3-9. We managed to grab three winners on the afternoon -- but ate a lot of chalk (4th, $6.50; 8th, $3.70; 9th, $3.10). It was a little frustrating to watch our second choice win four more races -- a couple of those at decent prices. But that's how it works some days. Fortunately, with our first or second choice winning seven of nine, and exactas being completed by two of our top three in five of nine -- there was still plenty of action for Best Bet readers.
In each of the first three races our second pick bested our third selection for exactas, with some real value in the 1st (1st, $86.00/$2; 2nd, $14.00; 3rd, $21.00). The two second choices also combined for the early double ($43.20). In the fifth race our top two flip-flopped for the exacta ($45.40). While we had it cold in the featured 8th ($14.40), with our fourth choice rounded the triple at 27-1 which lead to some value for that gimmick -- even with the chalk on top ($120.00). We also had the meager late double cold ($6.10) and with the first and second choice winning seven there was also a good mix of possible plays in the various 'pick' bets.
On-track, 16,735 withstood another steamy afternoon. The weather was nice, sunny and warm -- but the humidity was oppressive.
In the backyard some fun for the kids: Citizens Bank, 99.5 The River Family Fun Tent, Noon - 4 pm. Face painting, free kids' activities, games and contests, sponsored by Citizens Bank and 99.5 The River. Free with paid general admission.
Wayward Liz...Might offer some value here off of a couple of dull efforts -- but looking at 2004 form she should be able to compete with this weak bunch. Comes back in less than a week off of poor try in turf experiment, and fractions in the 2005 debut on dirt won't be seen here today. Interesting.
Riserva...Pretty good try in debut despite some trouble. Any improvement makes her the one to beat.
Win Early...Never got into it in latest. Prior form indicates she fits with these.
West Coast...Interesting if this guy runs: He ran at Colonial no Monday. Closed like a freight train to contend in that race before fading late. The experience might help today.
Go Between...Intriguing firster from Mott/Bailey by sire Point Given. Good turf work leading into this.
Tasteyville...Two nice sprints tries so far -- including last one grass. Could be formidable stretching out.
Joint Effort...Experience counts and this gal is already stakes-placed.
Sensation...Eye-popping debut. If able to repeat she'll be tough to beat but we have to wonder if that effort was aided by the 'sealed' track.
Dance Daily...She has license to step it up and surprise here. Expensive 2YO auction purchase by win-early connections. She did just that scoring in Keeneland debut. Followed with a Derby undercard stakes try against the boys where she showed speed early and faded. Then a similar fade job last time in a stake with the girls. But think she has more ability than shown in last two.
Mister Zee...Obviously they thought enough of him to debut in a stake. Decent try there then trouble in the follow-up. Trainer good moving to turf and two sprints should set him up nicely for the stretchout.
Wooden...Solid string of works and trainer is good going long first-time out of the box.
Quarterflash...Decent debut on dirt. Nice follow-up on grass. Solid work on Tuesday. Seems ready for this assignment.
Winged Wishes...Solid try in career debut last Nov at Churchill. Off since but works say he's ready for return.
Patriot Fan...Not much wrong with the 4-0-3-1 record thus far. All on grass but dirt works indicate he should be OK on the main track as well.
Pleasant Laughter...Might be on her toes going turf-to-dirt.
Pipe Bomb...Turf sprinter from Beantown might have slight edge in experience at the trip.
Second in Command...Stakes-placed at the trip -- capable on best.
Alphabetical...Has shown plenty of early speed -- but at longer distances.
Yankee Magic...Seems to be improving with each start and looks ready to step it up another notch.
Wild Vicar...At the top of his game right now but claimed last time and trainer is showing 0-7 stats in 2005.
Heathrow...Third start of season and improved from start one to start two.
EIGHTH RACE -- Honorable Miss G2 $150K
Ebony Breeze...Just missed in this race last year and she comes in off the same pattern of races -- albeit she appeared a touch sharper in 2004. But clearly capable on her best and she should have plenty of speed to shoot at.
Bank Audit...Also will be rolling late. Has been competitive against similar since changing barns last summer.
Forest Music...The wild card. Inconsistent but exceptionally talented on her best days. Makes first start for new trainer Asmussen.
Reunited...Seems to be talented enough to break through this level at first asking.
Exit to Heaven...A couple of solid stakes tries in last two. Likely to be sent early and will have to contend with top pick. If they duel it could mean trouble for both.
Factual Contender...Rounding to good form and should sit a nice stalking trip.
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