Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Meet Total ... 58-179

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4-10. We didn't hit a homerun -- but it was a nice stand-up double to start Week Four. Four winners on top (1st, $13.20; 3rd, $5.60; 4th, $6.70; 7th, $5.80). We also had three cold exactas (1st, $61.50/$2; 3rd, $15.60; 4th, $19.60). And there was some nice value to be had with the picks if folks checked the toteboard before the 7th: While our top two picks were vying for favoritism in the 8-5, 9-5 area, our third and fourth choice went off at 17-1 and 19-1 respectively. So when our top choice won, as the 9-5 second fave, followed by our fourth and third choices it lead to a very nice exacta ($109.00) and tri (632.00). And there was the typical mix of other gimmicks and pick plays using the picks.

On-track, 20,606 turned out and enjoyed yet another fine day. Sunny and warm with less humidity. There were two steeplechase races on the card and the 2nd race was marred by an unfortunate spill at the final fence that left only two competitors to cross the finish line. Later reports were that all jockeys and horses came out of the mishap OK. Looks like Nick Zito might have a nice 2YO. Fabled had a little trouble at the start but was rolling late to get up for the win by a neck in the 5th over a nice firster from trainer Steve Asmussen.


Serpe entry...French horn is preferred off of the last two that indicate he's an improved 4YO. Scored nicely at 10F last time which shows the trip will be no problem. Victory Circle, toss last and she's also improving nicely.
Prep School...Been right there in four starts since May.
Kingsley Club...Looks like they'll have her to catch.
Desert Swing.
On dirt: Aristocrat, Bargainwiththedevil, Kingsley Club, French Horn/entry.

Cash Flow...Drops from MSW to Mdn Clm for Asmussen/Bailey.
Secret Brook...Starts to get a little more dicey after the top pick in this contentious race... Nice work on 8/8 and sire is OK with firsters. Certainly the 5-for-2005 jockey is a concern.
Access Alex...Another that could be bred to be quick early.
Five Star Dream.

Thunder Touch...The huge win in a similar event last time is too good to ignore.
Spooky Mulder...Second to top pick last time but cutback in trip might help today.
Mr Whitestone...Top trainer can't be ignored and this guy's best effort is good enough in this bunch.
Key Deputy.

Big Hitter...Good first-out sire and good first-out connections. Adds up.
Darley entry...Both Silvestris and Beholden seems capable of going well in their debuts.
Brushed Bayou...$400K yearling buy here last year. Could come out running.

Tax Considerations...Has won at the distance. Shown ability to be on or near the lead. Tepid nod in tough race.
Laboccetta entry...Only one will go but both Faster Tapper and Flower Flag have plenty of early foot. Might have tiled towards these on top but always leery about taking a trainer on an oh-fer this late in the meet.
Grecian Wings...If things collapse up front this one might run 'em down.
Homegrown Queen.

Those Littlethings...Might have needed last off the long layoff. The one to beat if able to bounce back to form shown late last year in Florida.
Predatory Lender...Closed from far back to just miss second in similar event on 7/31.
Looking for Loot...Doesn't seem to be at the top of his game -- but numbers she was firing earlier this spring are good enough for these.
Princess Dee.
On dirt: Embraceable You, Cap and gown, Princess Dee, Mackenzie Nicole.

Dynamic...In yet another very tough race we'll give this filly the top spot on the improving form and the recent workout.
She's Sterling...Just missed at this trip here last season.
Fastidia...Have to peg her as the one to beat -- but she certainly seems to like that second-place spot.
Captiva Bay.
On dirt; Flaming Heart, Pixie Stix, Brushme On, Just a Little Jet.

EIGHTH RACE -- Morrissey $65K
Top Shoter...Horse-for-course comes into this in top form.
Clever Electrician...Defending champ in this race comes in off a nice third in G3 Tom Fool. Making third start of 2005.
Jet Prospector...Let's forgive latest. Tough if able to rebound to prior form.

Colonial Drive...Decent debut. Now moves from low-profile trainer to Dutrow who is 38% first-time out of his barn.
Drizzly...Came from the clouds to just-miss last time in an improved effort on turf. Always like to see another one after an effort like that though -- they can be deceiving.
Threeandoh...Solid improving form in four lifetime starts.
Haze My Man.
On dirt: Colonial Drive, Drizzly, Safe Signal, Easter Guardian

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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