5-9. If you haven't been paying attention Best Bets has officially come to life. After the frustrating first couple of weeks of the meet when the picks were solid but we struggled to get our "A" selections into the winner's circle, things have turned the corner over the past week. Now let's see if we can keep things going through the last five days...
Five winners on top (3rd, $10.80; 5th, $2.30; 7th, $3.10; 8th, $14.00; 9th, $12.40). In the 3rd our top pick best our third and fourth choices for a $111.50/$2 tri. In the 7th we had a cold exacta ($10.60) and cold tri ($16.20). And we had a very generous $62.00 cold exacta in the featured 8th. Stringing the last three winners on the card together gave us a cold race 7-8-9 P3 of $131.00 and a cold late double of $102.00.
Attendance continued to be weak with a crowd of just 11,864. They enjoyed a beautiful day with temps in the 70s and lots of sun. With the small crowd and the nice weather it's really makes for a super day at the track.
Todd Pletcher's very promising 2YO continued his march to the fall stakes with his second career victory in as many starts, winning the 5th, a NW1, by about six after winning his debut by seven.
Despite being off since January -- and then announced as 'two aluminum pads on', Fait Accompli closed late to win the $65K Saratoga Dew at 6-1.
Fabulous Peak...Kind of hard to jump on runners at this level to put two together -- on the other hand this one has been strong since spring and actually did put two together earlier this summer. Top jock sticks.
Elyon...Let's forgive the last and blame it on the mud. If able to recapture prior form this one is the one to beat.
Alter Ego...Hasn't seemed as good since moving to current barn three back but another that has some back numbers to contend here.
Cranky Pants...Saw this trainer/jock team win with a firster going two-turns on the turf on Wednesday. Bond can have them ready and it doesn't look like there are any world-beaters in here. Must come in from AE list.
Franklin Street...They're always eligible to move way forward in their second start. This one will have to -- but with the blinkers and the jock switch this youngster can, and at some value.
Schettino entry...Both Dads Destiny and Wonforjodi look capable of stretching out successfully.
THIRD RACE -- NY Turf Writers H'cp G1 $100K
Cherokeeinthehills...Will need to improve over G1 tries earlier this year but really seemed to wake-up last time. Saddled with a feathery 138, getting 20 pounds from the probable fave Praise the Prince.
Praise the Prince...Clearly the one to beat but note the trip note from this race in 2002, 'labored under impost'. That was under 160 and after a win in the Smithwick. On the other hand, last year he ran second in the Smithwick and then won this race, under 150. This year he won the Smithwick and today carries 158. We just feel the burden and the extra quarter-mile-plus might prove too much. Then again this is a very talented runner and a win would be no surprise.
Tres Touche...Improved in this race last year.
Wateree....Beat all but one in a field of ten when facing state-breds last time. Gets tepid vote going against own kind again.
Secret Troika...Seems to be on the improve. Adds blinkers and could wake-up if able to negotiate a clean trip.
Renamed...Making fourth start of the meet and last was best yet.
La Jefa/Joni's Rose.
Galluscio entry...Credit Gal was claimed out of a win here on 7/30. Drama Queen drops and should fit here.
Hushion entry...Sparkling Blue won a similar event here last time and is 2-4 at the trip. Gamble's answer was just behind entry-mate last time.
Tempting Choice...Looked good winning a NW2 at Philly last time then faded a little in last. Could be tough with a rebound to that good form.
Burst of Dawn/Cove Hill Missile.
Sign of Love...It's Sheppard/Augustin. So far the career has been non-descript -- but look at that breeding! This one is eligible to wake-up and we'll hope it's today with Cornelio aboard.
Exaggerate This...Second start for Pletcher. Dirt-to-turf. Looks capable of competing with these.
Heir To The Throne...Two nice improving starts since arriving stateside.
Owns the Place.
Anabeltaylor...Can jump on this gal with a lot of confidence -- after all we only see one win in eleven starts -- but it's Pletcher/Velazquez and she went well in her first try over the track.
Priscilla's Flag...Another with plenty of starts but only one win -- however she's usually competitive.
Bundle of Roses...Just behind top pick last time.
Old Forester...Lightly raced Mott 3YO should benefit from two-turn experience last time.
Settle Up...In front of top pick last time and just missed the win despite traffic trouble.
Frankel entry...Crocker road is bred to be successful on turf. Dealer Choice has placed in two stakes since arriving stateside.
Louie the Slew...Stretches an extra three panels but should be set up nicely coming off of two nice runs at a mile.
Restigouche...Long-time maiden seemed to show some improvement this spring.
Raise a Glass...Just have a feeling this Clement trainee is better than first two tries indicate.
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