Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Meet Total ... 33-122

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3-10. ...And it was kind of a 3-10 day. Winners on top in the 1st [$3.90], 4th [$3.30], and 8th [$4.10]. Dipping into the selections in both the 3rd and the 7th offered up some boxed exactas and tri's as it was our second over third over first picks in both races.

If we're a win short at the end of the meet we'll know where to look for the 'one that got away'. In Monday's featured G2 Hall of Fame we had 5-1 Deal Making on top and it is completely viable that this one was actually best. The horse was looking for room to run through much of the stretch and came on well when the opening finally appeared. Third by about half-a-length this one was a frustrating beat.

A solid Monday crowd of 16,500 seemed to confirm that with the turn of the calendar page on Friday, the month of August is the psychological turning point for many fans. Attendance has been pretty good throughout the weekend -- with things rebounding from a somehat slow opening week.

The weather was mostly warm and comfortable -- but we have seldom escaped a day without rain at this meet and, sure enough, just as they crossed the finish line in the 3rd it started to rain. A moderate shower continued for a few minutes. The rest of the day was mostly clear.

Off-track the Hall of Fame inductions were held at the Fasig-Tipton sale pavilion on East Avenue. A standing-room only crowd enjoyed the morning ceremony and gave appreciative ovations to all, particularly inductees Carl Nafzger and Edgar Prado.

Later that evening the sales pavilion was put to its more proper use as the annual yearling sale kicked off. Spooted among the attendees: Trainers Steve Asmussen, Kiaran McLaughlin, Dale Romans, Leroy Jolley, Michael Dickinson, Dick Mandella, Todd Pletcher. Also, racing scribes Matt Hegarty [DRF] and John DaSilva [NY Post]. Jockeys' Guild Mgr Terry Meyocks. And in the backyard it was Bob Baffert and DW Lukas consulting with a group and bidding on the Monday evening topper. They made a $1.45mil but lost to Team Valor's Barry Irwin who scooped up the filly for $1.5mil. Presumably the Baffert/Lukas team was acting as part of the all-star consulting team that was announced earlier this year -- and also includes Nick Zito.


The Fasig-Tipton yearling sale continues Tuesday night at 7pm ET. The public is invited.

No racing. Dark day.


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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