Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Monday, August 4, 2008
Meet Total ... 30-112

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3-11. Three winners on top [1st, $4.10; 6th, $7.90; 8th, $7.40]. Two more of our top picks finished second in photo's -- and in both we were in the awkward position of rooting against our pick! When Melissa's Dream scratched out of the 7th we searched for a replacement and settled on 18-1 Mpenzi -- using that one in a four-horse tri box with our others. So when Mpenzi came late to photo with our 4-5 top selection -- we had to root against the short price to get ourselves to the $585.00/$2 tri. And later the root-against was even more bizarre. We had three live P3 tickets going into the nightcap -- they were our top three picks, 3-1 Bartletts, 12-1 Rushing Stag, and 6-1 Fenaghville. But the race just looked too wide-open -- so we put some straight win money on another four horses in the race as a back-up.

Bartletts was looking good late in the lane and a P3 in the neighborhood of $150/$2 seemed likely -- but wait! Here comes Hint to catch us in the shadow of the wire. That crushed our P3 ticket -- but Hint was one of our win plays -- at 54-1!

So, while we certainly like to root home our top selections to help us with the handicapper's scorecard of winners-on-top, in those two instances we just had to root against!

Attendance was a 'spinner'-inflated 56,761 [T-shirt giveaway] -- but there was legitimately a pretty good crowd on hand. The weather was absolutely wacky with rain and sunshine alternating. There was a brief shower just prior to the 6th. It started to shower again about ten minutes prior to the 8th -- and then it came down heavily right after that race. Things cleared up yet again -- but the heaviest rain of the day came with about fifteen minutes until the post of the nightcap.

The downpour ended and the rest of the evening was pleasant -- so much so that an old-fashioned band concert went on as planned downtown in Congress Park.


Hall of Fame inductions are free and open to the public. The ceremony takes place in the Fasig-Tipton pavilion -- just down the street from the track -- starting at 10:30am ET.

Later on, Hall of Famers will gather outside the jocks' room at the track for an autograph session. Signings are slated to start at 2:30pm ET.

And the Fasig-Tipton yearling sale kicks off the first of two sessions Monday night at 7pm ET. The public is invited.

Sacred Icon...He's show some signs of life against better.
Hostile Takeover...Similar to top pick, has been going well against better. Just missed at this level in April.
Handsome Sport...Might appreciate the return to a sprint.
Run Lightning Run.

Burning Sunlight...The debut was OK -- but the Beyer was light. However, the trainer's stock tends to improve with one under their belts.
Savvy Cat...Trainer has them ready to go.
Life Support...Precociously-bred. Wouldn't be a surprise to see vast improvement today.
Bellevue Belle.

Casey's Tribe...Beyers moving in the right direction.
Under Serviced...Just missed in a similar race last time. Adds blinkers today.
Twistaway...Turf-to-dirt move two back seems to have awakened her.
Let's Fly Away.

Paradise Playgirl...Pletcher/Velazquez team top the standings at this point in the meet.
My Magic Moment...Debut looks like one to build on.
Pronto Pronto...Could come out running.
Five Star Chowdair.

Da Gullah/Recruit...Pletcher has been effective with these 2YO two-turn turfers in the past.
Pioneerof the Nile/Evolutionist...Both Mott firsters are eligible to make a good first impression.
Moral...With the breeding and the trainer this one is a dangerous grass debut competitor.

Princess Westly...Should appreciate the class relief.
Stop the Drama...Borke maiden two back a got a good education at this level last time.
On Lake...Should be heard from late if able to escape the AE list.
High Draw.
Fiddlers Princess.
On dirt: Golden Manna, Fiddlers Princess, Mamie B, High Draw.

With Flying Colors...Half-sib to Storm Flag Flying should benefit from the debut effort.
Persistent Penny...On the improve.
Equally...Might be interesting trying two turns on the dirt for the first time.
Secret Source.

Indian Ashton...Been competitive against significantly better.
Nacascolo/Southern Prince...Southern Prince is preferred, and could take them all the way -- the only early speed to challenge could come from... Nacascolo. Doh!
Caesar Beware...Looked good at Belmont this season.
On dirt: Indian Ashton, Southern Prince, Strummer, Vicarage, El Bandido Rojo.

NINTH RACE - Hall of Fame G2
Deal Making...Undefeated and still might have some upside.
Adriano...We've been high on this guy since that monster win at Gulfstream in January. Coming off two duds however. Needs to turn it around.
Willsboro Point...looks like a pretty good claim!
Field Sport.

Myakka...Linda Rice. Turf sprint. 'Nuff said.
Mine Or Who's...Last could indicate peak form.
Absolute Heaven...Will contend if in from the AE list.
Lost Without You.
Acquired Cat.
On dirt: Two Turn Halo, Waytotheleft, One Tough Belle, Silvercup Baby, Margies Smile, Myakka.

If we are interested in both halves of an entry -- in event of a scratch -- it is noted that way [in other words, both halves 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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