Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Monday, September 4, 2006
Meet Total ... 89-326

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3-10. Three winners on top [2nd, $3.30; 3rd, $4.30; 7th, $3.90]. Plus, there was a little bit of juice out there using the selections. For instance, in the 2nd our fourth selection was 28-1, it wouldn't have taken too much strategy and wagering power to use our logical 3-5 shot top choice over the next three in exactas and tri's, especially after seeing that longshot in the mix. And doing so was nicely rewarding with the $3.30 winner finishing on top of our 28-1 fourth pick and 3-1 second selection for a $48.60/$2 exacta and $111.00 tri. Decent value if you were shopping for ways to play the winner and still make some money.

And our top three boxed for the tri in the featured G1 Spinaway for some decent value ($78.00). There was more value using the selections for folks who were even just a little bit creative...

Well, now we know, "racing fans" like blankets more than Kentucky Derby winners. After a relatively dismal crowd [for Saratoga] of 13,111 on Saturday, things rebounded on Sunday with an announced crowd of 66,311. Of course that figure was inflated by "spinners" who entered multiple times in order to grab a handful of the free blanket giveaway promotion. But eyeballing the actual crowd on the grounds was enough to confirm that it was a solid day in that category -- and clearly far, far more people than turned out to watch the return of local hero Funny Cide as well as enjoying tow super G1 stakes on Saturday. Very strange... The weather was somewhat similar to Saturday, cool and damp but the precipitation held off.


Prep School...We probably missed our shot at the meet's Sheppard Special at the end of last week -- but we have a couple more shots today and we'll take them. Been a longtime since this one has seen the winner's circle but he has a closing kick and has shown some ability going a marathon... And he has trainer Sheppard in his corner.
Operation Red Dawn...The logical horse to beat. In good form now.
Ryan Is Flying...Too far back in latest but was going well prior.
Dancing Forever.

Vowel...Ran well in debut despite trouble. Mott's typically go well in second start. Bred to be a good turfer.
Pay Wright...AE lister. Maiden ran a good third in stake last time.
Mama Bear...Showed some good speed and faded in debut and that's the kind they can improve off of.
Sophie's Salad...Just missed in first start. Adds blinkers and lasix. Owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay.

Teregesti...Maybe overmatched last time -- was going well prior and will be tough if able to rebound.
Dont Knock America...Another that should appreciate the class relief from last two tries.
Win With Beck...Has run some that would be good enough here. Trainer is cool at the meet however.
Sideways Glance.
Delta Sea.

FOURTH RACE - Hopeful G1 $250K
Pletcher entry... Circular Quay looked like the real deal winning two Churchill races -- including a G3. Scat Daddy also undefeated with a graded stakes win.
Unbridled Express...Could be any kind.
Pegasus Wind...Debuted in a graded stake then followed up with a solid maiden win here in July.
Irish Ace.

Iron Goddess...Ran second as the 3-5 "good thing" last Monday. Note that she was facing boys that day. We looked to find someone to beat her here because we feel a young horse might be vulnerable on the quick turnaround -- but she just looks too tough.
Karakorum Knockout...Might make things interesting if able to sneak away.
Dixieland Squall...Like Karakorum Knockout this one has some early foot. One of them might sneak away -- but which one? And if they duel it won't help either. A puzzle.

Hapid Ralo...This is a tough race but we like the improving numbers that this one has shown in his four turf races. If that trend continues she might be the one.
Moorebella...Hasn't missed the board in ten 2006 starts.
Baymont...Nice win when dropped in for this tag last time.
Urbane Hustle.

Rhyme Nor Reason...AE lister. Often times handicappers look at closers like this and expect them to automatically improve with more distance -- but the fact is that horses tend to start their one-run the same place on the track, so the added distance isn't the key, but rather the pace. And these marathons often have a slow pace, so this guy might be too far back -- But wait! They add the blinkers. Perhaps he'll be closer early today, and we'll hope he can retain some of that late kick.
AP Jewel...We see perhaps a similar set-up here as outlined above. Expect the new jock to keep him a little closer to the pace.
Swirling Solomon...Again, often times these marathons get stolen on the front-end with a dawdling pace -- and this one can pull off that trick here. Dangerous.
League of Nations.

Pure Incentive...Nice second in a stake against the boys last time. Stands out here.
Captiva Bay...AE lister. Good second last time in first start of the season.
Doryphar...AE lister. Could have turned the corner last time.
What Will Be.

NINTH RACE - Glens Falls Hcp G3 $100K
Latice...Had some trouble going this trip at Delaware last time. Looked set for a big career when she won her US debut in a minor stake here last summer. Hasn't quite lived up to that promise but certainly fits with these.
Louve Royale...Hard to fault the current good form.
Noble Stella...Should be in front as far as she goes.

Say Revain...We've said it before, sometimes these NY-breds are just a touch better and are able to zip through their conditions. This one looks to fit that scenario. Note that the one he beat last time came back to win yesterday at 3-5.
Democrat...Beyers are improving with each start.
Patch Man...Might be interesting on the cutback.
Mr Bourbon Street.

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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