Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Meet Total ... 62-197

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1-9. Let's hope this doesn't start a replay of the trend from Week Two -- one winner on top (3rd, $4.40) while four more of our top picks ran second, two of those in photo's. We also had a couple reverse exactas with our top two flip-flopping (2nd, $18.80; 9th, $16.60). And the usual mix of other gimmicks with some creative use of the selections.

On-track a very solid crowd of 23,664 turned out. They watched the card under cloudy skies for most of the program and some light rain started to fall before the nightcap.


Chili Cook-Off, 12 - 4 pm. The backyard area becomes a food-lovers heaven as patrons have the chance to sample spicy chili for only $5, and then vote for their fiery favorite. Proceeds benefit the Backstretch Employees Services Team.

Keep your eyes on the sky. It rained Friday afternoon and evening and showers are predicted as possible on Saturday as well. It certainly doesn't look like a washout -- and if you're heading to the track the forecast actually looks like things might hold off until dinnertime, but be prepared to change-up to mudders if it comes earlier.

Dutrow entry...Crafty Player was facing much cheaper earlier this year -- but moved up the claiming ladder successfully and fits here. Fines Creek is first-off the claim and the trainer is an astounding 47% with that angle.
Lake entry...Neon Magic romped two back at this level. Stellianos just missed here last time and was claimed.
Personal Touch...Only a couple starts since January and last was a dud. Some question marks -- but if this guy has all the wheels on he could be tough.

Sweeping Glance...Might be getting a little cute here as this one finished behind our second pick last time and we typically don't like to flip-flop those kinds -- but she went well in debut at Woodbine and then followed-up with a solid third here last time. Looks set-up to go well today.
Real Knowsy...As noted, she beat the top pick last time and would be no surprise today.
My Niece Cayla...Looks like she's slowly but surely getting the hang of it and cuts back from a one-turn mile at Belmont.
Iam a Dixiechic.
Distinctive Flag.

Ever Elusive...Showed nice ability to sit off the pace last time. $1 mil yearling broke maiden as expected in debut -- now has a couple of near-misses at NW1.
Yolanda B Too...Sat off from December to July and came back running with a convincing win here on 7/30. The one to beat.
Play With Fire...Straight from a maiden win into graded stakes as a 2YO. Could be set-up nicely coming from turf event into this.
Flaming Heart.

Seattle Borders...Graded stakes winner in SoCal last year. Off almost a year and came back in $30K claimer so we might assume some problems -- but was second in that comeback event and should fit with these and now has one under his belt in 2005.
Mr Pleasantfar...Last looks too bad to be true. Prior races were all solid at this level.
No Parole...Could be tough dropping to this level. Picks up Johnny V.
America's Guy.
Seattle Borders, Wicklow Highlands, Hunter's Tale, Taking the Redeye, Chute the Breeze.

Save Big Money...Just a pedigree play as this one is bred to be any kind.
Superfly...Just missed in debut here on 8/6. Zito runners typically improve with experience.
Wrigley...Two solid tries so far -- but the trip is a question mark.

Charlevoix...Could be a little tighter in second start of season.
Port Chester...Nice improving form in three 2005 starts.
High Octane...There is some speed in here -- if they duel and collapse this guy could pick up the pieces.
Wuthering Heights.
On dirt: Saffir, Bargainwiththdevil, Mambo Minstrel, British Lion, Sideways Glance.

Count Me In...Can't ask for better breeding. Top trainer. solid works. Adds up.
Patriot Act...Probably unlucky to be a maiden as he faced some tigers last year. First start since October.
Happy Hunting...More super-breeding. A couple of good tries at this 7F trip.
Irish Bulldog.

Urban Conquest...The two turf tries were good -- but seasonal debut seems to indicate he's better on dirt, and he gained some good 2-3YO experience. Good try on this strip last season.
Raffit...Lightly raced indicates some problems but comeback effort was OK and he could be tough with that one under his belt.
Nohasslatdcastle...Has been picking up a piece of the pie since spring.

NINTH RACE -- Troy $65K
Diamond Green...Group winner in France has been facing some of the best in Europe. Nobody in this group of that caliber.
Funfair...Another Euro-invader. Looked super winning US debut at Delaware.
Willard Straight...Won this race last year and comes into this off a win here on 7/31.
On dirt: Steel Light, Provincetwon, Seeking Answers, Certifiably Crazy.

TENTH RACE - Alabama G1 $750K
Dance Away Capote...The trip is a question mark for most of these. This gal might be able to sit off the early pace and get a nice run in the lane. Also shows good wet track form if that's a factor.
R Lady Joy...She's really tuned into a nice one and comes out of a solid win in Delaware Oaks.
Spun Sugar...Can't fault the solid 6-3-2-1 record which includes three nice graded tries.
Sweet Symphony.

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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