Jeff Siegel: What You Need to Know - Saratoga | Saturday, September 2, 2023

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily Saratoga 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: 12:40 ET Grade: B
Main ticket: (in order of preference):  3-Baraye; 2-Tammy Lynn
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.  

Forecast: The opener is a wide open grass dash for juvenile fillies.  We’ll try to survive and advance by doubling the race, but you may find the need to spread deeper.  Baraye flashed good speed before weakening through the lane to wind up a distant second in an abbreviated sprint for 2-year-olds during the spring Keeneland meeting.  The Wesley Ward-trained daughter of Midshipman returns after being stopped on and could easily be a much better type this time around.  The Rosario/Ward combo always has been dangerous, so in a race that might be a tad below par let’s hope to get close to her morning line of 7/2 on the tote.  Tammy Lynn has displayed some decent speed in the morning for Al Stall, Jr. and should be fit enough to produce a sharp effort first crack out of the box.  A $170,000 Timonium 2-year-old in training purchase in May, she recorded a bullet local gate drill (:47 1/5) that was the fastest of 106 for the distance last month.  


RACE 2: Post: 1:13 ET Grade: B+
Main ticket: (in order of preference): 5-Accretive
Backups/Savers/Underneath: 1-Tonal Impact.

Forecast: Accretive returned off a long layoff to easily dispose of nw-2 allowance rivals in a fast race in late July and has trained steadily in the interim to be fit and ready for another big effort on the one level raise.  The son of Practical Joke stretches out to a mile, but the added distance shouldn’t be an issue and he seems likely to fold over into a soft stalking position outside and have every chance from there.


RACE 3: Post: 1:48 ET Grade: X
Main ticket (in order of preference): 2-McKulick
Backups/savers/Underneath: none.

Forecast: McKulick has just three rivals in this year’s renewal of the Flower Bowl Stakes-G2 and based on her recent win in the Glens Falls Stakes-G2 the daughter of Frankel will be a very short price.  The Chad Brown-trained filly is a two-time winner over the local lawn, has finished first or second in eight of 11 career starts, and is proven at this mini-marathon distance.  At 4/5 on the morning line, she’s a no value rolling exotic single.  


RACE 4: Post: 2:21 ET Grade: B
Main ticket (in order of preference): 2-Cape Trafalgar; 1-Lafitte’s Fleet/1a-Daufuskie Island
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.

Forecast: Cape Trafalgar has rising speed figures and room for further improvement, so let’s go with the Saffie Joseph, Jr.-trained colt as our top pick in this first level allowance extended sprint for older horses.  The son of Lord Nelson is a versatile type that can be tough on the lead or from a stalking position, and with just seven career outings we doubt we’ve seen his best stuff yet.  At 4-1 on the morning line, there’s a bit of value to be found.  Daufuskie Island, part of the entry with Lafitte’s Fleet (also a contender), has a race three back that would win but his numbers have dropped in his most recent two outings.  It’s possible he’s the quickest in the field and if he can clear early without being sent hard the son of Goldencents could take some catching.  


RACE 5: Post: 3:26 ET Grade: X
Main ticket (in order of preference): 5-Dazzling Blue
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.  

Forecast: Dazzling Blue had her unbeaten streak snapped in her fourth career start but earned a career top speed figure when second to the brilliant but ill-fated Maple Leaf Mel in the Victory Ride S.-G2 while losing nothing in defeat.  The daughter of Into Mischief returns after seven weeks rest and has ticked over nicely in morning with a series of sharp, breezing drills to have on right on edge.  She lands the cozy outside draw and projects to have a perfect trip, so at 6/5 on the morning line she’s a logical rolling exotica single.  


RACE 6: Post: 3:26 ET Grade: B-
Main ticket (in order of preference): 10-Agate Road; 7-Ocala Rocket
Backups/Savers/Underneath: 1-Walley World; 3-Tom Collins.  

Forecast: Agate Road ran a winning race when nosed out in his debut in an off-the-turf miler last month and today gets his chance to put his grass talents on display in this two-turn, inner turf affair for maiden juveniles.  The son of Quality Road switches to Irad Ortiz, Jr., and if he can get over and find a good ground-saving position before the field reaches the first he should be in pretty good shape. Ocala Rocket has trained reasonably well for his debut and as a son of Hard Spun certainly should enjoy running long on the lawn.  A half-brother to Astoria Stakes winner Athens Queen, he brought $450,000 at the OBS June sale, where he smoked a furlong in :09 4/5, though in doing so he carried his head a bit higher than we’d prefer to see.  


RACE 7: Post: 4:00 ET Grade: B+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 7-Enlighten; 10-Jefferson Street
Backups/Savers/Underneath: 9-Dive Bomber; 3-General Partner.

Forecast: Enlighten hooked up with super freak Fierceness in a gate work last month and while second best certainly wasn’t embarrassed by him.  Today, he won’t have to deal with anything remotely as good in this seven furlong maiden special weight affair for juveniles.  The son of City of Light has done pretty much everything right leading up to his debut, so at 3-1 on the morning under Irad Ortiz, Jr., the Todd Pletcher-trained colt looks like a very live item.  Serious competition should be provided by the Godolphin homebred Jefferson Street, a newcomer from the Bill Mott barn who has breezed like a very good prospect in his own right.  The son of Street Sense lands the good outside draw and should have clear sailing and every chance.  At 9/2 on the morning line, he’s a “must use.”


RACE 8: Post: 4:34 ET Grade: B+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 4-Big Invasion; 5-Our Shot
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.

Forecast: Big Invasion is perfect in two starts sprinting over the Saratoga turf course and after being freshened since his return from Royal Ascot in June the Christophe Clement-trained colt shows two easy recent breezes in preparation for the Harvey Pack Stakes, a listed affair for older grass sprinters.  If he fires his best shot, the son of Declaration of War will be difficult to contain in the final furlong.  Our Shot is fast on figures but gets a bit of a class test after winning an allowance race over this course and distance in late July.  He can effective on the front end or from off the pace but based on the projected race flow the son of Kantharos seems likely to settle into a second flight, stalking position and then launch his bid at the head of the lane.  


RACE 9: Post: 5:08 ET Grade: B
Main ticket (in order of preference): 10-Richies Princess
Backups/Savers/Underneath: 5-Sandy’s Garden.

Forecast: Richies Princess earned a pretty good figure when winning her debut three weeks ago and returns on the one level raise to face state-bred rivals in this six furlong main track affair.  The Larry Rivelli-trained filly flashed excellent early zip to establish control and then dug down deep when challenged to prevail by less than a length with the also-rans well beaten and down the track.  She’s hooking more early zip today, but this daughter of Laoban appears to be made of the right stuff.  The relatively quick turnaround is the main concern.


RACE 10: Post: 5:44 ET Grade: B-
Main ticket (in order of preference):  6-I’m Very Busy; 7-Royal Spirit; 9-Tallahatchiebridge
Backups/Savers/Underneath: 4-Ruse.

Forecast: I’m Very Busy didn’t get the best of runs when fourth in a similar first level allowance turf affair here in late July but today adds blinkers and Lasix time while switching to Irad Ortiz, Jr., so a significant forward move is likely.  The lightly raced son of Cloud Computing lacks tactical speed but can turn it on late, so with a little help up front and with clear sailing through the lane the Chad Brown-trained sophomore should be capable of producing a winning late kick.  Royal Spirit is stuck on seconds (three straight) and always has preferred to just hit the board (nine times) rather than win (three times).  However, he’s solid on numbers and should draft into a second flight, stalking position and have his chance from there.  Tallahatchiebridge won an off-the-turfer in a romp here three weeks ago but can be just as effective on grass.  He’s listed at 8-1 on the morning line, and the Saffie Joseph. Jr.-trained colt probably is a bit better than that.  


RACE 11: Post: 6:18 ET Grade: B-
Main ticket: (in order of preference): 6-Tyson; 4-Rattle N Roll; 1-Proxy
Backups/savers: none.  

Forecast: This year’s renewal of the Jockey Club Gold Cup-G1 came up somewhat uninspiring. Rattle N Roll and Proxy are what they are, two solid handicap performers who are less than we’re accustomed to seeing in a prestigious race such as this.  Either one can win, but let’s go with a bit of a price.  Tyson, an improving Canadian-based son of Tapit, will be making his first start over conventional dirt but his all-weather form actually charts pretty nicely with this group and if he can establish the pace in a race without much of it the Josie Carroll-trained colt could very much outrun his 5-1 morning line odds and maybe even pull off an upset.


RACE 12: Post: 6:52 ET Grade: B
Main ticket: (in order of preference):  4-Camcha
Backups/savers: none.  

Forecast: Camcha finished with interest to be a willing runner-up in her racing debut at Belmont Park in June and a similar effort should be good enough to graduate in this moderate maiden $40,000 claiming turf affair for fillies and mares.  On numbers, she rates a slight edge but there is every expectation that she will step forward for trainer Christophe Clement and jockey Irad Ortiz. Jr.  She is listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite, and it’ll be a bit surprising if she doesn’t go lower.  

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