Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Meet Total ... 41-132

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4-9. Maybe we're shaking out of the near-miss funk. Four winners on top (1st, $4.20; 3rd, $4.30; 8th, $4.00; 9th, $3.50). Not a lot of value -- but again, it was nice to grab a handful of winners (and we were DQ'd out of one more). Also, we had a cold exacta in the 1st ($17.00/$2) -- and with one of our selections winning each of the nine races it was possible for readers to score any number of daily doubles and picks during the afternoon.

On-track, a solid Friday crowd of 23,504 was on hand. Weather-wise it was more of the same as far as the temperature -- warm and humid. But the sun was hidden behind some clouds and showers hit the are prior to the 6th. But the last three races of the day were slated for turf and all stayed on that surface which remained labeled 'firm' through the nightcap.


If you can't make it to the track, both stakes at Saratoga plus some of the stakes on the Arlington Million card will be shown this afternoon on ABC-TV, 4pm ET.

Atouratoura...Connections have done well with this SoCal to NY move in the past (although one of theirs flopped in Fri's 6th).
Northwest Hill...Plenty of early foot and comes in off of a couple wins -- albeit against lesser.
Morine's Victory...Brought a six-race streak into Claiming Crown. Toss that effort and expect a rebound to good form.

Fear the Cape...Speed and just-miss in similar event two back.
Megatrend...Nice effort over the track last time. Could be rounding into good form.
Sweet Moving D...Usually in the hunt.
Big Feathers.

One of those Spa baby races that are the signature of the meet. Good breeding, top connections. Interesting...
Stream Cat...Word is that the barn is high on this one -- and they are win-early connections.
No Called Strikes...These connections also like to win early -- and at this track.
Rush Ahead...Bullet work on 8/5 indicates he might be ready to fire today.
Flanders Fields.

Hot Space...Huge debut effort at Calder. Follow-up in a very tough stake -- and ran third to the phenom Lost in the Fog.
Ingot...Similar scenario to top pick: Big debut win and follow-up was behind a pretty good-looker: Ran second to Silver Train in a 1:07.3 race.
Documentary...Wow, by Storm Cat out of Honest Lady. Started her career in Europe, makes US debut and would be no surprise to get it done today.
Executive Choice.

Outperformance...Trainer/owner combo have won with this set-up before -- including this meet: First-time starter which was bought earlier this year at 2YO auction.
Black Watch...Trainer cooled off substantially after Week One -- but still must respect a firster coming out of this barn.
Winning Minister...Decent debut effort despite trouble. Should be heard from if able to improve.

Mister McGath...Trainer has done well at the meet. This guy hasn't tried turf yet but was OK on turf and this is not a field of world-beaters.
Fiddlers Cat...Had a nice dirt sprint last time -- along with 8/9 turf work he should be set up to go well today.
Bethpage Page...Repeat of that race two back might be enough to take this -- and not that he had trouble in last.
Buxton Hill/Archippos.
On dirt: Mister McGath, Fiddlers Cat, Nohasslatdcastle, Sea the Truth.

SEVENTH RACE -- AG Vanderbilt G2 $200K
Smokume...If he hold recent form he'll be tough to beat.
I'm the Tiger...He put up a couple numbers that should be competitive here -- and the last should set him up for a good try today.
Botanical...Impressive in US debut.
Kelly's Landing.

EIGHTH RACE -- Sword Dancer G1 $500K
Relaxed Gesture...A couple of near-misses in graded stakes last two. could be ready for another top effort.
King's Drama...Likely to get a lot of support as the pace scenario might support him slowing things down early and then holding on late. But frankly we're a little iffy on the jock at this meet.
Request for Parole...Second in this race last year and should be set up for a good one in third start of layoff.

Cool Days...Couple of good tries against open company at Delaware. Should appreciate return to NY-bred company.
The Daddy...Clearly the one to beat. Fired a huge number in debut at Hollywood. Now moves in against state-breds and might run away from these -- but that first try was so overwhelming you have to wonder if it was an aberration -- or it took a little something out of him. We'll know more today.
Tougher 'n Most...Comes into this with some improving form.
Creative Dance.

Forget the Judge...Find this an interesting entrant from trainer Sheppard. Three jump race this year but went well in 2004 against better -- including a near-miss at this track against $50K platers.
Dutrow entry...Holy Panache fits with these and is capable on best. Quiet Ruler has some back class and might wake-up with drop in for a tag and in new barn.
Hunting Hillbilly...Trainer is solid first off the claim and this one fits here.
Gran Cesare.
Devine Wind.
On dirt: Levendis, Taking the Redeye, Smokin' John, Tidal Wave, Hunting Hillbilly, My Kind of Town.

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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