Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Monday, July 31, 2006
Meet Total ... 13-48

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3-10. Three winners on top [3rd, $4.00; 6th, $4.80; 7th, $6.00]. Had to dip down a ways but there were some gimmicks out there using the selections -- for instance: Our second, third and fourth picks boxed for the $300.00/$2 tri in the nightcap.

The listed attendance was 43,836 but, of course, that was spinner-inflated on cap giveaway day. Truthfully the crowd seemed a little tame given that the weather was perhaps the best of the meet so far, sunny and warm with less humidity than earlier in the week. [Note: Yesterday we forgot to list attendance figures for Saturday -- 24,944 turned out to watch Bernardini crush his opponents in the G2 Jim Dandy. Weather-wise, another rainstorm hit mid-card - as the heat and humidity continued.]

A stroll through Siro's to check on the post-race activities turned up a sparse crowd there as well. But downtown, along Broadway, the pleasant early evening brought out plenty of strollers walking up and down the avenue.


Baby Rusch...Through in a clunker as the 7-5 fave in the Mike Lee -- but perhaps he didn't like the surface that day. We'll give him the nod today moving back into alw company and cutting back to a distance he's proven successful at.
Tough Shipmate...Hard to fault the record so far.
Unswept.. 6YO has nine lifetime wins -- far more than any other in the field. Also, likes this track.
Air Race.

Block...Dynaformer filly from Mott fired an impressive bullet for this last week.
Brushed Gold...Pletcher firster scored on the turf on Sunday. Trainer's hot enough -- why not Monday too?
Way Sassy...Biancone filly would be no shock.
Mama Bear.

Andromeda's Hero...This is certainly tougher than most opt clm'rs but still counts as serious class relief for this guy.
Bank President...Showing the typical Dutrow-improvement.
Wilko...Winner of the 2004 BC Juvie last entered the winner's circle in -- well, the 2004 BC Juvie. Yep, long time between drinks for this guy -- but, like the top pick, gets some class relief here and might get the wake-up call.
Misto Quente.

Friend of Mae...Ran well in debut vs MSW competition -- hard to go against dropping into claiming ranks.
Commander's Choice...Improving numbers with each start.
Purple Charm...Yep, you're right -- I'm too chicken to leave Pletcher out of the mix despite this one's weak Beyers.
Sipsey/Inca King.

Dormeletto...AE lister. Outside post no bonus over the inner course but this one has some early speed and should be tough if able to get some position early.
Banrock...Numbers have been improving with each start. Has a good try at this condition under his belt.
Gimme Credit...Really seems to have gotten the hang of it the last couple.
Prime Diamond.

What a Tale...Jumps off the page as a $750K 2YO purchase -- as a NY-bred. Goes out for win-early trainer to boot.
Endless Circle...Another 2YO sale purchase. Sire gets precocious runners.
Zip On By.

Stratonic...AE lister. Ran best yet when moved to turf -- and the jock switch can only help.
Judd...AE lister. Back into claimers after some decent tries in MSW.
Really reilly...Numbers say he'll be tough in here -- but he can't linger 22 lengths behind today.
Festival Hall.

EIGHTH RACE - Amsterdam G2 $150K
Songster...Took a clear lead in this 3YO sprint division by turning the tables on Too Much Bling last time. That one came back to take a stake on the Summit of Speed card at Calder.
Noonmark...We thought this guy might be a contender in the 3YO division -- but he faltered a little after the Swale. But he's shown enough to indicate there's plenty of talent there.
El Nino...Has shown some flashes.
Court Folly.

Crayda...Has early foot -- but can also sit just off if necessary -- and that might be the roadmap to success today. Johnny V should assure the proper tactics.
Grand Idea...Also has speed. Also has shown the ability to stalk if necessary. Cuts back from 1M last time.
Summer Journey...Record is impressive but most of the action has been against slightly cheaper. Can't discount success however.
Menu Varnish.

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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