Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Meet Total ...

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Day One. As always confidence is high.

Equidaily.com's Saratoga's Best Bets has "beaten the meet" for the last three years. In 2003 Best Bets had the highest flat win-bet profit of all the public handicappers we follow on a regular basis during the Saratoga meet who compile such stats. We repeated the feat in 2004 and again last year, in 2005.

(You can review each of the previous seasons' totals here: 2005... 2004 ... 2003.)

Can we keep the ball rolling for a fourth consecutive season? Stay tuned -- it should be fun!

Hunting Hillbilly... We'll start the season off by zigging when other might be zagging. This guy should offer some value after three so-so starts this season -- but we like the set-up. A favorite angle is a horse stretching out in the third start off of a layoff after two sprints. This one did that last time -- unsuccessfully. But sometimes thee angle needs one more race to fully play itself out. We'll hang our hat on that today.
Noah A...Trainer Kimmel has resurged lately and pulled a lifetime best out of this one last time. Tough if able to repeat that effort.
Forget the Judge... Typically in the hunt. Has been facing better much of this year. Can handle any pace set-up.
On dirt: Tactical Gold, Eastern Crown, Multiple Choice.

Rondo...$2.9 mil purchase at 2YO sale last year. Broke maiden in last -- but was DQ'd because jock hit another with his whip. Should pick up the diploma today.
Marquet Desire...Trainer shows a huge second-out stat -- albeit with a limited sample.
Vision of Sunrise...2YO sale purchase always catch our eye and this guy obviously was well-meant -- going in debut for win-early trainer Pletcher. Beaten in that debut last August at 9-5 but there were at least a couple of next-out winners in front of him. In new barn -- and they don't win many off the layoff, but he's interesting.
Ready Read.

I'm a Yankee...Third start off the layoff and showed good improvement start #1 to start #2.
Sly Diamond Jim... Has been showing speed going 1M, now cuts back to 6F and could be the one to catch.
Woodmere...Three nice improving efforts -- Beyer-wise -- since being claimed.
Benlayla/Fifty Frame.

Wave the Baton...Expecting a big effort here. Third start off the layoff. Been showing some speed at 1M now cuts back and trainer is hot with that angle. Drops in for a tag. Velazquez rides. Lots to like.
Silver Timber...Big wake-up call when shifted to turf last time.
Fiddlers Cat...Third start off the layoff and improved in first two.
On dirt: Tough Shipmate, Megatrend, Imperial Zip, Air Race.

Media City...As we said earlier -- 2YO sale purchases spark our interest, particularly when they attract $650K from win-early connections. Sire Forest Camp is the one that was something like 9-9 with first-time starters at this time last year.
First Degree...$1 mil yearling buy should benefit from a good try in Churchill debut.
Consecration...Another that looked good in his debut and is eligible to move forward.
Northern Duke.

Spring At Last...Solid debut for Pletcher. Absolutely eligible to move forward in his second start.
South of Broad...Like the top pick this one was very impressive in his career debut.
Political Force...Good looking 2YO season and he was knocking heads with some of the best of the division. Off since October but Jerkens can get it done with that angle.
Congo King.

I'm the Tiger...We've said it before -- 10, 20 years ago you wanted to see these comebackers get a race under their belt to start a need season. But 21st century trainers seem to have them ready to fire off the bench and Frankel is the poster-boy for getting it done.
Spanish Chestnut...A dedicated sprinter now. Could be rounding into good 4YO form and that 7/10 workout jumps off the page.
With Distinction...Sprinting is probably his best game and he likes this trip.
Spooky Mulder.

EIGHTH RACE - Rogues Walk $70K
Sweet Sweet...Parse out the times she's faced NY-breds and that record is 5-4-1-0. And who is she facing today? Yep, state-breds...
Judy Soda...Got a decent seasonal debut last time in a salty little stake. Will be tough if she benefits from that experience.
Paige Nicole...Typically in the hunt but might have to step it up just a little to vie for the top spot here.

NINTH RACE - Schuylerville G3 $100K
Cotton Blossom...Impressive debut at Monmouth under Decarlo. Velazquez hops on today and that plus the experience should allow this one to move forward.
Desire to Excel...2-2 so far including a stakes win -- and that kind of experience is always a plus.
Audacious Chloe...Uncoupled barnmate of top pick would be no surprise.
Angel Island.

Exton...The nice second in his latest makes it looks like Mott has him figured out.
Mach Three... Nice, closing effort in career debut. Now stretches and should appreciate the added distance.
Tempt Fortune...Another that was solid in a sprint debut and should move forward today.
On dirt: Exton, Pulpiteer, Ben's League, Pennant Contender, Tempt Fortune, Mach Three.

If we are interested in both halves of an entry -- in event of a scratch -- it is noted that way [in other words, both halve are named]. If only one-half of the entry is named, then we prefer that half and will move to our next pick listed [rather than the other half of the entry] in event of a scratch.

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