Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Saturday, July 28, 2006
Meet Total ... 2-28

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0-10. Ouch! Three days in and we shoot an oh-fer. It's obvious from the current 2-for-28 total with winners-on-top that we've floundered through the opening days -- but it has to turn around. As we often say when a nice horse tosses in an inexplicable clunker, "ignore that one and look for the rebound!" We'll turn it around.

Attendance was 18,795 for the first of two 'twilight' racing cards at the meet. The weather was a little funky -- warm and very humid early with some brief showers hitting very late in the day.

ABC-TV will broadcast the four big stakes today starting at 4pm ET.


Rain fell pretty good overnight and into the early morning so keep your eyes open for track conditions and the status of turf racing today.

Bailero...His 2006 form lays over this field. Showed a flash of that old form in his second start of 2007. Now drops after a couple of duds. He's a big question mark but the fact that he was able to fire that nice race in April gives us some confidence that he can still fire a good one.
Private Lap...High-percentage trainer seems to have find the proper level for this one. Fairly consistent all season.
Fire Hero...Been running well this year -- class is a little bit of a question mark here.

Globalization...Violette/Klaravich team do well with youngsters at Saratoga. This one is making his second start off of a decent debut. Drew a quarter-mil at 2YO sale earlier this year after working in 10.2 and 10.1.
War Pass...Zito surprised with winning firsters in 2006.
Mr Shortcake...Has already put in a couple of good tries for Pletcher.
Slew's Tiznow.

Chief Running Bear...Run well in Ireland last season -- carrying 131! Expect him to go well in first US start.
Giant Chieftain...Showed promise last season. Will need to step it up Beyer-wise but that wouldn't be a surprise off the 2YO to 3YO break.
Lear Heights...Typically in the hunt.
Mister White Socks.
On dirt: Thorn Song, Marital Asset, Silver Express, Portobello Road, Mister White Socks, Pick Six.

Need the Write Off...Claimed three back and maybe they were too ambitious in last couple. Should fit well here.
Tonybeatthegate...Another that was maybe facing a little better recently and should appreciate this group.
Execeleration/Pressing Issue...Execeleration on the drop for Winning Move/Contessa. The team obviously is serious about this meet.
Smokin Lu.

Forest of Dreams...Attracted a big price as a yearling and lived up to that with a decent debut on July 4. Trainer has an insane percentage for second-time starters.
Bujagali...Also attracted money as a yearling. Nice work in prep for this.
Roi Maudit...Beyers were improving with each dirt start. On grass last time.
Noble Truth.

Monster Drive...Too ambitious last time? Should appreciate the return to state-breds.
Zipperoo...The nice July 6 work over the training track indicates he should be ready.
Defrereoftheheart...Should have gotten a little education in first try at this level last time.
It's Magical.

My Typhoon...Could be the controlling speed -- but we have to wonder if Biancone entered Countess Scala to counter-act that advantage.
Makderah...Could be a monster in the making. Probably needs to step it up just a little here -- but no reason to believe she won't.
Argentina...Just nipped in this race last year.

EIGHTH RACE - AG Vanderbilt Hcp G2
Diabolical...Seemed to hit peak career form at the end of last year and has managed to maintain that level this spring. Very fast work for this.
Benny the Bull...This one gets a major class test today. Purchased out of Iowa stakes win last time, he moves into the Dutrow barn. Interesting.
Commentator...Likes Saratoga. Likes off-going. His best gets it done here -- but can he regain his best form?
Attila's Storm.

NINTH RACE - Go for Wand G1
Ermine...She is a hard-knocker at the top levels. Worked well for this at Arlington.
Teammate...Almost shocked the G1 Alabama here last year. Might be tough again if able to sneak away early.
Ginger Punch...In good form for Frankel.

TENTH RACE - Whitney G1
Lawyer Ron...Just missed at 1-10 in G3 at Monmouth behind lose-on-lead speedball. Should set him up well for today.
Diamond Stripes...Lightly-raced 4YO just missed in G1 Foster for only blemish on record.
Flashy Bull...Has been impressive this spring.
Magna Graduate.

Saratoga Kaz...Hmmm, worked best of forty-two in prep for this. NY-bred firster ships in from Jersey to face own kind and might be a nice one.
Royal Livingston...Showed good improvement start #1 to start #2.
No Lemon...Also improving with each start.
Western Call.

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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