Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Meet Total ... 66-247

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5-10. We stepped it out -- but we're still looking for a real "breakout" day, which is more of the 6-win variety. But five on top for the day is pretty good [2nd, $6.90; 3rd, $2.80; 5th, $5.50; 7th, $6.10; 9th, $3.30].

Had to love the performance by Discreet Cat in the 3rd. It was a man against boys and left you wondering if you saw the best 3YO in training on the day before the Travers!

In the feature you were simply left wondering what the other jocks were thinking as they let favorite Fleet Indian cruise through some ridiculously slow early fractions. Nonetheless a nice win by that win.

Attendance was 21,816 and though the forecast called for some showers, the weather held. It was cool but comfortable and the sun poked through for much of the afternoon.


Sing Me Back Home...Gets the nod in a contentious race. Just seems to be rounding into some good form. Near-miss last time in third start of 2006.
Concorde's Edge...Tossed in a clunker last time -- but that was on turf. Against better. And it was the first of the year. Look for improvement today and prior form says this one might simply be better than these.
Must Win Soon...Huge Beyer number three back. Dangerous -- but trainer not as prolific at this meet as everywhere else.
Congressional Run.

Hunsa...AE lister. Showed nice improvement from start #1 to start #2. A repeat of that effort will take this.
Mott entry...Both Nunnery and Emma Carly look to be set-up for improved efforts.
Lenape Legend...Has been getting better with each start.
Elle Belle.
Lemon Drop Cello.
Countess Scala.
On dirt: Countess Scala, Hot Canary, Elle Belle, Emma Carly/Nunnery.

Songofthesailor...Improving Beyers with each start capped by the 104 last time over this track.
Coin Silver...Live moving onto the Triple Crown trail last year -- flopped in the G1 Ky Derby. Trouble in comeback effort. Now makes another comeback and just have to think this one is more talented than last two efforts indicate.
High Finance...Was progressing nicely and then tossed a dud when moved into G1 company. Another that is eligible to rebound.
Nar/City Attraction.

Defer...Last win impressed us enough that we wondered if we might see this guy in a grass stake sooner rather than later. This race is certainly of minor stakes-quality. So we'll find out about this one today. We think he's found a home on grass and he fits.
Willard Straight...Going by the Beyers it looks like this is the one to beat. And being reunited with Johnny V can only help
Classic Campaign...Might get overlooked after the latest but he's better than that.
Night Chapter.
On dirt: Colita, Upturn, Defer, Tinseltown, Proud Man.

Incriminate...$1.5 mil yearling purchase has been working well for debut.
Parade the Flag...By win-early sire Distorted Humor.
Meritocracy..Second-out for Pletcher -- always a dangerous angle.
Very Suspicious.

Yankee Thunder...Debut was impressive. Had no shot last time from the back of the pack. Prado rides today and the last should serve as a good education.
Oedipus O'Neal...Has been knocking on the door recently -- including a stakes try last time.
Secret Agent...Should be tougher if he reverts back to closing style.
One Goodknight.
On dirt: Yankee Thunder, Oedipus O'Neal/Phoneulater, Yougonow, Helene's Dream, Shining Bull.

Political Force...The second to Bluegrass Cat in the G3 Nashua last fall indicates some talent. Might be ready for top effort in third start of season.
Simon Pure..Has shown some flashes.
On Board Again...Solid win in debut -- in January.
Special Event.

EIGHTH RACE - Ballston Spa G2 $200K
Asi Siempre...Seldom runs a poor race. Got a little bit of a confidence booster in overnight stake here last time. Should be able to save some ground from the rail.
Sweet Talker...Just missed in G1 Diana. Looks like the one to beat.
My Typhoon...Another that almost always brings her A-game. Switches to Gomez.
Karen's Caper.

NINTH RACE - Bernard Baruch Hcp G2 $200K
Godolphin entry...Etesaal is interesting with the prior Euro-from. Ashkal Way had a win streak broken but ran a good second in a G2 here on 8/6.
Quest Star...Looks capable of stalking just behind the early pace and perhaps getting first jump.
Badge of Silver...Will be tough if able to duplicate last -- but note it was in January and he was able to set pedestrian fractions that day.
TD Vance.

TENTH RACE - King's Bishop H1 $250K
Mach Ride...Those Florida sprint stakes have been productive here the last few seasons. We'll zig while others zag in this race.
Henny Hughes...Hard to fault the huge comeback effort -- but this isn't Monmouth.
Songster...Has done little wrong in a six-race career.
Star Dabbler.

Bernardini...We said after the G2 Jim Dandy that you could book our bet. Just looks awfully talented.
Bluegrass Cat...We were on this guy through the Triple Crown trail and would like to support him here. Bernardini just looks too tough but the G1 Haskell win could signal a wake-up call for this guy. It should be interesting.
High Cotton...Steps back into the A-league after doing well against the second-stringers the last few.
Minister's Bid.

I'm a Yankee...Nice second to Run Red Run tow back and that one has turned out to be useful. Nice work on the grass in prep for this.
Mr Bourbon Street...Looks like the one to beat off the comeback effort -- but did that big run take a toll?
Tough to Follow...Big win against open company last time. Does the number indicate a wake-up call -- or is it an aberration?
Tough and Easy.

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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