Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets


Saratoga Race Course
Saturday, August 14, 2004
Meet Total ... 36-140

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3-9. Winners in the 1st ($6.80), 6th ($3.60), and 8th ($3.70). There was a cold exacta in the 1st ($15.20/$2) plus a mix of other exactas and a couple small tri's using the picks.

Attendance was 17,904. It turned out to be mostly a miserable day as rain soaked the area Thursday night and Friday morning. All grass races were washed onto the main track, including the featured $65K Waya -- the winner there was Bounding Charm, the first repeat winner of the meet, both wins were off-the-turf events. Rain hit the area again during the afternoon -- heavy at times.


There were two grass races scheduled: The fourth has already been moved to the main track, while the featured Sword Dancer is still set to be run on the lawn as of early Saturday morning.

At the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame the Funny Cide team will be holding an autograph session for the book FUNNY CIDE: How a Horse, a Trainer, a Jockey, and a Bunch of High School Buddies Took On the Sheiks and Bluebloods and Won. Bring your own copy or get one there - and get some John Hancocks from 10am - noon at the museum which is located right across Union Avenue from the track.

If you can't make it out today don't forget that ABC-TV will have a 2-hour horse racing program this afternoon from 4-6pm ET featuring the Vanderbilt and Sword Dancer from Saratoga as well as the Beverly D and Arlington Million from Arlington.

And also don't forget that those four races make up the $400K guaranteed NTRA National Pick 4.

For National P4 players, here's how we see the two from Arlington:

Beverly D: Commercante, Aubonne, Musical Chimes, Necklace.
Million: Powerscourt, Vespone, Mr O'Brien, Sweet Return, Epalo.

Tempting Choice...Ran away with a NW2 at Philly last time. Should appreciate move back in for a tag.
Prime Queen...Might wake-up with drop to lowest level yet -- and addition of Johnny V.
Busy...Second in both tries since layoff. Could be primed for a big try today.

Scipion...$1.9 mil yearling sale right here at Saratoga last summer. Mom is Strawberry Reason who also sired 2YO champ Vindication. Should be ready to roll out of the box for Biancone.
Our Friend Timmy...Zito not known for first-time out success -- but has been bucking that trend lately.
So Swanky...Expect this guy to improve with one start now under belt.
Devine Cozzene.

Tales of Glory...Could be the controlling speed in here.
Stratostar...The question is, will this guy go with the top pick or sit just behind. If the pace is too fast they both could be done by mid-stretch, if this one sits off he just might get first jump if top pick falters around two turns.
Breakway...3YO was showing some promise earlier in the season. Could rebound to good form with closing kick if top two do duel early.
Discover the Glory.

Off turf.
Rectory Hill...Pletcher trainee just missed last time on grass -- but has shown decent dirt form as well.
Niadhas...The MTOs are always dangerous in these events and this guy should go well in second career start.
Goal Post...Another MTO entrant. Faltered late last time after troubled start -- but two prior were OK.
Baron Von Tap.
I'm Rial.

Aristocrat...Firster from Stronach/Pletcher/Velasquez should be ready to go.
Flagstaff...Experience counts and this guy looked good in debut effort. Any improvement makes him tough.
Patriot Act...Well-bred and would be no surprise.

Speed Hunter...5-3-2-0 over the track. Decent wet track record. Goes first-out after claim for Lake.
Shake the Dice...Beat top pick last time and usually we don't go for the "wise-guy" play of switching up a result like that -- but we give the nod to the top pick because this one's wet track form is not solid.
Gill/Shuman entry...Smile My Lord and Chow Down both seem to fit here.
He Did It His Way.

SEVENTH RACE - AG Vanderbilt G2 $200K
Speightstown...Has turned into a monster for Pletcher since returning in 2004. 3-2-1-0 on wet tracks.
Gators N Bears...Always tough but turned the corner this year and moved into the top echelon of this division.
My Cousin Matt...If the track is still off at post-time this guy could prove tough.
Clock Stopper.

EIGHTH RACE - Sword Dancer G1 $500K
Rochester...We'll look for a minor upset and use this Sheppard runner with 12 starts and five wins at the trip.
Balto Star...Has racked up over $2 mil lifetime -- much off it garnered while stealing off to easy leads in these marathon events. Will try same today, and will be tough to catch in short field. Dangerous.
Request for Parole...Solid win last time in G1 United Nations. Will be rolling late.
Better Talk Now.

Keesler...Lightly raced -- but seems to have some upside potential. Moves in against winners after breaking maiden last time -- but faces state-breds for first time. Looks tough.
Stand On Top...Three good tries in 2004, including a second here last time. Should go well again.
Angel in Harlem...Goes out for Partridge Family's David Cassidy. Has been on turf last two, but dirt form was OK. Adds blinkers.
Front Line.

Rum Bottom...$240K purchase as a 2YO last year for powerhouse connections. Broke maiden in third try at $40K level, now meets winners at $20K tag. The fire-sale price as compared to purchase price raises red-flags -- but could be best in here if ready.
Kirby Mac...Has been steadily moving down the claiming ladder since spring and might have found his spot to contend.
Boston Brahmin...Lukas/Overbrook runner another who might find this a cozy level.
Boston Garden.

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