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Jeff Siegel

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Handicapping with Jeff Siegel
Horse owner, breeder and XpressbetTV analyst, Jeff Siegel also happens to be Southern California's premier handicapper. Check his blog each day before you play!
October 9, 2015

The Friday program offers a Pick-6 carryover of $21,342.

In the opener, #2 Midnight Lady returns to her preferred track and distance and drops from a tougher starter’s allowance race into a bottom-rung miler. She’s reunited with Talamo, who’s won on her in the past, and she should be on or near the lead throughout. A nice, easy, half mile workout last week will have her on edge. #7 Charlotte R sports the blinkers-off angle that we like so much so we’ll include her as a saver on a ticket or two; however, Midnight Lady will get most of the attention.

The second race is a rare nine-furlong main track event for fillies and mares. #1 Yana stopped badly at even money in a similar spot over a mile at Del Mar but she’s returned to train well for Spawr and figures to snap back over her favorite track. We’ll give her a chance to make amends and since she’s shown the ability to win on the front end or from a stalking position, Baze has options. #5 Never Ends ran well in her first two-turner at Del Mar last month – she finished third in the same race Yana exits – and this mile and one-eighth trip should be within her range. The Hollendorfer-trained figures to draft into a good stalking spot and have every chance. Preference goes to Yana but we’ll use both in our rolling exotics.

The third race kicks off the Pick-6 sequence. #3 True History was in a bit too tough in an first-level nine furlong allowance race at Del Mar but Ellis takes advantage of that disappointing run by dropping into a $40,000 event restricted to 3-year-olds and shortening her to a mile. The Yes It’s True filly has run well over this course in the past, sports a solid series of drills since her last race, and beats this field with a repeat of her nice win two races back. Let’s make her a straight play and rolling exotic single.

#7 Classico has done some good work in the a.m. for O’Neill and debuts in today’s fourth race from a nice outside post with Bejarano in a below-par high priced maiden claimer in which the known element doesn’t inspire. The barn is solid with debut runners and this colt may be the best of the fresh faces. #4 Mountain Hero, a first timer by Street Hero from the Puype barn, is another that has some displayed some ability in the morning and is worth including in rolling exotic play. #1 Two the Punch, an okay third in his debut, has a right to move forward for Owens and appears the best of those that have raced.

In the fifth race, #5 Aunty Pearl, second off the claim for Spawr, is a route-to-sprint play from a barn that has superior stats with this angle, and after a bit of freshening seems cranked up for a major effort. She may be most effective on the lead and since she catches a field without much zip, a gate-to-wire effort in this Hillside turf sprint seems plausible. We’ll also include #7 Pearl de Vere. ┬áThe daughter of Songandaprayer drops to her proper level and ran very well in a pair of downhill turf sprints during the spring meeting. She’s always preferred to finish second or third rather than win but in this league under these conditions the Eurton-trained mare should have every chance.

#7 Love de Car runs long for the first time in the sixth race and if he’s ever going to get the trip it should be today. His steady running style in recent sprints suggests that he’ll stretch out successfully and in this nw-3 $16,000 affair the Mulhall-trained gelding should find himself in a comfortable pace-stalking position. Worth nothing in this stable’s exceptional stats with sprint-to-route plays. #5 A Colt Following removes blinkers after finishing third in a recent open $20,000 claiming sprint, likes this main track (two prior wins) and always has been more effective routing than sprinting. This drop to the $16,000 nw-3 level may be just what he’s been waiting for. #1 Blackford switches to Bejarano after finishing an okay second in a tougher starter’s allowance race at Los Alamitos last time out. He’s the least preferred of the three that we’re using but seems worth tossing in on a ticket or two in rolling exotic play.

#5 Last Kiss is a Grade-1 winning Brazilian filly making her U.S. debut for Drysdale in the featured seventh race, a second-level allowance turf event. The daughter of Elusive Quality has trained like she’s fit and ready and may simply outclass this group. The one to fear most is #1 Bottle Blonde. The Hollendorfer-trained mare won a pair of recent claiming races with authority, including a highly-rated turf miler at Del Mar last month; she’s very likely the controlling speed and given the projected pace scenario the English-bred mare could make the running and keep on going. Preference goes to Last Kiss but both should be used in rolling exotic play.

The finale – a bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint for fillies and mares – doesn’t offer a whole lot to work with, so best advice is to use as many as you can afford to. #1 Stellata didn’t leave well and was never in the hunt when overmatched in straight maiden company in her debut at Del Mar but at this level she seems certain to improve a bunch while also benefitting from the switch to Bejarano. Let’s hope she leaves cleanly from the rail. #11 Canadian Exchange is a first-off-the-claim for Miller (solid 21% with this angle) so she’s another likely to leave her previous form behind. A repeat of her runner-up try against a slightly tougher group two runs back might be good enough. Small ticket players may try to get by using just these two, but it’s the type of race that nothing would surprise us.

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