Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Monday, August 31, 2005
Meet Total ... 19-48

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4-10. As has been the pattern during the first few days of opening week, we got off to a red-hot start but cooled down later in the card. Four winners on top (1st, $7.20; 2nd, $13.60; 3rd, $4.90; 7th, $3.70). Happily there was enough value in those early races that Best Bets players should have ended the day happy.

We had the early double cold for $48.20/$2. We also had the 2nd race exacta cold for $49.00. And with our top picks winning the first three and our second choice winning the next two, there was plenty of worthwhile P3 and P4 action to be had.

On-track, a spinner-inflated crowd of 51,982 enjoyed their giveaway ballcaps and another day of mostly nice weather. The day started sunny and warm with the humidity levels up -- but not oppressive. By the time the 8th race rolled around the sky started to look threatening and there was a brief shower before the featured 9th, the Go For Wand. But that was it for the rain until a few hours later when a more sustained storm rolled through, well after folks had made it home from an afternoon at the races.

Spotted wandering the Spa grounds on Sunday -- and then later enjoying post-race activities at Siro's was baseball's Don Zimmer.


Life Savior...Listed under the care of Rodriguez but should actually be saddled today by trainer Dutrow who's suspension ended yesterday. This gal probably has to step it up a little -- but she did that successfully in her first start here last year.
Vroom Hilda...The one to beat but we're always a little leery of using trainer Lake at Saratoga. He's just not as prolific here as at other venues.
Glittering Racket...Yet to miss the board this year. Off a couple of months but has handled similar layoffs well in the past.
Larger Than Life.

Mr Sam I Am...Second time out for Pletcher/Velazquez. Just missed in big-fig debut. Working bullets at Delaware. All adds up.
Cockney Gambler...Just behind Mr Sam I Am last time. Should have benefitted for the experience.
Cured...9-2 in debut and showed some decent speed before fading to finish an OK third. They're always eligible to improve next time out.

Deeliteful Guy...Tough call here among our top two -- but went with this guy on back class. Decent seasonal debut at $40K and now drops half a step to $35K. If he's able to recapture some of that past form in second start off layoff he should be tough. We'd kind of prefer a jock who was showing a little something in the win column at the meet however...
Defrere's Vixen...Fired her best shot in awhile last time and a repeat could be good enough here -- but can he do that off the claim and moving up?
Got the Goods...Second off the claim for Romans/Ramsey. Fits here.
Hunter's Tale.

What's Your Edge...His edge is debuting at Saratoga for Violette/Klaravich after being bought at 2YO sale earlier this year -- same scenario as 2004 Spa winner Wallstreet Scandal and from 2003, Read the Footnotes.
Couth...Nice debut to build on. Horse just behind him last time came back to win next out.
Imperial Zip...Two pretty solid efforts so far.

Isabel Away...Debuted in June going 12F and was an OK fourth. On the shelf since but we think Bond should have her ready to roll today.
Morgan's Mambo...Nice improvement shown in first three starts. Early pace displayed last time could help today.
Rebotco...Beaten fave in debut at Colonial. Sneaking suspicion she'll go well today. Could add value to gimmicks.

Copyco...Won at this level two back then was competitive in NW1 last time. Velazquez back in the saddle.
Poco Bueno...Should appreciate return to claimers.
Crowd's Delight...Been going well lately and another that should find claiming company suitable.
Belknap County.

Indian Vale...By AP Indy out of '99 Test winner Marley Vale. Debuted at Monmouth and won despite some trouble. Should make move against winners successfully.
Pixie Stix...Hard to fault the 2-2 record so far -- both daylight wins. But those were against claimers, gets tested today.
Disturbing...Solid first-out win despite trouble.
Flaming Heart.

EIGHTH RACE - Baruch Hcp G2 $150K
Artie Schiller...3-1-1-1 this year and the two defeats were up-close. Showed a liking for this course last year.
Silver Tree...Defending champ in this race was dull as fave last time but we expect a rebound.
America Alive...Toss the Manhattan and this guy has held good form for a long time.
Golden Commander.

Gemmie a Satellite...Seems to have returned to races as an improved 4YO. Broke maiden impressively in 2005 debut, followed with good third last time at this level. Positive jock switch.
Semper Fi...Took to the grass last time. Should go well again.
Incredible Speed...First race of year indicates she might have improved with the layoff.
Urban Conquest.

If we are interested in both halves of an entry -- in event of a scratch -- it is noted that way. If only one-half of the entry is named, then we prefer that half and will move to our next pick listed in event of a scratch.

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