Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets


Saratoga Race Course
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Meet Total ... 45-169

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3-9. Seconditis continues to plague us but the three winners on top (2nd, $17.80; 4th, $4.80; 8th, $18.80) more than made up for the four second-place finishes. We were DQ'd out of a nice cold exacta in the 2nd when our 7-1 top pick bested our 5-1 second choice. However that second choice was bumped to the show spot after an inquiry. Luckily our fourth pick moved up into the second spot so we still had claim to a decent tri using the picks ($301.00/$2) -- and with a 7-1 as the top pick why not delve a little deeper into the tri plays? Our top two picks reversed (what else is new?) for exactas in the 1st and 3rd for identical $16.00/$2 payoffs. And our top three boxed for the $55.00/$2 tri in the 7th.

We hope everyone in upstate NY and NYC was able to catch our guest appearance Monday morning on Capital OTB's Primetime Saratoga TV program. Sitting in with host John Pricci we gave out two selections: An "Angle Play" where we touted the eventual winner of the 2nd, Wallstreet Scandal ($17.80) and a "Play of the Day" where we gave out our Sheppard Special in the feature race, Spanish Spur ($18.80). It was a fun morning of television and a lucrative one for those astute enough to take the advice.

The attendance Monday was 18,243. Weather-wise things were a little bizarre. Most of the afternoon was quite nice. A little sun and moderate temps. Just before the feature race however dark clouds began to roll in from behind the clubhouse. Loading for the John's Call was hurried along -- as was the entire process of getting off the nightcap... The stakes went off without a hitch, although the sky grew very dark. And then a few minutes before the 9th the rain clouds let loose with a torrential downpour. Within ten minutes or so of the finish of the finale the precip had let up to a steady -- but less spectacular -- rain , allowing people at least a fighting chance of running to their cars without getting totally drenched.

By night the rain had ceased and there was a small, but interested crowd over at the Fasig-Tipton NY-bred yearling sales. Not quite as prestigious as the sales held last week in the same venue, Sunday and Monday's sale nonetheless brought out some recognizable faces. Among those spotted were trainers Allen and Jim Jerkens and Frank Alexander, also NYRA's own Jan Rushton and track announcer Tom Durkin, as well as Eclipse-winning photog Barbara Livingston.

Here's a quick look at how the public handicappers are doing at the mid-meet mark. The list includes all the "usual suspects" from the newspapers in the Saratoga region as well as the NYC tabloids which are available upstate.

Tom Cunningham has come out of the gate running and leads the pack with 64 winners on top. Just behind is John Pricci with 58. And then there's a large, stalking pack of the rest of us sitting in the mid-40 to mid-50 region. The sprint home over the next three weeks should be entertaining.

As for our score -- hopefully we've finally shaken our case of "seconditis" (although it came back on Monday) that started right out of the gate as seven of our top picks ran second in the ten races on opening day. Those near-misses decreased in the second week of the meet and again last week, but overall our top pick has been the runnerup 40 times. If we can keep the current trend going and get those top picks in the "W" column just a little more often, we should have an interesting 18 days remaining.

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

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


Dark day. No racing.


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