Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets


Saratoga Race Course
Tuesday, August 5, 2003
Meet Total ... 56-113

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Two Week Recap -- Best Bets Remains HOT!

In past seasons we've always been quick to give a Best Bets tip o' the hat to other public handicappers who have managed to get hot -- so this year we'll take a moment to toot our horn. After the first twelve days of racing our Best Bets selections sit atop the standings of all public handicappers we follow.

And twelve days into the meet we still have a hit-rate of 50% with winners on top. For readers who might be new to the sport this is kind of like a major league ballplayer hitting .500 -- it's just about unheard of. Granted, there has been plenty of chalk throughout the opening two weeks -- but Best Bets has maintained a respectable straight win-bet ROI during the period. A $2 win-bet on each top selection would have cost $226 and would have returned $313.30, an ROI of about 40%. Plus, there has been a healthy mix of gimmick plays for those following the picks this year.

Below is a comparison among the top public handicappers following the Saratoga race meet.

Note: Discrepancies in total number of races played is due to some handicappers losing races due to scratches or adding races with simulcast plays.

Seth Merrow
Best Bets - equidaily.com
Tom Cunningham
Albany Times Union
Tom Law
Dave Little
NY Daily News
Debbie L
NY Post
Matt Graves
Albany Times Union
Mark Cusano
Daily [Schenectady] Gazette
Bill Heller
Daily [Schenectady] Gazette
Sherry Ross
NY Daily News
Nick Kling
Bill Taylor
Vic C
NY Post
Russ Harris
NY Daily News
John Pricci
Tim Wilkin
Albany times Union
Mike Jarboe
Albany times Union
Jerry Bossert
NY Daily News
John DaSilva
NY Post
Ed Fountaine
NY Post
Tom V
NY Post
Mike Lipack
NY Daily News


6-9. Another very chalky day -- but ya gotta take what they're giving, and the picks offered a little bit of value if you played the gimmicks.

Six winners on top (1st, 3.10; 2nd, 5.90, 3rd, 4.10; 4th, 3.90; 5th, 2.70; 8th, 7.30). So, even though there was a lot of chalk-dust, a flat-bet win wager would have returned a 50% ROI on the day.

Also, a cold exacta in the 1st for $12.40/$2. Our top choice bested our fourth pick for exactas in the 3rd ($22.80) and 8th ($34.80). and our third choice completed nice tri's in both races (3rd, $174.00; 8th, $146.50). Our second and third picks returned a $33.60 exacta in the 6th. And with our top picks accounting for six races and our second choice grabbing the other three, there were plenty of doubles, P3's, and the P4 and P6 to be had. We'll just go over that grouping in the nightcap. Late double, $27.40. Final Pick 3, $95.50. Pick 4, $633.00. Pick 6, $1703.00. ...Again, it was chalky, but there was some money to be made. It was a pretty good day.

On-track, 16,261 showed up and enjoyed an overcast, humid afternoon. With two grass races scheduled, including the featured stake, everyone kept their collective fingers crossed that the predicted afternoon t-storms would hold off. Thunder began rumbling just prior to the feature, and a very light sprinkle started to fall -- but it was hardly worth noticing. However, only moments after the horses crossed the finish line in the nightcap the heavens opened and there was a brief, but heavy, downpour. Good timing.

Around 2:30 pm a large crowd lined up to participate in the Hall of Fame day autograph session. Among those adding their John Hancock to items, Ron Turcotte, Pat Day, Jerry Bailey, and the latest inductee, Mike Smith.


The real gamblers take center stage tonight as the Fasig-Tipton yearling sales get under way. The action kick off at 7:30 pm and the public is invited to watch as untested year-old thoroughbreds go through the auction -- some attracting million dollar purchase prices. The sales pavilion is on East Avenue, just down the street from the race course.


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