Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Friday, August 25, 2006
Meet Total ... 61-237

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2-9. Three winners on top [1st, $8.20; 3rd, $12.80]. After a super start to the afternoon we anticipated that perhaps it was going to be the breakout day we've been waiting for -- but we went from red-hot to icy cool. But the early part of the card made things exciting.

In the 1st we ran 1-2-3 in order for a cold exacta [$24.20/$2] and tri [$40.40]. Same situation in the 3rd [$26.40, exacta; $112.00, tri]. In the 2nd our top two flip-flopped [$17.40, exacta; $10.40, quinella].

The weather turned cool but it was still comfortable and the sun was shining most of the afternoon. 18,111 attended.


Battle of the Brews, Noon to 5 pm. Patrons 21 years and older will have a chance to sample some great microbrews and then vote for their favorite. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the event. Proceeds benefit the American Red Cross Adirondack Saratoga Chapter.

Orlov...Showed some speed going two-turns last time. Now cuts back and drops in for a tag. And checked out the near-miss with a big Beyer at this trip three back.
Bright Hall...Cost over a quarter of a million -- in 2002. Only one career race so far -- in 2004. 5YO now appears for a $40K tag but might have some talent. Fitness is the question mark.
Glory At Sea ...Comes out of the Rondo race on opening day and that might be a key event. Drops and gets a big jock switch. Dangerous.

Quick and Easy...Salt Lake on top and a Meadowlake mare underneath -- he should be speedy.
Fahrenheit Wild...Decent debut looks like a good foundation for improvement.
Rice entry...Both Huge City and Bellbottom Johnny look capable of being ready to roll first time out of the box.
Time Piece.

Discreet Cat...We'd be interested in going against this one off of the layoff but his first three were very impressive and remember that G1 Whitney winner Invasor was in his wake in the G2 UAE Derby.
Rumspringa...Looks like maybe he's come back as an improved 4YO.
R Dutrow entry...Both Dark Cheetah and Wild Nature have tossed in some races that are good enough to compete here.
Saint Daimon.

Sky High Flyer...Solid, improving Beyers and should appreciate the return to alw company.
Oberon's Girl...Been in the hunt all year long.
Silver Charades...Very good 3YO season last year and competed successfully against older at this track last summer. Layoff a concern but sometimes they can return even better at 4YO.
Titian Time.
Trick's Pic.
On dirt: Silver Charades, Trick's Pic, Cours de La Reine, Saratoga Drive, Awesome Exchange.

Battle Chant...Might find the competition to his liking at the $35K level.
I've Got Speed...Just missed three back for this tag then ran well last two against slightly better.
United...Scary with the early speed against better -- but there looks like some other speed in here to contend with.
Peace Emblem.
On dirt: United, Eastern Crown, Wild Vicar, I've Got Speed.

Sterwins...Had every right to fade after pushing those early fractions last time. Don't see many others to push this one early today.
Oh So Awesome...Attracted some "wise-guy" type of interest in the G1 Belmont. Should appreciate the move out of graded company but trainer is still running cool -- although he picked up his first win of the meet on Thursday.
Interline...Won here in last and was claimed by a top first-after-claim barn -- but trainer's stats aren't as strong at this meet.
Sweet Valentine... AE lister. Bred to be a good one on turf. Will need to improve but often times the second start is when they make the biggest move forward.
Pletcher entry...Jocasse, got a feeling she's better then that debut. Storm Dixie, solid works for a win-early trainer.
Georgia's Way...A couple of promising works.
Grand Merger.
On dirt: Grand Merger, Storm Dixie/Jocasse, A Kick in the Buff, Siempre Verde, Renovate, Georgia's Way.

EIGHTH RACE - Equalize $70K
Manchu Prince...Numbers are improving and the drop out of stakes company should do the trick.
Storm Treasure...Had some Triple Crown aspirations earlier this year. Flopped in the G1 Ky Derby then moved to grass. Has run decently on the green and is another that should appreciate move out of graded company.
Titled...Moves back in against 3YOs and has some early speed.
River City Rebel.
On dirt: Cotton King, Songofthesailor, On Board Again, Storm Treasure, Thundering Success, River City Rebel.

NINTH RACE - Personal Ensign G1 $400K
Fleet Indian...Should be able to control the pace in this short field.
Balletto...Seems to like this track and a repeat of last puts her in a good spot here.
Yolanda B Too...Should be right behind the top pick -- and perhaps those two will sneak away early.
India Halo.

Distinctive Sandy...Clunked last time -- but that was on dirt. Grass numbers look better than these but that's not saying a lot in this bunch.
Heights...This one showed some early speed last year and was in a very fast turf sprint last time -- so he might be the one to catch and that makes him dangerous.
Meeses Two Pieces...Has run three nice races coming into this -- but those were against state-bred mdn clm'rs so there's still some question about the talent level.
General Congress.
On dirt: In the Service, Meeses Two Pieces, Bronxdale, Lookmeintheeye, Elder Skatesman, Raise a Bag.

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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