Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Saturday, September 3, 2005
Meet Total ... 97-311

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4-10. And the beat goes on. Four winners on top (1st, $4.50; 7th, $3.70; 9th, $4.70; 10th, $7.20). Thought we had a winner in the 4th as Edgar Prado snuck our top pick, 6-1 Payment in Kind, up the hedge entering the lane and opened up. At the sixteenth it still looked like we had another winner, but Planets Aligned came late under Jorge Chavez and rolled by as with less than 50 yards to go to win by less than a length. Doh! Also, a cold exacta in the 9th ($12.20/$2). And the late double cold ($17.00). Plus a small assortment of other gimmicks using the picks.

On-track, it's Day Two of the newest 10,000+ attendance streak as 13,960 turned out. And we're sounding like a broken-record -- but it's a good thing -- it was another nice day weather-wise. Sunny and comfortable.


Afleet Alex will be paraded after the 2nd race today. Marylou Whitney will sign copies of Saratoga: The Ultimate Racing Experience after the fourth race outside of the Horse Identification office (next to Customer Service) to benefit the Backstretch Recreation Center. And it's the Final Stretch music fest downtown. Musical acts playing all up-and-down Broadway starting at 7pm.

LATE NOTE: In a bizarre move it was announced that NYRA has taken the 4th and 11th off the turf today. There are supposedly some problems on the inner turf so they wanted to give it a "day off". Why the races weren't moved to the outer turf with only three days left in the meet is a mystery -- and a disappointment. However, all that said, with perfect weather in the forecast and turf racing yesterday, we didn't make any "dirt" picks. So, with the announcement we've gone back and added some picks to those races. In the 4th, we'll stand with our picks -- but we added the MTO at the bottom of our selections, expecting some to be grass-meant and scratch out. In the nightcap we added a list of "dirt" selections. This "update" is going up at about 11:30pm and we apologize to folks that have already checked the page earlier this morning when it was first posted. But who could have expected the change to the main track?!?

Smiling Cat...Claiming race with condition of N2L -- and plenty of these have had numerous tries to get that second win. On the other hand this one from Clement is lightly raced and looks to be improving. Should be tough if takes to grass -- but the surface is a specialty of the trainer.
PJ Sully...Trainer shooting at 36% this meet. This one just broke his maiden last time but looks like a good fit here.
Raphaelite...Racing against better in SoCal earlier this year. Came back from layoff and faded in latest -- but that was an off-turf event. Eligible to run away from these with return to grass and a race under his belt.
Stormy Forest.

Votecatcher...That last race has turned out to be a nice one with some next-out winners.
Popular Delusion...3YO debut was an impressive near-miss and that race was also one that produced some winners.
Mystic Chant...Solid worktab.
Kelly Ks Pleasure.
No End in Sight.

Lone Smitten...Horse he ran behind in debut came back to win. Tepid vote in a weak field.
Chazal...Showed good speed and faded in debut. Nice work for this a few days ago. Will need to step it up today but that's always possible in their second start.
Distinctive Flag...Looks to be on the improve and finished ahead of top pick last time -- but we're leery of low percentage trainer.
Wayward Liz.

Albany County...Clearly there are no world-beaters in this field. This gal is coming out of three turf sprints and seasonal debut was promising. Two follow-ups were not as good but expect improvement with the move in against this claiming field.
Bohemian Rain...Takes a little drop and seems like a good fit with these.
Predatory Lender...Nice, improving form since moving to grass and ran very well here last time despite trouble.
Shoot the Bugler.

Busters Rodeo...Showed high-speed and held on for second last time despite slow break. Jock switch and a clean break today could get him the diploma today.
Blutarsky...Two nice races so far and he clearly looks capable in here.
Harry the Rock...Banged out a couple Beyers in last two that look good in this field -- but moves from grass and cuts back to sprint so we're not sure how much early foot he'll show.
Peppers Delgany.

Performing Diva...A little dull in debut -- but gate trouble could have contributed to that. Expect good improvement in his second start.
Rainbow Pond...Here's one that did show that nice start one to start two improvement. Repeat of that big Beyer will make him tough to beat.
Flash By...Royally bred and might come out running. If he had a jock onboard that was having a more solid meet we might have used this one on top.

Brother Scott...Showed good improvement in two turf starts to start the season. Follow those with a low Beyer fig in an off-turf event -- but he won that race. Ran fifth in a similar event last time but wrestled with the jock a little bit. Let's see if new jock gives him a freer run.
Charimount...Seems to be getting the hang of the game as a 3YO and with move to turf. Won the last time he teamed with this rider.
Goodtimes At Home...This horse might rate higher expect for low percentage jock.

Mayo Post...Huge turnaround since coming back from layoff and arriving in new barn. Only needs to keep running the same as last two to move through this condition.
My Kinda Town...Been awhile at this level but comes off a layoff and trainer has good stats in that department.
Freddy the Cap...State-bred stakes-placed and last was probably a little better than it looks on paper.
Precise Motion.

NINTH RACE -- With Anticipation $65K
Stream Cat...Faded in debut but showed some early speed and that should provide some nice education. Scratched from MSW dirt sprint yesterday and we expect this one to move forward going two turns on grass.
Trading Pro...Stretches off of two nice dirt sprints.
Mister Zee...Uncoupled barnmate with top pick. Good third at the trip last time.
Church Service.

TENTH RACE -- Forego G1 $250K
Forest Danger...If he's right he's the one to beat. 3-3 at the trip which includes the G1 Carter earlier this year. Bombed in the G1 Met Mile and off since -- but has run well off layoff before.
Battle Won...Has been solid in all stat so far in 2005.
Keep The Faith...Faced the best Down Under and impressed big-time with N American record-breaker in US debut. The big question mark is the dirt.
Silver Wagon.

Holy Panache...Won a similar event here on 8/13 and will be tough again if able to get in from AE list.
Kathir...Graded stakes-placed as recently as last summer. Dropped to this level and ran second last time. claimed and now comes back for same price. Fits well.
Sovereign Kit...A solid fit for this tag and has yet to miss this board in 2005.
Falconer...Another that is typically in the hunt.
Robin of Trinidad.
On dirt: Seeking the Money, Mombo Loco, Atouratoura, Falconer, Tangmalangaloo, Robin of Trinidad.

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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