Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets


Saratoga Race Course
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Meet Total ... 64-225

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3-9. Three winners on top (2nd, $5.50; 5th, $5.80; 8th, $5.10). A cold exacta in the 8th ($12.60/$2). From the 1st through the 6th one of our top two picks won each race -- so a variety of doubles and P3's were available. The string could have continued even longer as our third choice won the 7th and our top pick won the 8th. It was only the night cap that stumped us -- much to our chagrin...

The 9th on Monday could wind up being our most frustrating race of the meet. The kind of things that makes the game very humbling -- All meet long we've jumped on our "Sheppard Specials", those horses being sent out by trainer Jonathon Sheppard, typically for Augustin Stable. In fact we had a nice score with Spanish Spur in last Monday's feature race. On Sunday however we were extremely disappointed by our two Sheppard Special picks -- not only did they run badly, but they went off at ridiculously low odds. After all, ne of the joys of a Sheppard Special is the juicy odds. But Sunday Vallonga, for instance, went off at 3-1 despite not having raced since 2002. Was the public catching on to the Sheppard Special angle and overplaying them? Sure seemed like it. So as we handicapped Monday's card we bypassed -- for the first (and probably only) time this season -- a Sheppard Special in the 9th. Spring Season was coming out of a winning NW1 effort at Colonial Downs and had Jerry Bailey named to ride. Surely the public would jump all over this one after making those to lesser lights short prices on Sunday!

Doh! By now you can probably guess the rest of the story (apologies to Paul Harvey), Spring Season got away at 11-1 and ran down the front-runner late to win going away. Oh well, live and learn.

Attendance Monday was 17,281 and they enjoyed the continued nice weather. Fresh off his win in the Pac Classic at Del Mar on Sunday, Jerry Bailey was back in town to win two, including the feature race on Spotlight. A newspaper account quoted him after the Lake George saying, in reference to the long weekend, "I kept my filly busy enough so she wouldn't fall asleep -- unlike me, who could fall asleep right now."

A couple cast members from The Sopranos were in the winner's circle after the 6th, one of them is part-owner of the winner Carminooch -- and, although we aren't regular viewers of the HBO series, John Imbriale identified one of them as Paulie Walnuts.


Dark day. No racing.


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