Jeff Siegel’s National Best Plays
Gulfstream Park – First Race. Post time: 2:55 ET
4-Cajun Tease (4-1)
Bred for intense speed on both sides of her pedigree, this daughter of Cajun Breeze wore blinkers and was visually impressive in a gate drill June 18 when she was best of a three-horse team while breezing a half mile in a quick 47 3/5 seconds, the eighth fastest of 108 for the distance without ever being asked for her best. Hopefully, she’ll break as alertly in the race as she did in this workout and if she does the Michael Yates-trained homebred should take some catching. She is listed at 4-1 on the morning line and should offer good value at or near that price.
Belmont Park – Fifth race. Post time: 3:03 ET
4-Royal Velvet (7/2)
This juvenile son of Collected is a half-brother to the outstanding turf sprinter Voodoo Zip, so it stands to reason that he makes his racing debut on grass for the always-potent trainer/jockey combo of Christophe Clement and Joel Rosario. Though his sire was primarily a dirt runner, this colt’s grandsire (City Zip) was a marvelous producer of turf stakes winners and the work tab, while not flashy, should have him fit and ready for top try. The circumstantial evidence suggests he’s extremely live in this wide-open affair so at or near his morning line of 7/2 there should be plenty of wagering value to be found.
Churchill Downs – Seventh Race. Post time: 3:50 ET
5-Sugar Mamas Cakery (9/2)
There was nothing in the first two generations of her pedigree, yet this daughter of the first-crop stallion Mendelssohn brought $160,000 as a yearling, which attests to her outstanding conformation and athletic look. The Steve Asmussen-trained filly sports a brief work tab leading up to her debut but one of the recorded drills – a bullet 46 4/5 seconds gate workout at Lone Star Park June 12 that was fastest of 77 for the distance – jumps off the page. It hasn’t been a great meeting for this typically high-percentage barn but in an unclassified field of juveniles this promising filly appears well-spotted for a major effort first crack out of the box. At 9/2 on the morning line, let’s make her a gamble in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.