Jeff Siegel: What You Need to Know - Saratoga | Sunday, September 3, 2023

NOTE: Pick 6 carryover | $251,590 | begins Race 5 | 2:52 pm ET

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): 8-Weigh the Risks; 7-Appellate
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.

Forecast: Weight the Risks was supposed to win her debut (she was even money) but just fell short by a neck, though to be truthful she did have every chance to seal the deal in the closing stages but simply couldn’t get by the winner.  The number was okay, not great, so she has something to prove.  Appellate also missed in a photo in her first start when rallying into slow fractions to fall a bit short in a promising run for trainer Todd Pletcher.  Like our top pick, she has every right to produce a significant forward move.  


RACE 2: Post: 1:13 ET Grade: B-
Main ticket: (in order of preference): 9-Mim; 4-Bon Adieu
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.  

Forecast: Mim shows up in a claimer for the first time and should greatly appreciate the class drop.  She has numbers that are good enough to win in this maiden $30,000 state-bred level, and while the class drop is understandable her morning line of 9/5 doesn’t make her any great gamble.  Bon Adieu is another first-time-in-a-claimer play and shows speed figures similar to our top pick’s.  She’s a one-paced grinder but that style works at this seven furlong distance in a field such as this.  


RACE 3: Post: 1:48 ET Grade: B
Main ticket (in order of preference): 4-Olympic Dreams; 5-Film Star
Backups/savers/Underneath: none.  

Forecast: Olympic Dreams earned a career top speed figure when winning over this track and distance last month and looks capable of winning right back with a repeat of that effort today.  He’s a versatile type that can win as the controlling speed or from a stalking position, so regular rider Trevor McCarthy can assess the pace flow and choose his strategy.  Film Star has been stuck on seconds – he’s been a runner-up in his last five outings – though in his last start he wound up more than eight lengths clear of the rest while running a winning race in defeat.  He’s clearly the one to fear most.  


RACE 4: Post: 2:19 ET Grade: X
Main ticket (in order of preference): 7-Magnolia Midnight
Backups/Savers/Underneath: 1-Durkin’s Call.

Forecast: Magnolia Midnight crushed a restricted ($35,000) field by 11 lengths in an off-the-turf affair here in mid-July but was a voided claim and returned to the Linda Rice barn.  Today he shows up for $16,000 and likely will win again at a short price if he can make it past the morning vet inspection.  If it’s not him, Durkin’s Call is the logical alternative. This is probably a good race to sit out.  


RACE 5: Post: 2:52 ET Grade: B-
Main ticket (in order of preference): 2-Cowes; 10-Piccata Prince
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.  

Forecast: Cowes has recorded a few good workout clocking’s and seems cranked up for a good effort in his debut in this restricted maiden special weight turf dash for juveniles.   We haven’t seen him on video so we’re operating on blind faith.  Piccata Prince has the benefit of a prior run over this course and distance and did well to close with interest before winding up a solid second, but with an ordinary speed figure.  There really isn’t much to work with here.  


RACE 6: Post: 3:26 ET Grade: B
Main ticket (in order of preference): 2-Genetics
Backups/Savers/Underneath: 4-Alpine Princess; 5-Nikitis; 9-Caitlinheergrtness.

Forecast: Genetics ran a winning race in her debut but had to settle for third after breaking slowly, moving up to press the pace, hitting the front, failing to change leads, and then paying the price late.  She’ll be fitter and stronger today for trainer Bill Mott, so if she doesn’t make any mistakes the daughter of Tapit should be set to graduate.  An easy breeze to tick her over since raced is another positive factor, though once again she failed to change leads in that drill.

RACE 7: Post: 4:00 ET Grade: C+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 2-Ski Patrol; 1a-Jarreau/1-Watasha; 3-Born a Gambler
Backups/Savers/Underneath: 4-Empire Attraction.

Forecast: Ski Patrol makes his first start since being claimed for $50,000 by Linda Rice and is protected by his new barn in a sign of confidence.  He lands the good inside post and is guaranteed and ground-saving, second flight trip in this nine furlong starter allowance turf event for older horses.  He’s a lightly raced 5-year-old gelding with the possibility of improvement, though he’s always been a one paced grinding type and not really one to trust.  Jarreau was nosed out in a similar affair over the local lawn last month in a solid performance that if repeated today makes him the one to beat.  The problem is he’s just 2-for-25 with 13 seconds and thirds and has never been known to give you too much under pressure when it counts the most.  Born a Gambler is a fit on numbers and has a reasonable look based on his solid score at Belmont Park two races back.  


RACE 8: Post: 5:10 ET Grade: C+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 10-Dontmesswithtess; 9-Proud Foot
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.  

Forecast: Dontmesswithtess struck the front too soon and was worn down late when second in a similar starter allowance turf event at Belmont Park in mid-July and returns following a nearly two month vacation in a race her best can win.  She’s been giving herself too much to do in recent races; hopefully she can keep the leaders in sight during the early stages this time.  Proud Foot returns to grass and may prefer this surface, though her dirt form isn’t bad.  The Linda Rice-trained mare is a one-paced sort more likely to finish second and third (13 times) than win (twice).  Both should be included in rolling exotic play plus you can toss in anything else that catches your eye.  


RACE 9: Post: 5:10 ET Grade: B+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 8-Ways and Means; 9-Brightwork
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.  

Forecast: Ways and Means won off and hid in her debut like a top prospect and will be favored to step up and repeat in this year’s renewal of the Spinaway Stakes-G1 for juvenile fillies.  She won with plenty left and was extremely fast with a huge speed figure.  This task will be tough, but she could be something special.  Brightwork already is a two-time stakes winner with numbers that continue to rise.  Her style suggests that this seven furlong trip will be well within her range and we’re expecting the daughter of Outwork will give our top pick plenty to think about.  


RACE 10: Post: 5:44 ET Grade: B-
Main ticket (in order of preference): 8-Adressable Market; 9-Dark Pool
Backups/Savers/Underneath: none.

Forecast: Addressable Market has been sparingly raced and is returning off yet another layoff (nearly three months) but on form she beats this field, though twice in three career starts she has failed to deliver the goods when favored.  Dark Pool, a solid runner-up in her only outing at Laurel Park last month when protected for this price in a two turn grass affair, is likely to improve with that race under her belt and earned a number in that race that makes her dangerous on this circuit.  We’re expecting the winner to be one of these two.  


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