Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Friday, August 31, 2007
Meet Total ... 75-298

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5-9. A nice rebound from the oh-fer on Wednesday. Five winners on top -- but not as many gimmicks as we would have liked. We did have the cold exacta in the 4th [$23.00/$2]. And with the winners spaced out it was possible to be a little bit creative here and there and possibly hit a nice Pick 3 or Pick 4. For instance, after we double-scratched into Mixed Up as our top pick in the featured jump race we re-assessed the situation a little since -- as our comments on the selections page indicated -- we were leery of the 162 pounds that one would have to tote for 19F. So we took a shot with a very modest Pick 3 ticket using our top pick in the 7th, hitting the ALL button in the jump race, and using our top pick in the 9th. Those top picks won, and bookended an 8-1 upsetter in the steeplechase stake to bring back a solid $433.00/$2 Pick 3. Granted, it's tough to know where to single and where to go deep sometimes in those Pick plays -- but if you took a shot and got a little lucky on Thursday there was some value with that strategy. [The flip-side of the coin: We had a modest back-up Pick # ticket in Race 3-5, starting with everyone in the 3rd except Hesanoldsalt. That races was won by the 25-1 rank outsider. In the next leg we used two, and one of ours won at 3-1. In the final leg we keyed on 9-1 Snare, a horse we had been waiting for since his debut earlier this summer. If Snare wins we collect $2900/$2. Alas, Snare ran fifth.]

A sparse crowd of 12,236 enjoyed the day. The sun was shining for most of the afternoon, although some cloud cover floated through for awhile. Temps were again very warm and the humidity was high. Rain eventually hit the area after dinner -- but not for an extended period of time.


Twilight racing. First post: 2:45pm ET

Against the Grain...Could be interesting going turf-to-dirt, route-to-sprint for a trainer that's having a pretty good meet.
Smokin Sarah...Beyer figure from last puts this one right into the mix -- but it's so much better than her previous numbers that it looks a little bit like an aberration. We'll know more today.
Contessa entry...Itsnotthemoney could get the wake-up with the change in surface and distance and dropping in for a tag. What's Your Point was claimed out of a win on Monday and comes right back.
Fighting Speedy.
Seventeen Love.

Ward entry...Cannonball faced open maidens in debut. Tossed in a dud but trainer has gaudy stats moving MSW to mdn clm'r. One Little Secret also makes that potent move.
Sir Sheffield...Trainer quietly having a very good meet and this one could be ready to roll first out of the box.
El Tamberito...Nice works at Philly for debut.

Beau Dare...This race is a definite head-scratcher but we'll land here and look for this gal to lead them all the way from the rail.
Zaynab...We liked her a couple of weeks ago when she was the beaten fave. Been in the hunt in all 2007 starts.
Sweet Ransom...This one has some talent and would be no surprise -- just not sure that sprinting is her game.
Egypt Lane.
Ok to Pay.

Red Hot Poker...In another tough race we'll land here on the MSW dropper. Adds blinkers and should be heard from late.
Mike's Dream Team...Closed well in debut. Tough if able to improve off of that effort. But, hmmm, bought for $180K, ran well in MSW debut -- so why in for $65K today?
Intuition Magic...Been showing speed in MSW events. Trainer -- as mentioned in earlier race -- has big MSW-to-mdn clm'r stats.
Coastal Flare.

Quiet Cay...Still waiting for our Sheppard Special of the meet. This one seems to have the right set-up. We'll take a shot.
Fairytale Story...AE lister. Always seems to be right there in the hunt -- just not often on the win end. But eligible to wake-up with the move into the claiming ranks.
Survived...Another that might find this company to his liking.
Stashed Away.
Optimist Girl.
On dirt: Tzipi/American Dream'a, Mustang Cali, Missed the Tower, Ballymist.

Valid Humor...Bred to win-early and working well.
Return to Paradise...AE lister. Looks to be on the improve for Pletcher.
Madam Bling...AE lister. Eligible to step it up with one under her belt.
Boston Cat...Had some trouble but went OK in debut. Might appreciate the stretch-out.
Namaste's Wish.
Miss Challenge.

Miss Blarney Stone...Irish-import has put in three good tries on this side of the Atlantic. Extra half-furlong might help today.
Daring Dreamer...Beyers are improving with each start.
Storm Dixie...Think she's better than her latest.
As Do I.
On dirt: Storm Dixie, Turning Leaves, Cordilleran Ice, Wynsome Wesley, Odetta One.

EIGHTH RACE - With Anticipation
High Appeal...Impressive in two turf sprints at Colonial -- including a minor stake. Tough if able to stretch-out.
Zayat entry...Sherine if a NY-bred filly facing the boys but she ran well to win in her first try on grass. Zee Zee also a filly, had a gutsy in her first race.
Sea Chanter...Yet another lady taking on the fellas. Pletcher trainee won debut -- and they showed confidence moving her right into a stake.
On dirt: Z Humor, Sea Chanter, High Appeal, Nownownow, Rebounded.

Brave Emperor...Two tries at the MSW level were OK. Now drops in for a tag.
Star Studded...Been in the hunt at this level for the last few.
Caught Stealing...AE lister. Should be rolling in the lane.
Decisive Play.
On dirt: Pay in Kind/Absolute Return, Brave Emperor, Renown, Tu Sandy.

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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