Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Sunday, August 26, 2006
Meet Total ... 62-268

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2-12. Clearly we didn't knock 'em dead -- only two winner on top in twelve races. But we ran second in a couple of races -- including the G1 King's Bishop with 6-1 First Defence, and that one looked like a real upsetter when he moved to Hard Spun in mid-stretch. If we could have gotten those two and grabbed 33% winners on the day it would have been a different story -- but that's the way the cookie crumbles. Both of those second-place finishers completed reverse exactas, so there was a little bit of value to be found with the picks on Saturday.Saratoga meet featuring a Kentucky Derby winner the number should be over 40K. Perhaps the weather affected some potential attendees deciding to bypass the day -- the temps were in the 90's and the humidity made it sauna-like.

Those that did attend were treated to some nice races. Hard Spun was impressive getting his G1 win in the King's Bishop while holding off the up-and-coming First Defence. La Traviata could be any kind after remaining undefeated in three tries with a win in the Victory Ride. Shakis set a new course record in the G2 Baruch. And, of course, the fans were treated to the second win at the meet by Street Sense, the 2007 Kentucky Derby winner.

The G1 Travers and Street Sense demonstrated what racing is all about -- and it was fun to watch. In the paddock prior to the race fans were lined about three and four deep along the fence and they started applauding and cheering Street Sense, Borel, and Nafzger as soon as the jock mounted and the cheers continued as the horse walked through the paddock and onto the track. After the race Street Sense returned to the winner's circle which was lined five deep beyond the fence with fans cheering. A look into the box seats also showed people standing and cheering the Derby-Travers champ. Fun stuff.

The weather -- as mentioned earlier -- was oppressively hot, but the predicted T-storms held off [save for a very brief, very light sprinkle at one point]. However, about thirty minutes after the final race the skies opened with a monster thunderstorm the shot huge bolts of lightning and bomb-like jolts of thunder for 30-45 minutes. At the start of the storm all the lights in the track went off -- but came back on with what probably an emergency generator because electricity remained off in the surrounding neighborhood for quite awhile. Post-track hotspot Siro's was in the dark and large parts of the downtown area were still with power at about 9:30pm. That might have affected the evening's celebration as the downtown late-night crowd was smaller than a typical Travers night.


Sequoia Queen...A $575K 2YO purchase in 2006 that didn't debut until this meet. Looked good winning that one and could be any kind.
Meredith Bee...Maybe she didn't take to the Churchill surface. Toss those efforts and she looks live.
Sumwonlovesyou...Owned by some members of the Derby Trail internet forum, this one has been competitive since they purchased earlier this year. Could be interesting on the cutback to a sprint.
Tiger On the Loose.

Impressionism...AE lister. Two nice seconds since moving to turf.
Golden Oasis...Firster by Giant's Causeway from Frankel/Stronach. Steady works underneath.
Slewfoundmoney...Should show some early foot.
Miss Fervor.
Scarlet Love.
On dirt: Scarlet Love, Impressionism, She Belongs to Us, AP Test, Loxy Lady.

War Pass...Impressed in debut.
Pyro...Closed from the back of the pack to take first start by a nose in a gutty performance at Churchill.
Fidelio...Won on the Poly but has a bullet best-of-48 on this track.
Ascot Hall.

Sacrifice Bunt...This is a wide-open event but we'll give a tepid nod to this one from Mott/Desormeaux. Might be ready to toss in a good one with a race over the track under his belt.
Daaher...They might have gotten a little ambitious trying the Canadian Triple Crown events. Fired a big number in his MSW event just prior to those and could be tough if able to rebound to that effort with the move out of stakes competition.
True Competitor...Another that could be interesting moving out of stakes company.
Building New Era.

Blowing Kisses...Matz is not a high-percentage first-out trainer but the sire Vindication is off to a big, big start. Solid string of works at Fair Hill. We'll give it a look based on that hot sire.
Pletcher entry...Trainer has been cool at this meet with dirt firsters the past couple of seasons so Phi Beta Mom is a little iffy on that fact -- although she was an expensive 2YO purchase and is working well. Miss General already has a start under her belt and might prove tough second-time out for Pletcher.
Tates Queen...Another solid first-out sire.

Friar...One of those that seems to like the bridesmaid spot a lot better than the winner's circle but has been competitive in alw company and now drops in for a tag.
Sweet Brush...Pletcher's strength is not the claiming game -- his owners shoot for higher targets. But this one won when dropped in for a tag, so you have to think there's a for-sale sign on this one, but he's already succeeded for a tag and therefore we can't bow to the red-flags.
Stratonic...I'm going to toss his last couple and look for a return to the prior form.
Ready Enough.
On dirt: Ready Enough, Proudly Pyrite, Hacker Craft, Kaufman.

Intrigue...Some decent breeding and some OK works. Won't have to be much vs these.
Satin Queen...Has some bullets showing for the debut.
Let's Fly Away...Huge improvement shown in her second start.
Delightful One.

Defrizz...Early foot has gotten it done in these turf sprints this so we'll hope this one gets out early and the recent work seems to indicate that's the plan.
Beneath the Crown...Will be rolling late -- but that might not be the style to get it done. We'll see.
Burn One Turn One...Has looked good in two turf tries.
Highly Spoken.
On dirt: Burn One Turn One, Huge City, That'll Do, Defrizz.

NINTH RACE - Ballerina G1
Boca Grande...Let's look for some early pace and hope this one is rolling late.
Swap Fliparoo...Also will be heard from in the lane. Likes this track.
Burmilla...Undefeated and won G2 here on 8/3.
Pussycat Doll.

Juror...Might boss these moving in against NY-breds after spending earlier part of career overseas for Godolphin.
Logic Way...The numbers say this is the one to beat.
Striking Rizzi...AE lister. Solid turf record.
In the Spotlight.
Stately Pegasus.
On dirt: Juror, Stirkeuptheblues, In the Spotlight, Solvent.

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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