Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Meet Total ... 76-254

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1-10. One of those days when a lot of the winners were "playable" but tough to put on top with much confidence. Probably have a tough time finding any public handicapper with more than two or three on top at best -- yet, again, many of the winners had enough going for them that they could have been included. For us, one winner on top (4th, $4.70). We had three exacta involving our top and third picks, with the top pick winning the 4th over the third choice for the gimmick ($10.00/$2) and reverse of that order in the 1st ($51.50) and 2nd ($32.80). Our top three boxed for the tri in the nightcap ($83.00).

On-track, 22,761 made the most of another fine day. It was labeled by track announcer Tom Durkin as a "Chamber of Commerce day" -- sunny and warm with no humidity. The fans got to see Adieu bounce back from a fourth-place finish in the G2 Adirondack to score in the G2 Spinaway at a generous 7-1 for the Pletcher/Velazquez team. But that combo faced disappointment only minutes later as heavily favored Ashado could do no better than fourth in the 10 furlong G1 Personal Ensign.

Post-races traffic slowed to a crawl coming into town on South Broadway as the party-ers flocked in for the Travers eve fun. Spotted at Siro's was TV's horseback racing commentator Donna Brothers.


There is a $1 million guaranteed Pick Four with the four stakes races.

First Expression...Looks like the fastest of this bunch -- but will have to overcome the outside post.
Hard Iron...Decent third in debut and second-place finisher in that race came back to win.
Go Fernando go...Longtime maiden seems trouble-prone but is capable on best.
Seven Bellsforbaba.

Storm N Lightning...Appears that the Pletcher/Velazquez team has caught the spark again. Turf-to-dirt and cutting back to sprint angles have some appeal.
Witch Ways West...Always in the hunt.
Seneca Point...Nice grass work and now makes second start off layoff. Dangerous.
Creative Dance.

Dancing Jim...Experience at the trip and over the track running an OK third in similar event here on 7/23. Might be ready to pop with that race under belt.
Kwondo...Could be tough making second start of season off of big-number debut at Monmouth.
Frankel entry...Pulpit Exchange should appreciate return to dirt sprint. Apprentice looks to have rounded into top form.

Disturbing...Solid debut at Churchill despite trouble. Finished third in follow-up and winner is now being considered on of the tops in the division. By Dynaformer this gal should take to the lawn.
Gemilli...Put together a brief but promising record last year. Now makes third start of 2005 and looks to be coming back into top form.
Silver Strings...Feel that this one is more talented than record indicates.

Misto Quente...Just missed in similar event last time and looks to be going well now.
Dynaglider...Just behind top pick in latest and also in top form now.
Prince Rahy...Stakes level performer has had trouble in last few. Very dangerous with clean trip.
Storm Soaring.

Ivanovsky...As noted earlier, Pletcher/Velazquez team seemed to have gained back a little of the spark. Very expensive purchase at 2YO sale for win-early connections. Always a key angle for us in these MSW events.
Political Force...Hard to ignore the two very solid races so far.
Superfly...Just missed in big debut try.

Whale...Ran second to Shakepeare here on opening day and both seem capable of winding up as stake horses.
Miesque's Approval..Very consistent and comes out of a minor stakes win at Suffolk for trainer Mott.
Battle Chant...Won at a mile in US debut. Follow-up by fading to third after taking the lead at 9.5F. Cutback should be right up his alley.
Kon Tiki.

EIGHTH RACE -- Fourstardave Hcp G2 $200K
Leroidsanimaux...Brings in a six-race win-streak. All big numbers. Last four were stakes. Last couple were G1s. Tough to look past.
Silver Tree...Was very tempted to put this guy on top off of the gritty performance against the super-talented Artie Schiller. Capable if top pick falters.
Senor Swinger...Graded stakes winner shows a super bullet workout leading into this.
America Alive.

NINTH RACE -- Hopeful G1 $250K
First Samurai...The step out to 7F can be daunting for these youngsters and we feel this guy might be a tad more suited to the stretchout. We'll see.
Henny Hughes...Was purchased for a reported $4+mil after Tremont win. Backed up that win with a follow-up score in G2 Saratoga Special. The one to beat.
Winning Minister...Took to the track last time.
Too Much Bling.

TENTH RACE -- King's Bishop G1 $250K
Lost in the Fog...Was reported to be working in a bar shoe -- which will be removed for the race. Trainer has poo-paahed that revelation, but it has to be at least a small concern here for handicappers. Still, this guy has just been so solid, going 8-8 from coast to coast. Hard to go beyond if he's on his game.
The Daddy...Find this one very interesting. Won MSW in Socal then shipped east to dust NY-breds at this distance last time.
Social Probation...Will be rolling late and could pick up the pieces if things melt on the front-end.
Better THan Bonds.

ELEVENTH RACE -- The Travers G1 $1 mil
Don't Get Mad...This race is set-up like a microcosm of the 3YO season -- wide-open. It wouldn't surprise if any of the seven won. Each has positives and negatives -- with a big question mark for most of these being the distance. however, this guy has a solid try at the trip, closing to run a decent fourth in the Kentucky Derby. It has to be noted that he seems to run best at Churchill -- but if he takes to the Spa strip he might just jump up and make things interesting turning for home.
Roman Ruler...The layoff from March to June seems to have paid off and he has returned as an improved animal. Has yet to try this trip but will be tough if he's able to keep running in that final furlong.
Flower Alley... Win in the G2 Jim Dandy give him some important experience over the track. Just missed to Roman Ruler two back. Could wind up in deep though if duels early with Bellamy Road.
Andromeda's Hero...Never really lived up to potential that was hinted at in minor stakes win at Tampa earlier this year. Could be a little closer today with the blinkers. Probably didn't get his best run in the Kentucky Derby in his lone try at the trip -- could be rolling late today in a smaller field.
Bellamy Road...Certainly can be the real deal but that huge number in the Wood seems like an aberration at this point and this is a tough assignment off the layoff.
Chekhov...Has always seemed like talent has not matched that $3.3 mil purchase price.
Reverberate...Capable of being heard from on best effort -- but it's hard to predict if we'll see that today.

Sea Drama...It's Shepperd for Augustin -- making it a Sheppard Special. We feel he's better than he showed last time.
London...Has been solid in all turf races. Must get in from AE list.
My Ballet...Looks better than her record indicates.
Cat's On a Prowl.
Dodger 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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