Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Saturday, August 18, 2006
Meet Total ... 49-199

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5-9. Another pretty good day as Week Four -- which started slowly on Wednesday -- is turning out well. Five winners on top and plenty of gimmick action. A cold exacta in the 4th [$18.40/$2: quin, $9.70]. In the 6th our top two flip-flopped for the exacta [$28.60], our third pick completed the triple [$107.00], and our fourth selection made the super [$556.00]. In both the 7th and 8th it was our top pick winning followed by our third and then second picks for the tri's [7th, $81.50; 8th, $166.00]. With our top pick winning the last three and our second selection winning the 6th we had a mix of Pick's and the late double to complete the card as well.

A solid Friday afternoon crowd of 24,270 turned out to enjoy yet one more beautiful day. Warm and sunny.


Mount Wilton...Looks to be taking a suspicious drop after running well against better. However, same owner had a winner on Wednesday that was also dropping after going well vs better. We talked about that one later in the day on Sirius satellite's At the Races program with Steve Byk and the thought was raised that this time of year perhaps some of the 'Saturday'-type owners want to clear the barn for upcoming 2YOs. We'll see...
Nerve...Another that has gone well against better. Eligible to boss these.
Speedball Howie...First off the claim for Anthony Dutrow.
Deputy General.

Wall Street Humor/Hedgefund Investor...Both halves of entry look good with Wall Street Humor making second start after a decent debut and Hedgefund Investor working well for his first start.
Commandeered...It's Mott/Desormeaux. Second-time starter went well in his first try.
Zito entry...It seems all the firsters from Zito have been running well up here.
Why Tonto.

Huge City...Trainer is pretty good in these turf sprints. This one tossed in a dud when last seen but the works seemed to indicate readiness.
Beneath the Crown...Clocked by the talented Thunderestimate two back but went well last time -- and get a big jock switch today.
Son of Sabato...Has some early speed.
Can't Refuse.
On dirt: Huge City, Cockney Gambler, Son of Sabato, Trickanometry.

Winemaster...In an interesting two-mile event we'll go with those that have shown some distance ability. This one just missed at 10F in February.
Village Band...Won at 10F last fall.
Contessa entry...Oedipus O'Neal preferred. Nipped at 10F two back.
Where's My Halo.

Just Hoping...AE lister. Showed promise in career debut at 24-1. Worked well since.
Fancy Fusaichi...Mott trainee ran best yet when switched to turf sprint.
Fearless Leader...Working well for first start.
Ms Sabbatical.
Ten Bolts.
Sunshine for Life.
On dirt: Ms Sabbatical, Fancy Fusaichi, Fearless Leader, What Time Is It, Sunshine for Life.

My Michael...Question is the distance but if he stretches he'll be the one to beat.
Biggerbadderbetter...Solid spring-summer campaign.
Giant Chieftain...Wouldn't be surprised to see improvement in second start of 2007.
On dirt: Daaher, Parading, Giant Chieftain, Mister White Socks, Nosybody.

Nationbuilder...Needs to step it up but trainer known to do that at this meeting.
Holiday Trip...Ten times without a win -- that's a concern -- but this one is running well.
Terror On Track...Has some early foot.
On dirt: Same.

J'ray...Looks to be 'slumming' against state-breds after running so well vs open stakes company.
Factual Contender...Turned it around after moving to grass.
Sabellina...Might have lost a step -- or two, but if she can regain some of her prior good form she'll contend in here. That's a big 'if' though.
Artistic Express.

NINTH RACE - Alabama G1
Lady Joanne...Her win earlier in the meet to prep for this was very nice.
Panty Raid...Maybe she's turned a corner because her last was quite impressive -- shipping west and winning a G1 in her first turf try. Seems just as talented on dirt.
Octave...She is perfectly eligible to make us look silly for picking her in this third spot. Hasn't missed an exacta in ten lifetime starts.
Lear's Princess.

Irish Ace...Like the top pick in the 1st, this one drops but might be a case of a 'Saturday' stable making room in the barn. Looks solid here if all the wheels are on.
It's Magical...Winner of Friday's nightcap was making a somewhat similar move out of NY-bred alw-type company. That move is often solid.
Al's Lark...Improving numbers through three starts. Needs to continue the trend in here.
Hot Sunrise.

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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