Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

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Saratoga Race Course
Sunday, August 1, 2004
Meet Total ... 9-38

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Yesterday

1-10. Struggled a little Saturday and could never really find our stride on a day we called contentious. It turned out to be just that as there were five double-digit winners and only two favorites.

For us it was one winner on top (3rd, $16.00). And a couple of small gimmicks among the picks with our second pick topping our third selection for the $38.60/$2 exacta in the 1st. It was third our second selections in the 4th for the $35.00/$2 exacta and $22.80/$2 quinella. Our fourth pick completed the $137.00/$2 tri.

On-track 26,765 turned out for a freaky weather afternoon. The weather service was issuing t-storm warnings for the afternoon and evening throughout the area, and while no lightning was seen there were a few downpours during the day. It rained lightly as they hit the stretch in the 5th, and that continued for about five minutes. The was a brief -- but heavy -- downpour after the 6th. And it keep down hard again during the running of the 7th, the Diana.

The annual hat contest brought out a plethora of novel chapeaus -- the winner had a three-dimensional replica of the track strapped to his head.

ESPN was trackside for the first time this season. Winner's circle host Jeannine Edwards showed some leg(!) in a departure from her usual pantsuits. You go girl!

And in the stakes that ESPN was focusing on, Allen Jerkens' 3YO filly Society Selection closed well under Edgar Prado to win the G1 Test by over six length. And in the G1 Diana, Wonder Again indicated that she has returned to top form scoring by almost six lengths over the yielding going. Favored Intercontinental was a non-threatening fifth at 4-5 as jock Jerry Bailey gave a head-scratching ride that had even track announcer Tom Durkin commenting that the horse seemed to resent the early restraint the pilot was applying.

Post race activities were somewhat quiet as the rains drizzled somewhat just as the track let out. But the predicted t-storms with high winds never did show up.


Today

The tough card yesterday yielded a $86K P6 carryover.

Sunday is another giveaway day with baseball caps being handed out with every paid admission, while supplies last.

Also, the annual Satin, Silks and Stars luncheon takes place today. The event benefits the NY Special Olympics. Soap stars slated to attend -- and available for autographs in the paddock at 11am -- Alexa Havins and Justin Bruenig from All My Children, John Castellanos from The Young and the Restless, DJ Lockhart-Johnson from As The World Turns, David Andrew Macdonald of The Guiding Light, and actors Betsy Palmer and Thom Christopher.

It's also NHL Day. The hockey stars will be signing autographs from 11 - 12:30pm. Among those expected are Adam Oates, the New Jersey Devils' Rob Skrlak, Bobby Hull, Marcel Dionne, John McKenzie, Gerry Cheevers, Wayne Cashman, Dave Schultz, Ed Westfall and Billy Smith. Also slated to attend are the Hanson Brothers from the movie Slap Shot.

FIRST RACE
Nicely...Let's see if Jerkens barn can keep the roll going after winning the G1 Test and the day's nightcap yesterday. This one seemed to be getting the hang of it breaking maiden two back then faltered last time in first try against winners. Drops and gets a positive jock switch.
Illusionary Magic...Has been going well since spring.
Tee It Up Cookie...Barn off to a good start. Broke through at $20K mdn clm level last time so gets a little bit of a test today.
Finn Cantwinatgin.

SECOND RACE
Ameri Lady...Dutrow has strong first-off the claim stats -- but red flags raised as this one was picked up for $50K and now goes for $35K.
Western Times...Might be tough to run down if able to sneak away early.
Amazem Grace...Claimed two back. Was going well prior for Lake. Fourth last time and now drops. Capable but we want to see another try in this barn before backing on top.
High Ratings.

THIRD RACE
Heir D'Twine...Faltered at Canterbury last time but was usually in the hunt prior. We'll look for rebound to good form in return to track he's done well on before.
Lake entry...Classic Endeavor was claimed two back by Lake. Won last, now takes half-step up the claiming ladder. Dangerous. Beau Tie also fits here.
Yankee Doodle Boy...Been competitive since getting claimed this spring.
Trial Prep.

FOURTH RACE
Summer Raven...We're looking for this guy to improve in second start out for Pletcher/Velasquez.
Sense of Style...Good first-out barn so $800K yearling purchase looks well-meant.
Summerly...Asmussen another who tends to have them ready to go right away.
Key Causeway.

FIFTH RACE
Dealer Choice...Euro-invader just missed in first US try last fall, a G3 stake where he was nosed by eventual Santa Anita Derby winner Castledale. Sat out after that until a decent third on 6/27. Expect a big effort.
Mott entry...Desert Anger, expect improvement in second try against winners. Silver Blue looked god when introduced to the lawn.
Reggie for Three...Adds blinks, tries turf, and gets J Velasquez.
Pincay.
On dirt: Gouldings Green, With Probability, Consecrate, Reggie for Three, Garret's Gulch.

SIXTH RACE
Cliff Notes...Claimed by Lake two back. Drops back to level of claim.
Yoga...Trouble in last, was going well prior.
My Man George.
Skip a Grade/Quick Punch.

SEVENTH RACE
Shoot...Saturday's ride on Frankel fave Intercontinental really has me shying away from Bailey at this point in the meet -- but, gee, this one just looks too tough in here.
D'ohana...Will be rolling late.
Perfect Energy...Could be scary if able to get the lead.
Modena Bay.
On dirt: Nevermore, Bounding Charm, Raffie's Dream, Buy the Sport, UK Trick.

EIGHTH RACE
Strategy...Superbly bred filly from McGaughey/Phipps should go well in second try at this NW1 condition.
Essence...Moves from Socal and Baffert to Pletcher. Improving numbers in four career starts.
Paiota Falls...Hmmm, moved to turf and looked good breaking maiden for Mott last time -- now back on dirt? Might be this good but would prefer to see on grass.
Farhana.

NINTH RACE - Go For Wand G1 $250K
Sightseek...Won Phipps at Belmont last year then shipped upstate to take this race convincingly last year. Sets up the same in 2004.
Storm Flag Flying...Seems to have rounded back to top form.
Azeri...Former Horse-of-the-Year has thrown a couple of clunkers. Need to see the wake-up before supporting on top.
Mayo On the Side.

TENTH RACE
Perpetual Peace...Red flags raised on the drop -- but will be tough to beat if ready to run.
Wulpe...Pletcher 3YO looked promising in first four starts -- not so good last three. Could reawaken on the move into claimer.
Boston Brahmin...Ran well when dropped to about this level last time.
Talkin Tough.


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