Jeff Siegel’s Blog: “What You Need to Know” for Saratoga – Thursday, July 21, 2022

July 21, 2022

By Jeff Siegel, Handicapper & Analyst

(For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing).



FOURTH RACE – Post: 2:49 ET
Top Pick: 1-Run Poppy (5/2)

This juvenile son of Runhappy was given a relatively easy ride in his debut at Churchill Downs last month yet stayed on well through the lane to finish a willing third in an outing that should benefit him significantly. Since arriving at the Spa, the Steve Asmussen-trained colt shows a nice breeze (see below), so if he can avoid trouble from the rail – and if there are no world beaters in the field – he should be the one to beat. Among the newcomers, 5-V Mart looks the most intriguing. Though a bit high-headed, the son of Hard Spun looked fairly decent breezing a furlong in 10 1/5 seconds at the OBS March Sale and his recent work pattern at Monmouth Park contains several works with decent times, so he gives every indication of being live and well-meant. We have not seen video on the Todd Pletcher first timer 3-Forbidden Secret but having been sold at auction for $47,000 he meets the restriction (barely) so in an open fray he’s worth tossing in. Smart Prize finished a neck behind Run Poppy when also making his debut in Kentucky and has a right to improve, but he failed to change leads in that race and lost his punch late, so we’re somewhat cool on his chances today.

SIXTH RACE: Post: 3:55 ET
Top Pick: 4-A Western Yarn (6-1)

Here’s an educated guess in a race (a split of today’s fourth) that is full of question marks. This son of the obscure ($2,500) Speightstown sprinter Eastwood brought $45,000 as a yearling, so we’ll assume he’s an impressive-looking individual, and the work tab shows some signs of life. The Arnaud Delacour barn has solid stats with first-time starters, and though this colt has trained at Fair Hill and Delaware Park his connections apparently think enough of him to try the bigger boys at Saratoga, where his auction price qualifies him for a shot at this attractive $85,000 purse. 7-Three Zero is a shipper from Churchill Downs with three outings already on his resume, but his Beyer figures are steadily rising, so among those with experience he seems like the best of the lot. At 6-1 on the morning line, you have to use him. Barzini breezed fast at the OBS April Sale (10 seconds flat), and while visually he wasn’t overwhelming he still should be competitive at this level. 5-In Detail is another Monmouth shipper that should get some play, but he didn’t look like much to use in his 10 4/5 seconds breeze in the OBS March Sale, while


(Races 1-5)
1st race: 6-Up to the Mark; 2-Frat Pack
2nd race: 5-Perceived; 4-No Burn; 1-Grumps Little Tots
3rd race: 6-St. Joe Louis; 7-Al’s Prince
4th race: 1-Run Poppy; 5-V Mart; 3-Forbidden Secret; Smart Prize
5th race: 4-Greatest Love; 2-Aidanike

(Races 6-10)
6th race: 4-A Western Yarn; 7-Three Zero; 2-Ee Yah. Backups: 2-Ee Yah; 3-Barzini
7th race: 6-Big Package; 3-Maxwell Esquire; 5-Artemus Citylimits; 2-Principled Stand
8th race: 3-Cargate; 1-U Guys Are No Fun
9th race: 4-Dakota Gold. Backup: 3-Coinage
10th race: 9-Georgees Spirit; 2-Sugar Mamas Cakery; 5-Margaret Burbidge. Backup: 6-American Rockette; 7-Strut; 8-Determined Jester



Up to the Mark (July 7, Saratoga, 4f, :48hg). Grade: B
Caught him several ticks faster than given in impressive gate drill for T. Pletcher while many lengths the best over next out winner Never Change (4f, :49.1hg TT), hustled along early and then under mild coaxing to complete the drill, :47 and small change on our watches. Have to think this son of Not This Time will be very live at first asking, was $450,000 yearling purchase.
View Workout Video


I Am the Law (July 10, Saratoga, 4f, :48.3b). Grade: C+
Wasn’t really asked much but never switched leads through the lane, final three furlongs in :11.3 and :36.3 for J. Terranova. Was hoping for a bit better.
View Workout Video



Run Poppy (July 9, Saratoga, 4f, :50.2b TT). Grade: B
Breezing through the lane inside and slightly best with Roman Giant (same time) for S. Asmussen, final quarter in :24.4. Ran well in a moderate maiden sprint at Churchill Downs when second in his debut and has every right to improve with that experience behind him.
View Workout Video



Greatest Lover (July 15, Saratoga, 4f, :48.2h). Grade: B
Ears up, cruise control through the lane, never asked, :24.3 from the quarter pole to the wire for G. Rodriguez, who claimed him back for $25,000 last month after losing him for $20,000 the previous race. Drops significantly down to the $12,500 level in this race but seemed healthy enough in this drill. Mixed signals.
View Workout Video


U Guys Are No Fun (July 15, Santa Anita, 4f, :49.2b TT). Grade: B-
Blazed-faced filly was niggled at through the lane inside Big Agenda (same time) for J. Englehart to be stride-for-stride to the wire, final quarter mile in a solid :24.2 after going off easily. Useful drill maintains her form.
View Workout Video



Dakota Gold (July 7, Saratoga, 4f, :49.1b TT). Grade: B
Eager through the lane under a nice hold to be even but slightly best outside America’s Guest (same time) for D. Gargan, final three furlongs in a steady :36 3/5. Prefers turf, holds his edge.
View Workout Video



Sugar Mamas Cakery (July 11, Saratoga, 4f, :50.2b TT). Grade: B-
Easy half mile training track breeze for S. Asmussen while stride-for-stride outside High Class (same time), splits of :25.1 and :50.1. Half to think she’ll improve with a race under her belt and with the switch to grass for a barn that has strong stats with second-time starters.
View Workout Video

Shackled by Lust (July 15, Saratoga, 4f, :50.1b, TT DU). Grade: C+
Wanted to lug in through the lane while even but second best outside Numero Seis (same time) for J. Sharp, fair to moderate under the circumstances. Can’t really say she’ll move up on grass based on this drill.
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Margaret Burbidge (July 11, Saratoga, 4f, :50.3b TT DU). Grade: B
In blinkers, broke off behind Alibi Ike (4f, :50.3b TC DU) for W. Ward and was slightly best through the lane while finishing nicely without being asked while breezing on the far outside around dogs. Daughter of Twirling Candy looks fit and should be live at first asking.
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American Rockette (July 8, Saratoga, 5f, 1:03b TT DU). Grade: B
Broke off a couple of lengths behind unnamed (Malibu Pride worked under dam’s name) and easily disposed of that one to finish several lengths in front while breezing outside around dogs on turf, some coaxing midway and then mild urging through the lane. Strikes us as a route-type with some ability, probably not a quick sort (or at least isn’t being trained to be one).
View Workout Video

Jeff Siegel’s Blog: “What You Need to Know” for Saratoga – Thursday, July 21, 2022

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