Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Saturday, August 11, 2006
Meet Total ... 31-142

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0-9. Wow, two oh-fers in the first three weeks. Ouch! It was one of those days -- in the midst of one of those seasons. The winner of the nightcap was 10-1, the only winner at double-digit odds on the card -- but the Pick Six had only one winner [$178K/$2]. In other words, the winners aren't outrageous -- in terms of past performances or angles to work with -- but it's hard to string a few of them together.

We'll have to follow up with yesterday's attendance figures... They weren't reported in the usual spots... Weather-wise, the day started with rain which tapered off as the morning progressed. By race-time it was cloudy. By day's end the sun had popped out. Temps were significantly cooler than the last few days. All turf races were moved to the main.

Funny Cide was paraded in front of the crowd before the 4th race and received a nice round of applause.


Jacobson entry...Not On My Turf preferred. Has won four of last five and last couple have been big Beyer numbers compared to these.
River Mountain Rd...The numbers this one was throwing late last year fit here. He needs to rebound to that form.
Speed of Sound...High-percentage trainer ships this one in from Charles Town. Should show some early foot.

Verify...Sold at 2YO sale for $800K after firing 10.2 and 21.1 works. Half to '98 Eclipse Juvie winner Answer Lively. Win-early trainer. Adds up.
The Leopard...Sold for $2.5mil at same sale as top pick. Comes out of good-looking debut for Pletcher. The one to beat.
Immortal Eyes...Just behind The Leopard last time.

Accountforthegold...Gets the nod here based on the number he can run on his best effort. Best takes it easily. But oh-fer jock is a concern.
Naughty New Yorker...Another that will contend on his best. He likes this track.
Shuffling Maddnes...Looked very good last time in his second off a layoff.

Yankee Thunder...Giving him the slightest of nods over Spurred based on the guess that he'll move forward in his second start back.
Spurred...Will be rolling late and clearly the one to beat.
Akebono...Undefeated so far. Stretches off of a couple of sprints. Dangerous.
Ready Enough.

Midnight Slammer...Attracted $82K at a 2YO sale in March after working in 10.1 and should have gotten a good education in race debut.
The Truffle Man...Sire is known to produce precocious runners. Works OK.
Be Bullish...Also has a sire who can produce runners ready to go early.
Wishful Tomcat.

Grand...Was solid most recently in three tries at the $50K level at Churchill.
Military Major...This guy's been doing well at this $35K level.
Mascot...Just missed in a nice first-start back last time. Undefeated over this track.
Ground Hero.

Equitable...Just missed in a good-looking debut. Winner of that one came back to repeat.
Borobudur...AE lister. French-import from Frankel probably needed his last.
Wild Wizard...Improved greatly with switch to grass.
Uncle Indy...Has looked good so far -- but hasn't tried turf. Breeding says he'll be good though.

Greater Fool...Last couple were pretty good and should have him set-up to run well today.
Democrat...NY-bred steps into open company and looks to fit off of last few.
My Golden Opinion...Showed some promise last year. 2007 debut was good. Dangerous.
Royal Attire.

NINTH RACE - Sword Dancer G1
English Channel...Pletcher trainee is simply one of the best in this division. Does have some question-marks about the distance today.
Trippi's Storm...Has gotten good -- very good -- since moving to grass.
Always First...Won G3 at Arlington in latest. Loves this trip.

Zip to the City...Trainer won with this one in first-off the claim. Now goes dirt-to-turf -- but the works say it won't be a problem.
Defrizz...Usually in the mix.
Sense of Speed...Been in the hunt last five starts.
Manhattan Mack.

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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