Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Saratoga Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Thursday, January 18, 2019

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. 

​It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis.  Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.

​The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches.  For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.

Jeff Siegel’s Daily Analysis & Wagering Strategies

Saratoga

Thursday, July 18, 2019

​​*

Today’s Bullet Drills: click to view video

Today's Day Makers: clock to view video

*

RACE 1: Post 1:00 ET. Grade: B

Use: 1-Zealous; 4-Golden Tiger

Forecast: When last seen in the winter Zealous was developing into a fairly consistent sort and was finally able to break his maiden in his 10th career start with a speed figure good enough to win at this level.  Freshened since February but sporting a sharp, healthy work tab that includes a bullet drill (48 3/5 seconds, fastest of 39) on July 1, the Bond-trained gelding might return even better than he left and has the proper style for this extended sprint distance.  With a clean break from his rail post the Tiznow gelding should be able to secure a nice, ground-saving, second flight trip.  Golden Tiger has steadily rising speed figures (though still below what Zealous is capable of achieving), and with another forward move he should be able to at least pose a threat.  Rosario will have him on or near the lead throughout. 

*

*

​​RACE 2: Post 1:36 ET. Grade: C

Single: 4-January Won; 6-Justintimeforwine

Forecast: This race is restricted to two-year-olds that brought $45,000 or less at auction, and thus is considerably softer than a typical open maiden Saratoga juvenile event.  Justintimeforwine qualifies after being purchased for that exact amount at the OBS March sale, and after chasing a salty open group last month at Belmont Park he seems sure to improve with Rosario riding him back and the blinkers coming off.  Also qualifying for having brought exactly $45,000 last year as a yearling is January Won, a son of New Year’s Day from the McPeek stable.  The stats for first-time starters from this barn are bleak, but the work tab at Churchill Downs indicates this colt has some ability, so in a modest affair he must be considered a contender.  In a race that we’ll otherwise pass, both should be included in rolling exotic play.

*

*

​​RACE 3: Post 2:12 ET. Grade: X

Use: 2-Jewel of Arabia; 3-Fierce Lady

Forecast: ​Fierce Lady, a $725,000 buy back at the Fasig-Tipton Horses of Racing Age sale earlier this month, was ultra-impressive breaking her maiden at first asking (view Black Book video) and will be a short price to score again in this state-bred added money event for fillies.  The 87 Beyer speed figure towers over those with a prior run, but stranger danger comes in the form of Jewel of Arabia, bred for much speed (Daredevil) and debuting for the always-powerful Clement/Rosario team.  This barn wouldn’t be running her in a stakes as a first-time starter unless that they thought something of her, so while the main push must go to Fierce Lady, you can save with Jewel of Arabia on a ticket or two as a back-up if you’d like.

*

*

​​​RACE 4: Post 2:48 ET. Grade: B+

Single: 7-Everyonelovesjames

Forecast: Everyonelovesjames seeks his fourth straight win and has speed figures that should allow him to extend that streak in this first-level allowance mini-marathon turf affair.  The 11-furlong trip might be pushing his limit, but the son of Freud seems likely to enjoy an easy front-running trip so we’re expecting a flag fall-to-that’s all performance from the Sheppard-trained gelding.  Let’s make him a straight play and rolling exotic single.

*

*

​​RACE 5: Post 3:28 ET. Grade: B+

Use: 3-Power Up Paynter; 9-City Man

Forecast: This race has been taken off the turf.  City Man was entered main track only, so he’s running and probably the one to beat.  The son of Mucho Macho Man showed ability when previewing in 10 1/5 seconds at OBS April sale and has been given a strong local foundation by Clement.  With Rosario taking the call we’ll assume the the$185,000 purchase is fit and ready.   Power up Paynter, listed at 8-1 on the morningline, is an intriguing first-timer from the Rice.  Sold for $100,000 at the OBS open sale in June, he displayed some quality in his preview breeze in 10 1/5 seconds while looking pretty quick, so we suspect he has more talent than his moderate local workouts might lead one to believe.  Rice’s go-to rider Lezcano takes the call. Slight preference on top goes to City Man, but both should be included in rolling exotic play.

*

*

​​RACE 6: Post 4:03 ET. Grade: B+

Single: 4-Smooth With a Kick

Forecast: ​ Smooth With a Kick shows steadily rising speed figures and appears ready to graduate while stretching out to nine furlongs in a race that may find her dominating throughout on the front end.  The C. Brown-trained daughter of Candy Ride was sharp and eager while best of a team (view video) in a recent breeze over the Saratoga main track to indicate she’s ready for a significant forward move in her first outing since late May.  Let’s make her a straight play and rolling exotic single.

*

*

RACE 7: Post 4:39 ET. Grade: C

Use: 6-Laughing Matters; 8-Chuckles; 13-Deputy Flag

Forecast: This race has been taken off the turf and looks chaotic.  We’ll go three deep and hope that’s enough.  Deputy Flag draws in as an MTO and returns to the maiden claiming ranks while shortening to five and one-half furlongs.  These should be his friends and we’re expecting the Posse gelding to be on or near the lead throughout.  Chuckles is a first-off-the-claim ($30,000) for C. Englehart; he’s been a well-bet failure in two prior outings but could be a much better type following a five-month vacation as indicated by a bullet gate workout (48 2/5 seconds, fastest of 64) over the Belmont Park training track last month.  Laughing Matters doesn’t really have a move – he sorta finishes where he starts – but with Rosario staying aboard he’s probably worth tossing in on a ticket or two. 

*

*

​​RACE 8: Post 5:15 ET. Grade: B+

Use: 2b-Value Proposition; 4-Kid Lemuel; 5-Shootin the Breeze

Forecast: Kid Lemuel is a progressive 3-year-old colt who won a nice maiden nine-furlong turf event at Churchill Dows in late May and then finished a strong second (eight lengths clear of the rest) in an off-the-turf first-level allowance event last month.  Two easy breezes by the Kenneally-trained sophomore since his most recent outing indicates he’s doing well, so let’s go with the son of Ice Box, who was originally 12-1 on the morning line, but probably will go lower due to the scratch of Opry.  Value Proposition was on the lead in the Pennine Ridge Stakes and faded; he needs to be taken back and allowed to produce the last run and given that type of ride today can return to the form that saw him graduate at first asking like a colt with promise over a turf course that had plenty of give to it.  Shootin the Breeze is a one-paced grinder but has hit the board in each of his last four starts.  He’ll be a square price and is a fit on numbers, so we’ll include him on a ticket or two as well.  

*

*

RACE 9: Post 5:51 ET. Grade: B

Use: 2-Hofburg; 7-Flowers for Lisa

Forecast: Hofburg has proven he can fire fresh and returns for Mott for his first start since October with a series of workouts that should have him fit and ready.  A winner of the Curlin Stakes over this track and distance last year, the son of Tapit should make a very good four-year-old and seems capable of out-classing this field.  He’ll race without blinkers; and there should be enough pace in here to compliment his style.  Flowers for Lisa is the likely controlling speed and is a tough-as-nails pro, having finished first or second in 21 of 43 career starts.  He won his comeback at Delaware Park last month in typical gate-to-wire fashion but the number was just okay so he’ll have to step it up today.  We’ll use both in our rolling exotics and then have extra tickets keying Hofburg on top.

*

*

RACE 10: Post 6:25 ET. Grade: C+

Use: 1-Timely Tradition/1a-Hay Field; 3-High Jingo

Forecast: This race has been taken off the turf.  Timely Tradition, entered as an MTO, draws into the race and has form that makes her a solid contender.  A winner of her only prior start over the Saratoga main track, she’s best as a late-running sprinter so whatever help she can get up front she’ll appreciate.  A winner of seven of 21 lifetime, she knows where the wire is.  Her entry mate, Hay Field, has a similar late-running style and also is perfect in one start at the Spa. The entry looks tough.  High Jingo couldn’t get the trip as the favorite in a similar second-level allowance turf sprint at Belmont Park over seven furlongs last month but today shortens to five and one-half furlongs and looks like the quickest of the quick.  However, she’s suspect on dirt.  Tread lightly here. 

​​

Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Saratoga Analysis & Wagering Strategies for Thursday, January 18, 2019

Jeff Siegel's Blog |