Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Meet Total ... 54-169
Note: Totals have been revised. We added wrong going from Friday to Saturday this week. The single day totals for Friday's results were correct on the Saturday page -- but we didn't add them correctly into the "Meet Total" numbers. Today's figures reflect the correct numbers.

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4-9. Picked up eleven wins in the last two days of Week Three to get us back on a little bit of a roll. Four winners on top Monday (5th, $3.80; 6th, $19.40; 7th, $4.20; 9th, $5.70). With our winners all coming at the end of the card, the Pick Six consisted of four of our top choices and two of our second picks ($3743.00/$2; 5/6 conso, $49.60). Also, we had a cold exacta in the 5th ($12.40). A cold P3 in races 5-7 ($78.50) - with races 6-7 making up a cold mid-day double ($42.40)> Plus assorted other picks and gimmicks using the selections.

On-track, 17,005 enjoyed yet one more nice day weather-wise at a meet that has been blessed in that department so far. Monday was Proud to be an American Day at the track and some of the races were named after the various services with the appropriate military personnel presented in the winner's circle after those events. There was also a naturalization ceremony in the winner's circle for thirty or so new citizens.

Mid-season Handicappers Scorecard

The list below includes virtually all of the public handicapper available in newspapers in the Saratoga region as well as the NYC tabloids which are available upstate.

A quick look at how the public handicappers are scoring after three weeks of action shows some very positive results for a number of prognosticators. There's a group of five at the top of the list with over 60 wins -- good for a 36% or better strike-rate. Topping them all is Mark Cusano of the Daily Gazette with an astounding 67 winners. For comparison you can check the numbers from the midpoint last season, as well as the 2004 final standings. Cusano also hosts the weekly Down the Stretch program on the Capital OTB television network which is available in much of upstate NY. And it should be noted that local viewers should feel well-served by that OTB-TV channel as four of the five top handicappers on the list below (Cusano, Pricci, Kling, and Brownell) appear regularly on the network.

Behind the top five there is another group within striking distance and we're swimming with that bunch. But we lay down the gauntlet for the leaders and note that at the halfway point in 2004 we had 45 wins in our pocket. Three weeks later we ended the season with 110 winners. A solid 65 on top in the last eighteen days of the meet. So look over your shoulders leaders, Best Bets is coming!

Note: Discrepancies in total number of races played is due to some handicappers losing races due to scratches or adding races with simulcast plays.

Mark Cusano
Daily [Schenectady] Gazette
67-171 ***
John Pricci
Nick Kling
Troy Record/Saratogian
Bill Taylor
Kyle Brownell
Post-Star [Glens Fall, NY]
Tom Cunningham
Albany Times Union
59-169 ***
Matt Graves
Albany Times Union
59-169 ***
Russ Harris
NY Daily News
Tim Wilkin
Albany times Union
59-169 ***
Tom Law
56-169 ***
Jerry Bossert
NY Daily News
Mike Jarboe
Albany Times Union
Seth Merrow
Best Bets - equidaily.com
Debbie L
NY Post
Dave Little
NY Daily News
Sherry Ross
NY Daily News
Bev Swimm
Albany Times Union
Vic C
NY Post
Ed Fountaine
NY Post
Bill Heller
Daily [Schenectady] Gazette
Mike Lipack
NY Daily News
NY Post
Mark Hoffman
The [Amsterdam, NY] Recorder
John DaSilva
NY Post
42-169 ***
*** Some totals might be one winner too high. On Monday there were two races that featured entries where one half scratched while the other half ran -- and lost. The totals noted above by asterisks included winners that were scratched into after the handicappers had used the scratched half of the entry. We're not sure in these cases how the individaul handicapper scores such a scratch. As we note below on this page -- if we like both halves we name the entry, otherwise we just name the single half of the entry we like and we scratch down to our next selection if that half of the entry doesn't run. When we scored Monday's results we gave the *** handicappers above the benefit of the doubt and allowed them the win in those races they scratched into where they only named the scratched half of the entry above the winning selection.


Dark day. No racing.


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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