Jeff Siegel: What You Need to Know - Saratoga | Friday, July 21, 2023

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily Santa Anita Handicapping Analysis, Wagering Strategies, and Workout Commentary identify those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.
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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: 1:10 ET Grade: B-
Main ticket: (in order of preference): 7-Same Old Fears; 2-Shards
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.  

Forecast: We have no video on workouts in Kentucky for Same Old Fears so we’re basically flying blind on the Wesley Ward-trained juvenile, but the raw times look good, so we suspect this son of Uncle Mo has enough ability to be a major player in a race that doesn’t appear to be particularly strong.  The colt’s dam (Bombo Genesis) wasn’t much but her best foal to date (King of Miami) broke his maiden sprinting on grass in New York and was a listed stakes winner over a distance of ground at Canterbury Park, so that probably explains while this homebred colt is debuting on grass.  Shards breezed like a rocket ship at the OBS March sale (a bullet quarter mile in :20 3/5) but had no visible mishap when fading to third at four and one-half furlongs in his debut as the favorite at Gulfstream Park last month. Maybe turf will help.  


RACE 2: Post: 1:44 ET Grade: B
Main ticket: (in order of preference): Rosebug; 1-Braganza
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.

Forecast: Rosebug shortens to six furlongs in this entry-level sprint for fillies and mares after weakening late under pressure when second in a similar affair at Belmont Park in mid-June.  A game win at this distance two races back produced a career top speed figure, so if the Bill Mott-trained daughter of American Pharoah can duplicate that performance today she should be able to return to the winner’s circle.  Braganza is lightly raced, fast on figures, seeks her third straight score, and is likely to do her best work from off a second flight, ground-saving position. This six furlong distance might be a tad sharp, but with clear sailing she should have every chance in the final stages.  


RACE 3: Post: 2:20 ET Grade: B
Main ticket (in order of preference): 7-Classic Mark; 5-Order of Magnitude
Backups/savers/Underneath: none.  

Forecast: Classic Mark won a starter’s allowance sloppy track affair at Belmont Park in his first start off the claim for Linda Rice 17 days ago and with that condition out of the way the son of Classic Empire returns to the claiming ranks while trying to steal another purse.  Most class drops following a win can be viewed suspiciously, but not from this barn.  Order of Magnitude brings from South Florida good recent form that charts very well at this level.  The Carlos David-trained gelding has good tactical speed and is reunited with “win rider” Luis Saez.  


RACE 4: Post: 2:52 ET Grade: B+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 3-Blazing Sevens; 2-Lost Ark
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.  

Forecast: It’s pretty hard to pick against Preakness St.-G1 runner-up Blazing Sevens in this year’s renewal of the listed Curlin Stakes for 3-year-olds over nine furlongs on the main track.  The Chad Brown-trained son of Good Magic is fast on figures, and his narrow defeat to National Treasure (with Derby winner Mage behind him) legitimizes his 4/5 morning line status.  Lost Ark is intriguing. The son of Violence won his first two starts as a 2-year-old including the Sapling Stakes like a potential star, but then got exposed when finishing far back in both the Breeders’ Futurity (sixth, beaten 10 lengths) and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-G1 (eased, finished last).  His winning return last month in an allowance race at Monmouth Park produced a career top speed figure, though at times during that four length romp the Todd Pletcher-trained colt appeared green and unfocused.  If the light switch ever goes on, lookout.


RACE 5: Post: 3:26 ET Grade: C+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 8-War Prince; 7-Sinaloa; 1-Bankingonachance
Backups/Savers/Underneath: 3-Ripe for Mischief

Forecast: Here’s a messy maiden claiming turf sprint for older New York-bred runners in which no result would surprise.  Best advice is to spread as deeply as your budget allows. War Prince has the route-to-sprint angle that always catches our eye, and his only prior one-turn outing wasn’t half bad (a closing third in an off-the-turf, wet track affair).  He flattened out in a pair of subsequently outings over a distance of ground but under these conditions the Rob Atras-trained son of War Dancer could do some damage from off the pace at 6-1 on the morning line.  Sinaloa was sluggish early and then flat out given a race while closing a gap late without threatening in his debut at this level last month.  Jose Ortiz stays aboard, so we’re expecting a much more serious effort today.   Bankingonachance received some play (6-1) in his debut when an even fourth in a similar affair in mid-June.  Flavian Prat rides him back, and from his rail post the son of Central Banker should be given a chance to step forward.  


RACE 6: Post: 4:00 ET Grade: B-
Main ticket (in order of preference): 4-Royal Spirit; 9-Catch the Party
Backups/Savers/Underneath: 8-O Captain

Forecast: Royal Spirit tries his hand for the first time at a mini-marathon distance and we suspect he’ll enjoy it.  A one-paced grinder in middle distance affairs, the son of Into Mischief always tries hard (first or second in seven of 16 career starts) and projects to inherit a good stalking position and then have every chance when the pressure is turned on.  At 8-1 on the morning line, the Linda Rice-trained colt offers a reasonable gamble.  Catch That Party is logically the one to beat.  He shows excellent recent form with strong speed figures in New York-bred races that chart quite well in open company, and he’s proven over the course, having finished in the frame in five of six prior starts, including two wins,.  


RACE 7: Post: 4:34 ET Grade: B
Main ticket (in order of preference): 11-Create Trouble; 6-Treaty Obligation
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.

Forecast: Three of the main contenders in this seven furlong maiden special weight sprint for older horses exit the same race that was won by Mount Up at Belmont Park in mid-June.  The field finished in a heap – 6-Treaty Obligation, who wound up third, had a bad trip and was best – but the overall impression was that the race itself was below standard. If you’re inclined to use something out of the race, we’d suggest Treaty Obligation, who was off slowly and was stuck in traffic much of the way before finding room late while staying on gamely.  However, Kentucky shipper Create Trouble may be ready to win, and at 8-1 on the morning line, offers a legitimate price chance.  The son of Into Mischief was tagged late when second over a wet track in a mile affair at Ellis Park, and with only slight forward move today could be set to seal the deal in his second start off a long layoff (barn has good stats with this angle).  From his outside draw, jockey Tyler Gaffalione can pick his spot and move when he wants to.  


RACE 8: Post: 5:10 ET Grade: B+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 7-Artorius; 2-Speed Bias
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.

Forecast: Artorius captured the Curlin Stakes over this track and distance last year, and though he hasn’t won in three starts since the Chad Brown-trained colt drops into the second level allowance ranks and should greatly appreciate the softer assignment.  A respectable fourth with a strong figure in his comeback in the Salvatore Mile at Monmouth Park in mid-June, the son of Arrogate seems sure to improve with that tightener behind him and being reunited with “win rider” Irad Ortiz, Jr.  There should be no excuses today at 5/2 on the morning line, which seems like a fair price.  Speed Bias is the likely controlling speed and given that type of trip he could take this field a very long way.  His tough beat (a nose) in the Pimlico Special-G2 two runs back will make him hard to beat today, and in his most recent outing (off the board the Stephen Foster-G1) he was simply out of his element.  This group certainly isn’t.  


RACE 9: Post: 5:44 ET Grade: B+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 1-Queen Picasso
Backups/Savers/Underneath: 4-Luguria; 7-Utilization Rate

Forecast: Half of the 10 runner field in this year’s edition of Lake George Stakes-G3 for 3-year-old fillies is trained by Chad Brown.  And there isn’t one of them that doesn’t have a chance.  We’re guaranteed a nice price if we look elsewhere, so how about the unbeaten Queen Picasso? She broke her maiden two turning at Gulfstream Park in good style in March and then shortened to seven furlongs at Belmont Park in the Soaring Softly S.-G3 and came away in clever style after pressing the pace to register a sharp score with complete authority.  From her inside draw in this inner turf miler the Christophe Clement-trained daughter of Kingman almost certainly will be the controlling speed, and if she can sneak away without undue pressure there’s a likelihood that she’ll never look back.  At 6-1 on the morning line, a reasonable gamble is available.  We must note that our top pick was cross entered in the Ontario Colleen S-G3 at Woodbine on Saturday and as of this writing it is unknown which race she will compete.  If she runs tomorrow, we’ll elevate Luguria and Utilization Rate to the top line of the Lake George.  


RACE 10: Post: 6:18 ET Grade: C+
Main ticket: (in order of preference): 7-Prix de West; 1-Bourbon Chase; 9-All Good Here
Backups/savers: 8-Tony O; 12-Lt. Mitchell

Forecast: Prix de West finished nowhere in his debut sprinting on main track in April at Aqueduct, but he’s not a sprinter and probably not a dirt horse, either.  So, let’s give him another chance in this below average middle distance turf affair for state-bred maidens.  The son of Classic Empire appears to be training well since his race and under these conditions could leave his poor debut far behind.  He’s 8-1 on the morning line and nothing in this race really should be lower than that.  Bourbon Chase is a seven race maiden with six in-the-frame finishes, so while he might lack a winning punch the son of Practical Joke seems likely to be somewhere in the fray, especially from his good inside draw that assures a ground saving trip.  This will be his first try on turf; who knows if he’ll like it?  All Good Here finished a close second in a similar maiden grass affair at Belmont Park in late June and not much more will be needed today.  It wasn’t much of a race, but with just three starts behind him the son of Palace Music has a right to continue to improve.  

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