning line he’s a “must use” in rolling exotic play.RACE 2: Post: 1:59 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-Picota; 6-Percolate; 8-Corsica Flower; 10-ClassicallyForecast: Maiden juveniles meet over a mile on grass with P. D’Amato represented by two major players. Picota could turn out to be another in a long string of relatively inexpensive European imports that have outperformed their overseas form. The English-bred colt, in the money in all three of his starts in the spring, makes his U.S. debut after a handful of main track workouts that indicate he’s plenty fit. Assuming breaks cleanly, he projects to be within range while saving ground, perhaps even in a pace-pressing position. We’ll give him top billing at 7/2 on the morning line. Stable mate Classically, who worked in company with Picota back mid-August and at that time appeared slightly second best, in a first-timer by Into Mischief out of the good race more Fanticola, who was a multi-stakes winner on grass, which explains why this colt is starting his career two-turning on turf. He attracts F. Prat but must deal with the extreme outside post position, Percolate is another making his U.S. debut from England and displayed promise in his only outing when a runner-up in a fairly decent maiden event at Sandown Park in June. Favored in a field of nine, the son of Sir Percy didn’t have the best of runs through the lane and then might have lost a bit of his punch late while still showing enough promise to be purchased by local interests, who then sent to trainer M. McCarthy. He should fit very well in this spot. Corsica Flavor, listed at 20-1 on the morning line, impressed in his OBS June sale preview when he breezed a quarter mile in :21 1/5 seconds while displaying a nice, long stride that lends itself to routing on grass. His work tab for P. Gallagher is brief., so perhaps he’s been training elsewhere, so at 20-1 on the morning line he’s worth including somewhere on your ticket.RACE 3: Post: 2:29 PT Grade: C+Use: 6-Who’s the Star; 7-BarbwireForecast: Here’s a moderate maiden special weight main track miler in which the main contenders have been thoroughly exposed. Barbwire, in the frame in his last two starts on turf, returns to dirt, over which he finished a fair-at-best fourth sprinting at Los Alamitos in his debut. Perhaps the blinkers that are being added for the first time will help the R. Baltas-trained colt improve enough to graduate. Who’s the Star is a one-paced, grinding, lumbering gelding who finished a distant third behind Bobby Bo in a fast maiden event over this track and distance last month. He should be forwardly placed throughout in a race that doesn’t project to have fast early splits, so with U. Rispoli staying aboard the son of Tonalist probably won’t need to make up a whole lot of ground. We’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play in a race that we’ll otherwise sit out.RACE 4: Post: 3:02 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Wyfire; 5-Numero Dix; 6-Dicey Mo CharaForecast: Numero Dix was given an easy run in his U.S. debut in a race won by his J. Sadler-trained stable mate Crew Dragon yet was beaten just a length when fifth while finding his best stride close home. He gets an extra half-furlong to work with today, switches to U. Rispoli, and should produce a significant forward move. It’s interesting that F. Prat, who rode him that day, jumps off to ride pilot Wyfire, fourth of sixth without any real excuse in the La Jolla S.-G3 last time out but being re-equipped with blinkers, landing the good rail, and returning to the first level allowance ranks. This is a gelding that wants to show speed; maybe this time he’ll be allowed to kick on with it early. We’ll also toss in the improving Dicey Mo Chara, a maiden winner over this course and distance earlier this season. The lightly-raced English-bred gelding got the patient ride he demands in that victory and with a step forward today he could be a late threat at 6-1 on the morning line.RACE 5: Post: 3:35 PT Grade: C+Use: 7-Chris Fix; 8-Hay JuanForecast: Hay Juan flashed good speed in his debut, weakened late when winding up fourth (beaten four lengths) behind next out stakes winner Joker Boy and today shows up in a $50,000 maiden claimer. J. Sadler is the owner/trainer/breeder, so he answers to no one but it’s a not really a good sign that he’s effectively giving up on this colt after just one start, especially when you consider the larger purse and Cal-bred owner/breeder premium bonus money that goes along with a maiden special weight race. He’s clearly the top pick on paper but when you’re taking a short price you don’t want to have to question the connection’s motives. Chris Fix was off slowly in his debut but produced a one-paced, grinding late bid to finish a fair fourth without really posing a threat. He’s got a right to improve off that outing and it’s a good sign that his connections are protecting him by raising him from $32,000 $50,000. In a race that probably is best left alone, both can be used in rolling exotic play.RACE 6: Post: 4:07 PT Grade: C+Use: 2-Fantail; 5-Althea Gibson; 6-A G Indy; 7-Deise DelightForecast: First level allowance fillies and mares sprint five furlongs on grass. Anything can happen, so let’s take some shots. Althea Gibson has been off for nine months, but she’s been burning up the track in the morning at Los Alamitos, so we’ll assume she’s fit and ready. Perfect in one start sprinting over the Del Mar lawn, the daughter of Grazen may be a better type off the bench, though based purely on speed figures she’s one of several that could win. Her 7/2 morning line seems about right. The two D. O’Neill-trained fillies, A G Indy and Deise Delight, finished one-two over this course and distance in a starter’s allowance affair last month and step into the allowance ranks today. On figures, they’re right there with these. Fantail tries a rider switch, projects to enjoy a second flight, ground-saving trip and should be in the battle from the furlong pole to the wire. She’s a gambling number at 15-1 on the morning.RACE 7: Post: 4:37 PT Grade: B-Use: 3-Divine Armor; 7-Laurel RiverForecast: Laurel River stretches out for the first time, and if he’s ever going to get the trip it’ll most likely be in his first try. The son of Into Mischief exits a series of better races and against this group in a race that doesn’t project to be particularly fast early it’s conceivable that he makes the running and never looks back. His B. Baffert-trained stable mate Leading Score shows past performance lines dating back to 2016 so you know he’s been plagued by a myriad of issues throughout his career. Off since April (and before that away since October of 2019), the B. Baffert-trained 7-year-old is eligible for this race only if entered for a $40,000 tag, and even at that price is pretty much unclaimable due to his shaky activity pattern. He’ll likely try to stalk Laurel River from the rail and then we’ll see what he’s got from the quarter pole home. That said, we’ll leave him off our ticket. Divine Armor has improving numbers and should be finishing. If the two Baffert entrants do each other in, he could be the one to pick them up at 8-1 on the morning line.RACE 8: Post: 5:07 PT Grade:Use: 5-Mackinnon; 8-OptimisingForecast: Mackinnon showed the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern prior to his maiden turf victory over this course and distance in late July, doing so stylishly while shading 12 seconds for the final furlong and galloping out strongly. He’s a progressive son of American Pharoah with a pleasing series of works since raced, so we’re expecting the D. O’Neill-trained colt to take a significant forward move as the one to beat in this year’s renewal of the Del Mar Juvenile turf. Stranger danger comes in the form of the M. McCarthy-trained import Optimising. The son of Mehmas won his debut from nine rivals over the sharp left-handed Wolverhampton all-weather track at five furlongs in June, doing so with a rally wide trip while displaying fluid, athletic action. How he’ll act around two turns is a guess, but there’s no reason he won’t handle a mile just fine.RACE 9: Post: 5:37 PT Grade: BUse: 4-Pinehust; 5-MurrayForecast: The two B. Baffert entries – both impressive maiden debut winners this meeting – should slug it out in this year’s edition of the Del Mar Futurity-G1. Murray won his race by almost 11 lengths, lengthening out impressively in the final furlong to give every indication that he’ll enjoy today’s extra quarter of a mile. Pinehurst had to work considerably harder to win his heat by just a half-length but did so on the front end from the rail after reaching back for extra in the final furlong. They’re both fast on numbers, so it’s just a matter which one can make the most progress between their first and second outings. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics while giving a very slight edge on top to PinehurstRACE 10: Post: 6:07 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Tembo; 9-AlgeriaForecast: The finale is a starter’s allowance turf miler offering several possibilities. Tembo hasn’t shown all that much in the a.m. while preparing for his first start since beating maiden claimers at over this turf course in November but he’s not much of a worker and he’s a long distance, deep-closing router so he’s never going to be the type to impress in his drills. On pure numbers he’s a solid fit with these and it’s encouraging the trainer M. McCarthy (very strong stats with layoff runners) brings him back protected. U. Rispoli, who was aboard in his victory, keeps the mount, so at 6-1 on the morning line he’ll offer a bit of gamble. Algeria, first off the $50,000 claim for S. Knapp, retains F. Prat after graduating in good style over this course and distance last month with a career top speed figure. He’s never taken a backward move in his four starts since being imported from Ireland and should step forward again today. These are the two we’ll be using in our exotics.

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9.6.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Monday, September 6

Jeff Siegel's Saratoga Analysis - Monday, September 6, 2021 September 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: 12:35 ET Grade: C+Use: 1-Equal Pay; 6-Big City Momma; 7-Someday MagicForecast: State-bred maiden fillies and mares kick off closing day with Equal Pay, beaten 33 lengths when favored in a similar affair in the mud in July, getting a chance to make amends on fast ground (hopefully) while being listed at 2-1 on the morning line. The daughter of Quality Road continues to train like a very fast filly for C. Brown, so if she leaves cleanly from the rail she’ll have no excuses. Big City Momma was beaten double digits in her first two starts but hooked a monster (Bella Sofia) in her debut and then was a distant third in the mud in another highly-rated race last time out. She’ll be running on late. Someday Maybe has been training at Belmont Park for her debut and shows a bullet five furlong drill (1:00.2bg, fastest of seven) that indicates some ability. She’s probably worth tossing in as a back-up.RACE 2: Post: 1:10 ET Grade:Use: 4-Belarus; 7-Call Sign Charlie; 8-Kisses for EmilyForecast: Here’s a highly-contentious abbreviated sprint for New York-bred juvenile fillies that presents the player with several unknowns and question marks. We’ll go three-deep, but you should use as many as your feel comfortable with. Kisses for Emily impressed at the Timonium 2-year-old in training sale when she displayed good athleticism during the preview session (:10 2/5), and while her workouts at Belmont Park leading up to her debut are steady without jumping off the page the daughter of Union Jackson must be well regarded after bringing $125,000 at auction. The outside draw is in her favor, so we suspect she’ll be able to show her best stuff. Belarus has done some good work in the a.m. for H. DePaz and looks like a live item in an open fray. She’s actually listed as the 5/2 morning line favorite, and it will be interesting to see if the bettors follow. Call Sign Charlie hails from a barn that has superior stats with first-timers (25% with a massive ROI). Youngsters trained by J. Abreu almost always run better than they work, so this daughter of Mission Impazible has to be included somewhere on your ticket.RACE 3: Post: 1:43 ET Grade: BUse: 2-En Wye Cee; 3-L’EmperatorForecast: L’Imperator and En Wye Cee finished one-three in a third-level allowance event last month but there are reasons to believe the latter may be able turn the tables in this year’s edition of the Bernard Baruch H.-G2 that drew just five entrants. The lightly-raced 5-year-old (just eight career starts) was making his first start in 10 months and had a right to be a bit short, and he has a history of running better in his second start off a layoff, so we’re expecting the T. Pletcher-trained son of Declaration of War to step forward considerably. L’Imperator has won four of six career starts and the former French allowance performer earned a giant speed figure when winning in his first outing in almost a year. There’s no reason to believe he can’t do better as well. In a tough call, we’ll give En Wye Cee a very slight edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 4: Post: 2:16 ET Grade: B-Use: 2-My Roxy Girl; 6-FrillsForecast: Frills has been a hot item at the claim box lately, having changed hands in her last two starts and four of her last five. She now goes for an outfit that hits at 21% with a strong ROI so we suspect the daughter of Candy Ride will maintain her strong recent form that has produced nine first or second place finishes from 18 career outings. She’s double-jumped in class from $12,500 to $20,000 in a sign of confidence and is a strong fit on speed figures despite the class hike. My Roxie Girl returns to her claim level after being pitched too high in a couple of recent allowance affairs. This will be career start number 50 for the 6-year-old mare, was virtually eased last time out but has bounced back in the past off poor runs. She has to be considered a major player at this level.RACE 5: Post: 2:47 ET Grade: BSingle: 4-AbaanForecast: Rebel of Law and American Law exit the same race and should receive the bulk of the wagering support in this middle distance straight maiden affair over the inner turf course. But neither one is trustworthy. Realm of Law has failed as the favorite in each of his four previous races, most recently when a no-excuse third vs. similar at 6/5. He’s a one-paced grinding type that continues to get play due to his connections but in truth really isn’t all that much. American Law failed at 70 cents on the dollar two runs back when a weak and distant third, and then most recently couldn’t muster a rally when second without mishap in his local debut. A viable alternative is Abaan, even though he’s exiting a maiden claimer. In his first start on grass, the son of Will Take Charge had to overcome the extreme outside post to finish a good second while earning a career top speed figure, his fifth consecutive forward move based on numbers and one good enough to win today despite the apparent hike in class. The T. Pletcher-trained gelding projects to draft into a stalking position and have every chance from there, so at 4-1 on the morning line let’s try him in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.RACE 6: Post: 3:22 ET Grade: B-Use: 6-Ocean Air; 8-Linny Kate; 11-Perhaps TonightForecast: Ocean Air has been nibbling in tougher starter’s allowance races lately and today drops into a restricted (nw-2) $40,000 trying to find her winning level. The daughter of English Channel is solid in the speed figure department, switches to L. Saez, and though a bit of a grinder should find herself in a good second flight position and then have her chance to wear down the leaders late. Linny Kate is the one to fear most, as the lightly-raced daughter of Tonalist shows up in a seller for the first time and picks up I. Ortiz, Jr. She encountered plenty of self-caused early trouble (she was extremely rank) before finishing with interest to be a reasonable fourth in an allowance race at Monmouth Park in her most recent appearance in mid-July. If she can settle early and produce a similar late kick, she’ll be hard to contain. Perhaps Tonight shows the first-time-in-a-claimer angle with numbers that fit in this league. The Delaware shipper has a good stalking style and has a reasonable look off her nice maiden score two runs back.RACE 7: Post: 3:54 ET Grade: B-Use: 4-Don’t Wait Up; 6-Drakon; 9-Torpedo Run; 10-Pine ValleyForecast: Here’s another challenging maiden 2-year-old event, and while it may not contain a world beater there are several in here that have trained well enough the win. Don’t Wait Up has the benefit of a prior outing, having been beaten a nose in his debut last month while more than four lengths clear of the rest in a race that earned a solid speed figure. The A. Dutrow-trained son of Upstart switches to Johnny V. and seems the logical top pick. Torpedo Run breezed a furlong in :10 2/5 while appearing a bit green at the Fasig-Tipton March sale at Gulfstream Park but still brought $450,000 and clearly is well-regarded, while Pine Valley, purchased at the same sale for $250,000, also breezed in :10 2/5, and as a son of Maclean’s Music certainly is bred to win early. Drakon, a son of First Samurai, brought $200,000 at the OBS April sale, where he previewed in :10 flat, and with one of the barn’s “go-to” riders (M. Franco) in the saddle this colt has the look of a live one.RACE 8: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: B+Use: 2-Consumere Spending; 7-Silvery RillForecast: The two fillies listed above have a chance to be legitimate stakes performers in due time and make this maiden special weight middle distance turf event for juveniles a much stronger than par race, at least on paper. Silvery Rill was worn down late after striking the front in mid-stretch in her debut in a promising run for C. Clement and then was entered back but scratched in the P. G. Johnson S. when the race came off the turf. The daughter of War Front switches to L. Saez and will be doing her best work from the quarter pole home. Consumer Speaking was given a somewhat easy run in her debut when a closing runner-up to stable mate McKulick last month and seems certain to step forward considerably with that bit of experience behind her. The daughter of More Than Ready has trained steadily in the interim for a barn that hits at 25% with second-timers. Whatever she has, she’ll most likely show it today.RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: B-Use: 2-Miss Jimmy; 6-Awesome Debate; 8-Honey MoneyForecast>: This state-bred allowance optional claimer for fillies and mares looks to have at least three main contenders, requiring a spread in rolling exotic play. Miss Jimmy, away since February but always thoroughly genuine and consistent (first or second in 17 of 20 career starts), has trained well enough at Finger Lakes to be fit to fire off the bench and at this extended sprint distance of six and one-half furlongs the daughter of Colonel John will have her chance to settle early and (with good racing luck) produce a winning late kick. She’s fairly priced at 6-1 on the morning line. Awesome Debate looked very good winning the Union Avenue S. here last month over a sloppy track that she obviously enjoyed. The veteran mare in Brown’s barn has traded punches with our top pick on a few occasions and should be in the thick of it from start to finish. Honey Money is slightly slower on speed figures than her two main rivals, but she employs a good stalking that generally produces a trouble-free trip and at 6-1 on the morning line should at least get a piece of it.RACE 10: Post: 5:38 ET Grade: B+Use: 6-Wit; 8-High OakForecast: Very much like his highly promising young sire Practical Joke during his racing days, Wit has the makings of a devasting late-running sprinter and should employ that style again to great effectiveness in this year’s renewal of the Hopeful S.-G1. Winner of his two previous outings by a combined 14 lengths, the T. Pletcher-trained colt has been away since his easy romp in mid-July in the Sanford S.-G1 but has been kept on edge in the interim and should fire another monster shot today. High Oak also in unblemished in two starts and just earned a 90 Beyer speed figure – identical the Wit’s career top – when drawing away with authority to capture the Saratoga Special-G2 by more than four lengths. Although he was sent off at 10-1, the victory by the son of Gormley was no fluke and like our top pick has every reason to enjoy today’s extra half-furlong. Preference on top goes to Wit, but we’ll have tickets including both in our rolling exotics.RACE 11: Post: 6:10 ET Grade: B-Use: 4-Ghost Giant; 6-Cold Hard Cash; 12-KlickitatForecast: This first-level allowance inner turf miler for New York-bred older horses drew a full field and is a messy affair with several possibilities. Ghost Giant has been claimed in his last three starts and today goes for the R. Atras barn (a sensational 32% with this angle), so we expect the veteran gelding to run at least as good if not better than his recent form, which is pretty good to begin win. Freshened since early July but protected off the bench in a sign of confidence, the son of Frost Giant shows a prior win over the Saratoga lawn, switches to one of the barn’s go-to riders R. Santana, Jr. and projects to settle into a good second flight, stalking position and then have dead aim from the quarter pole home. At 8-1 on the morning line he’s as good as any and better than most. Cold Hard Cash us another thoroughly consistent performer (first or second in nine of 16 career outings) with solid speed figures for the level reunited with “win rider” J. Velasquez. Klickitat actually defeated the two other main contenders two races back and is a solid threat once again, though his extreme outside 12-position is less than ideal.RACE 12: Post: 6:42 PT Grade: C+Use: 4-Stella Mars; 5-Norman Queen; 6-New York Supreme; 7-Black PandaForecast: The season’s finale is a maiden claiming turf sprint for New York-bred fillies and mares. Norman Queen is a first-timer for the W. Ward barn that doesn’t have a whole lot to beat, so for a trainer that hits at 32% with his debut runners and showing a bullet half mile gate drill (:47 3/5, fastest of 34) she may have found a proper spot at 3-1 on the morning line. Black Panda, away since March but returning as a first-time Lasix user, showed some early speed in a pair of races at Aqueduct and could easily be a better type this time around for a low profile outfit. She recorded a couple of bullet drills at Keeneland before vanning to the Spa, so we doubt she’s here to be given a race. Stella Mars finished second in her last two starts when facing similar foes and won’t have to improve much to win, while New York Supreme earned a career top figure despite a less-than-ideal trip over this course and distance last time out and may be most effective if held up early and allowed to finish down the lane.

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9.6.2021:

Jerry Shottenkirk: My All American Futurity plays | Monday, September 6

The All American Futurity and Labor Day have been hand and glove for decades, and the eyes of racing (and players) will be on Ruidoso Downs, N.M. at 7:15 p.m. ET. (11th race).Jess Savin Candy is the 7-5 favorite going into the 440-yard race based on his sparkling 4-of-5 record. After running second in his debut, the Oklahoma-bred Jess Savin Candy gelding’s record is blemish free. He won the Ruidoso Futurity and Rainbow Futurity, and the All American would give him Quarter Horse Racing’s Triple Crown.Jess Savin Candy will be handled again by jockey Francisco Calderon and qualified with a rapid trial win in 21.19 seconds.It often pays to be upset-minded when approaching the All American, and that’s what I’m doing here.The outside posts at Ruidoso Downs often are way to go, and Kj Desparado can be a big player coming out of the No. 9 hole, and the Arizona-bred Apollitical Jess gelding (6-1) is getting good at the right time for trainer Wesley Giles. He won trials for the two major futurities over this strip but had troubled strips in the finals. He took his trial for this in 21.45 seconds and reported home by three lengths – a terrific margin of victory in the Quarter Horse world. Adrian Ramos has been aboard all three of his wins and returns for this. Here’s a look at the combatants, following by suggested plays:Favorite Blues Man (30-1): Has taken two of three, including a strong score in his trial. Would need to show considerable improvement.Fdd Scout (3-1): Had powerful performances with four wins in five starts, and his only loss occurred in the Rainbow Futurity, when he made some early contact. His trial win was powerful, and another sharp effort puts him right there with any.Jess Dealin (30-1): Broke her maiden in her trial after being soundly outrun in her first two. Would need a lot of things to happen here.Jess Dream of Me (20-1): Won her last two and her qualifying run was his first in the three major races at Ruidoso.El Painted Eagle (15-1): Comes off his best effort when third behind Jess Savin Candy, even though he won two earlier. Would need some subpar performances by the major players.Press Is My Hero (8-1): Doesn’t have the credentials of some here, but he’s shown he’s capable of a big effort and has taken a liking to Ruidoso with a win and second in his last two. Playable in the exotics.Jess Savin Candy (7-5): Difficult not to embrace this one. After losing his debut by a head, he’s reeled off four straight and was fastest of them all in the trials. A win gives him a Ruidoso Downs Triple Crown after taking the Ruidoso and Rainbow.Sippin Hayden (8-1): Has a couple of impressive races but would have to run well beyond what he has here. Might battle it out for the minors.Kj Desparado (6-1): Just a whirlwind when he does everything right. Won his trial by three and probably couldn’t gone faster had he been pushed by other rivals. He qualifies for everything but is yet to put together a top effort in finals. That could change in this one.Kat Eye Kylie (10-1): Has taken two of three and his only appearance at resulted in a 1.5-length trial win. Could be overlooked. HOW TO PLAY IT ($100 total): $40 to win on Kj Desparado; $20 exacta box Kj Desparado and Jess Savin Candy; $5 exacta boxes Kj Desparado and Kat Eye Kylie; Kj Desparado and Press Is My Hero.

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9.5.2021:

Al Cimaglia: NFLD Super Night All-Stakes Pick 5 Analysis | Sunday, September 5

It is Super Night at Northfield Park with eight Ohio Sires Stakes Finals to be decided and each has a $300,000 purse. The $1.00 All-Stakes Pick 5 starts in Race 6. The sequence will have a $20,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 62-Summer Touch (5/2)-Went a 56.1 back half at ScD in last but still missed catching #6 who raced a big mile from post 8. This time the trip should be much different. Could get the pocket behind the chalk and take a big shot down the lane.3-Smothastenesewisky (8/5)-Doesn't need to lead from the start to finish to win but will likely gun for the top. This colt has won 5 of 6 at NFLD and has held its own versus older Open company. Won't offer any value but best to respect.6-Dragons Lucky Lady (8-1)-Has raced only once here finishing 2nd but has been on fire at ScD, winning 5 of 8 and came 2nd twice. This horse grinds, the post draw shouldn't hinder him badly as long the pace is hot and that should be the case.Race 71-Gabbys C Note-As long as the trip is decent, and Gabby minds her manners she should be the winner. This Beaver trainee appears to be at another level. There probably isn't anyone else in the field that could lead from start to finish and trot in 156.0 or faster.Race 81-Cape Cod Hanover (2-1)-Beat #2 last time with some good gate speed to get control and she didn't have a post edge. Page usually steers but he drives the 9/5 morning line favorite #8. Looking to beat the chalk in this leg and David Miller knows how to win this type of race.2-Hotshot Temptress (9/2)-This filly is no slouch and should be forwardly placed throughout. Using and counting on Merriman to keep her in play at a solid price.4-Dragon Lady (7-1)-Taking a swing with this price shot and she might have enough gate speed to get the top in front of stable mate #1 and then yield for a pocket ride. My guess is the 7-1 morning line might end up being low and is worth a play. Using instead of Sea Silk, who doesn't appear to have the gate speed to get a smooth trip. If she beats me from the far outside with this much speed on the rail, so be it.Race 91-Caviar Gold (5/2)-Here's another Beaver pupil that draws the rail, has the gate speed to get the top and not look back. This is not an automatic picture but figures the be a main player.2-Chulo (9-1)-Engblom trainee broke in last at 1/5. That's the 1st miscue in 6 starts and was the 1st race at NFLD. The price is right and Gingras will most likely do what he does and that is gun for the top. Price play might have enough gate speed to get the point and surprise.7-Gabbys Bit Coin (3-1)-Just missed in last at ScD after working to get the lead and suffered the 1st loss in 4 starts. This is another Beaver pupil with a chance at the top check. The post is an issue but will help the price. This freshman is handy and Wrenn could provide a sharp steer.Race 102-Charlie May (3/5)-Charlie has turned into a prime-time player and then some. If not for a DQ in the Med Pace he would have booked over $750,000 in earnings this year. Many will single with Chewbacca drawing to the outside. The one consideration to not do so is this colt doesn't have explosive gate speed but is so powerful it usually doesn't matter on the smaller ovals. Winner of 3 in 4 tries here is the main player but my guess is #8 has the lead around the opening turn.8-Heart of Chewbacca (8-1)-Really has no choice but to blast out and hope to secure the point without using up too much gas. Then the next part of the winning formula is to hope Charlie doesn't get a smooth trip. Using and relying on some "hope" for more juice in the Pick 5 payout.My Ticket Race 6) 2,3,6 Race 7) 1 Race 8) 1,2,4 Race 9) 1,2,7 Race 10) 2,8Total Ticket Cost) $54 for $1.00Check me out on Twitter!

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9.5.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Sunday, September 5

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: 1:30 PT Grade: BUse: 4-Head for Business; 5-Wearenotbadpeople; 7-Irrestibly SexyForecast: Wearenotbadpeople may have been a tad short when flashing good speed from his rail draw and then staying on well to be second in a state-bred maiden-special-weight sprint last month. An also-eligible scratch from a straight maiden turf dash two weeks later, the R. Hanson-trained gelding shows up in a maiden $50,000 seller today while making a significant jockey switch to E. Maldonado, so at this slightly shorter trip we’re expecting the son of Clubhouse Ride to be step forward and graduate at or near his morning line of 5/2. For protection, you may want to toss in on a backup ticket Head for Business and Irresistibly Sexy, the two-three finishers in a maiden $20,000 affair last month. The former pressed the pace and hung on for second in a good effort while earning a career top speed figure while the latter, making his racing debut, was very sluggish to be far back early but took hold late and made up a considerable amount of ground through the lane, though it may have been an optical illusion-type late kick.RACE 2: Post: 1:59 PT Grade: BUse: 4-Civil Suit; 5-V BucksForecast: V Bucks was a voided claim for $40,000 vs. straight 3-year-olds when a good runner-up while more than four lengths clear of the rest in late July and returns for P. Miller in a maiden $25,000 affair that is well within her range, assuming she’s healthy enough to fire her best shot. Today restricted (nw-2) affair is open to older fillies and mares but is a considerably softer spot, so at 5/2 on the morning line the daughter of California Chrome may offer a bit of value at or near that price. Civil Suit, a $25,000 J. Wong claim (a massive 34% with this angle), seems likely to improve for her new barn in what will be her third start in her current form cycle. She’s not as fast on speed figures as out top pick but the lightly-raced Lucky Pulpit mare has room to improve and will be tough if V Bucks doesn’t show up with best stuff.RACE 3: Post: 2:29 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Granola Girl; 7-Vulin; 10-WickedForecast: Maiden juvenile fillies meet over a mile on grass in a race in which tea leaves might be as helpful at the past performance charts. R. Baltas has pair of interesting first-timers, both bred for grass and both entering the fray with workouts from San Luis Rey Downs. Of the two, Granola Girl, a $70,000 OBS purchase in April, shows the quicker drills and has the benefit of the rail post. But Vulin, a $165,000 Keeneland yearling by Kitten’s Joy, attracts F. Prat, so maybe she’s the better of the two. No matter, both have credentials to run very well in a race full of question marks, so both should be included in rolling exotic play. Wicked must leave from the extreme outside post position but has a few fast workouts on her resume that catch the eye. On video, the R. Mandella-trained filly looks nothing more than just okay, but she might be a whole lot more comfortable on grass, something that could be said for many of these. We’ll use the three listed above in our rolling exotics, but the best advice is to tread lightly.RACE 4: Post: 3:02 PT Grade: C+Use: 4-Til I Found You; 7-Liv and Let Liv; 9-Jasmine ChieftainForecast: Low-level ($16,000) claiming 3-year-old fillies sprint five and one-half furlongs in a race that looks a bit treacherous on paper. We’ll go three-deep and hope to get by. Til I Found You was a voided claim for $50,000 in late July and today shows up near the bottom, so her physical condition is suspect. However, the J. Wong-trained filly is more than quick enough to outrun this field if she has at least one good one left, and the break in the weights with the shift to bug girl E. Ellingwood may make the winning difference. Liv and Let Liv drops below her claim level for the first time since last November and if she can reproduce her spring form the J. Hollendorfer-trained filly will be the one to fear most. Like the rest of these, the daughter of Khozan may have issues, so which version of her we see today is anybody’s guess. Jasmine Chieftain, another class dropper, has back speed figures that are better than par for this level and against this group she should draft into a good stalking position and then have her chance from the quarter pole home. At 6-1 on the morning line, she’s worth tossing in.RACE 5: Post: 3:35 PT Grade: C+Use: 2-Over Attracted; 4-Trouville; 5-Freedom Lass; 8-DramatizerForecast: Here’s another wide open grass grab bag requiring considerable coverage in rolling exotic play. Dramatizer hasn’t run badly in much tougher local races since arriving from the Midwest, and today’s starter’s allowance looks made to order for the daughter of Exaggerator. She makes a positive jockey switch to U. Rispoli and should have a sufficient closing kick to tag the leaders in the final furlong. Over Attracted won a restricted (nw-2) $32,000 turf claimer here in late July and today is protected on the raise for new trainer M. Maker. On pure numbers she’s right there with the rest of these and from her favorable inside draw she projects to enjoy an ideal second flight, ground-saving journey under good grass rider J. Bravo. Freedom Lass has a prior win over the local lawn and will thoroughly enjoy the switch back to grass. The M. Puype-trained filly should be forwardly placed – perhaps even on the lead – and at 6-1 on the morning line will offer a bit of wagering value in both the horizonal and vertical exotics. Trouville, runner-up in her last pair, has always preferred to run second or third (12 times) rather than win (twice) but with F. Prat riding her back the daughter of Will Take Charge should at least get a piece of it.RACE 6: Post: 4:07 PT Grade: B+Use: 3-Real Fire; 4-I Got a GalForecast: I Got a Gal acts like an exceptional prospect and should be plenty fit to fire a big shot first crack out of the box for P. Eurton. The daughter of Pioneerof the Nile brought $150,000 at the OBS June sale and has trained like she’s worth all of that and then some, so at 2-1 on the morning line she’s an open secret and a logical top pick. Her dam is a half-sister to Del Mar Oaks-G1 winner Dream Dancing, and her third dam is Breeders’ Cup Distaff-H1 winner Beautiful Pleasure but based on her local drills she has enough speed to be effective sprinting, though we expect her to be rallying from off the pace. Real Fire has trained like a quick sort for J. Sadler and is the one to fear most. The daughter of Street Boss was acquired for $360,000 at the OBS April sale after being very impressive in the preview session when breezing a furlong in :10 flat. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with the main push going to I Got a Gal.RACE 7: Post: 4:37 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Fearless Gal; 2-Ultimate Hy; 6-Miss Costa RicaForecast: Fearless Gal was a useful handicapper in Ireland before being purchased by West Coast interests and turned over the P. D’Amato, who has done so well with these relatively inexpensive European imports and in some cases turned them into stakes performers. This Irish-bred filly was a winner overseas in June, adds Lasix, and could easily pick up where she left off in this first-level allowance turf miler. She’ll likely settle somewhere in mid-pack while saving ground from the rail and then have dead aim and every chance from the quarter pole home. Ultimate Hy is lightly-raced, nicely drawn, a fit on speed figures and reunited with “win rider” U. Rispoli. The B. Heap-trained filly is listed at 6-1 on the morning line and is dangerous at that price. Miss Costa Rica, in her second start off a layoff, is likely to produce a forward move after an even fifth vs. similar over this course and distance last month. The R. Baltas-trained filly has a prior win over the local lawn and enough early speed to gain a favorable early position. The switch to F. Prat won’t hurt, either.RACE 8: Post: 5:07 PT Grade: XSingle: 8-FlightlineForecast: Flightline towers over this field – he might tower over any field – and after registering a Grade-1 type speed figure in his maiden romp by more than 13 lengths at Santa Anita in April the J. Sadler-trained colt finally makes it back to the races in this first-level allowance sprint. And not that he needed the help, but the son of Tapit will leave from a cozy outside post that will allow F. Prat to dictate the race flow. At 4/5 on the morning line and likely to go even shorter than that, he’s a no-value rolling exotic single on his way to much bigger and better things.RACE 9: Post: 5:37 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Dolly May; 7-Into Touring; 11-Helens WellForecast: This year’s renewal of the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf is sprinkled with the usual recent maiden winners and fresh-off-the-plane European imports. Trainer P. D’Amato has two major players, both from Ireland. Helens Well was fourth in her debut in Ireland in May and then, in her U.S. debut, a very impressive winner over this course and distance, overcoming a poor start to graduate like a filly with stakes potential. The far outside draw does her no favors but if she can drop over and get some cover, she’ll be the one to reckon with in the final quarter of a mile. Her stable mate, Dolly May, was a visually pleasing winner of her first start at Limerick in Ireland. She was 33-1 in victory, but the win was anything but a fluke, and we suspect the daughter of Outstrip will be highly-competitive in this event. She’s listed at 10-1 on the morning line and at that price is a “must use.” Into Touring, a clever maiden winner under these conditions in her second career start, produced a good late turn of foot to gain the victory, and though her number wasn’t great the M. Casse-trained filly has every right to continue her improving pattern.RACE 10: Post: 6:07 PT Grade: B+Use: 2-Eda; 3-Elm DriveForecast: Elm Drive and Eda finished one-two in the Sorrento S.-G2 here last month and it will not be surprising if the result of this year’s Del Mar Debutante-G1 winds up the same. Both are exceptional prospects and very fast on speed figures, and both should appreciate today’s extended sprint distance. Elm Drive actually improved her Beyer speed figure by 19 points in winning the Sorrento in brave fashion while taking Eda’s best punch, and since then the daughter of Mohaymen has looked spectacular in the morning. Eda improved her speed figure by 21 points between her maiden race and her outstanding effort in the Sorrento, and she, too, has trained since that race for B. Baffert like a filly could take another step forward. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Elm Drive on top.RACE 11: Post: 6:37 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Big Coupe; 9-TalklessworkmoreForecast: Big Coupe was an unlucky loser when second while two lengths clear of the rest in a similar maiden state-bred middle distance turf event here last month. Wide without cover every step of the way, the son of Lakerville hit the front in mid-stretch but couldn’t hang on while earning a career top number, one that should be good enough to handle this field. He’s nicely drawn inside and retains F. Prat. At a big price we’ll also include Talklessworkmore. The lightly-raced Summer Front gelding was off slowly, fanned very wide when trying to rally on the far turn and then lost some of his punch late when ninth, but beaten only five lengths in just his second career start in late July. He’s adding blinkers and switching to D. Van Dyke, so at 15-1 on the morning line he offers a legitimate price chance.

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9.5.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Sunday, September 5

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: 12:35 ET Grade: A-Single: 7-Hope Over FearForecast: Hope Over Fear was sent long on the lawn in her first career outing and wasn’t quite fit enough to get the trip, as she established the pace but weakened close home to wind up fourth in a race that we suspect will do her a world of good. The daughter of Cupid backs up to seven furlongs, switches to the main track, catches a below par field for the level and has trained superbly since her debut to indicate a significant forward move is highly likely. At 4-1 on the morning line, the W. Mott-trained filly is a strong win play and rolling exotic single.RACE 2: Post: 1:10 ET Grade: B-Use: 5-Madam Maclean; 6-Little Dutch GirlForecast: This restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claiming turf sprint for fillies and mares has several possibilities but we’ll try to survive and advance using just two. Madam Maclean shows up in a seller for the first time and in this easier assignment could get back on the winning track. Sparingly raced, she earned a career top speed figure when a close seventh (beaten two lengths) over this course and distance last month when facing a much stronger first-level allowance field, and if she can run back to that race against this group the P. Reynolds-trained daughter of Maclean’s Music may be hard to beat. Little Dutch Girl was third in a similar affair under these conditions last month, rallying outside and finishing with interest to be beaten just a length while improving her Beyer speed figure by 13 points. With another forward move today, the C. Clement-trained filly will be right there.RACE 3: Post: 1:43 ET Grade: XSingle: 7-Coalition BuildingForecast: Coalition Building is hard to trust, no matter how dominant she may appear in this soft maiden $40,000 claiming turf router for older fillies and mares. She’s been beaten as the favorite in five straight races and her numbers have stagnated, yet this is the cheapest she’s ever run for and the competition is so modest that she’s sure to be a short price yet again. We’ll put her on top by default but if there ever was a race to completely avoid, this is it.RACE 4: Post: 2:16 ET Grade: B-Use: 1-Spin a Yarn; 5-Lady TravelerForecast: Spin A Yarn, a winner of seven of nine career starts and making her first start since a facile score at Finger Lakes in June, tackles open company today and gets Lasix for the first time. Her impressive resume notwithstanding, the daughter of Forty Tales isn’t particularly fast on speed figures so this tougher assignment on the Big Circuit vs. open company surely will test her. From the rail she has only one way to go and that’s on the front end for as long as she can stay there. Lady Traveler, the 5/2 morning line favorite, has been freshened since mid-May when she cut out the fractions before weakening late in the nine-furlong Black-Eyed Susan S.-G2 at Pimlico. She can sprint, too, but most likely will be doing her best work from off the pace. The D. Romans-trained filly also has worked like she’s plenty fit. We’ll give Spin a Yarn a very slight edge on top but use both in our rolling exotics.RACE 5: Post: 2:47 ET Grade: C+Use: 1-Milestone Payment/1aParty Line Vote; 5-Imwaytoocoolforyou; 8-Thisladyis the LawForecast: Maiden $40,000 claiming older fillies and mares sprint on grass in an open fray requiring a spread in rolling exotic play. Milestone Payment shows up in a seller for the first time after flashing speed but weakening to be third in a dirt sprint at Monmouth Park last month. This is a group she should be able to outrun from start to finish. Her entry mate, Party Line Vote, cost $180,000 as a weanling but is debuting for a tag, so clearly her connections aren’t high on her, but the barn does have a spectacular record with first-time starters (26% with a huge ROI) so she may provide a little insurance to those inclined to zero in on the 7/5 morning line favorite. Imwaytoocoolforyou, another invader from Monmouth Park, finished third in her last pair while showing good speed and then weakening late. Her last two races were washed off the grass; maybe today she’ll finally get a chance to show what she can do on the sod. Thisladyis the Law, a $30,000 L. Rice claim at Belmont Park in early July, shows a bullet five furlong workout (1:01.1b) last week to indicate she’s fit for her return, and she does have a grass sprint number (her first race) that makes her reasonably dangerous.RACE 6: Post: 3:22 ET Grade: C+Use: 5-Actuary; 8-Clever Fellow; 10-Risk Manager; 11-Carribbean GoldForecast: Here’s a messy middle distance turf event with a full field featuring restricted (nw-2) $40,000 older claimers. Risk Manager drops below his claim level in his second start after being haltered by D. Gargan, who plays the claiming game very aggressively and may have this Lookin At Luck colt well-spotted for a major effort. Sixth but beaten just over two lengths in a tougher starter’s allowance even when victimized by an unfavorable race flow, the lightly-raced 3-year-old has rising speed figures and an easy breeze since raced. With a decent early pace and room to rally when called upon, he could spring a minor surprise at 5-1 on the morning line. Clever Fellow just won a maiden $40,000 event over this course and distance in decent style while earning a number that makes him competitive right back. The I. Ortiz, Jr.,/C. Brown team always has to be respected so if this gelding improves just a little bit he’ll be right there. Caribbean Gold wired a maiden $40,000 field in late July, quickly establishing the pace and then proving uncatchable while earning a career top mark. It would seem that he’s a need-the-lead type, so front-running tactics surely will be employed again in a race that may not have all that much early speed in it. Actuary drops into a claimer, shortens from a mini-marathon and has as right to improve in just his third start since being imported from Ireland. If he can be competitive on this circuit, this would be a good place to show it.RACE 7: Post: 3:53 ET Grade: XSingle: 2-Classy EditionForecast: Classy Edition is listed as the 9/5 morning line favorite in the New York-bred juvenile sprint for fillies. Based on the way she’s trained the daughter of Classic Empire will go off a lot shorter than that. Purchase for $550,00 at the Timonium 2-year-old in training sale in May, the half sister to the multiple New York-bred stakes winner Newly Minted breezed a furlong in :10 flat during the preview session and looked spectacular in doing so, and her local works since joining the main T. Pletcher string have been equally impressive. She should put on an exhibition as an obvious short-priced rolling exotic single.RACE 8: Post: 4:27 ET Grade: B+Single: 3-Jester Calls NojoyForecast: Jester Calls Nojoy was extremely well-meant in her debut but came up a tad short when worn down close home while more than four lengths clear of the rest. Her speed figure came up pretty good, so with that race behind her the daughter of Maclean’s Music should be fitter and tougher today in this seven furlong maiden special weight sprint for juvenile fillies. The newcomers seem ordinary so let’s make this T. Pletcher a win play and rolling exotic single.RACE 9: Post: 5:01 ET Grade: B-Use: 1-Command Point; 2-Baseline Drive; 10-Claddagh’s RunForecast>: This starter’s allowance turf miler for fillies and mares contains several committed front-running types, so the early pace figures to be fast and contested and the closers should have every chance from the quarter pole home. Chicago invader Command Point, now in the G. Weaver barn, is lightly-raced and improving, most recently finishing a solid third in a first-level allowance turf miler that produced a career top speed figure. She picks up I. Ortiz, Jr. and could tag the speed at a decent price with good racing luck. Baseline Drive, a Gulfstream Park invader making her first start since mid-June, is another with numbers that put her in the thick of things. She can settle somewhere in the second flight and then kick home when set down. Claddagh’s Run is listed at 20-1 on the morning line and seems better than that. Fifth vs. similar following a three month vacation, the “other” G. Weaver-trained mare has been first or second in eight of 13 career outings and has the proper late-running style that should be complimented by the projected race flow. With good racing luck she should be heard from in the final furlong.RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: BUse: 2-Mystic Night; 8-First Constitution; 9-SuperfectoForecast: First Constitution, a Grade-1 winner of three of four starts in his native Chile, makes his U.S. debut in this second-level allowance nine furlong main track event following a series of good works that should have him fit enough. Bred on southern hemisphere time and therefore not quite actually four years old, the son of Constitution recently worked stride-for-stride with Happy Saver while displaying good early speed, so we suspect he’ll be forwardly placed throughout and have every chance to make his mark in his first start since last December. I. Ortiz, Jr. picks up the call on the T. Pletcher-trained colt, who is listed at 5-1 on the morning line and may be a gamble at that price. Mystic Night, freshened since May, is quite strong in the speed figure department, though he’s been sparingly raced with just three well-spaced appearances in 2021. Recent works indicate he’s fit, so he must be considered a major player. Superfecto makes this third start in his current form cycle, and it should be his best effort. With rising numbers and good pace-forcing style, the R. Nicks-trained colt switches to L. Saez and is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.RACE 11: Post: 6:11 ET Grade: BUse: 2-Girl With a Dream; 3-Echo Zulu; 5-Pretty BirdieForecast: This year’s Spinaway S.-G1 is a legit race for a Grade One, with several highly-talented fillies stretching out to seven furlongs for the first time. Echo Zulu earned a giant speed figure in her debut in mid-July when easily disposing of maidens by more than five lengths while drawing away with complete authority in the final furlong. The daughter of Gun Runner should get nothing but better as the distances increase, and recent workouts indicate she’s better now than she was prior to her first start. Pretty Birdie is unbeaten in two starts and already is graded stakes winner, having captured the Schuylerville S.-G3 over the Saratoga main track in gate-to-wire fashion in mid-July. She’s probably the best of the speed types but should be under pressure most of the way. The good news is that her pedigree suggests she should easily handle more distance. Girl With a Dream graduated at first asking at Ellis Park in July while drawing away late as much best. She’s pretty fast on numbers, though well short of the best figure earned by Echo Zulu. The daughter of Practical Joke should be ideally suited for this extended sprint trip, so at 6-1 on the morning line she’s worth including in your exotics.RACE 12: Post: 6:46 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Veterans Beach; 4-Dr. Blute; 6-King AngeloForecast: The nightcap is a turf sprint New York-bred first-level allowance older horses. Veterans Beach, freshened since mid-June and a prior turf sprint winner at Saratoga, lands the rail, gets I. Ortiz, Jr., and shows a steady series of local drills that should have him fit to fire a big shot off the bench. The son of Big Brown has only started three times in the past 20 months but remains protected in a sign of confidence from trainer C. Clement after earning a career top speed figure when second in a similar affair at Belmont Park last time out. King Angelo looked pretty good breaking his maiden vs. state-bred foes here last month while earning a number that makes him a major player right back. L. Saez will have him on or near the lead throughout. Dr. Blute, a close third at this level over this course and distance last month, has gradually rising speed figures but still needs another bit of improvement to defeat a field off this quality. The Not This Time gelding should be doing his best work late.

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9.4.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Woodbine Mohawk Park Late Pick 5 Analysis | Saturday, September 4

Tonight, is a huge night of racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park. My focus will be on the 0.20 Late Pick 5. The sequence encompasses the eliminations for the North America Cup and the Fan Hanover, the Maple Leaf Trot, and the Canadian Pacing Derby.Don't forget about the Xpressbet/1st Bet promo on the Maple Leaf Trot and the North America Cup for those who register. Get up to $10 back on win bets which finish 2nd or 3rd in those races.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 6-North America Cup Elimination1-Southwind Gendry (6-1)-This Burke trainee has struggled quite a bit compared to last year when he bagged 10 wins in 13 starts. This year 3 pictures in 9 races, now returns to a big oval and should offer a solid price. Could be dialed on high to not only qualify but to win and get back on track.3-Bulldog Hanover (8/5)-This 3-year-old is at the head of class in Canada and could win for the 6th time in 8 starts. In 11 starts at Wbsb has notched 9 wins but this is a tough crew. Deserves respect, so will use and hope for others at a better price.4-Lawless Shadow (5/2)-Has hit the board in 9 of 10 starts this year and has only missed the ticket twice in 13 races here. Mark Mac steers and he knows well. Should be forwardly placed from the start and will be stalking #3 as they turn for the wire.6-Rockyroad Hanover (9/2)-Alagna trainee comes off a dull effort at PcD. The trip wasn't great, and that line may help the price tonight. This colt shouldn't be overlooked. The fractions should be hot, and this boy could fly down the long stretch.Race 7-North America Cup Elimination3-Abuckabett Hanover (7/2)-Broke in its last start at PcD in the Hempt but is back at a track that has been friendly. Winner in 3 of 4 starts at Wbsb and should be looking to put in a determined effort as recent form has fallen off.6-Perfect Sting (8/5)-Looks like the best with a top performance but hasn't been able to seal the deal in the last 2 starts. Could be bet down and not sure how much a win here will matter. Might be saving the best try for next week.8-Whichwaytothebeach (3-1)-Pelling trainee has been impressive this year winning 7 of 10 on small and larger ovals. Not sure if this gelding will be dialed on high, that's why elimination races are tough to handicap. But the post will help the price, and has been in fine form not finishing worse than 2nd in 2021.Race 8-Maple Leaf Trot3-Atlanta (3-1)-This looks like it will boil down to the 2 champs if they get a fair trip. This gal can get a pocket ride behind #7 and look to roll by down the lane.7-Manchego (5/2)-Dunn should have the gas pedal down from the word go and look to control the race. That's not hard to imagine and what makes this mare so special is she never seems to lose a close photo.Race 9-Fan Hanover Elimination2-Scarlett Hanover (3-1)-Hensley trainee gets the services of David Miller and that could help chances for a picture. Should be on the point or in the pocket behind #4 all the way around.4-Hot Mess Express (8/5)-This is one tough filly and will be making its Wbsb debut. Does its best work on larger ovals and will likely be on the engine looking to make every call a winning one.Race 10-Canadian Pacing Derby2-Tattoo Artist (9/2)-Local hopeful is in sharp form and can leave as fast as the gate car. There is no mystery here, will be on the point and if McClure can get a breather for one quarter it could be picture time.7-Allywag Hanover (5/2)-Pelling 4-year-old has been basically good for the entire year. Can win either way, stalking or on the lead and is the one to beat.My Ticket Race 6) 1,3,4,6 Race 7) 3,6,8 Race 8) 3,7 Race 9) 2,4 Race 10) 2,7Total Ticket Cost) $19.20 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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9.4.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Saturday, September 4

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: 1:30 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Vetoed; 6-Encroachment; 9-SumoForecast: Sumo and Vetoed, a pair of well-regarded older maidens, should get the bulk of the play in this six-furlong sprint and both have a right to run extremely well. Vetoed has the benefit of a prior run, a third-place finish as the odds-on favorite at Los Alamitos in June but seems certain to come on from that outing for a barn that hits at a terrific 28% with second time starters. In defeat, the 4-year-old gelding by Bayern earned a strong speed figure, so with a forward move today he’ll certainly be in the picture. Sumo brought $700,000 at the OBS March sale last year but has had his issues and finally makes it to the post in the late summer of his 3-year-old season. The tall, scopey son of Not This Time sports a series of fast team works that strongly indicate he has the raw talent to beat a field of this quality; the main concern is how quick he’ll be leaving the gate. Encroachment has been burning up the track leading to his long-awaited debut for R. Hanson and is a “must use” on your ticket. Late to the party at age four but training like a gelding who can win right now, the son of Uncle Mo blew out in 46 flat from the gate last week to appear spot on for a major effort. All three should be included in rolling exotic play; the best price on the morning line at 6-1 is Encroachment, so let’s give him the edge on top.RACE 2: Post: 2:00 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Barristan The Bold; 6-Fly to Mars; 8-Irish HeatwaveForecast: Barristan the Bold was victimized by one of the worst trips of the season when finishing third, beaten less than a length, in a five-furlong grass dash for this $32,000 tag last month. Claimed by R. Hanson and wheeled back at the same level but this time over a distance of ground, the English-bred gelding retains J. Hernandez, who will hopefully find clear sailing this time when launching his best bid at the head of the lane. Though we suspect this gelding might prefer one turn, he’s in sharp enough form to win over a distance of ground with good racing luck. Fly to Mars, a voided claim for $20,000 in late May, returns on the raise for P. Miller while retaining F. Prat, so we’ll assume he’s sound and healthy and ready to resume his highly-productive racing career. A two-time winner over the Del Mar turf course, the 7-year-old gelding should draft into a comfortable pace-stalking position and then have every chance from the quarter pole home. Irish Heatwave moves up a notch in his first start off a claim by M. Maker. A good runner-up vs. $25,000 foes over the local lawn last time out despite getting rank and pulling hard early, the former stakes winner switches to U. Rispoli and will be especially dangerous if he’s able to secure his favorite roll as the controlling speed. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with Barristan The Bold, listed at 4-1 on the morning line, the top selection.RACE 3: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B+Use: 3-Took Charge; 4-Augusta MelodyForecast: Took Charge returned off a 12-week vacation in his first outing since being claimed by R. Baltas and earned a career top speed figure when an excellent runner-up while nearly seven lengths clear of the rest in a similar starter allowance sprint here last month. Switching to F. Prat, the son of Take Charge Indy projects as the controlling speed in this six and one-half furlong dash, and with two easy workouts since raced he appears set to verify his 8/5 morning line favorite’s role. For protection, you may want to include the Eastern invader Augusta Melody on a backup ticket. The Speightstown gelding has numbers that fit, shows a bullet half mile workout (4f, :47.1h, fastest of 35) last week for new trainer T. Yakteen and certainly will be well-meant seeking his share of the lucrative ship-and-win bonus money.RACE 4: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: C+Use: 5-K P Silver Bullet; 8-Cant Stop This Man; 10-Harbor SkyForecast: Here’s a messy affair for bottom-rung maiden $20,000 older horses. We’ll try to get by using just three, but if you feel the need to spread deeper, go for it. Cant Stop This Man returns to his claim level and returns to the main track, so the P. D’Amato-trained gelding could improve a bunch in what will be just his fourth career starts. He’s flashed enough speed sprinting to expect he’ll be prominent throughout at this one-mile trip, and with a steady series of three workouts since raced the son of Can The Man looks healthy and fit. The switch to hot riding A. Cedillo is another plus. Harbor Sky has the always important class drop from straight maiden to maiden claiming and therefore can be expected to improve considerably against this softer company. The extreme outside draw does him no favors. but the S. McCarthy-trained gelding should be a late threat in his first try on dirt (bred for it) and is another with a nice recent series of workouts to have him ready for a forward move. K P Silver Bullet, a voided claim last month, drops in class, switches to the barn’s “go to” rider T. Pereira, and could be dangerous from off the pace in his first try around two turns. He’s 6-1 on the morning line and could go a bit higher, so toss him in somewhere.RACE 5: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: BUse: 5-Queen Goddess; 6-Fi Fi Pharoah; 8-MorazForecast: Queen Goddess finished a willing runner-up in her debut in mid-July and then, as expected, produced a forward move to graduate in her next start over this course and distance in clever fashion, stalking slow fractions before kicking clear when ready like a filly who can win again. “Again” is this first-level allowance affair for 3-year-old fillies, and with J. Hernandez riding her back and at 7/2 on the morning line the daughter of Empire Maker should draft into an easy pace-prompting position and then kick home when given her cue. She’s clearly the top pick but there are others in the field that are worth using in rolling exotic play, at least as savers. Fi Fi Pharoah is a daughter of American Pharoah trying grass for the first time, and if she improves on the sod as many of the sire’s offspring do, she could step forward in a big way. Also worth using is Moraz, away since April but exiting a series of graded stakes races and also switching to turf for the first time. She’s a major player based on speed figures and if she’s allowed an easy trip on the front end the M. McCarthy-trained filly may prove hard to catch.RACE 6: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: XUse: 1-Zuboshi; 5-Rock N RyeForecast: Rock N Rye has won his last two with complete authority and looks for the hat trick today in another sprint stakes restricted to California-bred juveniles. The son of Stay Thirsty has a good stalking style that should have him in the right spot heading for home, and with his ability to produce a second move the W. Solis-trained colt will be difficult to contain close home. Zuboshi was impressive breaking her maiden on turf; today she tackles the boys, switches to dirt and draws the rail. She's a quality filly and is worth using on your ticket but this certainly is a tough task.RACE 7: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-La Gioiosa; 8-Sommer Daisy; 9-Floral EssenceForecast: We liked Queen Goddess to win on the raise in today’s fifth race; now let’s consider three fillies who just chased her home in this maiden turf miler for older fillies and mares. Floral Essence, in the frame in all four of her career starts and runner-up to ‘Goddess in that common race Aug 7, probably can’t beat a real good filly but it takes one to beat her. The daughter of Candy Ride has good tactical speed in a race that projects to be slowly run early, so she be in the right spot and have every chance when the pressure is turned on at the head of the lane. Sommer Daisy, a promising third in that same in her U.S. debut and her first start in nine months, has every right to step forward with U. Rispoli riding her back for P. Gallagher. She’s listed at 6-1 on the morning line and could easily be better than that. Gallagher’s other starter in race, the French-bred La Gioiosa, was group-stakes placed overseas last year but really hasn’t approached that form in three outings since arriving in California. She was sixth in that race behind Queen Goddess but beaten less than four lengths. If she would ever learn to switch off early, relax, and then produce one run she might be more competitive. So far, she simply wants to pull early and get rank during the early stages and those antics have been costing her.RACE 8: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 4-Gator Shining; 7-Diva’s FinaleForecast: Diva’s Finale looked good beating $16,000 claiming foes over a mile last month and today moves up a level while shortening to six furlongs. This may be a case of there being no other suitable race restricted to 3-year-olds in the condition book, and with this son of Munnings having winning form over the Del Mar main track trainer D. O’Neill understandably wants to give this colt another local race before the meeting concludes on Labor Day. A. Cedillo stays aboard and should have him settled into a second flight, stalking position. Gator Shining drops drastically in class, adds blinkers, and tries the main track for the first time in his ninth career start. The R. Baltas-trained gelding should be running on late. We’ll prefer Diva’s Finale on top but include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 9: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Maxim Rate; 3-Dogtag; 8-Going to VegasForecast: A strong group of fillies and mares who know each other pretty well meet again this year’s renewal of the John C. Mabee S.-G2 over nine furlongs on grass. Any one of three could win without being a surprise. Dogtag, third in all three of her 2021 outings, earned a career top speed figure when chasing home Princess Grace in the Yellow Ribbon H.-G2 last month and won’t need much more than that effort to break through with an overdue victory. She has good tactical speed, always tries hard through the lane, and should have dead aim and every chance under regular pilot U. Rispoli. Going to Vegas returned to the allowance ranks and outclasses her foes in an easy and impressive recent win over this course and distance in mid-July. She’s run well at this level in the past, switches to F. Prat, and should settle in a good stalking position outside, and proved difficult to contain if she brings her best stuff. Maxim Rate, a willing third in the Yellow Ribbon H. in her first outing since May, will be dangerous with a repeat of her sharp victory in the Gamely S.-G1 at Santa Anita in her previous start. A two-time winner over the Del Mar turf course, she’s guaranteed a ground-saving trip from her good rail post position and is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.RACE 10: Post: 6:30 PT Grade: B+Single: 10-CornicheForecast: Corniche has done everything in the morning like an outstanding 2-year-old prospect, and that’s good news for the connections who gave $1.5 million for the son of Quality Road from multiple graded stakes winner Wasted Tears at the OBS April Sale, where he previewed in :10 flat and looked terrific doing it. Drawn comfortably outside, the B. Baffert-trained colt shows a series of fast local drills that should have him cranked to the gills. He’s plenty quick but not speed crazy, so M. Smith can pop and go or stalk and pounce depending how well the colt leaves the gate. At 9/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, he’s a win play and rolling exotic single.RACE 11: Post: 7:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Hudson Ridge; 9-Zoffarelli; 13-Sword ZorroForecast: The 14-runner Del Mar Derby-G2 completes the program and it’s a grass grab bag in which racing luck may determine who among the half-dozen or so legitimate contenders take home the winner’s prize. Sword Zorro was disqualified in the La Jolla H. here last month when drifting out late but certainly ran a winning race and should enjoy today’s nine-furlong trip. He’s a stone closer and surely will need luck in navigating a clear trip but can win with clear sailing from the top of the lane to the wire. Zoffarelli was nosed out in the La Jolla but had his number put him in an impressive U.S. debut for J. Mullins. This nine-furlong distance shouldn’t bother him in the least, but he, too, will need some luck when launching his bid from off the pace. Hudson Ridge draws the golden rail and projects to enjoy an ideal ground-saving, second flight journey. He was the third head on the wire in the La Jolla and earlier this year won the Cinema S. at this mile and one-eighth distance at Santa Anita when edging Sword Zorro. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics and hope at least one of them had clear sailing and is able to reproduce their best form.

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9.4.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Saturday, September 4

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: 12:35 ET Grade: B-Use: 5-War Smoke; 8-B C Glory Days; 9-Sheriff BiancoForecast: The Saturday opener is a state-bred maiden turf sprint for older horses that looks fairly wide open. We’ll use three and hope that’s enough. War Smoke missed by a neck in a similar spot in his debut over this course and distance while producing a strong late kick after a sluggish beginning. The War Dancer colt retains I. Ortiz, Jr., and with a better break today and a clear path from the quarter pole the J. Engelhart-trained sophomore should be hard to contain close home. Sheriff Bianco has plenty of speed and seems likely to display all of it with the addition of blinkers. The W. Ward-trained colt has burned plenty of money in his five-race career but if he can shake loose early, he might get brave late. B C Glory Days , in the money in all four starts, has been freshened since April, lands L. Saez, and may a bit better type this time around. The Brody’s Cause colt should be prominent throughout and have every chance to make some noise at 8-1 on the morning line.RACE 2: Post: 1:10 ET Grade: C+Use: 2-Supreme Aura; 3-Grumps Little Tots; 4-Roaming UnionForecast: We’re not sure what to make of Supreme Aura, other than to be suspicious of the veteran gelding who was claimed for $40,000 out of a sharp muddy track win at Belmont Park in early July and today makes his first start for his new connections in a race for half that price. In the money in 15 of 23 career starts, the G. Weaver-trained son of Candy Ride clearly has problems but if he has at least one good left he’ll probably beat this field. Grumps Little Tots is another class dropper from the $50,000 ranks but in his case there’s nothing sinister; his connections are simply trying to find his proper level. The Sky Mesa gelding is a one-paced grinder and needs to be reasonably close to the early pace to have his best chance. Roaming Union won a $12,500 affair over this track and distance last month while on the pace throughout. Similar tactics will be employed today and on pure numbers the Union Rags gelding should be fairly competitive despite the class hike.RACE 3: Post: 1:43 ET Grade: B+Use: 1-North Carolina; 7-PipelineForecast: Pipeline earned a giant speed figure when narrowly missing to subsequent allowance winner Vindictive in a nine-furlong main track maiden event in late July. This turn back to seven furlongs may not be ideal, but the C. Brown-trained colt lands the cozy outside post, has worked extremely well since the race, and has every right to improve with added experience. The son of Speightstown should settle into an outside stalking position and then go on with it when ready. North Carolina had one start a year ago in June at Belmont Park and was unplaced sprinting on grass before being stopped on. He returns as a first-time gelding for new trainer B. Tagg and worked well enough a few weeks ago to earn a spot on our Clocker’s “Primed and Ready” list, so at 5-1 on the morning line he could easily be much better than shown. We’ll prefer Pipeline on top but include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 4: Post: 2:16 ET Grade: BUse: 6-Harpers in Charge; 7-Risky MischiefForecast: Risky Mischief returned off a long layoff to run very well over this course and distance last month, rallying wide and keeping to her task in the lane to wind up second by a diminishing half-length in a similar entry-level allowance event for fillies and mares. She’ll likely be closer to the pace today and if she produces any kind of forward move the daughter of Into Mischief should be along in time. Harpers in Charge has been a considerable disappointment in a pair of 2021 outings, most recently when fading readily at this level on the main track last month. At 4-1 on the morning line, the C. Clement-trained filly rates one more chance to see if can stick better on grass.RACE 5: Post: 2:47 ET Grade: BUse: 2-Edie Meeny Miny Mo; 6-Souper SensationalForecast: Maryland invader Edie Meeny Miny Mo, unbeaten in two sprints but second as the favorite when stretching out to two-turns in the Monmouth Oaks-G3 last time out, backs up to seven furlongs for this year’s renewal of the Prioress S.-G2 for sophomore fillies. She’s been burning up the track in the a.m. at Pimlico for her first start since late July, adds blinkers, and seems certain to employ gate-to-wire tactics. At 9/2 on the morning line the daughter of Upstart is highly playable. The logical top pick and one to beat is Souper Sensational, an excellent second in the Test S.-G1 over this track and distance last month. She lands the ideal outside post position for her stalking style and projects to have dead aim on our top pick when the pressure gets turned on at the head of the lane. We’ll prefer Edie Meeny Mino Mo on top but include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 6: Post: 3:22 ET Grade: B-Use: 6-Annapolis; 9-OhtwoohthreefiveForecast: Annapolis has trained like a decent sort for T. Pletcher and debuts in what appears to be a below average turf router for maiden juveniles. The son of War Front is a heavy-bodied type but should be fit enough following a string of stamina-producing team drills dating back to mid-June. The best of the known element may be Ohtwoohthreefive, a Union Rags colt with a couple of races already under his belt. In the money in both outings, the G. Weaver-trained colt might prefer patient tactics after looming a strong threat in the upper stretch but then weakening late vs. similar earlier in the meeting. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with the intriguing newcomer Annapolis the preferred top pick.RACE 7: Post: 3:53 ET Grade: B+Use: 1-Trafalgar; 4-Misbehaved; 8-GaltForecast: Galt has shown plenty of ability in the a.m. for trainer W. Mott and looks plenty fit for a major effort first crack out of the box. A full brother to the top-class filly Songbird, he has done everything asked without really being permitted to show his best speed. With J. Rosario aboard, he looks like a very live item in an open maiden juvenile sprint at seven furlongs. Trafalgar is another that has been fairly impressive in his morning trials, though as a first-time starter his rail post does him no favors. The A. Stall, Jr.-trained son of Lord Nelson appears to have plenty of speed, so if he can leave with his field he should be in the fray throughout. Misbehaved, a full sister to stakes winner Into Mystic, brought $875,000 at the OBS April Sale, where she impressed breezing a furlong in :10 flat without undue pressure. Her local works for T. Pletcher have been good as well, so she’s certain to receive plenty of action on the tote, and deservedly so. We’ll include all three in rolling exotic play with a slight edge on top to Galt.RACE 8: Post: 4:27 ET Grade: BUse: 1-Public Sector; 4-Never SurprisedForecast: Never Surprised was beaten at 30 cents on the dollar in the Kitten’s Joy S. in his last appearance in early January before being turned out. The son of Constitution won his debut so we know he can fire fresh, and while there’s nothing fancy on his recent work tab the T. Pletcher-trained colt will be tough to beat if even close to 100%. In a race that figures to produce very soft early splits, this stakes winner could find himself as the controlling speed and given that trip may prove difficult to catch. Public Sector, a winner of two of his last three starts including the recent Hall of Fame S.-G2 here last month, is a one-paced grinding type but knows where the wire is and can be counted on for a good, consistent performance. Perfect in two previous outings over the Saratoga lawn, the son of Kingman is the logical favorite and one to beat.RACE 9: Post: 5:01 ET Grade: C+Use: 1a-Cara’s Dreamer; 3-Lookin to FlyForecast: Cara’s Dreamer has just one win to go along with seven seconds and thirds so she’s not necessarily one to trust but in this modest state-bred first level allowance middle distance turf event the M. Friedman-trained filly may be as good as any. A devout closer who needs help up front to have her best chance, she was beaten a nose two runs back when earning a career top speed figure over the Saratoga lawn and then was fourth last time out when somewhat victimized by a lack of pace. We’ll also include on our ticket Lookin to Fly, successful in a maiden $40,000 grass event here last month in good style when rallying into slow fractions to win going away. The number was okay and with further improvement she should be competitive in this league. In a race in which nothing would surprise, we’ll use the two listed above in our rolling exotics but not with a great deal of confidence.RACE 10: Post: 5:37 ET Grade: B-Use: 3-Ducale; 6-Olympiad; 8-Baby YodaForecast: This highly-contentious first-level allowance sprint has several major players. We’ll go three-deep with a slight preference on top to Ducale. A recent hot maiden winner in a race that earned a stakes-quality speed figure, the son of Twirling Candy should be highly competitive right back despite the raise in class while likely employing pace-stalking tactics in this six and one-half furlong dash. Baby Yoda seeks his third win from four career starts after beating a lesser starter’s allowance field here in mid-July. The W. Mott-trained gelding isn’t quite as fast on figures as our top pick, but his numbers are strong and rapidly rising with each outing. The Prospective gelding should be prominent throughout. Mott’s other starter, the talented Speightstown colt Olympiad, hasn’t been out in exactly a year but was a pretty decent sort when last seen as a two-year-old and returns as a first-time Lasix user with a strong series of workouts to have him fit and ready.RACE 11: Post: 6:11 ET Grade: XSingle: 3-War Like GoddessForecast: War Like Goddess, a winner of five of six career starts and a proven top class marathon performer, won the Glens Falls S.-G2 here last month with complete authority, has remained razor sharp in the a.m. in the interim, and will be short price once again to extend her current winning streak to four in this year’s edition of the Flower Bowl S.-G1. She likes to lag to the far turn and then blast home, and her speed figures haven’t risen with each of his six career starts so we doubt we’ve seen the best of this late-developing filly. At 4/5 on the morning line, the W. Mott-trained filly is a logical, short-priced, rolling exotic single.RACE 12: Post: 6:46 PT Grade: B+Single: 1-Forza Di OroForecast: Forza Di Oro looked terrific winning his recent comeback against a third-level allowance field over this local main track in late July, doing so while pressing the pace throughout and then coming away when ready. His speed figures make him a solid fit in this year’s renewal of the Jockey Club Gold Cup-G1, and the mile and one-quarter trip should be well within his range in a race that projects to produce extremely soft early fractions. In a six-runner affair, the W. Mott-trained colt is the “now” horse in the race, so we’ll make him a win play and rolling exotic single at or near his 8/5 morning line.

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9.3.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Meadowlands Late Pick 4 Analysis | Friday, September 03

The Meadowlands returns to action and starts its Fall Meet tonight with a first post at 6:20 EST. The 12-race card features two-year-old trotters and pacers in Reynolds Memorial Stakes action. The 0.50 Pick 4 with a $50,000 guaranteed pool begins in Race 9. The sequence has a 15% takeout, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 93-Hamptons Babe (7/2)-Alagna pupil has been in the mix and her only start at M1 was a head turner. Stopped the clock in 151.4 with a 26.1 last quarter in her debut. Since then, has been working on smaller ovals so best to pay attention tonight.4-Reenactment (4-1)-Has hit the board in 4 of 5 starts and this Toscano trainee comes off a sharp win at Tioga. Rolled by the field with a 55.1 back half and now tries the Big M. Looks like a very nice filly and Zeron should work a good trip from this post.6-Treeacherous Dragon (3-1)-Well-bred filly comes off a win at PcD. The previous race was a 2nd place finish in 152.2 and the top finisher isn't in this field. Tetrick should have her in striking range turning for the wire.Race 103-Bounty Hunter (4-1)-Hasn't sealed the deal yet but has hit the board in 4 of 5 races with all but 1 start on a smaller oval. Appears to have the speed to compete with the two below and may use the inside post draw as the winning edge.8-Pickup Man Hanover (7/2)-Has 3 wins and 3 runner up appearances in 6 starts but did lose the only time facing #9 back on 7-24. That race was at Stga, left from post 7 and came 2nd. Showed 152.3 speed in the only M1 start to finish 2nd and the winner isn't in this field. Has a good chance to even the score with #9 and take a picture.9-Forrest Blu (3-1)-This freshmen hasn't really had a bad race. The poorest finish was at the Big M on 7-3 when he faded down the lane to finish 3rd. This will be the 8th start and only the 2nd on a larger oval. Difficult to leave off the ticket and should be in the mix but if bet down others will offer more value.Race 116-Global Daytrader S (2-1)-Ships in from Mohawk after an even effort in the Champlain on an off-track. Raced well in a Kindergarten start here and looks like a player with Tetrick back in the bike tonight.7-Simon (3-1)-Won at M1 with a sharp effort on 8-6 and hasn't raced since. Didn't show much speed in a qualifier at PHL on 8-24 and as usual Dunn steers. May try to get on the point and should be battling with the one above down the lane.Race 121-Say You Do (7/2)-This is a scattered race and not easy to read. But this 6-year-old has performed well at the Big M winning 8 of 25 starts and gets the services of Dunn. Fits with this crew, likes to race near the top of the stack and that should be the plan here.7-Finally Found Away (4-1)-Lightly raced 5-year-old made short work of the last group at Phl but most likely this won't be as easy. Showed some good speed at Wbsb back in 2019 and then was on the bench for all of last year. Engblom trainee is on the comeback trail and will respect chances for the 2nd win at M1 in 8 tries.My Ticket Race 9) 3,4,6 Race 10) 3,8,9 Race 11) 6,7 Race 12) 1,7Total Ticket Cost) $18Check me out on Twitter!

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9.3.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Friday, September 3

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: 3:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 5-French Getaway; 7-Sea of Liberty Forecast: The Friday opener is a $32,000 middle distance turf claimer for older horses that have not won a race this year. French Getaway, now in the K. Mulhall barn following a $25,000 claim when facing open company last month, moves up a notch on the class ladder but because of the restrictions of this race may actually be facing a softer assignment. His last outing was better than the line will show, as he closed with purpose into the teeth of creepy-crawler fractions to be a willing third while earning a solid speed figure. Today’s early splits project to be quicker than par, so his chances to produce a winning late bid are pretty reasonable at 6-1 on the morning line. M. Smith knows him well and stays aboard. Sea of Liberty, dropping out of a starter’s $50,000 allowance affair and switching to F. Prat, lacks tactical speed and needs help up front to have his best chance, but today he could find a race flow that favors his style. There’s plenty to dislike on pure form – for example, he’s yet to hit the board in five previous tries over the Del Mar turf course – but this is the cheapest he’s ever run so he could improve considerably. We’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play but feel free to spread deeper if you find the need. RACE 2: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Half Past Twelve; 4-Artisan Dancer; 9-I’m a Giraffe Forecast: I’m a Giraffe has the route-to-sprint angle we always like plus the return to the maiden claiming ranks and a comfortable outside draw. It’s encouraging that F. Prat stays aboard the daughter of Mucho Macho Man, who flashed good speed to the top of the lane vs. straight maidens before faltering. Against this group at this trip she should be on or near the lead throughout. Half Past Twelve displayed the kind of early speed in her two previous starts to make her dangerous at this level. She’s yet to break cleanly from the gate; with a good start today the daughter of Midnight Lute projects to be prominent at least during the early stages. Artisan Dancer has worked better than her raw times might lead you to believe and is the most dangerous of the newcomers. She’s shown some quickness from the gate for a clever trainer and gets in light, so at 6-1 on the morning she’s worth including on your ticket. RACE 3: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: C+Use: 3-After Midnight; 7-Lava Lane Forecast: Four of the eight entrants in this five furlong turf dash for state-bred fillies and mares exit the same race Aug. 12. In that affair, After Midnight led until the last jump when she was nailed right on the money by Miss Carousel; she may be facing additional early heat today but with just four career starts she probably has more improvement in her that the others, so we’ll make her a solid contender. Lava Lane, the filly that finished fifth in that race, may be more enticing. The daughter of Unusual Heat was in heavy traffic and forced to steady on two occasion down the backstretch and on the turn, finally got clear entering the lane and finished with courage but without posing a threat while beating less than four lengths. With a better trip today, the P. D’Amato-trained filly will be a serious player. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a couple of extra tickets keying Lava Lane on top. RACE 4: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: C+Single: 5-Miracle of Hope Forecast: Miracle of Hope plummets to the bottom and switches to dirt for the first time, so there are reasons to hope that the daughter of Nyquist has found her proper level. Those in the field that have been regularly competing for this maiden $20,000 tag are thoroughly unimpressive, so let’s take a stand with this lightly-raced sophomore filly. She shows a couple of easy breezes over the main track since returning from Golden Gate Fields, where she finished a not-terrible fourth in a maiden special weight grass event last month. At 4-1 on the morning line, we’ll make her a not-very-confident win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 5: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 4-Street Humor; 8-Fore Flag Forecast: 4-Street Humor, a $90,000 purchase at the Santa Anita 2-year-old in training sale in June, has trained okay – not great, but okay – and seems as good as any in this below average maiden turf miler for juveniles. The son of Street Boss is a half-brother to the Bay Area grass stakes winner Visitant, and that may explain why his connections have chosen to debut him going long on the lawn. The M. Ortiz-trained colt has never worked on grass, so who really knows if he’ll like it, but since he’s listed at 12-1 on the morning line we’re willing to engage in a bit of gamble. Fore Flag didn’t show a whole lot when fifth, beaten almost 12 lengths, in an all-weather sprint in Chicago in his debut, but he’s bred for turf and distance, brought some money in the OBS March sale ($95,000), and lands F. Prat. Almost by default, he’s a contender. RACE 6: Post: 6:00 PT Grade: BUse: 5-Zuboshi; 7-Eleuthera; 9-Big Novel; 12-Connie Swingle Forecast: A full field of California-bred juvenile fillies sprint six furlongs in a fairly contentious affair that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. A couple of these fillies have been entered back on Saturday in the I’m Smokin S. to face the boys in what might be perceived as a softer spot. Both have good chances here, so we’ll just have to wait and see what their connections do. Zuboshi, one of those entered back on Saturday, was quite impressive breaking her maiden in late July, winning by more than six lengths, a significant margin in a five furlong turf sprint. There’s no reason she shouldn’t be equally effective on dirt, so we like her here and hope that she stays in the field. Eleuthera was flat out given a race in her debut going long on the turf and did well to finish a distant second in a very promising performance. Today, the daughter of Square Eddie shortens to a sprint, switches to dirt, and moves into stakes company, none of which makes a whole lot of sense. She has plenty of talent, though, and at 15-1 on the morning line she offers a reasonable gamble, assuming she stays in the race, having also been entered back in the I’m Smokin. Connie Swingle enjoyed a perfect trip outside when graduating here last month and had the good fortune of landing a similar post today that should allow for the same type of pace-stalking trip that she utilized in her victory. The daughter of Grazen will be hard to beat if the two fillies listed above opt for tomorrow. Big Novel, runner-up to Connie Swingle in her debut, was pretty much wiped out at the start and did well to finish willingly through the lane, though she failed to change leads. With a better break today, the daughter of Mr. Big could make a serious run for it. RACE 7: Post: 6:30 PT Grade: B+Single: 5-England’s Rose Forecast: England’s Rose is bred to excel in marathon races and finally gets her chance to show it in this first-level allowance event for fillies and mares over 11 furlongs on grass. The lightly-raced 5-year-old daughter of English Channel, a sharp runner-up to the talented imported filly Luck in a hot middle-distance event over the local lawn last month, always has shown a good turn of foot and her late kick should be extremely effective in long distance races such as this. V. Espinoza knows her well and should have the J. Shirreffs-trained mare along in time as a win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 8: Post: 7:00 PT Grade: B+Single: 4-Scabbard Forecast: Scabbard looks fairly solid in the Friday nightcap, a seven furlong sprint for restricted (nw-3) $20,000 claimers. Popular of late at the claim box, the son of More Than Ready has switched barns in three of his last four outings and today makes his first appearance for the J. Wong barn (a remarkable 34% with this angle). In the frame in his last four starts, most recently as a strong second while more than three lengths clear of the rest under these conditions, he’ll benefit from today’s extra furlong and should find himself in a comfortable stalking position and then have his chance to seal the deal from the quarter pole home. His 2-for-17 lifetime record notwithstanding, he’s a win play and rolling exotic single at or near his morning line of 7/2.

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9.3.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Friday, September 3

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: C+Use: 2-Bet; 4-Coastal Chaos Forecast: Handicapping the Friday opener pretty much is reduced to a guessing game in what appears to be a weak maiden $75,000 claiming sprint for juveniles. Bet was off slowly and always far back when unplaced in his debut at Woodbine in July, but he did receive some support (6-1) on the tote in a 12-runner field and, as a $25,000 yearling purchase, he’s still being protected at this level, so by process of elimination we’ll put him on top for the always-potent S. Asmussen/R. Santana, Jr. trainer-jockey team. Coastal Chaos is a first-timer from the T. Pletcher barn, and while he didn’t appear to be anything special when second best in a recent team gate drill the son of Goldencents should be able to act with this modest group. None of the others offer any real appeal, so in a race that probably is best left alone we’ll use the two listed above in our rolling exotics. RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: BUse: 2-Nay Say; 3-Bubble Rock; 10-Vaccine of Hope Forecast: Maiden juvenile fillies sprint on turf in a race that features a pair of W. Ward first-timers and another filly with proven form as the main contenders. Bubble Rock, a sharp runner-up over this course and distance in her debut last month, earned a strong speed figure when chasing home the talented Lady Danae and has every right to build on that initial impression for trainer B. Cox, who has terrific stats (29%) with the second-time starter angle. The daughter of More Than Ready may not be able to handle a truly top prospect; we’ll have to wait and see if one of Ward entrants fall into that category. No Say, an Irish-bred daughter of the prolific No Nay Never, shows a bullet breezing gate drill (4f, :48 2/5, fastest of 13 for the distance) that indicates ability for a trainer that hits at as remarkable 32% with debut runners. You’d have to think she’s a live item. Stable mate Vaccine of Hope, a daughter of Pioneerof the Nile, lands J. Rosario and also shows a healthy series of workouts at Keeneland before being vanned up to make her debut. Her female family is mostly European turf, so it makes sense to start her in this spot. We’ll include all three in our rolling exotics with the proven element, Bubble Rock, getting the edge on top. RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: B-Use: 3-Risk Profile; 5-Repo Rocks; 6-Cousin Andrew Forecast: Risk Profile, freshened since mid-June and dropping out of a starter’s allowance event to return to his claim level, can regain his winning form with a repeat of his runaway maiden score at Belmont Park two races back in a race that earned a giant speed figure. The Into Mischief gelding retains L. Saez, has the proper stalking style for this seven furlong sprint, and goes for a barn that has solid stats with layoff runners. In a field lacking early speed, the G. Weaver-trained gelding might get away with some soft early splits on the front end. Cousin Andrew, a $20,000 claim following a maiden claiming win over this track and distance last month, is raised to today’s $40,000 level while taking advantage of the non-winners of two restriction, and he could improve enough for new trainer P. Walder to rate a decent look. His speed figures are shy of where they need to be, but this barn hits at 23% with a massive ROI with the first-off-the-claim angle, so a forward move can be anticipated. Repo Rocks has been compromised by rough starts in his last two outings, and with a clean trip today against this softer group the T. Morley-trained gelding may run back to his fast, highly-rated maiden win at Belmont Park in June. If he does, he can win. RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: C+Use: 3-Austrian; 7-Grape Nuts Warrior; 8-Panster Forecast: This state-bred first-level allowance two-turning grass event is knee deep in contenders. Big ticket players should use as many as they can afford to; we’ll recommend three major players as a starting point. Austrian was victimized by a lack of pace when third as the favorite in a similar event in mid-July and deserves another look for the powerful team of D. Gargan and L. Saez. His lack of tactical speed always seems to put him behind the eight ball, but the son of Freud will be rolling late and have his chance to wear down the speed if he’s not given too much to do from the quarter pole home. Grape Nuts Warrior, a close fourth in the same race Austrian exits, removes the blinkers he had added in his previous outing and should continue to improve in what will be just his fourth career start. The C. Brown-trained colt doesn’t have a great turn of foot, so it would behoove J. Castellano to have him close up and within range throughout. Panster handled a starter’s allowance field last month while earning a speed figure that makes him a fit with these, so we’ll toss him in as well. RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: B-Use: 1-Triple Americano; 2-Dee Bro; 5-Papa Smooth Forecast: Dee Bro flashed speed before fading in an open $25,000 claimer here last month and today returns to his claim level ($16,000) while facing restricted (nw-2) company, a significant class drop that should allow the son of Majestic City to regain his winning form. Triple Americano doesn’t look all that hot on paper – he beat maiden claimers last time out but needed a sloppy track to do it – but must be respected due to his high percentage connections (the R. Atras/R. Santana, Jr. team hits at close to 50%). He has some back speed figures that fit, as well. Papa Smooth, claimed out of a similar race in late July by O. Noda (solid with the first-off-the-claim angle), is a fit on figures and switches to I. Ortiz, Jr. If he’s quick enough to make the lead he has a chance to get brave; otherwise, he’ll be vulnerable. RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: BUse: 2-Howdoyoumakeurmoney; 3-Doc Doc Rock Forecast: The first-timers haven’t shown much in the morning so let’s give the edge to a couple of fillies with prior experience. Howdoyoumakeurmoney and Doc Doc Rock finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in a fast, highly-rated main track sprint last month and both should benefit considerably from that outing, the shortened trip, and the switch to grass. ‘Money displayed more early speed than ‘Rock before weakening late; she’s bred for grass on both sides of her pedigree and the barn has okay stats with the second-time starter angle. Doc Doc Rock was even money in that race and was prominent for a half before gradually weakening in a disappointing try. She’s trained extremely well since that race on grass for P. Pletcher and we suspect she’ll move up a ton on the lawn today. Both should be included in rolling exotic play, with perhaps a very slight edge on top to Howdoyoumakeurmoney. RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: BUse: 1-Chocolate Bar; 4-Voodoo Zip; 5-Principled Stand Forecast: Second level older horses meet at a mile over the inner turf course in the first leg of the late Pick-4. Voodoo Zip took eight races to break his maiden and apparently now has figured things out. A much troubled third at this level two runs back, the City Zip colt continued his improving pattern with a sharp score in his most recent start at Belmont Park while earning a career top speed figure, one that makes him tough to beat on the one-level raise. Best when held up in the second flight and produced late, the C. Clement-trained colt retains J. Rosario and should be set for another major effort. Principled Stand is slower on numbers than our top pick but he’s undefeated in two starts with the likelihood of further improvement. The English-bred colt won both of his starts on the front end and gate-to-wire tactics surely will be employed again. There’s other speed signed on, so today we’ll see what he’s made of and how much early heat he can take. Chocolate Bar lands the rail and is guaranteed an ideal second flight, ground-saving trip. The M. Maker-trained colt is solid on numbers and won over this course and distance last year, so we’ll include him on our ticket as well. RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: BUse: 1-Gold Panda; 6-Work Out Forecast: Gold Panda displayed promise in his debut when finishing a distant third without being knocked about and then got serious in his next outing when pulverizing state-bred maidens by more than five lengths in a strong race for the level. He won eased up so he could have gone faster, but the win was accomplished over a sloppy track that may have moved him up. Today, we’ll find out if he can be as effective on fast ground. Work Out ran off behind the gate prior to the start, then was captured and reloaded but was in no mood to run and was virtually eased in his first start of the year at Belmont Park in July. Toss the race out. The son of Outwork displayed plenty of promise during his two-year-old campaign and shows a steady recent series of drills to have him plenty fit, so if he behaves himself today the L. Gyarmati-trained colt could have a huge say in the outcome. RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: B+Single: 8-Maven Forecast: Maven should outclass his rivals in this year’s edition of the Lucky Coin S., a restricted turf sprint for older horses. No threat when 11 of 16 in the King’s Stand S.-G1 at Royal Ascot in June, the W. Ward-trained gelding returns to face a field he’ll outrun with a repeat of his facile allowance win sprinting over the Keeneland course two runs back. The triple-digit Beyer number he earned in that race clearly sets him above the rest, and his recent work tab at Keeneland should have him plenty fit. We’ll make him a win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: B-Use: 3-Gauff; 4-Lady Valentine Forecast: The finale is inner turf nine furlong maiden affair for older fillies and mares. Lady Valentine, in the money in both of her starts, is a one-paced type that probably can’t beat a real good maiden, but there may not be one in here. The daughter of Into Mischief has numbers that are considerably lower than par for the level, but in a shallow field she’s likely to go favored by default. Gauff represents stranger danger. The first-timer from the B. Cox barn is bred to run long on the lawn (Siyouni from a Galileo mare) and appears to have put together a string of good works at her home base at Ellis Park. Drawn comfortably inside and with the stable’s “go-to” rider T. Gaffalione aboard, the Irish-bred filly has the look of live debut runner. Beware.

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9.2.2021:

Johnny D: Saratoga & Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Saturday, September 4

Fun in the Sun’s Final Table is Saturday and 30 players occupying 35 seats will compete for shares of a $22,255 pot. The winner will collect $12,240, with $5,563 to second, $2,225 to third and $1,112 to fourth and fifth each. Competition races include the last 5 at Saratoga and the first 5 at Del Mar—in other words, one late and one early Pick 5. It’s the final weekend at both Saratoga and Del Mar and most horseplayers are sad to see them go. Summer racing at these venues is tremendous and visiting the facilities should be on every horseplayer’s bucket list. Last week, in this space, yours truly excitedly previewed his annual Spa trip that also included plenty of racing, golf, friends, food, and drink. Once more, the Spa didn’t disappoint. Saturday’s Travers card was a fabulous show with several torrid stretch battles between top class Thoroughbreds. Of course, the late-stretch savaging of Yaupon by Firenze Fire was as entertaining as it gets. Jackie’s Warrior’s rally to catch returning Life is Good set the stage for another brave performance from the outstanding Letruska. Gufo rallied to take the Sword Dancer and preceded another victorious effort by Essential Quality, a colt that reminds us of the late Al Davis’ mantra, “Just win, baby!” To horseplayers, Saturday’s card was not the place to make a score. For example, the Spa late Pick 5 paid just $73.62. I know. I had it. ‘Nice hit!’ The overall show, however, was a glorious gift to fans of the sport.  Friday through Sunday’s eighth race, neither my pal Will nor I had had much mutuel pool success. Will had been a bit unlucky--nailed by a nose with a 7-1 shot and disqualified from victory in another race. Will made a nice hit in Sunday’s ninth race, the Better Talk Now Stakes, with Chad Brown-trained Sifting Sands at $18.80. We joked that it’s way better to hit a lick when almost out the door than when first arriving. Before the afternoon and the weekend’s finale, we discussed the chances of the runners. We’ve done well over the years by combining wits and now our backs were against the wall of a wound-licking, five-hour drive home. Will decided on the Chulainn-Lord Flintshire exacta. I added Landbiscuit and went for the trifecta. We both hit! The Exacta returned $182 and the Tri came back $1,161.50 for a buck each. Will had the one-two combo more than once and made a nice score. I became whole for the trip. Whew! That’s just one example of why playing the races is the best gambling game ever invented. You can be wrong for days, be right once and go from red to black. Try doing that while betting sports! Below is an attempt to help players find that ‘right once’ play this weekend at Saratoga and Del Mar. Below is one man’s opinion in the last 5 at the Spa and the first 5 ‘Where the Turf Meets the Surf.’ Selections are made before scratches, changes and are for ‘Fast’ and ‘Firm’ surfaces only. Main Track Only runners not considered. Great luck to the Final Table players and may the best horseplayer win! SARATOGA // RACE 8 (4:27PM ET) // G3 SARANAC STAKES // 1 1/16 MILES (TURF) #1 Public Sector (7/5) lived up to expectations when taking the Gr. 2 Hall of Fame last out at the Spa under Flavien Prat. Irad Ortiz now rides for trainer Chad Brown and he’s familiar with the colt who’s now 2 for 2 over Spa grass. Difficult to get around this consistent guy. #2 Like the King (6/1) was second in the Kent last out at Delaware Park. Victory in the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway led to a 12th in the Kentucky Derby. He seems a bit below this level but has early speed and John Velazquez to dole it out. He could hang around for exotics at a price. #3 He’spuregold (15/1) is a New Jersey-bred who took seven starts to break maiden. When he did it was against fellow state-breds. He followed that up with a nice score in a state-bred stakes at Monmouth. He has a closing style and usually keeps coming. This is a big step up. #4 Never Surprised (8/5) hasn’t been seen in the afternoon since January when second in the Gr. 3 Kitten’s Joy going a mile at Gulfstream. Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher excels with bringing talented runners back off layoffs and this one has worked ever 7 days for this. This son of Constitution won the first two starts of his career going six furlongs and one mile and one-sixteenth on turf at Aqueduct before the Kitten’s Joy. This one has to be respected with Luis Saez up and racing close to the early pace. #5 Founder (4/1) hails from the Chad Brown outfit and that’s enough to pick up anyone’s head. He won a Monmouth stakes race last out, his first win since breaking maiden first out in Spa mud in August of ’20. While he’s in good form, he’d be a surprise in here based on his struggles at the allowance level. #6 Mohs (12/1) ships in from Monmouth where he won his last two starts after finishing second by a nose in a Delaware Park maiden race. This is a substantial rise in class and he would be a big surprise. #7 Risk Taking (8/5) is Entered for Main Track Only BEST ON PAPER: #1 UPSET CHANCE: #4 SARATOGA // RACE 9 (5:01PM ET) // ALLOWANCE // 1 1/16 MILES (TURF) #2 Electric Youth (5/1) has tried this level five times before without much success. To be fair, only two of those were long on turf. This 3-year-old filly would need to pop with a new best effort not seen in her previous 7 starts. #3 Lookin to Fly (8/1) is fit, sharp and starts for trainer Joe Sharp, too. Top jock Luis Saez, who won on this 4-year-old filly at the state-bred maiden 40k level last out, stays aboard. These appear tougher but she is in form. #4 Tax Me Naught (20/1) invades from Finger Lakes and makes just her second turf start at age 5. She would be a surprise but does add some speed to a fairly pace-less race. #5 Golden Oldie (10/1) is fit and sharp off a wire-to-wire Monmouth win at the $30k beaten level. The 3-year-old filly meets fellow state-breds for the first time and makes her first start on the NYRA circuit. Interesting that jockey Joel Rosario takes call for a low-profile outfit. #6 Just OK Is Not Ok (8/1) starts for the dangerous Todd Pletcher outfit and has Irad Ortiz up. That combination is a deadly 30% together. Forget the last race and you have a two-length state-bred maiden winner with just 4 starts. This one never has taken much money but did race first time out against open maiden foes at Gulfstream. Tricky call. #1 Caramocha (3/1) is Entered for Main Track Only #1A Cara’s Dreamer (3/1) is a 3-year-old filly with just 1 win in 14 starts. She comes out of a pair of races common to #7 Freedom Machine and got the better of that one in both races. She missed by a mere nose at this level one back and she comes from well off the pace so she needs some racing luck. Dylan Davis is back aboard for 0-10 Spa trainer Mitchel Friedman who has 2 seconds and 4 thirds this meeting. This one’s a clunk-up exotic type at the right price. #7 Freedom Machine (8/1)has no speed and makes her third Spa start off third and seventh-place finishes. Before that she won a state-bred maiden $40k at Belmont. Her third placing came at nearly 50-1 and she has been in the money in one-half of her starts. #8 Infringement (15/1) stretches out around two turns for the first time and makes just her second turf start. Could she wake up while trying new tricks for trainer Mark Hennig? She does have state-bred stakes experience and was a well-beaten third on Spa dirt in one of those outings. #9 Beyond Brown (20/1) starts for 2 for 7 trainer Karl Broberg. This 4-year-old filly was claimed for $16k two back out of a ‘sloppy’ Aqueduct mile and then sprinted six furlongs at Belmont to no avail. She’s 0-for-5 on turf. She has shown speed in previous turf races and should be part of the early pace in here under Eric Cancel who is familiar with her. She’s a reach in here but at least there are some interesting angles going. #10 English Breeze (5/2) is a 4-year-old filly who’s faced the stiffest competition of anyone in the field. She is stakes placed against open company at 2 and has been second at this level this year. She also has a turf win at the Spa and is 3 for 5 in the money at the distance on turf. She also faced state-bred allowance males two back and wasn’t disgraced. She’s the one to beat for trainer David Donk who’s had a frustrating meet with just 3 wins in 45 starts and 11 seconds. ONE TO BEAT: #10FUNKY THOUGHTS: #3, #5, #6, #9 SARATOGA // RACE 10 (5:37PM ET) // ALLOWANCE // 6 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Tuggle (8/1) won maiden first out at 2 and then was pitched against stakes company, including a few long turf races. He’s been second in his last three starts, two at Oaklawn Park and one at Belmont at this level last out in June. A year transpired between his last and next-to-last race, so he might have needed that effort. He comes from just off the pace and Irad Ortiz rides for Jeremiah Englehart.  #2 Wow Brown (20/1) is a 5-year-old New York-bred with speed. He tried a state-bred stakes last out and has mostly plied his trade at Finger Lakes and against fellow state breds. #3 Ducale (5/2) makes his second Saratoga start for 31% trainer Brad Cox. Jockey Manny Franco broke maiden with him last out, the 3-year-old colt’s second start. He’s a Juddmonte-bred who’s been favored in both starts and has to be respected in here. #4 Marching (15/1) won convincingly at Ellis Park for trainer Shug McGaughy last out, the 3-year-old colt’s second start. The victory was a bit slow on the Beyer scale. That was in early July and he’s worked steadily since. #5 Rejected Again (30/1)  has won 2 of 4 at the Spa and 4 of 20 overall. He’s never been fast enough to win this and was claimed for $25k in his next to last race. #6 Olympiad (8/1) has been away since Sept of last year when he romped in a maiden race. Trainer Bill Mott has worked him steadily every 7 or 8 days for this and a July 31, five-furlong 1:00 3/5 best of six drill is notable. The 3-year-old colt will race first time Lasix and must be respected. #7 Hoopla (30/1) romped Aug. 20 at the Spa when dropped to $40k maiden by trainer Bill Mott. He was claimed by Bruce Brown and is fit and sharp for this step up the ladder. He could find the exotics at a price. #8 Baby Yoda (6/1) is another Mott trainee in here and the 3-year-old gelding comes off a July 17 allowance win. That was his first start for Mott off two Pimlico races for Charlie Frock. The gelding has run fast enough to win this and is drawn outside with speed. He sports a bullet four-furlong, best of 153 drill for this. One of the ones. #9 Crowded Trade (5/1) adds intrigue to the race from off the pace. Always highly regarded, this Chad Brown-trained 3-year-old colt broke maiden first out at even money at Aqueduct. He finished second in the Gr. 3 Gotham, third in the Gr. 2 Wood, and fifth in the Gr. 1 Preakness. Those are the most impressive races on the page. Brown returned this guy to the races in the Gr. Amsterdam August 1 and he understandably couldn’t keep up with winner Jackie’s Warrior. He did close some ground late. Now, the colt drops into a much more reasonable spot and he should be moving late. #10 Hometown (4/1) also starts for leading trainer Chad Brown. This 4-year-old colt hasn’t been out since May, gets top jockey Luis Saez and has a steady work patter. It should be noted that jockey Irad Ortiz, who was second with this colt last out, moves to #1 Tuggle. #11 Ampersand (50/1) was a well-beaten second last out and would need to run much faster to threaten in here. #12 Stayin’ Out Late (12/1) has been away since second by a nose going two turns in an Oaklawn Park allowance race. This appears to be a prep race for 22% trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Santana. MANY WAYS TO GO: #1, #3, #6, #8, #9  SARATOGA // RACE 11 (6:11PM ET) // G1 FLOWER BOWL S. // 1 3/8 MILES (TURF) #1 La Signare (5/1) is a consistent 6-year-old mare who hasn’t won since March going one mile at Gulfstream in the Sand Springs. She’s been knocking heads with mostly Grade 1 foes in her last 7 races and has managed to hit the board a few times. No real reason to expect more than that from her. #2 American Bridge (12/1) arrives here off victory in a Gr. 3 stakes in Italy. Before that she raced in France and won 3 races out of 11 starts there. Owner Peter Brandt has won this race four times and also has #4 My Sister Nat in here. Irad Ortiz rides for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. Euro invaders have done well this year in NYRA stakes but this one seems a bit overmatched. #3 War Like Goddess (4/5) has won 5 of 6 races, her only loss coming at Gulfstream off a four-month layoff. Last out she dominated the Gr. 2 Glen Falls at Saratoga. She’s talented, sharp and 2 for 2 at the distance. Jockey Julien Leparoux rides for trainer Bill Mott and he seems to have ultimate confidence in this 4-year-old filly’s explosive late kick. She should be a handful in here. #4 My Sister Nat (5/1) was second to #3 War Like Goddess last out and will need something drastic to happen to turn the tables on that one. This 6-year-old mare is trained by Chad Brown and he’s won this race 6 times. Jose Ortiz stays aboard this mare instead of with #5 Lovely Lucky, who he won on last out. My Sister has won just 3 of 18 with 7 seconds and 4 thirds, so she’s very much eligible to be part of the exotics. #5 Lovely Lucky (20/1) comes off an allowance victory and has to improve quite a bit to have a say in this one. She may have a bit of a pace advantage in her corner and Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez in the saddle. He’s an expert at rating on the front end and that’s this mare’s best shot at upsetting the apple cart. She’s also been effective at Saratoga where she’s won 2 of 3 on the lawn and she handles the distance well. She may hang around on the front end long enough to nab an exotic spot at a price. #6 Great Island (4/1) is Chad Brown’s other chance to win his seventh Flower Bowl. Jockey Joel Rosario climbed aboard this one for the first time and won with her in the Gr. 3 Matchmaker at Monmouth last out. The 5-year-old mare has made just 7 career starts with 4 wins, a second and two thirds. Obviously, she’s had issues, but she tries every time. This is her first Grade 1 try and a win would surprise but she’s got a chance to be in the exotics, especially for those connections. #7 Coastana (15/1) has never taken a backward Beyer Speed Figure step for trainer Cherie Deveaux, whose had a strong meeting with 3 wins out of 9 starters. Leading rider Luis Saez has ridden this 4-year-old filly in each of 5 lifetime starts and they have 2 wins and 2 seconds in maiden and allowance company. This filly needs to take another forward step to run with these and that’s asking a lot, but she hasn’t hit her ceiling yet.   HER RACE TO LOSE: #3 SARATOGA // RACE 12 (6:46PM ET) // G1 JOCKEY CLUB GOLD CUP S. // 1 1/4 MILES (DIRT) #1 Forza Di Oro (8/5) returned from an eight-month layoff last out to win a muddy mile and one-eighth allowance race. Before his vacation, he won a first level allowance race followed by the Grade 3 Discovery. That means he’s won three of his last four races and four of his last five. This is a certain step up in class, but the 4-year-old son of Speightstown is talented, sharp and fast enough to make some noise. #2 Max Player (5/2) put it all together to win the Gr. 2 Suburban in the slop at Belmont in early July at nearly 12-1. Before that he hadn’t won a race since taking the Gr. 3 Withers in Feb of ’20. He was third in both the Belmont and Travers and fifth in both the Gr. 1 Kentucky Derby and Gr. 1 Preakness before a non-effort in the Gr. 1 Saudi Cup. Perhaps the ‘off’ track moved him up last out or maybe he’s improved with racing? Trainer and jockey have had strong Spa meetings and he’s got three bullets in his holster for this race. #3 Chess Chief (15/1) won the Gr. 2 New Orleans Classic in March but hasn’t been close in four starts since. He would need to run the race of his 5-year-old life to upset this field. Top jock Luis Saez rides for longshot darling trainer Dallas Stewart. #4 Happy Saver (9/5) has been away since the Gr. 2 Suburban when third to #2 Max Player. That’s this colt’s only loss and it came over a ‘sloppy’ track. He’s won 5 of 6 overall and has a win over the Spa surface at age 2. He also is the defending champ in this race, winning it in October of last year at Belmont. Irad Ortiz rides for trainer Todd Pletcher and will have this 4-year-old colt just off whatever early pace develops. He’s the one to beat. #5 Night Ops (5/1) is in solid form, second last out in the restricted Alydar at the Spa. He’s been within two lengths of the winner in his last 5 races and has been in the money in 17 of 24 overall with 6 wins. His last victory came in July of ’20 in the Gr. 3 Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows. Trainer Brad Cox has had a powerful Spa season at 31% and has combined well with jockey Manny Franco, 25% together. Another in-the-money finish is most likely. #6 Forewarned (50/1) seems overmatched in here based on a runner-up performance in an Ohio-bred stakes race at Thistledown. His last win came against fellow state breds in Oct. ’20. STRICTLY ONE TO BEAT: #4EXOTICS: #1, #5 DEL MAR // RACE 1 (4:30PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Koko’s Kandy (20/1) returns to the races after more than a year on the sidelines. He’s been gelded and the 4-year-old has worked well for his return to the races for trainer Karen Headley. Still, this is a difficult spot for a return and drawing the rail is no bargain. Weight is ‘off’ with apprentice Jess Pyfer who’s liable to let this on roll early. #2 Cali Bay (10/1) makes his first dirt start for trainer Phil D’Amato and jockey Juan Hernandez (27% combo). This 3-year-old colt took decent money in two US starts sprinting on turf and that suggests there’s something good here somewhere. A bit interesting. #3 Vetoed (5/2) makes a second start for trainer Bob Baffert with Flavien Prat in the saddle. That combo is 40% with 15 tries at the meet and 34% over 61 starts. Those are some strong stats. This colt was bet to below even money first time out at Los Alamitos when third in June. Baffert bats 21% with second out maidens. This is the one to beat. #4 Dixie’s Two Stents (6/1) adds first time Lasix for his fifth career start. He finished second first time out at Del Mar last August and then faced two Gr. 1 fields in the Del Mar Futurity and Breeders’ Futurity. He returned to California to try maidens in November of last year going one mile on turf and didn’t fire. He has to be respected a bit for Doug O’Neill. #5 Lord M (20/1) is a first-time starter for trainer Ron Moquett and he’ll need to have his running shoes on for this. #6 Encroachment (6/1) has some fast works for trainer Ryan Hanson. This 4-year-old son of Uncle Mo has posted three bullet works: a :46 1/5 best of 28 gate move July 15; a :59 2/5 best of 22 and a :46 gate move that was best of 76. It appears this one can move a bit. Hanson is just 7% with first timers but he doesn’t usually get this kind of stock. #7 Grandcourse Guy (12/1) was second best for a maiden $40k tag Aug. 1 going six and one-half furlongs. The cutback ought to help and he’s shown speed in both of his starts—one on turf and one on dirt. He’ll be challenged early in here, though. #8 Solo Animo (10/1) has started three times but hasn’t been seen in the afternoon since July of last year. He closed well in two turf sprints to finish in the money. He also tried a dirt mile before going on the shelf. He has worked fairly well for his 4-year-old debut. #9 Sumo (3/1) is a first-time starter from the Baffert stable that boasts some nice moves. He’s a 3-yearold colt by Not This Time that brought $700k as an Ocala 2-year-old. Abel Cedillo hits at 30% with Baffert. Can’t ignore. #10 Star Sailor (6/1) adds blinkers for this his 8th career start. He would be a surprise under Joe Bravo for John Sadler. ALL ABOUT BOB: #3, #9OTHERS INTERESTING: #2, #6 DEL MAR // RACE 2 (4:59PM ET) // CLAIMING // 1 MILE (TURF) #1 The Black Album (15/1) has been claimed in two of his last 3 races, most recently by Sergio Morfin for $25k two races back. He started once for his new trainer, set a slow pace in a $25k turf route and faded. He’s 1 for his last 11 and will be ridden by jockey Barnett who is 0-26 at the meet. Lots against him. #2 Appreciated (15/1) was claimed for $20k last out by trainer Jeff Mullins out of a dirt optional claiming mile. This 5-year-old gelding has won 3 of 26 starts and is 1 for his last 16. He didn’t run poorly last out, but he’s difficult to back off that record. #3 Barristan The Bold (4/1) had trouble in his last race at this level when sprinting at Del Mar. This will be his first turf route since his first two races in the US when facing much better. He was claimed out of his last by Ryan Hanson who is 17% first off the claim. He has appearances in the Gr. 3 San Simeon at 46-1 and the Gr. 2 Mother’s Ball Mile at 42-1 to support his cause. Juan Hernandez rides and he’s 28% overall in combo with Hansen. Interesting. #4 Southern Horse (10/1) drops in for a tag for the first time after 4 US starts for trainer John Sadler. Jockey Abel Cedillo rides and he has yet to ride a winner for the barn. The 6-year-old horse will need to turn around a zero for his last 9 streak. #5 Blameless (8/1) is another Sergio Morfin-trained runner in the race and he’s making his second start for the trainer since being claimed for $40k in his first local start since arriving from Gulfstream Park. This is the lowest claiming level for this 5-year-old gelding, always an interesting angle. His last win was at about this level at Gulfstream Park in January. Not totally helpless. #6 Fly to Mars (5/2) is a 7-year-old gelding with 2 wins in 5 Del Mar turf starts, 4 wins in 11 tries on turf at the distance and 8 of 26 overall. He’s got enough speed to be in contention from the start and top jock Prat rides for Peter Miller. They’re a solid 29% together. A claim on this one for $20k was voided following his last race. That raises some doubt about his condition, but Prat returns in the saddle and this guy has plenty of other factors in his favor. #7 Ian Glass (4/1) starts for 1 for 14 trainer Ron Ellis. The 5-year-old gelding was claimed last out for $32k when fifth in a turf sprint. He’s 3 for 7 at the mile turf distance, so that sprint could serve as a suitable prep race. He’s won 6 of 21 lifetime, so he’s far from a bum. Give him respect. #8 Irish Heatwave (7/2) is a 5-year-old gelding out of the powerful Mike Maker stable. He was claimed for $25k last out when second going one mile and one-sixteenth at Del Mar. Trouble with this guy is that he’s 0-7 over the Del Mar turf course. His last win came at the $40k level when he went wire-to-wire going one mile and one-eighth. Turf specialist Umberto Rispoli rides and he’s 33% with 12 Maker starts. #9 Feast (15/1) has speed and stretches out for just his second turf start. He was successful sprinting on dirt at Belmont in July before shipping west to trainer Doug O’Neill. He’ll support the early pace.  BEST ON PAPER: #6OTHERS POSSIBLE: #3, #7 DEL MAR // RACE 3 (5:29PM ET) // STARTER ALLOWANCE // 6 1/2 URLONGS (DIRT) #1 Ka’nah (2/1) dropped to a $25k non-winners of two last out and showed a spark of life. The first four starts of his career were good efforts but then he was gone for a year after that and didn’t do well in two recent starts until dropped in class last out. #2 Hawk Hill (12/1) ran well to be second last out at the $16k non-winners of two level. These should present more pressure for the 4-year-old gelding. Former rider Pereira moves to #6 Holden the Lute and is replaced by Giovani Franco. #3 Took Charge (8/5) has speed, gets top jock Prat for this and the rider and trainer Richard Baltas are 26% overall together. This 4-year-old gelding was second at this level about a month ago. He was favored in that race and will take money again. Catch him to win. He’s 5 for 8 in the money with 1 win. #4 Augusta Melody (7/2) is a new face locally. Previous work was done at Churchill, Gulfstream and most recently Colonial. Trainer Tim Yakteen now calls the shots and he’s 0-12 with recent first-time acquisitions. Cedillo rides and he combines with the trainer at a 29% level based on 7 Del Mar mounts. The gelding shows a :47 1/5 bullet best of 35 for this. #5 Sabuda (6/1) failed on turf at this level last out. His only win came on an ‘off’ track and he’s tried turf and dirt without much success. This will be his second start for trainer Doug O’Neill and he should show more speed in here. #6 Holden the Lute (6/1) adds blinkers for trainer Steve Knapp. The 4-year-old gelding has worn them before and he has 4 seconds and 1 win in 13 starts on his resume. He was a close second at this level at Los Alamitos two races back. Note a few nice morning moves, including a best of 56 five-furlong gate drill in :59 August 27. ONE OF TWO: #3, #6 DEL MAR // RACE 4 (6:02PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 1 MILE (DIRT) #1 Roadside (6/1) takes another class drop to face maidens at the $20k level. He was a well-beaten second last out against $40k foes at Los Alamitos, so he should fit in here. Apprentice Jess Pyfer returns for trainer Pete Eurton. The rail should help this one save some ground. #2 Abi Gezunt (8/1) finished 8 lengths behind #1 Roadside two races back. He’s been gelded since then and will have jockey Umberto Rispoli again in the saddle. This will be the gelding’s fourth lifetime start for trainer Eric Kruljac. #3 Gone Rogue (10/1) dropped in for a tag last out at the $40k level and improved previous Beyer figs but was beaten more than 16 lengths. Another drop seems appropriate. #4 Lucky Chance (20/1) was 10th first out sprinting at this level. He was 63-1. #5 K P Silver Bullet (6/1) has had folks interested in claiming him from all 3 of his career starts. First out, he was taken for $30k, next out for $50k and, most recently, August 1 for $40k. That claim, however, was voided. Now the gelding drops to the $20k level for trainer Bill Spawr and will be ridden by jockey Pereira, a 29% winning combo. Any takers? #6 Allaboutthemoney (7/2) makes his 8th career start and has only hit the board once when third by more than 8 lengths in his second outing. He’ll drop from $40 to $20 for trainer Vlad Cerin. This gelding took a bit of money when 4-1 last out in a field of 5. That was an improved effort, so this drop out to help even more. #7 Primer Dimer (10/1) makes a first start for trainer Tom Bell, who’s 1 for 4 with recent debut runners. This is a weak field and an August 14 five furlong move in 1:00 3/5 is positive. #8 Can’t Stop This Man (4/1) tried one mile on turf last out and pressed the early pace before fading against $40k runners. He was claimed three back for this price at Keeneland and he hasn’t done much running since at higher levels. #9 Da Kine (5/1) has been on the shelf for a year, is newly gelded and will be ridden by 7-pound apprentice Espinoza for trainer Richard Baltas. He’s got the best collection of Beyer Figs in the race and if the 5-year-old can fire fresh off the layoff he’ll have a chance. #10 Harbor Sky (10/1) tumbles from the Cal-bred maiden ranks into an open maiden claimer for trainer Sean McCarthy. This will be the gelding’s first dirt try after 3 turf races. He’s been more than 20-1 in those races and has had some trouble. The class drop should help, and he might appreciate a switch to a different surface. Also Eligible: #11 Mongol Altai#12 Bold Voyager#13 Tiz Vicious#14 Revisionist A REAL SCRAMBLE: #1, #5, #9, #10 DEL MAR // RACE 5 (6:35PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 1 1/16 MILES (TURF) #1 Magical Thought (30/1) was claimed by trainer Doug O’Neill three back, tried in a stakes sprint and an optional claimer at a lower level, both to no avail. This filly will stretch out around two turns in an attempt to get her back on track. Jess Pyfer’s apprentice allowance will come in handy but this filly needs a turnaround. #2 For the Good Times (12/1) has just 3 starts and 1 win in slowly rated races. She needs to do better. Jockey Rispoli moves to #8 Moraz. #3 Miss Bella Ciao (7/2) is legged up for this off a one mile and three-eighths turf try when third here in July. Top jock Prat rides for the second time in the filly’s 5-race career. Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale has had an unlucky meeting with 0 wins in 14 starts, 3 seconds and 4 thirds. She broke maiden at Golden Gate one back. #4 Can’theIpfallin (12/1) goes second time in the US for trainer Peter Miller. The first start was is a toss as she dwelt. She was 22-1 that afternoon and adds blinkers for this. #5 Queen Goddess (7/2) is one of two entered here for trainer Michael McCarthy. She’s been second and first in two maiden races and looked good scoring at even money under jockey JJ Hernandez. She’s fit and sharp. #6 Fi Fi Pharoah (5/1) is a 3-year-old daughter of American Pharoah who’s faced Cal-bred stakes foes with some success. She won the Melair going this distance on Santa Anita’s main track. This is her first turf try for trainer Walther Solis. Jockey Rispoli abandons in favor of #8 Moraz and is replaced by hustling Joe Bravo. She’s got the paper on dirt. How will she handle turf? #7 Sweet Pearl (10/1) adds blinkers and needs to improve on a 1 for 6 turf record. #8 Moraz (5/2) makes her first start on turf for trainer Michael McCarthy. Rispoli stays here and that’s understandable as this filly has faced graded stakes competition on dirt in her last 4 races. She’s worked on turf a few times and she has shown speed on dirt, so she should be in the race from the the start. She’s worked every 7 days for this. It’s her race to lose. #9 Basilia (6/1) was a close third in a $32k non-winners of 2 last out and loses Prat for this climb up the class ladder. Cedillo takes over aboard this filly for trainer Peter Miller and she would be a bit of a surprise in here. ONE TO BEAT: #8 EXOTICS: #3, #4, #5 Race On!

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9.2.2021:

Jeremy Plonk: 2021 Jockey Club Gold Cup Draw Reaction | Saturday, September 4

Closing weekend at Saratoga features the historic Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup’s move to the Spa as an anchor to the Saturday card. The former Belmont Park fixture attracted 6 entries at today’s post position draw, including defending champion Happy Saver. The 2020 Saratoga allowance winner drew post 4 for trainer Todd Pletcher. Challengers to the reigning Gold Cup winner include Max Player (post 2), who defeated Happy Saver in their most recent showdown in the Suburban at Belmont. It marked the first victory for the Steve Asmussen trainee since the February 1, 2020 Withers at Aqueduct, snapping a 6-race losing streak that included all 3 legs of last year’s Triple Crown. Rail-drawn Forza Di Oro has won 3 straight, including his 2021 return in allowance company at Saratoga on August 21. Last year’s Discovery victor is a 2-time winner over 9 furlongs and stretches out to the classic distance for the first time. The Bill Mott trainee does his best work pressing the pace, but could win up on the lead given this race shape and his post draw. Fellow pace presser Night Ops (post 5) was second last out in the Alydar at Saratoga, a race won by next-out Charles Town Classic winner Art Collector. Night Ops has been second in four straight races for trainer Brad Cox. Late-running Chess Chief (post 3) will try to right the ship back to his March form when rallying to win the New Orleans Classic at Fair Grounds. Grade 3-placed Ohio-bred Forewarned (post 6) rounds out the lineup and also races from far back in the field early. SARATOGA // RACE 12 (6:46PM ET) // G1 JOCKEY CLUB GOLD CUP // 1 1/4 MILES (DIRT) 1. Forza Di Oro (Junior Alvarado)2. Max Player (Ricardo Santana Jr.)3. Chess Chief (Luis Saez)4. Happy Saver (Irad Ortiz Jr.)5. Night Ops (Manny Franco)6. Forewarned (Sonny Leon)

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9.2.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Thursday, September 2

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: BUse: 2-Tmorrowisalongtime; 5-Park Avenue Forecast: Tmorrowisalongtime didn’t get the best of runs when fifth in her recent comeback on grass, lacking room entering the lane and then failing to produce any real turn of foot when clear (though she did gallop out strongly). Bred top and bottom for dirt and with a race under her belt that should serve to sharpen her up, the daughter of Frosted retains U. Rispoli, has trained well on the main track since raced and seems likely to produce a significant forward move. Park Avenue, the deserved morning line favorite at 8/5, is another sporting the second-off-a-layoff angle while retaining F. Prat. After finishing second vs. similar over this track and distance last month while four lengths clear of the rest, the J. Sadler-trained filly should be tighter and tougher today. Both should be included in rolling exotic play. RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Time to Party; 4-One Time Mark; 6-Sumter; 7-Facetious Forecast: The second race is a stronger-than-par maiden juvenile turf sprint that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Time to Party, a good second when worn down late over this course and distance last month, has a right to step forward with that bit of experience behind him for a stable that has terrific stats (26% with a strong ROI) with the second-time starter angle. The P. Miller-trained son of Kantharos shows two easy breezes since that race to tick him over, so unless there’s a good thing in the field he should earn his diploma. But there are a few others in here with credentials as well, and each will be a better price. Facetious, a $290,000 OBS June sale purchase, is bred to be quick (Distorted Humor ) and smoked a quarter mile during the preview session in 20 4/5 seconds. He’s a good moving colt that looks plenty fit and at 3-1 on the morning line should get plenty of backing on the tote. One Time Mark was sold for $240,000 at the OBS April sale, where he previewed in an ordinary 10 2/5 seconds. However, he has displayed good athleticism in recent workouts for M. Glatt and is bred for turf on both sides of his pedigree. Sumter showed ability in the a.m. for R. Mandella prior to his debut but finished far back after displaying speed to the head of the lane. He’s certain to improve on grass (War Front) and is worth tossing in somewhere at what may be a bigger price than his morning line of 6-1. RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Kattah; 6-Impossible Task; 7-Albizu Forecast: Albizu ran well to be third in a similar starter’s allowance main track miler last month, removes blinkers for the first time, and switches to U. Rispoli. The K. Mulhall-trained son of Include has produced a forward move on the speed figure scale in each of his five career starts and with further improvement the sophomore ridgeling looks capable of regaining his winning form. Impossible Task exits a series of tougher first-level allowance events, most recently finishing a distant third behind the stakes-quality Defunded, and with this class drop and with numbers that fit the son of Liam’s Map should be a major player. He shows a prior win over the Del Mar main track and has a good stalking/pressing style that should allow for a trouble-free journey. Kattah, first off the claim for S. Callaghan, is protected in a sign of confidence after graduating in a maiden $40,000 affair last month. The son of Honor Code has to prove he’s more than just a late-running sprinter, but his pedigree suggests that two-turns should fit him fine. At 8-1 on the morning line he’s worth including on a ticket or two as a saver or a backup. RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-Brandon’smylawyer; 5-Muy Chistosa; 7-Fast Janie Forecast: Fast Janie recorded the fastest time for a furlong (:09 4/5) at the OBS March Sale, after which she was purchased at the auction for $90,000. There’s nothing significant in the first two generations and the Fast Anna’s generally don’t break the bank at the sale, so all things considered the price was better than expected. She picks up F. Pat for her racing debut, has a decent local gate drill on her resume, and was previously given a good foundation of drills at San Luis Rey Downs to have her plenty fit. Brandon’smylawyer breezed a furlong in :10 flat at the OBS April, displaying quick action and good athleticism, and then brought $340,000 through the ring despite being by an unproven stallion with a modest $7,500 stud fee and from a moderate female family that contained nothing underneath the first dam. The R. Baltas-trained daughter of Astern shows a series of workouts at San Luis Rey Downs that indicate plenty of talent. Muy Chistosa was somewhat less impressive at that same OBS preview session but still went well enough, breezing a quarter mile in :21 2/5 under mild urging only. The daughter of Practical Joke from the stakes-winning mare Hello Maggie May has looked decent in local drills for J. Mullins and may be worth tossing in on ticket or two as a saver. RACE 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B+Use: 7-Seven Sisters; 9-Taming the Tigress; 10-Kristi’s Tiger Forecast: Taming the Tigress is lightly raced, improving with each outing, and fresh from a fast, highly-rated demolition of a starter’s allowance field here in late July that if repeated today should allow her to take this class hike in stride. The daughter of Smiling Tiger has an ideal stalking style for this extended sprint distance, and with F. Prat riding her back the P. Miller-trained state-bred filly seems the solid top pick at 5/2 on the morning line. Seven Sisters is another on the rise, having graduated from a maiden $50,000 field earlier this meeting in stylish fashion, though on pure numbers she has work to do to challenge our top selection. This will be just her fourth career starts, so the A. Mathis-trained daughter of Oxbow likely has plenty more to give and should be part of the pace throughout. Kristi’s Tiger failed at 50 cents on the dollar when second in a similar Cal-bred affair in her first start since May. Based on her sharp speed figure two races back she’s a legitimate threat. RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B+Use: 1-Candy On Top; 8-Peppermint Flirt Forecast: Candy On Top ran a bit better than the line will show when overcoming early trouble to finish willingly to be a distant third in a fast, highly rate and already productive five furlong grass sprint earlier this meeting. The Twirling Candy filly stretches out to a distance that should be well within her range, and from the rail she projects to be on or near the lead throughout. The only concern is that she failed to change leads in her debut; let’s hope she learns to switch over today. Peppermint Flirt, wide without cover most of the way, wound up a non-threatening third in her debut over this course and distance while finishing behind two potential stakes-types. On paper, this looks like an easier assignment, so if the daughter of Texas Ryano produces a forward move, she’ll absolutely be a solid contender. Both should be used in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets with Candy On Top. RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 7-Commissioner David; 9-Double the Gold Forecast: Trainer D. O’Neill holds the aces in this maiden claiming sprint for juveniles. Double the Gold ran quite well vs. maiden $50,000 foes in his debut at Los Alamitos in early July when on the pace until tagged close home, and then was pitched too high vs. straight maidens on grass when forcing the pace and then weakening through the lane to wind up fifth, but with an improved speed figure. Back with sellers today, the Goldencents gelding is cozily drawn outside, switches to F. Prat, and projects to be on or near the lead throughout. O’Neill’s other starter is Commissioner David, a fairly quick son of Commissioner who, after stumbling at the start, flashed good speed before fading in a maiden $80,000 affair here last month. With a clean break today he should make the running but is likely to have his stable mate breathing down his neck throughout . We’re expecting the winner to be one of these two, with preference on top to Double the Gold. RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B+Use: 4-Riding With Dino; 6-El Diablo Rojo Forecast: Riding With Dino may be the one to beat in this grass dash for California-bred older horses. The son of Vronsky has excellent gate speed, and over a course in which the pace types usually dominate this R. Hess, Jr.-trained gelding has a chance to stick around a long time in his second start off a long layoff. With solid on numbers and retaining J. Bravo, the lightly-raced four year old offers excellent wagering value at or near his morning line of 6-1. El Diablo Rojo finished with interest but too late when fourth in a similar first-level allowance state-bred affair over this course and distance last month and seems likely to produce a forward move today in his second start off a layoff while retaining F. Prat. The son of Clubhouse Ride is a prototype late-running sprinter, but over a course that promotes the speed types this C. Lewis-trained gelding will need a good, clean trip to make an impact. RACE 9: Post: 6:00 PT Grade: C+Use: 1-Avisse; 3-Navy Queen; 9-Zahra Forecast: Fillies and mares at the $16,000 claiming level meet over a mile on the main track in the Thursday nightcap. The last time this group got together, the whole field seemed to finish in a heap, so tread lightly. Zahra moves over to the J. Wong barn and switches to A. Cedillo after finishing a close third over this track and distance last month. A repeat of that race, or her runaway claiming win at Pleasanton two runs back makes her the one to beat. Avisse finished a head in front of Zahra in that common race Aug. 6 and from her good inside draw should inherit a second flight, ground-saving trip and be a major factor from the quarter pole home. She picks up a much stronger rider, K. Frey, though with that luxury comes an additional seven pounds. Navy Queen hasn’t won in nearly two years, but she’s been chasing tougher and should go much better at this level, assuming she can transfer her turf form to dirt. The blinkers-off angle always catches our eye. These are the three we’ll be using in rolling exotic play but if you can afford to spread deeper, go ahead.

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9.2.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Thursday, September 2

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: C+Use: 1-Bee Bit; 5-Claddagh’s Run; 8-Mopolka Forecast: This race has been handicapped for grass only. Bee It, claimed in her last pair and freshened by her new connections since mid-June, returns on the one-level drop, not always the healthiest of signs, but in this case the daughter of English Channel appears properly spotted from a good inside draw with the switch to J. Rosario. In the frame in 19 of 30 career starts, the M. Kantarmaci-trained mare does her best work when she can stalk, pounce, and go, and projects to enjoy that type of trip in a small field of six. Mopolka is the likely controlling speed while returning to the claiming ranks for L. Rice. She has a prior win over the local lawn but speed figures that don’t quite match up with our top pick. However, given her projected trip, she must be considered a major player. Claddagh’s Run, first or second in eight of 13 starts, is the most dangerous of the closers, and in her second start off the layoff she may be heard from in the final furlong. RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: C+Use: 1-Java Buzz, Slipstream; 8-Dr Brownes Miracle Forecast: This race has been handicapped for grass only. Java Buzz ran well in her debut over this course and distance last month, overcoming some trouble leaving the gate to rally gamely from the top of the stretch to the wire to wind up second while two lengths clear of the rest. She failed to change leads through the lane; hopefully she’ll utilize proper footwork today and if so the daughter of Mshawish may be hard to contain close home. Slipstream exits a hot off-the-turf event when winding up a well-beaten third, but we suspect she’ll go much better in this softer spot, especially with the return to grass for the always powerful C. Clement/J. Rosario trainer-jockey team. Dr Brownes Miracle has had some issues coming out of the gate in the morning and doesn’t really strike us as a win-early sprint type, but out of respect to the trainer’s success with first-time starters (26% with a massive ROI) we’ll include the daughter of Temple City on a back-up ticket. None of the other first-timers intrigue us but there’s always the possibility of one or more running better than they work, so tread lightly here. RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: C+Use: 1-Esotica; 3-Red Pepper Grill Forecast: Esotica comes off two much improved efforts, a third place finish when a voided claim for $25,000 at Belmont Park in May and then an easy six length romp for that same price last month here at Saratoga. However, both races occurred over sloppy surfaces so on fast ground she still has plenty to prove. This drop into the (nw-2) $16,000 level is proper so from the rail she’s sure to be sent hard to obtain her coveted from running trip. Two nice breezing half mile works since raced are encouraging, so it may simply be a matter of handling a dry track, if required. Red Pepper Girl has the route-to-sprint angle we like, and with the return to her claim level the J. Sharp-trained filly switches to L. Saez and will be bearing down in the final furlong. On pure numbers, she’s right there with these. Both should be included in rolling exotic play in a race. RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: BUse: 4-Aloha West; 5-Three Techniques Forecast: Aloha West made hard work of it when desperately beating a lesser field in a photo and today moves up a notch to the three-other-than condition that in theory should be a tougher spot. Based on numbers, it isn’t. The Hard Spun colt lacks gate speed but generally puts in a strong mid-race move to enter contention, a style that seems well-suited for this seven furlong trip. With J. Rosario staying aboard, the W. Catalano-trained colt should be set for another major performance following a bullet half mile drill (:47b) that was the fastest of 32 for the distance last week. Three Techniques, drawn just to the outside of Aloha West, was overmatched in the Vanderbilt S.-G1 but is realistically spotted today and seems likely to return to good form. Best as a mid-pack stalking sprinter and a prior winner over this track, the son of Mr Speaker switches to I. Ortiz, Jr., and should be bearing down in the final furlong. Preference on top goes to Aloha West but both should be included in rolling exotic play. RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: B-Use: 1a-Deferred Taxes; 3-Mubtadaa Forecast: This race has been handicapped for grass only. Mubtadaa and Deferred Taxes are making the all-important class drop from maiden special weight to maiden claiming and both should benefit considerably from today’s easier assignment. Mubtadaa has numbers are stronger than par for this level, so the War Front colt just needs to bring his best race and he’ll be hard to catch. Deferred Taxes, freshened since mid-June, switches to I. Ortiz, Jr. and appears the one our top pick must fear the most. The son of Flintshire projects to settle in the second flight and then have every chance from the quarter pole home. RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: BUse: 1-The Institute; 8-Father Walsh Forecast: The Institute has done some excellent work in the a.m. leading up to his debut and this New York-bred son of Into Mischief seems plenty fit and ready to win at first asking for a barn that has superior stats with debut runners. He appears to be quick enough to take full advantage of his inside draw, so if the H. DePaz trained colt breaks cleanly under J. Ortiz he should he find herself on or near the lead and have every chance from there. The other first-timer in the field that looks live is Father Walsh, a strong-looking son of Twirling Candy that appears to have at least a fair amount of ability. The barn doesn’t have much of a record with debut runners, but this colt probably is worth consideration as a backup or a saver. RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: BUse: 5-Motivated Seller; 7-Gotta Go Me; 9-Time Limit Forecast: This race has been handicapped for grass only. Motivated Seller tries turf for the first time and has the proper pace stalking style to be effective under these conditions. She shortens up a furlong in her second start off a layoff for C. Brown (26% with this angle) and has a few back speed figures that fit very nicely in this league. Time Limit must overcome her extreme outside draw but should have enough early speed to fold over into a good stalking position and have her chance from there. She’s up a level following a clever score over this course and distance last month when earning a career top speed figure, and with another forward move today she’ll be right there. Gotta Go Me was beaten at odds-on under these conditions last month when missing in photo. She’s been first or second in six of 11 career starts and figures in the fray once again. RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: B-Use: 4-Candy Tycoon; 5-Musical America Forecast: Candy Tycoon shows up in a claimer for the first time and has recent speed figures that are good enough to win at this level. The T. Pletcher-trained gelding was in a tad steep when a weakening fifth over this track and distance last time out yet still earned a career top number, and against this group nothing much more will be needed to get back in winning form. Musical America won an off-the-turf main track sprint with a big figure last month for this same $40,000 tag and it may be significant that J. Rosario, who rode them both, opts for this gelding over Candy Tycoon. Most effective on the front end, the son of Malibu Moon surely will employ gate-to-wire tactics. We’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play. RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: BUse: 5-Silvery Rill; 6-Take the Backroads; 9-Mystic Eyes Forecast: This race has been handicapped for grass only. Mystic Eyes looked terrific winning her debut sprinting on grass last month, but she’ll probably have to outrun her pedigree to be effective over a distance of ground in this year’s edition of the P. G. Johnson S. That said, she’s a beautiful mover with an easy, efficient stride, so the distance may be within her range. From her extreme outside post, the daughter of MacLean’s Music will need to hit the ground running. Take the Backroads is improving with racing and looked quite good graduating in a maiden turf sprint here last month. She’ll probably try gate-to-wire tactics on the stretch out, and her pedigree suggests a mile should be within her range. Silvery Rill missed in her debut at 6/5 when worn down after rallying wide into the lane and hitting the front close home. She never changed leads, and that’s a part of her game she’ll need to correct. The daughter of War Front is sure to receive the patient ride she apparently prefers from J. Rosario and if the pace comes up contested she could easily produce a winning late kick. RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: B-Use: 6-Babagram; 7-Sandor Clegane Forecast: This race has been handicapped for grass only. Babagram, second over this course and distance at this level last month, is the least exposed of the contenders and with another forward move may earn his diploma in his third career start. The T. Morley-trained 4-year-old gelding earned a solid number when stalking the pace outside and then staying on gamely; he’ll be part of the pace again today and should remain a strong factor throughout. Sandor Clegane flashed speed before faltering in an off-the-turf muddy track sprint at this level in a race that probably can be ignored. The speed figure he earned two races back when fourth vs. maiden special weight foes makes him the one to fear most, and the addition of Lasix won’t hurt his chances, either. Babagram is the slightly faster of the two on numbers, so we’ll give him the edge on top.

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9.1.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Wednesday, September 1

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: XUse: No Play/Pass Forecast: The first race is carded for hurdlers. We will pass the race. RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: XSingle: 1-Mubarmaj Forecast: In a race that probably should be left alone, Mubarmaj projects as a short- priced favorite after beating $20,000 claiming foes in late July before being returned to his owners after a voided claim. Given the issues this horse has had in the past, this drop to the $12,500 level seems logical. The T. Pletcher-trained son of Curlin has worked twice in the last month in a pattern that includes a gap of 19 days, so it’s anybody’s guess if he has at least one good one left, though with five wins from nine starts (and victorious in three of his last four) he has a history of performing when it matters. You can use him as a rolling exotic single or better yet simply sit it out. RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: C+Use: 1-Static Fire; 6-Sweet Surprise Forecast: This turf sprint for juvenile fillies is restricted to those that brought $45,000 or less at auction in their most recent sale. Though we doubt she’s any kind of world beater, Static Fire has shown enough in the a.m. to be considered a major player following a series of better than average workouts, including a team drill in :47 flat Aug. 22 that ranked as the second fastest of 152 for the distance. If she leaves running from the rail, the daughter of Speightster seems likely to be forwardly placed in a race that should produce a soft opening quarter. Sweet Surprise lacked early speed, responded when set down and finished with interest (and galloped out well) in her debut over this course and distance vs. similar last month and has every right to improve with that bit of experience behind her. J. Rosario got to know her, rides her back, and should have her doing her best work once again from the quarter pole home. We’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play. RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: B-Use: 4-Sun Summers; 6-In a Hurry Forecast: Sun Summers is winless in five starts this year but in her third start in her current form cycle and with solid recent speed figures the M. Maker-trained mare could break through in a below average second level allowance/optional claiming turf affair for fillies and mares. Her best races have come when she’s able to lay fairly close to a modest pace, and today’s pace flow projects to compliment her style. The daughter of Broken Vow switches to J. Ortiz and may be capable of grinding out a win close home. In a Hurry, freshened since mid-June, is strictly the one to beat. Shug’s filly earned a career top speed figure when second at this condition last time out, has done well in the a.m. in recent weeks, and should run at least as well if not a bit better today with the switch to J. Rosario. These are the two we’ll be including in our rolling exotics but if you feel the need to spread a bit deeper, go right ahead. RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: BUse: 2-Speed Effect; 5-Lokoya Road Forecast: Speed Effect may have been a bit rusty when flashing good speed but then fading late in his first start in 18 months when facing restricted (nw-2) $25,000 sprinters over seven furlongs in late July. However, with that tightener behind him, the B. Levine-trained gelding stretches out to nine furlongs, drops to the $16,000 level, and surely will employ gate-to-wire tactics. His sole victory -albeit in an off-the-turf maiden claimer, shows what he’s capable of when he’s able to be the controlling speed. Also, he’s reunited with “win rider” I. Ortiz, Jr., so there are several factors in his favor. Lokoya Road returns to his claim level and is a strong fit on speed figures, so while the Quality Road gelding always has been a one-paced grinder this is a field with a projected race flow that should bring out his best. We’ll prefer Speed Effect on top but include both in our rolling exotics. RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: C+Use: 4-Flipping Fun; 6-Big Little Risk Forecast: Maiden-claiming state bred older horses sprint six furlongs in a pedestrian affair in which Flipping Fun, winless in 19 starts, might be the one to beat. It’s that kind of race. After finishing second at this level in his last two starts - he hit the front in mid-stretch but couldn’t hang on in his most recent start - the son of Central Banker surely will get plenty of play again, but his numbers have stagnated and the barn doesn’t win very often, so he’s hardly the type to take a short price on. Perhaps a tad more interesting is Big Little Risk, third in the same race Flipping Fun exits but with more room to improve in what will be just his sixth career outing. The son of Big Brown retains Luis Saez and projects to be on or near the lead throughout. Tread lightly here. RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: B-Use: 1-Jilly’s a Hot Mess; 2-Athena Dancer; 9-Social Whirl Forecast: The first leg of the late pick-4 is a challenging affair for first-level allowance New York-bred fillies and mares sprinting on grass. We’ll go three deep and hope that’s enough. Jill’s a Hot Mess was an extra game winner over this course and distance last month vs. starter’s allowance foes when earning a career top speed figure in her first start since joining the L. Rice barn. Nothing much more will be needed to produce a repeat score, especially if she leaves cleanly from the rail and can secure her preferred pace forcing/stalking trip. First or second in seven of 14 career starts, the daughter of Laoban generally runs her rest when properly spotted and she certainly appears to be in the right place today. Athena Dancer adds Lasix for the first time in her second outing off a long layoff and seems likely to produce a significant forward move after finishing fourth (beaten less than three lengths) in a similar grass dash last month. The concern is the barn (2-for-39 this meeting) and the filly’s lack of tactical speed, but with some help up front and good racing luck the daughter of War Dancer should be heard from late. Social Whirl earned a competitive speed figure when winning a softer restricted (nw-2) $40,000 seller here last time out, and the lightly-raced daughter of Freud can be a strong fit in this league with another forward move. Regular rider J. Castellano apparently has opted for Kreesa La Wrote (another filly he rode to victory last time out) but I. Ortiz, Jr. picks up the call on the T. Morley-trained ‘Whirl, so we’ll live with that. RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: BUse: 2-Runnin’ Ray; 6-Vindictive Forecast: Runnin’ Ray seeks his third straight win while moving from starter’s company into an entry-level allowance race but based on the speed figures earned in his two recent victories (including a game score vs. next-out winner Winter Pool) the J. Sharp-trained gelding looks capable of extending his streak. The Street Sense gelding could find himself as the controlling speed, though he doesn’t need the lead to win, and while it’s puzzling that L. Saez jumps off to pilot the T. Pletcher-trained Texas Swing, ‘Ray picks up J. Ortiz, so he’ll be in good enough hands. The lightly-raced and promising Vindictive may be the one to fear most. The son of Uncle Mop earned a giant speed figure when graduating over this track and distance in late July in just his second career start, pressing a solid pace and then finding more under severe pressure to graduate by a head from Pipeline, with pair six lengths clear of the rest. A similar effort today certainly could produce a repeat score despite class hike. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with a very slight preference on top to Runnin’ Ray. RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: B+Use: 1-Limited Liability; 4-Portfolio Company Forecast: A couple of impressive first-out winning two-year-old colts by Kitten’s Joy square off in this year’s renewal of the With Anticipation S. with little to separate them, as illustrated by the one point edge on the Beyer speed figures owned by Limited Liability over Portfolio Company. The former ran like a seasoned pro when producing a visually pleasing late kick to graduate in late July at nearly 7-1, indicating that perhaps Shug’s colt ran better than he had trained. Since then, though, the homebred colt has looked quite good in the a.m. while breezing easily and relaxed, and clearly is moving in the proper direction. He’ll be tough right back. Portfolio Company was expected to win his race (he was 6/5) after tipping his hand in the morning and got the money despite being a bit keen in the early stages while always within range of the leader. The C. Brown-trained colt struck the front entering the lane and held sway in a stylish performance, and since then has trained quite well – somewhat surprisingly on dirt - so he should run at least as well if not better today. We’re expecting the winner to be one of these two, and while Portfolio Company might be the more naturally gifted of the two, Limited Liability may be a bit more advanced mentally. Tough call. RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: C+Use: 1-Acushla; 2-Tapple Cider; 10-La Victoria Forecast: The finale is a New York-bred maiden middle distance turf event for older fillies and mares. La Victoria lost a tough photo against a similar group in an off-the-grass muddy track event here in late July and if she can duplicate that type of effort on turf the lightly-raced daughter of Tapit should be capable of graduating. The pace should be moderate at best, so we’re expecting J. Rosario to have her on or near the lead throughout. Acushla, fourth in both of her starts, returns after 14 weeks on the shelf while picking up L. Saez, and if she can get out of the gate cleanly and secure a reasonable mid-pack position the daughter of Tiznow should be dangerous from the quarter pole home. Tapple Cider may finally get her chance to run on the lawn after exiting a pair of wet track races that were transferred to the main track. She’s favorably drawn inside and projects to be forwardly placed throughout.

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9.1.2021:

Jon White: Numbers, Numbers and More Numbers | Wednesday, September 1

For Xpressbet.com this week, I am taking a look at a multitude of numbers in the wonderful sport of Thoroughbred racing: 2: This is the number of horses to have won the Belmont Stakes, Jim Dandy Stakes and Travers Stakes. Talk about a small club.  Essential Quality got the job done by a neck over a stubborn Midnight Bourbon in last Saturday’s Grade I, $1.25 million Travers at Saratoga. The Kentucky-bred Tapit colt joined Arts and Letters as the only horses to sweep the Belmont, Jim Dandy and Travers. Arts and Letters won those three races in 1969 while on his way to being acclaimed Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male. The Ribot colt was voted those honors despite losing two of the three Triple Crown races to Majestic Prince. In 1969, Majestic Prince won the Kentucky Derby by a neck and Preakness Stakes by a head to remain undefeated. Trainer John Longden did not want to run a less-than-100% Majestic Prince in the Belmont. But with the possibility of Majestic Prince becoming an undefeated Triple Crown winner, owner Frank McMahon insisted that the son of Raise a Native run in the Belmont.  Arts and Letters won the Belmont, clobbering Majestic Prince by 5 1/2 lengths. Between the Preakness and Belmont, Arts and Letters had won the Met Mile by 2 1/2 lengths. Finishing second was no less an older foe than Nodouble, who was voted champion older male in 1969 and 1970. The 1969 Met Mile kicked off a six-race winning streak by Arts and Letters. After the 1 1/2-mile Belmont, the Ribot colt won the 1 1/8-mile Jim Dandy by 10 lengths, 1 1/4-mile Travers by 6 1/2 lengths, 1 1/4-mile Woodward Stakes by two lengths and the two-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup by 14 lengths. That’s not a typo. The Gold Cup was a two-mile race back then. Nodouble finished second in both the Woodward and Gold Cup. Even though Majestic Prince defeated Arts and Letters in two of the three Triple Crown events, Arts and Letters was voted Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male. I would not participate in voting for champions until 1976. If I had been a voter in 1969, I would have selected Arts and Letters as Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old. I would have been swayed by Arts and Letter’s sensational six-race winning streak that began in the Met Mile and ended with his tour de force in the two-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup. 2: Number of times Firenze Fire has been involved in a savaging incident during a race. In last Saturday’s Grade I Forego Stakes, Firenze Fire was the biter. In the Grade III Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx in 2018, Firenze Fire was the victim when Whereshetoldmetogo was the biter. What Firenze Fire did during the stretch run of the Forego was probably the most bizarre thing I have ever seen occur in the thousands and thousands of races I’ve watched ever since my parents first took me to the track for the first time one spring day 56 years ago at Yakima Meadows. I have seen a horse savage another horse a number of times. But I’ve never seen a horse do it in such a prolonged manner as Firenze Fire when he was savaging Yaupon in the final furlong of last Saturday’s Forego. Yaupon, ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr. and trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, won the Forego by a head. Jose Ortiz rode Firenze Fire for trainer Kelly Breen. “He came out of the race good,” Breen said Monday in a Daily Racing Form story written by Mike Welsch. “He’s not any nastier than he usually is, nor is he acting like he’s been scolded in any way. He’s always been the kind of horse who will try to bite you or kick you a little when you saddle him. He definitely has an attitude. But he’s not really mean, and as long as I’ve had him, he’s never tried to savage a person or another horse before the incident on Saturday.” The Equibase chart comments regarding Yaupon and Firenze Fire state: “YAUPON came away in good order then showed good speed while hustled, set the pace under pressure to his outside, came under coaxing along the rail on the turn, was asked for his best in the two path into the stretch, dueled inside of FIRENZE FIRE under a left-handed crop, had that foe savage him badly in the face starting just before the sixteenth pole and ending about forty yards from the wire with a bump then gamely prevailed. FIRENZE FIRE displayed good speed, pressed the pace on the outside, passed the half-mile pole under coaxing, drew even with YAUPON in the two path on the turn, was asked for his best while three wide into the stretch, dueled outside of YAUPON under a right-handed crop, began to savage that foe badly coming to the sixteenth pole, continued to savage that opponent while the rider attempted to reach up and pull him off using the right rein, lost momentum in the process, had the jockey’s hand slip off the rein multiple times while trying to gather it up, was finally able to grab the rein about forty yards from the wire while bumping at that juncture and just missed.” The word was that Yaupon came out of the race with nothing more than a little nick on his cheek. In the final furlong, Yaupon’s tongue was flapping out of the left side of his mouth. He’s fortunate it was not the right side of his mouth or else he might have had it bitten and perhaps even bitten off by Firenze Fire. As for Firenze Fire being the victim in a savaging incident perpetrated by Whereshetoldmetogo during the 2018 Gallant Bob, the Equibase chart comments state: “FIRENZE FIRE pursed the pacesetter inside, angled out on the turn when advancing, led briefly at the quarter pole, was passed nearing the eighth pole, fought back to regain the advantage and was savaged by outside rival nearing the finish in a determined victory. WHERESHETOLDMETOGO chased very wide down the backstretch, rallied strongly wide and led narrowly at the eighth pole, lost the lead and savaged the winner approaching the wire.” 2: Trainer Brad Cox’s number of Breeders’ Cup Classic contenders. It appears that Cox will have a strong one-two punch in that $6 million affair with Grade I Whitney Stakes winner Knicks Go and Essential Quality. They rank 1-3 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. Below is the Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes)   1. 325 Knicks Go (19)  2. 307 Letruska (6)  3. 294 Essential Quality (10)  4. 183 Gamine   5. 166 Maxfield  6. 119 Domestic Spending  7. 115 Jackie’s Warrior  8.   90 Malathaat  9.   69 Silver State10.   43 Hot Rod Charlie 2: Number of Travers wins by jockey Luis Saez. In addition to collaborating with Essential Quality in last Saturday’s renewal, Saez won the 2013 Travers aboard Will Take Charge. Essential Quality provided Cox with what looks like will be the first of multiple Travers victories for the trainer. 3: This was how many career starts that Miles D had made prior to this year’s Travers. Considering that, I think he did quite well to finish third, 5 1/4 lengths behind Essential Quality. Though Miles D was no match for Essential Quality or Midnight Bourbon when the real test came, Miles D did continue his upward trajectory in the Beyer Speed Figure department. Trained by Chad Brown, the Kentucky-bred Curlin colt recorded a 77 Beyer in his first race, followed by figures of 85, 95 and a 100 in the Travers. I think Miles D is an extremely interesting 3-year-old going forward. 5: Letruska extended her winning streak to five when she prevailed by a half-length in the Personal Ensign Stakes last Saturday. Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., the 5-year-old Kentucky-bred Super Saver mare set the pace in the 1 1/8-mile affair. Letruska seemed to be in deep trouble toward the end of the race when three opponents -- Bonny South, Royal Flag and Dunbar Road -- were making a serious charge at the leader and odds-on favorite.  But displaying Personal Ensign-like determination, Letruska dug deep in the closing yards to stave off all of the late challengers.  Trainer Fausto Gutierrez has done a marvelous job with Letruska. Since a narrow loss to Shedaresthedevil in Oaklawn Park’s Grade II Azeri Stakes on March 13, Letruska has reeled off victories in the Grade I Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn, Grade I Ogden Phipps Stakes at Belmont Park, Grade II Fleur de Lis Stakes at Churchill Downs and Grade I Personal Ensign at Saratoga. 5: This was how many favorites won Saratoga’s six Grade I races last Saturday. These betting choices succeeded at the Grade I level last Saturday at the Spa: Gamine at 1-5 in the Ballerina Stakes, Yaupon at 2-1 in the Forego, Letruska at 3-5 in the Personal Ensign, Gufo at 5-2 in the Sword Dancer and Essential Quality at 2-5 in the Travers. When Jackie’s Warrior won a rousing edition of the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial at odds of 3-2, he was the only winner of the six Grade I races at Saratoga last Saturday who was not the favorite. Jackie’s Warrior, another Asmussen trainee, won the seven-furlong Jerkens by a neck over 4-5 favorite Life Is Good. It was the first defeat by Life Is Good in four lifetime starts. Life Is Good won his first three races when trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. The Kentucky-bred Into Mischief colt then was sidelined when he emerged from a terrific six-furlong workout in 1:11.40 on March 20 at Santa Anita with a hind-ankle injury that required surgery. The Jerkens was Life Is Good’s first start for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. According to Pletcher, among the races under consideration for Life Is Good’s next start are the Grade I Pennsylvania Derby at Parx on Sept. 25, the Grade II Kelso Handicap at Belmont the same day or the Grade I Woodward Stakes at Belmont on Oct. 2. Jackie’s Warrior is likely to make his next start in the Grade II Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont on Oct. 9. The Jerkens was Jackie’s Warrior’s first Grade I victory. The Kentucky-bred Maclean’s Music colt now has won seven of 10 lifetime starts. Two of his three losses have come in races won by Essential Quality. 5: The number of distances Essential Quality has won at in his nine career starts. He’s won at six furlongs, 1 1/16 miles, 1 1/8 miles, 1 1/4 miles and 1 1/2 miles. 6: This is where I have Native Dancer ranked on my list of Top 25 Racehorses of the 20th and 21st Centuries to have raced in North America:     1. Man o’ War    2. Secretariat*    3. Citation*    4. Kelso    5. Spectacular Bid    6. Native Dancer    7. Dr. Fager    8. Seattle Slew*    9. Count Fleet*  10. Affirmed*  11. Ruffian  12. Swaps  13. Phar Lap  14. Forego  15. American Pharoah*  16. Buckpasser  17. Damascus  18. Round Table  19. Seabiscuit  20. War Admiral*  21. Tom Fool  22. Colin  23. John Henry  24. Zenyatta  25. Regret *Triple Crown winner. The parallels between all-time great Native Dancer and Essential Quality continued when Essential Quality emulated Native Dancer as a Travers winner. In 1952, Native Dancer was an undefeated 2-year-old male champion. Essential Quality was an undefeated 2-year-old champion in 2020. In 1953, Native Dancer had lost only once in his career going into the Travers Stakes at Saratoga. In 2021, Essential Quality had been defeated just once going into the Travers. Native Dancer’s only defeat prior to the Travers had come in the Kentucky Derby. Essential Quality’s lone defeat prior to this year’s Travers likewise had come in the Run for the Roses. A case can be made that both Essential Quality and Native Dancer were the best horse in the race when not winning the Kentucky Derby as the favorite. Native Dancer lost the 1953 Kentucky Derby by just a head when he finished second after being “roughed at the first turn,” according to the race chart. The winner by a head was 24-1 Dark Star. The chart stated that Native Diver was “probably best.” Essential Quality had a rough start and wide trip when he lost the 2021 Kentucky Derby by one length finishing fourth. First across the finish line was 12-1 Medina Spirit. After losing the Kentucky Derby, Native Dancer resumed his winning ways by taking the Withers Stakes, Preakness Stakes, Dwyer Stakes, Arlington Classic and Travers Stakes. After Essential Quality lost the Kentucky Derby, he resumed his winning ways by taking the Belmont Stakes, Jim Dandy and Travers. 6: The number of times that Keepmeinmind has finished behind Essential Quality in the six times they have raced against each other. Keepmeinmind finished fourth, 5 1/4 lengths behind Essential Quality, in the Travers. 8: The total number of victories by Essential Quality in nine career starts. 9: The total number of victories by Gamine in 10 career starts. 14: Victories by the now-retired Whitmore, who was pulled up and vanned off after finishing fifth in last Saturday’s Grade I Forego Stakes at Saratoga. The popular 8-year-old won 15 of 43 career starts and earned $4,502,350. Trained by Ron Moquett, Whitmore was voted a 2020 Eclipse Award as champion male sprinter following a campaign highlighted by a win in the Grade I BC Sprint at Keeneland. Whitmore is done racing even though he seemed fine Sunday morning. Jockey Joel Rosario jumped off Whitmore a short ways after the finish last Saturday. “I ran down the track and when I got to him, the first thing Joel said to me was ‘boss, he’s okay, he just didn’t feel right,’ Moquette said Sunday in a Daily Racing Form story written by Mike Welsch. “He said his first thought was the horse was having a heat stroke. These guys are so intuitive. If the horses don’t feel normal, they jump off and take care of the animal. I’ll never be able to thank him enough for having done that.” It’s unfortunate that Whitmore will not be defending his BC Sprint win at Del Mar this year. The 8-year-old Kentucky-bred Pleasantly Perfect gelding had tried unsuccessfully to win that race three times before last year. Prior to 2020, Whitmore had started in the BC Sprint in 2017 (finishing eighth), 2018 (second) and 2019 (third). 14: This is the record for most wins by a trainer in the Del Mar Futurity. Baffert will be trying to win the race again this Monday. His previous winners were Silver Charm (1996), Souvenir Copy (1997), Worldly Manner (1998), Forest Camp (1999), Flame Thrower (2000), Officer (2001), Icecoldbeeratreds (2002), Midshipman (2008), Lookin At Lucky (2009), Drill (2011), Rolling Fog (2012), American Pharoah (2015), Klimt (2016) and Game Winner (2018). Winning the Del Mar Futurity as a maiden was a harbinger of big things to come for American Pharoah. The following year, of course, he ended a 37-year Triple Crown drought. 19: According to Trakus, Essential Quality traveled 19 feet farther than the runner-up in the Travers. As for Essential Quality, in each of his most recent four wins, he traveled farther than the runner-up, according to Trakus, as noted below: --Travers on Aug. 28: Essential Quality won by a neck and traveled 19 feet (approximately two lengths) farther than runner-up Midnight Bourbon. --Jim Dandy on July 31: Essential Quality won by a half-length and traveled 38 feet (approximately four lengths) farther than runner-up Keepmeinmind. --Belmont Stakes on June 5: Essential Quality won by 1 1/4 lengths and traveled 45 feet (approximately five lengths) farther than runner-up Hot Rod Charlie. --Blue Grass Stakes on April 3: Essential Quality won by a neck and traveled 24 feet (approximately 2 1/2 lengths) farther than runner-up Highly Motivated. In the Kentucky Derby on May 1, Essential Quality finished fourth and lost by one length. He traveled 68 feet (approximately seven to eight lengths) farther than first-place finisher Medina Spirit. 79: Retired Thoroughbred trainer Junior Coffey’s age when he passed away Monday at St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way, Wash., according to wife Kathy. Coffey was a star football player at the University of Washington in the early 1960s. During his time at that school, he became interested in horse racing when taken to beautiful Longacres. That’s something I had in common with him. Longacres also played an important role in my becoming a huge horse racing fan when I was taken there in the 1960s by my late father. In 1965, Coffey was selected in the seventh round of the NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers. Playing for legendary coach Vince Lombardi, Coffey was a member of the Packers team that was the 1965 NFL champions. Coffey went on to play for the Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants. After Coffey’s NFL career ended in 1971, he eventually embarked on a career as a horse trainer. And having seen lots of his horses run, I can attest that he was a darn good trainer. A horse trained by Junior Coffey was always a horse not to be ignored by bettors. Coffey came close to winning the most coveted prize in racing in the Pacific Northwest when Raise the Bluff finished second and lost by only a head as the 3-1 favorite in the 2007 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs. Raise the Bluff did capture Emerald’s biggest race for 3-year-olds, the Emerald (now Muckleshoot) Derby in 2006. Going back to when I worked for the Daily Racing Form at Longacres in the 1970s up until I was a television commentator for the Fox Sports Northwest telecast of the Longacres Mile from 2001-2003, I spoke with Coffey on numerous occasions.  I can honestly say that I have never met a nicer person than Junior Coffey. 92: The Beyer Speed Figure recorded by the promising Jack Christopher when he won a Saratoga six-furlong maiden special weight race at first asking by 8 3/4 lengths as an 11-10 favorite last Saturday. Chad Brown trains the Kentucky-bred Munnings colt. “That horse had really been training well and was one of the handful of buzz two-year-olds to run here this meet,” Brown said Sunday in a Daily Racing Form story written by David Grening. “Big relief for a trainer when they run to those works.” Next for Jack Christopher is the Grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 2. 101: The Beyer Speed Figure recorded by Letruska in last Saturday’s Grade I Personal Ensign Stakes. 102: The Beyer Speed Figure recorded by Ginobili when victorious in last Saturday’s Grade II Pat O’Brien Stakes at Del Mar at odds of 5-1. The 4-year-old Munnings gelding headed into that seven-furlong race off a July 17 win in a one-mile allowance/optional claiming contest at Del Mar in which he registered a career-best Beyer of 104.  Trainer Richard Baltas says it’s now on to the Grade I BC Dirt Mile at Del Mar in early November for Ginobili. 103: The career-best Beyer Speed Figure recorded by Yaupon in last Saturday’s Grade I Forego Stakes.  104: The Beyer Speed Figure recorded by Gamine in last Saturday’s Grade I Ballerina Stakes and by Gufo in last Saturday’s Grade I Sword Dancer Stakes. This is the highest Beyer credited to Gufo so far. 107: The Beyer Speed Figure recorded by both Essential Quality in last Saturday’s Travers Stakes and by Jackie’s Warrior in last Saturday’s Grade I H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes. This is the biggest Beyer achieved by Jackie’s Warrior to date. 44,507: The paid attendance at Saratoga for last Saturday’s Travers Stakes. This was way up from 2020. Because of COVID-19, paid attendance at the 2020 Travers was 0. 51.3 million: Taking into account all sources, a total $51,381,515 was wagered on last Saturday’s 13-race Saratoga card that was headed by the Travers Stakes. Wow.

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9.1.2021:

Tournament Roundup: $22K Fun in the Sun Final Table is Saturday | Wednesday, September 1

Saturday’s Fun in the Sun Final Table will match 30 Xpressbet account holders occupying 35 seats as they battle for shares of a $22,255 pot enhanced by a $10k Xpressbet infusion. A juicy prize of $12,240.25 awaits the top earner at the conclusion of a 10-race competition that includes ‘live’ $10 Win wagers on one horse in each of the last 5 races from Saratoga and the first 5 heats from Del Mar. Second place is worth $5,563.75, third collects $2,225 and fourth and fifth place earn $1,112.75 each. In each of seven previous weeks of Fun in the Sun play Final Table seats were awarded to the top five finishers. Players that have accumulated an advantageous pair of shots at the brass ring are: Ellis Star(1st Week #1 & 3rd Week #4) Paul Lutz(4th Week #1 & 5th Week #6) Steven Jones(5th Week #1 & 1st Week #2) David Jaffe(3rd Week #3 & 1st Week #4) Jon Vanniel(2nd Week #5 & 5th Week #7) Top 3 players overall collected $28,595 in cash prizes for an average total of $4,085 per week and $1,362 each. The top seasonal prize earner is Ellis Star with a total of $3,501. Second is David Jaffe at $3,052.88. Additionally, top 5 weekly players gathered $9,836.50 in wager payoffs based on ‘live’ $10 Win bets on one horse in each of 10 competition races—the last 5 heats at Saratoga and the first 5 at Del Mar. That’s an average top five player return of $281 each. Those with an eye toward a possible winning score might want to know that top players averaged $319 in mutuel payoffs throughout the seven-week competition. Ellis Starr’s Week 1 earnings total of $392 was the season’s highest, followed by Michael O’Grady’s $389 in Week 3. Steven Hilbert’s $231 total was good enough for the top prize in week 7 and was the season’s lowest winning mark. Final Table players represent coast-to-coast states from California to Massachusetts with the former claiming a hefty 13 in the main event. Amazingly, tiny Massachusetts is next in line with 4 Final Table qualifiers. Illinois is next with 3, followed by Florida at 2. Connecticut, Washington, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Ohio, New York and Kentucky also have residents vying for cash. Familiarity appeared to breed Fun in the Sun success because 16 out of 30 Final Table qualifiers have been Xpressbet account holders for more than 15 years and 3 of the talented 30 have been loyal customers for more than 20 years! Six additional Final Table players have been with Xpressbet for at least 10 years. At the other end of the familiarity spectrum are 5 players with less than 5 years of membership and 2 of those are ‘rookie’ Xpressbet account holders. The seventh and final qualifying week’s action produced four new Final Table participants. Steven Hilbert topped all players with $231 in earnings. Edwina White was a clear second with $217, well clear of Robert Rosen $189 and Frank Isaac $186.50. Checking in fifth was Jon Vanniel at $186, giving him a second Final Table seat. Thanks to everyone who played Fun in the Sun. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Congratulations to those who won cash and seats and best wishes to those at the Final Table. We’ll be watching. May the best horseplayer win! See you Saturday!

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8.30.2021:

Monday Myths: Are Maidens Good Bets in 2YO Stakes?

Welcome to a continuing handicapping series for our Monday blog space, “Monday Myths.” Each week I’ll use the power of the Betmix database to take common handicapping assumptions and either support or dispel them with data. Betmix data powers the 1/ST BET app and its features like Angler and Birddog give data-minded horseplayers a treasure trove of information in which to query your own curiosities.Assumption:Maidens can match up just fine in 2-year-old stakes races.Background:Maidens scored victories in juvenile stakes this past weekend no less than 4 times – the Florida Sire Stakes Susan’s Girl at Gulfstream, the Arlington-Washington Lassie and Woodbine’s duo of the Simcoe and Muskoka. Because the uncertain class of inexperienced horses and the races they exit, many horseplayers will back a 2-year-old maiden in stakes company with confidence. But was what we saw this past weekend the norm or the exception?Data Points:I dialed up the Betmix database to look at all North American 2-year-old stakes races since 2013 and the performances of the maidens entered in those. The study compared maidens to those with 1,2 or 3 prior victories in both win percentage and return on investment. I also looked at those same horses in direct comparison for those well-backed at 5-1 or less with expectation to perform well. For a fuller picture, I also looked at 2-year-old maiden stakes performances at various distances and surfaces to see if there are any better or worse scenarios.Maiden 2-year-old stakes starters have a 7.7% win rate and a $0.70 ROI for every $1 bet.Previous 1-time winning 2-year-old stakes starters have a 12.5% win rate and a $0.75 ROI for every $1 bet.Previous 2-time winning 2-year-old stakes starters have a 18.2% win rate and a $0.75 ROI for every $1 bet.Previous 3-time winning 2-year-old stakes starters have a 21.2% win rate and a $0.49 ROI for every $1 bet.Maiden 2-year-old stakes starters 5-1 or less odds have a 24.6% win rate and a $0.80 ROI for every $1 bet.Previous 1-time winning 2-year-old stakes starters 5-1 or less odds have a 27.2% win rate and a $0.83 ROI for every $1 bet.Previous 2-time winning 2-year-old stakes starters 5-1 or less odds have a 29.6% win rate and a $0.79 ROI for every $1 bet.Previous 3-time winning 2-year-old stakes starters 5-1 or less odds have a 31.9% win rate and a $0.67 ROI for every $1 bet.At 5-1/2 furlongs or less on dirt, Maiden 2-year-old stakes starters have an 8.2% win rate and a $0.59 ROI for every $1 bet.At 6 furlongs on dirt, Maiden 2-year-old stakes starters have a 6.4% win rate and a $0.77 ROI for every $1 bet.At 6-1/2 or 7 furlongs on dirt, Maiden 2-year-old stakes starters have a 7.5% win rate and a $0.61 ROI for every $1 bet.At 1 mile or longer on dirt, Maiden 2-year-old stakes starters have a 6.2% win rate and a $0.54 ROI for every $1 bet.At less than 1 mile on turf, Maiden 2-year-old stakes starters have an 11.7% win rate and a $1.25 ROI for every $1 bet.At 1 more or more on turf, Maiden 2-year-old stakes starters have a 10.1% win rate and a $0.74 ROI for every $1 bet.Overall Findings:Maidens have the least likely win percentage in stakes races when compared to horses with 1,2 or 3 previous victories, and the second-lowest ROI among those four categories. When looking at well-backed horses 5-1 or less, the maidens again have the lowest win percentage, but the ROI improves significantly to second-best only to 1-time previous winners. The shorter-distance races were more productive for maidens in stakes races, both on dirt and turf. Turf sprints were easily the best place to bet 2-year-old maidens in stakes, including the highest win rate and far and away the best ROI – a whopping 25% profit.Bottom line:What we saw this past weekend was an anomaly in terms of success of 2-year-old stakes maidens, but there are situations and individuals that certainly warrant consideration. They’re by no means an automatic toss.Additional Details:You can go into Betmix and run your own queries for a deeper dive into this theory and any that you can create. For instance, which trainers have had success with 2-year-old maidens in stakes races? New Mexico-based Todd Fincher has won a national-best 28 such races since 2013 (20% strike rate) – no other trainer has more than 14.

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8.30.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Hawthorne Racecourse Late Pick 4 Analysis | Monday, August 30

Hawthorne Racecourse has a rare Monday night 10-race card set to go at 7:10 CST. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 7. The sequence has a $10,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 72-Model (9/2)-Comes off an even effort against this kind in last but was off almost 5 weeks. This is a good spot to be forwardly placed and should like the company.3-Spoxys Girl (5/2)-Stepped-up and had some road trouble, before that beat the $8k claimers going off at 6/5. Hasn't been in this cheap all meet. Caution is probably the best course of action but is a main player if 100%.4-Finleys Filly (6-1)-Camera shy mare is 3 for 38 over the past 2 years but could beat this crew with a top try. Versus this field it's best to consider this team Leonard entry at this price.Race 82-Peace Time (5-1)-Was scratched sick last week, before that won in Springfield and had been in good form. Drops into a spot to shine if ready. Will take a swing that is the case as the Cavett barn has been winning at a 33% clip over the last 30 days.3-Marcia (3-1)-Three-year-old tries Lasix for the 1st time and has won 3 of 7 at Haw. Fits in a race without a standout.5-Dixie Chick (7/2)-Drops after breaking in last, wasn't Bender's choice (3) and Todd Warren takes the lines. Doesn't like to win but should be competitive versus this crew.Race 94-Fire Shine (5-1)-Slow starter can roll late and there could be a few leaving in here to provide a solid pace. Warren owns, trains and drives and this filly can take a picture but is a work in progress. Looking for an alert start from an inside post draw.5-Dilly Dilly Time (9/2)-This is another filly that has been handled cautiously off the gate from the outside. But from this post Leonard can get a good seat and be in striking range at the top of lane.6-Shooting Brooke (4-1)-Has won 2 straight rather easily but now Husted steers instead of Warren. Has an advantage because can be put in play off the gate. Beat this kind last week and Husted can provide a good trip so best to respect.Race 102-Sports Bet (5/2)-Drops to a level for success and was Ridge Warren's choice over the 5 & 9. Should have a big chance to take a picture with a smooth trip.8-Here Comes Mario (7-1)-Lasix has seemed to work in the last 2 starts and now drops in for a tag after winning in the NW2. This post makes it more of a challenge but also helps the price. Worth a swing at the program odds as the upswing could continue.My Ticket Race 7) 2,3,4 Race 8) 2,3,5 Race 9) 4,5,6 Race 10) 2,8Total Ticket Cost) $27 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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8.29.2021:

Northfield Park Late Pick 4 Analysis

Northfield Park has a 16-race card scheduled with the first post at 6:00 EST. The $1.00 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 11. That sequence has a $10,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 111-High Impression (7/5)-Many will likely single and if Grismore gets the top in easy fashion that could be the race. But not feeling that is as likely as going off as an odds-on choice. Using, but others are possible at a better price.2-Fourboltmane (9-1)-My thinking is this 9-year-old will be dialed on high to take advantage of the post draw. Does its best work racing near the top of the stack and can get there versus this crew.4-Just Bookem (5/2)-Broke slowly last week when dropped to this level. Slow starts have been an issue but does show the gate speed to get the top or a good early seat. Form has been dull but facing a beatable field and with the right steer Wrenn could snag an overdue win for this 6-year-old.6-Blakemore (10-1)-This veteran price shot needs a trip and honest fractions. But could be sitting on a big try and this would be the level to surprise.Race 122-Joggingtothebank (5/2)-Has been cashing checks versus Open Handicap company. Now drops and faces the same kind as on 6-27, which was his last picture. Looks like a player and could be used early to get the point.4-T Barrr (9/2)-Makes the 1st start for the Kreiser barn after being claimed. Failed as the even money choice but Merriman sticks and should be forwardly placed throughout.5-Cherry Peep (4-1)-Here is another who has been facing better but has a more realistic chance for success at this level. Should be in the hunt at a fair price if receives a sharp steer from Stahl.9-Muscles For Life (7/2)-Has been facing tougher and leaving from the 2nd tier should help the price. Both inside horses could blast out and if Wren finds a good early seat chances for success go up in a race without a true standout.Race 132-Cross Country (4-1)-Dropped and popped in last and now steps up but still fits with this crew. Does its best work racing close to the lead and should have no trouble working that trip. Best to respect, could stay good again and has won 25% of its NFLD starts.5-Diesel Accelerator (3-1)-Drops from facing Open company and has a much better shot here. Sugg has some options leaving from a prime post. Winner of 8 in 27 starts could add to that total tonight.Race 142-Louie Louie (9/5)-Drops after an even try in NFLD debut. Burke trainee can be in control or near the top throughout. Should enjoy the company and with a solid try could notch its 6th win in 16 starts this year.$1.00 Late Pick 41,2,4,6/2,4,5,9/2,5/2Total Bet=$32Check me out on Twitter!

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8.29.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Sunday, August 29

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: CUse: 1-Moonachie; 2-High Heater Forecast: Moonachie is listed at 4/5 on the morning line after plummeting in class to the $12,500 level despite showing good recent form in strong state-bred allowance company throughout the year. The Central Banker gelding must have problems, but if he has one good one left, he’ll beat this field. High Heater would seem on paper to be a viable alternative for those not trusting the heavy favorite. A reasonable runner-up last time out, the P. Walder-train colt has his own set of issues, having been a voided claim when second at this level last month. Rolling exotic players may choose to use the two listed above, spread deeper, or better yet pass the race. RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: C+Use: 9-Charleston Strong; 10-Everesting Forecast: Charleston Strong shows up in a maiden claimer for the first time and should greatly appreciate the softer competition. Originally a $600,000 yearling purchase, the son of Flatter simply never panned out, but a repeat of his solid third place effort at Belmont Park sprinting on grass two runs back should be good enough to beat this field. Everesting, runner-up over this course and distance at this level earlier this month, has enough early speed to always be within range, has back numbers that make him competitive, and would seem to be the one to fear most. RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: BUse: 2-Breaking the Rules; 4-Analyze It Forecast: Analyze It was good enough to finish a close third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile-G1 in 2018 but now, at age six, the veteran grass specialist has lost a step or two thanks to various issues that has restricted his career to just 12 lifetime outings. First or second on eight occasions and a multiple graded stakes winner, the C. Brown-trained horse was a solid runner-in a similar allowance race at Belmont Park in early June and makes his first start since following a recent series off steady drills. In a race that should produce soft early splits, he should be on or near the lead throughout. Breaking the Rules, freshened since finishing unplaced in the Pegasus World Cup Turf-G1 in January, likes to settle early and produce a late run and if he can get decent fractions to run at the son of War Front will pose a serious threat in the final furlong. He shows a prior win over the Saratoga turf course, has a work tab that should have him fit enough, and goes for a barn that has strong stats with layoff runners. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Analyze It on top. RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: C+Use: 3-Too Early; 4-Bronx Bomber Forecast: Bronx Bomber, in the money in each of his last four starts but winless in 2021, clearly is overdue for a win and has recent speed figures that make him the one to beat in this state-bred second-level allowance main track sprint. The Take Charge Indy gelding projects to settle in the second flight and then have dead aim and every chance from the quarter pole home. Too Early is just 2-for-15 in his career with nine seconds and thirds, so he, too isn’t exactly a win machine. However, he’s always liked the Saratoga main track, has the route-to-sprint angle that we like and is reunited with “win rider J. Ortiz. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with a slight edge on top to Bronze Bomber. RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: B+Use: 1-Run for the Hills; 10-Distinctlypossible Forecast: This appears to be a fairly decent maiden sprint for juveniles, with several well-regarded fillies scheduled to make their debuts. We’ll zero in on the two that we believe have trained the best. Distinctlypossible has been impressive enough to warrant inclusion in our Clocker’s “Primed and Ready” list and should come up a hot item at 5-1 on the morning line. The daughter of Curlin is comfortably drawn outside and based on her drills she should be quick enough to secure a good pace stalking trip and then go on with it when ready. Run for the Hills appears to have a ton of early zip and if she breaks cleanly from the rail seems certain to be on or near the lead throughout. The daughter of Runhappy is listed at 8-1 on the morning line but we’ll be surprised if she doesn’t go considerably lower. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics and then have a few extra tickets keying Distinctlypossible on top. RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: B+Use: 3-Gun Boat; 7-Pearl Earring; 10-Vagaries Forecast: Maiden juvenile compete over a distance of ground on grass in a race that should showcase three well-regarded fillies who have been quite impressive in workouts leading up to this race. Gun Boat, a daughter of War Front, has plenty of speed and may find herself on or near the lead throughout if she’s allowed to bowl along. She’s been best of several team drills while working without pressure and seems to be an eager and precocious sort for Shug. She’ll offer good wagering value at or near her morning line of 9/2. Vagaries was scratched out of an off-the-turf race on August 18 after showing plenty of ability in a series of grass drills for C. Brown. The outside draw is of only minor concern for the Irish-bred filly, who has a solid foundation of workouts to have her plenty fit. Pearl Earring has done all of her preparation at Fair Hill and has put together a work tab that looks fairly promising. The M. Stidham barn has solid stats with debut runners, and we suspect this Godolphin homebred has plenty of ability. She looks live at 8-1 on the morning line with J. Rosario taking the call. RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: C+Use: 1-Air Show; 4-Stanhope; 5-Montauk Daddy; 12-Charlie Five O Forecast: Here’s a messy starter’s allowance turf sprint that is wide open and extremely challenging. We’ll use four and hope to get by. Air Show is listed at 10-1 on the morning line and may be better than that. The son of Street Sense should enjoy a ground-saving trip from the rail in his first start following a $40,000 B. Bruce claim, switches to J. Rosario, and has speed figures that fit well at this level. He has an effective stalking style and should have every chance to produce a winning late kick. Montauk Daddy crushed a softer restricted claiming field in an off-the-turf dash last week and is wheeled back on short rest by R. Atras following that career top victory. His record on turf is spotty but he has a few races on the lawn that look okay, so if he can shake loose again he could be tough to catch right back. Stanhope, second off the claim for Rudy and remaining protected in a sign of confidence, turns back from a route, retains I. Ortiz, Jr., and should be prominent throughout. At 8-1 on the morning line he’s quite usable. Charlie Five O, a $35,000 M. Maker claim eight days ago, has rising numbers and plenty of early speed. It’ll be interesting to see if he can improve even more in his first try on grass. RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: XUse: 2-Beau Liam; 4-Night Time Forecast: Undefeated Beau Liam made hard work of it when nosing out a first-level allowance field here last month at even money, but the number came up giant – stakes level for sure – so the son of Liam’s Map will be a heavy favorite once again while moving up a notch on the conditioned allowance class ladder. The S. Asmussen-trained colt is listed at 4/5 on the morning line and based on his speed figures looks every bit of that on pure form. Night Time might be worth including as a backup or a saver. The hard-hitting son of Majesticperfection earned a career top number when missing by a nose in a similar sprint early this month and projects to fold into an ideal stalking position and have his chance to fire his best shot. He’ll need another forward move to worry the favorite but if nothing else looks like a logical exacta partner. RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: BUse: 1-Ranger Fox; 7-Straw Into Gold Forecast: Ranger Fox was quite impressive breaking his maiden at Belmont Park last month. He was scratched August 6 but worked two days later and today the son of Nyquist moves up into restricted stakes competition in this inner turf miler for 3-year-olds. The J. Terranova-trained colt most likely will employ a stalking style in his first try around two turns and with numbers that have risen with each outing this promising sophomore looks ready to step forward with a major effort. Straw Into Gold was victimized somewhat by a wide trip and ran a bit better than the line will show when a close fifth in a first-level allowance state bred event over this course and distance last month. The son of Hard Spun seems likely to settle into a second flight position and then produce his best bid when the field straightens for home. He’s only had five starts (with two wins) and should have further improvement in him. RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: C+Use: 1-Count Down; 4-Girl Dad; 6-Chulainn; 8-Made My Day Forecast: The finale is another highly-challenging starter’s allowance affair in which nothing would surprise. Count Down, a $40,000 Rudy claim last month, stretches out, lands the rail, switches to I. Ortiz, Jr., and is certain to employ gate to wire tactics. He’s never won around two turns, though he’s performed well enough routing on a few occasion, so if he can produce a forward move for his new connections the son of More Than Ready might spring a surprise at 8-1 on the morning line. Made My Day and Chulainn, third and fifth, respectively, in a similar affair earlier this month, both ran well enough to be considered dangerous, while Girl Dad switches to L. Saez and may be the most dangerous of the deep threats.

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8.29.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Sunday, August 29

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: 3-Miss Kitness; 6-Mongolian Window Forecast: Mongolian Window makes a monumental trainer change to J. Wong, who’s had a slow meeting but may be starting to heat up and adds blinkers while moving up a level in this $10,000 claiming main track miler for fillies and mares. Based strictly on speed figures she’s a fit off her best race, so in an open affair she appears as good as any. Miss Kitness is likely the controlling speed and could get brave stretching out after a recent sprint tightener on grass against a much tougher field. She’s won two-turning in the past, and in a field in which the closers are highly suspect the S. Ruis-trained filly may get loose on the lead and never look back. Both should be included in rolling exotic play. RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: BSingle: 4-Delta Wind Forecast: Delta Wind didn’t leave cleanly and lost early position and her best chance when fifth in a state-bred sprint on grass earlier this month. With a better break today on the main track, the J. Sadler-trained filly should be quick enough to run her rivals off their feet. She has a history of being vulnerable in the final furlong – she blew a five-length lead when worn down late at Los Alamitos two races back – but against this modest group she should have every chance to stick it out. We’ll make her a rolling exotic single but not take too much lower than her 2-1 morning line in the win pool. RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Wound Tight; 5-Red Storm Risen; 6-Galilean Forecast: Galilean was quite unlucky when unplaced as the favorite in a state-bred stakes over this course and distance last month. The son of Uncle Mo was blocked and shuffled back on the turn to lose valuable position, lacked a clear path entering the lane, then finished interest without having any chance to pose a threat while winding up sixth, beaten just over three lengths. He switches to U. Rispoli, and with clear sailing today he should be more than capable of making amends. Red Storm Risen produced a good late kick to win over this course and distance from a lesser allowance field last month, has trained quite well since, and looks dangerous on the raise for the hot P. D’Amato barn. First or second in six of 11 career starts, the genuine and consistent son of Stormy Atlantic likes to settle and produce a late kick and that’s the kind of trip he’ll get from J. Bravo, who stays aboard. Wound Tight, in his third start off a layoff, is most effective as the controlling speed and could be tough if he can secure that type of journey, though Sash, despite being drawn on the far outside, has plenty of early speed and may have an impact on the pace flow. RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: BSingle: 1-Surely Spectacular Forecast: Here’s a maiden claiming sprint for juvenile state-bred fillies that is loaded with first time starters. As a group, they haven’t shown a whole lot leading up to this race, so let’s settle on the proven element, Surely Spectacular. She’s had three prior runs and has displayed improvement in her speed figures in each outing, most recently finishing with interest to be second before galloping out nicely. Today, the daughter of Texas Ryano gets an extra half-furlong to work with, so if she can work out a decent trip from the rail the A. Lerner-trained filly should be along in time. At 5/2 on the morning line, we’ll make her a win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: C+Use: 3-Warfront Fighter; 7-Circle Back; 8-Try to Capture Forecast: Bottom-rung maiden $20,000 older horses sprint five and one-half furlongs, and you know it’s a weak affair when 17-race maiden Warfront Fighter looks the best of the lot. The New York invader, freshened since June, was claimed for $20,000 two races back and arrives eligible to the ship-and-win bonus money with speed figures that make him the one to beat. He’s hit the board in his last seven starts, so maybe today he can finally break through. Try to Capture has been training at San Luis Rey Downs while showing a decent series of workouts for P. Miller, so maybe he can run a bit. Purchased as a yearling for $67,000 and debuting for $20,000 is not a confidence-inspiring move, but this barn will run them where they can win and against this bunch it’s hard to imagine that he can’t at least be competitive. Circle Back hails from a clever outfit with maidens and the work tab doesn’t look half bad. We’ll toss him in. RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B+Single: 2-Perfectionistic Forecast: Perfectionistic encountered severe trouble in a similar sprint over this course and distance last month and did extremely well to finish as close as he did (fourth, beaten less than four lengths). By the time the field galloped out to the clubhouse turn the lightly-raced son of Vronsky was well clear in front, so today, if he can enjoy clear sailing from a stalking, second flight position the P. D’Amato-trained homebred has a chance to be along in time. At 5-1 on the morning line he offers a good gamble in the win pool and in rolling exotic play. RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B+Use: 6-Bella Vita; 9-Big Sweep Forecast: Bella Vita has been facing tougher foes and actually didn’t run badly last time out when forcing the pace and then weakening late after breaking through the gate prior to the start. She’s reunited with “win rider: F. Prat, shows three easy breezes since raced, and will be tough to beat if she minds her manners before they spring the latch. Big Sweep failed at even money when runner-up at this level earlier this month without apparent mishap. It was just her second start of the year, so she has a right to improve, and from her comfortable draw the M. Glatt-trained filly is guaranteed a soft stalking trip. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Bella Vita. RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Big Clare; 2-Keep Dancing; 8-She’s a Dime Forecast:The main contention appears to be drawn inside with Big Clare and Keep Dancing, second and third, respectively, vs. similar over this course and distance earlier this month, square off again after finishing heads apart last time out. The former enjoyed a dream run while saving ground throughout and getting through at a critical stage in the final furlong while the latter trailed early, had a ton of ground to make and just ran out of room after altering course in mid-stretch. Today, whoever gets the best trip likely will win, though pace players recognizing the possibility of a race with soft early splits may find the need to include the likely controlling speed, She’s a Dime. Unproven on grass but reunited with “win rider” A. Cedillo, the D. O’Neill-trained mare has back numbers that are more than good enough to win, so at 8-1 on the morning line she may wind up being the most attractive gamble in the field. RACE 9: Post: 6:00 PT Grade: B+Single: Team Merchants Forecast: Team Merchants isn’t a stakes winner – he’s never even raced in one – but this gifted colt gets a chance at the big boys in this year’s renewal of the Shared Belief S. The son off Nyquist, highly impressive beating older horses in a recent fast, highly-rated sprint, stretches out for the first time, but the added distance shouldn’t be an issue and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him on the lead, though he certainly doesn’t need to be. The D. O’Neill-trained colt continues to impress in the a.m., and while he’s thoroughly untested against this type of competition there’s little doubt that he has that type of potential. We’ll take a stand and make him a win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 10: Post: 6:30 PT Grade: BUse: 4-Aligato; 6-Sottocapo; 9-Torrid Tommy; 10-Big Summer Forecast: Big Summer is listed at 3-1 on the morning line and looks very much like the best of the known element. In the frame in both of his starts, most recently when missing by a neck after being impeded at the break, the son of Mr. Big should have clear sailing outside in this maiden special weight grass dash for state-bred older horses. Dangerous new shooters from winning outfits include a couple of good workers from San Luis Rey Downs (Aligato) and Los Alamitos (Sotocapo), and Torrid Tommy, bred strictly for grass and also showing some ability in local works for barn that does very well with first time starters. It’s a spread race, with a number of price probabilities to finish out the day.

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8.28.2021:

Jerry Shottenkirk: My Late Pick 4 Ticket at Gulfstream | Sunday, August 29

Fillies and mares are featured in the 10th race on Gulfstream Park’s card on Sunday, and the top two finishers are back, but a third runner has a great opportunity to make some amends.It’s the third leg of the Late Pick 4, and Choose Joy and Cat’s Astray fought it out to the wire and finished 1-2 last time they met. Meanwhile, Reinagol was well played in that race, but was tardy at the start and was stuck in traffic, and those two things make it difficult at five furlongs on the turf – the same situation they’ll face today.This Sunday’s suggested Late Pick 4 play amounts to $72, and here’s a look at the players:8th Race (4:48 p.m. ET, claiming)AFFICIONADO will be favored off his last start and lightly will be the one to beat as she turns back to five furlongs after going two turns. She’s likely to find with some energy and looks like she could get past the speedsters that are common at this distance.She's been solid in two of her last three and can again be a handful at this level.However, there are legit options here, in case she can kept up with the faster pace and can forward the required kick.Others on the ticket: REAL DOOZIE, HEIR BALL, THE GREAT KATH.9th Race (5:22 p.m. ET, maiden special weight)BACKATYA was fifth on the turf and moves over to the main track, which was the comfort zone for his sire, Mucho Macho Man. The colt has been out twice, and he finished sixth in a dirt sprint and fifth going two turns on grass.He had a good half-mile work last week and looks ready for his best go at it.Others on the ticket: CALIFORNIA FROLIC, STRIKE HARD.10th Race (5:56 p.m. ET, handicap)REINAGOL was favored vs. many of these last time but drew the rail, didn’t reach well, and was shuffled back. With an outside post, she’ll be able to keep a good position just off the leaders and can make a strong run at her speedy friends.The top two finishers in the last handicap are back and will be tough, but this one, with a little luck, has a good chance to make amends.Others on the ticket: CHOOSE JOY, CAT’S ASTRAY.11th Race (6:30 p.m. ET, maiden claiming)RUSSIAN TO WIN takes a drop from maiden special weight to maiden claiming and is a good bet to improve off his only start.He showed speed, then retreated and finished a well-beaten sixth. Since that time she has forward three good works and is likely to dig in and finish much better than last time.This race is full of 2-year-olds that are eligible to improve as many of them also are making the step down from the top maiden level.Others on the ticket: MR MAC QUHAE, HEY HIGH POCKETS, CHROME’SRISINGSUN. My TicketRace 8) #4 Afficionado, #6 Real Doozie, #7 Heir Ball, #12 The Great Kath.Race 9) #4 Backatya, #6 California Frolic, #9 Strike Hard.Race 10) #6 Choose Joy, #7 Cat’s Astray, #9 Reinagol.Race 11) #1 Mr Mac Quhae, #2 Hey High Pockets, #6 Russian to Win, #7 Chrome’srisingsun.Total Ticket Cost) 4,6,7,12/4,6,9/6,7,9/1,2,6,7 ($72) for $0.50

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8.28.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Vernon Downs-Zweig Memorial Trot Analysis | Saturday, August 28

The features at Vernon Downs this evening involve three-year-olds battling in the Zweig Memorial Filly Trot and the Zweig Memorial Open Trot. The headliners are carded as Race 8 and Race 9 respectively. On the betting menu is a Daily Double wager which will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 8-Zweig Memorial 3-year-old Filly Trot-$140,000 Purse5-Iteration (7/2)-Comes off a sharp win at Stga in the slop and has been there at the wire in every start this year except for a break in stride on 7-17 in the Delvin Miller. Sports a perfect 3-3 record here, draws the prime post and can be put in play early. Looks like the one to beat.1-Contested Hanover (5-1)-Has raced well but hasn't connected for a 2021 win. Tetrick takes a seat, and he might be able to get a pocket ride and trip out at a nice price.2-Darlene Hanover (5/2)-Made it look easy at PcD last week and cashed a big check. Isn't as versatile as #5 but has raced well in both VD starts. Program chalk deserves respect but may need quick fractions to take a picture.4-Aunt Irene (10-1)-Comes off a nice effort on the 5/8's at PcD from the 8-hole. That was the only start away from M1 this year and may continue the upswing on the big track tonight. Probably isn't ready for a picture but Dunn can keep her in play and could spice up the trifecta.Race 9-Zweig Memorial Open Trot-$325,000 Purse4-Dancingthedark M (5/2)-Melander trainee has broken stride in 3 of the last 6 starts. Unless the trip is awful, my belief is this colt wins if he stays flat. Somewhat a risky play but will respect connections and appears to stand above this field if all systems are "go".5-Balenciaga (7/2)-Consistency hasn't been a strong suit but is improving, winning 2 of the last 3. Last start at Tioga was a strong effort, battled with a 55.4 last half to win. This won't be as easy but has raced well on a larger oval. Has the gate speed for Zeron to work an efficient trip.1-Take All Comers (6-1)-This Campbell trainee cashes checks but has been a notch or two below others. Does have the gate speed to stay inside and then roll late. Doesn't look like a win candidate but should be in the hunt at the wire.6-Spy Booth (12-1)-Takter trainee came 2nd in the Hambo with the benefit of a nice steer by Tetrick. Dunn takes the lines tonight and should add to this year's $243,192 bankroll. Is probably an outsider for its 1st picture, has shown speed but only one good move.Zweig Daily Double$25 Double-5/4$10 Double-5/5$8 Double-1/4$8 Double-2/4Total Bet=$51Check me out on Twitter!

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8.28.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Saturday, August 28

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: 3-Valentina Ghada; 5-Electric Ride; 6-CaptaireForecast: This looks like a very strong maiden juvenile sprint for fillies, and it may very well take stakes-quality performer to win it. California Chrome’s half-sister Captaire lands the cozy outside post and should inherit a lovely stalking trip and then be able to kick home when called upon. She’s certainly quick but it wouldn’t surprise us to see A. Cedillo employ stalk and pounce tactics. Electric Ride has worked well enough to make our Clocker’s “Primed and Ready” list and most likely will try to bust out early and be on or near the lead throughout. Valentina Ghada has the benefit of an excellent race over the track, a sharp runner-up to the highly-regarded Grace Adler. If she improves as expected, the two hot-shot first-timers better not make any mistakes. All three should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Captaire.RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: C+Use: 5-Whisky My God; 6-Magic TigerForecast: Magic Tiger is a first-off-the-claim play for M. Maker and adds blinkers for the first time as well, so there are at least a couple of reasons to expect this son of Smiling Tiger to improve enough to beat this modest restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming field of older horses. A fair third under these conditions here last month, the lightly-raced sophomore should find himself in a good stalking position and then have every chance to wear down the expected front runner Whisky My God in the final stages. The later plummets in class trying to find his proper level after displaying good early speed but then faltering badly when facing considerably tougher foes on grass last time out. The Argentine-bred gelding might shake loose early and get brave late. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics in a race that offers no real viable alternatives.RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Uncle Jeff; 4-Johnny PodresForecast: Johnny Podres was a better pitcher back in the day than he’s been as a race horse, but in this moderate starter’s allowance turf sprint the S. Miyadi-trained gelding looks well-placed to regain his winning form. Sparingly-raced, the son of Grazen has been away since April and his work tab can best be described as uninspiring, but the barn has good stats with layoff runners and this Cal-bred gelding has run well over this course and distance in the past (in the money in three of four starts). A repeat of his runner-up effort to Fratelli last time out will handle this task. Uncle Jeff turns back to a sprint and has won going short on grass, having done so in his debut at Santa Anita in June. We’re expecting the son of Uncle Mo to display good tactical speed from the rail and then have his chance to outrun the faint-hearted front-runners when the pressure is turned on.RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Barsabas; 5-Prince Hussar; 8-Cute ImpactForecast: Cute Impact, a filly tackling the boys, won at first asking from a next-out easy winner and did so from off the pace, a style that might be work quite well in this starter’s allowance dash for juveniles that is loaded with front-running types. She’s a fit on numbers, is drawn comfortably outside, and should appreciate today’s extra furlong. There may be some wagering value at or near her morning line of 7/2. Barsabas wired a maiden-claiming field in good style with an identical Beyer speed figured earned by our top pick. The issue, though, is that he’s facing similar early heat so there are no options other than to be sent hard from the gate and hope he’s good enough to survive the pressure. Prince Hussar, a clever first-out winner two weeks ago, is wheeled back on short rest to take advantage of a condition that may be written back for a while. He’s competitive on speed figures and the :21 3/5 opening quarter split of his debut win may make him the quickest of the quick. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics and then press with an extra ticket or two keying Cute Impact on top.RACE 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Little Liliana; 7-Beautiful Temple; 10-ChantalForecast: In a grass grab bag for older maiden fillies and mares sprinting five furlongs, we’ll go three-deep and hope to get a decent price home, but if you feel the need to spread even more, go right ahead. Little Liliana displayed ability in her 2-year-old debut over this course and distance last November, finishing second by a neck after disputing the pace every step of the way. She was stopped on after that race but returns as a first-time Lasix user for a barn that has solid stats with layoff runners, and with a series of good works at Los Alamitos, including a bullet five furlong drill in :58 3/5 two weeks ago. The J. Sadler-trained daughter of Square Eddie may be a fresh facing worth gambling on at 7/2 on the morning line. Beautiful Temple has the route-to-sprint angle that we like, and with a repeat of her good second place effort at Santa Anita two runs back the S. Ruis-trained filly projects as a major player. Chantal is a first-timer from the clever P. Miller barn bred for grass on both sides of her pedigree. Her workouts at San Luis Rey Downs give a hint of ability, so at 8-1 on the morning line she’s worth tossing in as well.RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B+Single: 5-I Got No MunnyForecast: In his present and consistently improving form, the lightly-raced I Got No Munny looks well-spotted to build on his recent sharp win over the local main track that produced a strong, career-top, stakes quality speed figure. The M. Glatt-trained gelding can be tough on the lead or from a stalking position; in this case we expect him to be outside the likely pacesetter Fratelli and then have every chance when J. Bravo pushes the button. Successful in three of his last four starts – his streak was interrupted two runs back by the razor sharp Team Merchants – this late-developing four year is listed at 9/5 on the morning line and will offer good wagering value at or near that price. We’ll make him a win play and rolling exotic single.RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 3-Love My Jimmy; 4-Jazz Hands; 7-The HulkForecast: Let’s take a shot with the class-dropping The Hulk, who was strictly a sprinter overseas and finally gets his first chance stateside to run short after a pair of non-productive turf routers vs. much tougher allowance foes. He’ll get outrun to the top of the lane for sure, but in a field with suspect speed types he might come running late under K. Frey at a nice price. Love My Jimmy is the quickest of the quick and against this group should stick better after displaying sharp early speed but then fading in the lane in a pair of tougher recent turf sprints. The son of Tapiture will take them as far as he can. Jazz Hands has turf sprint numbers that fit and may be first over on Love My Jimmy if that one weakens in the final furlong. He’s a contender at 3-1 on the morning line.RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Rockefeller; 5-Durante; 10-EncodeForecast:We’re expecting the winner of this maiden juvenile sprint to be one of three well-regarded first-timers. Encode and Rockefeller has worked together in the a.m. for B. Baffert and have appeared fairly even, though in viewing the videos we got the impression that in an actual race Encode might be the quicker of the two. Both have trained like they’re plenty fit, but the cozy outside draw gives Encode an advantage, so we’ll put him slightly on top at 6-1 on the morning line. Rockefeller might prove better in time as the distances get longer and he’s player today, as well, so we’ll use him. Durante has trained like a quick type for D. O’Neill but the barn’s win percentage with debut runners (7%) is considerably below average. We’ll have tickets including all three in our rolling exotics and then press a bit with Encode on top.RACE 9: Post: 6:00 PT Grade: B+Single: 8-Me and Mr. CForecast: This first-level allowance mini-marathon turf affair has several possibilities so a proper strategy for rolling exotic players may be to spread the race deeply and hope to find a price. Small ticket players don’t always have that luxury, so with that in mid we’ll take a stand and single the M. Maker shipper Me and Mr. C, listed at 7/2 on the morning line. A stakes winner at Tampa Bay Downs earlier this year, the son of Khozan is questionable at this mile and three furlong trip but his middle distance speed figures are strong, and he has the perfect second flight, stalking style that lends itself to success as a long-distance galloper. Freshened since late June but working steadily and easily since arriving in California several weeks ago, the four-year-old gelding always has been genuine and consistent (first or second in nine of 20 career starts) so let’s go with this fresh face as a win play and rolling exotic single.RACE 10: Post: 6:30 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Howbeit; 6-Classier; 8-FlagstaffForecast: Several of the main players exit the Bing Crosby S.-G1, a race in which most of the field finished in a heap and the resulting speed figure came up soft. Let’s look elsewhere. Classier, listed at 12-1 on the morning line, won his only sprint very impressively (his debut), and while he’s been routing ever since – and just won the Los Alamitos Derby over nine furlongs – the son of Empire Maker might just be most effective around one turn. Freshened and training superbly as always, the B. Baffert-trained sophomore tackles tough, seasoned, older horses for the first time and will need a significant boost in the speed figure department, but he’s certain to continue his improving pattern and at the price might be able to pull off a surprise. Flagstaff, a seven furlong specialist and a close runner-up in this race last year, returns from New York where he finished a good second to Belmont Park specialist Firenze Fire in a race that produced a career top 101 Beyer speed figure. A similar performance today puts him right there. Howbeit was claimed for $32,000 earlier this year by M. Glatt and has improved dramatically for his new connections. Though untested in stakes competition, he’s a major player based on speed figures, and he couldn’t have looked better when winning a recent second level allowance event over this main track in a hot race. He has shown the versatility to win on the lead or from off the pace, so at 6-1 on the morning line he's worth including on your ticket.RACE 11: Post: 7:00 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Zip Now; 4-Carmelita’s Man; 9-Cool Your JetsForecast: The finale is a challenging middle distance turf affair for state-bred first-level allowance older horses. Cool Your Jets took 15 races to break his maiden and when he finally did – after returning from a seven month layoff that apparently cured whatever was ailing him – the son of Unusual Heat looked vastly improved, so much so that he may be capable of winning right back on the raise. It was a visually pleasing performance from off the pace that featured a turn of foot from the top of the lane to the wire than we’d never seen from him before, so perhaps he’s simply just a better racehorse now. Additionally, he’s a fit on numbers, retains J. Bravo, and should find enough early pace up front to compliment his one-run style. Zip Now was a stylish debut winner sprinting on turf earlier this month, but truthfully, he had nothing behind him. A nicely-bred colt by Tiznow out of the terrific race mare Unzip Me, the C. Gaines-trained colt is drawn nicely inside and probably will try gate-to-wire tactics, though he certainly could have some company up front. Carmelita’s Man may have had his form flattered when a race-shape aided third in a similar affair last month, but he’s been first or second in six of 11 career starts, including a prior win over the Del Mar turf course. The D. Pederson-trained gelding should at least get a piece of it.

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8.28.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Saturday, August 28

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: 11:35 ET Grade: B-Use: 3-Electability; 10-Sweeping GiantForecast: There are no world beaters among those that have raced so let’s take an educated guess with a first-timer on top. Electability, listed at 7/2 on the morning line, has looked fairly decent in the morning for C. Brown and has been given a good foundation of steady workouts that should have him fit enough to handle the trip in this middle distance turf event for juveniles. The son of Quality Road seems to have a bit of speed, so with a clean break he could find himself close up throughout in a race that projects to be slowly run early. Sweeping Giant, runner-up in a similar affair in his debut last month, has as right to step forward with that race under his belt. The son of Curlin gives the indication of being a one-paced grinder and probably can’t beat a good colt but this doesn’t look like a strong field so he may go favored by default.RACE 2: Post: 12:08 ET Grade: B+Use: 2-Dr. Perry; 5-Jack ChristopherForecast: There are at least two superior prospects in this maiden sprint for juveniles and both are expected to be extremely well-meant after impressing with a series of sharp workouts for their high profile connections. Dr. Perry, a colt by Into Mischief from a full sister to Gr. 1 winner Cross Traffic, has done everything like a win-early type for S. Asmussen despite not been permitted to show anything close to his true speed in local drills since arriving from Keeneland, where he posted a bullet gate drill (4f, :47bg, fastest of 62) last month. A strong, powerful grey colt, he was a $690,000 yearling purchase at Keeneland and looks the part for a trainer who that can get his young stock ready to win without demanding fast workout times. This colt could be one of his better ones. Jack Christopher, listed as the 9/5 morning line favorite, made our “Primed and Ready” list a few weeks back and is the one to fear most. The C. Brown-trained colt is a high quality son of Munnings that has outworked everything led up to him and is another that hasn’t been asked to show his best stuff in the morning despite registering a :59 3/5 gate drill Aug. 7 when he best of a team while just breezing along in hand. Dr. Perry is listed as the better price (7/2) so we’ll put him slightly on top, but both are “must uses” in rolling exotic play.RACE 3: Post: 12:44 ET Grade: B-Use: 3-Golden Plume; 7-Kitten by the Sea; 8-Love and ThunderForecast: Trainer C. Brown has major players in the third race going long on the lawn for fillies and mares. Love and Thunder has a considerable edge in the speed figure department, but can you trust her? A beaten choice when second in all three of her U.S. starts after being imported from England, the daughter of Siyouni surely will receive plenty of play again after hitting the front and then getting nailed close home in a similar middle distance event last month. Drawn farthest outside and likely to drop over, settle, and be asked to produce one late one, the Irish-bred four-year-old is listed at 7/5 on the morning line so once again she won’t be offering a whole lot of value. Stable mate Golden Plume won her debut last winter at Tampa Bay Downs in clever style but then disappeared. She’s trained well for her comeback and picks up F. Prat, so while she still has plenty to prove she shouldn’t be dismissed despite the discrepancy in speed figures between herself and the race favorite. Kitten by the Sea is an ex-claimer in good form for T. Pletcher and may be a bit better than her morning line of 8-1. She earned a career top number when winning a recent starter’s allowance event over this course and distance while on the lead, and similar front-running tactics likely will be employed again. She could take the field a long way if not respected.RACE 4: Post: 1:17 ET Grade: A-Single: 3-ViaderaForecast: Viadera was plenty fit for a winning performance in her first start since November when 6/5 in the listed De La Rose S. earlier this month but ran into a roadblock when launching her bid entering the lane and lost her best chance, eventually winding up fourth, beaten less than three lengths. She gets a chance to make amends today in this year’s renewal of the Ballston Spa S.-G2, and despite a pace flow that should be very slow early, the Grade-1 winning English-bred mare should be able to produce enough of a late kick to get up in time. A logical rolling exotic single, she’ll offer value in the win pool at or near her morning line of 8/5, though we suspect the C. Brown-trained daughter of Bated Breath will go lower.RACE 5: Post: 1:54 ET Grade: BUse: 4-Whittington Park; 6-Brady’s LegacyForecast: Whittington Park may have been a tad short in his debut when looming a threat but then settling for second money earlier this month, but with that bit of experience behind him he should be ready to graduate in this state-bred maiden sprint for juveniles. The B. Cox barn hits at a terrific 30% with the second-time starter angle, and also is quite proficient (24% ) when adding blinkers, so in a race that didn’t come up particular tough the son of Midnight Lute seems pretty solid at 2-1 on the morning line. Among the newcomers, Brady’s Legacy is worth consideration. The son of Street Boss sizzled in the preview session of the OBS April sale when working two furlongs in :21 flat, after which he brought $250,000 through the ring. The barn is okay with first-timers, so we’ll have this colt on our rolling exotic ticket while reserving the main punch for Whittington Park.RACE 6: Post: 2:26 ET Grade: BUse: 1-After Five; 9-Shiraz; 7-Collton’s Command; 11-Big PackageForecast: Colton’s Command had a nightmarish trip when sixth, beaten more than six lengths, in a similar turf sprint over this course and distance last month, and it’s not an exaggeration to say he could have won had he not been stopped cold when full of run entering and through the entire stretch. He’s a lightly-raced son of Twirling Candy with plenty of improvement in him and makes a monumental jockey switch to red hot J. Rosario. With clear sailing today, he’ll have an excellent change to wear down the speed at 5-1 on the morning line. Big Package is drawn a bit farther out than we’d prefer but the son of Big Brown is good enough to make his presence felt in the final furlong, though his lack of tactical speed always is a bit concerning. Runner-up when too late in the same race our top pick exits, the D. Donk-trained gelding will need good racing luck, and some help up front to regain his winning form. Shiraz was up in time to win a state-bred affair at this level last time out over yielding ground that may have moved him up a bit. The number was strong, and he’s won on firm ground as well, so we’ll consider him a threat right back, even though he's always preferred to run second or third (17 times) rather than win (five times). After Five is lightly raced with room for improvement, though on numbers he’ll need to step up considerably after finishing well beaten in a similar affair at Belmont Park in mid-July. The W. Ward-trained colt lands the rail and projects to enjoy a good second flight, ground-saving trip and may be able to get at least a piece of it.RACE 7: Post: 3:02 ET Grade: B+Use: 1-Gamine; 7-Ce CeForecast: Gamine is a winner of eight of nine starts, her only defeat occurring when she was third in the Kentucky Oak-G1 over a nine furlong distance that was out of her range at that stage of her career. This year’s edition of the Ballerina H.-G1 came up without any other early speed, so the B. Baffert-trained filly theoretically should cruise to the front without being asked and then dominate as she usually does. That said, Ce Ce might give her a run for her money. She’s a one-turn specialist that has never been sharper or trained better, and from her outside draw will have the perfect opportunity to employ her preferred stalk, pounce, and go style that brings out her best. Given the discrepancy in price, will give Ce Ce a chance to spring a surprise while recognizing how difficult a task it may be. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.RACE 8: Post: 3:37 ET Grade: B+Use: 1-Mischevious Alex; 2-WhitmoreForecast: 2020 Breeder’s Cup Sprint-G1 champion Whitmore switches to J. Rosario and may benefit enough from the patient ride he’s sure to receive to produce his first victory of the year in the Forego S.-G1. A gelding who prefers to be left alone to the top of the lane, the veteran son of Pleasantly Perfect can settle early and blast home in a field he’s capable of beating on his best day. He’s been close this year – four in the money finishes, all in high class company – but we’ll gamble at 4-1 that the “first time Rosario” angle kicks in. Mischevious Alex has two poor runs over the Saratoga main track on his resume so it’s conceivable that he simply doesn’t like this track. But the S. Joseph, Jr. gelding does his best in extended one-turn events, and in a race that projects to have a comfortable early pace flow the son of Into Mischief should draft into a second flight, stalking position while saving ground and have every chance from the quarter pole home. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics while giving Whitmore a slight edge on top.RACE 9: Post: 4:12 ET Grade: XUse: 2-Jackie’s Warrior; 6-Life Is GoodForecast>: Jackie’s Warrior demolished his rivals, including the high class sprinter Drain the Clock, over a sloppy track in the Amsterdam S.-G2 earlier this month and we see no reason why he can’t do it again over what we’re expecting to be a fast strip. The son of Maclean’s Music earned a career top speed figure in victory and projects to enjoy a similar pace-pressing trip outside of ‘Clock and then be able to go on with it when called up on. Life Is Good is the wildcard. Undefeated in three starts last winter when trained by B. Baffert, the son of Into Mischief launches a comeback for new conditioner T. Pletcher and though working very well may be a race a way from being totally cranked up. Clearly good enough to win if ready based on speed figures, he’s comfortably drawn outside and could fold into a stalking position and then pounce when ready. In a race that we have no plans to play, Jackie’s Warrior rates the edge on top but Life Is Good is simply too talented to completely dismiss.RACE 10: Post: 4:47 ET Grade: XSingle: 6-LetruskaForecast: On resume Letruska is head-and-shoulders above the others in the older filly and mare division and is legitimately listed as the 6/5 morning line favorite in this year’s edition of the Personal Ensign S.-G1. A winner of five of her last six starts and once again the likely pacesetter (her preferred trip), the daughter of Super Saver has been freshened since late June but has fired big shots off similar layoffs in the past and continues to impress in the morning to indicate she’s fit and ready. She’s an obvious short-priced rolling exotic single in a race that we’ll otherwise pass.RACE 11: Post: 5:25 ET Grade: B+Single: 2-GufoForecast: Gufo is developing with maturity and experience and seems set for a career top performance in this year’s Sword Dancer S.-G1 over the marathon distance of a mile and one-half. A confidence-building winner of a listed stakes at this trip in early July at Belmont Park, the son of Declaration of War showed he belonged in Grade-1 company three races back when missing by a nose in the Man O’War S.-G1, and in a race that projects to produce a normal (for this distance) early pace, the C. Clement-trained colt should have every opportunity to produce a winning late kick. This division always seems to produce tough, contentious races, but at the 3-1 on the morning line we’ll take a stand with Gufo as a win play and rolling exotic single.RACE 12: Post: 6:12 PT Grade: XSingle: 2-Essential QualityForecast: Essential Quality has won seven of eight career starts, the only blemish being his fourth place finish (beaten a length) in the Kentucky Derby-G1. The son of Tapit made hard work of it in his most recent victory, a half-score score over Keepmeinmind in the Jim Dandy S.-G2 here last month, but we’re expecting the B. Cox-trained colt to find a way to manufacture another win in this year’s Travers S.-G1 and lock up an Eclipse Award in the 3-year-old division. The pace figures to be soft – we’re expecting Midnight Bourbon to establish the running – with ‘Quality drafting into an ideal stalking position and then having every chance to grind out another victory as an odds-on favorite and rolling exotic single.RACE 13: Post: 6:51 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Dancing Firefly; 12-Sister LuckForecast: Maiden claiming state-bred fillies and mares run long on the lawn in the finale in a race that should boil down to two main players. Dancing Firefly couldn’t handle the muddy track in maiden special weight off-the-turf affair here last month and was virtually eased, but under these conditions on grass in her debut two runs back the daughter of Ironicus ran a winning race in defeat when second while three lengths clear of the rest, earning a solid number in the process. From her good rail position, the D. Gargan-trained filly is guaranteed a soft, ground-saving trip and then have her chance to kick home went given her cue. With L. Saez riding her back, she’s the logical favorite at 9/5 on the morning line. Sister Luck, a $375,000 auction purchase last year, is being tossed away for a $40,000 tag in just her third career start, not exactly an encouraging sign, but he’s trained okay on grass for her first start since February and she did show some ability at Fair Grounds in her debut when displaying early speed and winding up fourth in maiden special weight company. She returns without blinkers and with I. Ortiz, Jr. in the saddle for T. Pletcher so despite her extreme outside draw we’ll include her on our ticket.

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8.28.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: Gulfstream Florida Sire Stakes | Saturday, August 28

Saturday’s Gulfstream Park card co-features the second leg of the Florida Sire Stakes series. The Susan’s Girl for the fillies and the Affirmed for the colts and geldings will go as Races 9 and 11 on a 12-race program.To assist your handicapping, selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections.You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app.We’ve included the track’s official morning line odds for each runner.Gulfstream// Race 9 // 4:36 pm ET // $200,000 FSS Susan’s Girl // 7 furlongs#6 My Sassenach (5-2) // 28%W // 43%P // 57%S#7 Outfoxed (5-1) // 14%W // 27%P // 40%S#3 Demurely (4-1) // 13%W // 22%P // 33%S#8 Devilette (9-2) // 10%W // 29%P // 43%S#11 Dear Mama Mia (12-1) // 8%W // 18%P // 29%S#10 Noble Dreamer (6-1) // 7%W // 17%P // 25%S#1 Sequin Lady (20-1) // 6%W // 12%P // 19%S#4 Veiled Prophet (12-1) // 4%W // 9%P // 18%S#9 LLuvia (50-1) // 4%W // 9%P // 17%S#2 Rachel’s Rock (20-1) // 3%W // 7%P // 10%S#5 Spectacular Gal (20-1) // 3%W // 7%P // 10%SGulfstream// Race 11 // 5:48 pm ET // $200,000 FSS Affirmed // 7 furlongs#5 Cajun’s Magic (7-5) // 28%W // 43%P // 57%S#8 Cattin (15-1) // 14%W // 27%P // 40%S#7 Big and Classy (12-1) // 13%W // 22%P // 33%S#6 King Cab (9-2) // 10%W // 29%P // 43%S#2 Merlin (20-1) // 8%W // 18%P // 29%S#4 Lightening Larry (6-1) // 7%W // 17%P // 24%S#1 Octane (5-1) // 6%W // 12%P // 19%S#11 Gold Special (20-1) // 4%W // 9%P // 18%S#3 Clapton (10-1) // 4%W // 9%P // 17%S#9 Awesome Crusader (30-1) // 3%W // 7%P // 10%S#10 Gilligan (10-1) // 3%W // 7%P // 10%S

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8.27.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Hoosier Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Friday, August 27

Hoosier Park has a 14-race card to start the weekend. The headliners on the program are 2-year-old colts and gelding pacers competing in Indiana Sires Stakes action. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 starts in Race 11, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 112-Many (5-1)-This 8-year-old is only 1-23 at HoP and 5 for the last 61 overall. Normally that's a reason to look away but this is a soft spot. Has been cashing checks versus much better and this could be the time to shine.6-Crusher Q (6-1)-Came off the bench with a 54.0 back half in HoP debut. Fits with this bunch and could be driven more aggressively with a start under his belt and should offer a solid price.8-My House (7/2)-Drops into a soft condition and would probably be the morning line chalk with a better post. Versus a suspect bunch, Shetler will likely leave and then it will be a question as to how the trip goes. Has the speed to be a player but will need a good steer with this post draw.Race 125-Sonny Weaver N (5/2)-If the chart is correct this New Zealand bred paced a 52.1 back half with a 25.4 last panel. That was the 1st start at Hoosier and off that effort will use in case Wise Sky doesn't bring his "A" game.7-He'zzz A Wise Sky (9/5)-This 4-year-old has had some year finishing in the money in 15 of 16 with 7 wins. Has a good record at HoP but has been more dominate at Hawthorne. Deserves respect and will use but also include #5 with the hopes of adding some juice to the Pick 4 payout.Race 131-Uncmprmising Z Tam (5-1)-Was used very hard from the 9-hole to get the top, then faded down the lane and was claimed by the Redmond barn. Drops to a level for success and should be a factor but recent form has been dull.2-Harambe Deo (7/2)-Gets a positive driver change in Widger and drops down a notch. Got on the engine when facing similar on 7-9 and made every call a winning one. The same pilot was between the pipes to take that picture.5-Sea Of Life (2-1)-Tetrick steered for Cullipher on 7-3 versus the Open II kind, got on the point starting from the rail and never looked back. The same driver is back up for the 1st time since that win. Recent form has not been great but this could be a wake-up spot.Race 141-Mindtrip (9/5)-This 8-year-old was scratched-Lame on 1-30, then qualified back on 4-24, raced two times and then was put away again. Requalified on 8-18 in a snappy 151.3 and should be a major player versus this crew if close to 100%. The price will be tiny, but this is not a strong group.4-Gazing Star (6-1)-This is another who takes a big drop and has issues but comes off a decent try from post 10. Should be a solid price so will take a swing in case #1 isn't dialed on high and hope for a smooth journey.My Ticket Race 11) 2,6,8 Race 12) 5,7 Race 13) 1,2,5 Race 14) 1,4Total Ticket Cost) $18 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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8.27.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Friday, August 27

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: 3:30 PT Grade: BUse: 4-So Much Happy; 5-ZabavaForecast: So Much Happy returns to her proper level and catches a field that should allow her to gain her coveted front-running trip. As the controlling speed in this $35,000 claiming field of fillies and mares, the M. Glatt-trained daughter of Twirling Candy should be hard to catch. Zabava moves up a notch for K. Mulhall, who has superior stats with the first-off-the-claim angle (31%), so we’re expecting the veteran mare to continue her good recent consistent form. She likes to settle and blast home, so if she can get a little help up front the daughter of Skipshot will be dangerous late. We’re expecting the winner to be one of these two, so we’ll include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 2: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 4-Morning Addiction; 7-American Bourbon; 8-Flat Out JoyForecast: Flat Out Joy toyed with a modest (nw-2) $16,000 claiming field sprinting 12 days ago and is wheeled back on short rest on the one level raise to a (nw-3) $20,000 miler in her first-off-the-claim for D. O’Neill. The quick turnaround is of some concern, but this will be her first try around two turns (bred for it) and we suspect she will run just as well routing as she does going short. American Bourbon is drawn just inside of her and likely will be committed to a front-running trip, relegating Flat Out Joy to a stalker’s role (no worries, she can win that way). ‘Bourbon returns to dirt, a surface she’s never won on, and the J. Wong barn is something like 1-for-31 at the meeting, but front speed is always dangerous, so we’ll toss her in. Morning Addiction won a restricted (nw-2) $25,000 seller in clever fashion in late July (beating Flat Out Joy) but returns for new trainer A. Lerner at a lesser price, so it’s a tad concerning that the connections aren’t protecting her. These are the three we’ll be including on our ticket; preference on top goes to Flat Out Joy.RACE 3: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Conquest Cobra; 2-Studly PerfectionForecast: Conquest Cobra makes a significant barn change to S. Miyadi via a $16,000 claim. Today, the ex-classer drops to the $10,000 level for a trainer that hits with 21% with the first-off-the-claim angle while also picking up one of the stable’s “go to” riders A. Cedillo. This looks like a drop for the money run. Studly Perfection exits the same race as our top pick and should stick much better today after flashing speed along the deep rail but then understandable faltering through the lane. Front-running tactics surely will be employed, and with the track now kinder to inside speed, the K. Mulhall-trained gelding could get loose and get very brave. We’ll try to survive and advance using just these two in our rolling exotics.RACE 4: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B+Use: 2-Oviatt Class; 4-Flying DrummerForecast: Flying Drummer and Oviatt Class, two-three finishers earlier this month in a hot maiden sprint won by the talented Montebello, meet again in this main track miler for juveniles, and both have the pedigrees to step forward considerably around two turns. ‘Drummer, from the first crop of Gun Runner, missed by a head after battling bravely through the lane in a very promising debut for B. Baffert, whose record with second-timers is quite good (22%). Oviatt Class, making his third career start, finished willingly to be a close third and sports the two-sprints-and-a-stretch angle that should have him plenty fit for this distance. By Bernardini from a mare by Tiznow, the K. Desormeaux-trained colt really has a nice future as the distances increase. We’ll give Flying Drummer the edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 5: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-Avigale; 6-Steak and CheeseForecast: Steak and Cheese ran well earlier this month at this restricted (nw-2) $32,000 claiming level over the local lawn when a close fourth (moved up to third) in his first outing since arriving from Indiana. The M. Maker-trained gelding has had just five career starts, so there’s room for improvement, and with U. Ripsoli staying aboard and in a race that probably will have soft early splits, the pace-pressing Mizzen Mast gelding seems the logical top pick. We’ll also include in our rolling exotics Avigale, a J. Mullins-trained gelding dropping into a seller for the first time and making his third start in his current form cycle. He was simply overmatched when facing first-level allowance foes, but he has speed figures that are quite competitive in this league.RACE 6: Post: 6:00 PT Grade: B+Single: 3-Miss BiglyForecast: Miss Bigly returns from the Midwest in much better form than she left, and if she repeats any of her last three races the P. D’Amato-trained mare will be hard to beat in this year’s renewal of the restricted Tranquility Lake S. over a mile on the main track. Runner-up in two listed stakes races while earning strong speed figures, the daughter of Gemologist has been freshened since late June but shows a local work tab that should have her plenty fit. The barn’s “go-to” rider J. Hernandez takes the call and projects to find himself in an ideal stalking position behind need-the-lead Miss Stormy D and then be able to take command when ready.RACE 7: Post: 6:30 PT Grade: BSingle: 3-Tiz the TaleForecast: Tiz the Tale finally makes it to the races after bringing $375,000 at the Timonium 2-year-old in training sale more than a year ago. There’s not much in his immediate female family but this colt previewed as well as anything in the sale, breezing a furlong in 10 1/5 seconds while displaying lovely action and a nice, long stride. Obviously he’s had his issues, but his recent local a.m. tab looks solid for a barn whose first-timers often run better than they work, so in a race in which the known element doesn’t impress, let’s hope this colt can leave with his field and show his best stuff. We’ll make him a win play and rolling exotic single.RACE 8: Post: 7:00 PT Grade: C+Use: 7-Proud Veteran; 9-Doncic; 10-Safe CombinationForecast:There are probably lots of stories surrounding this $32,000 maiden claimer that offers all kinds of possibilities featuring first-timers, shippers, comebackers, and workouts from San Luis Rey Downs that nobody knows anything about. Good luck! Proud Veteran, a Midwest invader who hasn’t been out in almost a year, returns as a first-time gelding and has been burning up the track at the training center for a low profile outfit. There’s no question the son of Justin Philip has speed, and maybe against this group he can clear early and never look back. Doncic shows awful form, but he continues to train like he can run. If J. Sadler, who claimed him for $100,000 out his debut last April, can get this colt to perform in the p.m. as well as he does in the morning, he may have something. Safe Combination, a $20,000 claim by a low profile trainer, earned an okay speed figure when a close fifth in his debut and may improve off that effort from a comfortable outside draw under U. Rispoli. In a race in which nothing would surprise, each of the three listed above have a right to run well so include them in your rolling exotics along with anything else that catches your eye.

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8.27.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Friday, August 27

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: BUse: 3-Devil or Angel; 4-Surprise Boss; 10-Open Til MidnightForecast: Open Til Midnight was green in his debut, drifting in and finishing on his wrong lead, but kept to his task in the final furlong and wound up a willing third, beaten less than two lengths, while earning a respectable speed figure. Blinkers are added today, so we’re expecting a bit more professionalism from the son of Midnight Storm in this maiden special weight turf sprint for state-bred juveniles. From his outside draw the J. Ryerson-trained gelding should settle somewhere in the second flight and then have his chance from the quarter pole home. Surprise Boss will be making his fifth career start and on pure numbers is strictly the one to beat. Third in the fast, highly-rated race on dirt 15 days ago won by Key Point, the War Dancer colt tries grass for the first time (bred for it) and projects to be on or near the lead throughout. We’ll view the switch to talented speed rider R. Santana, Jr. as a positive move. Devil or Angel shows a bullet half mile gate work (:48 1/5, fastest of 43) at Belmont Park earlier this month, and as a son of Shackleford certainly is bred for speed. The barn doesn’t win often with first-timer starters but for protection we’ll use this colt on a ticket or two as a backup.RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: XSingle: 3-November ReinForecast: November Rein missed by a neck in a promising debut in June at Belmont Park and then produced a significant forward move when graduating by more than five lengths while improving her Beyer speed figure by 10 points the following month at Saratoga. She’s had plenty of time off in between races (six weeks) and her work tab in the interim has been a bit spotty, but we’ll assume the daughter of Street Boss is ready to roll and be a short price in this sprint stakes for state-bred juvenile fillies. The K. Breen-trained filly took early heat and then came away with authority, so today’s extra furlong shouldn’t be an issue.RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade:Use: 5-Yarrow; 7-BarrageForecast: Barrage began his career competing for a maiden $16,000 tag (he finished second) but since then the son of War Dancer certainly has improved, finishing a close third in a New York Stallion stakes race sprinting on grass at Belmont Park and then most recently winding up fifth in a similar added money event but earning a good speed figure in defeat. The D. Gargan-trained gelding drops into maiden special weight company today and appears to have found a proper spot while switching to L. Saez. In a field without much speed he’s likely to be on or near the lead throughout. Yarrow displayed some ability when third of 10 in a maiden turf router at Tampa Bay Downs in February but then disappeared. The C. Clement barn has excellent stats with layoff runners and I. Ortiz, Jr. takes the call, so if this sophomore son of Lookin At Lucky shows some improvement in his second start he should be competitive. We’ll have tickets using both in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Barrage.RACE 4: Post: 2:47 ET Grade: BUse: 1-Senbei; 5-Montebello; 6-Bourbon’s HopeForecast: Montebello failed to change leads but otherwise was quite impressive breaking his maiden at first asking in open company at Del Mar earlier this month while earning a good speed figure. He deserves extra points for having won from the rail and displaying reserve energy under heavy pressure that a lesser colt wouldn’t have found. Today’s extra half-furlong won’t be an issue at all, so if he breaks well and gets his footwork down properly the son of Curlin can handle this New York-bred stakes for B. Baffert. However, there are others in here who appear equally promising. Like Montebello, Senbei won at first asking from the rail, doing so over state-bred competition on a wet track while on the lead with complete authority and earning the same Beyer speed figure (73) as our top pick. The son of Candy Ride must leave from the inside post again but should be quick enough to gain a favorable position and have his chance. Today’s six and one-half furlong distance should be well within his range. Bourbon’s Hope won at first asking at Belmont Park last month like a nice sort, and as a son of Exaggerator should get nothing but better with distance and maturity. J. Rosario stays aboard and should have him doing his best work from the top of the lane to the wire.RACE 5: Post: 3:23 ET Grade: C+Use: 6-Escapewithfriends; 7-CaumsettForecast: Caumsett is a seven-race maiden and therefore not one to totally trust but she’s hit the board in her last three starts and is adding blinkers for the first time after displaying a liking for this course and distance when third, beaten less than two lengths, vs. similar foes earlier this month. She’s really not all that much but in a shallow field she’s the top pick by default. Escapewithfriends ran quite well in her debut when overcoming significant early trouble to finish second in a maiden $40,000 sprint at Belmont Park last month but then disappointed in a similar event over a distance of ground earlier this month, a race in which she was claimed by M. Dini. She’s up in class vs. straight maidens today but is back around one corner, and a repeat of her first race could make her dangerous, especially with a clean trip. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics in a race that we’ll otherwise not get too involved in.RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: B-Use: 7-I’m Fine; 8-Bustin BayForecast: This seven furlong first-level allowance affair for state-bred fillies and mares attracted 11 entrants but lacks quality depth. We’ll try to survive and advance using just two. Bustin Bay makes her first start since being claimed by K. Broberg, and while she’s moving up from a modest $14,000 restricted (nw-3) claimer she’s actually reasonably competitive on speed figures. The barn hits at an excellent 20% with the first-off-the-claim angle and this extended sprint distance is right up her alley, so with regular rider M. Franco staying aboard, the daughter of Bustin Stones could easily step forward and produce a mild surprise. I’m Fine, second in her last three with rising speed figures, is strictly the one to beat. Freshened since March but with an effective late-running style that works well at this distance on this track, the J. Englehart-trained filly shows a steady if unspectacular recent work tab that should have her fit enough.RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: B-Use: 1-Betsy Blue; 8-Coffee Bar; 9-Make MischiefForecast: Make Mischief may be somewhat suspect at the nine furlong distance of today’s Fleet Indian S. but she’s far more accomplished than the opposition and takes a monumental class drop from graded stakes competition into this New York-bred added money event. She should be comfortably placed on or near the lead throughout, with I. Ortiz, Jr. having the option to control the pace flow from his outside draw. Betsy Blue makes her third start in 16 days, but her numbers continue to rise and in her first start around two turns (from a favorable inside post) the daughter of Tonalist should continue to improve and be a strong threat throughout. First or second in seven of eight career starts and exiting an extremely fast, highly-rated race, the L. Rice-trained filly has been a beaten choice in each of her last three outings and therefore isn’t one to trust, but under these conditions must be taken seriously. Coffee Bar can handle the trip, adds blinkers and switches to F. Prat. She was beaten at 2/5 in a first level allowance race over this track and distance earlier this month but has finished in the frame in all five career starts and should at least get a piece of it again today.RACE 8: Post: 5:03 ET Grade: BUse: 2-Rinaldi; 3-Graded On a Curve; 8-Mo ReadyForecast: Rinaldi just won the Forbidden Apple S.-G3 over the local lawn from open company and today faces state-bred foes in this year’s renewal of the West Point S. The Posse gelding will be the controlling speed from his favorable inside draw and given that type of trip he should be extremely difficult to run down over a turf course he practically owns (four wins in five starts). Fresh from earning a career top 102 Beyer speed figure, the H. Bond-trained veteran seems likely to be a short price to continue his winning ways. Graded On a Curve has been away since November but the C. Brown-trained gelding shows a steady series of local drills that should have him fit enough for a barn that hits at 25% with layoff runners. A winner of three of his last four starts before being stopped on, the son of Noble Mission will need some help up front but should make some noise from the quarter pole home. Mo Ready has enough tactical speed to be within range of the leader and was Grade-1 placed vs. 3-year-olds last year, though on pure numbers he’s not fast enough to worry our top pick. Still, the T. Pletcher-trained gelding comes off a solid effort over the local lawn and switches to F. Prat, so he’s not without some kind of look.RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: B+Use: 2-Americanrevolution; 5-Bobby BoForecast>: California shipper Bobby Bo is fresh from a maiden win vs. open company at Del Mar and today tackles New York-bred opposition in this year’s renewal of the Albany S. for 3-year-olds. The son of Speightster projects to be the controlling speed and on pure numbers is as fast as any in the field, so with another forward move the B. Baffert-trained colt will have every chance to wire the field under F. Prat. Americanrevolution, winner of the New York Derby at Finger Lakes by seven widening lengths but not beating a whole lot while earning a Beyer speed figure that is identical (87) to the one assigned to Bobby Bo’s recent career top. He’ll enjoy a similar stalking trip today and will have dead aim and every chance to get by Bobby Bo when the pressure is turned on. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Bobby Bo on top.RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: BUse: 2-Classic Lady; 3-Myhartblongstodady; 6-Chocolate CookieForecast: Defending Yaddo H. winner Myhartblongstodady was no factor from a poor draw in the Eatontown S.-G3 at Monmouth Park last time out but returns to New York-bred company today and should produce a significant forward move in a race that could find herself as the controlling speed. Never worse than second in four career starts on grass at Saratoga, the J. Abreu-trained daughter of Scat Daddy is six years old but relatively fresh, having started just 13 times during her career. A healthy recent series of works indicates she’s spot on for a major effort. Classic Lady makes her second start off a layoff and should be fitter and stronger today for the always-potent C. Clement/J. Rosario team. She’s consistently run well over the Saratoga turf course, has a good stalking style, and was third in this race last year. Chocolate Cookie is lightly-raced and steadily improving for T. Pletcher. She’s not where she needs to be on speed figures but earned a career top number last time out and should be capable of stepping forward enough to at least hit the board.RACE 11: Post: 6:47 ET Grade: B-Use: 5-Tackle; 8-Fast Gordon; 12-Brennan’s WarForecast: Tackle, away since November and dropping from maiden to maiden-claiming for the first time after joining the M. Maker barn, attracts I. Ortiz, Jr., so we’ll assume he’s fit and ready following a steady series of workouts at Ellis Park. His speed figures from last year are better than par for this level, so if he returns as well as he left the son of Flatter should be able to handle this modest middle distance turf event for New York-bred older horses. Brennan’s War , in the frame in both career starts including a decent runner-up while more than five lengths clear of the rest over this course and distance at this level last month, likely will continue to progress with experience and is the one to fear most. His extreme outside post does him no favors, though. Fast Gordon, nosed out in a similar affair here last month, must be considered a contender, though having just failed at even money he’s probably not one to count on. We’ll use him on a ticket or two but that’s all.

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8.26.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: Golden Gate Pick 4 Free Bet | Friday, August 27

It’s opening day at Golden Gate Fields on Friday, and your friends at 1/ST BET and Xpressbet are offering a $10 Free Bet on the late pick four. To assist your handicapping, selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections. You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app. We’ve included the track’s official morning line odds for each runner. Golden Gate Fields // Race 4 // 6:16 pm ET // claiming // 1 mile (turf) #4 Many Roses (5-2) // 30%W#1 Hot Sean (9-2) // 23%W#5 Iz Invincible (5-1) // 16%W#6 Start a Runnin (3-1) // 12%W Golden Gate Fields // Race 5 // 6:44 pm ET // claiming // 5-1/2 furlongs #5 Pearl Dragon (4-1) // 25%W#3 Ramoncita Light (9-2) // 14%W#7 Gardees World (30-1) // 12%W#2 Thrill’s Legacy (5-2) // 12%W Golden Gate Fields // Race 6 // 7:15 pm ET // maiden // 5-1/2 furlongs #7 Striking Sermon (9-2) // 19%W#2 Back On the Street (5-1) // 18%W#5 Lady Crocker (8-1) // 17%W#1 Christmas Diamond (3-1) // 13%W Golden Gate Fields // Race 7 // 7:45 pm ET // claiming // 1 mile #3 Single Barrel (5-2) // 25%W#8 Darcee’s Lovi Dovi (9-2) // 17%W#2 Dalius (6-1) // 14%W#7 Sleep Over (15-1) // 14%W

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8.26.2021:

Frank Carulli: Charles Town Classic Late Pick 4 Ticket | Friday, August 27

It's a 'Classic' go-between for an all-stakes Pick 4 wager. The $800,000 Charles Town Classic will go as the 12th race on the 13-race card at the West Virginia oval Friday night. The 1-1/8-mile, Grade II test is the third and featured leg in the $100,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4 sequence, but it is complemented perfectly with the $400,000 Charles Town Oaks (Grade III), $150,000 Russell Road and $75,000 Frank Gall Memorial, with full fields of 10 entered in each.   RACE 10 (9:12PM ET) // RUSSELL ROAD S. // 7 FURLONGS (DIRT)  Wayne Potts' burgeoning career as a trainer began at Charles Town in 2004 when he was 24 years old. He returns home with LETMENO in the $150,000 Russell Road Stakes, a race he targeted for the 4-year-colt before he dropped an $80,000 claim slip at Saratoga last month. LETMENO didn't disappoint, surviving a long duel and edging clear late for a repeat victory at this distance. He was hounded every step in his prior start at Ellis Park, but dug in to win in 1:21.3 on a sloppy surface, 2/5 of a second off the track record. VERTICAL THREAT posted a triple-figure Beyer speed figure to cap a 3-year-old season with a runaway victory in the $200,000 Steel Valley Sprint Stakes at Miami Valley in Ohio, earning a Top 10 national ranking among all male sprinters by Horse Racing Nation's Chip Gehrke. He returned off an eight-month layoff in the Grade I Bing Crosby at Del Mar but didn't factor. He travels cross-country again for his first race around two turns on the heels of a blazing 5F workout in :59. RACE 11 (9:45PM ET) // G3 CHARLES TOWN OAKS // 7 FURLONGS (DIRT) CARAMEL SWIRL shook a duel with the second favorite, 'responded well' when asked at the quarter pole and was geared down late in a 7F allowance victory at Saratoga on a day when every winner was 1-2 at the stretch call. Three rivals she defeated were allowance runners-up and three were MSW winners in their previous start. She draws the rail in this Grade III test around two turns on a Charles Town strip that has favored speed lately. She could be a solo play in the Pick 4, but use longshot FABRICATE as protection. She rallied for third in three tries at 7F around one turn, the most recent against Magic Quest (5/2-2-0, $125k), who came back to finish second in a $100,000 stakes race. RACE 12 (10:18PM ET) // G2 CHARLES TOWN CLASSIC // 1 1/8 MILES (DIRT) Caixa Eletronica ($2.60 in 2012) is the only favorite to win 'Classic' since it was upgraded to Grade II status nine runnings ago. ART COLLECTOR, a Grade II winner and unbeaten 3-3 at 1-1/8 miles, is the 5-2 morning-line choice this year. He won a restricted stakes at Saratoga in his first start for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, pulling away on the front end while under a hand ride by Luis Saez, the leading jockey at Saratoga in 2021. WARRIOR'S CHARGE is the top pick in here. He has speed, starts from the rail and runs well fresh. He was squeezed at the break in the Grade II Stephen Foster at this distance but recovered with a 4-wide rally to finish second to multiple graded stakes winner and odds-on choice Maxfield (7-9, $1.45 million). NY TRAFFIC is graded stakes-placed at four tracks, covering four distances from one mile to 1-3/16 miles. He has speed, high-percentage connections and is 8-1 on the morning line, the average winning odds of the last nine Classic winners. RACE 13 (10:48PM ET) // FRANK GALL MEMORIAL S. // 7 FURLONGS (DIRT) Jeff Runco, the all-time leading trainer at Charles Town, has a three-headed monster in the $75,000 Frank Gall Memorial for statebreds. NORTH ATLANTIC is a winning machine and a $647k earner. PENGUIN POWER, the beaten favorite in last year's Gall, won a WV-bred stakes by 14 lengths in his next start to improve to 13-17 at the time. MUAD'DIB is the new kid on the block with a perfect record in six starts, though untested in stakes company. But the seven runners trying to spoil the party for Runco are six-figure earners with a combined 47-144 record, so punch the 'ALL' button in the final leg. FANCY CONCHO got first run on North Atlantic and swept 4-wide to the lead on the final turn, only to get caught late. Both runners benefited from a torrid pace battle that involved HERO'S MAN, who somehow held third as the favorite and looms an upset possibility for a hot barn. CHARLES TOWN LATE PICK 4 TICKET RACE 10: 1, 6RACE 11: 1, 5RACE 12: 1, 6, 8RACE 13: ALLCOST: $60

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8.26.2021:

Johnny D: 2021 Travers Stakes Picks & Horse-by-Horse Analysis | Saturday, August 28

It’s that time of the year. The car’s packed—shirts, shorts, sandals and golf clubs. Travers week. In my book second only to Thanksgiving weekend. My pal and I are headed north on our yearly Spa sojourn for what seems like the 20th time in the last 20 years. Can’t recall, the exact number. Wife tells me it’s only been 17. She’s almost always right. What do I know? Each year my buddy and I scan the names of previous Travers winners playing the ‘remember that one’ game until we cry ‘uncle’ around Unshaded in 2000. Close enough. Winston Churchill once noted, “There’s something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” He’s right. And, if you mix in a few early morning rounds of golf, good food, several bottles of wine, and a gallon or so of spring water, by the time the weekend’s over, you’ll have completely revitalized individual. Know what else is good for the inside of a man? Cashing tickets. Unfortunately, on that note, numerous Spa excursions haven’t been all rainbows and potato chips—the latter invented in Saratoga Springs in 1853, allegedly. More than once yours truly has shuffled from beneath red and white awnings toward the parking lot to the sound of Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind with blood on his shoes; absolutely gutted by a weekend’s worth of past-performance misinterpretations. In such cases, it takes until the car reaches 87 South before discussions regarding next season’s Spa trip begin. In other words, not very long at all. Below is one man’s horse-by-horse analysis of the Gr. 1 Travers field. Hopefully, on the way out of the track Saturday, we’ll agree that in addition to the outside of a horse, ‘there’s something about cashing a Travers ticket that’s also good for the inside of a man.’ Analysis and selections are made before scratches and changes and are for a ‘fast’ track. 1. MIDNIGHT BOURBON (ASMUSSEN/SANTANA JR.) // 9/2 This son of Tiznow averted certain disaster when he nearly fell in the Gr. 1 Haskell stretch following interference by Hot Rod Charlie and jockey Flavien Prat. To this colt’s credit, he managed to avoid completely going down, but he did lose jockey Paco Lopez in the severe stumble. Obviously, whatever scrapes he may have incurred in the incident were minor because trainer Steve Asmussen, a cautious sort, has him entered right back here in the Travers. Asmussen’s regular rider Ricardo Santana is up Saturday and it’s interesting to note that the jock has never ridden this guy. Before the Gr. 1 Haskell, where unmolested he probably would have finished third to Mandaloun and Hot Rod Charlie, he was second in the Gr. 1 Preakness Stakes behind Rombaur and sixth in the Gr. 1 Kentucky Derby. Second in the Gr. 2 Louisiana Derby, third in the Gr. 2 Risen Star and winner of the Gr. 3 Lecomte, he’s a ‘there or thereabouts’ sophomore performer who likes to set or force the early pace. Another in-the-money finish seems most likely. 2. ESSENTIAL QUALITY (COX/SAEZ) // 4/5 It’s sort of a good news/bad news situation when your horse is 4-5 morning-line odds to win the Grade 1 Travers, a race billed as the Mid-Summer Derby, at a track known as the ‘Graveyard of Champions.’ Winner of the Gr. 2 Jim Dandy last out, the nation’s top-ranked sophomore returns to the Spa after scoring by a mere half-length over #3 Keepmeinmind. He’s now won 7 out of 8 and over $3.5 million. The only blemish on his record came in the Kentucky Derby when fourth, beaten one length, after a wide trip. He’s not flashy, so he doesn’t seem to attract the level of affection he probably deserves. He was voted the 2-Year-Old Champion of last season, so there’s that, but his workmanlike victories haven’t inspired fanaticism among supporters. That said, he wins, and he’ll be a short price to do so again in the Travers. He’s been successful while racing close to the early pace and also in mid-pack, so it doesn’t seem to matter to him or to the Spa’s current leading jockey Luis Saez where they are until turning for home. This inside post position could be a minor concern but it’s a small field so one assumes Saez can work out a trip around foes at some point. Essential Quality attempts to become the first Jim Dandy/Travers parlay winner in 9 years.   3. KEEPMEINMIND (DIODORO/ROSARIO) // 6/1 We’ve been chasing this one since the Gr. 1 Kentucky Derby, where he finished a closing, well beaten seventh, whipped more than 8 lengths at 49-1. We used him extensively in the Gr. 1 Preakness where he managed a distant fourth at 14-1. Slow breaks were part of the problem in both of those efforts when he was left with way too much to do. Blinkers were re-added and he raced first-time Lasix in the Gr. 3 Ohio Derby to just miss when third, beaten one-half length at 7-2 odds. Last out, with a rider change to Joel Rosario, he finished second to Travers favorite #2 Essential Quality by a mere one-half length. Could it finally be time for this Gr. 2 winner at 2 to win a Gr. 1 at 3? We think he’s got a legit chance at a place known as the ‘Graveyard of Champions.’ The one-mile and one-quarter distance certainly is up his alley and jockey Rosario got to know him last time. Look for a huge effort from this long overdue runner. 4. DYNAMIC ONE (PLETCHER/ORTIZ JR.) // 6/1    In his fourth maiden start this son of Union Rags relished one mile and one-eighth at Aqueduct and romped by more than 5 lengths. Ambitiously next pitched in the Gr. 2 Wood Memorial by trainer Todd Pletcher, this colt was nailed by stablemate Bourbonic on the wire. Dynamic One didn’t fire in the Gr. 1 Kentucky Derby and was rested until the Spa. Last out, on July 30, he proved best in the restricted Curlin Stakes over #5 Miles D. In that victory he earned an outstanding Beyer Speed Figure that fits in here. It’s clear he loves the Spa surface and can handle a distance. Trainer Pletcher is great at developing these types of runners. While he would be a surprise on the ‘win’ end, an in the money finish isn’t out of the question. 5. MILES D (BROWN/PRAT) // 12/1 With just 3 lifetime starts this son of Curlin is spotting foes significant experience. Miles D broke maiden two back and then rallied for second, nearly 2 lengths behind #4 Dynamic One, in the restricted Curlin. This is a significant step up in class and he’ll need to move forward a bit in the Beyer Speed Figure department. The colt also loses the services of Joel Rosario but has a capable replacement in top SoCal jock Prat. This guy has ability, no doubt, but he may be being rushed a bit in here. 6. MASQUEPARADE (STALL JR./MENA) // 8/1 Winner of the Gr. 3 Ohio Derby by one half-length over #7 King Fury and #3 Keepmeinmind, Masqueparade was third behind #2 Essential Quality and #3 Keepmeinmind in the Gr. 2 Jim Dandy. He took 4 races to break maiden and did so via disqualification. Since then he romped by more than 11 in an allowance race at Churchill and took the Gr. 3 Ohio Derby. His last 2 wins came as a result of sweeping moves at one mile and one-eighth. He’s a son of Upstart and was purchased for $180k as a yearling. He was favored last out at around 5/2 but will be a bigger price in this deeper field. 7. KING FURY (MCPEEK/ORTIZ) // 15/1   This late-running son of Curlin has faced graded stakes foes in 6 of his last 7 races, so he’s seen some of the best of his generation. His biggest claim to fame is an 18-1 upset of the Gr. 3 Lexington in April. He also was second to #6 Masqueparade in the Gr. 3 Ohio Derby. He’s been outrun by #2 Essential Quality and #3 Keepmeinmind twice each. It should be noted that he finished a head in front of #3 Keepmeinmind in the Gr. 3 Ohio Derby. Horseplayers can toss this guy’s last start in the Saratoga Derby Invitational on grass because trainer McPeek’s horses had been in quarantine and unable to run elsewhere. This colt would appreciate a hot early pace to facilitate his closing charge. BOTTOM LINE: #2 Essential Quality is the best of these on paper and deserves to be favored. However, funny things happen at Saratoga and this could be spot where horseplayers may want to take a shot at beating the public choice. #3 Keepmeinmind has been solid recently and the switch to Rosario should help matters. They just missed beating the favorite last out and at 6-1 this guy’s worth a shot. Other in-the-money chances belong to #1 Midnight Bourbon and #4 Dynamic One. MY BETS ($32 TOTAL): $20 Win #3 ($20)$2 Trifecta: #3 with #1, #2, #4 with #1, #2, #4 ($12) Race On!  

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8.26.2021:

Jon White: 2021 Travers Stakes Picks | Saturday, August 28

There are a number of parallels between Essential Quality and one of the all-time great Thoroughbreds in the history of American racing, Native Dancer. As shown below, Native Dancer ranks high on my list of the Top 25 Racehorses of the 20th and 21st Centuries to have raced in North America: 1. Man o’ War2. Secretariat*3. Citation*4. Kelso5. Spectacular Bid6. Native Dancer7. Dr. Fager8. Seattle Slew*9. Count Fleet*10. Affirmed*11. Ruffian12. Swaps13. Phar Lap14. Forego15. American Pharoah*16. Buckpasser17. Damascus18. Round Table19. Seabiscuit20. War Admiral*21. Tom Fool22. Colin23. John Henry24. Zenyatta25. Regret *Triple Crown winner. In 1952, Native Dancer was an undefeated 2-year-old male champion. Ditto Essential Quality in 2020. In 1953, Native Dancer lost only once going into the Travers Stakes at Saratoga. Ditto Essential Quality in 2021. Native Dancer’s only defeat prior to the Travers had come in the Kentucky Derby. Going into this Saturday’s running of the Grade I, $1.25 million Travers, Essential Quality’s lone defeat likewise came in the Run for the Roses. In yet another similarity between Essential Quality and Native Dancer, a case can be made that they were the best horse in the race when not winning the Kentucky Derby as the favorite. Native Dancer lost the 1953 Kentucky Derby by just a head when he finished second. The winner was 24-1 Dark Star. This is from the 1953 Kentucky Derby chart: “NATIVE DANCER, roughed at the first turn by MONEY BROKER, was eased back to secure racing room, raced wide during the run to the upper turn, then saved ground entering the stretch and finished strongly, but could not overtake the winner, although probably best.” Essential Quality lost the 2021 Kentucky Derby by one length when he finished fourth. First across the finish line was 12-1 Medina Spirit. According to Trakus, Essential Quality traveled 68 feet (approximately seven to eight lengths) farther than Medina Spirit. Brad Cox trains Essential Quality. After the Kentucky Derby, Cox gave credit to Medina Spirit for his victory, calling it a “huge, huge performance” on his part to go as fast as he did early, then keep going and win. But when Cox then was asked if he believed that Essential Quality might have been the best horse in the race because of his wide trip, the trainer was quick to respond. “I do,” Cox said. “I think he was the best horse. People can say what they want, but he was beaten a length and ran 68 feet further than the winner.” In my Kentucky Derby recap for Xpressbet.com, I speculated that Essential Quality would be “the Kentucky Derby starter who quite possibly will emerge from the race with the best Thoro-Graph number.” When it comes to Thoro-Graph, a lower number is better than a higher one. This is the opposite of Beyer Speed Figures. Thoro-Graph takes many more factors into account than the Beyers. According to Thoro-Graph, “each number on a sheet represents a performance rating arrived at by using time of the race, beaten lengths, ground lost or saved on the turns, weight carried, and any effects wind conditions had on the time of the race.” Medina Spirit received a career-best 102 Beyer Speed Figure for his Kentucky Derby win. Essential Quality’s Beyer for that race was a 100, also his top figure until he posted a 109 when he won the Grade I Belmont Stakes at 1 1/2 miles by 1 1/4 lengths as a 13-10 favorite on June 5. It turned out that Essential Quality did indeed get a better Thoro-Graph number in the Kentucky Derby than Medina Spirit. In fact, Essential Quality received the best Thoro-Graph number of all 19 Derby participants. Below are the Thoro-Graph numbers for the first seven finishers in the Kentucky Derby: Finish Horse (Thoro-Graph Number) 4. Essential Quality (negative 1/4)3. Hot Rod Charlie (1/2)2. Mandaloun (1 1/4)1. Medina Spirit (1 1/2)5. O Besos (3)6. Midnight Bourbon (3)7. Keepmeinmind (4) Below are the Beyer Speed Figures for the first seven finishers in the Kentucky Derby: Finish Horse (Beyer Speed Figure) 1. Medina Spirit (102)2. Mandaloun (101)3. Hot Rod Charlie (100)4. Essential Quality (100)5. O Besos (94)6. Midnight Bourbon (90)7. Keepmeinmind (90) Essential Quality goes into the Travers off a half-length win in Saratoga’s Grade II Jim Dandy Stakes at 1 1/8 miles as the 2-5 favorite. His margin of victory is quite misleading in terms of his superiority that day because he raced so wide, somewhat similar to his trip in the Kentucky Derby. According to Trakus, Essential Quality traveled 38 feet (approximately four lengths) farther than runner-up Keepmeinmind. Odds-on favoritism is something else Essential Quality most likely is going to have in common with Native Dancer. Sent away at 1-20 in the Travers, Native Dancer proved a punctual favorite when he registered a 5 1/2-length triumph. My colleague David Aragona has established Essential Quality as the 4-5 favorite on the Travers morning line. Will Essential Quality, like Native Diver, win the Travers? I think so. But whenever an important race is run at Saratoga, there is always a lingering concern that an odds-on favorite might lose at the “graveyard of favorites,” a la Man o’ War (who was upset by the aptly named Upset), Gallant Fox (Jim Dandy), Secretariat (Onion) and American Pharoah (Keen Ice). Below are my Travers selections: 1. Essential Quality2. Dynamic One3. Keepmeinmind4. King Fury From the rail out, the Travers field consists of Midnight Bourbon (9-2 morning-line odds), Essential Quality (4-5), Keepmeinmind (6-1), Dynamic One (6-1), Miles D (121), Masqueparade (8-1) and King Fury (15-1). Essential Quality has already defeated five of his six Travers foes once or more. He has never run against Miles D. Cox has indicated Essential Quality has trained quite well for the Travers, which does not bode well for those opposing the Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old male of 2020. “He’s sharp, mentally,” Cox said Wednesday, according to NYRA communications. “He’s sharper for this race than going into the Jim Dandy. My plan all along was to have him peak in this spot. Our goal since the Kentucky Derby was to have him at his best Travers Day and from a mental and physical standpoint, I feel he’s right where we want him. I feel like he’s as good as he’s ever been.” The way I see it, Dynamic One looms the biggest threat to the big Travers favorite. Yes, Dynamic One received little support in the wagering to the tune of 45-1 and finished 31 1/4 lengths behind Essential Quality in the Kentucky Derby. But I believe Dynamic One’s next race, a victory in Saratoga’s Curlin Stakes, makes him very dangerous this Saturday. Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher has always held Dynamic One in high regard.The Kentucky-bred Union Rags colt trailed early in the Curlin and rallied to win going away by 1 3/4 lengths. Dynamic One completed 1 1/8 miles on a wet track rated good in 1:49.36. The next day, Essential Quality won the Jim Dandy, which was contested on a fast track, in 1:49.92 for the same distance. Keepmeinmind, trained by Robertino Diodoro, gave Essential Quality a run for his money in the Jim Dandy. Keepmeinmind finished a close second at odds of 9-1. Can Keepmeinmind finally outrun Essential Quality this Saturday? They have met five times. Keepmeinmind has finished behind Essential Quality all five times. I consider King Fury an intriguing Travers entrant at a morning-line price of 15-1. I think he could possibly hit the board or maybe -- just maybe -- even pull off an upset. In Keeneland’s Grade III Lexington Stakes on April 10, King Fury roared home from 10 lengths off the pace to win by 2 3/4 lengths on a sloppy track for trainer Kenny McPeek. That was an especially impressive effort in that it was King Fury’s first start of the year. King Fury then created quite a buzz going into the Kentucky Derby because of the splendid manner in which had trained. Unfortunately, after being entered in the 1 1/4-mile classic, King Fury was scratched due to spiking a fever. After missing the Kentucky Derby, King Fury gave a good account of himself in the Grade III Ohio Derby at Thistledown on June 26. Masqueparade won the 1 1/8-mile affair by a half-length. King Fury nosed out Keepmeinmind for second. McPeek had wanted to run King Fury in the Jim Dandy. However, McPeek was precluded from doing so as a consequence of a case of equine herpesvirus found in a horse stabled in the same barn as King Fury but not trained by McPeek. As a Plan B, McPeek decided to try King Fury on the grass for the first time in the Grade I Saratoga Derby at 1 3/16 miles on Aug. 7. The Kentucky-bred Curlin colt finished 10th in the field of 11. “The horse, unfortunately, didn’t get to run in the Jim Dandy,” McPeek said Wednesday. “He ran really well in the Ohio Derby. [I was] thinking the Jim Dandy would be a great prep for the Travers. In hindsight, I think we should have scratched [in the Saratoga Derby] because he drew the 11 [post] and [raced] wide and wider on both turns. I wish I could un-ring that bell, but that doesn’t happen. It’s a shame he didn’t get to run in the Jim Dandy, but it is what it is. We think he’ll perform well this weekend.” McPeek said King Fury’s morning-line odds “surprised” him to be so high after King Fury “ran right with” Keepmeinmind and Masqueparade in the Ohio Derby. “We split those two,” McPeek said, “and we really thought we could make a case that he should have won that day. He got shuffled back in the second turn and had to rally and still almost won the race. He’s a good colt and he’s going to make his presence felt [in the Travers].” Perhaps I’m taking Midnight Bourbon more lightly than I should. He ran sixth after a troubled start in the Kentucky Derby, then finished second in the Grade I Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 15. In the Grade I Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 17, Midnight Bourbon vied for the early lead. However, after passing the eighth pole during the stretch drive, Midnight Bourbon unseated Paco Lopez. Hot Rod Charlie finished first, then was disqualified for drifting in and causing Midnight Bourbon to clip heels and unseat his rider. The stewards elevated Mandaloun to first. Not counting the Haskell, Midnight Bourbon has finished third or better in eight of nine starts. Talk about a gem of consistency. Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen trains the Kentucky-bred colt by 2000 Horse of the Year Tiznow. Masqueparade, trained by Al Stall Jr., romped to an 11 3/4-length win in a 1 1/8-mile allowance/optional claiming race at Churchill Downs on May 1. Off that dominant victory, I picked him to win the Ohio Derby, which he did as the 2-1 favorite. Even though Masqueparade did not win the Jim Dandy, it’s not as if he ran a stinker. He lost by 2 3/4 lengths while finishing third. I think the Kentucky-bred Upstart colt still has some upside and could make some noise in the Travers. With just three career starts under his belt, Miles D is by far the lightest in terms of experience among the Travers entrants. He does bring an improving Beyer Speed Figure pattern of 77, 85 and 95 into Saturday’s race. The 95 came when he finished a respectable second in the Curlin. Chad Brown trains Miles D. The Kentucky-bred Curlin colt showed enough in his most recent race to suggest cavalierly dismissing him in the Travers probably is not a good idea. COX ATTEMPTS TO ACHIEVE RARE FEAT If Essential Quality gets the job done this Saturday, Cox will become only the third trainer to win the Travers and Whitney Stakes in the same year with different horses. The feat has not been accomplished since trainer John M. Gaver Sr. in 1942 won the Travers with Shut Out and the Whitney with Swing and Sway. In 1931, trainer James Rowe Jr. won the Travers with Twenty Grand and the Whitney with St. Brideaux. Cox sent out Knicks Go to win this year’s Whitney. ESSENTIAL QUALITY’S SIRE MAKES NEWS Tapit, the sire of Kentucky-bred Essential Quality, became the all-time leading North American sire by career progeny earnings last Sunday, according to Daily Racing Form’s Nicole Russo. “Through Sunday, the career progeny earnings for Tapit, a 20-year-old son of Pulpit standing at Gainesway, stood at $172,904,804. That took him past Giant’s Causeway, who died in 2018, at $172,560,764. HRONIS RACING & SADLER WIN THIRD PACIFIC CLASSIC Tripoli, impeccably ridden by Tiago Pereira, came from just off the pace to win Del Mar’s Grade I, $1 million Pacific Classic by 1 1/4 lengths last Saturday at odds of 6-1. Tizamagician, also off at 6-1, finished second. Dr Post, 7-2 in the wagering, came on to end up third in a rather weird trip in that he droppped back to last momentarily going into the far turn when it looked like he was going to run a clunker. In Del Mar’s Grade II San Diego Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on July 17, Express Train, Tripoli and Royal Ship finished close together. Express Train won by a half-length. Tripoli was the runner-up. Royal Ship finished third, three-quarters of a length behind Tripoli. But these three horses did not finish close together in the Pacific Classic. Express Train finished sixth as the 2-1 favorite and my top pick. Royal Ship came in seventh as the 5-2 second choice. Tripoli provided owners Hronis Racing and trainer John Sadler a third Pacific Classic victory in the last four years. The same owner-trainer team took Del Mar’s signature race with Accelerate in 2018 and Higher Power in 2019. Kitten’s Joy is the sire of Kentucky-bred Tripoli. Considering Kitten’s Joy was the Eclipse Award-winning turf male of 2004, it’s not surprising that Tripoli made his first 11 starts on the grass, winning twice. However, since being switched to the dirt, Tripoli has improved significantly. His top Beyer Speed Figure on the turf was an 88. In three starts on the dirt, Tripoli has recorded Beyers of 100 twice and 104 in the Pacific Classic. Notably, Tripoli became Kitten’s Joy’s first Grade I dirt winner. Below are the Beyers for the Pacific Classic winners going back to the first running in 1991 (the figures prior to this year are listed in the 2021 American Racing Manual, which is now digital only and available for free on The Jockey Club’s website): 2021 Tripoli (104)2020 Maximum Security (107)2019 Higher Power (107)2018 Accelerate (115)2017 Collected (115)2016 California Chrome (113)2015 Beholder (114)2014 Shared Belief (115)*2013 Game On Dude (113)*2012 Dullahan (111)*2011 Acclamation (105)*2010 Richard’s Kid (96)*2009 Richard’s Kid (107)*2008 Go Between (104)*2007 Student Council (99)*2006 Lava Man (109)2005 Borrego (113)2004 Pleasantly Perfect (112)2003 Candy Ride (123)2002 Came Home (116)2001 Skimming (119)2000 Skimming (118)1999 General Challenge (119)1998 Free House (117)1997 Gentlemen (121)1996 Dare and Go (116)1995 Tinners Way (112)1994 Tinners Way (111)1993 Bertrando (117)1992 Missionary Ridge (110)1991 Best Pal (118) *Run on synthetic footing. The 2020 Pacific Classic turned out to be the final victory of Maximum Security’s career. He would go on to finish second in the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes and fifth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic before being retired to stud. A QUESTION TO PONDER Speaking of Maximum Security, one wonders which will happen first: The final purse distribution for the 2020 Saudi Cup or a human being sets foot on the planet Mars? The inaugural running of the $20 million Saudi Cup was held on Feb. 29, 2020. As far as I know, there still has been no final purse distribution for that race, which was won by Maximum Security. Midnight Bisou finished second. Benbatl came in third. “Final purse distribution from the 2020 Saudi Cup could come within six weeks, the head of the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia said in the hours before this year’s running of the world’s richest race,” Bob Kieckhefer wrote in a BloodHorse story last Feb. 20. “The minor awards from the 2020 Cup have been paid. But the $10 million winner’s share was frozen by Saudi officials pending the resolution of doping charges involving Jason Servis, who at the time trained the Luis Saez-ridden winner, Maximum Security. “Maximum Security raced last year for owners Gary and Mary West and for the Coolmore Stud-affiliated Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith. “Second across the finish line under Mike Smith in the Saudi Cup was Midnight Bisou, running for owners Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stables and Allen Racing and trainer Steve Asmussen. “Jockey Club chairman Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal, interviewed by broadcaster Nick Luck on the international feed from the Feb. 20 renewal, said he hopes the wait is nearly over.” Nearly over? It’s been six month months since Saudi Jockey Club chairman Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal said he hoped the wait was nearly over, yet the wait continues. I can’t help thinking there just might be a human walking around on Mars before the $10 million winner’s share of the 2020 Saudi Cup purse is finally paid out. Have the connections of any horse in the history of racing ever had to wait so long to find out whether or not they are going to get the winner’s share of a purse? It’s beyond ridiculous. DEL MAR SPILL COULD HAVE BEEN MUCH WORSE There was a scary chain-reaction seven-horse spill in Del Mar’s seventh race last Sunday. In a story written by Daily Racing Form’s Steve Andersen, “none of the horses involved in the incident appeared to suffer injuries, according to a track official.” Thank goodness for that. Sassy Chassey, ridden by apprentice Diego Herrera, fell approaching the three-eighths pole due to clipping the heels of Katie’s Paradies, who was vying for the lead with Scream and Shout. In the chain reaction, the following jockeys were unseated in addition to Herrera: apprentice Cesar Ortega (who rode Backtoflash), Kyle Frey (Whiskey Blue), apprentice Ellie Ellingwood (Siena Silk), Tyler Baze (Renegade Princess), Pereira (Phoenix Tears) and apprentice Juan Espinoza (Corners Up). All of the riders involved in the incident reportedly escaped serious injury. Again, thank goodness for that. That chain-reaction incident could have turned out much, much worse in terms of the horses and riders involved. Stewards Grant Baker, Luis Jauregui and Kim Sawyer properly declared the race a “no contest.” In making that decision, they cited a California Horse Racing Board rule that states “stewards may declare a race no contest if mechanical failure or interference during the running of the race affects the majority of horses in such race.” Indeed, seven of the 12 horses competing in Del Mar’s seventh race last Sunday were affected by the incident. What occurred in that Del Mar race demonstrated what easily could have happened on the far turn in the 2019 Kentucky Derby. I don’t think enough people get that. The 2019 Run for the Roses is the race in which Maximum Security finished first by 1 3/4 lengths, but then was disqualified and placed 17th by the stewards. Maximum Security had his number taken down when the stewards ruled that he had drifted out and caused interference to War of Will, Bodexpress and Long Range Toddy on the far turn. It was the first time in the history of the Kentucky Derby that the winner has been disqualified for an incident during the running of the race. As I recently wrote, having watched the video of that race numerous times, I believe it’s nothing less than a miracle that War of Will did not clip Maximum Security’s heels on the far turn. Horse racing was extremely lucky that Maximum Security did not trigger a major spill when he veered out and caused interference. “If War of Will had tripped and fallen to unseat jockey Tyler Gaffalione, it would have happened with many horses racing behind them,” I wrote. “In all likelihood, there would have been a multi-horse spill similar to a horrific pile-up on a freeway. Numerous horses and jockeys could have been severely injured, or possibly even worse. No doubt such a grisly scene would have been shown over and over and over on television and depicted on social media, which would have given horse racing the blackest of black eyes during a very sensitive time in the sport.” NEW YORK SHOULD HONOR SECRETARIAT I wrote last week that a New York track should name a race in honor of Secretariat now that evidently there will be no more racing at Arlington Park. Arlington for years had run the Secretariat Stakes. I implored the folks at the New York Racing Association to come up with a race named after Secretariat. “And I am not talking about some minor stakes race,” I wrote. “New York should have an IMPORTANT race named after the 1973 Triple Crown winner. “It actually makes more sense for New York rather than Arlington to have a Secretariat Stakes anyway. Secretariat made 15 of his 21 career starts at New York tracks. He raced at Arlington Park just once.” My idea was to rename the Belmont Derby, a Grade I race at 1 1/4 miles on the grass, either the Secretariat Stakes or Secretariat Derby. After all, Secretariat was undefeated on the grass. In his two grass starts, he won the Man o’ War Stakes at Belmont Park and the Canadian International at Woodbine. “Besides,” I wrote, “it makes a lot more sense to have a Secretariat Stakes or Secretariat Derby on the grass than a Man o’ War Stakes on the grass. That’s because Man o’ War never raced on the grass.” In Monday’s Thoroughbred Daily News, Bill Finley noted that without a Secretariat Stakes at Arlington, “the sport no longer has a major race named in honor of the GOAT. That can’t be.” Finley’s idea was to “rename the Belmont Stakes the Secretariat Stakes and to do so for the 2023 running, the 50th anniversary of Secretariat’s historic 31-length romp in the Belmont.” Finley then admitted, “Okay, that’s never going to happen.” But Finley went on to offer a suggestion that I do like. “Limiting the list to races he won in New York, the best candidate is the Grade I Hopeful Stakes,” Finley wrote. “Secretariat won that in 1972, so next year’s running is the 50th anniversary of that win. Naming the race after the greatest horse ever to step foot on a New York track would be a fitting honor.” While I do not agree with Finley’s assertion that Secretariat is the greatest horse ever to step foot on a New York track (I believe it is Man o’ War), I wholeheartedly agree with Finley’s suggestion to change the Hopeful to the Secretariat. MALATHAAT BACK IN NTRA TOP 10 In the wake of her victory in last Saturday’s Grade I Alabama Stakes at Saratoga, Malathaat moved back into the Top 10 in the NTRA Top Thoroughred Poll this week after being tied for 20th in last week’s rankings. Sent off as the heavy Alabama favorite at 1-2, Malathaat did not let her many backers down when she prevailed by 1 1/2 lengths on a wet main track listed as good. Malathaat now has won six of seven lifetime starts. Her lone blemish came when she finished second on July 24 in Saratoga’s Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks, which she lost by a head. Maracuja, who won the CCA Oaks, finished seventh and last in the Alabama at odds of 6-1. Below is the Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 359 Knicks Go (30)2. 320 Letruska (5)3. 271 Essential Quality (1)4. 237 Maxfield5. 156 Domestic Spending (1)6. 135 Silver State7. 90 Gamine8. 85 Malathaat9. 65 Hot Rod Charlie10. 55 Shedaresthedevil

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8.25.2021:

Tournament Roundup: Last Chance for $20K+ FITS Final Table Seats | Wednesday, August 25

Nelson Jaramillo topped all players in Week 6 Xpressbet Fun in the Sun competition with $272.50 in earnings. He collects $2,205 and a seat at the lucrative Final Table. Drew Kocsi finished second with $256.50, just $2 in front of Jon Lapczenski. They earn $981.75 and $551.25, respectively, plus shots at an over $20k pot on Sept. 4. Gregory Raab and Paul Lutz round out the top 5. Raab earns one of 35 total spots at the Final Table and Lutz joins David Jaffe, Ellis Starr and Paul Jones as multiple Final Table seat holders with a maximum of two each. Lutz previously finished fourth in Week 1 play. This Saturday’s competition is your last chance to possibly join Fun in the Sun Final Table action. The final qualifying battle is for account holders only and requires a $25 registration fee and a ‘live’ $10 Win wager on one horse in each of 10 competition races—the last 5 at Saratoga races, including the Gr. 1 Travers, and the first 5 at Del Mar. Leading finishers each week have averaged $334 in earnings. Top 3 players have checked in at an average mark of $285 and the top 5 cutoff has been at $265. So far, top 3 players have collected over $25,000 in prize money and, since Fun in the Sun competition wagers are ‘live,’ players also have kept mutuel payoff earnings. Last week’s results reversed previous trends and produced more formful results at Saratoga than at Del Mar. Spa Fun in the Sun competition races returned short prices--all 5 were single-digit payoffs and 4 of 5 were under $5, led by Malathaat’s $3.10 return for her Alabama victory. My Prankster ($9) in the afternoon’s seventh race was the lone stranger. Identity Politics ($4.80) in the eighth, Technical Analysis ($4.20) in the ninth and Perfect Grace ($3.70) in the eleventh, round out other short-priced winners. Del Mar produced this week’s fireworks with 4 of 5 winners cashing at double-digit numbers, topped right off the bat by Ain’t Easy for trainer Phil D’Amato and jockey Joel Rosario at $18.20. Red Valor ($15.80) in the second, Forbidden Kingdom ($10.60) in the fourth and Subconscious ($13.60) in the fifth were the other juicy prices. Third race winner Evening Sun paid $9 to complete the quintet. It’s likely the outstanding Pacific Classic day card had something to do with the transfer of hefty payoff fortunes from the right coast to the left. Will it be ‘Chalk City’ or ‘Bombs Away’ at Saratoga or Del Mar Saturday? It’s your call and also your ‘Last Call’ for you to join Xpressbet’s Fun in the Sun Final Table and a shot at a $20,000-plus pot. See you Saturday!

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8.25.2021:

Jeremy Plonk: Travers Stakes Post Draw Reaction | Saturday, August 28

Belmont Stakes winner Essential Quality tops the marquee for Saturday’s $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga, headlining a field of 7 that was drawn this morning. The once-beaten colt, who won the 2-year-old championship in 2020 and leads the 3-year-old chase to this point in 2021, was lined at 4-5 odds from post 2. Essential Quality could join Tiz the Law as back-to-back winners of both the Belmont and Travers. Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app or Xpressbet.com for the Travers can enjoy up to a $10 money-back guarantee on win bets if your top pick finishes second or third. See Xpressbet.com/promos throughout the week for more offers and details. The Travers offers a 1-2-3 re-match from the July 31 Jim Dandy at the Spa. Essential Quality earned a half-length score over Keepmeinmind that day, with Masqueparade some 4 lengths behind the winner in third. Keepmeinmind (post 3) showed a bit more tactical ability in the Jim Dandy, while still last of five early. Masqueparade (post 6) is expected to be part of the Travers early pace, as he was last out. Midnight Bourbon (post 1) looks to recover from a harrowing stretch incident when he was cut off, stumbled and fell in the Haskell. The Preakness runner-up figures to be on or near the lead Saturday, and could give all-time North American training wins leader Steve Asmussen his first Travers title. The early pace looks pretty defined with Masqueparade, Midnight Bourbon and Essential Quality in the mix throughout, trailed by four closers. With Midnight Bourbon and Essential Quality in the inside two posts, it’s likely they’ll just go early and make the race from there. Deep-closing Dynamic One (post 4) steps back up in class off a victory in the Curlin on July 30 and will be reunited with jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. His trainer Todd Pletcher secured the Travers trophy in 2005 (Flower Alley) and 2011 (Stay Thirsty). Dynamic One re-matches with Curlin runner-up and fellow late-runner Miles D (post 5), who will be making only his fourth lifetime start on Saturday. Trainer Chad Brown has yet to win a Travers. The field is rounded out by King Fury (post 7), who moves turf-to-dirt after a poor effort in the Belmont Invitational Derby. The Lexington winner at Keeneland is another deep closer. For more handicapping analysis of this year’s Travers, check back at Xpressbet.com and news.1st.com this week for insights from Eddie Olczyk, Jeff Siegel, Johnny D, John White and more. Sararoga // Race 12 // Grade 1 Travers Stakes // 1-1/4 miles 1. Midnight Bourbon (Ricardo Santana Jr.) 9-22. Essential Quality (Luis Saez) 4-53. Keepmeinmind (Joel Rosario) 6-14. Dynamic One (Irad Ortiz Jr.) 6-15. Miles D (Flavien Prat) 12-16. Masqueparade (Miguel Mena) 8-17. King Fury (Jose Ortiz) 15-1

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8.25.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Wednesday, August 25

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: CUse: 1-Uncle Skeets; 3-Rudy Rod; 5-No Burn Forecast: There are too many question marks in the Wednesday opener to have a solid opinion in this maiden $20,000 main track sprint for older horses. Tread lightly. Rudy Rod shows a decided edge in the speed figure department and on paper beats this field, but the R. Rodriguez-trained gelding is being wheeled back in three days off a hard race when second at 6/5, so it’s anybody’s guess how he’ll react to the short turnaround. It should be noted that this race was drawn last Friday, two days before ‘Rod drew in on Sunday as a main track only entrant in what turned out to be an off-the-turf race. So maybe he won’t run today. Uncle Skeets, a good runner-up in his debut but away since then for nearly 20 months, returns in a bottom-rung maiden claimer, so his connections obviously aren’t looking long term with him. The K. Breen-trained son of Khozan ships in from Monmouth Park as a first-time gelding for a barn that has good stats with layoff runners and picks up the stable’s “go to” rider, J. Ortiz, so the evidence suggests he’s a live item. The work tab is slow and sketchy but that may be by design. Suffice to say, we’re guessing. No Burn displayed speed going long on grass before fading vs. tougher in his first two career starts. Today, he’s sprinting on dirt. We’ll toss him in on a ticket or two, but that’s all. RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: BUse: 2-Casalsa; 4-Forest Spirit Forecast: Forest Spirit was nosed out in a slightly softer spot last month when earning a career top Beyer speed figure, and nothing much more will be needed to win this restricted (nw-2) S25,000 claiming sprint for older horses. Perhaps most effective when held up early and allowed to finish late, the Freud gelding retains J. Rosario and should get the type of ride that he prefers. Casalsa, freshened since late June, invades from Gulfstream Park, where he finished a no-excuse runner-up in a restricted $20,000 affair in an effort that makes his reasonably competitive on this circuit. A local bullet gate drill (:35.1, fastest of 10) four days ago is a positive sign, so with L. Saez taking the call we’ll give the P. Walder-trained gelding some consideration at 6-1 on the morning line. RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: XSingle: 1-Pocket Square Forecast: We’re handicapping this race under the assumption that it remains on turf. If not, we’ll pass. Pocket Square is listed as the 2/5 morning line favorite in this conditioned allowance turf event for fillies and mares after exiting a pair of Grade-1 events and owning a monumental edge over her four rivals in the speed figure department. The lightly-raced English-bred filly will handle any sort of give in the ground, as she was a Grade-3 winner in France over heavy going as a 2-year-old. This should be a confidence-building win for a lightly-raced filly who isn’t quite up to beating the best in North America but should have no difficulty handling this group. RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: C+Use: 3-Invaluable; 5-Timely Tradition; 8-Awesome Indra Forecast: We’ll go three-deep in this $25,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares, but not with a high degree of confidence. Invaluable has been away since April after a pair of disappointing runs while dropping to her lowest level, so her condition is a question. The work tab shows significant gaps, but the barn is reasonably proficient with layoff types and “win rider” J. Ortiz returns, so we’ll make an educated guess and say she’s the one to catch and perhaps the one to beat. Awesome Indra is nicely drawn outside and projects to inherit a comfortable stalking position. She returns at her claim (and winning) level after earning a career top speed figure when a distant third in a much tougher first-level allowance sprint earlier this month, so with L. Saez staying aboard she should be a major player. Timely Tradition, first or second in 18 of 38 career starts, has seen better days but this return to the claiming ranks may help and she’s a two-time winner over the Saratoga main track, so at 6-1 on the morning line she’s worth tossing in somewhere. RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: B-Use: 1-Digital Future; 3-Partner’s Hope; 8-Cool Quest Forecast: This race has been handicapped for turf. If it is switched to the main track, we suspect many of the entrants likely will remain in the field so most of the analysis will hold, but you should proceed with caution. Cool Quest exits a pair of fast, highly-rated races and could easily find this maiden field well within his capabilities. The son of Frosted adds blinkers, retains Johnny D., and has numbers that fit despite two speed/fade efforts that produced two off-the-board finishes by a combined 20 lengths. His work tab since raced looks healthy, so at 9/2 on the morning line there may be a bit of value to be found. Digital Future is the likely choice and one to beat despite missing at 3/5 when second vs. similar sprinting on grass at Belmont Park in late June. His numbers are okay, but no better than those assigned to Cool Quest, and at 6/5 on the morning line the C. Brown-trained surely will leave at a much shorter price than our top pick. Partner’s Hope, a $40,000 claim by L. Rice, picks up L. Saez, shows the route-to-sprint angle that we like, and may be the most dangerous of the closing types. Her main track numbers put her in the hunt, and she’s actually bred for turf, so at 8-1 on the morning line we have to use her. RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: B+Use: 3-Whatlovelookslike Forecast: The known element in this New York-bred maiden turf router for juvenile fillies doesn’t impress, so let’s go with the promising Whatlovelookslike as a win play and rolling exotic single. A daughter of the prolific grass sire English Channel, the T. Pletcher-trained filly has done some good work in the morning while displaying athleticism and stamina in both her grass and main track drills, and after viewing her videos she appears to be fit enough to handle a distance ground first time out. Drawn comfortably inside and with I. Ortiz, Jr. taking the call, the Stonewall Farm homebred should offer wagering value at or near her morning line of 4-1. RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: B-Use: 4-Power Up Paynter; 5-Binkster Forecast: We’ll use two in this state-bred $25,000 claiming sprint for state-bred older horses, but if you feel the need to spread deeper, go right ahead. Binkster shows up in a seller for the first time and seems properly spotted based on his recent speed figures. Winless in five career starts at Saratoga but in the frame in each of those outings, the R. Handal-trained gelding does his best work when allowed to stalk and pounce, similar to the style employed in his solid win at Monmouth Park two runs back. He was in a little steep when third of six last time out but still earned his usual number and a similar try against this group should be good enough. Power Up Paynter returns to the claiming ranks for the first time since he graduated in a maiden $40,000 sprint back in December of 2019. This will be his third start in his current form cycle, and it should be his best, especially if the track is dry and fast. The L. Rice-trained gelding is a late-running sprinter that depends on a quick-early pace to compliment his style; the race flow in this race projects to be sufficient. RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: B+Single: 5-Winter Pool Forecast: Although he missed in a photo vs. similar as the favorite over this course and distance last time out, Winter Pool deserves another chance, this time hopefully over a dry track. The Curlin gelding shows rising speed figures in each of his four starts and probably won’t need to improve much to win this starter’s allowance affair. In a race that projects to be slowly run early, he’ll likely settle into a comfortable stalking spot and then have every chance to grind out a win. At 2-1 on the morning line – hopefully no lower – the C. Brown-trained 4-year-old is a win play and rolling exotic key. RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: BUse: 3-Shamrocket; 4-Ajourneytofreedom Forecast: Shamrocket hits hard in these grass marathons and tackles a bit easier group today after finishing a willing third behind Cross Border in the Bowling Green S.-G2 last month. It’s of minor concern that his record over the local lawn is 4-0-0-3 but we’re expecting J. Rosario will have him along in time in this year’s renewal of the John’s Call S. Ajourneytofreedom, successful in a marathon turf here last month against a softer allowance field, earned a career top speed figure in victory, and while he doesn’t often win the son of Hard Spun usually offers a strong late bid and should at least hit the board for the always-potent M. Maker/T. Gaffalione tandem. These are the two we’ll be including in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Shamrocket. RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: BUse: 2-Kitten’s Romance; 11-My Candy Girl Forecast: This race has been handicapped for turf. If it is transferred to the main track, we’ll pass. My Candy Girl, freshened since May and arriving from Indiana Downs, joins the M. Maker barn, lands I. Ortiz, Jr., and looks extremely live and well-meant in this restricted (nw-3) inner turf $35,000 claimer for fillies and mares. Most effective as the controlling speed but able to stalk and pounce if the pace flow dictates, the daughter of Twirling Candy isn’t guaranteed a great trip from the 11-hole, but she has numbers that can beat this field, so let’s hope she can get over, save some ground, get some cover, and be in a position to fire her best shot. Kitten’s Romance, in the frame in five of her last six starts, projects to settle into a second flight position and then have dead aim from the quarter pole home. The Florida invader is a fit on numbers and has run we’ll over the local lawn in the past. At 6-1 on the morning line she offers some value in rolling exotic play, so we’ll include her in our ticket while reserving the main punch for My Candy Girl.

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8.23.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: Parx Stakes | Monday, August 23, 2021

Monday’s Parx Racing card in Philadelphia includes five Pennsylvania-bred stakes. To help you tackle the Canterbury races, the 1/ST BET app’s artificial intelligence provides its look at the fields. Selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections. You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer.We’ve included the track’s morning line odds with each entrant. Calculations were made following the morning announcement for scratches and account for off-the-turf situations.Parx // Race 8 // 4:09 PM ET // Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial Stakes // 6 furlongs#3 Chubb Wagon (4-5 ML) // 34%W#4 Don’t Call Me Mary (6-1) // 23%W#6 Cinnabunny (9-2) // 15%W#2 Mamaluke (10-1) // 11%Parx // Race 9 // 4:41 PM ET // Mrs. Penny Stakes // 1-1/16 miles (off the turf)#3 Vault (5-2) // 31%W#1 Trolley Ride (3-1) // 25%W#2 Ninetypercentbrynn (8-1) // 23%W#5 Precious (6-1) // 20%WParx // Race 10 // 5:13 PM ET // Storm Cat Stakes // 1-1/16 miles#2 Wait for It (3-1) // 30%W#6 Hockey Puck (4-1) // 16%W#1 I Am Redeemed (6-1) // 16%W#9 Lord Winsalot (6-1) // 11%WParx // Race 11 // 5:45 PM ET // Marshall Jenney Handicap // 5 furlongs (off the turf)#6 Admiral Abe (3-1) // 30%W#3 Smooth B (7-2) // 22%W#7 Hollywood Talent (6-1) // 15%W#4 Grab the Gold (10-1) // 10%WParx // Race 12 // 6:17 PM ET // Banjo Picker Sprint Stakes // 6 furlongs#7 Dreams Untold (9-2) // 25%W#6 Prince of Rain (5-1) // 16%W#4 Fortheluvofbourbon (3-1) // 13%W#2 Golden Candy (7-2) // 8%W

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8.23.2021:

Monday Myths: Is the Travers Distance a Trap?

Welcome to a continuing handicapping series for our Monday blog space, “Monday Myths.” Each week I’ll use the power of the Betmix database to take common handicapping assumptions and either support or dispel them with data. Betmix data powers the 1/ST BET app and its features like Angler and Birddog give data-minded horseplayers a treasure trove of information in which to query your own curiosities.Assumption:The mile and one-quarter distance is the great hurdle for horses to prove their mettle.Background:With Saturday’s Travers at the ‘classic’ American distance of a mile and one-quarter on dirt, you’re bound to hear and read this week about how important the distance factor will be. It’s a rare trip in the US, to be sure, but is it the stumbling block often cited?Data Points:I dialed up the Betmix database to look at all North American dirt races at one mile and one-quarter, finding 226 such races since 2014. The comparison will be for average winning payoff, percentage of winning favorites and percentage of races won by longshots 10-1 or more. The mile and one-quarter races will be compared to the two most common dirt distances – 6 furlongs (sprint) and 1-1/16 miles (route). Because of the large national volume of races at the common distances, we’ll use 2021 results to date for that study length.Mile and one-quarter dirt average $2 winning payouts are $9.88.Six-furlong dirt average $2 winning payouts are $11.80.Mile and one-sixteenth dirt average $2 winning payouts are $11.78.Mile and one-quarter dirt favorites win 39.1% with a $0.86 ROI for every $1 bet.Six-furlong dirt favorites win 37.0% with a $0.80 ROI for every $1 bet.Mile and one-sixteenth dirt favorites win 38.7% with a $0.86 ROI for every $1 bet.Mile and one-quarter dirt races are won by longshots 10-1 or more 8.4% of the time.Six-furlong dirt races are won by longshots 10-1 or more 8.7% of the time.Mile and one-sixteenth dirt races are won by longshots 10-1 or more 8.6% of the time.Overall Findings:Mile and one-quarter winners produce the smallest $2 win payouts of the distances sampled, while producing the best percentage of winning favorites and the least percentage of longshot winners 10-1 or more odds. In all 3 areas studied, they are the most reliable runners by distance. They perform at a sizeable 2% difference in terms of winning favorites compared to the 6-furlong commonly run distance and a whopping $1.92 less return in terms of payout compared to 6-furlong winners.Bottom line:Any fear that mile and one-quarter dirt races produce some uncertainty and chaos are statistically unwarranted and false. While any distance is susceptible to occasional upsets, this one is slightly less likely than its counterparts. In fact, you may argue it's more formful from the data cited above.Additional Details:You can go into Betmix and run your own queries for a deeper dive into this theory and any that you can create. For instance, how does your favorite local track perform in terms of reliable results at each of its various distances? Learn where you might be able to find more frequent longshot leans, and reliable singles for multi-race tickets.

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8.23.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Woodbine Mohawk Park Early Pick 5 Analysis | Monday, August 23

The feature at Woodbine Mohawk Park rolls in Race 6 as OSS Gold 3-year-old colts and geldings compete for a share of a $155,000 purse. My focus will be on the 0.20 Early Pick 5 with a $100,000 guaranteed pool which starts the card.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 11-Tuckers Out (6-1)-Wbsb record is only 2-25 and hasn't raced since 4-1 but the qualifier on 8-17 was strong. Trotted the back half in 56.3 with a 27.2 last quarter and finished 3rd to Forbidden Trade. Looks worthy of a swing for those not wanting to single #2.2-Spartan General (5/2)-Has won 2 of 3 and looked good doing so. Should be a main player if keeps minding his manners and the short field shouldn't hurt chances.Race 21-Hes A Ladies Man (3-1)-Was bet in last and now takes a meaningful drop. Should be a player if minds manners. Makes sense to look for better versus this group but not sure starting from the rail will be a benefit.4-Icey Shadow (5/2)-Comes off a maiden breaking score in its 1st start at Clinton and made every call a winning one leaving from the rail. Tries the big leagues but coming off a 157.0 mile on the smaller oval is something to not overlook.7-Titanium Alpha (6-1)-Makes the 2nd start for the Walker barn and paced the back half in 55.3 leaving from post 10 last week. McClure takes a seat, and he can put this colt in play early in the mile and should offer a nice price.8-Lyons Pride (9/2)-Filion returns, and he gets along with this son of Bettors Delight. This colt has raced from the back in Wbsb starts and has shown a nice closing kick. Looking for a more aggressive steer and to be in striking range at the top of the lane. The Beaton barn is batting 23% winners over the past 30 days and might be overlooked at the windows.Race 31-Grandma Heidi (9/2)-Looking for McNair to get away no worse than 2nd and work the same type of winning trip as on 8-9. Could make the most of this post draw again and trip out at a fair price.5-Warrawee Roo (3-1)-This 8-year-old has plenty of back class and is in sharp form. Slow starter can close in a hurry and the short field should help in snagging the 6th win in 19 starts at Wbsb.Race 42-P L Opportunity (3-1)-Comes off 2 big efforts from outside posts and now looks for the 3rd straight picture. This will be a test but looks the best on paper and Henry has some options with this post draw.7-Iglare Am (10-1)-Broke in last leaving from post 8 and has had issues in the past staying on stride. Risky play, but regular pilot JMac returns, and the price should be right. Appears to be better on a bigger oval winning 2 of 4 starts here.Race 53-Vines To Heaven (8-1)-Comes off a dull try but the Moreau barn had success with this mare before. Should relish the company and will look for a bounce back effort at a solid price.6-Miss Rockadali (9/2)-Moves in a couple of slots after leaving hard from post 8 and faded down the lane to finish 2nd. That was the same result as the race before and both winners are not in this field. Recent form has been sharp and faces a beatable bunch.My Ticket Race 1) 1,2 Race 2) 1,4,7,8 Race 3) 1,5 Race 4) 2,7 Race 5) 3,6Total Ticket Cost) $12.80 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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8.22.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Hoosier Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Sunday, August 22

Hoosier Park has a 14-race card ready to roll with the headliners being 3-year-old colts and gelding pacers competing in Indiana Sires stakes action. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 11, and that sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 112-Rockin on Venus (5/2)-Comes back to home base and shouldn't blush at anyone in this field. Should be close to the lead or on top for the entire mile and with a smooth trip it could be 8th picture at HoP in 14 starts.3-Virgo (3-1)-This is a speedy 3-year-old should be in position to knock off the chalk. But at times lacks the will to finish off miles and shouldn't offer much value.6-This Kit Rocks (10-1)-Will take a swing for a price in case the top two aren't bringing their fastball. Set some quick fractions in last and faded. May do better facing his classmates and with a sharp steer may finally knock off one of the top players.Race 127-Odd On Alpha Male (5/2)-Starts inside the main challengers and raced well from the 2nd tier in last. Now Wrenn is back between the pipes and could be sitting on a big effort at a short price.8-Thunder Country (4-1)-Was used a couple of times from the 7-hole last week and just missed breaking his maiden. The 0-7 record shouldn't be ignored but has cashed a 2nd place check in 4 starts. The fractions could be livelier this time and De Long may duck and look to rally off cover.Race 131-Rocky's Wedding (4-1)-Keeps hitting the board versus this kind but can't seem to cash the top check. Has been stuck with the 7-hole in the last 3 and then the 8-hole. Could be time to make the most of an inside post draw but did break back on 5-22, the last time starting from the rail.5-Born To Thrive (7/2)-Fits with this crew, Plano steers his own and draws a very good post. Will look to beat #2, the morning line choice and this 8-year-old should have a good shot at an overdue win.Race 141-Skyway Victor (7/2)-Tuned-up here on 8-14 and has been on the bench since racing on 7-25. Miller trainee has won 7 of 22 at HoP and should be there at the wire for Tetrick if dialed on high.5-Rockinsomewhere (4-1)-Gaskin trainee has the gate speed to get a pocket ride behind #1 but Macomber could try a different plan and come off cover. Versatile 3-year-old has the speed to get the job done and should offer a solid price.9-Rogers Image (3-1)-Has won 3 of 4 since going on Lasix and could make it 4 straight here. De Long will need to work a smooth trip as this will be 1st time starting on outside in over 2 months. Went off at 7/5 in last, should offer a better price with this post draw and best to not ignore the razor sharp form.My Ticket Race 11) 2,3,6 Race 12) 7,8 Race 13) 1,5 Race 14) 1,5,9Total Ticket Cost) $18Check me out on Twitter!

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8.22.2021:

Jeff Siegel's Del Mar Analysis | Sunday, August 22

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-Satchel de Ritches; 2-Dark HedgesForecast: Dark Hedges, a voided claim for $20,000 last month and returned to trainer M. Glatt’s barn, surfaces for half that mount in this six furlong sprint for older horses. First or second in seven of 14 career starts and a prior winner over the Del Mar main track, the son of Giant’s Causeway does his best work while on or near the lead throughout, and with recent numbers that are good enough to beat this below par field he’s the one to beat under the assumption that he has at least one good left. Satchel de Ritches, claimed in his last pair and now in the P. Miller barn (a strong 25% with the first-off-the-claim angle), picks up F. Prat but needs good racing luck from his rail draw. Based purely on numbers, a repeat of his race before last will probably be good enough. We’ll give Dark Hedges a slight edge on top but include both in rolling exotic play.RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B+Use: 1-Suki; 3-ViazarForecast: Viazar simply ran out of room when a fast-finishing second in a similar starter’s allowance turf event here last month and today switches to U. Rispoli and gets an extra half furlong to work with, so we’re expecting the daughter of Tapizar to be along in time. It was her first outing since November, she’s been given sufficient time in between races to recover, and looks every bit of the 8/5 that she’s listed on the morning line. Suki, a close fifth in the same race our top pick exits, is guaranteed a good ground-saving trip from her rail post position and is probably worth including in your ticket, at least as a backup or a saver.RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: B+Use: 5-California Kook; 6-GinjaForecast: California Kook looked quite good when returning to winning form over this track and distance last month, easily handling the boys with a strong late kick in a state-bred first level allowance event. She faces open company today and based on numbers she looks quite capable of winning right back. Ginja, a solid runner-up at this level last time out while almost seven lengths clear of the rest, should fire a similar shot today, though based strictly one numbers she’s not as fast as our top pick and seems to have leveled off in recent races. We’ll include her a on ticket or two as a backup, but the main push goes to California Kook.RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 3-Gold Rush Candy; 4-Stan the Hot Man; 7-Forgiving SpiritForecast: Forgiving Spirit breezed well at the OBS April when clocked in :10 flat and makes his first career start for P. Miller with a steady series of recent drills at San Luis Rey Downs to have him fit and ready. With F. Prat taking the call, the son of Shaman’s Ghost is certain to attract plenty of play in race restricted to Cal-breds. Stan the Hot Man displayed ability when second in a fast heat at Golden Gate Fields in his debut last month while six lengths clear of the rest. The number was decent, and we suspect the J. Wong-trained colt will produce a forward move, so among those that have raced he appears the most advanced. Gold Rush Candy was bet off the board in his debut, but after breaking well he was simply outfooted during the early stages and then had a bit of rough go when attempting to rally into the lane. The performance certainly was below expectations but the son of Danzing Candy probably deserves another chance, so we’ll toss him in.Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: C+Use: 1-Racetrackers; 2-Full Draw; 4-Man On the MoonForecast: Racetrackers draws the rail, drops to his lowest level ever and can beat this field if he can transfer his grass form to the main track. His one prior outing on dirt wasn’t bad – he was fast-finishing third sprinting in his debut – so there’s hope that these conditions will suit him. Full Draw, a runner-up over this track and distance in a similar event last month, projects to draft into a comfortable second flight, stalking position and have every chance from the top of the lane to wire. He’s never really been known to punch it in late but with numbers that fit you have to use him. Man On the Moon, claimed in three of his last four starts and now in the R. Hess, Jr. barn, was no factor vs. tougher foes in his first start since shipping in from the Midwest but against this group he’s much more likely to be competitive. With patient handling, the son of Distorted Humor may be a late threat.RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 6-Witch Moon; 9-Quinevere; 10-Badger KittenForecast: Trainer P. D’Amato has two major players in this maiden claiming middle distance turf event for older fillies and mares. Witch Moon, competitive with straight maiden foes last spring at Santa Anita, she drops into a seller in her first start since late May and seems to have found a field she can beat. The four year old daughter of Malibu Moon shows a steady, healthy series of recent works to have her fit and picks up F. Prat, so at 3-1 on the morning line she’s the one to beat. Stable mate Badger Kitten is a dangerous Delaware Park invader seeking some of that valuable ship-and-win bonus money, and her form suggests this is a field she can be very competitive with. The daughter of Kitten’s Joy prefers to lag and then take hold late, so given that type of ride by J. J. Hernandez she should be able to make some noise close home. Quinevere, a closing runner-up in her local bow for P. Miller while being aided somewhat by a quick early pace, has a right to move forward and is worth some consideration with U. Rispoli staying aboard.RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: C+Use: 1-Scream and Shout; 3-Kind But She LiesForecast: Kind But She Lies should be able to win one of these bottom-rung maiden claiming sprints for fillies and mares eventually, perhaps today. In the frame in her last two starts, most recently with a career-top speed figure, the E. Kruljac-trained daughter of Exaggerator projects to be comfortably placed stalking the pace and then have her chance to grind out a win. Scream and Shout, on the shelf for exactly a year, drops to the bottom for her comeback, returns to the main track, and lands F. Prat, so we’re going to assume the T. Yakteen-trained filly is fit and ready. The works look fine for a cheap type so if she leaves cleanly from the rail she’s certain to be at least a strong pace factor. We’ll try to survive and advance using just these two in rolling exotic play.RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Lieutenant Dan; 4-Collusion Illusion; 8-Gregorian ChantForecast: Collusion Illusion is fast enough on figures to win this race, but he’s never been on grass, though as a son of Twirling Candy there’s no reason he shouldn’t handle it. Away since finishing third in the Malibu S.-G1 in December, the M. Glatt-trained colt has the ideal stalking style for this abbreviated turf dash and if within range at the head of the lane should have every chance to nail the speed types. Lieutenant Dan earned a career top number when beating a lesser field over this course and distance last month in his first start in more than a year. He’ll get tested for class day, but if the son of Grazen runs back to his last race he'll be in the battle throughout. Gregorian Chant found himself on the pace in the Jaipur S.-G1 at Belmont Park last time out and that’s not the way he wants to run. A prototype late-running turf sprinter, the English-bred gelding won’t have an easy task over a course that promotes the inside speed types, but he’ll be rolling late and should at least get a piece of it.RACE 9: Post: 6:00 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Bold Endeavor; 6-Order and LawForecast: Four of the seven entrants in this allowance optional claiming main track miler exit the same race, including the horse that won it, Order and Law. Extra brave in victory while under pressure every step of the way (and appearing beaten at the quarter pole), the son of Violence re-rallied into the lane and drew clear impressively while earning a career top speed figure. He moves up to the $80,000 level for new trainer T. McCanna and in this race projects to settle outside the other two speed types, and employ stalking and pouncing tactics, a style that he’s comfortable with. Bold Endeavor was the 4/5 favorite in that race but really didn’t have any excuse and weakened to finish fourth. He’s always liked the Del Mar main track and has better races to go back to, so we’ll give the M. Glatt-trained gelding another shot. These are the two we’ll be including in rolling exotic play and with little extra push going to Order and Law.RACE 10: Post: 6:30 PT Grade: B-Single: 12-Finnley’s KittenForecast: Finnley’s Kitten was given an educational run in her debut last month in a similar grass miler for state-bred fillies and mares and did well to finish fourth before galloping out strongly in a better effort that the line will show. With that bit of experience behind her, the daughter of Kitten’s Joy should step forward significantly even from an unfavorable outside draw. F. Prat stays aboard for the R. Baltas-trained filly, who adds blinkers and shows a couple of easy breezes since raced. At 5/2 on the morning line she’s a win play and rolling exotic single.

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8.22.2021:

Jeff Siegel's Saratoga Analysis | Sunday, August 22

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: BUse: 2-Saffron Moon; 3-Time for CupidForecast: Time for Cupid is technically still a maiden, but she doesn’t know it. The daughter of Cupid finished first in her debut at Lone Star Park by more than four widening lengths and earned a decent speed figure in the process, but had her number taken down for a ticky-tack call so she’ll try to graduate again today. The purse in that race was $40,000; today’s purse is $100,000 so maybe the poor decision by Texas stewards will prove to be the proverbial blessing in disguise. Saffron Moon has done some decent work in the morning for C. Brown while appearing a tad the best with stable mate Dover Dreams in a pair of recent workouts, so we’ll toss her in on a ticket or two for protection. She lands J. Rosario and really hasn’t been asked for her best while displaying some early speed, so the daughter of Malibu Moon may be better than her morning line of 5-1 would indicate.RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: BUse: 3-Fortineno; 9-Diamond HandsForecast: We’re going to handicap this race under the assumption that it will remain on grass. We’ll pass if it’s switched to the main track. Trainer C. Clement sends out an uncoupled entry of two first-time starters that have looked quite promising in team drills. Fortineno is an Irish-bred filly by Frankel, attracts J. Rosario, and has done most of her morning preparation breaking off in front of her workmates, having them join her in the stretch, and then holding them off and galloping out strongly. Hard to say what kind of strategy or running style she will display but she acts like a filly with more to give than her moderate times might indicate. Diamond Hands has been trained to lag and then accelerate late, so we’re expecting the daughter of Frosted to make here presence felt from off the pace under J. Castellano. Under the assumption that Rosario, who is the preferred jockey for the stable, has landed on the better of two, we’ll put Fortineno on top but include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: CUse: 1-Eagle Pass; 2-Bronzed; 5-StrollingForecast: Four of the six starters in this $16,000 claiming sprint have joined new barns since their last race, so what you see on recent form may not be what you get today. Bronzed used to be better than this when trained by J. Servis but the stakes-winning gelding has been away for two years and returns cheap, so new trainer R. Rodriguez probably isn’t looking at him as a long term proposition. He could fire a big shot, but the works are slow, so who really knows? Eagle Pass, claimed for $20,000 by a low percentage outfit and unraced since mid-June, has a race two back that would bury this group, but his work tab is sketchy and his current condition questionable. Strolling comes off a moderate win for $25,000 in a race that didn’t earn much of a figure and today drops a level after being transferred to the W. Potts barn. With so many question marks, the best advice is to spread as deeply as you can or simply pass the race.RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: B-Use: 2-Jades Gelly; 7-What a Trick; 8-Lilly SimoneForecast: We’ll handicap this race for turf only. If it’s transferred to the main track, we’ll pass. Lilly Simone was a clever maiden-claiming winner over this course and distance two races back and missed by a head in a similar starter’s allowance turf sprint after producing her typical good late kick. A repeat of either one of those efforts today makes her the one to beat. Jades Gelly, fourth in the same race our top pick exits, was fractious in the gate, broke slowly, and then closed a gap but too late. If she behaves herself today and leaves with her field, the K. Broberg-trained filly will make her presence felt. What a Trick, listed as the 9/5 morning line favorite, is clearly the quickest in the field and will take them as far as she can. Worn down in the final furlong with weakening to finish third in a listed turf sprint stakes at Pimlico last month, she’s facing softer foes today and may be able to wire the field, though on pure number her edge over the competition is minimal. These are the three we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with Lilly Simone earning a very slight edge on topRACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: C+Use: 1-Miss Peppina; 3-Cazilda Fortytales; 8-QuantitativbreezinForecast: We’ll go three-deep in the fifth race, a restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares. Cazilda Fortytales battled bravely under pressure on the front end in a similar event last month before being worn down late and winding up second. She shortens a furlong today and projects to be on or near the lead throughout again. Miss Peppina, away since February and going from T. Pletcher to G. Sciacca, had finished in the frame in four straight before being stopped on, and with a brief, uneven recent work tab it is hard to know just where she’s at off the bench. However, the presence of L. Saez in the saddle is promising. Quantitativbreezin has burned money in both in her last two starts but lands the cozy outside post in her first-off-the-claim for a barn that has had some success with this angle, so with the switch to J. Ortiz and with room to improve she’s worth including on your ticket.RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: C+Use: 3-Shanghai Shamrock; 6-No Nannette No; 7-LandslidForecast: There’s not a whole lot of quality in this high-priced maiden claiming sprint for juvenile fillies so we’ll go three deep in our rolling exotics using a couple of class droppers and one first-time starter. Shanghai Shamrock has chased much tougher foes in three tries vs. maiden special weight company and although well-beaten in each race she earned speed figures that should be good enough to win in this league. Her last two outings were compromised by early trouble but with a good trip today she should be able to put her best stuff on display. Landslid, comfortably drawn outside, might be the quickest in the field, and if she can shake loose early the daughter of Flashback might get brave and keep on going. No Nannette No has looked fair to moderate in the morning leading up to her debut for G. Weaver. Against this group she should be reasonably competitive.RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: BUse: 1-Rhythm Section; 3-Mud Pie; 5-Box N ScoreForecast: This race has been handicapped for turf. If it is switched to main track, we will pass the race. Mud Pie is a proven marathoner and given today’s 11-furlong trip the son of Morning Line will be hard to beat with a repeat of his impressive maiden score at Kentucky Downs last year. Off for six months and finishing a willing second in a middle distance affair in his comeback in June, the G. Arnold-trained colt should step forward today with the switch to L. Saez following a healthy series of recent workouts that should have him set for his best try. Box N Score shows rising speed figures with every start and with another forward move today he’ll be right there. This distance is well within his range and in his third start in his current form cycle the son of Lemon Drop Kid appears set for a major effort. Rhythm Section faltered in an off-the-turf event last month at this level, winding up a distant third. If this race remains on grass, the son of American Pharoah almost certainly will be the controlling speed and given that type of trip could take this field a long way.RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: B-Use: 1-Kasim; 3-Ahead of Plan; 8-Montauk DaddyForecast: This race has been handicapped for turf. If it is transferred to the main track, we will pass the race. Kasim is a first-off-the-claim for D. Gargan (35% with a strong ROI), so we’ll expect the lightly-raced sophomores to produce a significant forward move in his first start since May while dropping from straight 3-year-old open $50,000 company to this restricted (nw-3) $35,000 seller for older horses. L. Saez probably will take hold early and cut him loose late, and with good racing luck the son of Munnings might be able to tag the speed close home. Ahead of Plan exits a pair of productive races, most recently finishing a close runner-up vs. similar at Belmont Park in late June. He’s a prior winner over this course and distance, so the C. Brown-trained gelding, first or second five of 10 career starts, looks very much like a major player. Montauk Daddy is the quickest in the field, and in his second start off a layoff the R, Atras-trained cold could prove elusive if he’s not pressured early. However, he’s been known to burn money and that last sixteenth always is troublesome, so we’ll include him on a ticket or two as a backup but not much more than that.RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: B-Use: 3-Dunbar Road; 6-Gold SpiritForecast>: Three of the six entrants in this year’s renewal of the listed Summer Colony S. for older fillies and mares exit the Shuvee S.-G3 over this same course and distance last month. Dunbar Road, very wide into the lane before losing her punch late to wind up fifth, appeared a bit rusty and in need of the outing, so we’ll give her one more chance to return to top form. Victorious in the prestigious Alabama S.-G1 here in 2019, the veteran daughter of Quality Road has won six of 16 career starts but needs to show today that she still wants to do it. Gold Spirit, fourth in the Shuvee in her U.S. debut for C. Brown, is another that seems likely to produce a significant forward move, especially with the removal of blinkers and the switch to J. Rosario. A Grade-1 winner in Chile, she remains well regarded and shows two nice breezes since raced. We’ll try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics with a slight edge on top to Dunbar Road.RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: C+Use: 4-Leading West; 8-Voter ProtectionForecast: If this race is taken off the turf, we’ll pass. Voter Protection is another one of those Klaravich/C. Brown maiden-to-maiden claiming class droppers as the stable continues to cull many of its expensive purchases that haven’t panned out. This lightly-raced gelding, away since January and returning as a first-time gelding, missed at 40 cents on the dollar when last seen in a maiden state-bred affair in Florida but shows a healthy series of workouts at Monmouth Park to have him fit enough off the bench. Leading West is a 12-race maiden and not one to trust, but he’s quite competitive on numbers and should be a late threat for the powerful trainer/jockey combo of M. Maker/T. Gaffalione. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics and while preferring Vote Protection on top.

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8.22.2021:

Jerry Shottenkirk: My Late Pick 4 Ticket at Gulfstream | Sunday, August 22

Gulfstream Park’s Late Pick 4 on Sunday is a tough sequence and it’s difficult to commit to a single, which makes it necessary to toss around a few extra numbers. That costs more money, but it also gives you a better chance when there’s a shortage of the obvious.The Late Pick 4 will be contested from races 7-10, and here’s a look at this week’s $60 suggested ticket:7th Race (4:14 p.m. ET, maiden special weight)PALINOMIUM has started just once, and it came at 7.5 furlongs (two turns) on the turf. He’s had a couple of works since that start, moves over to the main track and turns back to seven furlongs.He was bet down to 2-1 in his debut and likely will get back some of start despite running fourth.Others on the ticket: THE GREEN CRUSADER, T VILLE, THE SKIPPER TOO, ANYTHINGBUTSUBTLE.8th Race (4:48 p.m. ET, starter optional claiming)KICK IN THE GAS was claimed last time by Jennifer Young when he broke his maiden by 12 lengths. That was in a race that came off turf. His only other start was on turf, when he ran fourth.Was a $150K yearling and hasn’t run to those expectations, but he’s probably the one to beat if he runs to back to his last one. Still, the outside post could be an equalizer for others, and several in this race are worthy of attention.Others on the ticket: SEIZE THE HAY, EHTOS, SURPRISE FACTOR.9th Race (5:22 p.m., claiming allowance)DARK TIMBER drops in class and was third last out. Was claimed in two of his last three, and he makes a start for the Saffie Joseph, Jr., barn for the second time. Has been good in four of his last five and figures highly in here.There’s plenty of speed and a couple of others are worth using on the ticket.Others on the ticket: THE ICE BEAST, LOST A LEGEND.10th Race (5:56 p.m., maiden claiming)ESPERANTO has made just two starts, once at Saratoga and once at Gulfstream West, and each was against maiden special weight company. He comes off the bench for the first time since October and drops to the bottom level.He was in the Bill Mott barn for his first one, and moved to Amador Sanchez's outfit later last year. He has some good works for his return.Others on the ticket: MAURO’S TEAM.My Ticket Race 7) #1 The Green Crusader, #3 T Ville, #6 Palimonium, #7 The Skipper Too, #8 Anythingbutsubtle. Race 8) #3 Seize the Hay, #5 Ethos, #10 Surprise Factor, #12 Kick in the Gas. Race 9) #1 Dark Timber, #3 The Ice Beast, #7 Lost a Legend. Race 10) #2 Mauro’s Team, #4 Esperanto. Total Ticket Cost) 1,3,6,7,8/3,5,10,12/1,3,7/2,4 = $60 for $0.50

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8.22.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: Queen's Plate at Woodbine | Sunday, August 22

Sunday’s 162nd running of the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine has a wide-open field of 13 entered. To assist your handicapping, selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections.You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app.We’ve included the track’s official morning line odds for each runner.Woodbine// Race 10 // 5:42 pm ET // $1 million Queen’s Plate // 1-1/4 miles#1 Safe Conduct (5-1) // 29%W // 43%P // 50%S#6 Munnyfor Ro (9-2) // 18%W // 27%P // 43%S#11 Avoman (8-1) // 12%W // 19%P // 34%S#12 Tidal Forces (12-1) // 6%W // 24%P // 37%S#7 Riptide Rock (6-1) // 6%W // 15%P // 25%S#10 Dance Some Mo (12-1) // 6%W // 8%P // 11%S#3 Haddassah (10-1) // 4%W // 16%P // 19%S#2 Harlan Estate (12-1) // 4%W // 12%P // 22%S#8 Keep Grinding (4-1) // 4%W // 10%P // 24%S#4 Take a Chance (20-1) // 3%W // 6%P // 9%S#5 H C Holiday (15-1) // 3%W // 6%P // 9%S#9 Go Take Charge (30-1) // 3%W // 6%P // 9%S#13 Derzkil (30-1) // 3%W // 6%P // 9%SFired up for 2021 Queen’s Plate Day at Woodbine, featuring four stakes races headlined by the $1 Million Queen’s Plate? We are. Bet the races with Xpressbet and 1/ST BET to win your share of the $4,000 we’re giving away to customers who hit the day’s biggest bets - the Early and Late Pick 4. First post at Woodbine (TB) is 12:25PM ET - don’t be late!

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8.21.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Pocono Downs Late Pick 4 Analysis | Saturday, August 21

It is Sun Stakes Saturday at Pocono Downs featuring star-studded fields of top trotters and pacers with more than $2,000,000 in purses over the 14-race card. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 starts in Race 11. That sequence will include two $300,000 stakes, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 111-Lawless Shadow (4-1)-Mohawk invader cashes checks versus tough foes on a regular basis and makes a rare appearance on a smaller oval. But make no mistake, a sub-150 mile shouldn't be an issue and has the gate speed to be in play from the start.2-Southwind Gendry (5-1)-Burke 3-year-old tries Lasix for the 2nd time and is usually in the hunt at the wire. Gingras can be quick off the gate and looks like a player in a competitive affair.4-Perfect Sting (5/2)-This is a fine colt who has hit the board in all 7 starts this year recording 3 wins and 3 second place finishes. Has big gate speed but doesn't need to have the lead from the start to win.5-American Courage (10-1)-This is a price shot that is worth a swing and draws the choice post. Does its best work on smaller ovals and can dance with this group. Kakaley knows well and with a sharp steer could post an upset, but a good start is key.7-Rockyroad Hanover (3-1)-This post draw makes things more difficult for Dunn but there should be a very lively opening half posted. Rocky can finish fastest of all with a live cover flow and could go off at a solid price.Race 121-Captain Corey (2-1) & 1a-Delayed Hanover (2-1)-Svanstedt entry draws post 2 and 3 respectively. Dunn will steer #1a and may look to get an up-close seat and come off the pace. Ake drives Captain Corey and if the Hambo victory didn't take too much out of this colt it could be another gate to wire score.6-Johan Palema (3-1)-Here is the other Svanstedt pupil that looked to be the Hambo program favorite before a dismal 7th place finish in the Elimination. According to reports there isn't any physical issues and has been training well. Gingras will likely blast out and could have the best chance of posting an upset with a return to top form.Race 135-No Lou Zing (5/2)-It has been a bumpy 4-year-old season for this Takter trainee. After banking over $520,000 last year this will be only the 7th start this season and has booked just one win. That should change here, draws well and drops into a soft spot. If all systems are dialed on high Dunn should get the top and make every call a winning one.Race 141-Backstreet Shadow (3-1)-Comes off a big try from the 2nd tier in the Dan Patch and has been in the hunt in the last 4 races but hasn't sealed the deal. Has raced well on smaller ovals and has hit the board in all 4 starts here with 2 wins. Tetrick could get the pocket behind #2.2-Nicholas Beach (5/2)-Was used hard from the 8 hole in the Sam McKee to get the top and just missed. Shouldn't have much trouble getting on the engine here. Looks like a main player and has won 5 of 6 at PcD.6-Ruthless Hanover (5-1)-Has been cashing some checks at M1 chasing tough customers and gets a different set of hands in Callahan today. Has done good work at this track and could pop at a price if the speed falters.8-Allywag Hanover (4-1)-Has been in sharp form in the last 3 at the Big M and won his only start at PcD. My guess is TMac will get a decent seat, pull and grinded it out. This 4-year-old can take air, so could roll by down the lane if they battle up top.My Ticket Race 11) 1,2,4,5,7 Race 12) 1,6 Race 13) 5 Race 14) 1,2,6,8Total Ticket Cost) $20 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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8.21.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: Pimlico Stakes | Saturday, August 21

Saturday’s Maryland Pride/Maryland Strong day at Pimlico offers a quartet of stakes for the state-bred performers. To assist your handicapping, selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections.You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app.We’ve included the track’s official morning line odds for each runner.Pimlico // Race 6 // 3:25 pm ET // Miss Disco Stakes // 6 furlongs#3 Street Lute (1-1) // 34%W#2 Malibu Beauty (7-5) // 24%W#4 Hitch a Ride (8-1) // 19%W#5 Response Time (15-1) // 15%WPimlico // Race 7 // 3:58 pm ET // All Brandy Stakes // 1-1/16 miles (turf)#6 Artful Splatter (6-1) // 18%W#2 Forever Dreaming (10-1) // 17%W#10 Judi Blue Eyes (3-1) // 14%W#1 Good Life Cider (8-1) // 12%WPimlico // Race 8 // 4:31 pm ET // Star De Naskra Stakes // 6 furlongs#4 Jaxon Traveler (6-5) // 34%W#2 Cry No More (9-2) // 24%W#5 Exculpatory (3-1) // 19%W#1 Alwaysinahurry (3-1) // 15%WPimlico // Race 9 // 5:04 pm ET // Find Stakes // 1-1/16 miles (turf)#5 Closer Look (10-1) // 18%W#10 Cannon’s Roar (5-2) // 17%W#7 Tappin Cat (9-2) // 14%W#6 Somekindofmagician (8-1) // 12%W

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8.21.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Saturday, August 21

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: 3-Mirasol; 5-Infinite Empire; 6-Benedict Canyon Forecast: The Saturday opener looks like a graded stakes race for juvenile fillies disguised as a maiden race. Six of the seven entrants are first-time starters with big time pedigrees and at least one fast work on their resume and the one that already has raced – the B. Baffert-trained Mirasol – displayed plenty of ability in her debut last month. From what we’ve seen on video, Benedict Canyon may have the most natural early speed in the field, and with a steady, healthy work tab that dates back until at least mid-May she should be more than fit for a top effort first time out. She worked in company with Mirasol seven days ago and there was little between them, so they’re hard to separate. Mirasol gets off the rail and should be fitter and tighter with that effort behind her. She could wind up being Arrogate’s first winner, which would be nice for those selling yearlings by the former Horse of the Year at Keeneland next month. Infinite Empire is a stone runner as well, though she strikes us as a filly that might be better served with distance. Based on how she’s been training, the daughter of Empire Maker likely will settle early and then blast home, and if she gets up, great, if not, she can stretch out next time. RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 3-Speed Pass; 4-P R Radio Star; 7-Major Cabbie Forecast: This is one of the tougher $25,000 claiming sprints you’ll see on this circuit, with a number of ex-classers dropping down trying to a steal a purse. Major Cabbie may be rounding back to form after finishing a willing runner-up in a slightly stronger mid-grade claiming sprint last month, and with F. Prat riding him back and with an extra half-furlong to work with the once-promising 5-year-oild appears well-spotted to regain his best form. A prior winner over the Del Mar main track, the son of Into Mischief should draft into a good second flight position outside and then have every chance from the quarter pole home. Speed Pass shows up a seller for the first time after continuing to burn money while being protected in allowance races. He’s failed to deliver the goods the last four times he’s gone favored so the connections clearly are ready to cull him from the stable and move on to something fresher. On pure numbers the B. Baffert-trained gelding is a solid fit at this level and should find himself on or near the lead; however, he’s never been one to trust. Freshened since mid-June and with a sharp gate work of 59 4/5 nine days ago, he’s certainly capable of winning if he feels like it. P R Radio Star returns from the Midwest seeking his first win of the year while dropping to his claim level for the first time since being haltered a year ago June. A two-time winner over the Del Mar main track, the P. D’Amato-trained gelding likes to settle early and then produce a late run, so this extended sprint trip should be a perfect complement to his style. “Win rider” J. J. Hernandez returns, and the local works for his first start in two months should have fit ready for a major effort., RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Ottawa Fire; 2-One Fast Bro; 4-Memo Daddy; 5-Constitutionalaffair Forecast: Here’s a contention-filled middle distance turf event for first-level allowance older horses that could be won by any one of four or more depending which horse gets the best trip. In a similar event last month, Memo Daddy ran into severe traffic trouble on the turn, then tried to rally inside when clear in the final furlong but ran into a roadblock, was shut off, and lost all chance. With the switch to top grass rider U. Rispoli, the Chilean-bred horse can beat this field with a forwardly placed journey and clear sailing through the lane and is worth a gamble at the price. One Fast Bro left his previous form behind with a visually pleasing win at this level vs. state-bred foes last month while earning a career-top number that makes him tough right back vs. open company. Both of his career wins have been accomplished over the Del Mar turf course, so he’s right where he wants to be. Constitutionalaffair is the likely pace setter in a pace less race and he’s more than good enough to take advantage of that type of trip if not pressured early. Freshened since mid-June but showing a strong, healthy series of recent workouts to have him plenty fit, the M. Glatt-trained gelding has finished first or second in six of eight starts while earning speed figures that fit very well at this level. Ottawa Fire, a closing sixth (beaten three lengths) without mishap in the same race Memo Daddy exits, will appreciate today’s extra half-furlong in his second start since being imported from Ireland and seems quite likely to improve from his good rail post, with the addition of blinkers, and with F. Prat staying aboard. The four-year-old gelding was a beaten choice in that race; he should be a more attractive gamble today. RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Rhetoric; 2-Forbidden Kingdom; 4-Kamui; 6-Portsmouth Forecast: Three of the seven entrants in this maiden sprint for juveniles come from the B. Baffert barn, and all three appear to have plenty of potential. From what we can decipher on video, Kamui has a ton of early zip and is the one to beat. A $400,000 Keeneland weanling purchase, the son of Quality Road has the quick-action of an early winner and should appreciate this abbreviated five and one-half furlong trip. With J. Rosario taking the mount, he’s certain to attract plenty of play. Rhetoric has done some excellent work in the a.m. as well and draws F. Prat. He’ll need to come out running from the rail. Portsmouth may be the least preferred of the Baffert trio but even he can run enough to warrant some consideration. As for the others, the R. Mandella-trained Forbidden Kingdom exudes talent in the a. m. and if he breaks with his company the son of American Pharoah should have a big say in the matter. Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 6-Prince Abama; 9-Subconscious; 12-Barbwire Forecast: Prince Abama finished fourth of 19 in is only start in Ireland in May and makes his U.S. debut as a first-time gelding for a barn that excels with these European imports. He’s worked well locally on dirt and should go even better on the lawn, so in a wide open two-turn maiden race for older horses let’s try the fresh face. Subconscious, second in a similar affair last month, also shows the first-time gelding angle and has a right to improve, though in each of his last two races the son of Tapit has gotten clear early as the controlling speed but simply hasn’t been able to hang on. He’s been freshened since mid-June and is working quite well for R. Mandella, so a forward move is probable. Barbwire likely will settle into a stalking potion and have dead aim and every chance when the pressure is turned on. F. Prat stays aboard for R. Baltas, and with two noteworthy workouts at San Luis Rey Downs since raced the son of Uncle Mo is yet another that should have plenty of improvement in him. RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: BUse: 4-Forest Caraway; 7-Private Mission Forecast: Private Mission picked up where she left off after returning from a seven month layoff to win a fast first-level allowance sprint at Santa Anita with a strong, career-top speed figure. She tackles tougher today in the Torrey Pines S.-G3 for 3-year-old fillies while stretching out for the first time, but the daughter of Into Mischief has the pedigree to stay a mile and the versatility to stalk and pounce if the race flow dictates. She’s drawn comfortably outside so F. Prat can pick his spot and play it by ear. Forest Caraway is less certain than our top pick to stretch out successfully but she’s plenty fast and most likely will employ gate-to-wire tactics. If the daughter of Bodemeister is ever going to win going long, it's most likely to be in her first try, and if she’s not pressured early the P. Miller-trained filly could take the field a long way. Her sprint numbers aren’t as fast as Private Mission’s, but they’re close. We’ll use both in rolling exotic play and then press with extra tickets keying Private Mission on top. RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Smooth Like Strait; 6-Mo Forza Forecast: The defending Del Mar Mile-G2 winner Mo Forza has been away since October of last year but he won this same race last year off an extended layoff, so we know he can fire a huge shot fresh. We’re going to handicap under the assumption that the P. Miller-trained horse is fit and ready following a series of strong workouts at San Luis Rey Downs. A winner of six of 12 career starts including the Hollywood Derby-G1 over the local lawn two years ago, the high-class miler retains F. Prat, who knows him well and rides him back. For protection, we’ll also include Smooth Like Strait, a prototype turf miler who’ll likely settle into a stalking position just off Neptune’s Storm. He’ll have every chance to put that one way when ready but then will have to deal with the late blast from Mo Forza. RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Dream Shake; 6-Scary Fast Smile; 7-Positivity Forecast: Scary Fast Smile flunked his route test so he’s back sprinting where he belongs and with a repeat of his highly-rated sprint win two races back the M. Glatt-trained gelding can get back on track. At this extended sprint distance he should inherit the role as the controlling speed and given that trip he may never look back. Positivity blitzed a $50,000 claiming field over this track and distance last month and today goes first off the claim for D. O’Neill. A winner of two races from three starts over the Del Mar main track, the son of Paynter projects to enjoy an ideal pace-stalking trip outside and therefore should be quite dangerous despite the class hike. Dream Shake removes blinkers for the first time after a pair of disappointing efforts, albeit against tougher company. At this level, the P. Eurton-trained colt should fit very nicely; we just have to wonder if he’s quite the same colt as he was during the spring. RACE 9: Post: 6:00 PT Grade: B+Use: 1-Closing Remarks; 3-Going Global; 7-Fluiffy Socks Forecast: Going Global was locked and loaded entering the far turn but had no place to until straightening for home and by that time she had been robbed of her momentum and, in our opinion, lost her best chance. Others may disagree. We know she can handle today’s nine furlong distance, so with clear sailing and room to rally when the time is right the P. D’Amato-trained filly should be capable of making amends for her defeat in the San Clemente S.-G2 at 40 cents on the dollar. Closing Remarks displayed excellent form when competing with (but not defeating) Going Global in two prior outings but the daughter of Vronsky continues to impress in the morning and should snap back to top form with the return to turf after failing to show her best when third in a state-bred dirt sprint last time out. From the rail, she should be forwardly placed while saving ground and remain a strong threat every step of the way. Fluffy Socks, a stakes winner last year over this course, returns for C. Brown after finishing a willing runner-up in the Lake George S.-G3 at Saratoga last month. Under J. Rosario, she’ll be rolling late. RACE 10: Post: 6:30 PT Grade: B+Use: 2-Tizamagician; 4-Royal Ship; 5-Express Train Forecast: Royal Ship may have been victimized when attempting to rally inside along the deeper lanes and appeared to lose his punch in the closing stages when third in the San Diego H.-G2 in an important prep for this race last month. He should be forwardly placed throughout over a track that has been biased free of late, and after missing by a head in the Hollywood Gold Cup-G1 two runs back the R. Mandella-trained gelding appears ready to regain his winning form in this year’s renewal of the Pacific Classic.-G1. Tizamagician may in inherit the role as the controlling speed from his inside draw and if not respected could take this field a very long way. The son of Tiznow continues to improve with maturity and with another forward move has a legitimate chance at the big prize. Express Train is a Del Mar specialist and has never been sharper. A versatile type that can win pressing the pace or as a deep closer, the son of Union Rags looks ready for a major effort and on pure form deserves to be favored. RACE 11: Post: 7:00 PT Grade: B+Use: 4-United: 8-Arklow Forecast: Arklow appeared to be making a winning move midway on the far turn of the United Nations S.-G1 at Monmouth Park but clipped heels, stumbled badly, and lost all chance. It was remarkable that he finished as close as he did (sixth, beaten less than six lengths). Winner of the Hollywood Turf Cup-G1 in his only prior race over the Del Mar turf course last November, the veteran gelding arrives in peak form at age seven and with good racing luck appears capable of producing a winning late bid. United returned to winning form in the Eddie Read S.-G2 here last month after a hugely disappointing run (last of four) in the Charles Whittingham S.-G2 at Santa Anita. If he brings his “A” game today, the veteran high class Giant’s Causeway gelding will be hard to beat. We’re expecting the winner will be one of these two, so we’ll go two-deep in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Arklow.

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8.21.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Saturday, August 21

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: BUse: 1a-Major General; 6-Triple Elvis Forecast: Major General breezed well enough to make the Clocker’s “Primed and Ready” list earlier this month, and while he may not be one of T. Pletcher’s top juveniles he should be good enough to be competitive first time out against this group. This looks like a decent band of juveniles but maybe without a world beater. Triple Elvis, a $700,000 yearling by Into Mischief, looks like a win early type for C. Brown and is a “must use” in rolling exotic play. Unfortunately, there are several in here that we’ve haven’t seen on video, so we won’t get too aggressive other than to include the two listed above in rolling exotic play. RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: C+Use: 2-Zainalarab; 3-Primacy; 5-Dial Me Up Forecast: We see three of the five entrants as major players in this first-level allowance extended sprint for fillies and mares, so we’ll triple the race in rolling exotic play but otherwise sit it out. Dial Me Up is clearly the quickest in the field, though this seven furlong trip might be stretching her limit and she shows a brief work tab for her first start since March. Zainalarab isn’t particularly fast on numbers, but she’s only had two starts and has plenty of room for development. A solid runner-up when last seen at Churchill Downs in late April, the War Front filly is listed at 7/5 on the morning line and probably won’t offer any value at that price, though she certainly could win. Primacy* RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: XUse: 1-Robin Sparkles; 2-Lead Guitar Forecast: We’ll handicap this race under the assumption that the race will remain on grass. Robin Sparkles should easily make the running and probably will keep on going, though at even money on the morning line here’s not much we can do with her. The main challenger is Lead Guitar, who was declared a non-starter in the Royal North S.-G2 after being eliminated at the break but if nothing else still got the benefit of an outing in her first start since November and should be fitter and tighter today. The G. Weaver-trained mare can turn it on late, loves the Saratoga turf course and will have dead aim on ‘Sparkles from the head of the lane to the wire. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics but otherwise pass the race. RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: C+Use: 3-Tellaperfecttale; 7-Know It All Red Forecast: Tellaperfecttale has little to beat in this state-bred maiden $25,000 sprint for fillies and mares and this drop in class coupled with numbers that are good enough to win makes her a fairly solid choice. Although she’s ben away since April and a layoff like this always is a concern, the barn has pretty good stats with this angle, so we’ll assume that she’ll return as well as she left. Know It All Red has gradually rising numbers and finished second at this level in her last two outings so she’s the one to fear most. The daughter of Dialed In is a nine-race maiden from a low percentage outfit but against this group any sign of life makes one a contender. RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: B-Use: 4-Ghost Giant; 8-Good Old Boy Forecast: We’ll handicap this race under the assumption that it remains on the turf. We’ll pass if it’s switched to the main track. Ghost Giant has been extremely popular at the claim box of late, going from K. Rubley to G. Weaver to M. Kantarmaci to R. Abras, with the latter owning a spectacular record with the first-off-the-claim angle (34% with a massive ROI). The veteran son of Frost Giant makes his first start since early July, has a prior win over the Saratoga lawn, switches to I. Ortiz, Jr., and is solid and consistent in the speed figure department. He’ll likely draft into the second flight and then have his best chance from there. Good Old Boy, a $45,000 claim by R. Diodoro when finishing fourth in the same race Ghost Giant exits, goes for a barn that also has powerful stats with next-out claims and projects to enjoy the same type of trip as his main rival. With a local win on his resume and the switch to the barn’s “go to” rider D. Cohen, this son of Freud is a “must use” in rolling exotic play. RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: B-Use: 4-Silky Blue; 8-Kokopelli Forecast: Here’s another race that we’ll pass if it taken off the turf. Kokopelli was impressive breaking her maiden two runs back last fall at The Big A, returned in May to record a sharp first-level allowance win at Belmont Park, but then regressed when a no-excuse third as the odds-on favorite at this level in her most recent outing. The C. Clement-trained filly likes to settle early and blast home and after a brief freshening could easily return to top form. Silky Blue has failed the last three times she’s gone favored so the daughter of Hard Spun may not be totally trustworthy, but against this group she should again be a major player. Look for regular pilot M. Franco to have her in an ideal stalking position that will give her every chance when the pressure is turned on. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with the preference on top to Kokopelli. RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: B+Use: 2-My Prankster; 9-Cogburn Forecast: Cogburn smoked a quarter mile in :20 3/5 at the OBS April sale and then brought $150,000 through the ring. As fast as that breeze was, the son of Not This Time has looked even more impressive in his slower, easier moves, so when the dust settles this could turn out to be a very good colt for S. Asmussen. Drawn comfortably outside, he appears quick enough to get over and establish the running or he could settle in the stalking position and then accelerate when called upon. At 3-1 on the morning line we like him in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics. My Prankster has done some good work himself in the a.m. and in fact made the Clocker’s “Primed and Ready” list following a sharp gate work for T. Pletcher two weeks ago. The son of Into Mischief should be included as a backup or a saver just in case our top pick for whatever reason performs below expectations. RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: B-Use: 2-Golani Brigade; 4-Identify Politics; 5-Charlie Five O Forecast: Golani Brigade shows up in a restricted (nw-3) $35,000 claimer for the first time and has numbers that make him the one to beat at this level. A perfect two-for-two over the Saratoga main track, the lightly-raced 5-year-old gelding has been started and stopped on a number of times and clearly has a condition question, but if he shows up with anything close to his best stuff in his first outing since May the C. Brown-trained gelding should be hard to beat. The “other” C. Brown in the field, Identity Politics,is fast on figures and also should thoroughly enjoy this softer assignment. He’s another Klaravich Stable runner being culled from the roster after being Grade-1 placed earlier in his career. The son of Into Mischief lacks tactical speed, but at this extended sprint distance against this level of competition he should make his presence felt late. Charlie Five O blew out a soft restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming field when last seen at Belmont Park in May while earning a career top number. He’s being ambitiously placed today in his first off the claim for L. Rice, so we’ll assume he’s doing well and probably better than his 15-1 morning line might indicate. Toss him in somewhere. RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: B+Use: 2-Technical Analysis; 4-Runaway Rumour Forecast: Technical Analysis sprung a 7-1 surprise to win the Lake George S.-G3 here last month but will be a considerably shorter price to win right back in this year’s edition of the Lake Placid S.-2 for 3-year-old fillies. She earned by far a career top speed figure in the process and there’s no reason to think she won’t continue to improve. The C. Brown-trained Irish-bred filly has good tactical speed and in a race without pace projects to be on or near the lead throughout. Runaway Rumour was a highly respectable fourth (beaten less than three lengths) in the Lake George and did so despite being fanned wide into the stretch while trying to rally into the teeth of soft splits. Under the circumstances, it was excellent effort for the daughter of Flintshire, who should continue to improve as well. Because she’ll be a much better price, we’ll take a shot and put the J. Abreu-trained filly on top but include both in our rolling exotics. RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: XSingle: 6-Malathaat Forecast: Malathaat was beaten in a photo at 30 cents on the dollar in the C.C.A. Oaks here last month but she under heavy pressure through fast splits every step of the way and under the circumstances actually ran quite well when upset by Maracuja. We’re expecting the daughter of Curlin to turn the tables today. Drawn comfortably outside the other speed, she’ll be able to stalk, pounce, and go this time and in the process regain the form that saw her win her first five career starts, including the Kentucky Oaks-G1 during the spring. At even money on the morning line and likely to go lower she’ll be unplayable in the win pool, but we can use her as a short-priced rolling exotic single. RACE 11: Post: 6:45 ET Grade: B-Use: 1-Gauff; 4-Split Then Double; 9-So Enchanting Forecast: This race has been handicapped for turf only. We’ll pass if the race is moved to the main track. Split Then Double has earned rising speed figures in each of her four career starts, hitting the board in her last three, so the English-bred filly appears ready to graduate in this moderate maiden turf miler for older fillies and mares. She doesn’t have a great turn of foot but should find herself in a comfortable stalking position and have her chance from there. So Enchanting, in the frame in all four starts but slower on numbers than our top pick, missed by a neck while having every chance over this course and distance last month. With only slight improvement, she’ll be right there again. Gauff ships in from Ellis Park where she recorded some decent drills, including a bullet half mile gate move (:47 4/5) 11 days ago. The Irish-bred filly in the B. Cox barn is bred for grass top and bottom and won’t have to be a champion to act with this group. From her good rail post, she’s worth including somewhere on your ticket.

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8.20.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Hawthorne Racecourse Late Pick 4 Analysis | Friday, August 20

Hawthorne Racecourse has a 10-race card set to start the weekend. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 6. The sequence has a $10,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 61-Big N Bad (5-1)-Beat a couple of these with a 55.1 back half in the 2nd start off a claim and now steps-up. Still fits and Wilfong should be able to work another good trip.2-Baron Chancey (10-1)-Was bet in last and was aggressively driven and now faces a tougher challenge. Should be in striking range turning for home and could offer a nice price.3-Rockinsweetvictory (5-1)-Came back from HoP and dropped and popped. This 4-year-old has hit the board in 9 of 14 in Stickney with 6 pictures. Faces better than last but fits and has the gate speed to be put in play early.4-DJ Lance (4-1)-Leonard's choice over #3 is often in the hunt. Numbers 3/4 are Willis entries and this veteran is the better earner. There should be an honest pace and with a smooth steer this could be the 8th win in 26 starts at Haw.Race 73-I'm An Athlete (9/2)-Got on the engine and didn't look back versus this kind in last and paced the fastest mile of the year. Doesn't win very often but could stay good for another and Seekman is back between the pipes.4-Readfortheladys (7-1)-Comes out of the same race as #3 and threw a dud as an odds-on chalk. Will look for better as in the previous win in 152.4 which was a new lifetime mark for this 3-year-old. Willing to take a swing for a price.8-Straite Rate (7/2)-Came off cover and rolled by last week in a season's best 1.54. Leonard could work the same type of trip and the fractions should be lively.Race 81-Sirodsdalicrickett (3-1)-Drops to a spot to shine, the same level as the only win this year on 6-23. Was an odds-on chalk that day and should be bet down off the morning line.5-Pine Master (4-1)-Made an early move to get the point but faded down the lane last week. That was only the 2nd start since 6-20. Could have more to offer here and should be able to get the top without using much gas.8-Townline Big Rigs (2-1)-Team Leonard entry was doing well versus better earlier in the summer but hasn't done much since breaking stride on 7-9. This is a significant drop and should be a player even from this post if bring its "A" game but won't offer much value.Race 91-Machlicious (5/2)-Makes the 2nd start for the Rittof barn and comes off a 3rd place finish pacing the back half in .56. Won't be 20-1 tonight but should handle this group coming right back in the 2nd local start. Husted could get the jump on others this time by making a move earlier in the mile.My Ticket Race 6) 1,2,3,4 Race 7) 3,4,8 Race 8) 1,5,8 Race 9) 1Total Ticket Cost) $18 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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8.20.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Friday, August 20

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-Secret Club; 2-Dubby Dubbie; 3-First Premio Forecast: The Friday opener is a competitive $40,000 turf claimer for older horses that offers several possibilities. We’ll go three deep with preference on top to First Premio, a first-off-the-claim play for C. Dollase. A veteran gelding with a touch of back class, he was taken for this same price last month out of a solid effort in which he closed with purpose but too late when third, beaten just over a length. A similar effort today puts him right there again. Dubby Dubbie is waiver protected in his first start in more than a year for the J. Sadler stable, whose record with layoff runners is quite solid. With F. Prat taking the call in a field without much speed, the veteran gelding projects to be on the lead, and he can take this field a long way if not pressured early. The work tab should have him fit enough and he’s won twice following vacations in the past. Secret Club is guaranteed a ground-saving trip from the rail, has numbers that fit, and should at least hit the board with clear sailing. He lacked a clear path in a state bred stakes last month but with better luck today he’ll have a reasonable look. “Win rider” J. J. Hernandez returns, another positive factor. RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Zero Tolerance; 6-M Is for Magic Forecast: Zero Tolerance was best when beaten in her debut as she overcame a poor start to rally furiously late but ran out of room when missing by a nose in a five furlong turf sprint earlier this month. She gets an extra furlong to work with today but drew the rail and must prove she can run as well on the main track. A nice gate work (4f, :47.4hg) last week should have her on edge. M Is for Magic always has trained well on dirt and today, in her ninth career start, she finally gets a chance to run on it. A better-than-looked fourth (beaten less than two lengths) in the same race Zero Tolerance exits in her first outing since December should serve as a springboard to a significant forward move. From her cozy outside post the P. Eurton-trained daughter of Magician is guaranteed a soft, stalking trip in a field without much speed. We’ll give Zero Tolerance a slight edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics. RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Indian Peak; 5-North County Guy Forecast: North County Guy lacked room at a critical stage midway around the far turn and did quite well thereafter to finish third in a state-bred stakes over this course and distance last month. In this softer spot with just four other entrants, the veteran gelding should be able to secure a good trip and regain his winning form. He receives a positive jockey switch to U. Rispoli, and from his outside draw and drop over and secure a comfortable early position. Indian Peak, second in the same race North County Guy exits while earning a career top speed figure, retains F. Prat and projects to be within range while saving ground throughout. He’s never been quite as good as our top pick but should make a strong run for it. RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B+Single: 2-Righteously Forecast: Righteously, a thoroughly genuine and consistent filly, has won four of her last five starts, most recently capturing a mixed breed sprint at Los Alamitos in easy fashion. Not the soundest of runners- she was a voided claim three runs back up north but nevertheless always seems to show up on game day and most likely will settle in the second flight and then kick on when ready. This $25,000 claiming sprint restricted to 3-year-olds represents a slight raise in class, but the daughter of Square Eddie should be up to the task,. So we’ll make her a win play and rolling exotic single. Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-Gates of Heaven; 3-Vantage Point; 6-Man Friday Forecast: Man Friday moves into the high percentage M. Maker barn following a $40,000 claim last month in which the son of American Pharoah was farther back than he prefers but finished strongly to gain second money while earning a career top speed figure. This one-level raise in class to the $50,000 level should be well within his capabilities, so with just a slight forward move he can recapture his winning ways. Gates of Heaven remains well above his claim price in a sign of confidence and will be stretching out for the first time from a comfortable inside draw. The son of Kantharos projects to enjoy a stalking, ground-saving trip, and after finishing full of run but too late in a recent five furlong dash the P. Miller-trained sophomore definitely is moving in the right direction. Vantage Point, a first-time gelding following a $40,000 claim by T. McCanna (good stats with this angle), finished third in the same race Man Friday exits and is lightly raced with improvement possible. Toss him in. RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B+Use: 1-Scottish Star; 4-Edgeway Forecast: Edgeway lost all chance at the start when winding up far back behind Gamine in the Great Lady M. S. at Los Alamitos last month but has trained very well since and seems certain to bounce back with her best stuff today from her comfortable outside draw at this six and one-half furlong trip. She’s fast on numbers and projects to enjoy a soft pace-prompting trip in this five-runner edition of the Rancho Bernardo H.G3. Scotish Star, a Grade-1 winner in Argentina last year, missed by a neck in her U.S. debut despite having every chance with a perfect trip but getting worn down late by Stellar Sound, who she faces again today. The R. Mandella-trained ‘Star has a right to improve off that race but must overcome the rail. Due to the more favorable draw, we’ll give Edgeway the edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics. RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B+Use: 5-Torosay; 8-Buena Vista Forecast: Buena Vista appeared in need of the outing when third at this level last month in his first start in almost a year. The Irish-bred gelding seems certain to be fitter and sharper today for a barn that hits at a strong 21% with the second-off-a-layoff angle. A winner over this course and distance last year, the P. D’Amato-trained import should be hard to beat. Torosay was sharp in victory when beating a first-level allowance field here just 12 days ago and is wheeled back quickly while moving up a notch in an attempt by his connections to strike while the iron is hot. It was his first start in almost a year and the Goldencents gelding equaled his career top Beyer speed figure, so you have to wonder if he can come right back and do it again on short rest. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics and then have a few extra tickets keying Buena Vista on top. RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B+Use: 3-Don’t Ju Forget; 7-Shemakecents; 10-Big Switch Forecast: This is a stronger than par maiden sprint for state-bred juvenile fillies. We’ll triple the race in rolling exotic play while preferring the talented first-timer Big Switch on top. The daughter of Mr. Big has trained like she’s fit and ready for J. Sadler (strong stats with debut runners) and was especially impressive in a five furlong gate drill (:59 2/5, fifth fastest of 82) just six days ago. Drawn comfortably outside, she should inherit an ideal stalking trip and then have every chance to prove her worth. Don’t Ju Forget has the benefit of two prior outings and seems likely to step forward again with today’s extra furlong to work with. The P. Miller-trained filly closed with interest when a solid third in a good race for the level here last month, and with F. Prat staying aboard she’s likely to get the patient ride she apparently prefers. Shemakescents has displayed pretty good speed in her a.m. drills for P. D’Amato and seems likely to give a good account of herself. The daughter of Goldencents is worth including on your ticket as a backup or a saver.  

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8.20.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Friday, August 20

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: 3-Fingal; 5-Fifty Sheas Ofgrey; 7-Chao Forecast: We will pass this race if it is switched to the main track. Fingal moves up a level after a runaway sloppy track score that probably means nothing if the race remains on grass, but maybe everything if it’s contested over a wet track. The Noble Mission colt has a good stalking style that guarantees a trouble-free trip. Chao looked good winning at Gulfstream Park in late May but hasn’t been out since, though the S. Joseph, Jr.-trained colt shows a recent healthy work tab to be fit and ready and numbers that make him a major player. The presence of I. Ortiz, Jr. in the saddle is another indication that he’s live and well-meant. Fifty Sheas Ofgrey was overmatched and ran poorly in the Tale of the Cat S. at Monmouth Park last time out, but he earned good number when winning a maiden special weight event in his previous outing while on the front end, and similar front-running tactics likely will be employed again. A recent bullet half mile workout (:47 2/5, fastest of 78) since raced catches the eye. RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: B+Single: 4-Empire Lily Forecast: Empire Lily is a first-timer from a stable that excels with debut runners (27% with a massive flat-bet profit) and has trained like a very nice prospect in a race for New York-bred juvenile fillies. The daughter of Pioneerof the Nile gives every indication of being a win-early type while displaying smooth, easy action in her morning trials and a mindset that stamps her as a precocious sort with a touch of quality. The J. Abreu-trained filly gets the stable’s “go-to” rider J. Ortiz, so we’ll make her a strong win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: B-Use: 5-Scocciatore; 6-Scuttlebuzz Forecast: We will pass this race if it is taken off the turf. Scuttlebuzz has excellent recent form, winning three of his last five with figures that fit at this state-bred two-other-than allowance level. In his first try around two turns last time out, the R. Rodriguez-trained gelding was part of the pace before weakening slightly to wind up third but he’s back sprinting today and should be capable of regaining his winning form. The same could be said for Scocciatore, unplaced in the same race our top pick exits but shortening up to his preferred trip and projected to be within striking range of the leader throughout. A repeat of his clever score at Belmont Park two runs back puts him right there. We’ll try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Scuttlebuzz. RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: B-Use: 1-Aldan; 5-Hoopla; 6-Clemenza Forecast: A little will go a long way in this extended sprint for older maiden claimers. Hoopla flashed speed before packing it in vs. straight maidens over a distance of ground in his debut last month at Belmont Park.. The class drop, the shortening in trip, a good recent work tab, and the switch to Johnny V. are factors that should lead to a vastly improved performance today, so we’ll put him on top. Abdan is a seven-race maiden and therefore not one to trust, but he does have dangerous early speed, shows the route-to-sprint angle, and is dropping below his claim price in his second start for R. Diodoro. The son of Liam’s Map earned a speed figure two runs back at Churchill in a similar event that puts him right there. Monmouth Park shipper Clemenza makes his first start since being gelded and he’s also dropping into a seller for the first time, so the K. Breen-trained son of Malibu Moon has every right to step forward. Toss him in on a ticket or two. RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: B+Single: 8-Achilles Heel Forecast: We will pass the race if it is transferred to the main track. Achilles Heel is improving with racing, and in a field in which the newcomers don’t look like much let’s go with the experienced colt coming off a narrow defeat vs. similar over the local lawn last month. The son of Fed Biz rallied against slow fractions to finish a strong second by a neck in a good try, after which he was transferred from R. Atras to B. Cox (30% this season). We’re expecting his upward mobility to continue, so let’s make him a win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: XSingle: 4-Capital Structure Forecast: We will pass this race if it is transferred to the main track. Capital Structure has been sparingly raced throughout her career – just five starts with only one this year (in April) - but she’s extremely fast on speed figures and is certain to eventually gain some black type if she can stay healthy. This second-level allowance event is hers for the taking if she returns as well as she left, though we haven’t seen her on video because she’s done all of her recent training at Belmont Park. We know she can fire fresh (she won her debut) and her better-than-looked fifth place finish in the American Oaks-G1 at Santa Anita last December provided some hint of her potential. She’s an obvious short priced, rolling exotic single. RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: BUse: 1-Road to Success; 4-Scotto; 6-Gimme Some Mo Forecast: Road to Success, another one of those high-percentage first-off-the-claim plays for R. Atras (34% with a strong ROI), is properly spotted after beating maiden $30,000 claimers last month at Belmont Park with a career top speed figure. He’ll have to step up again in this restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claimer, but we’re anticipating this lightly-raced son of Quality Road can do just that. He’s drawn comfortably inside and has the tactical speed that will ensure an ideal ground-saving, stalking trip. Scotto stretches out for the first time and acts like he’ll enjoy the extra ground after finishing with interest but much too late when a distant third in a hot race for the level in the mud last month. The son of Zivo switches to L. Saez and represents the most dangerous of the deep-closing types. Gimme Some Mo hasn’t had any real success on dirt – his lone win came on grass – but he’s dropping significantly in class, retains I. Ortiz, Jr., and may find himself as the controlling speed. Given that type of trip, the T. Pletcher-trained colt could prove elusive. RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: C+Use: 1-Wicked Indeed; 3-F F Rocket; 10-Royal Realm. Forecast: Several of these are making their first starts since being claimed and a few others have been haltered within their last couple of outings, so on paper this is a treacherous starter’s allowance affair over seven furlongs for older horses. A case can be made for virtually every one of the 10 entrants. Wicked Indeed, a $35,000 Rudy claim six weeks ago, returns protected in a sign of confidence after winning two of his last three starts, most recently over a Belmont Park sloppy surface. He has enough early speed to gain a decent early position from his rail post and has the proper style for this extended sprint distance. J. Rosario, who doesn’t often ride for this barn, picks up the mount, as J. Lezcano, who was aboard Wicked Indeed in his most recent victory, opts for F F Rocket, making his first start since joining the high-percentage R. Atras barn after being haltered for $30,000 out of a winning race in early June. The son of Curlin has been curiously campaigned this year, sprinting and routing on fast ground, a muddy surface and turf without any apparent consistent master plan. Maybe he wants to be late-running sprinter; guess we’ll find out today. Royal Realm lands the cozy outside post in his first-off-the-$40,000-claim for D. Donk. The son of Empire Maker is re-equipped with blinkers while turning back from a router and has back numbers that make him dangerous. Smaller ticket plays should include the three listed above in rolling exotic play but if you can afford to go deeper, do so. RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: XSingle: 3-Kaufymaker Forecast: Today’s feature is a grass sprint for juveniles. Let’s hope it remains on that surface. Trainer W. Ward has a couple in here, including Tremont S. winner Overbore, but clearly the one to beat is Kaufymaker, a runaway debut winner at Keeneland in April before being sent to Royal Ascot for the prestigious Coventry S.-G2. She actually ran fairly well there when winding up eighth of 17, beaten just four lengths. The daughter of Jimmy Creed may have found the six furlong straightaway course a tad too testing, but at this five and one-half furlong trip against lesser foes she’s strictly the one to beat. A recent half mile turf breeze around dogs (:48b, second fastest of 62) indicates she’s spot on. RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade:Use: 3-Gabby Squared; 10-Never Content Forecast: We will pass this race if it is taken off the grass. Gaby Squared could do no better than a non-threatening third at 6/5 in a similar maiden claiming turf router at Belmont Park in June but on numbers she’s clearly good enough to make amends in this spot, so with the switch to I. Ortiz, Jr. we’ll give the C. Brown-trained daughter of Jack Milton another chance. Her recent work tab is healthy, so we’re expecting a career top effort. Never Content, away since late May, returns to face her softest foes to date and seems likely to provide our top pick with some serious competition. The M. Maker-trained filly is a strong fit on speed figures and has enough tactical speed to secure a good pace-stalking position.

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8.19.2021:

Frank Carulli: Pimlico Late Pick 4 Ticket | Friday, August 20

The road to Pimlico's Late Pick 4 has gone through the barn of trainer Claudio Gonzalez. The track's top conditioner won at least one race on each of the four Fridays the 50-cent wager has been offered at the current meet. His only starter today, Super Houdini in the sixth race, will be ridden by J.D. Acosta, whose three wins leads all jockeys in that same span. Here's a look at today's Pick 4: RACE 5 (2:57PM ET) // CLAIMING // 5 FURLONGS (TURF)  HEART OF GOD held second behind three-peat winner Missing Link (4-10, $74k) in her most recent turf start, just missed in her follow-up try on the main track, then dueled on the lead and gave way to rivals who were fifth, ninth and 10th at the first call. GREAT CAUSE was outrun in his only turf try three starts back, but she won easily in a bottom-level claimer last out and her new connections are 9-53 in the last year with a positive return on investment. ARTEMIS RISING 'didn't break sharply' two starts ago but led clear until the final yards nontheless. Another slow start plagued her as the beaten favorite last out, so she will be omitted from the ticket.RACE 6 (3:32PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 1 1/16 MILES (DIRT)  SUPER HOUDINI finished second in his last two main-track starts at this distance, the latest against the odds-on pace controller at Monmouth. His connections have accounted for eight wins over the last five weeks in the Late Pick 4. SANTO tried a dirt sprint for his new connections after a series of turf routes. He found his 'best stride late' but was no match for the winning favorite. TREMENDOUS, 4- to 6-wide throughout from post 10 at Belmont, held third at one mile in an improved try with Lasix.RACE 7 (4:04PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 5 FURLONGS (TURF)  WHISPURRING KITTEN, MARGIE'S HEAVEN and OLIVE KAT arrive in excellent form, with all having won in their most recent start on grass. ELLANATION won a restricted turf stakes on soft footing at Pimlico at this distance. BEAUTIFUL GRACE'S last three scheduled turf starts were moved to the dirt, but she's 3-7 this year with an allowance victory last out. It adds up to an 'ALL' punch on the ticket.RACE 8 (4:38PM ET) // CLAIMING // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT)  RAISED WRONG broke a step slow, engaged in a race-long duel and held the trip-sitting favorite at bay to win in her 4-1/2 furlong debut at Charles Town. She could move forward off that effort and upset possible odds-on favorite UNREQUITED LOVE, who gunned for the lead in a $25,000 maiden claimer and led until the second favorite passed by in the final eighth of a mile. PIMLICO LATE PICK 4 TICKET5th race: 2, 86th race: 1, 2, 37th race: ALL8th race: 1, 2Cost for 50-cent ticket: $48

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8.19.2021:

Johnny D: Del Mar & Saratoga Picks | Saturday, August 21

Let’s be frank. There’s nothing simple about picking winners. That’s especially true during ultra-competitive Saratoga and Del Mar meetings. Saturday cards at the Spa and Where the Turf Meets the Surf are great examples of how players can find solid horses with real chances to win at great odds. But it’s not easy. Putting 5 winners together in a Pick 5 is an uphill challenge. Anyone who’s tried knows how difficult that can be. And at Saratoga and Del Mar, the task is made even more difficult because the competition in each race runs so deep. This is the next to last Saturday for Xpressbet’s Fun in the Sun competition and only 10 open seats at the Final Table remain. They will be awarded to the top 5 finishers this week and next. Those fortunate players will join 22 individuals who already own 25 opportunities to play for a $20,000 pot. Make sure to take your best shot to join them by playing Fun in the Sun Saturday. There’s a $25 registration fee and players are asked to make $10 Win wagers on one horse in each of 10 competition races.   Below is one man’s analysis of this week’s Fun in the Run races—the last 5 at Saratoga and the first 5 at Del Mar. Analysis and Selections are made before scratches and changes and are based on fast tracks and firm turf courses. The ultimate goal of the analysis is to highlight handicapping angles that might help players in quests to conquer wagering challenges, whatever they might be—Win, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta or Fun in the Sun success. Price is important, so use the analysis to look for horses with positive comments and swollen odds. Great luck!   SARATOGA // RACE 7 (4:29PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 6 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Southern Sense draws the rail in his third start. He’s been a longshot before and should be one again today. #2 My Prankster is a first-time starter from the Todd Pletcher barn that was purchased for $600k as a yearling. The son of Into Mischief has worked steadily and progressively for this debut. Top jock Luis Saez rides and the colt has two nice four-furlong gate moves. #3 Tiumphant Road cost $475k as a 2-year-old but has a bit of a sketchy work tab for low-profile connections. #4 Skate to Heaven is a first-time starting son of Laoban with steady works every seven days for hot trainer Robertino Diodoro, who’s also good with debut runners (22%). David Cohen (3 for 43) rides. #5 Bellinger is another Todd Pletcher first-time starter. This son of Super Saver has solid works and is ridden by Jose Ortiz—23% with Pletcher. #6 Seal Beach adds blinkers off a decent first time out over a ‘good’ Spa track. Tyler Gaffalione replaces Javier Castellano and the former is 29% with hot trainer Maker this meeting. He closed ground going five and one-half furlongs and now tries six and one-half panels. Theoretically, that should play to his strengths but it doesn’t always work out that way. #7 Fromanothamutha was well-beaten last out after bobbling at the start at 10-1 odds. Low-profile trainer Ray Handal adds blinkers for this. #8 Reserve Currency is a $375k 2-year-old purchase from the Chad Brown stable. He’s been working every 6-8 days and Brown is 18% with first time starters. It should be noted that sire American Freedom has a $6k stud fee, so that 2-year-old price tag suggests this one has shown a lot on the track. #9 Cogburn has worked every 7 or so days for trainer Steve Asmussen and has drawn a cozy outside post position for his debut. Ricardo Santana rides for his main outfit and they are 19% at the current meeting. This one sports some quick four-furlong moves. BEST: #2, #5, #8 SARATOGA // RACE 8 (5:03PM ET) // CLAIMING // 7 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Restoring Hope has had 5 different trainers in his 12-race career, all for owner-breeders Gary and Mary West. The 6-year-old has fast races in 2019 but hasn’t been that good recently. #2 Golani Brigade drops in for a tag for the first time for trainer Chad Brown. That’s always a dangerous move. Add to that this 5-year-old gelding’s 2 for 2 mark at Saratoga and 2 for 3 resume at the distance and he’s the one to beat in here. #3 Vulcan is a new face on the New York circuit, brought from Churchill Downs by high-percentage trainer Brad Cox. The 3-year-old colt has done his best work over an ‘off’ track at Prairie Meadows. #4 Identity Politics is a second runner from the Chad Brown stable that drops in for a tag for the first time. Like #2 Golani Brigade, this one appears to handle Saratoga and the distance. He hasn’t won a race since May 2019 and that’s mostly because he’s been facing better and has a closing style that sometimes just misses. #5 Charlie Five O was claimed for $16k last out while winning by more than 8 lengths in May. That was a non-winners of 2 and this is a big step up in class. Trainer Linda Rice plays the claiming game as well as anyone but this is a big ask. #6 El Sobreviviente was claimed last out for $40k by trainer Mike Maker and he’s 16% with first claims. This colt has spent most of his time racing at Indiana, Turfway and Churchill. He races from off the pace and will need to step up his game to defeat this group. #7 Striking Speed starts for hot trainer Rob Atras, has a win and a second in 3 Spa starts and comes off a troubled allowance race over a ‘good’ track. The 4-year-old gelding will be ridden by Santana and the barn has done well with him. This is just the second start under Atras and the drop in class should help his chances. #8 American Rule seems overmatched in here for 1 for 37 trainer Peter Tournas and an 0 for 12 apprentice jockey. #9 Thereisastormbrewin has speed and an outside draw for 0 for 22 trainer Michele Nevin. This 5-year-old gelding was claimed for $35k last time out. Just 2 wins in 17 starts with 5 seconds and 4 thirds suggests that an in-the-money finish is most likely. #10 Respect for All cuts back from a one mile and one-eighth route to this six-furlong sprint. He hasn’t been fast enough in the past to win this. CHAD ON THE DROP: #2, #5  SARATOGA // RACE 9 (5:39PM ET) // G2 LAKE PLACID S. // 1 1/16 MILES (TURF) #1 Illiogame has two turf starts and has handled it well enough. He broke maiden three back at Keeneland and then won a first-level allowance race at Churchill. She was not a factor in the Gr. 2 Mother Goose. She would be a surprise in the winner’s circle. #2 Technical Analysis is fit and sharp off a Gr. 3 Lake George going one mile on Spa grass. That upset win at 7-1 was his third win in five starts. He’s also 2 for 3 at the distance. Jose Ortiz returns in the saddle for Chad Brown and they’re a sparkling 23% out of 40 starters at the meeting. #3 Ego Trip is a maiden that just missed first out in this country after a troubled start and a late flurry. Maidens aren’t usually great plays against winners in stakes, so we’ll pass on this one. #4 Runaway Rumour closed to be fourth in the Gr. 3 Lake George last out. Before that she won the Wild Applause at Belmont, a state-bred allowance and a state-bred maiden race. Three wins in 4 starts is an excellent record for a hot trainer in Jorge Abreau (24%). She may be at the mercy of a slow pace in this short field. #5 Lovestruck won the first two starts of her career before fading last out in the Wild Applause at Belmont. That was her first race since November, so she may have needed the outing. Johnny V. takes over for Junior Alvarado and will have this filly either on or near the early pace. There doesn’t seem to be much pace in this race and trainer Mott has had a solid meeting. #6 Spanish Loveaffair is the most experienced filly in the field with 8 lifetime starts, mostly in graded stakes races, including the mile and one-quarter Gr. 1 Belmont Oaks last out and the Gr. 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Turf last November. She’s a Grade 3 stakes winner and was Grade 2 placed at 2. It’s a bit unusual that jockey Tyler Gaffalione moves from this filly, trained by solid client Mark Casse, to #3 Ego Trip conditioned by Brendan Walsh. Santana takes over in the saddle. NEW YORK BRED STAR: #4OTHERS TO FEAR MOST: #2, #5 SARATOGA // RACE 10 (6:13PM ET) // G1 ALABAMA S. // 1 1/4 MILES (DIRT) #1 Crazy Beautiful is on a roll with two consecutive wins—Gr. 2 Summer Oaks at Santa Anita and Gr. 3 Delaware Oaks—and three triumphs in her last 4, including the Gr. 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks. She like to race just off the early pace and then launch her bid. She’s been first or second in 8 out of 10 starts and has earned $700k. While talented and sharp, this is a step up for her. #2 Will’s Secret fits with these off a pair of third-place finishes behind favored Malathaat in the Gr. 1 Ashland and Gr. 1 Kentucky Oaks. A similar finish is about the best we can expect in here. #3 Clairiere has been close to #6 Malathaat and #4 Maracuja and has been in the money in 6 out of 7 starts. Trainer Steve Asmussen rides Irad Ortiz for the third time and it could be the charm. She races just off the pace and is a Gr. 2 winner. She moved early against #6 Malathaat and then faded to third. A more patient ride can be expected. #4 Maracuja upset the applecart in the Gr. 1 Coaching Club of America Oaks at nearly 15-1 odds. That race was over the Saratoga surface and, if she improved over the track, she could be a threat right back for trainer Rob Atras. On the other hand, she couldn’t keep pace with #6 Malathaat in the Gr. 1 Kentucky Oaks. #5 Played Hard is razor sharp right now with back-to-back wire-to-wire wins at Churchill and Saratoga. She will use her speed again under jockey Luis Saez. A :59 2/5 bullet best of 35 on August 7 reinforces this filly’s sharpness. No doubt, this is a tougher group and this filly will need to go faster early than she has before. That pressure might cause her to crack. #6 Malathaat clearly is the one to beat in here. She’s a multiple Gr. 1 winner and was a head loser to #4 Maracuja last out. That was her first loss in 6 starts for trainer Todd Pletcher. She’s got a style that keeps her within striking distance. It’s difficult to get around her in here but she’ll be an extremely short price off a loss to another filly in this race.  #7 Army Wife is another hot filly with two consecutive wins and three victories out of her last four starts. She won the Gr. 2 Black Eyed Susan and the Gr. 3 Iowa Oaks her last two times out. Tyler Gaffalione takes over for the west coast bound Joel Rosario. Trainer Maker and jockey Gaffalione are successful together at 29% this meeting. SEARCHING FOR AN UPSET: #3, #5 SARATOGA // RACE 11 (6:47PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 1 MILE (TURF) #1 Gauff is a first-time starter by highly-rated European sire Siyouni and trained by Brad Cox. If he ran well, it wouldn’t surprise. #2 Good Talk has started at huge odds twice and probably will be a longshot again. #3 Epona Bay is a first time starter by American Pharoah for Ken McPeek. The trainer is not known for being strong with debut runners. #4 Split Then Double is one of two Chad Brown runners in this race. He’s been second twice and third once in just four starts. He was favored last out in a race common to several runners in here. He’s got the highest last race Beyer Figure and has improved speed ratings in each start. He failed as favorite last out and will be strongly backed again. #5 Gailhorsewind adds blinkers for Linda Rice. She’ll stretch out to one mile after four turf sprints. She’s a late-running sprinter. #6 Ingress makes a second start for trainer Bill Mott and she’s liable to improve off an ‘even’ performance going one mile over the Spa lawn. That’s the common race to several in here, so she fits. #7 Miss Bonnie T has had 7 tries around two turns on turf with 3 seconds and 1 third. Another minor award seems most likely. #8 Rhombique adds Lasix for low-profile conditioner Robert Ribaudo and moves to turf around two turns off a ‘muddy’ sprint. Seems like a longshot in here. #9 So Enchanting was second last out, her first around two turns for trainer Chad Brown. She hasn’t been off the board in 4 starts, with 3 seconds and 1 third. She deserves respect. #10 Let’s Go Native makes a second start for trainer Shug McGaughey. She’s been off since June when sixth at this level going one mile on grass. She was 32-1 odds that day and probably will be a big price again. #11 Mayhap is a first-time starter for low-profile connections breaking from the far outside post. Asking a lot.  CHAD HOLDS THE CARDS: #4, #9MOTT MAY UPSET: #6 DEL MAR // RACE 1 (5:00PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Keychain Girl brought $208k as a yearling and has two nice gate works for 14% first out trainer Mark Glatt who is 1 for 1 with jockey Joe Bravo at the meeting. Not hopeless but prefer others. #2 Ain’t Easy has worked every 7 to 8 days for 12% first out trainer Phil D’Amato and visiting top jock Joel Rosario. It should be noted that D’Amato is 31% with 2-year-olds. A sharp five-furlong gate drill highlights this $400k yearling purchase’s training. Lots to like. #3 Mirasol is a second-time starter for trainer Bob Baffert, who is 21% in that department and is 30% with 2-year-olds in his last 77 runners. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith returns aboard this daughter of Arrogate. Has to be respected. #4 Booze Runner invades from Arizona Downs where the $20k yearling purchase has registered fast works for 17% trainer Molly Pearson. This daughter of Gun Runner appears to have speed, but this is a deep field and trainer Pearson is not known to win first time out. #5 Infinite Empire is a $360k yearling purchase with a steady series of works for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. This daughter of Empire Maker may need more distance for her best. Mandella is 18% with first timers and with 2-year-olds. Top Del Mar jock Prat rides. Another with credentials in a loaded race. #6 Benedict Canyon was purchased for $215k as a 2-year-old and has worked roughly every 7 days, posting some fast five-furlong moves that suggest this one can motor. The daughter of Midnight Lute is the second Baffert runner in the race and the trainer is 29% with first timers and 30% with 2-year-olds. On paper, this looks like the one to beat in here. #7 Belle Cherie has worked every 6 or 7 days for 13% first time out trainer Simon Callaghan who is 26% overall with 2-year-olds. A flashy four-furlong gate drill August 13 suggests this one has some early speed. A $350k 2-year-old price tag also suggests this one is stylish. Visiting jock Florent Geroux is up. BEST IN A LOADED RACE: #6NEXT BEST: #2, #3, #7 DEL MAR // RACE 2 (5:30PM ET) // CLAIMING // 6 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Self Taught is a 4-year-old claimed for $20k last out by trainer Bob Hess, who is 13% first off the claim. The rail post isn’t the best, but this one has no early speed, so he’ll need to save ground and fire late. He’s zero for 3 at Del Mar and was claimed by Hess at Churchill Downs in June of last year before finishing second at the 20k non winners of 3 level. Probably not for us. #2 Red Valor is a 5-year-old who was claimed out of the same race as the #1 Self Taught. This gelding won the race going this distance from just off the early pace. He moves up in class and from the outside to the inside. Before that last race, he won a $16k non-winners of 2 at Los Alamitos. He’s going for his fourth win in five starts overall but never has succeeded at this level. He’s just 1 for 9 at Del Mar. #3 Speed Pass is a 5-year-old taking a substantial drop in class for trainer Bob Baffert, who’s hitting 28% at Del Mar. Owners Pegram, Watson & Weitman are not averse to a drop and win play. This quick runner has a solid five-furlong gate drill for this and hasn’t been out since June. In March he was shipped from California to Aqueduct for the Gr. 3 Tom Fool where he finished sixth. He’s the one to beat in here. #4 P R Radio Star is a 6-year-old that has 2 wins and a second in 4 starts at Del Mar. His recent work has been done at Oaklawn Park and Churchill Downs for trainer Phil D’Amato. Jockey J J Hernandez knows the gelding well and has two wins with him, both at Del Mar last year. This guy deserves respect. #5 Smileforme is a fit, 4-year-old with a winning spirit, having succeeded 5 out of 18 times. He just missed in his only Del Mar start. Last out, at Golden Gate, he was a well-beaten fifth for high percentage trainer Jonathan Wong who’s struggled at Del Mar this season (1 for 26). Notable that Rosario rides this winner of 3 of his last 5 starts on lesser circuits. #6 Buttered Noodles is a fit 4-year-old that was claimed last out for $32k and is dropped by trainer Manny Ortiz. Five pound apprentice jockey Ortega seeks his first Del Mar triumph in 42 starts. This gelding was claimed for $40k by former trainer John Sadler at Churchill Downs. He’s got some early speed, but recent form leaves us empty. #7 Major Cabbie attracts the meet’s leading rider Prat for trainer Peter Miller and drops from a second-place finish at $32k to $25k—his lowest level ever. He closed from off the pace last out and Prat got to know him. He should be very dangerous right back. He hasn’t won since October ’19 at Keeneland, but he’s faced lots of stakes competition since. Miller and Prat are 29% together. #8 Mr. Dougie Fresh also is a Miller runner in here. He’s 7-years-old and comes off a troubled allowance effort. Before that he was claimed for $20k out of a Belmont sprint when he was a close third from just off the pace. He’s a former solid optional claimer but hasn’t fired a race at that level since March ’20. BEST: #3NEXT: #7 DEL MAR // RACE 3 (6:02PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 1 1/16 MILES (TURF) #1 Ottawa Fire is a 4-year-old making a second US start for trainer Phil D’Amato and jockey Prat. This team moves from the outside to the inside and should do better than a sixth placing last out when favored at this level July 24, a common race for five of these. Blinkers go ‘on’ and the trainer is 19% with the move. Prat and D’Amato are 29% together. #2 One Fast Bro is a razor-sharp winner last out of a Cal-bred optional claimer at Del Mar. He likes this course—2 wins, 2 thirds in 4 starts and is 1 for 1 at the distance for low-profile trainer Shelbe Ruis. Jockey JJ Hernandez moves here over two others in this race he rode last out. #3 Mohawk King just missed last out when second for the third consecutive time since coming to the US from Great Britain. Geroux replaces Hernandez in the saddle and this one can be expected to go to the front from the inside, part of the early pace with #5 Constitutionaffair. #4 Memo Daddy is another that loses Hernandez in the saddle. He’s replaced by Rispoli and trainer Michael McCarthy and that jock are an excellent 27% together. This 5-year-old horse set the pace going one mile and one-eighth but couldn’t quite hold on two back. He had trouble last time out in the race common to many of these. He won’t be able to make an easy lead in here either and is just 1 for 14, overall. #5 Constitutionaffair is a 4-year-old gelding with speed going one mile on turf. He’s been favored in his last 2 races, with 1 win and 1 second. He’s 3 for 8 overall with 3 seconds and 1 third, so you can count on him to show up. He should keep things lively up front with #3 Mohawk King and #7 Dominant Soul. If forced to battle early, the extra sixteenth of a mile may be his downfall. #6 Uncle Addouma is a 4-year-old colt with less than attractive recent form. He had trouble in his last—the common race to many of these—and didn’t race poorly when fourth, less than 2 lengths behind #5 Constitutionaffair. He’s a reach in here. #7 Dominant Soul has speed and needed his last race—the common effort to many in here. He was third last year in the Gr. 2 Del Mar Derby at 50-1 after setting the pace. Expect him to be close to the early pace in here and to fade in the final stages. #8 Evening Sun is a 4-year-old gelding with just 1 win in 9 starts and that came in Great Britain a year ago. He did cross the finish first last out in the race common to many of these, but was disqualified for interference and placed 8th. He was nearly 22-1 that afternoon off a disappointing first US start for trainer Jeff Mullins. Jockey Van Dyke returns in the saddle seeking to right the last race wrong. This gelding races from off the pace and has to avoid losing ground from this outside post. BEST IN A SCRAMBLE: #1 WORTH A LOOK: #2 DEL MAR // RACE 4 (6:34PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Rhetoric is one of 3 Bob Baffert-trained entries in the race and he’s a $600k yearling purchase that has a trio of quick five furlong works for his debut. Top jock Prat rides and he’s 33% with Baffert. Hard to ignore this one. #2 Forbidden Kingdom is a $300k yearling purchase by American Pharoah going postward for trainer Richard Mandella. He’s got a 1:00 2/5 five-furlong work to accompany a six furlong 1:14 3/5 and a bullet three-eighths. Nice pattern for a first start but not as flashy as some of his foes. #3 The Met goes second time for trainer Luis Mendez, a 26% move. This New York-bred was a well-beaten fourth first time out at 22-1. #4 Kamui is another of the Baffert contingent in here and Joel Rosario rides and they are 43% together. A solid series of works every 7-8 days seems to have this $400k yearling purchase by Quality Road ready to fire. #5 The Key is Unity is a $100k 2-year-old purchase with a nice five-furlong San Luis Rey bullet alongside a second-best of 98 four-furlong move at Santa Anita. Doug O’Neill trains and Frey rides. Compared to others in here the overall work tab is light. #6 Portsmouth is the third of the Baffert crew. He was a $150k yearling purchase and has worked about every 7 to 8 days, including a swift :59 1/5 best-of-87 move July 24. Cedillo rides and he wins at 33% for Baffert. A total of 5 five furlong works ought to have this one well past fit for his debut. Adds to an already very deep race. #7 Beef Winslow is a $125k 2-year-old purchase by Honor Code trained by Doug O’Neill. His best is a second best of 84 four furlong gate move August 7. Rispoli rides and the colt has worked every 7 days for his debut. BAFFERT'S BEST: #1, #4, #6 DEL MAR // RACE 5 (7:04PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 1 1/16 MILES (TURF) #1 Lone Scout will attempt to improve on a close third last out in a one-mile maiden race. Joe Bravo returns in the saddle. Blinkers go on for trainer Bob Hess, but the colt has worn them in the past. He’s steady from off the pace but not spectacular. #2 Hollywoodhellraisr is a 4-year-old with 6 failed maiden runs on his resume, three around two turns. He was a close second by a head at this level two back at Santa Anita and was a troubled sixth last out in a race common to a few of these. Trainer Phil D’Amato has two runners in this race and Jose Valdivia, winless with the trainer rides here. #3 Tulsa Tornado makes the third start of his career for trainer Michael McCarthy. He was fourth after racing evenly last time out in a race common to several of these. Trevor McCarthy rides and he is winless at Del Mar for the trainer in 6 tries. This colt could improve off his last race. #4 Reserve invades from Churchill for trainer Ron Moquett and returns to turf where he failed two races back. He’s never been fast enough to win this, according to Beyer Speed Figures. #5 Hulk is a first-time starter for trainer Jeff Mullins who’s been working every seven days. Mullins is not known for firing first-out (8%) and jockey Gonzalez is 0-3 with the trainer at Del Mar this year. #6 Prince Abama will make his second start, first in the US for trainer Phil D’Amato, who’s good with this type (41%) and with runners making their first starts for him (25%). He’s been gelded and will race with Lasix for the first time. Rispoli rides and he’s 40% at Del Mar with the trainer. Lots to like about this one, especially since the local runners haven’t been particularly impressive. #7 Affable has speed and will try turf for the first time for trainer Mark Glatt. The son of Flatter may take to the surface and probably will make the lead and be stalked by #9 Subconscious. They ought to establish an honest pace. Jockey Cedillo moves from #9 and #10 Offlee Naughty to this colt. This colt was a notable $600k 2-year-old purchase. #8 Shotgun Express races for trainer Dan Blacker for the first time and will need to turn the ship around in a hurry off a poor first out. Lasix will be added today. #9 Subconscious has speed and makes his fourth career start. He’s been close twice in turf routes and has been gelded since his last for trainer Richard Mandella. He’s lost ground in the stretch of his last two and should have company up front in here. #10 Offlee Naughty is one of two Michael McCarthy-trained runners in here and he gets the services of visiting top jock Joel Rosario. They win at 17% overall. This colt has no speed and comes out of the race common to others in here. Rosario will need to navigate a ground-saving trip from this tough post. The pace should help his cause. He has finished behind several others in this field. #11 Barbwire’s first turf race was a good one when second to Dicey Mo Chara in the race common to many in here. Prat returns in the saddle for trainer Richard Baltas and they are 27% overall together. This son of Uncle Mo has enough speed to get over from this outside post and Prat is an expert at saving ground. He’s the best of those coming out of the common race. #12 El Joy has failed in 8 starts, with 3 seconds and 1 third. He was second last out in a maiden turf race at Golden Gate. He’ll need to do better than he ever has to have a say in here. TOP SPOT: #6 NEXT BEST: #11 Race On!

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8.19.2021:

Jon White: 2021 Pacific Classic Picks | Saturday, August 21

It’s hard for me to believe that 31 years have passed since I called the official race chart for the inaugural running of the Pacific Classic at Del Mar. Best Pal won the 1 1/4-mile event by one length in 1:59 4/5. The California-bred gelding not only defeated his elders that day, he broke the track record. One of the most popular horses to ever race in California, Best Pal won the first Pacific Classic under the burgundy and gold silks of John and Betty Mabee’s Golden Eagle Farm. The Mabees bred the son of Habitony and the King Pellinore mare Ubetshedid. Best Pal’s win in the first Pacific Classic was especially sweet for John Mabee. A founding member of the board of directors of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Mabee served as the organization’s first president and then its chairman for close to 25 years. John Mabee played an important role in the creation of the Pacific Classic, then won the first running of the $1 million event. For the race chart, I wrote: “BEST PAL, outrun early while being reserved, raced wide on the backstretch, moved up to be in an easy striking position on the far turn, responded readily to steady left-handed pressure in the drive while gaining strongly, ran down TWILIGHT AGENDA to get the lead in deep stretch and was increasing his advantage in the closing yards.” Patrick Valenzuela rode Best Pal for future Hall of Fame trainer Gary Jones. Twilight Agenda finished second. He was followed in order by Unbridled, Festin, Farma Way, Itstallgreektome, Anshan and Stalwart Charger. I have crafted the morning line for this year’s $1 million Pacific Classic in which nine are entered. I had a very difficult time deciding who to make the morning-line favorite. The way I see it, either Express Train or Royal Ship probably will be sent away as the Pacific Classic betting choice. I think it really could go either way. Express Train won Del Mar’s Grade II San Diego Handicap at odds of 5-2 on July 17. Royal Ship finished third in that race as the 8-5 favorite. In terms of morning-line favoritism, I ultimately gave the nod to Express Train at 3-1, while pegging Royal Ship at 7-2. I originally was going to make Express Train a 5-2 favorite and Royal Ship the second choice at 3-1. But as a consequence of Independence Hall being a surprise eleventh-hour entrant, I raised the morning-line price for both Express Train and Royal Ship a notch. I pegged New York invader Dr Post at 4-1. Independence Hall, Tizamagician and Tripoli are each 5-1. While I was in the process of formulating the morning line, it appeared to me that Express Train, Royal Ship, Dr Post, Independence Hall, Tizamagician and Tripoli all are quite capable of proving a tough customer in the Pacific Classic. I think Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman was spot on when he wrote that the Pacific Classic morning line “reflects the competitive nature of the race.” Rounding out the field and attempting to pull off an upset are Cupid’s Claws (15-1), Magic On Tap (20-1) and Sheriff Brown (30-1). Below are my Pacific Classic selections: 1. Express Train2. Royal Ship3. Dr Post4. Tripoli One the reasons that I made Express Train the morning-line favorite and why he’s also my top pick is his fine record (4-3-1-0) on Del Mar’s main track. His lone defeat on that this particular track came in his career debut when he finished second to the highly regarded Eight Rings in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race for 2-year-olds. At that time, Eight Rings looked like a rising star for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. Following his maiden triumph, Eight Rings was backed down to 1-2 favoritism in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity, but he ducked in sharply early and unseated jockey Drayden Van Dyke. Eight Rings subsequently rebounded to win the Grade I American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita. But he then finished a disappointing sixth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at that same track. After his poor performance in the 2019 BC Juvenile, Eight Rings continued his less-than-stellar form when finishing fifth and seventh in his only two 2020 starts. In his initial 2021 start, Eight Rings lost further luster when he finished fourth as the 8-5 favorite in Santa Anita’s Grade II Triple Bend Stakes on May 29. After the Triple Bend, it’s perfectly understandable why many people were writing off Eight Rings, as evidenced by his 16-1 odds when he ran in Del Mar’s Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes on July 31. But Eight Rings perked up to finish a sharp second in the Bing Crosby, a race he lost by just a neck to Dr. Schivel. As for Express Train, since finishing second to Eight Rings in the aforementioned 2019 maiden race, he has not lost on Del Mar’s main track, all in two-turn races. In his second career start, Express Train won a one-mile maiden special weight race by 14 1/4 lengths for owner CRK Stable and trainer John Shirreffs at the 2019 Del Mar summer meet. Back then, I thought Express Train might be every bit as good as Honor A.P., another promising 2-year-old owned by the CRK Stable and trained by Shirreffs. Honor A.P. won the Grade I Santa Anita Derby last year, defeating Authentic, who went on to be the 2020 Horse of the Year following victories in the Grade I Haskell Invitational, Grade I Kentucky Derby and Grade I BC Classic. Express Train started only once at Del Mar last year. He won a one-mile allowance/optional claiming contest by two lengths on the main track at the summer meet. As mentioned earlier, Express Train registered yet another victory on Del Mar’s main track six weeks ago when he got the job done in the San Diego. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred Union Rags colt won the 1 1/16-mile San Diego by a half-length over Tripoli. Royal Ship, a 5-year-old Brazilian-bred Midshipman gelding, has the look of a major player in the Pacific Classic off his last three races. Trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, Royal Ship won Santa Anita’s Grade II Californian Stakes on April 17 by a neck over Country Grammer. Country Grammer then turned the tables in Santa Anita’s Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup. Country Grammer won the Gold Cup by a head over Royal Ship. Royal Ship finished 4 1/4 lengths in front of Express Train in the Gold Cup. And then Express Train finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of Royal Ship in the San Diego. Mandella has four Pacific Classic wins to his credit. The Mandella-trained Dare and Go took the 1997 renewal in an $81.20 upset when he defeated 1-10 favorite Cigar, whose winning streak was snapped that day at 16. Mandella went on to also win the Pacific Classic in 1997 with Gentlemen, 2004 with Pleasantly Perfect and 2015 with the multiple Eclipse Award-winning distaffer Beholder. The late Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel and Baffert share the record of six Pacific Classic wins by a trainer. Baffert will break the record if Magic On Tap can find a way to topple his foes this Saturday. Dr Post goes into the Pacific Classic off a win in the Grade III Monmouth Cup when racing with blinkers for the first time on July 17. His performance was better than the 1 1/4-length margin of victory suggests. The good doctor won going away after racing extremely wide into the lane. Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher trains the 4-year-old Kentucky-bred Quality Road colt. Independence Hall, trained by Michael McCarthy, has not appeared under silks since he finished third as the 3-5 favorite in the Californian in April. He had made two previous 2021 starts. Independence Hall finished third to Knicks Go and Jesus Team in the Grade I Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 23, then ran fourth to Idol, Express Train and Maxfield in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 6. Something to keep in mind is all four of Independence Hall’s wins in 10 career starts have come in races around one turn. The Pacific Classic will be contested around two turns. I believe that Tripoli should be taken very seriously in the Pacific Classic off his runner-up effort in the San Diego. Running that well in his stakes debut showed that he belongs with “the big boys” like Express Train and Royal Ship. Tripoli was right there at the end of the San Diego despite being fanned wide into the stretch. Hronis Racing owns Tripoli. John Sadler is the trainer. This owner-trainer team won the Pacific Classic in 2018 with Accelerate and in 2019 with Higher Power. Mandella also is represented in the Pacific Classic by Tizamagician. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred Tiznow colt won Del Mar’s Grade III Cougar II Stakes at 1 1/2 miles by 2 1/4 lengths on July 18. Tizamagician could have a big say in the Pacific Classic. He has finished first or second in seven of his last eight starts. A concern in the Pacific Classic is his lack of a triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure in his 18 career starts inasmuch as Express Train, Royal Ship, Dr Post, Independence Hall and Tripoli all have recorded a triple-digit Beyer on more than one occasion. SECRETARIAT STAKES Many racing fans are saddened that the Arlington Million, which this year was renamed the Mr. D. Stakes while having its purse slashed from $1 million to $600,000, evidently will never be run again. Two Emmys, ridden by James Graham and trained by Hugh Robertson, led past every pole in last Saturday’s Mr. D. Allowed to set a snail-like pace (:26.12, :52.43, 1:16.64), Two Emmys had just enough gas left in the tank to win by a neck in a 27-1 upset when able to stave off the late charge by 2-5 favorite Domestic Spending. With this year being said to be the final year of racing at Arlington Park, it is so sad that the Arlington Million -- the world’s first $1 million Thoroughbred race -- will be no more. Arlington’s Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds, which was renamed the Bruce D. Stakes this year, also will be no more. How in the world can Secretariat no longer have a stakes race named after him? This is just plain wrong. I believe the folks at the New York Racing Association should address this wrong by coming up with a race named after Secretariat. And I am not talking about some minor stakes race. New York should have an IMPORTANT race named after the 1973 Triple Crown winner. It actually makes more sense for New York rather than Arlington to have a Secretariat Stakes anyway. Secretariat made 15 of his 21 career starts at New York tracks. He raced at Arlington Park just once. Belmont Park, of course, is where Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes by a spectacular 31 lengths in what many consider to be the greatest performance by a Thoroughbred in American racing history. Come on, NYRA. Please honor Secretariat with an important race named after him. I have an idea. Why not rename the Belmont Derby, a Grade I race at 1 1/4 miles on the grass, either the Secretariat Stakes or Secretariat Derby? After all, Secretariat was undefeated on the grass. In his two grass starts, he won the Man o’ War Stakes at Belmont Park and the Canadian International at Woodbine. Besides, it makes a lot more sense to have a Secretariat Stakes or Secretariat Derby on the grass than a Man o’ War Stakes on the grass. That’s because Man o’ War never raced on the grass. THE HEART OF JOHN HENRY Due to the apparent end of the road for the Arlington Million, there was much discussion last weekend of the first running of the race in 1981 in which John Henry won by a scant nose over The Bart. John Henry won 39 of 83 starts during his illustrious career. I wondered just how many times he had been victorious when the race had come down to a photo finish. According to my research, John Henry was involved in 14 photo finishes in which he won or lost by a nose, head or neck. Remarkably, he won 11 of those 14 races, the first of those coming in his career debut in which he eked out a nose victory in a four-furlong maiden special weight race at Jefferson Downs in Louisiana on May 20, 1977. One of those 11 wins also came via the disqualification of Perrault in the Santa Anita Handicap. Below is John Henry’s record in photo finishes: Finish (Track) Date Race (odds) Winner if not John Henry 1 by nose (JnD) 05-20-77 maiden special weight race (8-5)1 by head (EvD) 09-05-77 Lafayette Futurity (5-1)1 by neck (Bel) 06-25-78 allowance race (3-1)2 by head (Bel) 07-29-78 G2 Lexington Hcp (5-1) Mac Diarmida1 by head (SA) 01-01-80 G3 San Gabriel Hcp (8-5 favorite)1 by neck (Hol) 05-26-80 G1 Hollywood Invitational Hcp (9-10 favorite)2 by neck (Bel) 06-14-80 G2 Bowling Green Hcp (9-5 favorite) Sten1 by neck (Bel) 09-07-80 G3 Brighton Beach Hcp (2-5 favorite)1 by nose (AP) 08-30-81 Arlington Million (11-10 favorite)1 by head (Bel) 10-10-81 G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup (3-1 favorite)1 by neck (SA) 11-08-81 G1 Oak Tree Invitational (2-5 favorite)2 by nose (SA) 03-07-82 G1 Santa Anita Handicap (13-10 favorite)*2 by neck (AP) 08-28-83G1 Arlington Million (7-5 favorite) Tolomeo1 by neck (Bel) 09-22-84 G1 Turf Classic (1-1 favorite) *John Henry finished second but was placed first through the disqualification of Perrault The only three horses to get the better of John Henry in the above table were Tolomeo, Sten and Mac Diarmida. It should be noted that one of those three horses, Mac Diarmida, was voted a 1978 Eclipse Award as champion turf horse. John Henry was voted a total of seven Eclipse Awards, one shy of Forego’s record. BACKGROUND CAPTURES LONGACRES MILE When I was contemplating who to pick on top in last Sunday’s Grade III Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs, I ultimately opted for Five Star General. I was looking for someone capable of coming from off the pace in a race seemingly loaded with front-running types. I also elected to take a stand against Anyportinastorm, who was being asked to carry top weight of 123 pounds. Well, I was right to go with a horse who could come from off the pace. And I was right to try and beat Anyportinastorm. I just pick the wrong darn horse. The right horse was Background. Sixth early in the field of 11 and ridden impeccably by Rocco Bowen, Background came on relentlessly in the stretch and just got up to prevail as the 2-1 favorite. Windribbon, off at odds of 12-1 and a pace factor from the beginning, shook clear in upper stretch to sport a 2 1/2-length advantage at the eighth pole. It looked like Windribbon might well be on his way to an upset, but then he got nailed in the last jump by Background. Five Star General? He was just way too far back when eighth early after racing extremely wide into the clubhouse turn. Five Star General never threatened, but he did manage to finish third, two lengths behind Windribbon. Papa’s Golden Boy vied for the lead to the top of the stretch. He weakened a bit in the lane and finished fourth. Considering the pace situation, Papa’s Golden Boy actually acquitted himself well to lose by only a little more than two lengths in a longer race than he prefers. Anyportinastorm also vied for the lead to the top of the stretch before weakening to end up sixth. Background carried 121 pounds. Michael Puhich trains the 4-year-old Florida-bred Khozan gelding. Background races for the Giddyup Stables of Bob and Molly Rondeau. Bob Rondeau is a retired popular Seattle sports broadcaster. He was the radio voice for University of Washington football and basketball for more than 30 years. Rondeau retired following the 2017 football season. Rondeau for many years anchored the Fox Sports Northwest broadcast of the Longacres Mile. I sat alongside him when I worked as an analyst for the Longacres Mile telecasts in 2001, 2002 and 2003. It was an absolute pleasure to work with such a pro. As someone who knows Rondeau, I can attest to what a huge thrill it was for him to win the Longacres Mile. This was the second Longacres Mile victory for Puhich (whose all-time favorite horse, Turbulator, is the same as mine). Puhich also won the 2012 Mile with Taylor Said. According to Puhich, late in 2019, he happened to see on television a 2-year-old Khozan colt by the name of Untitled win a six-furlong maiden race for Florida-breds by 11 lengths at first asking. Ralph Nicks trained Untitled for owners Brent Fernung and Michael Sebastian. Puhich was interested in possibly buying Untitled, but it turned out that the price was way too high. Following Untitled’s maiden win, Gary Barber bought into the colt to become a co-owner with Sebastian. Untitled has gone on to win only two of his ensuing 10 starts. Most recently, Untitled finished seventh in the Benny the Bull Stakes last Saturday at Gulstream. When Puhich was unable to acquire Untitled, the trainer was tipped off to another Khozan offspring. That’s how Background came to be owned by the Rondeaus and trained by Puhich after being acquired privately from two of Untitled’s breeders, Brent Fernung and Crystal Fernung. The 32-year-old Bowen, who currently is based at Arlington Park, was overcome with emotion after last Sunday’s Longacres Mile, which was the first graded stakes win of his career. It was a “coming home” of sorts for Bowen, who had not ridden a race at Emerald Downs since 2018. Bowen is the only jockey to have won three straight riding titles at the track that conducts racing in the shadow of majestic Mount Rainier. The Longacres Mile was Background’s first stakes victory. His final time last Sunday was 1:36.67. He was credited with an 82 Beyer Speed figure. In his most recent start prior to the Mile, Background had recorded an 88 Beyer in Arlington Park’s Hanshin Stakes on June 26, which he lost by a head when finishing second on synthetic footing. He switched to dirt in the Longacres Mile. Background’s previous three career wins had all come on the dirt at Oaklawn Park. Below are the Beyers for the Longacres Mile winners going back to 1990 (the figures prior to this year are listed in the 2021 American Racing Manual, which is now digital only and available for free on The Jockey Club’s website): 2021 Background (82)2020 Anothertwistafate (92)2019 Law Abidin Citizen (96)2018 Barkley (94)2017 Gold Rush Dancer (97)2016 Point Piper (103)2015 Stryker Phd (99)2014 Stryker Phd (97)2013 Herbie D (100)2012 Taylor Said (98)2011 Awesome Gem (96)2010 Noosa Beach (99)2009 Assessment (94)2008 Wasserman (90)2007 The Great Face (91)2006 Flamethrowintexan (101)2005 No Giveaway (93)2004 Adreamisborn (99)2003 Sky Jack (105)2002 Sabertooth (96)2001 Irisheyesareflying (100)2000 Edneator (104)1999 Budroyale (106)1998 Wild Wonder (111)1997 Kid Katabatic (105)1996 Isitingood (105)1995 L.J. Express (94)1994 Want a Winner (87)1993 Adventuresome Love (93)1992 Bolulight (106) DEL MAR BEYER ADJUSTMENTS Speaking of Beyer Speed Figures, there was this item on the Daily Racing Form’s website Sunday regarding figures for Del Mar: “Readers of past performances for Del Mar may notice numerous small changes in Beyer Speed Figures at the meeting since they were initially published. The Beyer Speed Figure team has re-timed some of the races at the meeting and recalculated the track variants in an attempt to provide the most accurate possible ratings for the horses at Del Mar.” NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL Below is the Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 338 Knicks Go (27)2. 303 Letruska (6)3. 253 Essential Quality (1)4. 225 Maxfield5. 150 Domestic Spending (1)6. 139 Silver State7. 90 Gamine8. 60 Hot Rod Charlie9. 50 Shedaresthedevil10. 41 Mystic Guide10. 41 Jackie’s Warrior

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8.19.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Thursday, August 19

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: 4-Rev Rita; 6-Esagerare; 7-For Love Not Money Forecast: Rev Rita chased a much tougher field in her debut, has returned to work quite well over this main track, and seems set to produce a significant forward move in this high-priced maiden claiming sprint for older fillies and mares. The pace flow projects to be quite soft, so we’re expecting this daughter of Orb to be forwardly placed, maybe even on the lead. For Love Not Money is another that takes the all-important class drop for maiden to maiden claiming and picks up F. Prat, so on those two angles alone she’s a major player. We’re expecting to see her in a comfortable stalking position outside with every chance to produce a winning late kick. Esagerare has the route-to-sprint angle that we like and ran well going short two races back while earning a speed figure that puts her right there. She’s much better than her last race shows, retains K. Desormeaux, and projects to settle in the second flight and then have dead aim from the quarter pole home. RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Trouble N Paradise; 6-Island Life Forecast: Island Life was more than four lengths clear of the rest when displaying good speed but weakening late to finish second in a tougher $10,000 claiming sprint and today drops to the bottom and should be capable of taking this field gate to wire. The J. Wong barn, which seems to win everything north, hasn’t gotten untracked at this meeting (just 1-for-26) but looks to have found a proper spot for this lightly-raced daughter of Ministers Wild Cat. Bay area shipper Trouble N Paradise could be the most dangerous closer. She’s a first-off-the-claim for T. McCanna (powerful with this angle), competitive at this level on speed figures, and gets a huge break in the weights with the switch to bug rider J. Espinoza. RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: BUse: 5-A G Indy; 6-Deise Delight Forecast: Trainer D. O’Neill has two major players in this starter’s allowance five furlong turf sprint for fillies and mares and both have winning credentials. A G Indy earned a career top speed figure when second sprinting on grass last February but then was stopped on. She has a good stalking style, a solid work tab at San Luis Rey Downs that should have her fit and ready, and projects to settle in the second flight and then have her chance from the top of the lane to the wire. Stable mate Deise Delight backs up to a sprint, adds blinkers, and projects to enjoy a good pace stalking/prompting trip. She retains F. Prat and is listed as the 9/5 morning line favorite. We’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play with a slight preference on top to A G Indy. RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-Bombs At Cocal; 8-You’re My Boy Kat Forecast: Bombs At Cocal flashed speed before weakening late when facing considerably tougher straight maiden foes in his debut earlier this month. Bred to run long and stretching out from a good inside draw, the P. Miller-trained colt make try gate-to-wire tactics, and if he can clear without pressure he could wire this maiden $50,000 claiming field of juveniles. The pedigree okay’s two turns and two local breezes since raced indicate he’s doing well. You’re My Boy Kat is wheeled back on short rest (six days) after finishing second at even money while five lengths clear of the rest in a maiden $32,000 abbreviated sprint, and though he’s moving up in class and stretching out, the son of Take of Ekati should have every opportunity to make amends. The pedigree suggests he’ll handle the extra distance just fine, and with rising speed figures and the likelihood of another forward move the D. O’Neill-trained gelding seems likely to go favored again. Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: C+Use: 4-Brittle and Yoo; 5-Prance; 7-Bestrella; 10-Basilia Forecast: This restricted (nw-2) grass grab bag for $32,000 claiming fillies and mares requires a considerable spread in rolling exotic play. Brittle and Yoo was a tad unlucky when fourth beaten two lengths in a similar affair here last month and today returns for new trainer V. Cerin (superior stats with the first-off-the-claim angle) while being re-equipped with blinkers and switching to the one of the barn’s “go-to” riders, J. J. Hernandez. The concern - and it’s a legitimate one – is that she’s failed the last five times she’s been favored, though in this affair she’ll probably leave pretty close to her morning line of 4-1. Basilia gets the worst of the draw but is reunited with “win rider” F. Prat, exits a tougher race, and likely will receive the patient ride she needs. If she can navigate a decent trip, she’ll be right there. Prance was beaten a nose in the same race our top pick exits while earning a career top speed figure and once again will be doing her best work from off the pace. With a decent pace up front and good racing luck, she’ll be in the fray. Bestrella shows up in a claimer for the first time in her first outing in 10 weeks and should greatly appreciate the class drop. She’s a one-paced grinding type but has speed figures that makes her dangerous. These are the four we’ll be using in rolling exotic play, but you can go deeper if you feel the need. RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 4-Eddie’s New Dream; 5-Ten the Smart Way; 8-Secret Square; Forecast: Eddie’s New Dream stretches out again and returns to the state-bred entry level allowance ranks after finishing fifth with a rough trip in the Fleet Treat S. last month. She ran well routing two runs back when a solid second in the Melair S., so given today conditions the daughter of Square Eddie is the likely choice and one to beat. However, based on speed figures, she doesn’t have any significant edge on the others, so we wouldn’t take a short price. Secret Square made a monumental trainer switch to K. Mulhall, dropped to the bottom, and won an $8,000 claimer by 10 lengths while improving the Beyer speed figure from her previous start by 33 points. In fact, the 90 Beyer number she achieved would be competitive with stakes performers on this circuit. In that runaway score, she displayed good early speed to force the pace and then ran her cheap rivals into the ground in a very impressive performance. We’ll see if she can do the same today while being forced to deal with more early speed. We’ll also toss in Ten the Smart Way, bred to run long and stretching out for the first time. The A. Mathis barn has excellent stats with the sprint-to-route angle, and this lightly raced (just four starts) daughter of Smart Bid has encountered early trouble in each of her last two starts that compromised her chances. If she can make the lead, she could get brave. RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 5-Ward ‘n Jerry; 4-Margot’s Boy; 8-Seven Charms Forecast: Ward ‘n Jerry wasn’t quite up to beating stakes foes in his last pair of marathons but this return to the optional claiming ranks could get the veteran stayer back on the winning track. Reunited with “win rider” F. Prat and twice successful over the local lawn, the veteran gelding always gives his best and should enjoy a comfortable second flight trip and then have dead aim when the pressure gets turned on. Seven Charms is lightly-raced, improving with each start, and fresh from a first-level allowance score over this course and distance last month that produced a career top speed figure. He’ll need another forward move to extend his winning streak to three, but the son of Cairo Prince, originally $350,000 yearling purchase, gives every indication that further improvement is likely. Margot’s Boy was beaten a head in the Del Mar Derby-G2 last year, so we know he likes the course; the question, though, is how he will handle today’s three-turn journey. The Clubhouse Ride gelding should be prominent throughout – maybe even on the lead – and based on his middle distance numbers he shouldn’t at all out of his element. At 15-1 on the morning line, you have to use him. RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-Hot Pursuit; 3-Perfecto Amor; 7-Tiz Vicious Forecast: Tiz Vicious, away since February, returns in a soft bottom-rung maiden claimer with back numbers that are good enough to beat this field. The P. Miller barn has solid stats with layoff runners, so with blinkers going back on and with a healthy recent series of workouts at San Luis Rey Downs to have him fit, the son of Violence looks ready to graduate at 9/5 on the morning line. There are two other contenders consider, at least as savers or backups. Hot Pursuit, a $20,000 R. Ellis claim earlier this month, makes just his fifth career start and could improve enough for his new connections to make a serious run for it. His speed figures have risen with each outing and with a break in the weights he could easily continue his upward mobility at 8-1 on the morning line. Perfecto Amor plummets to the bottom, has numbers that are better than par for this level and switches to F. Prat. His one main track outing was poor, so his grass form, which isn’t too bad, may not be applicable in this dirt affair. You can toss him in as a saver but he’s probably not worth much more than that.

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8.19.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Thursday, August 19

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: 1-True Castle; 2-Anna’s First Forecast: Anna’s Fast handled True Castle the last two times they met and should be capable of continuing her dominance over her chief rival in this $40,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares. The R. Atras-trained daughter of Fast Anna was overmatched and faded when tackling tougher over a sloppy track here last month but if she can catch a dry surface today she should be able to get back on track. Johnny V. knows her well and stays aboard. True Castle, first or second in 12 of 21 career starts, should be primed for another big effort and projects to be forwardly placed throughout from her inside draw. She doesn’t need the lead to win, in fact, she might be most comfortable when stalking and pouncing so I. Ortiz, Jr. has that option. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with a slight edge on top to Anna’s First. RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: B-Use: 1-Pipito; 4-Osbourne; 7-Big Scully Forecast: This maiden special weight sprint is restricted to juveniles that brought $45,000 or less in their most recent auction. Big Scully has the benefit of a prior outing and not a bad one at that, finishing third of nine while more than four lengths clear of the rest in a similar event here last month that earned an okay speed figure. Drawn comfortably outside, the son of Cross Traffic will be hard to beat unless there is a better than average first-timer among the others. Pipito was bought back for $95,000 as yearling at Keeneland but most recently went through the ring for only $17,000 in the OBS April sale, hence his eligibility for this affair. The Mastery gelding was a bit green in his preview, was on his wrong lead, and breezed in 10 2/5 seconds, just an average time for that venue over the all-weather surface. That said, he didn’t look half bad while displaying a long, athletic stride and the feeling is that he can run enough to act with these. Of course, from the rail, he’d be advised to break with his field. Osbourne, a $9,500 RNA as a yearling, arrives from Ellis Park where he worked a bullet half mile in :48 flat (fastest of 23) last month. Maybe he can run some. RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: BSingle: 7-Smooth Pebble Forecast: Smooth Pebble made the pace but weakened in the final furlong to finish sixth of eight in a tougher starter’s allowance sprint over this course and distance earlier this month. She’s realistically spotted in this softer restricted (nw-3) $40,000 affair and was fortunate enough to have drawn a field that guarantees her an easy trip as the controlling speed. Given the projected pace scenario she really should not miss the opportunity to win her third race from five career starts as a logical rolling exotic single. RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade:Use: 1-Misty Veil; 5-More Moonshine Forecast: More Moonshine won her debut here last month like a good thing, settling towards the back of the pack and then exploding when set down for the drive to win going away before being eased up late in a fast, highly-rated seven furlong sprint. How much did the muddy track move her up, if any? Hard to say. With just that one sprint underneath her, she tackles tougher while stretching out to a mile and one-eighth, so the W. Mott-trained daughter of Malibu Moon still has plenty to prove. However, due to her upside, she must be considered the filly to beat. Misty Veil easily disposed of a starter’s allowance field over this track and distance last month but, like our top pick, did so on a wet track that may have flattered her form. From her inside draw the daughter of Tonalist seems sure to employ the same kind of front-running tactic as last time and based on speed figures she’ll be right there if she can perform as well on dry land as she did in the mud. We’ll try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics but otherwise not get too involved. RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: BUse: 1-O’Gotten Girl; 5-Silver Strand Forecast: Silver Stand, a $575,000 Saratoga yearling purchase two years ago, finally makes it to the post in this extended maiden sprint for fillies and mares. A half-sister to a Grade-1 winner in Japan and out of the multi-stakes winning/producing India, she has displayed efficient action and plenty of ability in her morning trials to be fit and ready for W. Mott, whose first-timers often run better than they work. This is hardly the toughest maiden sprint of the season, so we’ll be surprised if ‘Strand isn’t quite competitive and maybe even good enough to win it. O’Gotten Girl, freshened since February, failed as the favorite in her three most recent races before being stopped on and hopefully the vacation will help her return to her best form. The T. Pletcher-trained daughter of Competitive Edge likely will show plenty of early zip under l. Saez from her rail post position and if not pressured early may take this field gate-to-wire. We’ll prefer Silver Strand on top but include both in our rolling exotics. RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: B+Single: 6-Fenway Forecast: Fenway always has wanted to be a sprinter and finally, in his fifth career start, the son of Into Mischief gets a chance to display his speed around one turn after shipping to Saratoga from the West Coast to take advantage of New York-bred company. The son of Into Mischief catches a field that on paper he should be able to dominate from start to finish, so we’ll take the short price and make him a rolling exotic single. RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: B-Use: 3-Shamrocket; 5-Dynadrive Forecast: Shamrocket, a respectable third in the Bowling Green S.-G2 over this course and distance last month, shows up in a second-level allowance race and should find this group well within his capabilities. He’s always been the type that prefers to run second or third (12 times) rather than win (three times), but his recent numbers are strong so we’re expecting a top effort from the T. Pletcher-trained son of Tonalist. Dynadrive, not as strong in the speed figure department as our top pick but always genuine and consistent, should have no issue with this mini-marathon trip and is a relatively fresh horse making his first start in almost two months and bringing with him a perfect (1-for-1) record over the Saratoga lawn. We’re expecting the M. Maker-trained colt to settle in a cozy second flight position and then have dead aim when the pressure is turned on. RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: C+Use: 3-Gambling Cat; 4-Coworth Park; 5-Kitten With a Whip; 6-Battle Bling Forecast: This messy $50,000 claiming middle distance turf event restricted to 3-year-old fillies that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. We’ll go four-deep but otherwise pass the race. Gambling Cat is lightly-raced with steadily rising speed figures, and with another forward move today the daughter of Kitten’s Joy should be capable of regaining her winning form. A solid third with a career top mark sprinting on grass in late June, the M. Maker-trained filly stretches out again and projects to enjoy an ideal stalking position in a race that seems certain to be slowly run early. Battle Bling drops $25,000 below her claim level in just her second start since being haltered by D. Gargan, not a particularly healthy sign, but this barn can be very aggressive with its claiming stock and at this level and given this pace scenario the daughter of Vancouver looks well-spotted for a major effort. Kitten With a Whip is a fit on numbers and remains well above her claim level, so the connections apparently still like her. Runner-up vs. tougher allowance foes at Pimlico last month, the daughter of Big Blue Kitten should be dangerous from off the pace. Coworth Park, freshened since mid-June, had been protected since winning a maiden $25,000 claimer last December at Gulfstream. This class drop coupled with the return to a 3-year-old only race are positive factors along with being reunited with “win rider” I. Ortiz, Jr. RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: XSingle: 1-Sadie Lady Forecast: Sadie Lady must concede a ton of weight in this year’s renewal of the Union Avenue H. for New York-bred fillies and mares, but the veteran daughter of Freud simply should be too quick for her five rivals, though this six and one-half furlong trip might be stretching her range to the max. Freshened since June after winning a state-bred stakes at Belmont Park, the R. Atras-trained mare has ticked over nicely with a series of easy and steady drills to have her fit and sharp, so we’re expecting another flag fall-to-that’s all performance as a logical, short-priced rolling exotic single. RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: BSingle: 4-Marvelous Maud Forecast: Marvelous Maud overcame a slow start to rally and pick up third money in her debut over a mile on grass at Belmont Park in mid-June and today makes her second career start while trying two turns in a similar state-bred maiden affair for fillies and mares. She doesn’t appear to have a significant turn of foot – she’s more of a grinder – but at this trip and with that bit of experience behind her the C. Brown-trained filly should improve enough to graduate. She was actually entered in a race last month but was scratched when the race was moved to the main track, so we wouldn’t be concerned about the layoff. In a race in which there doesn’t’ appear to be a viable alternative, she’s a win play and rolling exotic single.

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8.18.2021:

Tournament Roundup: Bolte Tops FITS Players in Week 5 Competition | Wednesday, August 18

Howard Bolte proved best in Fun in the Sun Week 5 competition. He posted total earnings of $346, the third-highest weekly mark behind third week winner Michael O’Grady’s $389 and opening-week winner Ellis Starr’s $392. Heading into Saturday’s action, the average winning weekly score was $346.50 and Bolte did his best to hit that mark. Bolte earns a FITS Final Table seat and $2,268 in prize money. John Vanniel managed second at $307.50, just $1.50 in front of third-place finisher Russell Denton at $306. They both earn Final Table seats and $945 and $567 in prize money, respectively. Frank Foss ($302) and George Ekaitis ($280) round out the top five finishers and week 5 Final Table earners. Fun in the Sun play resumes Saturday, the penultimate week’s competition for 10 remaining Final Table seats. So far, 22 individuals have tabbed 25 entries in the main event where the prize pool will top $20,000, including $10,000 in Xpressbet seed money. Three players have reached the maximum of 2 entries per account holder and they are: Ellis Star, David Jaffe and Steven Jones. Fun in the Sun is open to account holders only and requires a $25 weekly registration fee. Players are asked to make a single, ‘live’ $10 Win wager on one horse in each of 10 competition races—the last five races at Saratoga and the first five at Del Mar. The top 5 players each week earn seats at the Final Table on Saturday, Sept. 4. The leading 3 players weekly earn additional cash prizes. And, because competition wagers are ‘live,’ players keep what they win! For players wondering about earnings targets to garner respective positions, we’ve done a little math. As noted earlier, with five out of seven weeks in the books, top spot finishers have averaged $346.60; top 3 players $306 and fifth-place finishers $280. So far, Xpressbet has returned $21,542.52 to players in prize money with average weekly prizes of $4,308.60. Fun in the Sun has zero takeout, skim or rake and all registration fees are returned to players in the form of prizes with 70% going to weekly payoffs and 30% destined for the Final Table pot, which has a $10,000 Xpressbet infusion. Saturday’s Saratoga competition race action returned a trio of double-digit payoffs with High Oak ($22.40) taking the Saratoga Special, Got Stormy ($27) upsetting the FourstarDave and Dr. Duke ($17.80) paying a house call in the finale. Earlier results produced Restored Order $7.70 in the seventh and Speaker’s Corner ($9.10) in the eighth. Del Mar competition racing produced a pair of double-digit payoffs with Jasikan ($11.20) in the second and Quiet Secretary ($13.20) in the fourth. Diva’s Final ($7.40) launched proceedings in the first race, followed by Sweet Soulmate ($9.60) in the third and Rock the Belles ($8.20) in the fifth. This weekend, racing on both coasts is expected to be top notch with the Gr. 1 Alabama card at Saratoga and Gr. 1 Pacific Classic bonanza Saturday at Del Mar. Just two opportunities remain for you to join the Final Table for a shot at an anticipated $20,000 pot. Don’t miss out. See you Saturday!

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8.18.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Wednesday, August 18

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: XPass/No Play Forecast: The Wednesday opener is a race for hurdlers. We will pass the race. RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: B+Use: 3-Flat Out Beautiful; 6-Free Enterprise Forecast: At first glance it would appear that Free Enterprise is another Klaravich Stables class dropper being culled to make room for new blood. In his case, though, it may be a simple case of a veteran gelding, with just 11 career starts and with issues throughout his career, merely being placed where he can be most productive. A winner of a restricted $50,000 claiming sprint last month in the mud over this track and distance, the son of Curlin shows up today in a $32,000 seller, and on pure numbers, this is where he belongs. His career record at Saratoga (5-1-2-1) is too good to ignore as well, so we’ll include him in rolling exotic play along with the intriguing Flat Out Beautiful, who shows several powerful angles in his chart, most notably being a first-off-the-claim play for R. Atras, who is simply remarkable with this maneuver (34% with a massive ROI). Additionally, the son of Flat Out is dropping from $40,000, shortening to what might be his best trip (seven furlongs), is strong in the speed figure department, attracts the barn’s “go-to” rider R. Santana, and when properly spotted always has been genuine and consistent (first or second in 12 of 27 career starts). It will be a major letdown if the veteran gelding doesn’t fire a huge shot. RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: B-Use: 4-Morning Matcha; 7-Call Sign Charlie; 9-Monshun Forecast: This maiden special weight sprint is restricted to juvenile fillies that went through the auction ring for $45,000 or less in their most recent sale. Morning Matcha, a fast-finishing third (and then galloping out far in front) in a similarly restricted event last month, gets an extra half furlong to work with today and should continue to improve in her third career outing, though her total lack of early speed and her awkwardness with lead changes makes backing her a bit problematic. She’s clearly the best of those that have raced, but there are a couple of newcomers that must be considered as well. Monshun, drawn comfortably outside, is a first timer by Unified that has trained reasonably well for R. Handal and lands J. Rosario, while the J. Abreu-trained Call Sign Charlie shows a noteworthy gate work 12 days ago (4f, :48bg, third fastest of 43) for a barn that has superior stats with first-time starters (27% with terrific ROI). All three should be included in your rolling exotics. RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: C+Use: 2-Dark Storm; 3-Blewitt Forecast: Blewitt has seen better days but in his second start off a layoff combined with a considerable class drop to the $25,000 level the veteran son of Uncle Mo will beat this field if he has one good one left. The T. Pletcher-trained 7-year-old does his best work on the front end and in this nine furlong main track event he should be able to secure his preferred role as the controlling speed. It’s just a matter of how much he has left in the tank. Dark Storm is another with recent form that is uninspiring, though his last pair of starts over wet tracks at Belmont Park probably can be excused. A prior winner over the Saratoga main track, the G. Weaver-trained gelding is reunited with “win rider” E. Cancel and projects to be comfortably placed in a stalking position and then have his chance to go after the leader when called upon. In a race that probably should be handled with care, we’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play. RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: B-Use: 2-Shine; 3-Diamond Hands; 4-Gun Boat; 8-Vagaries Forecast: There are several high-quality prospects debuting in this maiden juvenile turf router and we’ll be surprised the race doesn’t produce a stakes performer or two down the road. Diamond Hands brought $425,000 in the OBS April sale and has breezed like a good type for the always-powerful C. Clement/J. Rosario team, so she’s certain to get plenty of play for a stable that has excellent stats with the first-time-starter angle (23% with powerful ROI). The daughter of Frosted and the multi-stakes winning mare Love Cove has shown to be a sensible type with a lengthy stride and should have no trouble two-turning first time out. Look for her to be taken back and then produced late. Shine brought $240,00 as a yearling, a goodly sum for a daughter of Jimmy Creed with nothing in the first dam, and she’s done everything asked in the a.m. for W. Mott, who starts her off going long on grass even though her pedigree suggests she should be most comfortable sprinting on dirt. It wouldn’t surprise us in the least if she finds herself on the front end from her rail post and based on what we’ve seen of her in the morning she could easily take this field a very long way if not pressured early. Gun Boat has a world of natural talent but can get a bit keen in the a.m. and will need to drop her head and relax to maximize her talents. Assuming she breaks cleanly, the daughter of War Front is projected to be prominent throughout and is a “must use” even though Shug is average at best with debut runners. Vagaries has looked fairly promising in her grass breezes, including one in company on Aug. 1 when stride-for-stride (though second best) with stable mate McKulick, a subsequent first-out winner earlier this month. Typical of the young runners from the C. Brown barn, the Irish-bred filly has been given a strong foundation of easy drills to have her plenty fit and ready. We suspect she’s another that will be doing her best work from off the pace. Of the four listed above, Diamond Hands may be the most likely to run to her abilities so we’ll put her slightly on top but with so much untapped talent in the field it’s difficult to know for sure which ones will perform best when the lights go on. RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: B+Single: 1-Sand and Sea Forecast: Sand and Sea, a good runner-up over this course and distance last month in a similar affair for maiden state-bred fillies and mares, seems likely to receive the bulk of the play after apparently finding her preferred surface following a couple of disappointing main track outings to begin her career. In that race on July 23 the improving daughter of Liam’s Map made a right had turn from her outside draw to cost herself better early position, but then steadily moved within range, had her best bid into the lane before proving no match for the talented Tuscan Queen while clearly best of the others. She shows a bullet blowout just four days ago at Belmont Park (3f, :36b, fastest of 43) so we’re expecting her to take control early from her favorable inside draw and keep on going as a win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: BUse: 3-Cadeaux de Paix; 5-Chloe Rose Forecast: Cadeaux de Paix was more than five lengths clear of the rest when second in a similar starter’s allowance sprint here last month and not much more will be needed to beat this modest group of fillies and mares. She’s not really that quick early and doesn’t really blast home either, but the veteran Majestic Warrior mare should find herself within range throughout and then have the chance to grind out a win. I. Ortiz, Jr. got to know her last time out and stays aboard. Chloe Rose has been quite popular at the claim box lately, changing hands in three of her last four starts, most recently for $32,000 by J. Toscano, who’s had a slow year but always does extremely well with the first-off-the-claim angle. She’s back on short rest (10 days) but we’re expecting the daughter of Twirling Candy to settle in the second flight under J. Rosario and then have dead aim on the suspect speed-types at the head of the lane. RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: B-Use: 1-Taos; 7-Attentive; 11-Troubling Moon Forecast: Here’s a grass grab bag for $40,000 older claimers that requires heavy usage in rolling exotic play. Attentive, first off the claim for R. Diodoro (26% with a superior ROI), makes his first start since winning at this level in mid-June at Belmont Park when trained by M. Maker. The two month layoff is only mildly concerning for a barn that has such success with these types of runners, so if the son of Power Broker fires his best shot he’ll be right there. Taos has been away since May of 2020 but returns for D. Gargan, whose stats with layoff runners in a relatively small sample is off the charts. We’re expecting the son of Tapit to be quite dangerous with his front-running style from his favorable inside draw. The works indicate the gelding has retains all of his speed, and it’s hardly inconceivable that he’ll deliver a career top performance for his new conditioner, who employs his “go to” rider, L. Saez. Troubling Moon had the misfortune of drawing the extreme outside post but he’s a deep closer and likely would have dropped back early, anyway. Freshened since May and returning in a realistic spot for trainer G. Arnold (22% with a strong ROI with layoffs), the son of Into Mischief shows a bullet Saratoga training track drill (4f, :48.4b, fastest of nine) last week to have him on his toes, and also has back speed figures that put him the picture. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics, but you should spread as deeply as you can afford to. RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: BUse: 3-Derrynane; 8-Fulinate; 9-Chi Town Lady Forecast: Several of these juvenile fillies produced impressive debut victories sprinting on grass, so the winner of this year’s renewal of the Bolton Landing S. probably will be the one that makes the most progress between her first and second starts. We’ll use three and hope that’s enough. Derrynane was thoroughly professional when beating maidens over this course and distance last month, settling behind the leaders, waiting her turn, and then quickening when room to developed at the furlong pole to draw clear before being taken in hand in the closing stages. The daughter of Quality Road shows a bullet training track breeze in the interim (Aug. 8, 3f, :36.3b, fastest of eight) to remain on edge, so with good racing luck today we’re expecting the C. Clement-trained filly to be along in time. Fulminate may be the quickest in the group and the M. Casse-trained daughter of Get Stormy is a “must use” after a sharp Gulfstream Park score last month with a Beyer speed figure 15 points stronger that what our top pick was assigned in her win. A private purchase by sharp connections while remaining in Casse’s care, she didn’t really break well in her debut and probably is even quicker than the running line might indicate. Chi Town Lady looked good winning out of the chute at Keeneland in mid-April, pressing the pace and then opening up when called upon as the 1/5 favorite. She returns for W. Ward with an easy, steady series of workouts, and as granddaughter of More Than Ready she has every right to handle grass. RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: XSingle: 1-Clever Humor Forecast: Clever Humor ran well at this level in just his second career start when second while more than three lengths clear of the rest, pressing the pace throughout and staying on well through the lane. He makes his first start for high-percentage trainer B. Russell, who doesn’t dabble in the claiming game too often but does well with pretty much everything in her barn. L. Saez stays aboard the son of Distorted Humor, who should handle this modest field with a clean break from his inside draw as a logical, no value, rolling exotic single.

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8.17.2021:

Jeremy Plonk: Pacific Classic Post Draw Reaction | Saturday, August 21

Saturday’s Grade 1 $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar attracted nine entries at this evening’s post position draw ceremony. Grade 2 San Diego Handicap local Prep winner Express Train will start from post 5 as the lukewarm 3-1 morning line favorite.Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app or Xpressbet.com for the Pacific Classic can enjoy up to a $10 Money-Back special on win bets if your pick finishes second or third. \Express Train loves Del Mar, capturing 3 of 4 local starts. John Shirreffs trains the son of Union Rags, who earlier this year was runner-up in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap. Express Train does his best running near the engine, which figures to be competitive for this mile and one-quarter journey with speed to his inside (Tizamagician) and outside (Magic On Tap).Dr Post won the Westchester and Monmouth Cup this year on the east coast and was runner-up in last year’s Belmont Stakes. St. Elias Stable and Todd Pletcher shipped Vino Rosso west to win the 2019 Gold Cup at Santa Anita before a return to California later that you to capture the Breeders’ Cup Classic. With Del Mar the host site for this year’s Breeders’ Cup, they’ll try to west coast double-swing again.Royal Ship, hero of the Grade 2 Californian in in April, and Tizamagician, cutting back in distance from his Del Mar victory in the Grade 3 Cougar II, compete as an uncoupled entry for Richard Mandella. The Hall of Fame trainer has 4 Pacific Classic titles to his credit, including the legendary filly Beholder in 2015 and the all-time Del Mar upset of Cigar’s 16-race winning streak with Dare and Go in 1996.Magic On Tap, who stumbled at the start of the San Diego, figures to be more forwardly placed with a clean start. He leaves from post 6, just outside Express Train and could apply pressure after winning the Triple Bend sprinting at Santa Anita this spring. Magic On Tap trainer Bob Baffert has won the Pacific Classic 6 times, tied with Bobby Frankel for the race’s all-time lead.Independence Hall adds blinkers for the 31st edition of the Pacific Classic.For more handicapping analysis of this year’s Pacific Classic, check back at Xpressbet.com and news.1st.com on Thursday evening for Jeff Siegel’s handicapping video. Also, see Eddie Olcyzk’s Saturday spot plays at both sites.Del Mar // Race 10 // Grade 1 Pacific Classic // 1-1/4 miles1. Tripoli (Tiago Pereira) 5-12. Tizamagician (Flavien Prat) 5-13. Dr Post (Joel Rosario) 4-14. Royal Ship (Mike Smith) 7-25. Express Train (Juan Hernandez) 3-16. Magic On Tap (Abel Cedillo) 20-17. Independence Hall (Florent Geroux) 5-18. Sheriff Brown (Edwin Maldonado) 30-19. Cupid’s Claws (Umberto Rispoli) 15-1

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8.17.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: Saratoga $145K Pick 6 Carryover Picks | August 18, 2021

Wednesday’s week six kickoff card at Saratoga features a $145,197 carryover in the traditional, $1 pick six pool. The sequence will be Races 5-10 and include the Bolton Landing Stakes for 2-year-old filly turf sprinters. To help you tackle the Saratoga races, the 1/ST BET app’s artificial intelligence provides its look at the fields. Selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections. You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. We’ve included the track’s morning line odds with each entrant. NOTE: All selections are made for the original surface scheduled; in the event of turf races moving to dirt, be sure to use the 1/ST BET app for updated, automated selections based on the new surface. Saratoga // Race 5 // 3:21 PM ET // maiden special weight // 1-1/16 miles (turf) #7 Lemieux (6-5) // 28%W #1A Ready for Charm (5-1) // 16%W #3 Diamond Hands (3-1) // 11%W #6 Highly Devauxted (8-1) // 8%W Saratoga // Race 6 // 3:55 PM ET // maiden special weight // 5-1/2 furlongs (turf) #1 Sand and Sea (7-2) // 25%W #7 Crowding Out (8-5) // 14%W #6 Gailhorsewind (3-1) // 14%W #2 Venus Oyzo (30-1) // 11%W Saratoga // Race 7 // 4:29 PM ET // starter allowance // 6-1/2 furlongs #3 Cadeaux de Paix (4-1) // 28%W #2 Raffinity (8-1) // 14%W #5 Chloe Rose (6-1) // 13%W #4 April Antics (20-1) // 13%W Saratoga // Race 8 // 5:05 PM ET // claiming // 1 mile (turf) #6 Parlor (3-1) // 19%W #10 Hieroglyphics (6-1) // 18%W #5 Seismic Wave (7-2) // 13%W #2 Musical America (5-2) // 13%W Saratoga // Race 9 // 5:39 PM ET // $120,000 Bolton Landing Stakes // 5-1/2 furlongs (turf) #8 Fulminate (7-2) // 28%W #11 Averly Jane (9-5) // 15%W #3 Derrynane (5-1) // 14%W #2 Charlee O (8-1) // 10%W Saratoga // Race 10 // 6:13 PM ET // maiden claiming // 6 furlongs #1 Clear Humor (1-1) // 28%W #6 Damilano (3-1) // 15%W #4 Capt’ Remington (15-1) // 13%W #2 D’vinicris (10-1) // 11%W

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8.16.2021:

Monday Myths: Is It More Difficult for a Sprinter to Hold Form?

Welcome to a continuing handicapping series for our Monday blog space, “Monday Myths.” Each week I’ll use the power of the Betmix database to take common handicapping assumptions and either support or dispel them with data. Betmix data powers the 1/ST BET app and its features like Angler and Birddog give data-minded horseplayers a treasure trove of information in which to query your own curiosities.Assumption:It’s harder for sprinters to maintain their form than route runners.Background:The rigorous, all-out nature of sprint races leads many horseplayers to believe that it’s more difficult for these horses to maintain their best form. Sprint fields also are less spread-out typically than routes, giving more opportunity for bad racing luck. Additionally, sprints tend to have larger field sizes than routes on dirt. All those logical points add up to the assumption, but do the numbers agree?Data Points:I dialed up the Betmix database to look at all race winners over the past 5 years (August 16, 2016) to see which ones were more likely to return with top finishes. I looked only at horses returning for the same class level (claiming-claiming, allowance-allowance, stakes-stakes) so that a class riser would not be penalized for the more difficult return test. Sprint distances on dirt were considered at 7 furlongs or less. Sprint distances on turf were considered at 6-1/2 furlongs or less to maintain 1-turn similarity. The route comparables were for 1-1/16 miles or farther in distance due to several tracks offering 1-turn miles.Dirt sprint claimers who won last out returned to win 18.86% with a $0.76 ROI for every $1 bet.Dirt route claimers who won last out returned to win 19.67% with a $0.81 ROI for every $1 bet.Dirt sprint allowance runners who won last out returned to win 22.00% with a $0.78 ROI for every $1 bet.Dirt route allowance runners who won last out returned to win 19.81% with a $0.68 ROI for every $1 bet.Dirt sprint stakes runners who won last out returned to win 27.49% with a $0.81 ROI for every $1 bet.Dirt route stakes runners who won last out returned to win 21.66% with a $0.67 ROI for every $1 bet.Turf sprint claimers who won last out returned to win 21.61% with a $0.80 ROI for every $1 bet.Turf route claimers who won last out returned to win 18.28% with a $0.88 ROI for every $1 bet.Turf sprint allowance runners who won last out returned to win 20.35% with a $0.78 ROI for every $1 bet.Turf route allowance runners who won last out returned to win 17.93% with a $0.86 ROI for every $1 bet.Turf sprint stakes runners who won last out returned to win 23.08% with a $0.69 ROI for every $1 bet.Turf route stakes runners who won last out returned to win 20.35% with a $0.76 ROI for every $1 bet.Overall Findings:On dirt, returning sprint winners outperformed routers only at the lowest level (claiming). As the quality or runners increased, dirt sprinters repeated victories at a higher rate than dirt routers. At each class level, turf sprinters returned to win more often than turf routers, by nearly a 3% margin in each case.Bottom line:Unless you’re looking at dirt claimers, the assumption that it’s tougher for a sprinter than a router to hold his or her form and repeat is factually false. Of the six categories of runners by class and surface, five of the studies showed sprinters to be more likely to repeat victories than routers. The most successful categories for a repeat on either surface were at the stakes level.Additional Details:You can go into Betmix and run your own queries for a deeper dive into this theory and any that you can create. For instance, see which trainers fare best trying to bring back a winner and repeat … or which tracks are you more likely to see return winners hold their form. Last-out winners score 16.3% at Saratoga, while they win 14.8% at Del Mar – and just under 20% at Finger Lakes.

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8.16.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Yonkers Raceway Late Pick 4 Analysis | Monday, August 16

Yonkers Raceway begins the week with a solid 10-race card. The feature goes in Race 7, an Open Handicap Pace with a $45,000 purse. The $1.00 Late Pick 4 also begins in Race 7, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 73-Pyro (6-1)- Will go deeper in this leg looking to beat the ML chalk who drew post 7 and will be a tiny price. Steps-up but so do 3 others. Dube is the regular pilot, and he has gate speed to use. This Herrera trainee can be put in play early in the mile and should be in the hunt.4-Rockapelo (4-1)-Shows a win at the Open Handicap class and Brennan can look to leave or race off cover. Has drawn outside in the last 2 and this post draw should help the cause.5-Simple Kinda Man (4-1)-Steps-up after a win and has cashed a check at this class recently. Draws well, is in form and Yonkers record is a solid 7 wins in 18 starts.6-Nandolo N (9/2)-Raced against the Preferred kind at the Big M and finished 2nd there and 2nd here the race before at this class. Should be a player with a smooth trip and an alert start.Race 81-Funknwaffles (3-1)-Alagna entry drops to a more comfortable spot and with this post draw Buter has some choices. This 7-year-old has hit the board in 12 of 20 with 7 pictures.6-Hickfromfrenchlick (7/2)-Regular pilot Mark MacDonald steers for the Schnittker barn and this will be the 2021 Yonkers debut for this 5-year-old. The game plan could be to get the point and has the gate speed to do so. Best to not overlook, fits and has won 3 of 5 here.Race 92-Splash Brothers (7/5)-Lost by a nose at this class last week after being used from the 8 hole to get on the engine. This post draw should help and comes right back in sequence instead of missing a start. Went off at 1-2 and probably will be bet down here as well. Last week's winner isn't in this field, and got through on the rail after a 2-hole trip. This 4-year-old should be back in the winner's circle for the 5th time this year.Race 101-Escapetothebeach (3-1)-Looking for more after a dull effort in last. Does its best work racing near the top of the stack and Kakaley should have this Morgan trainee forwardly placed leaving from the rail.7-Bettor Memories (9-1)-Comes off an even try versus better and missed a start. Burke entry has enough gate speed to get a good seat and be in the mix at a nice price. Using and trying to beat the program favorite #4.My Ticket Race 7) 3,4,5,6 Race 8) 1,6 Race 9) 2 Race 10) 1,7Total Ticket Cost) = $16 for $1.00Check me out on Twitter!

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8.16.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: Prairie Meadows Mandatory Payout Pick 5 | Monday, August 16

Monday’s Prairie Meadows card in Iowa features a mandatory payout in the Pick Five jackpot wager. A massive $417,949 carryover will entice horseplayers into the bet with a player’s advantage.To help you tackle the Prairie Meadows races, the 1/ST BET app’s artificial intelligence provides its look at the fields. Selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections. You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer.We’ve included the track’s morning line odds with each entrant.Prairie Meadows // Race 6 // 7:07 PM ET // claiming // 6 furlongs#7 Sailor Chow (9-2) // 27%W#6 Alan’s Argument (2-1) // 21%W#5 Flat Rock (5-2) // 14%W#1 Breakin Daylight (8-1) // 13%WComments: Sailor Chow out-finished Alan’s Argument by 1-1/4 lengths last time out in a similar race and distance. Alan’s Argument now makes his second start since the Karl Broberg claim, typically a move-up situation for the barn. Flat Rock was second for the level two starts back before trying tougher and fits. A three-deep call would be appropriate.Prairie Meadows // Race 7 // 7:33 PM ET // starter allowance // 5 furlongs#2 Lookin For Eight (7-2) // 21%W#3 Coco Tiger (8-5) // 19%W#6 North Side (8-1) // 17%W#4 Boo Be Right (5-1) // 15%WComments: Lookin For Eight and Coco Tiger are uncoupled stablemates for Karl Broberg. In a race with a tremendous amount of early speed, Lookin For Eight should be rallying late – but 5 furlongs at Prairie Meadows is no easy task for a closer. Top two give strong early-late combo.Prairie Meadows // Race 8 // 7:59 PM ET // allowance // 6 furlongs#7 Red White and Loud (7-2) // 28%W#1 News Box (6-1) // 15%W#4 Big Barrel (6-1) // 13%W#2 Warrior’s Lullaby (5-1) // 11%WComments: Co-highest win projection in the Pick Five sequence at 28% for Red White and Loud. The 13-point spread between top picks also matches the highest in the sequence. Iowa-bred Red White and Loud leaves state-bred confines for open company, but has won two 6-furlong allowance races at the meet and is pace-versatile. News Box provides a late threat if able to weave out a trip from inside. Consider a single or two-deep proposition, based on the AI.Prairie Meadows // Race 9 // 8:25 PM ET // allowance // 6 furlongs#2 Lucky D (8-5) // 28%W#5 Heza Wild Ride (6-1) // 15%W#3 Jaysker (4-1) // 13%W#6 Dazzl’n Mischief (5-1) // 11%WComments: Co-highest win projection in the Pick Five sequence at 28% for Lucky D. The 13-point spread between top picks also matches the highest in the sequence. Lucky D has won 3 straight and is 2-for-2 this year with wins by 5 and 13 lengths against state-bred claimers. Makes the minor rise into entry-level allowance while red-hot for high-percentage trainer and jockey. Lots to like as most likely winner on the card and logical single. Heza Wild Ride would be the late threat to Lucky D, cutting back in distance and with a prior meet win at 6 furlongs from off the pace. Could make a nice exacta, though an upset on the win end would be a surprise.Prairie Meadows // Race 10 // 8:51 PM ET // maiden special weight // 5-1/2 furlongs#1 Nautical Miss (5-2) // 20%W#2 Samira (9-2) // 18%W#6 Gotta Have Faith (5-1) // 13%W#7 C L Legacy (4-1) // 13%WComments: Tightest race in the Pick Five, according to 1/ST BET, with a sequence-low 20% win projection for the top pick and just a 2-point spread between top choices. Nautical Miss wheels right back for the same jockey-trainer combo as the big Race 9 favorite. Samira and CL Legacy should improve tonight with additional distance. Those three provide the most interest.

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8.15.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Pocono Downs Pick 5 Analysis | Sunday, August 15

Tonight, Pocono Downs has a 14-race card ready to go with a post time at 5:00 EST. The headliners are 2-year-old colts and geldings competing in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes action. The 0.20 Pick 5 begins in Race 8, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 81-Warrawee Ubeaut (2-1)-Burke trainee has been in post draw hell in all 4 starts this year and has been facing top mares. This is a soft spot and from the rail Gingras should take control off the gate and make every call a winning one.Race 91-Good Deal (5/2)-Burke pupil makes its PcD debut and Kakaley takes a seat for the 1st time, as Gingras steers the one below. That move raises doubts but #3 has never raced on a smaller oval so will use with this post draw.3-My Miki Beach (9/2)-Well-bred 2-year-old ships in from Mohawk and Gingras will steer for the Fine barn. Showed good gate speed and might be better suited for a shorter stretch.4-Aladdin Hanover (6-1)-Dunn is the usual pilot and he is back between the pipes after missing a start. Finally draws inside and could be in the hunt at the wire at a solid price if gets a good early seat.Race 101-Birthday (7/2)-Gingras chooses the Captaintreacherous colt #3, even though this freshman has had more success. Kakaley should get away quickly to get a good seat and could win right back.2-Wearinmysixshooter (5/2)-Comes off a dull effort on 7-18 but before then was a winner in 2 straight, one coming at PcD. Should be a major player if dialed on high as Dunn takes over for Tetrick. Maybe being off almost a month will be beneficial.4-I Did It Myway (8/5)-The morning line choice does look the part with a perfect 4-4 record. Has won on the 5/8's but hasn't raced at PcD and has been on the engine in every start. Will respect connections and include but will look to others at a better price.Race 112-Hecandancencruise (4-1)-Has raced well in both races here and took a picture last week. This Harder pupil looks versatile and with the right steer by Todd McCarthy he can take another trip to the winner's circle.3-Captain Cowboy (5/2)-Raced last on 7-18 and won that start as well as his 1st race and made it look easy both times. This could be a bigger challenge but should be a main player.4-Mind Hunter (7/2)-Took advantage of a smooth trip with soft fractions to break maiden in last but could have more in the tank. George Naps can put this Ryder trainee into play and should offer a fair price.Race 121-JM's Finaltreasure (8/5)-Gingras should be able to get on the point and take control. But this Sweet Lou 2-year-old could also win without an early lead.4-Market Based (5/2)-This colt won both starts at PcD and has shown some good speed. If stays trotting, Dunn could work a trip and pose a big threat to #1.My Ticket Race 8) 1 Race 9) 1,3,4 Race 10) 1,2,4 Race 11) 2,3,4 Race 12) 1,4Total Ticket Cost) $10.80Check me out on Twitter!

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8.15.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Sunday, August 15

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: 6-Miss Kitness; 8-Smiling AnnieForecast: The Sunday opener is an absolute mess, a $25,000 claiming turf sprint for fillies and mares. Simply stated, it’s not a race we’d prefer to get involved in, so we’ll tread lightly using just two price chances in our rolling exotics. Miss Kitness tries grass for the first time while returning off a six month layoff for a low profile but very capable outfit, and with a sharp recent gate drill (4f, :47.2hg) and the presence of good bug girl J. Pyfer in the saddle this daughter of Competitive Edge should display the kind of early speed that is dangerous in these abbreviated turf sprints. She’s never been fast on numbers – that’s primarily why she’s a big price – but perhaps at this distance on this surface off a vacation while getting in light will all add up to a career top effort. Smiling Annie has never had much luck over the Del Mar turf course – she’s hit the board once in five starts – but the veteran mare has been chasing first-level allowance optional claiming state-bred foes recently and based strictly on speed figures should be much more competitive against this group. The M. Glatt-trained mare projects to be in a good pace-stalking/prompting position and remain a strong factor to the wire in a race with suspect late speed.RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: C+Use: 5-Thirsty Chapo; 6-Sauls Call; 9-Toasted At DawnForecast: Sauls Call shows up in a claimer for the first time and will greatly appreciate this softer assignment. Assuming he breaks well, the son of Stay Thirsty should find himself on or near the lead throughout, and while he’s always been suspect in the final furlong, he can be capable of hanging on against this group. Thirsty Chapo, runner-up in both starts, is a contender even if he doesn’t improve much, though his numbers did rise between his first and second starts, so he may step forward again. Toasted At Dawn is also progressing with experience. He’s still pretty slow on figs but may go better today in his first start in blinkers. At 12-1 on the line, you can toss him in.RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-Gidgetta; 5-Fantasy Heat; 7-Five Pics PleaseForecast: Gidgetta exits graded stakes company and shortens to a sprint, so the lightly-raced daughter of Fast Anna appears properly spotted to regain her best form in a stronger-than-par race. The R. Baltas-trained mare projects to be in a second flight, stalking position and then have her chance from the top of the lane to the wire. The pace is expected to be quick, which will help her chances. Fantasy Heat, away for more than a year but a two-time winner over this course and distance, hails from a barn that is quite capable with comebackers and seems likely to draft into a stalking position similar to the type of trip that Gidgetta should enjoy. She’s run well off layoffs in the past, so we’re expecting a big effort from the veteran daughter of Unusual Heat. Five Pics Please displayed good speed before weakening in the much tougher Daisycutter S. last month but against this group should stick around a lot longer. She’s fast on figures, retains U. Rispoli, and offers some price value at 8-1 on the morning line.RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: XSingle: 2-Paint Me LuckyForecast: Paint Me Lucky is listed as the 8/5 morning line favorite in his third start of the year, the other two resulting in runner-up efforts as the chalk at this same maiden $20,000 level. The blinkers come off – maybe that will help – and he’s likely to be the controlling speed, so the B. Baffert-trained six-year-old gelding may finally earn his diploma. The son of Paynter won’t be offering any wagering value so you use him as a rolling exotic single, find something you think can beat him (there’s a few to choose from) or simply sit it out.Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 3-Helens Well; 4-Liam’s Dove; 5-Hemmerle; 10-A Crown for KittenForecast: Maidens meet over a mile on grass in a race that contains several promising 2-year-old fillies. Hemmerle is listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite after a series of strong workouts that should have her plenty fit. A half-sister to the good local turf filly Dogtag from European champion Shamardal’s stakes-placed half-sister Diamond Necklace, she understandably makes her debut on turf, though she’s never had a chance to train on it. In her drills she displays a long stride with good late power, so we suspect she’ll take some beating. Helens Well had a prior run in Ireland in late May, finishing a close fourth (of 10) while earning experience that should serve her well today. The local dirt workouts indicate fitness, and the P. D’Amato barn has superior stats with these European imports, so you have to use her. Liam’s Dove is a bit intriguing at 8-1 on the morning line. Though she was well-beaten sprinting on dirt in a hot race in her debut last month, the daughter of Liam’s Map has returned to work well for P. Miller (always dangerous with the second-time stater angle) and given her comfortable draw this $120,000 OBS April purchase with a devout European turf bottom lime might clear this field early and prove troublesome. Also worth including, perhaps on a backup ticket, is A Crown for Kitten, a second-timer who moved about a furlong too soon while very wide in her debut and then lost her punch late when a fourth without changing leads in a decent race in her debut. With that effort behind her and with a patient ride today, the daughter of Kitten’s Joy has a right to display improvement.RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: CUse: 1-Pasito; 2-Traffic Stopper; 8-Flat Out Joy; 9-Angel’s AdvocateForecast: There is nothing to trust in this $16,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares in a race in which the main contenders come from low percentage outfits. Negative angles appear in just above every entrant’s past performance chart. The 5/2 morning line favorite, Flat Out Joy, drops two levels in class and has numbers that can win, but she just finished second as the chalk despite a perfect trip and comes from a barn that is 1-for-44 this year. Pasito just missed at 35-1 in a similar event and gets an extra half furlong to work with, but she’s winless in six starts over the Del Mar main track and is buried on the rail without any tactical speed. Traffic Stopper has recent form that charts pretty well with these, but her trainer is 3-for-47 this year and the daughter of Stop Traffic has been off the board in all three of her local main track starts. Angel’s Advocate gets off the rail, had some early trouble in a better-than-looked last race and projects to enjoy a soft second flight trip outside. However, she’s a six-year-old mare with just five career outings. We can do this all day – a one step forward, two steps back analysis – while realizing that yes, somebody is going to finish first. The three listed above are most logical but you should include as many as your budget allows.RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Leggs Galore; 7-Warren’s ShowtimeForecast: Warrens Showtime is listed as the 6/5 morning line favorite and on pure form deserves to be after winning the Wilshire S.-G3 at Santa Anita in June and returning to listed California-bred company today. However, Leggs Galore recently has traded victories with ‘Showtime and is dangerous once again, especially in a race with a pace scenario that projects fairly soft. Furthermore, Leggs Galore is unbeaten in two prior outings over the Del Mar lawn and shows a bullet workout around dogs a couple of weeks ago (5f, 1:00.1h TC DU) that was fastest of 13. The winner should be one or the other but due to price considerations we’ll give Leggs Galore the edge on top.RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 6-Leprino; 7-CauseididitmywayForecast: Leprino got the best of Causeididitmyway when they squared off in the first race on opening day last month, but it was the latter who did all the dirty when pressing the pace throughout while the former enjoyed a perfect, second flight trip outside to get the verdict close home while being greatly aided by the favorable outside lanes. They meet again on the one-level raise over a track that has played fair in the past few weeks, so let’s give Causeididitmyway a chance to turn the tables on his rival and put him on top but include both in rolling exotic play.RACE 9: Post: 6:00 PT Grade: CUse: 6-Seeking Refuge; 9-Liar Liar; 11-Sea of LibertyForecast: Here’s another nearly impossible handicapping puzzle in a race with nothing to trust, and that includes the logical top pick Liar Liar, just 2-for-15 in his career and a four-time beaten favorite in his most recent nine starts. The good news is that he was a close third at 17-1 in a stronger allowance optional/claimer over this course and distance last time out and likely will win this race with a similar effort. That said, Sea of Liberty is a more attractive gamble primarily because he’s listed at 10-1 on the morning line. The Boisterous gelding remains protected by P. Miller in what we’ll take as a sign of confidence and has prior speed figures that make him a major player. Furthermore, he was a closing fourth, albeit race-shape aided, in a fast state-bred first level allowance turf miler here last month. Seeking Refuge, freshened since mid-June, was a solid runner-up vs. similar at Santa Anita and is a prior winner over the local turf course, so we’re expecting a solid effort from him as well.

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8.15.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Sunday, August 15

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: C+Use: 3-Good Skate; 8-SilipoForecast: Good Skate chased straight maidens in his debut, earning an okay speed figure when finishing a non-threatening fifth. What is concerning, though, is his failure to change leads despite repeated and aggressive efforts by I. Ortiz, Jr. to make him switch. Maybe L. Saez will have better luck today. This maiden $50,000 claimer for juveniles in a considerably softer spot, so with the addition of blinkers for a barn that has solid stats with second-time starters the son of American Freedom may have found his friends. The best of the newcomers could be Silipo, a son of Candy Ride that is realistically spotted for a good try first crack out of the box. Not the best of movers but training well enough to expect a decent effort against this group, the R. Astras-trained gelding lands the cozy outside post and projects to be well-placed with every chance. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics but not with a great deal of confidence.RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: B-Use: 8-Street Vendor; 9-Kiss the Sky; 10-Flip the ScriptForecast: Kiss the Sky was more than three lengths clear of the rest when second in his debut in a representative maiden juvenile turf router at Ellis Park last month and seems likely to produce a significant forward move with that effort behind him. The M. Maker barn has solid stats with the second-time starter angle, so unless there’s a better-than-average newcomer in this field the son of Twirling Candy should be set to earn his diploma. Flip the Script, certainly bred for grass (Temple City), finished a non-threatening third in an off-the-turf sprint at Belmont Park last month. Under the circumstances, it wasn’t a bad try for a colt who surely should improve with today’s much more favorable conditions. L. Saez stays aboard for T. Albertrani, whose record with second-time starters is decent enough. The first-timer Street Vendor, a $500,000 yearling purchase by Nyquist, comes from the T. Pletcher barn but hasn’t done anything particularly noteworthy in the a.m. He should, however, be fit enough under J. Rosario to make his presence felt in an open fray at 6-1 on the morning line.RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: B-Use: 1-Social Whirl; 10-Herald AngelForecast: We’ll try to survive and advance using just two in this challenging restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claiming turf sprint for fillies and mares, but the best advice is to use as many as your budget allows. Herald Angel, listed on the morning line at 9/2, shows up in a seller for the first time and projects to enjoy a good stalking trip from her far outside post position. Though she won a straight maiden in gate-to-wire fashion, the daughter of Exaggerator might enjoy stalking tactics just behind the need-the-leads that are drawn inside. At this level, she should be able capitalize on that type of trip for the high percentage M. Maker/I. Ortiz, Jr. trainer-jockey combo. Social Whirl earned a career top speed figure when graduating over this course and distance vs. maiden $40,000 foes last month. She took heat and then drew clear late in good style, and while another forward move likely will be required today the daughter of Freud seems to be a progressive sort and is worth using at 5-1 on the morning line.RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: XSingle: Water’s EdgeForecast: Water’s Edge is 50 cents on the dollar on the morning line after crushing a good maiden field with a huge speed figure in his second career start last month at Belmont Park. Simply stated, the New York-bred son of Candy Ride will win by himself if he achieves a similar number today. The rail is always a concern but if he leaves cleanly the D. Donk-trained colt should be on or near the lead and then go on with it when asked. He’s a no-value, rolling exotic single in a race that is otherwise unplayable.RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade:Single: 4-Jester Calls NojoyForecast: There are some nice fillies in this race – Knowing Glance and Tap N Glo already have shown legitimate ability in the afternoon – but Jester Calls Nojoy has done the type of work in the a.m. that stamps her as an exceptional prospect. Listed in our Clocker’s “Primed and Ready” list a couple of weeks ago, the T. Pletcher-trained juvenile has displayed intense speed leading up to her debut, breezing in every workout and always finishing with something in reserve. Her two recent gate works, both in company, were especially impressive and could have earned much faster times if she hadn’t had the proverbial piano in her mouth every step of the way. With a clean break (as she’s done in the morning), the daughter of Maclean’s Music should take control early and never look back, so at 7/2 on the morning line she’s a win play and rolling exotic single.RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: B-Use: 1-Write This Down; 3-Black LicoriceForecast: Write This Down walked out of the gate and then produced a willing late bid to wind up third in a similar maiden $40,000 affair over seven furlongs in late June at Belmont Park. More importantly, she was claimed by R. Atras, who brings her back in an abbreviated sprint with a healthy series of recent workouts that should her set for a significant forward move. With the first-off-the-claim angle, Atras hits at a remarkable 34% with a massive ROI, so the question isn’t whether this Frosted filly will improve, but rather by how much. Black Licorice returns off a long layoff – she’s been gone since last October – and could easily be a better type this time around after finishing far back with a rough trip in a maiden special weight race. The work tab looks good for M. Maker, who employs his “go to” rider T. Gaffalione, so at 5-1 on the morning line she’s a “must use.” These are the two we’ll be including in a wide open affair in which nothing would surprise. If you feel the need to throw in a few more, go right ahead.RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade:Use: 5-Mira Mission; 7-Never Explain; 8-TreasonForecast: Never Explain and Mira Mission, two-three finishers in a similar entry-level allowance affair, meet again in this nine-furlong inner turf course event. ‘Mission had a rough trip in that race, lacking room at the critical stage of the stretch run, but with clear sailing today he should be capable of producing a winning late kick. ‘Explain overcame a wide trip to vie for the lead midway and then stayed on gamely; the Street Sense colt was making just his fourth career start and certainly can be capable of stepping forward again. Treason was as a clever debut winner at Belmont Park in June but didn’t get the best of trips when unplaced in his next outing in a tough affair the following month. Today’s extra furlong should allow for softer early fractions and enable the son of Constitution to secure a good second flight trip. He’s 6-1 on the morning line and is worth including on your ticket at that price.RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: BUse: 2-Subsidiary; 4-Mongolian Humor; 7-Absolute LoveForecast: Absolute Love has won her last pair and three out of her last four starts, and even better than that she makes her first since being claimed by R. Atras, who hits at 34% with a powerful ROI with the first-off-the-claim angle. She’s been primarily a two-turn specialist throughout her career, but this turn back to an extended sprint shouldn’t be an issue, nor should the one-level raise in class to the $16,000 claiming ranks. Mongolian Humor, an easy winner over this track and distance for $12,500 last month, moves up a level following a claim for new trainer R. Diodoro, who like Atras shows spectacular stats with this maneuver (26% with powerful flat-bet profit). The daughter of Drosselmeyer projects to settle in mid-pack and then blast home, just as she did last time. Subsidiary is a route-to-sprint class dropper being reunited with “win rider” I. Ortiz, Jr., and has the kind of early speed that makes her dangerous at this level. You have to use her somewhere.RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: B-Use: 2-Tuscan Queen; 7-Goin’ Good; 8-Bye ByeForecast: The Galway S., a listed affair for sophomore fillies sprinting on turf, has several possibilities in the 10-runner field. Finding the favorite may be just as difficult as finding the winner. Tuscan Queen, listed at 6-1 on the morning line, looked quite good breaking her maiden over this course and distance last month, doing so with an exceptional turn of foot from the top of the lane to the wire that produced a more than four length victory. The number was strong, so while this clearly is a tougher spot the daughter of Street Boss could be up to the task at a nice price. Goin’ Good has won her last pair while pressing the pace and then finding more under pressure close home. A versatile sort who has won on grass and over a sloppy track, the B. Cox-trained daughter of Congrats can be counted on for another honest effort and must be used, though her speed figures aren’t any better than several of these. Bye Bye disappointed a bit when failing to stay a mile after making the running in the Wild Applause S. on grass at Belmont Park in mid-June, but after a couple of months of freshening and a turn back to an abbreviated sprint the daughter of Into Mischief could easily snap back to winning form. J. Rosario should have in the second flight, ready to pounce. We’ll try to get by using just these three in rolling exotic play with the gamble at the price going to Tuscan Queen.RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: C+Use: 3-Summer in the City; 5-Mirabell Mei; 10-Sengekontacket; 12-Italian TwinForecast: The nightcap is an inscrutable middle distance inner turf claimer for fillies and mares. Spread as deeply as you can. Sengekontacket, a first-off-the-claim play for capable C, Summers, switches to J. Rosario and may improve enough to produce a winning late kick. She has several back numbers that are par for this level, so at 8-1 on the morning line she represents a decent price in a field loaded with possibilities. Italian Twin is hung far outside in post position 12 but has shown a good late kick on occasion and with some help up front could make some noise in the final furlong at 6-1 on the morning line. Summer in the City, freshened for two months and exiting a pair of tougher starter’s allowance events, retains I. Ortiz, Jr. and has enough tactical speed to secure a good stalking trip and then have every chance from there. Mirabell Mei has numbers that fit and is another with a dangerous late kick, though she’s never run particularly well (in three starts) over the Saratoga lawn.

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8.15.2021:

Jerry Shottenkirk: My Late Pick 4 Ticket Sunday at Gulfstream | Sunday, August 15

Gulfstream Park's Late Pick Four features a pair of allowance optional claiming races that feature runners in good form and some that have the class but come in off long layoffs.The sequence fires up in the seventh race and ends with the 10th. The suggested ticket this week tops out at $72. Here's a look:7th Race (4:14 p.m. ET, optional claiming allowance)PALOMITA has been on the shelf since December and goes from Chad Brown to David Fawkes stable. Has a long list of workouts for her return and is probably ready for some afternoon action.She didn’t win last year as she raced against top-flight company in Kentucky and New York, but she held her own as she was on the board in six of seven and was second five times. Inactivity would be the only reason to try to beat her, and that’s always a question.On her best day, she should romp against these, but there’s a question if she can have it be her best day with the time off. A couple of others are worth a look as well.Others on the ticket: LORILOUPIES, AWESOME ANNMARIE.8th Race (4:48 p.m. ET, claiming)MONTANA MAN takes a class drop that could very well put him over the top. He’s twice been claimed for $50,000, most recently two races back by Happy Alter. He was second in an allowance optional claiming last out and takes a drop in claiming price and is now eligible to be claimed for 40 percent of the price he had on his head when haltered.That should be an attention getter and a reason to shop around in this one. While Montana Man clearly has the talent to win, but he's in the bargain bin for the day as far as claiming price goes.Others on the ticket: BUENISIMO, THENORTHREMEMBERS, TELLINGTON.9th Race (5:22 p.m., optional claiming allowance)GLORY OF FLORIDA is on again, off again and tried the turf in the Mr. Steele last time. It didn’t work out as he finished sixth, and now he’s back to allowance optional claiming on dirt. He’s a decent miler, as he’s been first or second in eight of 15 attempts as the distance. There are several to seriously consider, and in the interest of not letting the ticket price getting out of hand, I’ve settled on a trio of runners.Others on the ticket: COOL ARROW, QUENANE.10th Race (5:56 p.m., claiming)GUACO rates the slight edge in a mile race for conditioned bottom claimers, and this one could require a handful of numbers to get it done on the ticket. He takes a class drop and moves over to the dirt, has taken on much better, and his form could get a nice boost today. Still, this looks like a spread race, and three others are included.Others on the ticket: HERE COMES BULLET, ALASTOR, EXCALIBUR.My TicketRace 7) #3 Loriloupies, #4 Awesome Annmarie, #7 Palomita.Race 8) #2 Buenisimo, #4 Thenorthremembers, #6 Tellington, #10 Montana Man.Race 9) #5 Cool Arrow, #6 Glory of Florida, #7 Quenane.Race 10) #2 Here Comes Bullet, #3 Alastor, #8 Guaco, #11 Excalibur. Total Ticket Cost) 3,4,7/2,4,6,10/5,6,7/2,3,8,11 = $72 for $0.50

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8.14.2021:

Northfield Park-Milstein Invitational Pace Analysis | Saturday, August 14

Tonight, Northfield Park has 16 races scheduled with over $900,000 in purses up for grabs. This is the biggest night of racing at Northfield featuring the Carl Milstein Memorial Pace. Nine 3-year-old pacers will be going postward in Race 10 battling for a share of a $300,000 purse. Northfield's signature event features a competitive field, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 10-Carl Milstein Memorial Pace-$300,000 Purse1-Bettor Sun (8-1)-Ontario invader for Team McNair has raced on smaller ovals before but not at NFLD. The connections must be are confident the track won't be an issue. Didn't have a very smooth journey in the last race versus tough colts. In that start the outside pair left and McNair pulled 2nd over before a 53.4 half. Although finishing 3rd, still paced the last quarter in 26.4. Looking for an alert start and could get the pocket, should have a big shot if that happens.2-Water Sports Teen (3-1)-Faded down the lane as an odds choice in the Adios and before that won 3 straight after joining the Jenn B barn. This colt will be launched out to get the point and this is a talented field so should be tested. Probably the best chance to win will be getting the early lead and a few others will be thinking the same. Should be in the hunt but at a short price.3-Rockin On Venus (10-1)-Hoosier Park invader loves to take pictures winning 8 of 12 this year and could look to come off the pace here. Not sure if this Rockin Image colt can show enough speed on a 1/2-mile oval to win but we may find out tonight.4-Alilthundadownunda (20-1)-Home-bred has been a force at Aces winning 10 of 15 starts and gets the services of Chris Page here. But hasn't faced this level of competition and appears to be in too tough to hit the board.5-Bayfield Beach (6-1)-Burke trainee has had a tough sophomore season and has had 3 different trainers. Makes the 1st start for Burke and it's a guessing game as to what type of effort will be coming with only 8 starts this year. Could be worth using underneath in gimmicks if the price is right.6-Mysweetboymax (12-1)-Couldn't do much in the Adios despite a 53.3 back half. The issue there is the same here, doesn't have the gate speed to be put in play early. Merriman steers but this longshot could be overmatched.7-Charlie May (5/2)-McCardle 3-year-old is in fine form finishing 1st in 3 straight on 3 different size ovals but was DQ'd in the Big M Pace. This post draw won't help but doesn't need to be on the engine in the early going to win. Usual pilot Brett Miller will be between the pipes and has hit the board in all 3 starts at NFLD with 2 wins.8-Chase H Hanover (15-1)-This will be the 1st appearance at NFLD, and recent form has been dull. Not sure how Wrenn will get this son of Captaintreacherous involved. This post is a killer with so much speed inside and chances for success aren't high.9-Heart Of Chewbacca (9/2)-This is the other Burke entry and would have been easily usable from the inside. Likes the NFLD surface has hit the board in all 3 starts with 2 pictures. Not sure how Dan Noble could put this colt in play. But best to not completely toss, could be used underneath if the price is right.$20 to Win-1$8 Exacta Key 1/2,7$4 Exacta Key 2,7/1$2 Exacta Key 1/3,5,9Total Bet=$50Check me out on Twitter!

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8.14.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Saturday, August 14

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: 4-Launch Pad; 7-Sometimes Always Forecast: The Saturday opener is a $16,000 claiming main track miler restricted to 3-year-olds. It’s a bit treacherous, so tread lightly. Launch Pad, a distant third in a tougher spot over this track and distance last month, drops a notch, adds blinkers, and has speed figures that are good enough to win. There should be ample pace signed on to compliment his late-running style, so we’ll put him slightly on top over the 2-1 morning line favorite, Sometimes Always, a maiden claiming sprint winner last time out but with prior form that suggests he’ll handle the stretch out to two-turns just fine. Both should be included in rolling exotic play. RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 3-Luck of the Draw; 4-Irish Heatwave Forecast: Five of the eight entrants in this middle distance turf event for $25,000 older claimers exit the same race last month, and because the whole field finished in a heap they’re very difficult to separate today. The difference may be the pace flow, which was faster than par in that race and today projects to be much softer and thus may give Luck of the Draw a bit of an advantage. Claimed in his last pair and now in the P. Eurton barn, the veteran gelding prefers to be on or near the lead throughout and probably won’t have to work too hard to get where he wants to be. Fourth but beaten just a length in that common July 17 event and with U. Rispoli staying aboard, the son of Lookin At Lucky may be as good as any at 4-1 on the morning line. Irish Heatwave drops to his lowest level ever and the former stakes winner has recent speed figures that are good enough to win in this league. He’s another that prefers to be within striking range and may in fact be the controlling speed if nothing else goes. Given that type of trip, the P. Miller-trained gelding could get very brave. We’ll try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics but if you feel the need to spread deeper, go right ahead. RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Bella Renella; 6-Vegan Forecast: This restricted (nw-3) claiming sprint for fillies and mares has two major contenders from the W. Spawr and both should be included in rolling exotic play. Vegan, freshened since June when she finished second in a similar event at Santa Anita, earned a career top speed figure in that race, one that is stronger than par for this level. She was 24-1 in due to poor prior form, but if she can turn in two alike she can outrun this group. A prior win over the Del Mar main track is another plus. Bella Renella, claimed by Spawr out of an open $12,500 sprint in June, showed some spark when a close third in that productive event (the first two finishers came back to win) and returns after a two month freshening. Despite the raise in claiming price, this race actually appears to be a softer spot, so if she can navigate a good trip from the rail, she should be a major player. RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B+Single: 4-She’s Our Charm Forecast: She’s Our Charm has been sparingly raced this year (just two starts) and hasn’t been out since early May, but the R. McAnally-trained mare shows a sharp, steady, and healthy recent series of workouts to have her ready for a major effort over a turf course she’s always liked against a field of second-level allowance fillies and mares that her best effort can handle. Always most effective on the lead but capable of stalking and pouncing if the pace flow dictates, the veteran daughter of Candy Ride has a significant edge in the speed figure department and should have no excuses. At 5/2 on the morning line she’s a win play and rolling exotic single. Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 4-Sugar Sugar; 6-Rock the Belles; 9-Half Past Twelve Forecast: Sugar Sugar ran quite well when third in a legitimate straight maiden event behind the promising Grace Adler in her debut last month and shows up today in this expensive $150,000 maiden claimer. Does the class drop appear slightly disconcerting? A little bit, yes, though it’s not likely her connections are worried about losing her. It may be mean, though, that they simply don’t believe she’ll improve enough to win a maiden special weight event. There are two others to consider in rolling exotic play, either on the main ticket or as backups. Half Past Twelve, a distant fourth in her debut in a fast, highly-rated race, seems certain to improve with that race behind her and is realistically spotted while Rock the Belles shows a :46 2/5 gate work (fastest of 84) to indicate plenty of speed, though she brought only $20,000 at auction just a couple of months ago. RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: C+Use: 4-Burgoo Alley; 5-Carpe Fortuna; 9-Bleu Ballon; 12-Thrilling Forecast: The first leg of the late Pick-5 is a grass grab bag for 3-year-old fillies, five of which exit the race won by Javanica on July 18. Burgoo Alley, Carpe Fortuna, and Blue Ballon, the two-three-four finishers in that race, all ran well and are contenders again, but each had perfect trips, so we’re not quite sure how much better they’ll perform today. Thrilling is a wild card at 6-1. She shows the two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern that we always like and a style and pedigree that suggest she’ll enjoy the added distance. However, she’s stuck way out in the 12-hole, which probably will lead to a wide trip unless she can somehow and drop in and find a slot before the clubhouse turn. In short, this race is a mess that requires a spread in rolling exotic play, so we’ll go-four deep with a very slight preference on top to Thrilling in a race that most likely will produce a blanket finish. RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: XSingle: 1-Wearenotbadpeople Forecast: Wearenotbadpeople has trained well enough to win at first asking in this woefully weak state-bred sprint for older horses, but he had the misfortune of drawing the rail, always a precarious spot for a debut runner. If the son of Clubhouse Ride breaks even reasonably well, the inside draw shouldn’t be an issue. Maybe he’ll be good enough to overcome a sluggish start, anyway, but at 9/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower there probably won’t be too much value to be found. To underline how soft this field is, the second choice at 5/2 on the morning line is Irondale, whose best race came two back when he finished second in a similar affair while earning a 54 Beyer speed figure. That’s 24 points lower than par for this race. Rolling exotic players may choose to single Wearenotbadpeople; others may choose to sit it out. RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Neige Blanche; 5-Rideforthecause Forecast: Rideforthecause and Neige Blanche are two proven marathoners and they’re very difficult to separate. ‘Blanche nosed out her rival two races back in the Santa Barbara S.-G3 over 12 furlongs at Santa Anita but ‘Cause got some measure of revenge when winning the shorter 10 furlong Possibly Perfect S. in mid-June. Today they meet in the “middle” in this year’s renewal of the CTT and TOC S. at a mile and three-eighths. Both should run well and a win by either one wouldn’t be a surprise. There are others in the field that deserve a look – for example, if Tapwater gets loose on the lead she may never look back – so in another race that probably is best watched rather than wagered on we’ll use the two listed above and hope to get one of them home. RACE 9: Post: 6:00 PT Grade: XSingle: 3-Letsgetlucky Forecast: Here’s yet another race on today’s program that offers a logical top choice that’s likely to be a shorter price than he should be. Letsgetlucky flashed speed before weakening to be a distant third in the Real Good Deal S. last month and today drops to a much easier first-level allowance state-bred while shortening to his preferred six furlong distance. Based purely on numbers, this is a field he’s supposed to beat, but then again he was supposed to win at this level two runs back and couldn’t seal the deal under pressure when second as the 6/5 favorite. The Munnings gelding appears the best of the speed types, and the late runners don’t inspire, so we’ll put him on top as a rolling exotic single but otherwise pass the race. RACE 10: Post: 6:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Nu Pi Lambda; 4-Fantail; 9-Lalic; 10-Isn’t She Lovely Forecast: The finale is an “anything goes” turf sprint for entry-level/optional claiming fillies and mares. Fantail has the route-to-sprint angle we like, and while her form suggests she might be more comfortable around two turns we’re thinking this shortened trip is something that might really appeal to her. She has plenty of speed and in a race like this she’ll be allowed to use it. A couple of recent nice breezes around dogs over the local lawn tells us she’s doing very well. Nu Pi Lambda finished powerfully but too late when third in a similar affair over this course and distance last month. She’s 1-for-14 with eight seconds and thirds for a reason; the C. Gaines-trained filly lacks tactical speed and almost always gives herself too much to do. She’ll be rolling late, but she’ll need good racing luck and help up front to get up in time. Lalic returns to sprinting and is another who will be doing her best work from off the pace, but she’s another that may need more ground, while Isn’t She Lovely should benefit from this abbreviated sprint distance and has numbers that continue to move in the right direction, but her extreme outside draw means that she can’t make any mistakes leaving the gate.

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8.14.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Saturday, August 14

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: C+Use: 5-King Angelo; 7-War Smoke Forecast: King Angelo was well-clear of the rest when a good runner-up in a dirt sprint at Belmont Park last month while earning by far a career top speed figure. If can repeat that type of race on grass, the son of Lemon Drop Kid should finally be able to earn his maiden diploma. The barn is 1-for-44 this year, so the confidence factor is low, but we’ll put this front-running colt on top over the second-time starter War Smoke, a troubled runner-up in his debut over this course and distance last month. Off slowly and very wide into the lane, the War Dancer colt loomed a strong threat but then may have lost a bit of his punch in the closing stages to miss by a neck. Hopefully, he’ll break better today and earn a ground-saving trip. These are the two we’ll prefer in our rolling exotics, but in something of a grass grab bag you should use as many as your budget allows. RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: XUse: 3-Sticky Issue; 7-Askin for a Baskin Forecast: Here’s another maiden race for older sprinters, this one an extended dash on the main track. Askin for a Baskin is very fast on speed figures and probably will beat this field with a repeat of either one of his last two starts. Listed at 8/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, the son off Distorted Humor can be the controlling speed in a field without much of it, or at worst find himself in a comfortable stalking position outside. Sticky Issue, a second-time starter from the P. Walder barn, displayed some ability when a decent runner-up vs. straight maidens in early July at Gulfstream Park after a less-than-ideal start. He shows a solid series of local drills, including a team drill Aug. 7 in which he stalked a stable mate and then drew clear under mild urging late in :1:00 1/5, sixth fastest of 35 for the five furlong distance. You can use him as a back-up or a saver, but the main push should go to Askin for a Baskin, unless the price in simply too short. RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: B-Use: 1x-Atone; 5-Klickitat; 8-St. Joe Louis Forecast: This first-level allowance inner turf middle distance event appears fairly wide open, so we’ll spread the race in our rolling exotics. St. Joe Louis was visually impressive breaking his maiden two races back but was something less than that when unplaced at this level last time out. He was wide early and failed to secure a comfortable early position, then moved within range at the head of the lane before flattening out. The blinkers come off today (like that angle) and I. Ortiz, Jr. takes the call, so we’re counting on an improved performance, one that makes him dangerous off the number he earned at Belmont Park. We’d love to see some aggression leaving the gate to ensure a good stalking spot. Atone, coupled as an entry with Absam, ships in from Arlington Park where he finished a distant third in a tougher race last time out. He joins the M. Maker barn, so improvement certainly is possible after a two month freshening. The son of Into Mischief shows consistent speed figures and projects to settle in the second flight and have his chance from there. Klickitat returned to winning from at Belmont Park last month and shows two victories over the Saratoga lawn with numbers that are better than par for this level. He’ll be especially tough if he can make the running without pressure. RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: BUse: 2-Investment Income; 3-Palamos Forecast: Investment Income may have surprised her connections when she was nosed out at 12-1 while more than five clear of the rest in her debut at Monmouth Park in early June, performing well enough to be given a chance today in the Bigs. The daughter of Candy Ride lands the rail for this 9.5F maiden grass event for older fillies and mares and projects to settle in the second flight while saving ground and then have every chance when the pressure is turned on. Based on speed figures, she absolutely belongs here, and she if improves as expected the C. Brown-trained filly should be capable of earning her diploma. Palamos is faster on figs that out to pick but has had four chances so she may have a bit less room to improve. The G. Motion-trained daughter of Blame is a one-paced grinder but with some help up front she should be heard from late. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Investment Income. RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: C+Use: 3-Win With Pride; 7-Inscom Forecast: We won’t get too involved in this $16,000 claiming extended sprint for older horses other than to use two in rolling exotic play. Win With Pride drops to a proper level after being pitched too high in his last pair, and the veteran gelding, an 11-time career winner, should find this group within his current capabilities. In a field without much early speed, the O. Noda-trained gelding seems likely to enjoy a comfortable trip on or near the front end without having to be used much. With the switch to I. Ortiz, Jr., we’ll make him a solid top pick. Inscom, away since February and returning at his lowest level ever, is another that should be happy with the projected pace scenario and if cranked up and relatively healthy could make a serious run for it. RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: BSingle: 2-Power Agenda Forecast: We’ve really been looking forward to the debut of Power Agenda and expect T. Pletcher-trained son of Nyquist to graduate at first asking, assuming he breaks well from the gate, something he’s done quite well in his morning preparations. An August 8 half mile gate breeze in :47 2/5 while much best of the team could not have been more impressive, and with a good foundation of drills prior to that he’s certain to be plenty fit and ready for a major effort first crack out of the box. At 9/5 on the morning line he’ll offer value in both in the win pool and in rolling exotic play, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he goes lower than that. RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: B-Use: 3-Assiduously; 4-Restored Order; 6-Extreme Force Forecast: This grass grab bag for restricted (nw-2) $40,000 older claimers is a challenging affair requiring a spread in rolling exotic play. We’ll go three-deep and hope that’s enough. Restored Order was a gate-to-wire winner on grass at Saratoga last year while earning a career top number and we suspect similar tactics will be employed today in his first try in a seller. He switches to “win rider” I. Ortiz, Jr. and if not policed early could roll all the way to the wire. Extreme Force, a first-off-the-claim play for M. Maker, makes his first start on turf, and while his pedigree for grass doesn’t exactly jump off the page, who knows, maybe he’ll like it. Listed at 8-1 on the morning line, he exits a series of sprints and should be forwardly placed in a field without any strong late punchers. Restored Order was a gate-to-wire winner on grass at Saratoga and similar tactics seem certain to be employed today. He’s reunited with “win rider” I. Ortiz, Jr., and if not policed early could roll all the way to the wire. Assiduously, one of several class droppers during the current meeting being culled from the Klaravich Stables, may have found his friends in his first start for a tag, though at 5/2 on the morning line he won’t be offering much wagering value. His Monmouth Park form is okay but has numbers that aren’t even quite par for this level, so we’ll toss him on a ticket or two but that’s all. RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: B+Use: 1-Mahaamel; 5-Ducale; 6-Defeater Forecast: Ducale earned a giant speed figure – a stakes-quality number for a 3-year-old – when breaking his maiden last month over this track and distance and we anticipate he’ll continue to step forward with experience and maturity. If he’s going to be a really good colt for B. Cox, this is the type of race he’s supposed to win. However, it came up a very salty affair with others that have designs for bigger and better things as well. Mahaamel broke his maiden impressively two races back but then hooked a monster in Beau Liam and had to settle for third in a similar affair at this trip in mid-July. The son of Into Mischief should fire another huge shot today and it’ll be interesting to see how he stacks up with Ducale, as both have similar numbers. Defeater is worth tossing in on a ticket or two, though we suspect he’s using this race as a prep for a stretch-out. The son of Union Rags won his debut in smart fashion sprinting at Fair Grounds in January and then was fast finishing second in a first-level allowance router before being stopped on. He’ll be running on late and is worth watching closely for future reference. RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: B+Use: 2-Gunite; 8-Doctor Jeff Forecast: Doctor Jeff won his debut by just over two lengths, but the margin could have been triple that had he not been eased up and geared down in the final sixteenth of a mile. The son of Street Boss should have enough early speed to be on or near the lead again without having to be sent hard and based a sharp recent workout the R. Rodriguez-trained colt should move forward off the race and handle the extra distance without any issue. He’s 2-1 on the morning and we’ll be happy with that price if we can get it. Gunite has rising numbers with each start, most recently winning a maiden sprint at Churchill Downs with authority. As a son of Gun Runner he can be expected to improve with more distance, and with blinkers being added today he might display enough early speed to be on the front end. If for some reason Doctor Jeff doesn’t run up to expectations, this S. Asmussen-trained colt is the logical alternative. RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: B+Use: 1-Raging Bull; 5-Set Piece Forecast: Set Piece has never been better and in fact we may not have seen his best yet. A winner of nine of 16 career starts including his last three in strong stakes company, the English-bred gelding likes to lay back and blast home, and hopefully there will be enough early pace (and plenty of room to rally) to allow the B. Cox-trained gelding to produce another winning late kick. He’s 5/2 on the morning line and is worth every bit of that. Raging Bull lands the good rail, should enjoy an ideal ground-saving trip, and is dangerous in his present form. The winner of the Maker’s Mark S.-G1 two runs back at Keeneland, the veteran French-bred horse is particularly fond of the Saratoga lawn and like our top pick can really finish with he gets his trip. We’ll have a few extra tickets keying Set Piece on top but use both in rolling exotic play. RACE 11: Post: 6:45 ET Grade: B-Use: 4-Dr. Blute; 9-Dr. Duke; 10-Phantom Smoke Forecast: State-bred first-level allowance sprinters collide in a competitive turf affair that offers a number of chances. Most of these have lower than par speed figures for the level, so a chaotic result would not be surprising. Phantom Smoke is a first-time Lasix user with just two career outings, so the Ghostzapper colt, away since December, could be much improved this time around. The C. Clement barn is strong (21%) with layoff runners, and if there’s a pace meltdown this colt, under J. Rosario, could easily pick up the pieces at 5-1 on the morning line. Dr. Blute earned his best number sprinting on grass at Aqueduct during the spring. A recent off-the-turf event fell far short of his best stuff but back on grass today the son of Not This Time projects to be on or near the lead throughout. The other Doctor in the field, Dr. Duke, may be the quickest in the field, though he’s always been suspect under pressure in the final stages. He exits the same race as Dr. Blute, and both will be happy to be back on the sod.

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8.13.2021:

Eddie Olczyk: Saturday Spot Plays | Saturday, August 14

1/ST and NBC handicapper Eddie Olczyk pinpoints a trio of plays from his hometown Arlington Park and Del Mar for his Saturday best. Follow Edzo’s plays each week – only with 1/ST and Xpressbet.DEL MAR // RACE 2 (5:30PME T) // CLAIMING // 1 1/16 MILES (TURF) EDZO'S PICK: #6 FULL OF LUCK (12/1) Value shot is 1 of 5 horses who ran in the same July 17 race at Del Mar. That was his third race in 23 days — just like the time from his last race until now. Bad post in last and showed some speed and fought on from the 11 post. Moves in today and catches a smaller field field size. Like to see a same scheme mentality in place by jockey Franco, who is a solid turf rider. There’s not a lot of pace in this race. If I owned the horse, the directions would be: go out of gate. Across-the-board bet and use in exotics.ARLINGTON // RACE 7 (5:49PM ET) // G1 BEVERLY D. STAKES // 1 3/16 MILES (TURF) EDZO'S PICK: #4 SANTA BARBARA (2/1) We’ve had a lot of rain here recently in Chicago, and the course conditions should benefit her with give in ground. It’s a good field, not great, with Mean Mary to catch. Santa Barbara looks to be classy and her last race in New York was impressive. Win bet.ARLINGTON // RACE 8 (6:28PM ET) // G1 BRUCE D. STAKES // 1 MILE (TURF) EDZO'S PICK: #9 LIKE A SALTSHAKER (12/1) Pennsylvania-bred’s only career race on turf came last year at Belmont, finishing second in a competitive stakes. In a race where it looks like the two inside horses are the speed, maybe this one can follow, stalking the pace, then punch home the last quarter-mile. Price will be right. Across-the-board bet and use in the exotics.

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8.13.2021:

Hoosier Park-Dan Patch Stakes Analysis | Friday, August 13

Tonight, the signature race at Hoosier Park will be on tap with the Dan Patch Stakes for older pacers carded as Race 13. A high caliber field of 10 will battle for a share of the $325,000 purse. The 0.20 Superfecta in Race 13 has a $25,000 guaranteed pool and it will be my focus.Xpressbet and 1st Bet account holders who register will receive a refund on $10 win bets that finish 2nd or 3rd in the Dan Patch. Only your first win bet is eligible, and the maximum refund is $10.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 13-The Dan Patch Stakes-Purse $325,0001-Sintra (10-1)-Eight-year-old Mohawk invader has lost something off his fast ball but this Dave Menary trainee can still compete. Consistently cashes checks versus Preferred kind up North but would need a few breaks to hit the top of this ticket versus this crew. Is in good form but is winless in 6 starts at HoP and has earned only one 2nd place check.2-Workin Ona Mystery (12-1)-Todd McCarthy steers for the Brian Brown barn and this Captaintreacherous 5-year-old hasn't hit the board in 6 Hoosier starts. Recent form has been dull and hasn't been able to finish off miles. Not sure the long stretch will help the cause.3-This Is The Plan (7/2)-Faded down lane in the McKee last week but still finished a close 3rd. Ron Burke entry has been in the hunt at the wire for almost the entire year. Has hit the board in 3 of 6 starts in Anderson with 2 wins. Looks like a serious threat as long as speed is holding.4-Catch The Fire (3-1)-Won the Sam McKee last week after being used off the gate and then got a pocket ride. That was the 2nd straight picture for the Todd Luther trainee. Scott Zeron will be between the pipes again and it's best to not overlook this winner of 6 of 9 in 2021. The front end was not too friendly at M1 last week, but it didn't matter and should be forwardly placed once again. This 4-year-old is as sharp as a tack and has 1 win and a 3rd place finish in 3 starts at Hoosier.5-Cattlewash (9/2)-Here is the 2nd of 3 Burke entries and regular pilot David Miller will be doing the steering. Got on the engine into a 53.4 opening half in the McKee and faded badly down the lane as the 2-1 post time favorite. This 4-year-old does like HoP, winning 2 of 3 starts and also cashed a 3rd place check. Failed to hit the board for the first time in 6 starts this year. Using and might be overlooked at the windows. Could offer a solid price if you think a bounce back effort is in the cards.6-Little Rocket Man (20-1)-This 5-year-old makes his local connections proud taking 9 pictures versus Open competition at HoP. Has been the model of consistency hitting the board in 13 out of 14 here and cashed the top check 9 times. Always tries hard but is in deep water this evening.7-Brassy Hanover (8-1)-Jeff Cullipher trainee has been cashing checks versus top pacers at M1. The fractions should be hot and from this post Sears could find some live cover. This 5-year-old has hit the board in 8 of 13 at HoP with 4 wins. The faster the pace the better the chances of rolling by down the lane at a solid price. The only win in 2021 came at HoP versus Open company in May and will use here.8-No Lou Zing (15-1)-This post draw does compromise chances for a picture especially considering Lou has raced only once since 6-12. Dunn steers this Takter trainee and is worth a look underneath in gimmicks. Has hit the board in 2 of 3 starts at HoP with 1 win.9-Tellmeaboutit (30-1)-This is another local hopeful that is in tall cotton. Should offer a giant price but from this post it will probably be unlikely to cash a check.10-Backstreet Shadow (4-1)-This Burke trainee gets the services of Trace Tetrick who is the leading HoP driver. Shadow Play 6-year-old has the speed to win with a good trip but the 2nd tier starting spot probably makes things too difficult. The #1 and #2 don't have much gate speed and that really hurts because this gelding does its best work racing near the top of the stack. Would need some racing luck to be in striking range at the top of the lane but this pilot is no slouch.0.20 Superfecta5,7/5,7/1,3,4,8,10/1,2,3,4,8,10 Bet=$105,7/1,3,4,8,10/5,7/1,2,3,4,8,10 Bet=$105,7/1,3,4,8,10/1,2,3,4,8,10/5,7 Bet=$10$10 to Win #7Bet=$10.00Total Bet=$40.00Check me out on Twitter!

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8.13.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Friday, August 13

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:Use: 5-Velvet Ghost; 8-Mongollon Rim Forecast: State-bred juveniles meet over a mile on grass in the Friday opener, and in a field in which the known element looks woefully weak, let’s try to get lucky using a pair of newcomers. Velvet Ghost has shown enough in the a.m. to indicate he’ll be able to handle two turns, and against this group that has to be the main point of emphasis in the handicapping process. In a gate work just five days ago, the C. Dollase-trained colt was breezing early and then finished out pretty well in a clear indication that he was being trained specifically to go long first time out. The son of Sharman Ghost certainly didn’t look like any world beater but against this group he certainly won’t have to be. Mogollon Rim is by a good grass runner Finnegans Wake, so if he’s ever going to be anybody it’ll be routing on grass. The works are healthy and steady so at least he should be fit enough. In what isn’t much more than an educated guess, these are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with top billing going to Velvet Ghost. RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: XUse: 3-Trouville; 4-Samurai Charm; 5-Varoma Forecast: We find it necessary to go three-deep in this starter’s allowance main track miler for fillies and mares but in a five runner field that requires us to pass the race. Samurai Charm and Trouville, one-two finishers in a dirt sprint at Los Alamitos last month, meet again, this time around two-turns. ‘Charm, with just three races on her resume, remains protected in a sign of confidence by trainer P. Miller, and based strictly on pedigree the daughter of First Samurai should have no trouble handling the extra distance, especially as the controlling speed, a role which she very well could inherit. Five workouts since raced, all properly spaced apart, indicate that she’s doing well, though A. Cedillo, who rode her last time out, jumps off to stay with Varoma, the filly he piloted to an easy victory at Santa Anita in early June. Trouville also has the bloodlines to improve over a distance of ground and is reunited with “win rider” F. Prat. Unless she proves to be far more comfortable as a late-running sprinter, the daughter of Will Take Charge will be the most dangerous of the closing types. Varoma, protected after being claimed for $50,000 by W. Spawr, shows a healthy and consistent work tab and projects to draft into a nice stalking position behind Samurai Charm. She’s a little shy in the speed figure department but has every reason to produce a significant forward move for her new connections. RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: C+Use: 3-Wrong Turn Cupid; 4-Mamba Queen; 6-Kitten’s Kid Forecast: Mamba Queen ran well over this course and distance as a 2-year-old and returns off a nearly one year layoff still a maiden but with workouts that indicate she’s retained her old speed. The daughter of Square Eddie will race with Lasix for the time while switching to A. Cedillo for a barn that has solid stats with layoff runners. There’s a couple of intriguing first-timers in this field but we’ll put the known element on top. Wrong Turn Cupid appears to have some zip, and as a daughter of Vronsky should love the grass. She shows a series of workouts dating back to mid-May, so she’s assuredly fit, especially for this abbreviated five furlong trip. Kitten’s Kid, listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite, lands F. Prat for her debut and shows a promising series of workouts at San Luis Rey Downs. Due to her high profile connections, the daughter of Boisterous is certain to attract plenty of play. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Mamba Queen. RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Curious Inji; 8-La Pulcinela Forecast: La Pulcinela arrives from Churchill Downs seeking some of that valuable ship-and-win bonus money and appears to have found a proper spot to get her share in this bottom-ruing maiden claiming main track miler for fillies and mares. Yes, she’s dropping off a $30,000 claim, not normally a healthy sign, but based strictly on speed figures the R. Moquett-trained daughter of Flatter looks like a stick-out, especially with F. Prat taking the call. A couple of easy breezes over the local main track since arriving in the West should have her fit enough. Curious Inji doesn’t look like a whole lot based on her three career outings, but she has trained well enough for her first start since April to make our Clocker’s “Primed and Ready” list, so on that angle alone she should be included somewhere on your ticket. In her most recent outing, she stumbled badly at the start and lost all chance, and her two other races were sprints, so there are legitimate reasons to believe that the daughter of Misremembered is better than shown and deserves a look at 6-1 on the morning line. Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: C+Use: 5-Donner Lake; 6-Tallemark; 9-Big Coupe Forecast: California-bred maidens meet over a mile in a race that contains several who know each other well. The least exposed of the lot is Donner Lake, who will be making just his third career start and therefore has more room to improve than several of the others who have been pretty much exposed. The Hard Spun colt gets a better draw today and projects to draft into an ideal pace-stalking position and then have every chance from the quarter pole home. Tallemark and Big Coupe, two-three finishers in a similar event in late May at Santa Anita, are what they are but should be running late. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics but feel free to spread deeper if your budget allows. RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 3-Scabbard; 9-Box of Chocolates; 10-Alleva Forecast: Box of Chocolates exits an infinitely tougher race and drops for the money run in this six furlong restricted (nws-3) $20,000 claiming sprint for older horses. He’s just 2-for-25 and therefore not one to trust, but the J. Sadler-trained gelding is strong in the speed figure department and can be a major player with the patient ride he needs from J. Bravo. Scabbard, sent West from the Churchill Downs to take advantage of the ship-and-win bonus, is dropping from the $30,000 level off a claim, not normally a healthy sign, but a repeat of his most recent runner-up effort in mid-June charts quite well with these. He’s been routing most of his career, but his record indicates that the traditional sprint distance of six furlongs is really what he prefers. He’ll get plenty of play with F. Prat taking the call. Alleva, a solid runner-up vs. similar over this track and distance last month, is comfortably drawn outside and seems certain to inherit an ideal second flight, stalking position. He’s not as fast on pure numbers as some of the others but given his projected trip he has a very good chance to at least hit the board. RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Good With People; 5-Beer Can Man Forecast: This is a stakes-quality turf sprint restricted to 3-year-olds that is quite contentious, even with just eight starters. We’ll try to get by using just two. Good With People, away since winning a highly-rated dirt sprint at Santa Anita in mid-May, looks like the quickest in the field and should appreciate this five furlong trip. He can handle dirt or grass, and as a winner of four races from 10 starts he’s always been quite reliable when properly spotted. With F. Prat taking the call, the P. Miller-trained colt looks like the most resilient of the speed types. Beer Can Man prefers to stalk and pounce and as such may enjoy an ideal journey should Good With People receive too much early pressure. Off the track since finishing second in the Baffle S. sprinting on turf at Santa Anita in February, the M. Glatt-trained colt has looked just fair in the a.m. while getting the rust off but may be the type that knows the difference between the a.m. and the p.m. RACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 3-You’re My Boy Kat; 8-Chris Fix Forecast: You’re My Boy Kat, in the frame in both of his career outings, removes blinkers, switches to F. Prat, and is the logical 5/2 morning line favorite in this maiden $32,000 abbreviated sprint for juveniles. A team gate drill sans the hood in company with his D. O’Neill-trained stable mate River Tiber (entered in today’s seventh race) last week in :48 flat was decent enough (we caught him a bit slower) so if the son of Tale of Ekati can continue his improving pattern he should be able to handle this field. Chris Fix is a first-timer from the S. Miyadi barn (quite clever with debut runners) and has trained a bit better than the raw final times give him credit for. Bred for speed, the son of Grazen should have every chance in a modest field to make some noise under A. Cedillo.

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8.13.2021:

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

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: BSingle: 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: BUse: 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: BSingle: 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: BUse: 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: XSingle: 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.

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8.12.2021:

Johnny D: Del Mar & Saratoga Picks | Saturday, August 14

Donald Jaffe led all Fun in the Sun players last Saturday with $297 in earnings to collect $2,415 and a Final Table seat. It’s the second time Jaffe has earned a Final Table seat and he joins Steven Jones and Ellis Starr as multiple seat winners. Nicholas Nagy finished just $2 behind Jaffe in Week 4 and collects $1,006.25 plus a seat at the Final Table. Starr, winner of the first week’s competition, finished third at $276 in earnings. He bagged an additional $603.75 in prize money and his second Final Table seat. Starr now leads all competitors with $3,501.75 in seasonal prize earnings. The Fun in the Sun Final Table pot is expected to peak at $20,000 for the main event. That total includes $10,000 in Xpressbet seed money. 55% of the pot will go to the winner (over $10k estimate), with 25% to second, 10% to third and 5% to fourth and fifth. At that level of play, you’ll want to be part of the action, especially since the field should include just 35 entries (barring ties for seats in the coming weeks). Week 5 of Fun in the Sun competition is Saturday and includes the last 5 races at Saratoga and the first 5 at Del Mar. Fun in the Sun requires a $25 weekly registration and players are asked to make $10 Win wagers on one horse in each of 10 competition races. Below is one man’s handicapping analysis of those races with an eye toward pointing out an angle or two you may have missed. Handicapping is done for Fast and Firm surfaces and before scratches and changes and does not include analysis of ‘Also Eligible’ runners. SARATOGA // RACE 7 (4:29PM ET) // CLAIMING // 1 MILE (TURF) #1 Bricco broke his maiden going one mile on ‘good’ Aqueduct turf in April last out. The 4-year-old gelding has some good Saratoga runner-up races on his resume going one mile on turf at the state-bred maiden $40k level. He’s a bit slow Beyer-wise. #2 Big Blue woke up to win three back at Gulfstream when dropped to the maiden $25k claiming level. Another good effort at Gulfstream when second in an optional $35k claimer/starter allowance race in April led to a poor effort in June at Churchill. Seems to be overmatched in here. #3 Assiduously is taking a class drop in here for trainer Chad Brown and races for a tag for the first time. Class drops like this often are a concern but at Saratoga they’re almost a positive as owners fire best shots at winning. This 4-year-old gelding broke maiden at Tampa and has been second in a first-level allowance race at Monmouth this year. He even finished third in a Belmont allowance race and was last in the Gr. 2 Hill Prince over a yielding course. Must be respected.#4 Restored Order takes a drop into a claiming race for trainer Todd Pletcher and gets Irad Ortiz in the saddle—29% combo. This appears an aggressive move with the 3-year-old purchased for $420k as a 2-year-old. He’s got a win over the Saratoga turf course last summer but has had interruptions in his racing schedule. He was next to last in the slop at Belmont last out, so the drop makes sense. #5 Amistad is 1 for 14 and usually isn’t close, except when second three back at roughly this level. #6 Extreme Force was claimed last out in July at about this level when dropped from $50k to $30k by trainer Steve Asmussen. New conditioner Mike Maker is hitting at 29% at the meet and is good with new runners off the claim. Negative is that this 4-year-old colt is just 1 for 13 with 5 thirds and this will be his first start on turf and just his second around two turns. Please note: jockey Jose Ortiz replaces brother Irad in the saddle and he combines with Maker to win at 32%!  #7 K. K. Ichikawa set the pace most of the way before fading to third at the level at Belmont going a sixteenth of a mile further. Jockey Joel Rosario rides back for trainer Rudy Rodriguez. The 4-year-old gelding broke maiden for state-bred $40k in September and hasn’t been close until last out. This will be his third start for Rudy and he races evenly throughout. #8 More Like It was claimed out of the common Belmont $40k non-winners of 2 last out. He was second by a head at the level going one mile in October and has run well at Saratoga sprinting—a win and second in three tries. Blinkers go on for new trainer Hal Handel who is 17% first off the claim and just 6% with blinkers on. Expect to find this one close to the early pace under Franco. Exotics at a price. #9 Public Information defeated a few of these in the common race at this level at Belmont Park July 1 but was disqualified for interference and placed fifth. He was claimed from the Chad Brown outfit that afternoon by Wayne Potts and a recent Spa start in a $50k starter wasn’t impressive. A return to this live level certainly should help the cause. Gaffalione rides and the trainer-jock combo are 29% (7 starts) together. #10 Justintimeforwine went wire to wire to win a six-furlong Aqueduct turf sprint in April and was third after setting the pace in a Belmont turf route at about this level. He’s 1 for 21, so it’s difficult to muster much love for the 4-year-old gelding. #11 Holy Emperor adds blinkers for trainer Joe Sharp off a wide trip at this level over the Spa course. He’s stuck outside in here and doesn’t have much speed, so another wide trip seems in the offing. His last win came when he was claimed at this level in April. #12 Eucharist was claimed last out by Bob Klesaris (5% first off claim) out of a $25k Spa dirt sprint. The 3-year-old will try turf for the first time off a first out Keeneland sprint win followed by a trio of also-ran efforts—two this year and two last year. Changes in barn, surface and distance may help, post won’t. DROP FOR THE POP: #3, #4LOOKOUT, STRETCHOUT: #6  ON THE IMPROVE: #7 SARATOGA // RACE 8 (5:03PM ET) // ALLOWANCE // 7 FURLONGS (DIRT) #2 Meister has been third in 3 starts since breaking maiden first out at Ellis Park. He’s been gelded since his last start in November and will race with first-time Lasix for trainer Ian Wilkes and jock Irad Ortiz. The gelding has improved Beyer Speed Figures in all four races and has a bullet five-furlong work for this. He will try to make an impact late from off the pace. This water seems a bit deep for him. #3 Ten for Ten raced in the Gr. 2 Remsen and Gr. 3 Nashua last year and showed the early pace in both before fading to second. This shorter distance should be better for him. He last raced July 17 and didn’t fire with first-time Lasix for trainer Shug McGaughey. Two of his best races has come in the slop. #4 Speaker’s Corner figures live in here as two of the world’s leading racing stables lock horns with a pair of homebreds.  Bill Mott trains this son of Street Sense for Godolphin as they meet #5 Ducale for Juddmonte. This colt was a slow-breaking third first out here last year and then won a 7-furlong maiden race at Belmont in October. He’s been favored in both starts. He has a nice 1:00 4/5 gate drill over the Spa training track and will race first-time Lasix under Jose Ortiz. #5 Ducale makes his third start for trainer Brad Cox (incredible 39% winner here). The Juddmonte homebred son of Twirling Candy was favored in both starts, breaking maiden last out going seven furlongs here July 17. That was an impressive performance and a repeat makes him a winner here. He’s got enough speed to be close early and Manny Franco returns in the saddle. #1 Mahaamel adds some early spice and overall interest to the race. This son of Into Mischief has made 3 starts for trainer Todd Pletcher and they’ve all been at seven furlongs and pretty good efforts. His best came over a ‘muddy’ Belmont strip when he broke maiden, but he’s been second and third in the other two. He’s drawn outside the other speed in here and that’s an advantage. He should have something big to say about the outcome of this race. #6 Defeater invades from Fair Grounds where he made two starts one in Jan and one in Feb. The former was an off-the-pace sprint tally and the latter was a late-finishing runner-up effort around two turns. This son of Union Rags obviously is talented and will be coming late under jockey Joel Rosario for trainr Tom Amoss (21% here). #1A Ashiham broke maiden last out in his sixth lifetime start. That was here, a year ago, going one mile and one-eighth. He’s coupled in here with a Pletcher stablemate and appears the less threatening of the two, mostly because his closing style at a distance of ground hasn’t been enough to get there. Connections hope things heat up early in here so this son of Tapit has something to run at. He’s improved steadily but probably is a reach in here. #7 Will Sing for Wine hasn’t raced since December and has just one win in 9 starts. That was one mile at Aqueduct and was fast enough to sniff these. Still, this field seems fairly deep and this might be a prep for longer. #8 Mr. Tip won a $50k starter last out going around two turns at Churchill. He was claimed for $20k in Feb. at Gulfstream. He’s got 4 wins—3 more than anyone else in here—and his trainer is running red-hot (29%). Still, he’s got no early speed and seems overmatched late. TOP PAIR: #4, #5 SARATOGA // RACE 9 (5:39PM ET) // G2 SARATOGA SPECIAL S. // 6 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Nakatomi won first out in slop at Keeneland then dwelt in Gr. 2 Norfolk at Ascot. Bounce back for Ward from rail? #2 Gunite ran fast and strong to win a maiden race at Churchill but adds blinkers off the win for trainer Steve Asmussen, who’s batting 24% here. Why the blinks? Trainer must think there’s more in the tank. #3 Ottoman Empire adds blinks off a disappointing try in the Gr. 3 Sanford at nearly 10-1. Best in previous, first out start at Churchill while winning a slow-ish heat. #4 Kitodan broke maiden last out in fourth career start. Needs to go faster in here. #5 Midnight Worker won only start at 10-1 by game head here at Spa for Todd Pletcher. Will need to step up his game to add this to his resume. Still, I. Ortiz and Pletcher are nearly 30% together and 10-1 odds are interesting for price seekers. #6 Stolen Base if fresh off a recent romp against restricted maidens in fast time going five and one-half furlongs here. He’s 8-1 in a competitive race for hot conditioner Mike Maker at 29%. #7 Double Thunder is 2 for 2, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velasquez. He’s 6-1 partially because his wins came at Monmouth and at Churchill. The most recent was in the Gr. 3 Bashford Manor when he hopped at the start and then rallied to win going away. Seems an interesting price on this one. #8 Doctor Jeff won his only start over a ‘good’ Belmont track going six furlongs. The race was originally scheduled for turf and he beat just 4 other foes in fast time. He’s 2-1 on the morning line off that effort but others seem as talented…or at least possibly as talented. Did the ‘off’ track move him up? How will he deal with more pressure, additional foes, Spa surface? Too many questions at a short price. #9 Dance Code broke maiden first out at Parx and then stumbled badly at the start of the Gr. 3 Sanford at nearly 30-1. Seems in tough here but should run better than last. Exotics bomb? #10 Glacial won wire-to-wire first out and then was third-best in the Bashford Manor behind #7 Double Thunder. Bit slow Beyers for our tastes. #11 High Oak won first out for trainer Bill Mott--a trainer known for having young horses race into shape. Could be more in the tank second time out but will need to go much faster, according to Beyer Speed Figures. #12 Red Run was a lukewarm favorite when disappointing last out in the common Bashford Manor at Churchill. Before that he broke maiden in the slop at the ‘Downs as odd-on choice. Jockey Santana stays with #2 Gunite, also for trainer Assmussen. This guy would need to turn it around Beyer-wise to threaten in here. SPREAD-ISH: #5 #6, #7, #9AGAINST: #8 SARATOGA // RACE 10 (6:13PM ET) // G1 FOURSTARDAVE H. // 1 MILE (TURF) #1 Raging Bull won the Grade 1 Makers Mark at Keeneland in April and then returned in what appeared to slam dunk spot in the Gr. 3 Poker. He was upset by the accomplished, pregnant, 7-year-old Oleksandra. Moral of the story…don’t mess with mamma. Fifth in this race last year and second the year before that, Raging Bull figures strong in here. He’s 6 years old but seems to be in sold form. The rail, Irad Ortiz, Chad Brown, a multiple Grade 1 stakes winner, all positives. He does come from off the pace and might need pace help that should come from #8 Blowout, also from the Chad Brown stable. #2 Whisper Not invades from the coast for trainer Richard Baltas. A Grade 3 stakes winner, this 4-year-old seems overmatched in here. However, Baltas knows what he’s doing and it’s doubtful that he’d ship cross-country for no reason. On paper, this guy needs to move forward to contend but gut feeling says there may be more than meets the eye. Exotics? #3 Daddy Is a Legend also is a 6-year-old mare whose best races were in 2019. She’s won 5 of 19 lifetime but is just 1-10 at this distance. She seems in deep this time but was third last out in June against mares in the Gr. 1 Just a Game at Belmont. #4 Casa Creed knocked down a Grade 1 triumph in the six-furlong Jaipur at Belmont last out in June. That was one of the best races of his career and it came on the heels of 7-furlong stakes victory, but he’s just 2 for 11 at this one-mile distance. He finished third in this race last year as a 4-year-old. He has a win over this course at this distance in the Gr. 2 Hall of Fame in 2019. Solid this season since well-beaten try in BC Mile, he’s probably one you need in exotics. #5 Set Piece has won three in a row, including the Gr. 2 Wise Dan last out at Churchill. He’s a 5-year-old who’s fired the best races of his career in his last 2 starts. Trainer Brad Cox is going gangbusters this season, winning at nearly 40% at the Spa. This gelding’s running style is from well off the pace and he and #1 Raging Bull will be looking for room when the real running starts. He should benefit from whatever pace is set by #8 Blowout. This guy’s good right now. Tough to look past him. #6 Got Stormy is one of 3 mares in here. She was best in 2019, re-invented in 2020 as a late-running sprinter and now, at 6, seemingly, not as good. She gets in light for 0-16 Spa trainer Mark Casse and loves the Saratoga lawn with 2 wins and a second in as many tries. She’s also 9 for 19 at the distance. Again, most of that success came earlier in her career. #7 Field Pass figures to get a nice trip behind ‘rabbit’ pacesetter #8 Blowout. He hasn’t quite been good enough to finish the job at this level, but he’s only 4 years old, so better could be coming down the road. Trainer Mike Maker has been on fire at the Spa, hitting at nearly 30%. #1 Raging Bull and #5 Set Piece have defeated this one in the past. #8 Blowout is interesting. While it appears like the mare’s in the race to set the pace for stablemate #1 Raging Bull, she’s got a pretty solid record against her own sex and is Gr. 1 placed—lost Matriarch by a nose in November. She’s been worse than second once, when third, so you won’t find a more honest mare anywhere. All 8 of her losses have come by less than a length and most by a mere neck. How will she match up against males? Probably pretty well. She’s made 3 starts at Saratoga with 2 seconds and 1 third, so she handles the course well. She’ll do her job of setting an honest pace, will she do it too well and hang on for the win? ONE TO BEAT: #1 Raging BullHOT: #5 Set PieceWHAT'S HE DOING HERE?: #2 Whisper Not SARATOGA // RACE 11 (6:47PM ET) // ALLOWANCE // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (TURF) #1 Volkert, a 3-year-old, won first out going six furlongs over a ‘good’ Belmont turf course in June at nearly 65-1 odds. A July effort at this level was poor. Needs quick turnaround. Pass. #2 Neuro broke maiden in his 14th start last out over this course at this distance. Was second in the race before that. Has some efforts that fit with these, but that overall mark for a low-profile barn is difficult to take. Not impossible, but a reach. #3 Frat convincingly defeated ‘open’ foes at Monmouth last out. He had failed in 8 previous starts, most of them for a state-bred $40k tag. He has speed and an inside draw which should help his cause. Those maiden claiming defeats stick in our craw. He’ll make them run early, but it’s ‘late’ when the issues arise. #4 Dr. Blute gets a rider change to Jose Ortiz and that’s notable because trainer Kimmel bats 22% overall with Jose. This 3-year-old gelding won first out over a sloppy track, finished second next out at this level on turf and then failed in a ‘muddy’ stakes. He showed a bit of life last out in Spa mud and should appreciate a return to turf. Something to think about. #5 Clamor is a 5-year-old with 1 win and one second in 15 starts, mostly for claiming tags. Probably not. #6 Halpert, a 3-year-old, has 1 good race out of 5 and that was a ‘muddy’ Aqueduct score in November. Irad Ortiz replaces brother Jose in the saddle for tough luck trainer Jeremiah Englehart (1 for 23 at Spa with 6 seconds). He did close some ground in his last going six furlongs but needs to do much better to win this. #7 Luna’s in Charge has won just 1 race in 16 tries and at 5-years-old would be a surprise. Trainer Phillip Baur has had a strong Spa stand with 3 wins and 3 seconds out of 12 starters here. #8 Mommie’s Jewel broke maiden last out here in mud. Close in 3 of 5 previous career races, mostly for state-bred claiming $40k, this 4-year-old has some talent, but would need to be faster to win this. Jose Ortiz won on this colt last out and jumps to #4 Dr. Blute. #9 Dr. Duke didn’t handle a muddy track, first against elders last out, but was second by a head on turf at Gulfstream against fellow allowance sophs before that. The colt showed speed down south and has tried stakes foes without disgrace. Jose Ortiz is replaced by Eric Cancel for low-profile trainer Jena Antonucci. #10 Phantom Smoke adds Lasix in third start off layoff for trainer Christophe Clement. The 3-year-old colt won first out, so he can fire fresh, gets Rosario, 25% with Clement at the Spa, and has enough speed to be stalking the early pacesetters. Clement is 21% off the layoff, 19% first Lasix and 23% in turf sprints—all solid numbers. Count him ‘in.’ MOST INTERESTING: #4, #10 DEL MAR // RACE 1 (5:00PM ET) // CLAIMING // 1 MILE (DIRT) #1 Diva’s Finale had blinkers removed last out and closed some ground late to be third at one level above this going five and one-half furlongs. That effort suggests to connections that additional ground will be welcome at this career lowest level. #2 Mr. Pickles scored at Pleasanton going one mile and 70 yards last out at this level. That was the gelding’s third win in 13 starts. These should be stronger than what he faced last out but at least he’s in good form. #3 Bourbonwithatwist also arrives from Pleasanton, out of a five and one-half furlong sprint. He’s got speed and could get away a  bit up front in here. How long he’ll stay around is the question. #4 Launch Pad adds blinkers in here for 1 for 38 trainer Bob Hess. Claimed for $20k in April, this ridgeling was a well-beaten third at the distance for $20k earlier this meeting. #5 Achilleus broke maide at the $30k level and was claimed from the effort in April. Last out was not great in a $16k non-winners of 2. Pass. #6 Language Barrier enters off 2 poor efforts and may have been entered to make the race go for trainer O’Neill’s other runner #1 Diva’s Finale. #7 Sometimes Always just broke maiden for $20k at Del Mar July 30. This isn’t an especially tough group, so a repeat tally for this guy isn’t impossible. He’s got speed and Rispoli returns in the irons. It should be noted that the gelding has been claimed in 4 of his 6 starts and makes his second start for Matt Shirer. BEST: #1, #7 DEL MAR // RACE 2 (5:30PM ET) // CLAIMING // 1 1/16 MILES (TURF) #1 Jasikan has been gone since Feb when a claim for $32k was voided. A slight drop down the ladder makes sense for trainer John Sadler during an uncharacteristically rough meeting (3 for 42). He has no speed and is just 2 for 10 on turf. #2 French Getaway closed well to just miss by three-quarters of a length July 17 on Del Mar turf. Trainer Hess is looking for his second win of the meeting and jockey Mike Smith returns in the saddle for this 8-year-old. He needs some racing luck but often is around for a slice. #3 Luck of the Draw was claimed last out for $25k and emerges from a common race with many in here. He’s got some speed but Rispoli probably will allow him to sit inside and wait for late racing room. Trainer Peter Eurton is having a solid meet and this guy seems like a smart claim. #4 Irish Heatwave drops back to this claimed level of $25k where he was second in January at Santa Anita. It’s the type of aggressive placing that helps trainer Peter Miller win races in bunches. This 5-year-old gelding has shown speed on occasion and Hernandez won going wire-to-wire with him going one mile and one-eighth in May. He looks live. #5 Full of Luck comes out of the common July 17 $25k race where he was 28-1 and finished sixth. The field was well-bunched at the finish that afternoon, so it may be advisable to look elsewhere for the winner of this rematch. This 8-year-old hasn’t won since March for $20k on Golden Gate’s main track. #6 The Black Album also comes out of the common July 17 race--eighth, beaten 3 lengths. He was claimed there for $25k and had been claimed out of his previous start for $32k. He’s entered here for $22,500 and the descending claiming prices don’t inspire confidence. #7 Storm the Bastille is another out of the July 17 common race. He was claimed out of that race and out of his previous start, both for $25k. Both recent races were solid efforts. He should be respected but not feared. He’s just 2 for 19 lifetime. One of those wins did come over Del Mar turf. #8 Wesphire races for a tag for the first time and that’s always a good time to take a second look at any runner. 0-12 trainer Andrew Lerner adds blinkers. Most of this one’s 9 starts have come at Golden Gate—on turf and main track. This 5-year-old gelding really has no speed and that makes his job more difficult than it should be. A class drop to the claiming level might help. He was 85-1 last out in a $40k optional claimer/allowance race at Santa Anita and 44-1 in a Golden Gate optional claiming $62. BEST: #4NEXT BEST: #3 DEL MAR // RACE 3 (6:00PM ET) // CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Bella Renella was claimed for $12,500 last out in June and returns at a likely level for veteran trainer Bill Spawr—9% off the claim. Rail isn’t the best place to sprint from at Del Mar and Spawr has another more live in #6 Vegan. This one may have been entered to help to make the race go.  #2 Summer Love tumbles from a longshot try at the $32k level. This is a much more acceptable assignment, but the filly hasn’t really run well since a wire-to-wire effort at the $16 non-winners of 2 level in November and a wire-to-wire trip is unlikely for her. #3 Win Often last out raced for a tag for the first time since winning a state-bred $50 maiden race first out in October of ’19. He’ll need to turn his recent stuff around under apprentice Alex Centeno (0-12 at the meet). #4 Dozo was claimed last out at this level after setting the pace and backing up. She’s got speed and will use it under Maldonado for trainer Steve Knapp. She’s won 2 of 4 races and that’s a pretty solid resume in here but that’s the wrong style.  #5 Sweet Soulmate went wire-to-wire to defeat $16k non-winners of 2 last out. She just hung on at the finish. She used the same tactics effectively to break maiden at the $30k level. Expect her and #4 Dozo to hook up early, which won’t help either one of them. #6 Vegan ran well to be second at about this level in June at Sant Anita. It appears trainer Bill Spawr has found the correct spot for this one as she’s just outside the two other speed horses in here and the claiming level seems ideal. She should run well. #7 Trip to Freedom goes for Jerry Hollendorfer off a poor effort for $40k July 30. The drop makes sense and could be the key as connections search for the right spot. She’s been most successful when racing on the lead and she’ll have company early in here. Best news for her is that she’s drawn outside the other speed. BEST: #6 VeganNEXT: #7 Trip to Freedom DEL MAR // RACE 4 (6:34PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 1 MILE (TURF) #1 She’s So Special returns to face allowance company after a couple of stakes tries. She’s appears well-spotted for trainer Peter Miller and jockey Rispoli. She’s 3 for 10 on turf but the one-mile distance hasn’t been her best trip so far (0-3). She should get a real nice pace to chase and should be able to save ground on the rail and be looking for a way through in the lane. #2 Quiet Secretary has speed and should show the way from an inside post position. She’s been a consistent sort with 3 wins from 7 turf starts, including a win over the Del Mar layout. Baze got to know her last out and isn’t shy about going to the lead. #3 Querelle also starts for the Pete Miller barn and must overcome a 0-8 record at the distance on turf. That’s asking a lot. She is in good form following a runner-up effort at five furlongs on turf July 25. She seems like the less of the Miller pair. #4 She’s Our Charm hasn’t been out since May and should add some pace to this race, particularly fresh off a layoff. She’s been a steady performer for breeder and trainer Ron McAnally, although Del Mar has not been her favorite turf course. She’ll be around a while up front. #5 Lounge Act seems overmatched and has two wire-to-wire turf wins and that’s not the style that’s going to work in here. #6 Trickle In makes a first start for trainer Doug O’Neill She boasts three wire to wire wins, including a stakes win at Delaware Park in July ’20. With all the speed signed on in here, something’s got to give. #7 Disappearing Act has been plying her trade at longer distances. She doesn’t have the stakes experience of some of her foes, but her closing style ought to work well in here and jockey Van Dyke is patient enough to make that plan of attack work. She finished behind #2 Quiet Secretary last out going one mile and one-eighth at Del Mar, but there seems to be enough speed in here to force the early pace more at this one-mile distance. #8 Golden Curl is a new face locally that was claimed for $40k at Keeneland in April. She’s had some allowance experience but has done her best work at the claiming level. This will be her first start for trainer Tim Yakteen and she’s in for the $62,500 tag. She’s another in here that likes to race on the front end, but does have an off-the-pace score showing last Sept. #9 Hotitude will shed blinkers for this. She hasn’t started since May and was basically a sprinter with just one try at this distance on turf. This appears to be a race designed to leg her up for a cut back sprint attempt. BEST: #1NEXT: #7 DEL MAR // RACE 5 (7:06PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Macho Queen went for $70k as a 2-year-old and has slow-ish works on tab for this rail debut. #2 Wetherly had a difficult first out at 30-1 odds and will need to show more. #3 Baby Steps beat 4 foes home first out at 7-1. Apprentice Emily Ellingwood tries her hand here for trainer Ryan Hanson. She brought $70k as a 2-year-old. #4 Sugar Sugar showed speed and faded late for Peter Miller first out against straight maidens July 31. The experience of a solid recent first race always helps. She has to be considered. #5 Ruby Ray makes her third start for trainer Doug O’Neill and was a $55k 2-year-old purchase. She’s shown some speed but faded badly in her last when blinkers were added. They come off for this. #6 Rock the Belles is a first-time starter from the dangerous Luis Mendez barn. She sports a best of 84 :46 2/5 bullet for this. Guessing the $20k 2-year-old purchase has speed. #7 Sacred Beauty is by Classic Empire and went for $80k as a yearling at Keeneland. She’s had a solid series of works so she should be fit. Nothing too flashy, though and the trainer is 0-15 with first time starters. #8 Talkative Gal is a third time starter for trainer Doug O’Neill. Her first was horrible and she dropped to the $50k level and ran better. What might we get this time? #9 Half Past Twelve is a second-time starter for Steve Knapp. She broke slow first out and ran evenly at 39-1 odds. She was a $30k Keeneland yearling purchase. #10 She’s Got a Way goes first time for trainer Peter Eurton who’s not known to win with first time starters (3%). An $80k yearling purchase, she has some nice works showing, especially a 1:00 gate move at Del Mar that was 4th best of 30 August 2. Love a solid 5-furlong gate work. BEST: #4NEXT: #10 See you Saturday!

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8.12.2021:

Frank Carulli: Pimlico Late Pick 4 Ticket | Friday, August 13

Pimlico's Late Pick 4 paid $454 for a 50-cent ticket last week. Considering the winners' odds were 5-2, 8-5, 4-1 and 9-1, it's worth playing again. Here's a first look at the races in this week's sequence:    RACE 6 (3:33PM ET) // CLAIMING // 1 1/16 MILES (DIRT) DIAMOND SETTER lost by more than 7 lengths in his last two starts at Parx, but it's interesting to note that both winners are a combined 14-80 with $521k in earnings and trained by Jamie Ness, who claimed Diamond Setter. PITCHING ARI got the jump on the odds-on favorite, bid 3-wide to a brief stretch lead and was outkicked by the 16-1 winner at Monmouth. GREEK PRICE tracked a fast pace while 3-wide, took over at the top of the stretch and was never threatened at 22-1 odds, earning a spot on the Pick 4 ticket. RACE 7 (4:06PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 1 1/16 MILES (TURF) MR. J. McKAY tracked the 3-to-2 debut winner and 8-to-5 second favorite through solid splits, came under a drive on the far turn and made some headway late while 4-wide. He could lead for as far as he goes today despite starting outside. CONTENDED NOW was slowed by the pace in a well-bet MSW debut, then was no factor with Lasix on soft turf in his follow-up. He shows a bullet workout on the main track and deserves a second look. LIGHTNING ROD returns from a 5-1/2 month layoff as a gelding for solid turf connections. RIP IT just missed in the same spot but offers little value and will be omitted on the ticket. He bid 3-wide into a fast pace and drew even in early stretch, only to lose by a neck against a pace setter who was winless in 10 starts. RACE 8 (4:39PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 1 1/16 MILES (DIRT) TAPPIN CAT, first or second in 14 of 24 starts, briefly 'gained command' with a 3-wide rally on the final turn last out at one mile. But he was no match for longshot Honor the Fleet (28/6-4-2, $272k), who awakened for his first win this year and tested stakes company since then. THUNDERSHOOK controlled an easy pace en route to his third consecutive victory going a route of ground and he can make good use of his speed in this spot, too. RACE 9 (5:12PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 1 MILE (TURF) WHO U GONNA CALL switches back to turf after a much improved effort in a main-track route off the claim, finishing second to stablemate Mit Mazel (3-11, $89k). Her uncoupled running mate today, FOOL YOURSELF, fits a similar profile, winning two in a row in the Gonzalez barn. She also has a big turf number to run back to when she debuted last year as a 2-year-old. BECKON has two wins, three seconds in photo finishes and a third in long-distance grass tests this year, all from up-close to the pace. Her third was against stakes winner Out of Sorts (3-8, $155k). MAUREENLOVESFRANK exited a triple key race two back, buried lesser rivals in a dirt route and should be used on the ticket at 10-1. PIMLICO LATE PICK 4 TICKET RACE 6: 3, 6, 7RACE 7: 1, 2, 9RACE 8: 2, 3RACE 9: 2, 4, 5, 7COST: $36

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8.12.2021:

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

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: BUse: 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: BUse: 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.

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8.12.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Thursday, August 12

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: BSingle: 3-Daufuskie Island Forecast: The opener is a state-bred juvenile sprint filled with question marks that reduces the handicapping process to an educated guess. Daufuskie Island is bred for speed on both sides of his pedigree, shows a brief but intriguing work tab, and looked pretty good on video when breezing a half mile over the Saratoga training track six days ago in :48 3/5, the second fastest of 29 for the distance. The J. Englehart-trained colt displayed quick action and good athleticism to indicate he might have more zip than what he was being allowed to show. The barn has had a slow meeting but overall has okay stats with first-timers, so in a wide open affair the son of Goldencents may be as good any. We’ll try him in the win pool and in rolling exotic play but if you feel the need to spread, go right ahead. RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: B-Use: 1-Flashing Red; 4-Candy Flower Forecast: Flashing Red moves up a notch following a rare $32,000 claim by trainer H. DePaz. She adds blinkers for the first time, stretches out again, and switches to speed rider R. Santana, so from her favorable inside draw the daughter of Violence surely will be sent to establish the running, a strategy that has worked for her in the past. Candy Flower makes a barn switch to M. Maker and is another that likes to be on or near the lead, though her “speed” shows up more often in marathon traces. Today, we expect a stalk and pounce trip from the Twirling Candy filly, who has utilized that tactic for success in the past. In a field lacking in effective closers, these are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics. RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: BSingle: 5-Mrs. Orb Forecast: Mrs. Orb is the high weight at 123 lbs. in today’s listed Saratoga Dew H. and based on her present form the veteran mare should be able to add to her impressive resume. First or second 15 of 25 career outings, the M. Micelli-trained 6-year-old is fresh from winning the Caesar’s Wish S. at Pimlico six weeks ago, has trained steadily since, and has run well (twice second) in her two previous outings over the Saratoga main track. She may not be the most accomplished entrant in the field but she’s probably the most reliable. Simply Ravishing was a Grade-1 winning filly as a two-year-old but that’s no guarantee that she’s the same filly now. Last of six in her only 2021 appearance during the sprint meeting at Keeneland (she was favored over Malathaat in the Ashland S.-G1), the daughter of Laoban returns for K. McPeek with a series of drills that – at least in theory - should have her fit enough. But in viewing the videos of her recent workouts it’s hard to have a lot of confidence. A five runner field requires the handicapper to take a stand, so we’ll go with the more dependable Mrs. Orb on top, and if ‘Ravishing goes out and wires the field, good for her, and welcome back. RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: B+Use: 1-Chocolate Cookie; 5-Spungie Forecast: Chocolate Cookie stumbled badly at the start to lose her best chance and then closed wide against slow fractions to be a much-better-than-looked third in a similar event here last month. It was her first outing since last October, and even in defeat she gave the impression of being a better filly now than then. Today, from a good inside draw and with a clean break, a ground-saving trip, and decent fractions in front of her, the daughter of Declaration of War should have every chance to make amends. Spungie pulverized a first-level allowance field last time out in good style, though to be fair the race set up perfectly for her and she didn’t really beat much. Still, the lightly-raced and improving daughter of Hard Spun shows rising speed figures with each outing, and it would be surprising if she didn’t produce yet another forward move today. We’ll give Chocolate Cookie the edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics. RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: B+Single: 9-Key Point Forecast: Key Point has shown enough in the two video workouts we were able to view to expect that the C. Brown-trained colt can win at first asking in this state-bred sprint for juveniles. The son of Into Mischief was hard held in both drills while appearing best in a team and gave the impressive that he could have gone considerably faster if turned loose. He’s been given enough of a foundation to be fit and ready, and in a field in which the known element doesn’t inspire let’s go with this promising newcomer on top in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single. RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: B-Use: 6-Cricket West; 7-Pimenova; 10-Skyward Princess Forecast: Maiden juvenile fillies bred in New York compete in a turf sprint that is loaded with first-timers, three of which appear to be a cut above the others. Skyward Princess, a debuting Air Force Blue filly from the C. Brown barn, looked fairly decent in a recent gate work while best of the team, and considering her pedigree and connections she looks like a live item first crack out of the box. Pimenova, from the first crop of the so far very successful Practical Joke, brought $200,000 through the ring and sports an impressive series of local works that indicate she has plenty of ability. However, the otherwise high-percentage D. Gargan barn has weak stats with debut runners, so we’re not quite sure if we’re going to see a finished product. You have to use her, though. On the other hand, Cricket West comes from the J. Abreu stable, which has a superior record with the first-time-starter angle. In her case, the workout times are okay, not great, but maidens from this outfit almost always run better than they work, so beware. RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: C+Use: 4-Traffic Lane; 7-Malibu Luna; 10-On a Tour Forecast: We’ll go three-deep in this restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares but not with any degree of confidence. You should include as many on your ticket as your budget allows. Malibu Luna takes a nosedive in class while trying to find her proper level on this circuit, and if this isn’t it, she’s in trouble. The W. Mott-trained filly will be making her third start off a layoff and projects to be a strong late factor with anything close to her best effort. A nice half mile breeze last week (4f, :48b) is encouraging. On a Tour tries dirt for the first time and is another big class dropper likely to do her best work from off the pace. Claimed for $50,000 in Florida in February and with only one outing since, she’s obviously had some problems, but with the presence of I. Ortiz, Jr. in the saddle she’s worth including in a soft event. Her normally high-percentage trainer (S. Joseph, Jr.) is due to warm up; at last check he’s saddled one winner at the meet from more than 20 starters. Traffic Lane, third in a similar affair last month, has plenty of early speed, and if she can shake loose early she may get brave late. Toss her in somewhere. RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: BSingle: 6-Chocolate Bar Forecast: This second-level allowance extended sprint projects to have a very soft opening quarter and half. Who can take advantage of the projected race flow? Chocolate Bar, comfortably drawn outside, finished a willing third in a one-turn miler at this level over a sloppy track last time out in what was his first career outing on a surface other than grass. The M. Maker-trained colt certainly has a dirt pedigree (Cairo Prince x Include) and is consistently fast in the speed figure department, so maybe these conditions will suit him just fine. We’re expecting to see him within range of the leader (maybe even on the front end if he’s sent from the bell) and then have every chance when the pressure is turned on. Let’s make him a win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: BSingle: 1-Uncle’s Gem Forecast: Uncle’s Gem is a lightly-raced and progressive filly fresh from a nice maiden tally over this course and distance in her second career start and has upside most of the others in the field do not have. The late-developing 4-year-old daughter of Uncle Mo lands the good rail and projects to be on or near the lead, just as she was last month when beating a next out winner in good style while earning a solid figure. She’ll probably have to step forward to handle this tougher assignment but we’re expecting her to continue her improving pattern as she gains added experience. In a field lacking in effective closers, she appears capable of leading throughout as a win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: BUse: 4-Amano; 4-Group Hug; 8-Semper Fidelis Forecast: The finale is a grass grab bag for maiden $75,000 older claimers. There are many possibilities to consider; we’ll try to get by using just three. Semper Fidelis, away since last December and making just his third career start, showed promise in his brief juvenile campaign in maiden special weight company and returns going long on the lawn for a trainer that hits at a remarkable 29% with layoff runners, so we’re expecting this son of Fast Anna to fire a big shot fresh. He trained well enough at Palm Meadows before shipping north to make our Clocker’s “Primed and Ready” list, so in an open fray he’ll offer a good chance at a nice price. Another making his first start since last year is Amano, who shows the first-time gelding angle for C. Brown along with the class drop from maiden to maiden claimer. A strong threat if he returns as well as he left, the son of Temple City is solid in the speed figure department, drawn comfortably inside, and is reunited with I. Ortiz, Jr., who got good run out of him last year. Group Hug ran reasonably well when runner-up in his only prior outing on grass race earlier this year and shows speed figures that have risen in each of his most recent four starts since joining the M. Maker barn. With another forward move today, he’ll be right there.

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8.11.2021:

Jon White: Whitney Victory Propels Knicks Go Back to Top Spot | Wednesday, August 11

When Knicks Go proved a punctual even-money favorite in Saratoga’s Grade I, $1 million Whitney Stakes at 1 1/8 miles last Saturday, his dominant performance did have Breeders’ Cup ramifications. Knicks Go ran his way right out the Grade I BC Dirt Mile and right into the Grade I BC Classic. After winning the BC Dirt Mile at Keeneland in 2020, he will not be defending his title in that $1 million event this year at Del Mar, according to trainer Brad Cox. In a BloodHorse video the day after the Whitney, Cox told Claire Crosby that Knicks Go is “owed the opportunity” to run in the BC Classic after having already won the BC Dirt last year. In the $6 million BC Classic at Del Mar on Nov. 6, Knicks Go will attempt to successfully stretch his speed out to 1 1/4 miles. Cox has said the plan is for Knicks Go to have one race between now and the BC Classic, though what that one race will be has yet to be determined. A distinct possibility is Churchill Downs’ Grade III Lukas Classic at 1 1/8 miles on Oct. 2, especially since Churchill is where Knicks Go will be stabled at the time of that race. All indications are that when Knicks Go runs in the BC Classic, he will boldly go where he has not gone before, i.e., beyond 1 1/8 miles, Knicks Go began alertly in the Whitney, but he did not immediately clear the field. He vied for the lead in the run to the first turn while racing outside the filly Swiss Skydiver. But then, in the blink of an eye on the turn, Knicks Go opened a daylight advantage before reaching the backstretch. Running on a turn has become something of a weapon for Knicks Go. He seems to possess the athleticism to navigate a turn quicker than his adversaries. His prowess on a turn perhaps helps explain all of Knicks Go’s wins and losses after Cox took over the training duties prior to Knicks Go’s first 2020 start. For Cox, Knicks Go is six for six in two-turn races and winless both times he’s raced around one turn. Knicks Go finished fourth in the Group I, $20 million Saudi Cup at about 1 1/8 miles around one turn on Feb. 20, then also ran fourth in the Grade I, $1 million Met Mile around one turn on June 5. Last Saturday, Knicks Go opened up a commanding five-length lead early in the run down the backstretch while smoothly rolling along for jockey Joel Rosario. Approaching the far turn, Knicks Go’s lead diminished “as he was given a breather,” as accurately noted in the Equibase race chart. Turning for home, Swiss Skydiver loomed menacingly when she moved up to get within about a length of Knicks Go at the quarter pole. But then, after Knicks Go drifted a bit wide coming into the lane, he found another gear in upper stretch. Knicks Go kicked away to increase his lead to three lengths a furlong out, then continued home strongly to prevail by 4 1/2 lengths in an excellent 1:47.40. Knicks Go recorded fractional times in fifths of :23 2/5, :23 1/5, :23 2/5, :24 2/5 and :12 4/5. The $535,000 first prize in the Whitney raised Knicks Go’s career bankroll to $5,368,995. The four opponents left in his wake last Saturday have all earned in excess of $1 million. Maxfield never threatened and finished second. Silver State briefly looked dangerous from along the inner rail coming into the lane, but then lacked the needed punch in the final furlong and came in third. Swiss Skydiver, racing for the first time since April 17, weakened in the stretch and finished fourth, nearly 11 lengths behind Knicks Go. By My Standards trailed throughout after stumbling at the start. In the wake of Knicks’ Go’s resounding triumph in such a strong edition of the Whitney, the 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Paynter regained the top spot in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. Knicks Go ranked No. 1 in week one of the poll on Feb. 16. That was after Knicks Go had won Gulfstream Park’s Grade I Pegasus World Cup in front-running fashion by 2 3/4 lengths at 1 1/8 miles on Jan 23. Below is the Top 10 as it was in the first NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll of 2021: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 341 Knicks Go (27)2. 250 Charlatan (4)3. 232 Maxfield (1)4. 223 Monomoy Girl (3)5. 146 Colonel Liam6. 124 Swiss Skydiver7. 102 Jesus’ Team8. 72 Gamine9. 56 Channel Maker10. 55 Whitmore But Knicks Go was able to stay in the top spot for only one week. After he finished fourth in the Saudi Cup on Feb. 20, he slipped to No. 2. Saudi Cup runner-up Charlatan replaced Knicks Go at No. 1. This is where Knicks Go has ranked each week in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poo from week one on Feb. 16 to week 26 this week: 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 4, 4, 5, 3, 4, 3, 2, 10, 10, 10, 9, 7, 7, 6, 6, 6, 1 The drop from No. 2 to No. 10 occurred after Knicks Go’s defeat as the 4-5 favorite in the Met Mile on June 5. Silver State won the Met Mile. That same Silver State was no match for Knicks Go in the Whitney. And now Knicks Go has regained the No. 1 position. Maxfield this week drops to No. 5 from No. 2, while Silver State moves down to No. 6 this week after being No. 5 last week. Below is the Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 374 Knicks Go (29)2. 326 Letruska (7)3. 269 Essential Quality (1)4. 251 Domestic Spending (2)5. 250 Maxfield6. 148 Silver State7. 92 Gamine8. 65 Mandaloun9. 56 Hot Rod Charlie10. 52 Mystic Guide ANOTHER SNAZZY BEYER SPEED FIGURE I wrote this last week: “I am looking for Knicks Go to seize the lead at once and set the early pace without being hooked. If that happens, I believe he has a good chance of running a Beyer in the ballpark of 108 to 113, as he did in the BC Dirt Mile, Pegasus World Cup and Cornhusker. That type of Beyer might well be sufficient for Knicks Go to win.” It turned out that Knicks Go was hooked for a brief time early by Swiss Skydiver. But as noted earlier, Knicks Go did achieve separation from the pack on the first turn. He received a 111 Beyer Speed Figure for his Whitney victory. Knicks Go now has registered the two highest Beyers so far this year. Below are the Beyers of 107 or higher this year to date at any distance on dirt, turf or synthetic: Beyer Horse (Finish, Race, Track, Date) 113 Knicks Go (1st, Cornhusker H., PrM, July 2)111 Knicks Go (1st, Whitney, Sar, Aug. 7)109 Mischevious Alex (1st, Carter H., Aqu, April 3)109 Essential Quality (1st, Belmont S., Bel, June 5)108 Knicks Go (1st, Pegasus World Cup, GP, Jan. 23)108 Mystic Guide (1st, Razorback H., OP, Feb. 27)108 Royal Ship (1st, Californian, SA, April 17)108 Country Grammer (2nd, Californian, SA, April 17)108 Hot Rod Charlie (2nd Belmont S., Bel, June 5)107 Life Is Good (1st, San Felipe S., SA, March 6) It says something about just what a terrific race Knicks Go ran to win the Whitney that the one of the vanquished, Silver State, was credited with a career-best 102 Beyer Speed Figure even though he lost by 6 1/4 lengths. To add more gloss to Knicks Go’s robust Beyer Speed Figure for his victory last Saturday, the only two Beyers bigger than a 111 by a Whitney winner since Commentator’s huge 120 in 2008 was Honor Codes 113 in 2015 and Gun Runner’s 112 in 2017. Below are the Beyers for the Whitney winners going back to 1990 (the figures prior to this year are listed in the 2021 American Racing Manual, which is now digital only and available for free on The Jockey Club’s website): 2021 Knicks Go (111)2020 Improbable (106)2019 McKinzie (111)2018 Diversify (110)2017 Gun Runner (112)2016 Frosted (107)2015 Honor Code (113)2014 Moreno (109)2013 Cross Traffic (108)2012 Fort Larned (110)2011 Tizway (111)2010 Blame (111)2009 Bullsbay (107)2008 Commentator (120)2007 Lawyer Ron (117)2006 Invasor (113)2005 Commentator (123)2004 Roses in May (114)2003 Medaglia d’Oro (114)2002 Left Bank (121)2001 Lido Palace (114)2000 Lemon Drop Kid (118)1999 Victory Gallop (116)1998 Awesome Again (110)1997 Will’s Way (126)1996 Mahogany Hall (110)1995 Unaccounted For (111)1994 Colonial Affair (111)1993 Brunswick (115)1992 Sultry Song (112)1991 In Excess (116)1990 Criminal Type (115) GRAVEYARD OF FAVORITES? By sending out Essential Quality to win the Grade II Jim Dandy Stakes on July 31 and Knicks Go to take the Grade I Whitney a week later, Cox figuratively thumbed his nose at Saratoga’s reputation for being the “graveyard of favorites.” Essential Quality and Knicks Go both managed to avoid a high-profile defeat a la such luminaries as Man o’ War (who lost to the aptly named Upset), Gallant Fox (Jim Dandy), Secretariat (Onion) and American Pharoah (Keen Ice). While Knicks Go will not race again at the current Saratoga meet, Essential Quality is scheduled to run in the Grade I, $1.25 millionTravers Stakes on Aug. 28. SPEED, SPEED, SPEED IN LONGACRES MILE The Grade III Longacres Mile, the richest and most prestigious race in the Pacific Northwest, will be presented at Emerald Downs this Sunday. The Mile, as it is fondly referred to by Pacific Northwest racing enthusiasts, is steeped in history. It was run for the first time in 1933. I picked Anothertwistafate to win the 2020 Mile. I figured that he would be a strong favorite, which he was, going off at odds of 6-5. But I felt confident that he would get the job done. Anothertwistafate did win the 2020 Mile with authority by 4 1/2 lengths. As for this year’s Mile, I think the pace situation makes it very tricky to correctly forecast the winner. This is a race loaded with front-runners. Anyportinastorm, assigned top weight of 123 pounds, heads the field of 11. In his most recent start, the 7-year-old Florida-bred son of City Zip finished fourth in the Oak Tree Sprint at Pleasanton, which was won by Law Abidin Citizen. Law Abidin Citizen captured the 2019 Longacres Mile. I am not going with Anyportinastorm as my top pick. Below are my Longacres Mile selections: 1. Five Star General (5-2 morning-line favorite)2. Anyportinastorm (3-1)3. Papa’s Golden Boy (9-2)4. Background (5-1) Five Star General finished second in last year’s Mile. Papa’s Golden Boy set the pace and ended up fifth. I was tempted to go with Papa’s Golden Boy as my top pick in this year’s Mile off his splendid 2021 form. Yes, he faltered in the stretch in this race last year. But I think he is much better this year. Maybe Papa’s Golden Boy will be the speed of the speed this Sunday and lead all the way. I do respect him a lot. But I just couldn’t pull the trigger to put him on top when he has yet to prove he can win going this far. Five Star General is my top pick because he certainly is not a question mark to get a mile. He goes into this year’s Mile off a sparkling 6 1/4-length victory in a 1 1/16-mile race at Hastings on July 13. In Five Star General’s three starts at one mile, he’s won twice and, as noted earlier, finished second in the 2020 Mile. A Mile entrant that should not be taken lightly is Background, who comes off a narrow loss when second on synthetic footing in Arlington Park’s Hanshin Stakes at one mile on June 26. He is switching to the dirt in the Mile. Background did win a pair of races on the dirt at Oaklawn Park earlier this year. AN IMAGINARY SERIES: CHINOOK PASS VS. TURBULATOR The day after this Sunday’s Longacres Mile is run will mark the 51st anniversary of Turbulator’s triumph in the 1970 Governor’s Handicap at Longacres when he broke the world record for 6 1/2 furlongs by two-fifths of a second. Another outstanding Washington-bred, Chinook Pass, took the Governor’s Handicap in 1982. Turbulator and Chinook Pass are, without question, two of the greatest Washington-breds of all time. They both are members of the Washington Racing Hall of Fame. Like Turbulator, Chinook Pass was a world-record setter. In the case of Chinook Pass, he broke the world mark for five furlongs at Longacres in 1982. Chinook Pass was the Washington-bred Horse of the Year in 1982 and 1983. Bud Klokstad trained Chinook Pass in 1982, then Laurie Anderson conditioned the Native Born gelding in 1983. In 1983, Chinook Pass was voted an Eclipse Award as champion sprinter. Chinook Pass remains the only Washington-bred Eclipse Award winner. As for Turbulator, the Cold Command gelding was the 1970 Washington-bred Horse of the Year when trained by Tom Crawford. Here is a “what if” to consider. What if the two fantabulous Washington-breds Chinook Pass and Turbulator had raced against each other? I pondered how it might -- I repeat, might -- have turned out if Chinook Pass and Turbulator had met in seven races at seven different distances ranging from five furlongs to 1 1/8 miles. I’m talking about “normal” races in the sense that these aren’t seven match races. If these were match races, Chinook Pass would win them all due to his blazing early zip as opposed to Turbulator’s running style of rallying from far off the pace. A front-runner typically has a big advantage in a match race. Also, for the purpose of this exercise, Chinook Pass and Turbulator are both considered to be in their prime for the seven-race series. This is how I think it would turn out in this hypothetical seven-race series featuring Chinook Pass and Turbulator: 5 FURLONGS. Deciding who wins this one is very easy. It’s Chinook Pass. As talented as Turbulator was, I don’t think there is any way he could catch Chinook Pass in a five-furlong race. As a 3-year-old in 1982, Chinook Pass won a five-furlong sprint at Longacres in a scorching :55 1/5, which at the time set a world record. All these years later, Chinook Pass’ :55 1/5 remains the fastest clocking ever posted in a five-furlong race on dirt. Chinook Pass also won the five-furlong Meteor Handicap by three emphatic lengths on the grass at Hollywood Park toward the end of 1982. Finishing second in the Meteor was the wonderful sprinter Dave’s Friend, who won 35 races $1,079,915 during his career. 5 1/2 FURLONGS. This one is pretty easy. Chinook Pass wins again. Chinook Pass was 4 for 4 and Turbulator was 0 for 3 in races at this distance. One of Turbulator’s losses at 5 1/2 furlongs came when he ran third in 1969 while making his career debut on June 7 in an allowance race at Coeur d’Alene, a little track in Idaho. That defeat is not part of Turbulator’s official record because, at that time, Coeur d’Alene was a so-called “bush track.” Races at Coeur d’Alene were not officially recognized by the Daily Racing Form until 1970. But I know that Turbulator did indeed run in that 1969 Coeur d’Alene race. How do I know that? I was there. 6 FURLONGS. Once again Chinook Pass wins. This still just isn’t a long enough race for Turbulator to catch Chinook Pass, who had the sheer speed and the class to become an Eclipse Award-winning sprinter. 6 1/2 FURLONGS. Turbulator wins this time. I give Turbulator the edge at this distance because he did break the world record for this distance by two-fifths of a second at Longacres in 1970. ONE MILE. Turbulator wins. I don’t think Chinook Pass could beat Turbulator going this far. Chinook Pass won the 1983 Longacres Mile with a final time of 1:35 3/5 in what was the final race of his career. At that same track in 1970, I saw Turbulator jump over a fallen rider (Mark Jennings) approaching the clubhouse turn, then rally from 13 1/2 lengths off the pace to win a one-mile race in 1:34 4/5. He uncorked an electrifying final-quarter burst of speed in :23 1/5. Turbulator also smashed a one-mile track record by four-fifths of a second when he won the 1970 Yakima Mile at Yakima Meadows. Turbulator owned that track record for 23 years. Slew of Damascus, who finally broke that Yakima record of Turbulator’s in 1993, went on to win the Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park in 1994. 1 1/16 MILES. No doubt about this one. Turbulator wins. Chinook Pass raced farther than one mile only once, losing by seven lengths when he finished second on a muddy track in the 1982 Puget Sound Handicap at Longacres. Two of Turbulator’s finest performances came in races at this distance. In the 1970 Washington Championship at Longacres, Turbulator packed 128 pounds, won with ridiculous ease by four lengths while under restraint late and shaved two-fifths of a second off a 16-year-old track record. In the 1972 Washington Championship, Turbulator faced a Chinook Pass-like speedster by the name of Grey Papa, who was coming off a win at Longacres in which he had set a world record for six furlongs. In the Washington Championship, Grey Papa sported a two-length lead at the eighth pole. Turbulator was fifth at that point, eight lengths behind Grey Papa. Turbulator zoomed home to win by a half-length in 1:41 2/5, which was just two-fifths off his own track mark. 1 1/8 MILES. This one is a no doubter. As talented as Chinook Pass was, I don’t think there is any way he could beat Turbulator going this long. Again, Chinook lost the only time he raced farther than one mile. Turbulator? He once won a two-mile race by three lengths despite carrying 128 pounds. FINAL SCORE: Turbulator 4, Chinook Pass 3* *Okay, I confess to being biased in that Turbulator is my all-time favorite horse.

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8.11.2021:

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

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: XSingle: 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: BUse: 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.

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8.10.2021:

1/ST Look Gulfstream Stats: Avg. Speed Cemented as Top Factor

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Gulfstream Park. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in South Florida. And be sure to support Gulfstream by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Gulfstream Park.HeadlinesThe Rainbow 6 has a $100,851 carryover in the jackpot bet heading into Friday’s 3-day racing week and $200,000-guaranteed pool … Feature race this week will be Saturday’s $75,000 Benny the Bull Stakes for Florida-bred sprinters … Gulfstream Park, The Jockey’s Guild and the Florida HBPA jointly announced new crop rules Aug. 6 that went into effect immediately, limiting the use of the crop and further enhancing the welfare of the equine athletes … Renovations continue on the new third racing surface, Tapeta, at Gulfstream and it’s scheduled to be unveiled in September … Congratulations to Pegasus World Cup winner Knicks Go, who added Saratoga’s Grade 1 Whitney to his resume Aug. 7.Stronach 5The Stronach 5 is on temporary summer hiatus and expected to return in September.1/ST BET Top Factors Last Week:Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Gulfstream Park last week, each showing a 23% win rate or higher. Avg. Speed was the top-performing factor for the fourth straight week.Avg. SpeedAvg. 2 of 3 SpeedLast Turn TimeTrends Last Week-- Trainer Carlos David continued his recent roll, going 5: 3-1-0. That makes him 7-14 over the past 2 weeks at Gulfstream.-- Trainer Elizabeth Dobles was perfect in 2 starts, winning a pair of overnight stakes at $11 and $23 mutuels. The barn has won with 3 of its last 6 dating back to July 30.-- Jockey Leonel Reyes had perhaps his best week of the summer, posting a 17: 5-1-2 and leading the colony in victories. His $2.40 ROI for every $1 bet was bolstered by $23 and $30 winners. He won races for 5 different trainers.-- Favorites underperformed at 31% on the week and have continued a trend of just over 31% winning favorites for the past month.-- After going 7-16 the previous 2 weeks, Victor Barboza’s barn came back down to earth and was 0-5 last week.

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8.10.2021:

1/ST Look Pimlico Stats: Favorites Handled Business Last Week

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Pimlico. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in Maryland. And be sure to support Pimlico by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Maryland Jockey Club.HeadlinesA $1,350 Super High 5 carryover goes into Friday’s return to racing … Friday’s card includes the debut of Race 4 maiden Ginamaya, a daughter of champion Nyquist and 6-time Maryland Jockey Club stakes winners Lady Sabelia. Her rivals include Frosteria, a daughter of Breeders’ Cup Distaff runner-up and $2.3M earner Hystericalady … Pimlico’s next big stakes card will be Aug. 21 with the All Brandy, Find, Miss Disco and Star De Naskra for Maryland-breds … The MJC autumn season at Laurel begins Sept. 9, featuring the Sept. 18 Grade 3 DeFrancis Dash and Oct. 23 Jim McKay Maryland Million, set for its 37th renewal.Stronach 5The Stronach 5 is on temporary summer hiatus and expected to return in September.1/ST BET Top Factors Last Week:Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Pimlico, each posting at least 29% wins and a flat-bet profit.Win %Best Speed Off TrackDirt PedigreeTrends Last Week-- Jockey Jevian Toledo led the way with a 13: 5-4-0 record, winning all 3 mounts when favored, and posting a $1.62 ROI for every $1 bet. He was 4: 1-3-0 for trainer Richard Sullaman.-- Jockey JD Acosta was on point at 13: 4-3-0. Acosta was 3: 2-1-0 on favorites, but did boot home a pair of $10 scores. All 4 successes were in main-track sprints.-- Jockey Carlos Lopez made the most of limited bids, going 8: 3-1-2 and boasting a $1.48 ROI for every $1 bet. He teamed most with trainer Keiron Magee at 4: 1-1-0.-- Claudio Gonzalez (2-10) and Keiron Magee (2-7) were the only trainers with multiple winners. Magee added a pair of runner-up finishes.-- Favorites showed out strongly behind a 25: 11-5-3 mark that equates to 44% wins and 64% in the exacta.

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8.10.2021:

1/ST Look Golden Gate Fields Stats: Vote for Pedro

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Golden Gate Fields. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in Northern California. And be sure to support GGF by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Golden Gate FieldsHeadlinesGolden Gate will host the Santa Rosa fair racing dates through Aug. 15 … The Rainbow 6 carryover going into Friday is $3,314 and the Super High Five is $1,602 ... Friday’s action begins with a pair of stakes for the Arabian breed and will follow with eight Thoroughbred offerings … Feature race this weekend will be the Robert Dupret Derby for 3-year-olds going 1-1/16 miles on the turf … Trip to Spain, a debut winner July 25 at Golden Gate, parlayed that result into a second-place finish Aug. 8 in Del Mar’s $100,000 Graduation Stakes for 2-year-old Cal-breds. Jamey Thomas trains … San Francisco Mile runner-up Keeperof The Stars did not fare as well in her fifth-place effort in the Aug. 7 Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon at Del Mar.Stronach 5The Stronach 5 is on temporary summer hiatus and expected to return in September.1/ST BET Top Factors Last Week:Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Golden Gate Fields, each posting at least 27% winners.Avg. E2 PaceAll Weather EarningsMud PedigreeTrends Last Week-- Jockey Pedro Terrero was on the money with an 18: 5-6-2 record. He posted a whopping $2.02 ROI for every $1 bet and was a highly reliable 61% in the exacta. He piloted winners for 5 different trainers, including $11, $11 and $39 scores.-- Jockey Catalino Martinez continued his hot run with a 12: 5-2-1 mark. Four of his winners were well-backed at 5-2 or less. He’s now 7-17 over the past 2 weeks.-- Trainer Jonathon Wong turned it up a notch at 13: 4-3-3, though he saddled 8 favorites (3 wins).-- Trainer Reid France was 3: 1-1-1 on the week, and now 9: 5-2-1 from his last 9 local starters.-- Favorites hit just under 35% on the week, up from 28% over the previous 2 weeks combined.

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8.9.2021:

Monday Myths: Who Gets the Credit for Saez's Saratoga Start?

Welcome to a continuing handicapping series for our Monday blog space, “Monday Myths.” Each week I’ll use the power of the Betmix database to take common handicapping assumptions and either support or dispel them with data. Betmix data powers the 1/ST BET app and its features like Angler and Birddog give data-minded horseplayers a treasure trove of information in which to query your own curiosities.Assumption:The hot start for Luis Saez at Saratoga is because he’s getting on the best mounts.Background:Horseplayers (and trainers) often will shrink the importance of riders and associate their success simply by who is the best passenger on the best horse. The winningest jockeys get the best mounts, or, the best mounts go to the jockeys atop the standings. It’s a self-fulfilling circle if you listen to the murmurs. Luis Saez’s 35 wins the first 4 weeks of the Spa meeting has him 7 in front of Jose Ortiz and 10 in front of Irad Ortiz, Jr. Let’s find out how he got here.Data Points:I dialed up the Betmix database to look at Saez’s mounts for the 2021 meet to date, comparing them to the other top-5 riders in the colony and also against his past Saratoga mounts in 2019 and 2020. The key metrics were win percentage, average odds per mount, favorites, $1 ROI for every $1 bet and longshots performance.Luis Saez ranks atop all jockeys in win % at the Saratoga meet with 10 or more mounts at 22.3%.Other top-5 riders at the 2021 meet in terms of win %: Jose Ortiz (19.4%), Irad Ortiz Jr. (16.5%), Tyler Gaffalione (16.0%) and Joel Rosario (15.5%).Luis Saez’s average odds per mount at the 2021 Saratoga meet has been 7.49-1.Other top-5 riders at the 2021 meet in terms average odds per mount: Irad Ortiz Jr. (4.38-1), Jose Ortiz (6.80-1), Joel Rosario (7.01-1) and Tyler Gaffalione (13.01-1).Luis Saez ranks second among all jockeys in terms of favorites ridden at the Saratoga meet with 27.Other top-5 riders at the 2021 meet in terms of favorites ridden: Irad Ortiz Jr. (54), Jose Ortiz (23), Joel Rosario (20), Tyler Gaffalione (6).Luis Saez (17%, 27 of 158) ranks third in terms of percentage of mounts who have been favored at the 2021 Saratoga meet (minimum 10 favorites ridden).Other top-5 riders at the 2021 meet in terms of percentage of mounts ridden who are favored: Irad Ortiz Jr. (36%, 54 of 152), Joel Rosario (18%, 20 of 110), Jose Ortiz (16%, 23 of 144) and Tyler Gaffalione (6.0%, 6 of 100).Luis Saez (37%) ranks second in terms of win percent when riding the favorite at the 2021 Saratoga meet (minimum 10 favorites ridden).Other top-5 riders at the 2021 meet in terms of win percentage aboard favorites: Joel Rosario (45%), Tyler Gaffalione (33%), Jose Ortiz (30%) and Irad Ortiz Jr. (30%),Luis Saez ranks first among all jockeys in terms of $1 ROI for every $1 bet at the Saratoga meet (minimum 50 mounts) at $1.10. He’s the only jockey in the profit in that category (Tyler Gaffalione has been break-even).Other top-5 riders at the 2021 meet in terms of $1 ROI for every $1 bet: Tyler Gaffalione ($1.00), Jose Ortiz ($0.97), Joel Rosario ($0.63) and Irad Ortiz Jr. ($0.55).Luis Saez has 2 longshot winners of 10-1 or more at the 2021 Saratoga meet, which is tied for second-best behind Eric Cancel’s 3.Other top-5 riders at the 2021 meet in terms of longshot winners at 10-1 or more: Tyler Gaffalione (2), Jose Ortiz ($0.97), Joel Rosario (1). The Ortiz Brothers are a combined 0-38 with 10-1 or higher runners.Luis Saez’s 2021 vs. 2020 vs. 2019 Saratoga win percentage: 22% | 18% |13%Luis Saez’s 2021 vs. 2020 vs. 2019 Saratoga average odds per mount: 7.5-1 | 8.3-1 |9.7-1Luis Saez’s 2021 vs. 2020 vs. 2019 Saratoga $1 ROI for every $1 bet: $1.10 | $1.01 | $0.67Luis Saez’s 2021 vs. 2020 vs. 2019 Saratoga percentage of mounts as favorites: 17% |14% | 12%Luis Saez’s 2021 vs. 2020 vs. 2019 Saratoga win % when riding favorites: 37% | 22% | 36%Overall Findings:Irad Ortiz Jr. has ridden by a wide margin the most favorites and highest percentage of mounts as the favorite at the 2021 meet. But it’s Luis Saez doing best in terms of overall wins, win percent and ROI, while riding the second or third-best series of horses according to the metrics studied. When looking at Saez over the past 3 summers, his success has increased while he’s ridden more favorites and lower-priced runners. After a down year in 2020 aboard favorites, he’s making the most of his best mounts this summer so far.Bottom line:No doubt the stock for Saez has improved from 2019-2020 and now into 2021 based on the percentage of favorites ridden and the average price of all his mounts. But he’s still riding arguably the third-best stock at the meet, give or take, behind Irad Ortiz Jr., Jose Ortiz and arguably Joel Rosario. He’s doing the most with his chances, which are carrying more clout at the same time.Additional Details:You can go into Betmix and run your own queries for a deeper dive into this theory and any that you can create. For instance, which trainers has Saez had the most success with at Saratoga? Over the past 3 years, you’d be surprised to know it’s H. James Bond with 13 victories, 29% wins and a $1.42 ROI for every $1 bet.

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8.9.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Woodbine Mohawk Park Early Pick 5 Analysis | Monday, August 9

Tonight's 11 race card at Woodbine Mohawk starts off as usual with the 0.20 Early Pick 5 which has a $100,000 guaranteed pool. It's a competitive sequence and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 13-Heavensdor Hanover (5/2)-McNair is back between the pipes and he has gotten the best out of this 5-year-old the last 2 times he has steered. Should be forwardly placed throughout and it could be the 3rd straight picture with this pilot.7-Okeanos (7/2)-If there is speed battle up front and the fractions are lively this lightly raced 5-year-old should benefit. Makes the 2nd start off the bench and raced from the back in last but came the 2nd half in 55.3. Best to keep in mind, came off the bench and won his 2nd start as the chalk versus this class back in March of 2020. Could history repeat itself?Race 24-Many Moons (7/5)-Looks a cut or two above the rest of the field. Comes off 2 straight wins and has made it looked easy. Stopped the timer in 151.3. in last and with a smooth trip it should be the 3rd win in 4 starts this year.Race 32-Free Willy Hanover (3-1)-Got on the engine and didn't look back in last at 4/5 with Drury aboard but tonight he sticks with Auciello (#3-Buzz). So, Roy will do the steering in the 4th start off the bench and he could follow a similar script. Steps-up and still fits well, was cashing checks versus better at the end of 2020.7-Mister Of All (9/2)-Team Hudon entry comes off a nice qualifier on 8-3. Goes back on Lasix tonight and could be in the mix with this crew if 100%.8-Teddys Littleangel (10-1)-Here's another who has had some issues and comes off a decent qualifier. McNair steers and he was up in the tune-up. This pilot has had success with Teddy before and should offer a nice price in a race without a standout.Race 42-Behavenmyself (7/2)-This mare has done her best work with Roy between the pipes and he is back in the bike. The Johnson barn has won at a 21% clip over the last 30 days. This mare runs hot and cold and could be sitting on a big try tonight.6-T C Scandal (3-1)-Is only 2-22 but comes off a strong effort in last to get its 1st win at Wbsb in 3 tries. Rates a big chance off the last score and is another Johnson entry.9-Vines To Heaven (5/2)-First start off the claim for the Moreau barn and he won with this mare on 7-26. Went off as an odds-on chalk in last and has the gate speed to get the job done from out here.Race 51-Logan Park (3-1)-Took a few weeks off and had a tune-up on 8-2 to get ready for a big purse. Now returns to face Gold company which he has defeated in 2 and 3 back. Should be a main player.5-Publicity Seeker (7/2)-Comes off 2 wins in the Dream of Glory series and has been in the mix at the wire versus Gold company at Wbsb. Winner in 5 of 9 at Mohawk draws a choice post and should be in play early on.11-Fashion Frenzie (9/2)-Comes off a tough trip to cash a 2nd place check in last. Moreau trainee has had some issues, but the talent is there to take the top prize even from the 2nd tier. Has hit the board in 7 of 9 here with 6 pictures. The post helps the price and best to not overlook.My TicketRace 1) 3,7 Race 2) 4 Race 3) 2,7,8 Race 4) 2,6,9 Race 5) 1,5,11Total Ticket Cost) =$10.80 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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8.8.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Hawthorne Racecourse Late Pick 4 Analysis | Sunday, August 8

Hawthorne Racecourse has a Sunday night 13 race card ready to go with the first post coming at 6:30 CST. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 10. The sequence has a $25,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 102-Dune Dame (2-1)-This mare showed more heart in the last win than she usually does. May get a boost of confidence off that game effort and will likely offer a short price. Leonard should have her in play from the start.7-Model (5-1)-Even effort in last versus better and should enjoy the company. Looks like a player and is Seekman's choice over #5. Hasn't raced since 7/17 and will hope the rest helps.8-Rosey Time (3-1)-This barn is 0-12 over the last 365 days and they claimed this 4-year-old mare for a cost of $8,700. Comes right back versus $6k claimers after a 2nd place finish leaving from post 7 and Bender will steer again.Race 112-Dixie Chick (7-1)-This filly is only 1-13 but drops to a better level for success and is Bender's choice over #1. This will be the 3rd race in a row at Haw and should be a player if avoids a tardy start. Using and looking for a price in this leg.4-Skyway Rockatop (7-1)-Drops and figures to be in the mix if the pilot does his part. That isn't a lock to happen, but this group is beatable and should offer a sold price.6-Taken Control (6-1)-Suffered a tough trip in last at this same class and faded down the lane. This filly has hit the board in 5 of 9 in Stickney with 2 wins and has a shot at a fair price. But Wilfong needs to provide a sharp steer and use one big move to take control.8-Sunrise Sweetie (3-1)-Beat this kind last week in the 1st start for the Rittof barn and went off as the post time chalk. Husted steers his own #7 so Todd Warren will drive here. Won off a ground saving trip leaving from post 3. This won't be as easy, but the price should be better, and this isn't a field full of top form.Race 121-Pootie Cat (8/5)-This 4-year-old mare is very camera shy. Usually is there at the wire but is 2-28 in 2020-21 and only 2-27 at Haw. So, it's a guessing game but will use versus this field from the rail even at a short price. Did draw off by >3 lengths last week and maybe that same effort will happen tonight at the same class.6-Always B Mimi (3-1)-Has hit the board in 8 of 11 at Haw with 2 wins. Not as camera shy as #1 but can't be counted on to finish off the mile. But deserves a spot on the ticket before others.Race 131-Round Here Buzz (5/2)-Team Leonard entry is a grinder and is trip dependent. Using in what appears to be another chalky leg. Has a chance to get sucked around and be close to the leader tuning for the wire.6-Partyatmosaplace (2-1)-Winner of 2 straight should do well versus this field. Cashed checks versus Illinois bred stakes company. Should be a major player if dialed on high. This is another from the Leonard barn and they usually have them ready but has missed a start.My Ticket Race 10) 2,7,8 Race 11) 2,4,6,8 Race 12) 1,6 Race 13) 1,6Total Ticket Cost) $24 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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8.8.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Sunday, August 8

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: BUse: 2-Surplus: 4-Hot SpotForecast: Surplus had every chance with backed down to 4/5 at Los Alamitos last month in a similar state-bred maiden sprint, but after comfortably establishing the pace simply couldn’t hang on and missed by a half length while four clear of the rest. The speed figure he earned was 17 Beyer points lower than par for this race and yet he’s the morning line favorite at 8/5 in a commentary on is how weak this race came up. The P. Miller-trained gelding will appreciate this shortened five furlong trip and may respond positively to the blinkers off angle, so while he’ll offer no real wagering value the son of Fed Biz may be about to outlast this group. Hot Spot, somewhat green but finishing with interest in his debut sprinting on grass at Santa Anita in mid-June, has a right to produce a forward move today for a stable that has superior stats with the second time starter angle (30% with a massive ROI). The K. Mulhall-trained gelding has trained very well since his first race, retains J. Valdivia, and should make his presence felt from the quarter pole home. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics; due to price considerations we’ll give the edge on top to Hot Spot.RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: XSingle: 6-DefundedForecast: Defunded was nosed out by stable mate Classier in the Los Alamitos Derby-G3 last month while 14 lengths clear of the rest and today returns to the first-level allowance ranks for what trainer B. Baffert hopes will be a confidence building win. This will be his first start facing older horses, but after earning a career top speed figure in his most recent start and then working in sharp style over the local main track since that outing the son of Dialed In seems certain to continue his improving pattern, especially as a first-time Lasix user. At 9/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, he’s a logical short-priced rolling exotic single.RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Castle; 3-Austin’s BoyForecast: Castle won a $25,000 claiming turf sprint in early May at Santa Anita but then disappeared. He returns three months later in a first-level allowance state-bred affair but is eligible to compete for the huge $72,000 purse only if entered for the optional ($20,000) tag. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if he got claimed and won the purse, and if he returns as well as he left the M. Glatt-trained gelding might do just that. He has seven career wins, including one over this course and distance, and the work tab looks reasonably solid. Austin’s Boy, an easy five length maiden winner sprinting on turf at Santa Anita in February of 2020, finally makes it back to the races and will need to be as good now if not better than he was when last seen to beat this field. The four-year-old gelding shows a series of strong recent drills, and the fact that he’s coming back protected must be viewed as a positive sign. Castle gets the main push, but both should be included in rolling exotic play.RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Commissioner David; 3-Respect the Code; 6-Charter OakForecast: Charter Oak and Respect the Code, third and sixth, respectively, in a high-priced maiden claiming sprint last month, return in this maiden $80,000 seller for juveniles and both have a right to produce a forward move. Of the two, we actually liked the effort by Respect the Code a little bit better, as the son of Honor Code stayed on well through the lane after racing in traffic down the backstretch. With patient tactics today, the P. Miller-trained colt could be a dangerous late threat at 6-1 on the morning line. Charter Oak drew the rail in that race and kept to his task nicely to wind up a close second after settling in the second flight. It was a good effort, though he never had a straw in his path. We’ll also toss in the first-timer Commissioner David, a colt who previewed pretty well in 10 3/5 seconds at the Timonium 2-year-old in training sale and also shows a bullet three furlong local workout in 34 4/5 seconds just four days ago. If he breaks well from the rail, the D. O’Neill-trained colt likely will show enough speed to be a threat.Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade:Use: 1-Iva Toguri; 6-Youonlylivetwice; 9-Big SummerForecast: Big Summer is the logical top pick based on her promising debut performance sprinting on grass in February at Santa Anita. The daughter of Mr. Big was quick enough to rush up from the rail to establish the pace but weakened late to wind up third behind next out winner Another Eddie in a stronger-than-par race for the level. The recent work tab isn’t flashy but it’s healthy and steady so let’s assume that she’s fit enough to pick up where she left off. Youonlylivetwice ran better than the line will show in her debut and could easily improve enough to give ‘Summer a serious challenge from start to finish. The daughter of Midshipman was somewhat green and erratic during the early stages of her race while lacking room along the inside but then finally settled and loomed a threat into the lane before losing her steam in the closing stages. The M. Glatt barn is solid with second-timers and the work tab since that mid-June race is strong and healthy. Iva Toguri is a newcomer bred for speed (Grazen) that has done all of her preliminary work at Los Alamitos. A bullet workout in late July (4f, :47 4/5 seconds, fastest of 19) indicates she may have the kind of speed that can make her competitive.RACE 6: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Trip to Spain; 4-Rock N RyeForecast: Rock N Rye is drawn outside the other speed types in this five and one-half furlong dash for juveniles and seems likely to draft into an ideal, cozy, stalking position. His maiden win in late May was visually pleasing (good gallop out past the wire) so we’re expecting the W. Solis-trained colt to enjoy today’s extra distance and be tough right back. Trip to Spain appears to be the quickest in the field based on his smart gate-to-wire debut win at Golden Gate Fields two weeks ago. The concern is that he’s being wheeled back on short rest while tackling tougher foes following a long van ride and trying conventional dirt for the first time, so if the son of Stay Thirsty can score right back it’ll be to his credit. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Rock N Rye.RACE 7: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: B+Use: 2-Bad Beat Brian; 6-TorosayForecast: There’s a ton of suspect speed signed on in this five furlong grass sprint for first-level allowance/optional claimers so let’s zero in on stalker/closer types and hope that that a pace meltdown sets things up for the late runners. Bad Beat Brian, first off the $40,000 claim for M. Maker, finished well without being knocked about in a similar affair over this course and distance last month and seems likely to step forward for a trainer who’s had this gelding in the past and has done very well with him. A prototype late-running sprinter, the 4-year-old gelding switches to T. McCarthy and projects to settle well off the leaders and then blast home from the quarter pole to the wire. With good racing luck he could be along in time. Torosay, away for almost a year, returns in a logical spot and has run very well over this course in the past, including when last seen in a close third place effort in the 2020 Green Flash H.-G3. The son of Goldencents has run well fresh in the past and shows a work tab that should have him plenty fit; however, he’s always preferred to run second or third (eight times) than win (just once). Both should be used in rolling exotic play with our main punch going to Bad Beat BrianRACE 8: Post: 5:30 PT Grade: CUse: 3-Bonita Leona; 6-Essential Worker; 9-Sally Stanford; 10-Amanda RoseForecast: We’ll spread the eighth race, a guessing game of a maiden claiming sprint for juvenile fillies that is loaded with unknowns and question marks. Nothing would surprise us. Sally Stanford just failed at 30 cents on the dollar in a similar event after having every chance pressing the pace. She gets a break in the weights with the switch to good bug girl J. Pyfer, but that advantage may be offset by today’s half furlong extension in trip. Amanda Rose, drawn directly to her outside, adds blinkers while exiting a much stronger maiden special weight race and seems certain to improve against this group. She should have dead am on the leaders and have her chance to produce the last run. Essential Worker is a first-timer from the P. Miller barn that has done most of her preliminary work at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico. Maybe she can run, maybe she can’t, but you have to use her. Bonita Leona was well-backed (2-1) in her debut vs. straight maidens here last month but had a rough trip and probably didn’t show her best stuff. She made a right hand turn leaving the gate, raced wide, and then wasn’t really preserved with while finishing last of eight, beaten 13 lengths. The Smiling Tiger filly deserves another look at this level.RACE 9: Post: 6:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Stilleto Boy; 2-Wyfire; 3-Hudson RidgeForecast: It seems like the main contenders in this year’s La Jolla H.-G3 are coming from all different directions. We’ll take some price chances and hope to be right, but this appears to be a race to spread as deeply as your budget allows. Hudson Ridge, assigned high weight of 123 pounds, seeks his third straight score and should draft into an ideal stalking position similar to the type of trip he enjoyed when winning a first-level allowance event at Santa Anita last month. Prior to that the son of American Pharoah overcame severe trouble to capture the Cinema ‘Cap, so while his numbers are just okay the B. Baffert-trained colt has developed into a consistent and genuine turf specialist. Stilleto Boy was a private purchase (apparently) following his runaway, highly-rated score in the Iowa Derby last month and makes his first start on grass for trainer E. Moger, Jr. in a race in which he’ll surely be the controlling speed. The sophomore gelding is unproven on turf but on pure numbers he’s got a chance, so at 6-1 on the morning line you have to include him. Wyfire seems better than his 12-1 morning line gives him credit for and is worth tossing in as well. The P. Miller-trained gelding had a nightmarish trip when a close fourth in an allowance event over this course and distance last month and seems certain to improve with the good stalking trip that he’s projected to enjoy today. He’s a fit on numbers, and in his third start off a layoff looks ready for a career top effort.RACE 10: Post: 6:30 PT Grade: C+Use: 5-Head for Business; 7-Hot PursuitForecast: We’d rather not get too involved in this bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint, so we’ll try to get by using just two but not with any degree of confidence. Hot Pursuit, in the money in all three of his career starts and most recently third at Los Alamitos in his comeback, may have more room for improvement than the others so we’ll put him on top and hope that he can clear the field and then hang on. Head for Business drops to the bottom and has numbers that fit at this level, so we’ll use him as well. Toss in anybody else you like, it’s that kind of race.

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8.8.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Sunday, August 8

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: XSingle: 2-Shaker ShackForecast: Shaker Shack is listed as the 8/5 morning line favorite in this $32,000 claiming sprint for 3-year-old fillies, but we wouldn’t be surprised if she goes lower than that. You have to wonder why she’s being dropped into a mid-grade claimer after winning a $200,000 New York-bred stakes in April and then finishing a reasonable third in another valuable state-bred affair in her most recent appearance in mid-June. Obviously, this isn’t a healthy pattern and assuming she isn’t scratched isn’t the type of short-priced favorite that you can depend on. We suggest you tread lightly, or pass the race, altogether.RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: XUse: 1-Consumer Spending/1a-McKulick; 2-Penny Saver; 3-Love to Run; 5-SkylervilleForecast: We’ll spread in rolling exotic play but otherwise pass this challenging maiden juvenile filly affair that is filled with highly regarded and expensive prospects. The C. Brown entry (Consumer Spending, McKulick) looks formidable in no small part due to getting two beautifully-bred fillies on your ticket for the price of one. ‘Spending is a quick-actioned daughter of More Than Ready that has done everything asked of her in the a.m. despite the slow final times of her drills, while stable mate McKulick, a daughter of Frankel, also has been impressive in the a.m. and may even be the better of the two. Penny Saver has the benefit of a prior run - a willing runner-up effort sprinting on dirt at Churchill Downs in a hot race in mid-June - and seems likely to be on or near the lead from her inside draw. She’s bred more for dirt than turf but if she gets loose on the lead and then relaxes she’ll take this field a very long way. Love to Run is an athletic filly with flawless action and brought $640,000 at the OBS April sale. Her breeze time during the preview session (:10 2/5) wasn’t noteworthy but she moves like a route type and half-brother Thanks Mr. Eidson is an excellent turf performer in California. Skylerville hails from a barn that has superior stats with debut runners (26% with a massive ROI) and this daughter of Air Force Blue shows a :59 1/5 breeze over a wet training track last month that tells us she can run.RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: C+Use: 2-Kreesa La Wrote; 4-U Should B DancingForecast: State-bred older maiden fillies and mares sprint five and one-half furlongs on turf in a race in which many of these know each other pretty well. The two listed above finished second and third, respectively, in a similar affair here last month and both should run well again today. U Should Be Dancing already has had eight chances and probably isn’t one to totally trust but she’s been in the frame in her last two and has a bit more tactical speed than her main rival to give her a slight edge. The daughter of War Dancer hasn’t left cleanly in her last two starts but with a smooth break today should be in the fray throughout. Kreesa La Wrote will be running on late and won’t need to improve much to win. Both should be included in rolling exotic play in a race that we won’t otherwise get too involved in.RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: BSingle: 3-Harper’s in ChargeForecast: Harper’s in Charge was very impressive breaking her maiden at first asking last November at Aqueduct but then disappeared. She returned in a hot allowance race last month and showed excellent speed for half while dueling with subsequent Test S.-G1 winner Bella Sofia (good luck with that) before fading readily in what at the time was a disappointing comeback. Today, it doesn’t look so bad. The daughter of Malibu Moon has had two nice drills since that race, so we’re going to give the C. Clement-trained filly another chance, especially in a race in which her early speed should allow separation from the others during the early stages. With the switch to J. Rosario, we’ll make her a win play and rolling exotic single.RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: B-Use: 1-Majestic Tiger; 3-Sonic Speed; 10-Masked MarauderForecast: This sprint for older maiden claimers has the look of a grass grab bag, so we’ll spread hoping to get a nice price home. Masked Marauder, listed at 8-1 on the morning line, makes his first start since being claimed for $40,000 by W. Potts (solid stats with this angle) and the barn also does very well with the route-to-sprint maneuver so we’re expecting the 3-year-old gelding to step forward in this modest affair. Perhaps most effective if held up early and allowed to run late, the son of Palace Malice has numbers that fit and a projected race flow that should compliment his style. Majestic Tiger, at 5-1 on the morning line, was beaten a nose in his only prior outing at this level (his debut), and after chasing much stronger straight maiden company in his last pair the S. Asmussen-trained gelding seems likely to return to good form against this group. The son of Majestic City lacks tactical speed, so from the rail he’ll require some luck to secure clear sailing when launching his bid. Sonic Speed offers long shot value at 10-1 on the morning. He has a race to go back to last year when second in straight maiden company that would win this, and though he’s been disappointing since then the Maclean’s Music gelding shows a recent healthy work tab that could signal a return to form.RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: BUse: 2-Free Chickens; 7-Fabulous Fanny; 10-MommasgottarunForecast: Fabulous Fanny turned in the most impressive breeze of the entire Timonium 2-year-old in training sale when smoking a quarter mile around the bullring in 21 2/5 seconds without undue pressure and then galloping out full of run and taking the tight turns with ease. The daughter of Union Rags hasn’t been asked for speed since joining the S. Asmussen barn (no need to), but she does show a 47 2/5 breezing gate drill at Keeneland last month that was the fourth fastest of 60 for the distance. She’s 4-1 on the morning line and will offer plenty of wagering value at or near that price. For protection, we’ll include on our ticket two others that have caught our eye. Mommasgottarun, comfortably drawn outside, is a first-timer bred for intense speed (Maclean’s Music) and has looked good in the a.m. without being asked for her best. The T. Amoss barn is strong with debut runners, so we’re expecting a major effort. Free Chickens look good breezing a furlong in :10 flat at the OBS April sale and goes for trainer J. Abreu, who has a remarkable record with first-time starters (28% with a huge ROI). As a daughter of Blame, she’s not likely to display the early speed that some of the others have but could make some noise from off the pace in the closing stages.RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: XUse: 3-Viadera; 7-Regal GloryForecast: Viadera knows how to win the close ones – she’s taken her last three outings by margins of a neck, a neck, and a nose – an though she hasn’t been out since her victory in the Matriarch S.-G1 last November at Del Mar, the C. Brown-trained mare has trained well enough on the comeback trail to be fit and ready for this year’s renewal of the De La Rose S. Her stable mate Regal Glory is the one to fear most. Freshened since early June, she was in company with our top pick in a July 31 grass workout (5f, 1:00.3b TC TT) and more than held her own, though Viadera was going a tad easier and appeared best. We’ll include both in our rolling exotic play and then press with Viadera on top.RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: B+Use: 7-Wicked Halo; 9-MicrobiomeForecast: Wicked Halo was highly impressive winning her debut at Lone Star Park in a fast, highly-rated affair (beating two next out winners) and then lost nothing in defeat when setting sizzling fractions from the rail before understandably weakening close home when third in the Debutante S. at Churchill Downs. Drawn towards the outside in today’s Adirondack S.-G2, the daughter of Gun Runner looks clearly the quickest in the field and if she’s not forced to go the opening quarter in :21 flat like last time the daughter of Gun Runner should be hard to catch. b>Microbiome, ideally drawn just outside our top pick, was a visually pleasing winner of her first start over the local main track last month when setting soft splits and then quickening when asked. She’ll have to stalk and pounce today, but if so she’ll have dead aim and every chance to catch ‘Halo. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Wicked Halo.RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: B-Use: 5-Con Lima; 6-Rockey Sky; 7-Creative FlairForecast: Half the field in this year’s edition of the Saratoga Oaks Invitational-G1 has a genuine chance to win, and the other half isn’t far behind. Trips will tell the tale. Con Lima projects to be the controlling speed again, just as she was in the recent Belmont Oaks-G1, though Euro shipper Creative Flair may have to be dealt with. In that race, she may have gone too slow on the front end, reducing the race to a quarter of amile sprint to the wire which played into the hands of the eventual winner, Santa Barbara. Today’s affair is a sixteenth of a mile shorter, so the T. Pletcher-trained filly could be hard to catch if not guzzled early. Creative Flair is a quality filly from France who was most recently third in a photo in the Prix Chloe-G3 at Chantilly. She’s been on the front end in her recent races but certainly should be capable of winning with a stalk and pounce trip if required. Rocky Sky, in from Ireland where she romped in her only grass outing after beginning her career with three starts on the all-weather, has been here for a while and has trained very well for C. Brown. She could easily be this good. These are the three we’ll be using in rolling exotic play, but you may find the need to spread even deeper.RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: BUse: 3-Albie; 10-Chrome DixieForecast: Albie was more than four lengths clear of the rest (including a next-out winner) when runner-up in a restricted $35,000 claimer in late June last time out and today is protected in a sign of confidence in this first-level state-bred affair over a mile on the inner course. His numbers have improved since joining the D. Gargan barn three races back and with another forward move today the son of Alpha should be hard to beat. Chrome Dixie shows a steadily improving pattern for C. Clement and may be the one to fear most, his extreme outside post notwithstanding. His one prior two-turn attempt was filled with trouble, so toss that race out. Based on pedigree there’s no reason this son of California Chrome shouldn’t enjoy today’s extra distance.

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8.8.2021:

Jerry Shottenkirk: Early Pick 4 Ticket Sunday at Gulfstream | Sunday, August 8

I'm flipping the Gulfstream Park card upside down Sunday and am going after the Early Pick 4, beginning with the second race and ending with the fifth.The fourth race is a handicap and marks the return of sharp runner Trophy Chaser, but there are several others with talent and are in good form. The sequence also has an allowance optional claiming race, a maiden optional claiming event and a maiden claiming race.The suggested ticket amounts to $60 and has a 3x5x4x2 strategy, and here’s a look:2th Race (1:24 p.m. ET, allowance optional claiming)LAST LEAF was quite sharp last time as he coasted to the lead and was a clear winner. It was his second start after debuting with a runner-up finish.This will be his strongest test as he goes against winners, and the six-furlong distance will be his longest attempt. His fractional times have been good, and he’ll likely battle from the first stride out of the gate.There are others with impressive credentials as they’ve begun their careers, and he’ll have to work to get it.Others on the ticket: CAJUN COUSIN, YEARS AGO.3rd Race (1:58 p.m. ET, maiden optional claiming)CRYSTAL LAGOON rates an edge in a maiden optional claiming race, which is a condition you don’t see all the time. She was in a similar spot last time and her connections used the ‘no claim’ option, and she’s under the same circumstances today. This time she turns back from a mile to six furlongs.Looks like the Super Saver filly could prefer the sprint anyway and likely will run a good one for newly inducted National Racing Hall of Famer Mark Casse.This is a lightly raced group, and several have good works. We’ll spread out in this slot on the ticket.Others on the ticket: TIZ IMPRESSIVE, WALKS LIKE A LADY, KHOZMORE, STARSHIP NUGGET.4th Race (2:32 p.m. ET, handicap)TROPHY CHASER has been away from the races since May 2020 and has been highly regarded since he first put down timed workouts in his youth. He continues to be a dazzler in the morning (:46 2-5 breeze last week) and Juan Avila has given him a long list of drills for his comeback.There is little doubt the graded stakes-placed Twirling Candy horse has the class, but the year-plus layoff puts others in the mix as well. Plenty of runners are in good form in this handicap are usable in this leg of the sequence.Others on the ticket: PUDDING, DOUBLE CROWN, JACKSON.5th Race (3:06 p.m. ET, maiden claiming)FUN LOADED gets his first chance to stretch out after four sprints, and his third-place finish for a slightly higher price last out will put him right in the thick of things here. He showed a willingness to run well without trying for the lead, and that will come in handy going the two turns.Trainer Saul Matos has a 3 of 11 record and this will make his second third start of the year after a switch in barns.Others on the ticket: STATEN ISLAND.My TicketRace 2) #2 Last Leaf, #3 Cajun Cousin, #6 Years Ago.Race 3) #1 Tiz Impressive, #2 Crystal Lagoon, #3 Walks Like a Lady, #6 Khozmore, #10 Starship Nugget.Race 4) #1 Trophy Chaser, #2 Pudding, #3 Double Crown, #5 Jackson.Race 5) #7 Fun Loaded, #8 Staten Island.Total Ticket Cost) 2,3,6/1,2,3,6,10/1,2,3,5/7,8 = $60 for $0.50

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8.7.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Meadowlands Late Pick 4 Analysis | Saturday, August 7

It is Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands and the giant 16 race card kicks-off at Noon EST. The main events will be the Hambletonian Oaks (Race 14) with a $500,000 purse and the 96th running of the Hambletonian (Race 15) which has a $1,000,000 purse. The star-studded card has a total of $3.6 million in purses, and the 0.50 Late Pick 4 will have a $125,000 guaranteed pool with a 15% takeout. That sequence begins in Race 12, and it will be my focus. There will be mandatory payouts on this program because it is the last day of the Big M meet.Don't forget to register for the Xpressbet cash back promotion on the Hambletonian.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 121-Cattlewash (3-1)-Winner of 2 straight has a big heart. Doesn't usually string together a bunch of wins but this could be the time to get a longer streak going. Burke trainee could either get on the point or stay close to the lead and look to take control later.3-Allywag Hanover (4-1)-Winner in 7 of 16 starts at M1 has been used hard off the gate in 2 recent races and just missed a picture last week. But might not be hell bent on battling #1 or #6 off the gate here. Speed isn't an issue with this Alagna trainee, and it will be up to TMac to use it at the right time.5-Captain Barbossa (8-1)-Finished 4th last week in a needed start after being off 3 weeks. This time Dunn won't stay on the rail and be blocked down the lane. Probably won't be 12-1 but the price should be solid. Best to not overlook, likes to run down a target and will be raced differently this time.Race 134-Hypnotic AM (4-1)-Has hit the board in 6 of 7 races in 2021 but has only 1 win. This Melander trainee is also very comfortable at the Big M hitting the board in 11 of 12 starts. Should off a fair price and the last 3 races have been on an off- track. Could be sitting on a big try and will use instead of the 2nd morning line choice, 6-When Dovescry.5-Atlanta (9/5)-Has won 2 of 4 starts this year and was nipped by #6 in last. Hasn't been used early in the mile in the last 3 races. That could change here, and either way she should be tough to beat again.Race 14-Hambletonian Oaks3-Awesome Trix (9/2)-Winless at the age of 2 and was only a $13,000 yearling purchase. Cute stories don't usually win big races, but this Beaver trainee could be peaking at the right time. Raced the 2nd half in 55.3 to win for the 1st time at M1 leaving from post 9 in her Elimination and it was a ground saving trip. Won't win this race coming from way back and could be placed near the top of stack. Might be best of all with a sharp steer by Zeron.4-Lady Chaos (7/2)-Got on the engine and didn't look back last week. Trotted the back half in 55.4 and has not been worse than 3rd in any of her 8 starts this year. Should be in the mix at the wire and has been too consistent to not respect.5-Bella Bellini (3-1)-Usually has had her way with #4 this year but couldn't catch her last week as an odds-on choice. Today could be a different story but both fillies appear to be at the top of their game.Race 15-The 96th Hambletonian1-Delayed Hanover (7/2)-Svanstedt pupil wasn't Dunn's choice but Gingras has driven before, and he doesn't wilt in big races. Gingras has won the Oaks five times and has a big shot to take the top prize here. This colt has some advantages over others. Has raced before on only one week's rest and has won on the engine. Maybe those factors will come into play.6-Sonofamistery (4-1)-Sears has won the Hambo 3 times and Melander is looking for his 1st. This son of Muscle Hill has the fastest winning mile in the field for 2021, 150.2 which happened in East Rutherford. Was handled conservatively in the Elimination and that should change here. Has enough gate speed to be forwardly placed and if minds his manners it could be picture time.7-Really Fast (5-1)-Takter trainee was Dunn's choice and has been improving versus tough foes. This is the only trotter in the field who didn't race at 2. Not sure what the strategy will be off the gate, but Dunn will likely be on the lead or well within striking range turning for home. This colt has not raced in consecutive weeks before.My Ticket Race 12) 1,3,5 Race 13) 4,5 Race 14) 3,4,5 Race 15) 1,6,7Total Ticket Cost) $27 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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8.7.2021:

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

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: BUse: 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: XUse: 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: XUse: 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: XUse: 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.

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8.7.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Saturday, August 7

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: 2-Dripping Gold; 3-Morning Thoughts; 5-Boston Flagship Forecast: Dripping Gold, a $300,000 purchase at the OBS March Sale where he was very impressive previewing in 10 1/5 seconds, is a highly promising youngster by the noted turf sire Lemon Drop Kid and a full-brother to Arlington Oaks-G2 winner Aurelia’s Belle. A strong, scopey, long-striding colt, he’s been given a strong foundation of drills at Fair Hill and locally at Saratoga to be ready for a major effort first time out of the box. Shug doesn’t often win with first-timers, but this colt may be the exception to the rule. One of the barn’s “go to” riders J. Lezcano takes the call. Morning Thought, bred for turf on both sides of his pedigree, is another debut runner worth a look. The son off Air Force Blue (from a mare by Dynaformer) displayed quick action and good athleticism in a recent local turf workout around dogs and is another with a sufficient series of workouts on his resume to be fit enough to fire a good shot right off the bat. Boston Friendship pulled hard and was extremely rank during the early stages of his first outing over this course and distance last month but settled midway and finished willingly to be third in a better-than-par race for the level. The son of Constitution should be more relaxed with that bit of experience behind him and can be a major player if he steps forward as expected. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with Dripping Gold worth a bit of a gamble in the win pool. RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: BUse: 1-Journeyman; 4-Heirloom Kitten; 6-Alkhaatam Forecast: Here’s another contentious race that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Alkhaatam, making his third start off a layoff and dropping to his lowest level ever, retains F. Prat and likely will receive the patient ride he requires in this nine furlong, main track $50,000 claimer. The veteran six year old exits a pair of hot one-turn mile races, and with three recent breezes in the interim the son of Tapit looks ready to fire his best shot. Fast on numbers and with a projected pace flow that will compliment his style, the T. Pletcher-trained ridgeling is worth a play. There are at least two other solid contenders that require coverage, as well. Journeyman makes his first start in a seller and tries conventional dirt for the first time since winning the Canadian Derby almost two years ago. The M. Maker-trained gelding has been running long on the lawn of late, but at this shortened trip combined with a class drop and the switch to L. Saez the son of Animal Kingdom could step forward significantly for a barn that’s hitting close to 30% for the meeting. Heirloom Kitten, claimed in four of his last six starts, was acquired by former trainer D. Duggan for $40,000 last month when runner-up over a muddy track at Belmont Park, and returns on the one-level raise in a sign of confidence. A prior winner over this track and distance, the son of Kitten’s Joy is slower on numbers than the other main contenders but should be capable of at least hitting the board. Toss him in as a back-up or a saver. RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: XSingle: 2-Tuggle Forecast: Tuggle returned off a 14-month layoff to finish a solid runner-up in a similar first-level allowance sprint at Belmont Park six weeks ago and shows a healthy series of sharp works since to indicate a forward move is likely. The four-year-old colt has a good stalking style and in a race that figures to produce a soft opening quarter the J. Englehart-trained colt projects to be just where she wants to be during the early stages. With I. Ortiz, Jr. riding him back and with a significant edge in the speed figure department, the son of Point of colt looks like a logical rolling exotic single and what likely will be a short pr ice. RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: B-Use: 2-Sportini; 9-Shutters; 10-Hot Doctor Forecast: The known element doesn’t impress, so let’s try a pair of newcomers in this state-bred maiden turf miler for older horses. Sportini, a son of Elusive Quality from the M. Stidham barn (solid stats with debut runners), shows a healthy, steady series of workouts at Fair Hill and before that at Delaware; in fact, four of his last five recorded drills earned bullet status. If he can run, this would be a good place to show it. Shutters has done some good work in the a.m. for C. Brown and with I. Ortiz, Jr. taking the call for C. Brown the son of Get Stormy is sure to receive his share of wagering action. Hot Doctor may be the most dangerous of those that have raced and is worth including on your ticket as well. A $40,000 claim by L. Rice when finishing a close fourth at Belmont Park in late June, the son of Freud shows rising speed figures, two bullet workouts since raced, and is protected today in a sign of confidence. The outside draw is no bargain but if he can drop over, save some ground and get cover he should make his presence felt from the quarter pole home. RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: B+Single: Brigadier General Forecast: Brigadier General displayed promise in his debut when a willing runner-up to the more experienced Gunite in a strong maiden sprint at Churchill Downs in late June. Three nice works since arriving at Spa makes improvement almost certain for the son of Street Sense, who should use his experience to good use in a field compromised mostly of debut runners. The D. Stewart-trained colt is certain to display good speed at this seven furlong trip and then have his fitness carry him through under Johnny V., who got to know him in Kentucky and rides him back. Let’s make him a win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: BUse: 3-Value Proposition; 5-Flavius Forecast: Value Proposition allowed Rinaldi an easy trip up front and then simply couldn’t catch him when second in the Forbidden Apple S.-G3 last month but earned a triple-digit Beyer speed when going down by a half-length and not much more will be needed today to regain his winning form. The C. Brown-trained son of Dansili is assured a ground-saving, stalking trip from where he’s drawn and should have every chance to grind out a win in this listed turf stakes. Flavius likely be on his heels throughout but needs to quicken a bit better than what he’s been able to do in recent races. In fact, his only U.S. victory in eight starts since being imported from Ireland was achieved last September at Kentucky Downs, so while we expect him to hit the board we’ll use him only as a saver in rolling exotic play with the main punch going to Value Proposition. RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: B+Use: 3-War Like Goddess; 6-Dalika Forecast: War Like Goddess has rapidly developed into a top class marathoner with just five career outings on her resume, four of which have resulted in wins, most recently in the Bewitch S.-G3 at Keeneland with complete authority that produced a career top speed figure. She switches off beautifully while just galloping along and the accelerates on dime when called up. Away since April but training locally like she’s fit and ready, the daughter of English Channel should pick up where she left off in this year’s renewal of the Glens Falls S/-G2 over 12 furlongs. The W. Mott-trained filly will get most of our play, but for protection you may want to save with Dalika, easily the controlling speed at this distance and coming off a brave win with a career top number over soft ground in a Grade-3 marathon at Delaware Park.RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: B+Use: 4-Obligatory; 7-Search Results; 8-Bella Sofia Forecast: Bella Sofia returns to stakes competition after eating a first-level allowance field for breakfast last month at Belmont Park. The number equaled her career top, and the margin of victory (six and one-half lengths) would have been greater had she not been taken in hand in allowed to coast in the finals sixteenth of a mile. Lightly-raced (just three starts) with plenty more to give as develops and matures, the R. Rodriguez-trained daughter of Awesome Patriot lands the cozy outside post which allows her to pop and go or stalk and pounce. This is an outstanding renewal of the Test S.-G1, and we believe she’ll be up to the task, though we’ll protect with a couple of others in our rolling exotics. Search Results has done little wrong in five starts (four wins and a runner-up effort in the Kentucky Oaks-G1) and has trained superbly for her first outing since her Acorn S.-G1 win more than two months ago. She’ll have to spot weight to the entire field (including six pounds to our top pick) but it may not make much difference to her. Obligatory is a progressive daughter of Curlin that seems likely to be the most dangerous of the closers. If a fast pace develops, she will be rolling late. RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: BUse: 4-Cadillac; 6-Bolshoi Ballet; 11-King Fury Forecast: Bolshoi Ballet was a two-time group stakes winner in Ireland prior to his failure (with excuses) as the favorite in the Epsom Derby-G1 but returned to winning form with an impressive display of acceleration through the lane to win the 10F Belmont Derby-G1 last month. The son of Galileo is back for more in this year’s renewal of the Saratoga Derby Invitational-G1 at a slightly shorter trip (9.5F) that should not be an inconvenience to him at all. The A. O’Brien-trained colt will settle off the pace and then blast home, and with good racing luck regular rider R. Moore will have him along in time. There are two others to consider, at least on a back-up or a saver ticket. Cadillac made his seasonal debut when facing older horses for the first time in the 10F International S.-G3 at The Curragh in late June was best in a four-horse photo while packing 130 lbs., actually getting 10 lbs. from the older runner-up. Back with his own age group today, the son of Lope de Vega has a bit more tactical speed than Bolshoi Ballet and has to be considered the one the favorite will have to worry about the most. The other price chance in the field is King Fury, the winner of the Lexington S.-G3 in April and an unlucky second when arguably best in the Ohio Derby-G3 last time out. Drawn poorly outside and trying grass for the first time, the son of Curlin has trained superbly at the Spa in recent weeks and could produce significant forward move today if he can transfer her dirt form on the sod. RACE 10: Post: 6:13 ET Grade: B+Single: 4-Knicks Go Forecast: Knicks Go traveled to Prairie Meadows for a confidence boosting win in the Cornhusker H.-G3, doing everything his connections were hoping he’d be able to do, win a nice race for fun and, as a bonus, earn a career top Beyer speed figure (113) in the process. Of course, today he faces a tougher in the 2021 Whitney S.-G1, but his trip will be similar to the one he just enjoyed, and in a field in which the four other entrants can’t match his front-running style the son of Paynter will have every chance to dominate from gate to wire, just like he did earlier this year in the Pegasus World Cup-G1. The recent work tab at his home base at Ellis Park looks impressive, so we’re expecting the B. Cox-trained horse to dominate on the front end as a win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 11: Post: 6:45 ET Grade: B-Use: 1-Danny California/1a-Musical Heart; 2-Superfecto Forecast: Superfecto missed as the 9/5 favorite when he was burned up in a speed duel vs. similar at Belmont Park in late June but this stretch-out to nine furlongs around two turns will produce softer early fractions, so we’re expecting the R. Nicks-trained colt to have every chance to make amends from his favorable inside draw. The lightly-raced son of Constitution may be quick enough to acquire the role as the controlling speed, though there are others in the field (most notably Lost in Rome) that could provide more early pressure he’d care to see. Musical Heart likes the front end as well, but he’s exiting a series of main track marathon races so he’s more likely to prompt or stalk and have his best chance from there. A winner (in gate-to-wire fashion) over this track and distance last year, the son of Maclean’s Music has been freshened for a couple of months and has run well following similar breathers in the past. His coupled stable mate Danny California has been below his best form of late on wet tracks that he may not have cared for but could snap back to life over his preferred strip. A winner of three races from four career starts at the Spa, the veteran Afleet Alex gelding probably will be asked to produce the last run. RACE 12: Post: 6:19 PT Grade: BUse: 6-Risky Mischief; 7-Time Limit Forecast: The finale is a grass event for entry-level allowance fillies and mares sprinting five and one-half furlongs. Risky Mischief has been away since last November but she was a debut winner by more than seven lengths, so if nothing else we know she can fire fresh. The work tab is relatively brief, and the barn has below average stats with layoff runners but this daughter of Into Mischief is fast on figures and is a perfect one-for-one over the Saratoga turf course. We’re expecting her to be along in time. Time Limit was sharp winning a state-bred optional claimer over this course and distance last month, changing her tactics to one a second flight stalker and then displaying good late speed to win going away while earning a career top speed figure. This is a tougher open group, but the daughter of Bustin Stones seems to have found her niche as a grass sprinter, though I. Ortiz, Jr., who rode Time Limit in that victory, jumps off to ride our top pick. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Risky Mischief.

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8.6.2021:

Dustin Fabian: West Virginia Derby Day Pick 4 Strategy + Picks | Saturday, August 7

Back after a one-year hiatus, the Grade 3, $500,000 West Virginia Derby returns for its 51st edition on Saturday, August 7, 2021 at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort.  Among the horses set to run in Mountaineer’s marquee event are Wood Memorial winner Bourbnic, Indiana Derby winner Mr. Wireless and Texas Derby victor Warrant. At Xpressbet and 1/ST BET we’re getting in on the festivities by offering a $4,000 Cash Split - $2,000 for each bet for customers who take down the Early Pick 4 (Races 2 – 5) or Late Pick 4 (Races 6 – 9). Here is one man’s take on the Early and Late Pick 4’s.  On a day where out-of-state shippers should outclass the ‘home team,’ we’ll need to be precise with our plays.  Price horses may be hard to come by on Saturday, so you may want to pare your tickets down to the horses you’re most confident in and take your swing accordingly at a higher base amount.  Or, consider going ‘all in’ against a particularly vulnerable favorite – there are a few on the card! EARLY PICK 4 // RACES 2 – 5 RACE 2 (2:25PM ET) // $75K HOUSE OF DELEGATES SPEAKER’S CUP // 1 MILE, 70 YARDS (TURF) #2 MONARCHS GLEN (MAKER/GEROUX) – 7/2 – Enters off a stakes win at Indiana Grand and has regained his top form after a pair of subpar efforts in March and May. He will likely trail the field early, making him both pace-dependent and traffic-dependent. Mike Maker is one of the hottest trainers in North America right now and Florent Geroux is going to be the best jock at Mountaineer on Saturday, so you can’t afford not to use him.  #4 LOGICAL MYTH (SHARP/LANERIE) – 5/2 – Have to wonder if locking horns with horses like Cross Border, Colonel Liam, Set Piece, Captivating Moon and Spectacular Gem all winter and spring have softened this one’s prolific punch.  His last three races have been a stark form reversal from what we saw from him in January and February, but this is not a bad place to regain some confidence. #11 CANNON’S ROAR (CAPUANO/MARQUEZ) – 6/1 – Hate the outside post but he has not run a bad turf race in nearly two years (7-3-3-1 in 2020/21) and think he has a tactical edge with Marquez back in the irons.  The last two times Marquez was aboard, he took advantage of a forward stalking trip and thinking he won’t be an easy tactic if they employ the same tactic on Saturday. RACE 3 (2:55PM ET) // $75K SECRETARY OF STATE S. // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 CLUB CAR (COLEBROOK/LANERIE) – 1/1 – No fun singling even-money but this one runs well on any surface and at any track and any of her last five or six races would be enough to win here. Not a strong field and the only cause for pause will be to keep an eye on scratches. If #7 SHY MONEY, #4 SHEISTHEHERO or #6 NOMIZAR defect, you may have to back into using the ML second choice, #5 COMMAND STRIKE, at 8/5. CLUB CAR is the better runner, but tactics give COMMAND STRIKE an edge if she gets loose. RACE 4 (3:25PM ET) // $75K LEGISLATURE CHAIRMAN’S CUP // 4 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 PRIMAL DESTINY (PATTERSON/OLIVEROS) – 4/1 – Rail draw puts this one on a ‘send’ mission from the start but the son of Poseidon’s Warrior has won eight straight races, including two at Mountaineer. A quick break is essential but he’ll be tough to reel in with a fast start. #8 HOLLIS (ORTIZ/GUTIERREZ) – 5/2 – Dispatched much nicer horses in an Oaklawn allowance in April but maybe slightly concerned about the layoff since Preakness Day and the worktab since.  Shows only four works since July 4 and have to think this horse will need to be sharp in order to score here going 4 1/2 furlongs.  He’s the horse to beat, but you’d prefer to see a bit more recency.  #10 WILLISTON WAY (ACEVEDO/PARKER) – 6/1 – Would be a shame if Deshawn Parker didn’t win in his return to Mountaineer and have to think he’s got a big chance here.  Primarily campaigned on the lawn, he has compiled a 4-2-2-0 record in his last four dirt races and may appreciate getting off the grass as his last two starts were not strong. RACE 5 (3:55PM ET) // $75K SENATE PRESIDENT’S CUP // 1 MILE, 70 YARDS (TURF) #8 EVIL LYN (MAKER/GEROUX) – 7/5 – Doesn’t show a long series of super fact races, but is a consistent stakes performer and of the two favorites, this is the one to probably feel better about.  The lone clunkers in the last year came in a 6 1/2 furlong race at Kentucky Downs and a Grade 3 at Gulfstream, otherwise she is almost always right there at the finish. Geroux piloted her to a win in a Churchill allowance last November and a second, beaten just a nose, in the Pago Hop at the Fair Grounds.  EARLY PICK 4 TICKET RACE 2: 2, 4, 11 (Backups N/A) RACE 3: 1 (Backup 5) RACE 4: 1, 8, 10 (Backups 2, 4, 6) RACE 5: 8 (Backup 2) COST: $4.50 for 50-cents  LATE PICK 4 // RACES 6 – 9 RACE 6 (4:25PM ET) // $75K SENATOR ROBERT C. BYRD S. // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) #2 BIG MONEY MIKE (RICHISON/VIGIL) – 9/2 – Probably is ‘speed of the speed’ and shows a series of very fast workouts for this comeback race.  Yes, these are workouts at Mountaineer, but note that the 7/27 work was 2 seconds faster than anyone else that worked the distance. The gap in works from June 13 to July 27 concerns, but all four works on record are bullet 4f moves.  I’d expect this horse is in shape and is a fair alternative to the chalk. #7 MOUNT TRAVERS (SHARP/LANERIE) – 7/5 – Last two races were atrocious but that’s why probably why they’re taking a shot here. He’s only 3-for-19 in his career and just 1-for-11 since the start of 2020, but having a hard time envisioning he won’t run well here. The only downside, he’s a tough horse to trust off two clunkers and there’s no value. RACE 7 (4:55PM ET) // GRADE 3 GOVERNOR’S S. // 1 1/16 MILES (DIRT) #1 SPRAWL (DRURY/TALAMO) – 8/5 – Was third last out in the G2 Stephen Foster behind Maxfield and Warrior’s Charge, so the talent and form is there. The big question – can he do it away from Churchill Downs? In his last six races away from Louisville, he’s 6-0-0-2. His close-up fourth in the Grade 3 Ben Ali at Keeneland on April 10 was a step in the right direction, but still need to see him take his form on the road. #3 COLONELSDARKTEMPTER (SHARP/LANERIE) – 5/1 – Price would be a great grab on the 2017 West Virginia Derby winner, who enters this off four straight open-lengths wins for Joe Sharp against much lesser competition. He has been a different animal since Sharp claimed him for $25K on April 27 and while the water here is deeper, he is a ‘must use’ for me. #4 BOURBON CALLING (WILKES/PARKER) – 6/1 – He’s going to get lost on the board but I’m OK with that. He has no early speed and is extremely pace dependent, but hey…there’s a lot of frontrunning types in this bunch. He has run races (G3 Ack Ack and Russell Road S.) last fall that put him right there at the finish and while he’s a bit of a stretch, he should be motoring late. #5 MIGHTY HEART (CARROLL/FUKUMOTO) – 3/1 – The class of the field, last year’s Queen’s Plate winner has won two of his last three dirt races and the lone defeat came off a six-month layoff. His win in the G3 Dominion Day at Woodbine last out was nothing short of dominant and if he shows up for this race at Mountaineer, they’ll all have to go through him.  RACE 8 (5:35PM ET) // GRADE 3 WEST VIRGINIA DERBY // 1 1/8 MILES (DIRT) #1 BOURBONIC (PLETCHER/CANCEL) – 3/1 – He’s a coin flip horse and probably a horse that you wait to include based on how the track is playing.  This edition of the WV Derby has a particularly cloudy pace setup and this horse would need a ton of pace to really factor. You can make a case in this race for three horses to send (2, 4, 6)…or none of them go.  And if none of them go, it’s hard to envision BOURBONIC sustaining a closing bid past either of the next two.  #4 MR. WIRELESS (CALHOUN/VAZQUEZ) – 9/5 – This is a great spot for him and #5 WARRANT to renew their rivalry. WARRANT got the best of things in the $300,000 Texas Derby on May 31, but that race came over a sloppy sealed track.  MR. WIRELESS has never lost going two turns on a fast track and has never finished worse than second with Vazquez in the irons. That win in the G3 Indiana Derby last out is a nice feather in his cap, too.  #5 WARRANT (COX/GEROUX) – 5/2 – You have to think Geroux has his pick of the two Brad Cox horses (the other being #2 KINETIC SKY) and he landed here, which gives a vote of confidence.  He hasn’t been seen since the Texas Derby, but Brad Cox has a lot of nice three-year-olds and you have to assume this one has been targeting this spot all along.  RACE 9 (6:00PM ET) // ALLOWANCE // 7 FURLONGS (TURF) #2 A MERRY PRANKSTER (HUBLEY/OLIVEROS) – 5/2 – This will be a race to watch the scratches in as this event will both be the longest of this horse’s career and the first around two turns.  She’s also stuck in a race where three or four other rivals would like to be up front, which could muddy the picture.  #3 BEE WINGS (BERNARDINI/PARKER) – 10/1 – You have to go back to last September to find this one’s best races and that 1-for-19 mark screams ‘PASS.’ But you’re getting a very nice price on a horse in a race that figures to have a quick pace and you’re getting the most prolific jockey in the last few decades at Mountaineer, Deshawn Parker. Parker will need to ride a great race and she’ll need some luck, but at 10/1 you could do so much worse.  #8 ON BRILLIANT (REED/LEON) – 1/1 – She’s even-money for a reason and I have to think she’s the class of the field while making her second start off the layoff.  Eric Reed has been one of the most prolific trainers at Mountaineer this year (20-for-63) and that is just icing on the cake.  My gut is, if nobody scratches, try to beat the 2 horse with this one and one or two other longshots.   #12 YOU’RE DOING FINE (KELLER/HERNANDEZ) – 7/2 – She’s an ALSO ELIGIBLE and would need to draw in, but if she does, she is as good as any of these.  Her lone win came at Fair Grounds on the lawn and she finished 2nd in a similar race here on June 16 with a big (for this group) 65 Beyer. LATE PICK 4 TICKET RACE 6: 2, 7 (Backup N/A) RACE 7: 1, 3, 4, 5 (Backup 6) RACE 8: 4, 5 (Backup 1, 2) RACE 9: 3, 8 (Backup 2, 12) 

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8.6.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Hoosier Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Friday, August 6

Hoosier Park kicks-off the weekend with a 14 race card. The feature rolls in Race 10, an Open Pace with a $22,000 purse. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 starts in Race 11, and that sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 111-Putnams Attack (5-1)-Since the beginning of July this veteran comes with his "A" game every other outing and this is that race. A horse this age (13 years old) usually doesn't bring 1.50-51 speed consistently but will take a shot he will be dialed on high tonight.3-Rockin Jimmy Brown (7/2)-Was in with $15k claimers in last and that water was too deep. Back into a more comfortable spot and beat the $8k claimers at Hawthorne 2 back by 7 lengths. Fits with this crew and has hit the board in 10 of 14 starts at HoP with 6 pictures.8-Alwysasweetvictory (3-1)-Beat the $8k claimers on 6-30 and was claimed by the Fox stable. Tetrick drove in last and left from the rail. Down tick in the pilots now as Fox steers and starts outside as well. But there aren't any standouts in this field and might be overlooked at the windows.Race 121-Manny (12-1)-Faces a bit easier and blasted out to the lead in last and got stung. Will look for another aggressive start and a better finish at a big price.3-Rose Run Uriah (3-1)-Raced well up a class last week and tonight should be forwardly placed throughout. Looks like a main player and could be bet hard.4-Eddard Hanover (9/2)-Taking a swing with 1st time Burke after a claim. May follow #3 to take a pocket ride and roll by late.Race 131-Rock With JK (7/2)-This is a nice 3-year-old that raced well in a Sires Stakes Final and just missed. This looks like a 2-horse race and starting inside might make the difference.7-Rockinsomewhere (3-1)-Would benefit from an honest pace as Oosting should be able to find a live cover flow. Gaskin trainee can close in a hurry and should be in the hunt at the wire.Race 146-General Dolan (5/2)-Drops looking for a win in the 4th straight start at HoP. Bates is between the pipes again and could take an overdue picture with a smooth trip.10-I'vegotagirlcrush (5-1)-Has bounced around and took a few weeks off but the qualifier on 7-31 was fine, and drops into a good level. The post is the issue but will add to the price. If De Long can find a good early seat he can use one nice brush to roll by down the lane.My Ticket Race 11) 1,3,8 Race 12) 1,3,4 Race 13) 1,7 Race 14) 6,10Total Ticket Cost) $18 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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8.6.2021:

1/ST BET: Monmouth $201K Pick 5 Carryover Picks | Friday, August 6

Monmouth’s Friday card boasts a $201,241 pick five carryover that will be up for grabs in Races 2-6. To assist your handicapping, selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections. Take a Free $10 Spin on the Monmouth Friday Pick 5 with our $10 Free Bet, offered on Xpressbet and 1/ST BET. You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app. RACE 2 (5:28PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) #5 Alta Velocita (2-1 ML) // 26%W #8 Princess Georgia (5-1 ML) // 17%W #1 Jersey Jewel (5-2 ML) // 14%W #7 Crazy Daisy (15-1 ML) // 12%W RACE 3 (5:56PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 1 1/16 MILES (DIRT) #3 Wild Banker (9-2 ML) // 28%W #4 Price (8-5 ML) // 18%W #2 Exchequer (10-1 ML) // 13%W #8 Spun and Won (6-1 ML) // 11%W RACE 4 (6:24PM ET) // CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) #7 Hightime Valentine (7-2 ML) // 27%W #3 Shang’s Sister (3-1 ML) // 22%W #5 Chispita (7-2 ML) // 11%W #4 Purda Vita (6-1 ML) // 10%W RACE 5 (6:52PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 1 MILE, 70 YARDS (DIRT) #8 Postino’s Vow (6-1 ML) // 19%W #9 Crafty Don (7-2 ML) // 14%W #4 Lucky Boy Lover (5-1 ML) // 14%W #7 Passport (9-2 ML) // 9%W RACE 6 (7:20PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 5 FURLONGS (TURF) #9 He’s a Shooter (9-2 ML) // 24%W #10 Justinspeightofit (4-1 ML) // 19%W #4 Military Drill (5-2 ML) // 16%W #5 Beach Warrior (7-2 ML) // 10%W

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8.6.2021:

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

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: CUse: 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: BUse: 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.

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8.6.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Saratoga Picks & Analysis | Friday, August 6

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: C+Use: 1-No Mi Culpa; 9-Smokey White Forecast: The Friday opener is a restricted turf sprint for juveniles that went through the sales ring for $45,000 or less. This is a relatively new wrinkle to maiden special weight races and was designed to attract runners that normally would need to compete in maiden claiming affairs. No Mi Culpa had an outing in an off-the-turf event at Belmont Park in late May, got some play (3-1), and then displayed some early speed before weakening to finish fifth of seven, certainly not great but not terrible, either. The R. Rodriguez barn has solid stats with both the second-time starter and the blinkers-on angles, so we’re expecting this son of Blame to move forward considerably in a rather modest affair. His most recent workout July 22 (4f, :47.2b) was the second fastest of 54 for the distance over the Saratoga main track. Among the newcomers, Smokey White seems fairly intriguing. The son of Liam’s Map has been training at Monmouth Park for S. Joseph. Jr., where he recorded a bullet gate drill (3f, :36bg) that was the fastest of 27 for the distance, so that’s encouraging, as is the presence of I. Ortiz, Jr. in the saddle. In a field with lots of unknowns and question marks, the best suggestion is to tread lightly. RACE 2: Post: 1:41 ET Grade: CUse: 2-Crea’s Bklyn Law; 7-Roaming Union; 8-Malibu Pro Forecast: This nine furlong main track $12,500 claimer for older horses has lots of moving parts, most notably Malibu Pro, a $25,000 claim by L. Rice in mid-June and today returning for half that amount. In fact, this gelding has changed hands in four of his last five starts due to consistent, hard-knocking form, but his most recent outing was far below his best, so his present condition is something of a question mark. The barn has a solid record with the first-off-the-claim angle (21%) so perhaps this class drop is nothing more than an attempt to steal a purse. Or, perhaps, in his 54th career start, the eight-year-old gelding is coming to the end of the road. You have to use him but protect with others. Roaming Union chased home our top pick two races back and then was trounced when facing $16,000 foes in his most recent outing. Freshened for six weeks and switching to J. Rosario, the C. Baker-trained gelding has run well at Saratoga in the past and may perk up a bit with the switch in venues following a brief time off. It’s been forever since he’s won a race, though. Crea’s Bklyn Law plummets to his lowest level ever after a dull try over this track and distance last month. Winless in six starts over the local main track and always more willing to finish second or third (20) than win (five) during his career, the son of Sky Mesa still must be considered something of a threat off his recent numbers and his projected ground-saving trip. RACE 3: Post: 2:15 ET Grade: BUse: 5-Coastana; 7-Creative Cairo Forecast: This mini-marathon inner turf event for first-level allowance fillies and mares may be reduced to a final three furlong sprint as most of these won’t be doing anything until that point. Let’s see if we can survive and advance using just two. Coastana has produced rising speed figures in each of her four career starts and her pedigree suggests she can step forward again at this longer distance. The daughter of Kitten’s Joy likes to settle in mid-pack and then produce an extended, grinding rally, and that’s the type of style that generally produces three-turn specialists. L. Saez stays aboard, knows her well, and in a race that might produce an early pace only slightly faster than jog, we’re hoping he puts the C. DeVaux-trained filly in a position where she doesn’t have too much to do. Setting the Mood looks like the controlling speed whether she wants to be or not. She’s moving up in class from the claiming and starter’s allowance categories but has run well at this distance in the past, especially on the front end. If she makes the running she could get very brave and never look back. Worth nothing is that she was beaten a head over this course and distance at this level last year, and her present form indicates she’s just as good if not better now. RACE 4: Post: 2:49 ET Grade: BUse: 1-Jalen Journey; 5-Wicked Trick Forecast: Jalen Journey is a hard-knocking, consistent sprinter with six wins from 14 career starts and finds a spot today that should be well within his grasp. The S. Asmussen-trained six-year-old has been started and stopped on a number of times during his career but seems to be healthier than ever at the present time and projects to be on or near the lead in this extended sprint that projects to produce a soft early pace. He’s reunited with “win rider” R. Santana, Jr. and seems the solid pick. Wicked Trick has faced graded stakes sprinters in each of his last three starts and will welcome this drop to the three-other-than conditioned allowance ranks. Perfect in two starts over the Saratoga main track, the L. Rice-trained gelding is fast on numbers but will have to close into slower than average splits, which makes his task a bit more difficult. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics, with the main push going to Jalen Journey. RACE 5: Post: 3:21 ET Grade: C+Use: 1-Commandandcontrol; 5-Lady Clementine; 7-Hot Anna Forecast: Maiden claiming $50,000 fillies and mares meet over seven furlongs, with several well-bred, former expensive purchases being culled from their stables. Commandandcontrol, acquired at auction for $270,000 a couple of years ago, has been sparingly raced with just three career starts, the best of which came in her debut in November of 2020 when the daughter of Quality Road finished a distant but decent second in a maiden sprint at Aqueduct. No threat when sixth in a turf sprint at Belmont Park in early June, she returns two months later in a seller that she should be capable of winning. The connections won’t care if someone takes her. Lady Clementine continues to train better than she runs but she shows the first time maiden-to-maiden claiming angle for a barn that has off-the-charts success with this maneuver (41%), so we’ll anticipate considerable improvement in this modest affair. Hot Anna, originally sold for $100,000 at Keeneland, was outfooted in her debut at this level at Churchill Downs in late June, winding up a distant fourth after producing a mild late rally. She gets an extra furlong to work with today and has a right to step forward, so at this extended sprint distance she deserves at least a little bit of a look. RACE 6: Post: 3:55 ET Grade: BUse: 5-Value Engineering; 10-No Word; 11-City Man Forecast: Away since November but with the proven ability to fire fresh (he won his debut), No Word appears well-spotted for a major effort off the bench in this second-level allowance turf event that came up as strong as a listed stakes. Grade-1 placed last year when a close second in the Belmont Derby-G1, the T. Pletcher-trained colt should make a very useful older horse and has trained well enough to be fit and ready to begin his campaign on a winning note. Regular rider J. L. Ortiz should have him within striking range throughout. Value Engineering, never off the board in eight career starts, has had trouble sealing the deal in recent races (that’s a nice way of saying he tends to hang) but after a two month freshening and a return to what probably is his favorite turf course the C. Brown-trained horse has to be considered a contender. The son of Lemon Drop Kid does his best work when held up early and then produced as late as possible. City Man is realistically spotted after being pitched over his head in a pair of graded stakes races during the spring meeting at Belmont Park. A versatile type that can be effective on any surface, the C. Clement-trained colt likes to settle in the second flight and grind away and given the projected pace flow of the race the son of Mucho Macho Man should have dead aim from the quarter pole home. RACE 7: Post: 4:29 ET Grade: BUse: 2-Public Sector; 3-Ranger Fox Forecast: Though he was beaten at even money when missing by a head in the listed Manilla S. last month at Belmont Park, Public Sector deserves a chance to make amends in this year’s renewal of the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame S.-G2, a race that promises to offer to him a more favorable race flow. The son of Kingman rallied against the grain when just failing to catch Original (who was allowed to stroll on the lead), but today’s early fractions should be closer to normal and allow the C. Brown-trained colt to produce the last run. Regular rider F. Prat flies in to keep the mount. Ranger Fox is progressing with experience, and after easily handling a maiden field with a good stalking trip the son of Nyquist bypasses the first allowance condition for a shot in this stakes turf miler that is restricted to his own age group. He’s likely to inherit a good stalking spot behind Original and then have every chance from there. RACE 8: Post: 5:05 ET Grade: B-Use: 4-Art Collector; 7-Jesus’ Team; 8-Night Ops Forecast: Art Collector was approaching super star status after winning five straight and then being sent to the post as the strong second choice in the 2020 Preakness behind subsequent Horse of the Year Authentic. However, he failed to live up to expectations, winding up a distant fourth in the Triple Crown’s second jewel. Two subsequent poor outings led to a trainer change to W. Mott, for whom he’ll make his first start in today’s nine furlong listed Alydar S. The question of whether or not he will ever regain his past form may be answered today, because in a race that lacks a true front runner the son of Bernardini should be comfortably placed on or near the lead, just where he prefers to be. The local works are okay, nothing great, so his present form is hard to gauge but the winner of five of 12 career starts has just barely passed the midway point of his four year old season, so he’s hardly over the hill. Jesus’ Team flopped at 3/5 in an overnight handicap at Gulfstream Park last month, so we’re not quite sure where he is, either. Three races back he was an outstanding second in the Pegasus World Cup-G1 and if he were to run back to that race today he’d be home free. Night Ops is fast on numbers but is winless in five starts this year and has been stuck on seconds of late. He should be within range throughout and then have his chance to grind down the leaders late. RACE 9: Post: 5:39 ET Grade: B-Use: 7-Imprimis; 9-Chateau; 10-Lazuli; 11-Bound for Nowhere Forecast: Imprimis finished first in this race last year and was quite convincing in doing so, crossing the wire more than two lengths clear of the rest in what may have been the best race of career. Unfortunately, he was disqualified for causing crowding when blowing past the leaders inside the furlong pole (a bad call, in our opinion) but hopefully this time the veteran gelding will maintain a straight course and duplicate that type of performance. This will be his first outing since hitting the front but then getting tagged right on the wire by Bound for Nowhere in the Shakertown S.-G2 at Keeneland in April, but he’s shown the ability to fire a big shot fresh in the past so we’re expecting he’ll return as well as he left. Bound for Nowhere is most effective when held up early and allowed to finish late, the strategy employed in his Shakertown score. He was on the lead and faded to third at even money in the subsequent Jaipur S.-G1 in early June, so we’ll expect jockey J. Rosario to revert to patient tactics today. Trainer C. Appleby sends over his tough-as-nails turf sprinter Lazuli, who is a strong fit on pure form but questionable around a turn. A winner of five of 11 in England including a pair of valuable Group-3 races, the Irish-bred gelding carried 135 lbs. to victory two races back and today makes his U.S. debut under L. Saez and a “feathery” 122. Stranger danger comes in the form of the speedy Chateau, likely the quickest of the quick. He’s never been tried on grass but the son of Flat Out certainly will be a big price and is worth including somewhere on your ticket. RACE 10: Post: 6:13 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Digital Software; 10-Run Dilly Run Forecast: On pure form Bail Out is a contender, having finished second in a pair of similar recent maiden claiming turf routers at Belmont Park, but he’s winless in 24 career starts, so we’re just not going to go there. Instead, we’ll try to get by using just two in rolling exotic play. Digital Software lands the good rail and will try to make amends after finishing second as the 4/5 favorite in a maiden $50,000 grass router at Belmont Park in mid-May. He was a voided claim in that race and returned to the C. Brown barn, so today, following a healthy work tab that dates back to mid-June, the Temple City gelding finds an excellent spot to make amends. He ran well when a close third here last year and has speed figures that are good enough to beat this field. Run Dilly Run is stuck way out in the 12-hole, but he’s only had two starts and therefore has plenty of room for improvement. A decent runner-up in a softer maiden $25,000 affair at Gulfstream Park in mid-June, the S. Joseph, Jr.-trained gelding has trained nicely since arriving at the Spa and with continued improvement could provide a serious challenge from off the pace.  

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8.5.2021:

Frank Carulli: Pimlico Late Pick 4 Picks | Friday, August 6

Pimlico will award more than $100,000 in purse money over the last four races Friday. Bettors can grab their share of what figures a lucrative pool in the 50-cent Late Pick 4 covering those races. Here's some notes and a suggested $45 wager: Picks were updated at 10:30AM ET on Friday, August 6 due to late scratches. RACE 5 (2:56PM ET) // STARTER ALLOWANCE // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT)  DAY THE MUSIC DIED broke in the air as the favorite in a turf-to-dirt sprint, forcing the jockey to breifly lose his irons. He recovered well and loomed breifly while 4-wide in the stretch, only to flatten out. SAVAGERY chased 3-to-2 favorite Pictor (9-23, $172k) through wicked fractions and held second at Penn National, his only setback in his last three starts. PHANTOM RO returns from a six-month layoff in a new barn, has some big races to run back to and stepped it up a notch for his most recent workout over the strip. RACE 6 (3:30PM ET) // CLAIMING // 1 MILE (TURF) KING BUBBLE was claimed out of a turf victory at this level after 2-1/2 years away but was distanced in a turf-to-dirt route two weeks ago. He appears all or nothing in a weak field at this level. GIO DUDE finished a distant third in his last two main-track routes but is a usable longshot. He finished behind hard-hitting Iywaan (11-49, $343k) at Pimlico and finished with interest off a ground-saving effort at Charles Town. UHWARRIE SKY set a pressured pace at Colonial Downs last out, shook a backstretch-long duel on the final turn, only to give way to the trip-sitters. RACE 7 (4:03PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) TWEET AWAY ROBIN bobbled at the start two back and was fractious in the gate last out, yet still managed strong rallies to finish second in photo finishes. She could be a solo play if you trust her to break alertly. JOYFUL NOISE rallied to win 4 of her last 6 starts at 5-1 odds or higher, gunning down the 9-to-5 favorite in her latest try at this level. RACE 8 (4:38PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) WINDRUSH KARMA, in the money twice for $25k, merits favoritism from among the class-dropping maidens, but we'll use all five on the ticket in hopes of a better price. PIMLICO LATE PICK 4 TICKET Race 5: 5, 7, 10Race 6: 1, 5, 9Race 7: 2, 4Race 8: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Cost for 50-cent ticket: $45

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8.5.2021:

Johnny D: Free Picks - Whitney, Test + More | Saturday, August 7

The Grade 1, $1 million Whitney at Saratoga is the headliner this weekend and one of 10 Fun in the Sun competition races Saturday. Knicks Go, a $4.8 million-dollar multiple Gr. 1 stakes winner and hero in 5 of his last 7 appearances, is a slight 6/5 morning line favorite over Maxfield at 8/5, a Gr. 1 winner of 7 of 8 lifetime starts. Maxfield has yet to prove himself against grade 1 foes since he won the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland at 2, but he’s fresh off a pair of Gr. 2 triumphs at Churchill Downs in the Alysheba and Foster. Plus, at 4, he’s had less time than Knicks Go to pad his resume. It’s not as if the skinny field of 5 needed more spice, but that comes in the form of 4-year-old filly Swiss Skydiver, winner of the 2020 Preakness over Authentic by a neck. She’s won 7 of 14 starts and over $2 million dollars. Kind of forced to appear in this spot because the barn of trainer Ken McPeek had been quarantined due to a potential herpes outbreak, she was restricted from running earlier in the meet against her own sex. She’s not proven against older males, but she wasn’t proven against sophomores of the opposite sex either when she finished second in the Blue Grass before later winning the Preakness. The Whitney, as the tenth race, is among a trio of grade 1 events: the Gr. 1, $500k Test for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs goes as the eighth; the Gr. 1 Saratoga Derby Invitational for 3-year-olds at one mile and three-sixteenths on grass is the ninth; an allowance $80k optional claimer at one mile and one-eighth is the eleventh and the nightcap is a first level allowance race for fillies and mares at five and one-half furlongs on turf. While the remaining 5 Fun in the Sun competition races—the first 5 at Del Mar—don’t boast any graded stakes, they present horseplayers with an assortment of handicapping challenges. Check it out: the first race is a five and one-half furlong, optional $40k claiming first-level allowance sprint for maiden 3-year-olds and upward. The second race is a maiden turf tussle at one mile and one sixteenth for fillies and mares. The third is a five and one half furlong sprint for $16k non-winners of 2 claimers and the fourth is a 2-year-old maiden sprint that includes 2 Bob Baffert first-time starters—one by Curlin that brought $400k at Keeneland September and the other by Gun Runner that sold for $850k at Ocala in April, as well as a Richard Mandella-trained runner that cost $300k at the Fasig Tipton Keeneland Select Sale. The sequence concludes with 3-year-olds and upward in a $50k starter allowance at one mile and one sixteenth on turf. Sound like a plan? You know you’ll be watching and wagering on this action. Why not play Xpressbet’s Fun in the Sun tournament. There’s a $25 registration fee and you’re asked to make a live $10 Win wager on one horse in all 10 competition races. Top 3 players win cash prizes, as well as seats to the $10,000-added Final Table to the top 5 players. Plus, since wagers are live, you keep what you win! A few nice winners and you’re ‘up’ for the afternoon. Below is one man’s opinion on Saturday’s Fun in the Sun competition wagers. Analysis done before scratches and changes and is for ‘fast’ and ‘firm’ conditions. SARATOGA // RACE 8 (4:34PM ET) // G1 TEST S. // 7 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 ILLUMINATION (12/1) is a $900k Fasig Tipton August yearling purchase that has just 1 win in 5 starts. That’s not half the story. She finished second in her first out maiden race at less than even money and then was third, fourth and third in stakes races: Gr 1 Del Mar Debutante, Gr. 2 Chandelier and Anoakia Stakes. In June she absolutely romped in a maiden race at Santa Anita and now could be ready to prove she’s as good as connections originally thought she was. But that’s not half the story. This filly will be the first runner trained by Bob Baffert to race in New York after the tracks had banned him and then had that edict overturned in court. Baffert won’t be in New York, so it won’t be a three-ring circus but, still, all eyes will be on what’s happening beneath the big top. This filly has speed and brings two bullets to the dance: a best-of-92 four furlong move in :47 and a best-of-11 six furlongs in 1:12 1/5, both at Del Mar. #2 SOUPER SENSATIONAL (6/1) is sharp, as she dusted off five foes in the Gr. 3 Victory Ride last out over a ‘good’ Belmont surface for trainer Mark Casse, who’s 0-7 at the meeting. That win was fast enough to fit in here, but her previous 4 outings aren’t quite good enough. She is 2 for 3 at the distance but those wins came over a synthetic Woodbine surface. #3 ZAAJEL (8/1) popped with a huge race to win the Gr. 2 Mother Goose at Belmont in late June at 18-1 for trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Joel Rosario. The Beyer Speed Figure for that race is light years ahead of what she’d earned in previous outings, so there’s some question if she can repeat that strong effort. She is unbeaten at seven furlongs and has ‘route speed’ so she should be close enough early. #4 OBLIGATORY (4/1) is a Gr. 2 winner that closed well enough to just miss in the one mile, Gr. 1 Acorn last out. She requires early pace help for her best and she could get some of that in here. She got plenty of pace in the Gr. 2 Eight Belles going this distance at Churchill and roared home to win. Jose Ortiz rides again. #5 ALWAYS CARINA (3/1) is fast and has early speed. She’s only raced 3 times for trainer Chad Brown, with 2 wins and a runner-up effort to #3 Zaajel in the Gr. 2 Mother Goose last out. She’s got a sparkling :59 3/5 breeze for this. Jockey Flavien Pratt returns in the saddle. #6 MAKE MISCHIEF (12/1) is the only filly in the field with experience over the Saratoga surface. She has 3 seconds in as many tries. She’s also the most experienced in the race with 4 wins in 12 starts and been in the money in 9 of those 12 outings. She usually is around at the end but has been on the short end of the stick against quite a few of these. Still, she’s got a win and a third at the distance to go along with her other positives. #7 SEARCH RESULTS (5/2) won the Gr. 1 Acorn last out over #4 Obligatory and #6 Make Mischief. She’s won 4 of 5 races from 6 furlongs to one-mile and one-eighth. She’s fast and has enough early speed to be in striking distance. Jockey Irad Ortiz has been aboard for two triumphs and a neck defeat. Difficult to knock her resume. #8 BELLA SOFIA (6/1) has 2 wins and a second in 3 starts. She romped in a maiden race first out, just missed in the Jersey Girl and then romped in an allowance race—all at 6 furlongs. She’s been brought along slowly by trainer Rudy Rodriguez and this is a big step up. She’s got dangerous early speed and a nice 1:00 breeze over the Spa surface—third best of 32. Top jock Luis Saez is aboard. Expect that #1 Illumination will keep this filly busy on the front end early and that could set things up for a closer. BEST: #7LATE THREAT: #4IT FIGURES: #1 SARATOGA // RACE 9 (5:10PM ET) // G1 SARATOGA DERBY INVITATIONAL // 1 3/16 MILES (TURF) #1 SOLDIER RISING (12/1) has had 4 starts in France with 2 wins and 2 seconds against allowance and stakes foes. This is his first graded stakes try and he has solid connections—trainer Clement and jockey Irad Ortiz. Still, he’s not as accomplished as others. #2 DU JOUR (8/1) was moved to the barn of trainer Bill Mott after winning the Gr. 2 American Turf while with Baffert. He didn’t fire much in the Gr. 1 Belmont Derby last out behind #6 Bolshoi Ballet. Need to see a bit more from this one while tackling tough imports on the east coast. #3 PALAZZI (20/1) was sixth in the Belmont Derby at 16-1 and would need to turn the 2 for 11 ship around in here. #4 CADILLAC (4/1) is an Irish-bred with 3 wins in 6 tries, including a couple of Group and Grade 1 races. He was a Group 2 winner at 2 in Ireland and ran evenly to be fourth in the BC Juvenile Turf. He won his only start at 3, a Group 3 at one mile and one-quarter in Ireland. He seems a cut below the best in here but not without a longshot chance if he’s developed at 3, which is difficult to tell off just one race. #5 YES THIS TIME (15/1) is a win machine. He’s finished first 5 times in a row, including in a pair of stakes races the last two times out. It’s tough to go against a 6 for 8 winner but this group is much better than anything he’s previously faced. He’s been favored in 4 of his 5 consecutive triumphs. He won’t be favored in here. #6 BOLSHOI BALLET (2/1) is an Irish-bred making his second US start. His first produced a solid triumph in the Gr. 1 Belmont Derby over a ‘good’ mile and one-quarter surface. Before that he was favoried in the Group 1 Epsom Derby but failed to fire over a ‘good to soft’ course. Always well-regarded, this Aidan O’Brien runner with 4 wins in 7 starts is clearly the one to beat in here. #7 SECRET PROTECTOR (6/1) hails from the sharp Charlie Appleby outfit. If you don’t know Appleby, you’d better learn about him. He’s a top trainer around the world and that includes in the US. He knows which horses fit here and he’s won Breeders’ Cup races and Gr. 1 turf tests in the states. This colt’s form is not as good as #6 Bolshoi Ballet’s but one must always keep an eye on anything trained by Appleby. #8 CELLIST (12/1) was run down late by #6 Bolshoi Ballet in the Belmont Derby last out. His game will be to attempt to take the field wire-to-wire as he did in the Audubon at Churchill going one mile and one-eighth. That afternoon he held off #3 Palazzi late to win. The good news for Cellist is that there’s not much speed in here. The bad news is that there is some. Expect #2 Du Jour to use his early foot from the 2-hole in an attempt to duplicate his wire-to-wire theft of a one mile allowance race at Santa Anita. This guy is honest, and Gr. 1 placed, so an in-the-money finish is likely again. #9 STATE OF REST (10/1) was Group 2 placed at 2 in Great Britain and just missed in his only start at 3 in Ireland. He stretches out in distance and makes his first US start for Joseph O’Brien, son of trainer Aidan O’Brien. He’d need to improve to upset this bunch. #10 FLASHIEST (20/1) scored in the restricted Oceanside by a head last out and, although honest with 3 wins in 4 starts, this is a cross-country ship and a huge step up. #11 KING FURY (10/1) has made his bones on ‘fast’ and ‘wet’ dirt. He’s a Gr. 3 winner in the slop and just missed last out in the Gr. 3 Ohio Derby behind Masqueparade and Gr. 1 Jim Dandy runner-up Keepmeinmind. He usually comes from well off the pace in dirt races and may find the early running of this extended turf test less stressing. He’s proven on dirt but a big question mark on turf against some of these. Trainer Ken McPeek has been known to upset an applecart or two over the years with unconventional moves. Jose Ortiz in the irons helps the cause. BEST: #6 Bolshoi Ballet SARATOGA // RACE 10 (5:48PM ET) // G1 WHITNEY S. // 1 1/8 MILES (DIRT) #1 BY MY STANDARDS (10/1) was at his best last year when he reeled off 3 consecutive wins, including the Gr. 2 New Orleans Classic and the Gr. 2 Oaklawn Handicap. He was second in the Gr. 2 Stephen Foster and Gr. 1 Whitney before winning the Gr. 2 Alysheba. Recently, he’s been back on the beam with a win in the Oaklawn Mile and a second in the Gr. 1 Met Mile to #2 Silver State. Is the $2.2 million-dollar earner ready to resume a winning streak? He likes the track- 1 second in 1 start- and he likes the distance- 3 wins 2 seconds out of 6 tries, but some of the younger bucks will give him a tussle. #2 SILVER STATE (4/1) has won his last 6 races, including the Gr. 1 Met Mile last out. That’s quite a string of successes. He probably won’t be believed again in here as he’s listed at 4-1 morning line odds to get the job done for trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Ricardo Santana. The paper says he’s never beaten the kind of foes he’ll meet in here. Fortunately for his connections, Silver State doesn’t read. He just wins, baby. #3 SWISS SKYDIVER (6/1) has been off since April. Some of that vacation was planned some of it was forced (see opening paragraphs). She’s one tough cookie with 7 wins in 14 starts, including the 2020 Preakness Stakes when she outdueled Authentic to the wire. She’s 1 for 1 at the Spa and has a pair of seconds in two tries at the distance. These will be a challenge for her, but she’s always been as honest as they come. #4 KNICKS GO (6/5) absolutely romped against Gr. 3 foes in a tune up Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows. Before that he finished behind #2 Silver State and #1 By My Standards in the Gr. 1 Met Mile as favorite. That was his first out since February and he could have needed the race. There’s not a lot of speed in here and that’s to Knicks Go’s advantage. He’s a front runner that prefers to be alone on a clear lead. Perhaps, only #3 Swiss Skydiver can push Knicks Go early and she’s not really a ‘speedy’ challenger. His race to lose and it should be noted that he was off the board in his only Spa start. #5 MAXFIELD (8/5) has the resume to be considered a top horse. He won a Gr. 1 at 2 and appeared to be headed toward Kentucky Derby prep races as one of the favorites before being sidelined with an injury. He won the first 5 races of his career, was third, while wide in the Santa Anita Handicap and then won his next 2 starts convincingly to bring his record to 7 wins in 8 starts. At 4, he may just be hitting his peak for trainer Brendan Walsh. If that’s the case, he may be good enough to collar Knicks Go over the tiring Spa surface. BEST: #5 SARATOGA // RACE 11 (6:23PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 1 1/8 MILES (DIRT) #2 SUPERFECTO (7/2) fired a decent shot last out at this level. He races close to the early pace and jockey John Velazquez will let him go from the rail to maintain that position. #3 RISK TAKING (6/1)  drops out of 3 graded stakes for this allowance appearance and will take plenty of money. He’s getting Lasix for the first time and will be expected to bounce back to the form that saw him win the Gr. 3 Withers for trainer Chad Brown. A maiden win before that are the only two solid efforts on his resume, so which is it? The graded stakes winning Risk Taking or the also ran version? Not worth taking at a short price. #1 DANNY CALIFORNIA (5/2) loves Saratoga. He’s won 3 of 4 starts there and 4 of 9, overall, at the distance. Claimed for $40k three back, he was third in the mud last out at this level. He’s zero for his last six but four of those were over ‘off’ tracks and one was on turf so…there’s that. At 6-years-old he’s eligible to have lost a step for two and he did win in the Saratoga mud once. #4 CANDY TYCOON (12/1) comes off a front-pressing score at Monmouth Park for trainer Todd Pletcher. He overcame some trouble to win that one and has just 2 wins in 12 starts. Earlier in his career he was considered talented and finished second in the Gr. 2 Fountain of Youth and was well-beaten in the Gr. 1 Florida Derby, both starts at huge odds. #5 EMPTY TOMB (7/2)  goes for red-hot trainer Mike Maker. The 5-year-old horse was overmatched in a stakes race last out but won an allowance race at this level at Churchill the time before. He’s in for the $80k tag here. His recent form is OK except for the stakes debacle. #6 AIR ATTACK (8/1) is a $75k stakes winner two back after being claimed for just $25k and $20k before that. He’s won 5 of 19 starts, been off since April and been tried at much longer distances, although he is 1 for 3 at this journey. #1A MUSICAL HEART (5/2) has speed and is pretty consistent. The 6-year-old gelding has a win and a second at Saratoga and a win from 5 starts at the distance. He’s the one they’ll need to collar to win this. Trainer Rob Atras has been outstanding at the meet with 5 wins with 17 starters. After 6 consecutive stakes races, this will be the gelding’s first for a tag since November ’20 when claimed for $62,500. #7 LOST IN ROME (8/1) has to be respected off a close runner-up finish at this level last out in the mud at Belmont going one mile. He’s had a trio of tries at this level and his last was his most successful. He was claimed for $25k in November of last year. #8 CHESTERTOWN (8/1) is a first-time gelding for Steve Asmussen who has a win in 2 Spa starts. He hasn’t raced since May and is a New York state-bred stakes winner. He also has a pair of wins in 5 starts at the distance. He would need to fire with the best race of his career off the layoff to win this. BEST: #1ANEXT: #2, #5  SARATOGA // RACE 12 (6:55PM ET) // ALLOWANCE // 5 1/2 FURLONG (TURF) #1 MADAM MACLEAN (20/1) hasn’t been fast enough and starts for the first time for new trainer Patrick Reynolds. #2 OFF WE GO (8/1) (Main Track Only) #3 SUSSEX GARDEN (4/1) is an Irish-bred with one previous US start. She’s cutting back from one mile for trainer Arnaud Delacour. She was Group 3 placed in Ireland and ran pretty well in the Wild Applause, her first US start. She fits well. Blinkers go on for this and jockey Castellano does well with this trainer. Live one. #4 HARPERS IN CHARGE (3/1) (Main Track Only) #5 TRAIN TO ARTEMUS (15/1) has speed and trainer Wes Ward and jockey Jose Ortiz combine at 26% overall. This one adds Lasix and Ward is 21% first Lasix. She’s been gone since November and has a lone win in the Churchill slop. #6 RISKY MISCHIEF (7/2) has won 2 of 4 turf sprints—one at Saratoga and at this distance. She is ridden by Irad Ortiz, who is 2 for 2 with her. She’s been gone since November, has stakes experience and has been best against fellow New York bred runners. #7 TIME LIMIT (9/2) is sharp and goes for red-hot trainer Mike Maker and top jock Luis Saez—27% combo at the Spa. She won her last race on July 23 at the Spa against New York breds going five and one-half furlongs on turf by more than 2 lengths. This move to open company might not be too much more for her to handle. Note: Irad Ortiz moves from her to #6 Risky Mischief. #8 BAY JEWEL (10/1) was claimed for $30k four back and immediately won a $50k turf starter and was second at this level in slop for trainer Pat Reynolds. She closed late but was fifth at this level here July 16, so she’s fit. #9 SPICY MARG (8/1) is the new face. She’s been racing at Churchill Downs, has speed and figures to tire late. She’s the second of two Wes Ward runners. #10 BAY STORM (6/1) has been off since October, adds Lasix and deserves a look off just two starts—a rallying third first out in a maiden turf sprint and a strong victory at Belmont in a turf sprint. Trainer Jonathan Thomas has been strong (23%) and this 3-year-old filly has lots of room for improvement. She’s got a handy just off the pace running style, too.  #11 MINER'S QUEEN (6/1) has speed and was second here on July 16 for trainer Steve Asmussen. She figures to add to the early pace from the outside and probably has just one way to go. Pending scratches, there’s other speed in here so things could get too quick up front for this one to hang around for the win. #12 BACK CHANNEL (12/1) went wire to wire to win a maiden race last out at Belmont. She won’t have that luxury in here. #13 SEMBLE JUSTE (8/1) (Main Track Only) #14 EASY TO BLESS (5/1) (Main Track Only) BEST: #10NEXT: #6, #7 DEL MAR // RACE 1 (5:00PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 I GOT NO MUNNY fired a solid shot at this level here July 16 and must be respected off that effort. He cuts back in distance and draws the rail against other speed horses which probably won’t help his chances. #2 NOTRE DAME has a nice 3-race win streak February through May to climb the class ladder. Last out he was fourth to #3 Fratelli as even money favorite at Los Alamitos at this level. Seems a deeper group today. #3 FRATELLI is a win-type with 6 scores out of 14 tries and 3 wins in his last 4 starts. Trainer Peter Miller is having his usually strong Del Mar meet. This guy adds to the early heat in here and comes off a wire-to-wire score at Los Alamitos at this level, so he starts for the $40k tag. #4 SAVILE ROW is one of two runners trained by Bob Baffert coming off layoffs in here. This colt won his first start as favorite and now adds Lasix coming off a :59 2/5 seaside gate move. The son of Quality Road could be any kind at this point. #5 BUTKUS won the second star of his career at Los Alamitos in fine style at over 8-1. These appear tougher. #6 LAUREL RIVER is the ‘other’ Baffert in here and he’s fresh a layoff since May when he was run down in the Gr. 3 Laz Barrera at Santa Anita. Lasix goes back on today and that may or may not help. He certainly will add to the early pace. #7 FEAST would need to run faster than he ever has to win this. BEST: #4NEXT: #6, #3 DEL MAR // RACE 2 (5:30PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 1 1/16 MILES (TURF) #1 CLIFFSOFTHUNDER makes a first US start for trainer Richard Baltas and her only previous outing was a well-beaten fourth going one mile in Ireland. Probably not. #2 FLORAL ESSENCE has performed respectably in all three of her starts. She raced evenly to be third in her last start July 16 here. She added Lasix that afternoon and deserves much attention off that effort right behind #4 Queen Goddess. Count her in. #3 RUBY'S ORCHID needs to turn around an eased performance June 18. #4 QUEEN GODDESS adds Lasix and figures a huge threat off a fast-closing finish July 16 going one mile. She was 25-1 that afternoon and won’t be anywhere near that number today. She and #2 Floral Essence have the race’s best credentials. #5 LA GIOIOSA set the pace going one mile and one-eighth at Santa Anita in June. She faded badly late. She did have some group experience in France, so something might be there. Bit of a sleeper, perhaps, but she’ll really need to turn it around. #6 CEDAR'S STARS adds blinkers and races with Lasix for her first US start. She was not racing at the top levels in Great Britain, but this isn’t the Breeders’ Cup either. Trainer McCarthy and jockey McCarthy (no relation) combine to see if this filly has more than she’s shown. #7 WHISTLER'S STYLE adds blinkers and returns to turf. She’s 0-6, so far and needs to do better. #8 SOMMER DAISY adds Lasix for her first US race. She was second in two starts in Great Britain against fields of 13 and 9 runners. Jockey Rispoli moves here from #5 La Gioiosa, both for trainer Paddy Gallagher. That suggests there may be something here. Pay attention. #9 PEACHTREE ROAD has been off since January, adds blinker and trainer Mandella gets a 5-pound weight break with apprentice Jess Pyfer. She tries turf for the first time after fair dirt tries. Guessing connections want to see how this one handles turf before they give up on her. BEST: #2, #4UPSET SPECIAL: #8 DEL MAR // RACE 3 (6:00PM ET) // CLAIMING // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 HAWK HILL invades from NoCal and has had chances at this level. Even running style helps. Rail draw does not. #2 VEGAS MOON moves down south off series of Los Alamitos tries. These are tougher. #3 SUANCES SECRET did not perform well at Del Mar off a series of Los Alamitos races. Pass. #4 CALDER VALE is 1-34 and doesn’t appear to have another win on the near horizon. #5 CARPE DONUM romped first out for maiden $30k and drops here for trainer Peter Miller. Right spot, one to beat. #6 TWIRLING DERBY was second at this level last out going six and one-half furlongs here July 17. That was a good effort off a win for maiden $20k. That’s the lone win in 17 tries but in this field he fits. #7 SIGALERT tumbles in class off a string of poor races. Blinkers go on and the weakness of this field compared to his previous efforts is noted. #8 MUSICAL GEM takes a class drop off a poor return race here in July going five and one-half furlongs. He’d need to turn the ship around though. #9 SUMMER FIRE has been off since May, is 1 for 13 overall and tumbles off the claim for $25k. This Cal-bred has some OK races in his running lines and the drop off the layoff is a move to win a race at Del Mar and is not that rare a maneuver. He’s a reach, but not impossible. #10 MAGIC TIGER has 3 career starts—one at Golden Gate and two at Pleasanton and they’re not awful. Nice post and a rejuvenated Kent Desormeaux in the irons for trainer Thomas Jamey. Not impossible from a sweet outside box. BEST: #5NEXT BEST: #6, #9, #10 DEL MAR // RACE 4 (6:30PM ET) // MAIDEN SPEICAL WEIGHT // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 MONTEBELLO starts for Bob Baffert and draws the dreaded rail post position. Tough spot to begin a career for the $400k yearling purchase. Son of Curlin will need his best and works say he can run. #2 DERECHO DANDY starts for slow-starting John Sadler (3 for 29 this meet) and jockey Umberto Rispoli. A 59 2/5 gate work at Del Mar suggests this one has some run. #3 KATONAH starts for Keith Desormeaux and the trainer is not known for cranking them up first time out. #4 RECAPTURE FREEDOM is a $27k Ontario-bred that will need to outrun his works to win this. #5 FORBIDDEN KINGDOM is a $300k yearling purchase out of the Richard Mandella barn. The Hall of Fame trainer is not known for cranking them up first time out, but he wins at a strong 19% in the category. This son of American Pharoah appears plenty fit of a pair of five furlong works followed by a six panel 1:14 3/5 lung-filler. #6 OVIATT CLASS is a second-time starter for Keith Desormeaux and is ridden by Kent Desormeaux. First out, this one beat three home going one mile on turf. That probably was a leg-stretcher and the son of Bernardini ought to be fitter for it. Thinking of him as a bottom of exotics player. #7 FLYING DRUMMER completes an inside-outside Baffert blitz on this field. The son of Gun Runner was purchased for $850k at Ocal in April. That means he must move like a machine. He’s got a solid series of works, including gate drills galore. This cozy outside post is a bonus. He’s probably the one to beat. BEST: #7NEXT: #1, #5 DEL MAR // RACE 5 (7:00PM ET) // STARTER ALLOWANCE // 1 1/16 MILES (TURF) #1 CAPO MAFIOSO stretches out for slow-starting trainer Richard Baltas (3 for 39). The gelding broke maiden for $50k sprinting on turf at Santa Anita in February and has raced just once since. #2 CANE CREEK ROAD moves to the barn of Bob Hess for this and has done most his work in the east at Churchill, Keeneland and Fair Grounds. He’s shown speed and been close (4 of 9 in the money). This is a Ship and Win bonus money run. #3 UNCLE JEFF won first out Maiden $50k going six and one-half furlongs on turf at Santa Anita and then was fourth going one mile on dirt. No reason to think this guy’s anything but a live player in here under Kent Desormeaux for pal Vlado Cerin. #4 GENERAL MATHIS hasn’t been out since October when racing first time for trainer Kristin Mulhall. She’s one our favorite conditioners so we’ll suppose she’s done some work with this guy. Still, she’d really need to turn him around to win this. #5 ZIPPY BABY adds blinkers following a claim for $50k by Tim MCanna. This is another invader from the east in search of Ship and Win bonus money. This one has some solid form, so if the transition goes well, he could have something to say about this from off the pace. #6 MIDNIGHT JOSTAR was claimed out of a $30k non winners of 2 two races back and is another heading west from Churchill. He races from well off the pace and will need lots of help up front to set up his closing, probably wide charge. #7 OX BRIDGE has good turf races and his form was darkened by a poor race last out on dirt at Del Mar. He stumbled badly at the start, so that one can be forgiven. If that’s the case, he fits rather well in here on the front end and probably will be the one to catch. He has lost ground in the lane in previous starts but, if jockey Cedillo is able to nurse him along, the other riders might just let him go, figuring he’ll stop. Must be respected. #8 GOOD BYE PUTIN adds blinkers for trainer Carla Gaines in an attempt to get him to level out in the lane. He’s worn them before three races back and they didn’t make that much of a difference. BEST: #7NEXT: #2, #3 Race On!

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8.5.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Meet the 2021 Hambletonian Contenders | Saturday, August 7

‍The field for the 96th Edition of the $1 Million Hambletonian at The Meadowlands on Saturday, August 7, 2021. 1-Delayed Hanover (7/2) - Trainer Ake Svanstedt had four entries in the Eliminations and three qualified for the Final. This colt was forwardly placed last week with Dexter Dunn between the pipes and took advantage of an efficient trip to roll by down the lane in a snappy 151.1. As it turns out, Yannick Gingras will steer this son of Southwind Frank as Dunn chose Nancy Tatker's pupil Really Fast, who leaves from post 7. That move caught me by surprise, normally drivers will stick with an Elimination winner. Gingras will likely leave and be on the lead or close to it throughout. Winner of 4 of 12 starts should be a main player and has hit the board in 5 of 6 M1 races with one picture. 2-Take All Comers (12-1) - This Jim Campbell trainee started from past 8 in his Elimination and finished a good 4th rolling the back half in 55.1.  Dave Miller is the usual pilot, and he will be steering in the Final. Miller is the right kind of driver for this son of Creatine. He has the patience to work a stalking trip and this colt has enough gate speed to get a good early seat. Big M record is 0-3 but has hit the board in 10 of 16 lifetime with 3 wins. Might be a notch below the best of this field but could be used in gimmicks at a price. 3-Spy Booth (15-1) - This is 1 of 3 Takter trainees who made the Final. This colt is still a maiden and Tim Tetrick will be in the sulky. But the $460,000 yearling purchase looks much better now than when put away last September. Takter has commented, this horse went from ignorant to willing. That said, it would still be an upset if he crossed the wire first and hasn't won in 8 starts in East Rutherford. 4-Captain Corey (3-1) - The good news for the Svanstedt barn is they have the pre-race favorite going into the Hambo. Coming off a gate-to-wire score leaving from post 7 in 151.2, the morning line status is deserved, especially after being parked through the opening quarter. But if his colt lands on the point in the early going most likely someone will race at him. It should be difficult to set the fractions to his liking. Svanstedt  takes a seat behind his own pupil who has won 7 of 11 lifetime. Corey has finished no worse than 2nd in 3 M1 starts and has been in the winner's circle twice. Should be a major player, but the question will be the trip. Not sure a picture will be happening without leading at the top of the lane.  5-Locatelli (15-1) - This is another Takter entry and will be driven by Andrew McCarthy. Scott Zeron had the lines in the Elimination. The effort wasn't anything special, but it was Zeron's first time steering and he drove conservatively. Should offer a big price, has had some breaking issues, and doesn't look like a trip to the winner's circle is likely. 6-Sonofamistery (4-1) - Went off at 2-1 and was handled cautiously last week. Actually, was fortunate to qualify as was blocked down the lane but Brain Sears got the job done. The Marcus Melander trainee has a 150.2 mark this year and that is the fastest in the field. Sears won the 2012 Hambo with this colt's sire Muscle Hill and the dam is Mistery Woman who was a top trotter. Melander is seeking his first Hambletonian victory and Sears will be shooting for number four.  To add to the back story this colt was purchased because of the white heart on his forehead. Beyond the cute story is a fine young trotter with a legit shot if minds his manners. 7-Really Fast (5-1) - This is Nancy Takter's #1 pupil and the Big M's top driver Dexter Dunn will be at the controls. Dunn's pick over #1 is a talented colt, winning 4 of 8 starts all at the Big M. If there is reason to doubt this son of Muscle Hill it would be a lack of seasoning. He did not race at 2 and has the fewest number of races (8) in the field. But that also makes his accomplishments this year even more amazing and evidently Dunn believes this colt is just scratching the surface. Qualified on 7-17 after breaking stride in 2 straight starts on 6-11 and 7-10. Since then, has been good and one of the breaks was on a sloppy track (7-10). The fractions should be lively and Dunn may be the fastest of all trotting down the lane. But this will be the first time this colt races in consecutive weeks. 8-Venerate (8-1) - Julie Miller's trainee has only 5 starts this year after being named the 2020 Dan Patch Two-Year-Old Trotter of the Year. This post draw does compromise chances of cashing the top check but with over $807k in the bank it's not an impossible task. Did stop the timer in 152 flat last week, which was his fastest time this year. Similar to #6, raced from the back, finished well and could have more to give in the Final.  9-Ambassador Hanover (15-1) - This is the last of the Svanstedt stable entries and the least likely to hit the board from this post. Last week's effort was dull but good enough to qualify even with a 28.4 last quarter. This Chapter 7 colt banked some nice money this year with a 2nd place finish in the $500,000 Yonkers Trot. Actually, had a nice span of races in June and July and maybe now his form is starting to roll over. Scott Zeron will be at the controls. 10-Cuatro De Julio (10-1) - This son of Trixton will be driven by 29-year-old Lucas Wallin who makes his Hambletonian debut but has trained 3 Oaks finalists.  Finished 2nd to Delayed Hanover in his Elimination and was forwardly placed throughout after leaving from post 1. Doesn't appear to have enough gate speed to get a close-up seat from out here, and the post draw may have sealed his fate.  Check me out on Twitter!

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8.5.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Analysis | Thursday, August 5

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: CUse: 4-Paige Runner; 7-Smiling Anne Forecast: Northern California shipper Smiling Anne makes her third start off a long layoff, landing in a modest bottom-rung claiming main track miler for fillies and mares that should be within her capabilities. An old pro with 11 career wins, the B. McLean-trained daughter of Trappe Shot likes to stalk, pounce, and go, and in this $8,000 seller she should be able to pick her spot close to the pace and then have her chance from the quarter pole home. Paige Runner was a 13-length winner earlier this year at Santa Anita in a starter optional claimer that earned a speed figure 16 points better than what is par for a bottom-rung seller such as this. But since then, in three races, she really hasn’t gotten close, hence the sharp drop in class. She does have a prior win over the Del Mar main track so perhaps against this group she’ll bounce back. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play in a race that we’ll otherwise sit out. RACE 2: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B+Use: 1-Tom’s Surprise; 4-Respect the Hustle Forecast: Tom’s Surprise just missed in the Bertrando S. at Los Alamitos when earning a career top speed figure in a much tougher spot than this starter’s $16,000 allowance turf miler. Though he’s unproven on grass – in his only prior turf start he finished fourth in a five furlong sprint up north – the son of Tom’s Tribute is bred to run long on the lawn and today gets his first chance to do just that. He has good tactical speed, so from the rail the J. Wong-trained gelding projects to enjoy an ideal pace-stalking, ground-saving trip. For protection, you can include Respect the Hustle on a back-up or saver ticket. The veteran son of Colonel John is slower on figures than our top pick but is a genuine and consistent type and broke his maiden over this course and distance as a 2-year-old a few years back. RACE 3: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Esagerare; 4-Angel of Freedom Forecast: Angel of Freedom, third in each of his three starts and earning a career top speed figure in her most recent outing despite a rough trip, has trained well over this track for her first outing since mid-May, and the daughter of Flatter should fire her best shot in this maiden main track miler for fillies and mares. We’re expecting the daughter of Flatter to settle in behind the leaders and then grind away from the quarter pole home. Esagerare exits a softer maiden optional claiming sprint in her California debut but earned a decent speed figure when staying on with interest to finish third. She stretches out to a distance she’s bred to like, adds blinkers and Lasix, and switching to K. Desormeaux. From her rail post she should enjoy a ground-saving, stalking trip for a low profile but underrated outfit. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play. RACE 4: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Studly Perfection; 2-T Bones Trick Forecast: T Bones Trick returns to his claim and winning level after finishing a distant second for $16,000 behind a next-out winner in a highly-rated race at Los Alamitos in late June. Back with $8,000 sellers, the J. Wong-trained gelding should be capable of regaining his winning edge. The veteran son of Midnight Lute prefers patient tactics and will be doing his best work from the top of the lane to the wire. Studly Perfection got burned up in a speed duel on opening day when the track was quite deep along the fence, so while he did falter under pressure in the final furlong, the K. Mulhall-trained gelding should stick a whole lot better today against this easier group over a main track that has gradually moved toward being bias-free. Always at his best as the controlling speed, the son of Majesticperfection knows where the wire is (nine career victories) and seems likely to take full advantage of his rail draw. We’ll prefer T Bones Trick on top but include both in rolling exotic play. Race 5: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: CUse: 1-Bossy Soul; 5-Patriot Missile; 8-Consider Me Gone Forecast: One of these bottom-rung maiden claimers will earn a diploma in this lackluster main track miler for fillies and mares. We’ll try to get by using just three in a race that we’ve g