Jeff Siegel: National Best Plays | Saturday, December 2, 2023

Aqueduct – Eighth Race (3:17 ET)
7-Good Sam (5/2)

Though she was undefeated in two starts last year with a win in the Tempted Stakes over this track and distance last November, this daughter of Good Samaritan was a bit rusty upon her return when failing twice as the favorite in allowance company during the summer.  However, she regained her winning form with a facile score here in an overnight race in October to improve her career record at the Big A to three-for-three while producing a career top speed figure.  This class hike to the Go For Wand S.-G3 should be well within her scope, and from a cozy outside draw, the Chad Brown-trained filly is assured a soft second flight prompting trip and then have every chance while offering good wagering value at or near her morning line of 5/2.


Aqueduct - Ninth Race (3:45 ET)
3-Dornoch (5/2)  

This full brother to 2023 Kentucky Derby winner Mage is blessed with a significant amount of natural ability but still has much to learn after racing greenly and failing to change leads when breaking his maiden by more than six lengths at Keeneland in mid-October.  His speed figures have risen in each of his three career starts, and we suspect he’ll step forward again at this nine furlong distance that he is certain to enjoy.  This year’s edition of the Remsen S.-G2 didn’t come up particularly strong, so the Danny Gargan-trained juvenile should be more than capable of winning again, and at anything close to his morning line of 5/2 the son of Good Magic will offer excellent wagering value in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.


Del Mar – Fifth Race (2:30 PT)
1-Ms Brightside (12-1)

Price players should take a very close look at this Irish invader from the Phil D’Amato barn.  A visually pleasing debut maiden winner at Fairyhouse last summer, the juvenile filly was spotty and green during the early stages of that six furlong sprint due to her inexperience, but she really took hold in the closing stages to draw clear late and score with complete authority before galloping out full of run.  She has been given plenty of time to acclimate, shows two nice breezes over the local lawn, and from her favorable inside draw is guaranteed an ideal ground saving trip. Based on her 67 Timeform Rating (not bad at all for a two-year-old in June), the daughter of Magna Grecia can fit on this circuit at this level, so at 12-1 on the morning she will offer enticing wagering value in this year’s renewal of the Jimmy Durante Stakes-G3.  


Del Mar - Seventh Race (3:30 PT)
9-Seal Team (5-1)

After being given plenty to do and then accelerating impressively when room finally developed into the stretch, the rapidly developing son of War Front proved clearly best at 7-1 in the Twilight Derby-G2 at Santa Anita on Breeders’ Cup weekend, but his victory was no fluke, and we suspect he can come back and do it again in this year’s edition of the Hollywood Dernby-G1.  His outside draw will allow for a comfortable stalk-and-pounce trip, and following a series of extra sharp main track workouts since that race the Richard Mandella-trained sophomore appears ready to step forward again. He is listed at 5-1 on the morning line and at that price we’ll try him in the win pool and in rolling exotic play.