Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Monday, August 6, 2006
Meet Total ... 23-106

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2-10. Couldn't keep the ultra-hot streak from Saturday alive through Sunday. But we had a couple winners and a handful of OK gimmicks using the selections.

Announced attendance was 61,996 -- which, of course, was inflated by 'spinners' on cap giveaway day, but there was legitimately a very big crowd on-hand. Not 60K+, but a large crowd. It was yet another nice day weather-wise, sunny, warm, and the humidity backed off a little bit.


Hall of Fame induction ceremonies take place at the Fasig-Tipton pavilion just up East Ave form the racetrack. Among the 2007 inductees are trainer John Veitch [Alydar] and jockey Joses Santos [Funny Cide]. The action starts at 10:30am.

Later on at the same venue is the first of two nights of yearling auctions. The public can attend and view the proceedings and it's usually fun to wander through the backyard and look at the horseflesh as they're paraded through moments before attracting goofy sums of money for untested 1YOs. The auction starts Monday and Tuesday at 7pm.

Some rain is moving through the area as of early Monday morning and off-and-on showers are predicted throughout the day. Keep your eye on that for possible surface changes.

Chunk of Love...Looks like there will be plenty of speed to shoot at and this one should be rolling late.
Jules for AJ...claimed out of a near-miss here on 7/29, now goes first-out for Contessa.
Marco Groom...Could be dangerous on the cutback.

Sweet Way...Didn't live up to his SoCal form in first start for Mott but we'll give him another chance.
Brantley...Looks like the one to catch.
Double Dinghy Day...Typically in the hunt.
Madame Brillon.
On dirt: Pleasant Rhapsody/Milk Town, Sweet Way, Michele the Great, Madame Brillon.

THIRD RACE - Weekend Surprise
Allude...Albertrani/Darley runner has looked good in last two.
Dicey Girl...Undefeated in two tries. The water gets a little deeper here but she could be this good.
Featherbed...G1-placed last year. Making third start of season for Pletcher. Dangerous.
Gem Sleuth.

Show 'Em All...Half-sib to Showing Up and Gimmeawink makes debut for Clement. Working well and could be a good one.
Zee Zee...Making first start. Trainer hot and last couple of works are interesting.
Pletcher entry...Return to Paradise is eligible to improve. Nellie Trent seems bred to be OK here.

Dutrow entry...Same jock named on both so only one will go but both Premium Wine and Phone home look capable.
Joaquin Memphis...Look for a rebound to the prior good form with the return to a dirt sprint.
Running Dog...Has missed the board in awhile.
Precise Alloy.

Unrestricted...Some very nice breeding here for win-early connections. A long string of works.
Mister Fusaichi...This guy has already been first under the finish line -- but was DQ'd. Gets high-marks though on that experience edge.
Runaway Banjo...Maybe the turf-to-dirt move will provide a wake-up.
Do I Havea Witness.

Chatain...We've liked this guy since Day One. He clearly has the talent to compete at the graded stakes level so he should find this bunch to his liking.
Disco's Son...8/2 work says he'll be rolling early.
Bound Notebook...Capable on best.

EIGHTH RACE - Hall of Fame G2
Marcavelly...His record over 'firm' turf is very good. A solid work in prep for this. But do take note that there is a possibility of rain. With the weather we've been having, some rain probably would be a bonus for the turf course -- but if we get enough the course might be downgraded from 'firm'.
Nobiz Like Shobiz...A contender in the 3YO division, so if he takes to turf he might have a class edge on these.
Distorted Reality...Seems to be improving.
On dirt: Nobiz Like Shobiz, Marcavelly, Sahara Heat.

Brown Eyed Belle...Has some good early speed. Blistering work on 7/26. Might run these off their feet.
Western Sweep...If the top one falters this one could pick up the pieces.
Guts Game...Toss the turf experiment.
Cool Paradigm.

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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