Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Monday, August 18, 2008
Meet Total ... 64-226

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4-10. Four winners on top [2nd, $9.90; 4th, $4.80; 5th, $5.00; 8th, $6.30]. Cold exacta in the 2nd [$33.40/$2]. And really, that was about it. We like the gimmicks -- so the day was a little bit of a disappointment.

The sun shines, long sleeve T-shirts are handed out, and an announced crowd of 65,598 attends. Obviously the number is "spinner"-inflated, but from a walk through the backyard we can verify that the joint was packed. We've said all along that this year's early calendar start could have set things up for a big finish to the season and if the weather holds we're sticking by that prediction.


Know the Game...Needs to improve off of last -- and might, since he had some trouble in that one.
Senor Enrico...Could easily better this rating. Has some back-class compared to these -- but unproven on dirt.
Last Tram...Should fit with this group.

Tall Poppi...Well-beaten third in debut -- but note he was just squeaked out of the place spot..
Aoja...Also eligible to improve in second career start.
Freudian Storm...A couple of promising works.
Head Heart Hoof.

Successful Affair...Dropping for a win -- or are the red flags flying? Hmmm. We'll hope for the former.
Wood Winner...Been competitive around this level this season.
Lorccan...Nice try in a similar race here on 7/28.
Lee Stewart.

Yelt...Had a little trouble last time. Let's look for a rebound to the number flashed in the prior start.
Handsome Reward...Finding a little bit of class relief in here.
Pocatello...Nice win the last time he ran for a tag.
EZ Phone Home.

Ready Or Not...Could appreciate the surface switch with More Than Ready on top.
Big Wig...Good try when dropped to this level last time.
Titan of Industry...Might have a class edge on these.
The Cuban Hawk.
On dirt: The Cuban Hawk, Yankee Chief, Ready Or Not, EZ Dollar, Munition.

SIXTH RACE - Mechanicville $80K
Redefined...Solid season so far. Back in against state-breds.
Five Towns...Looks primed to run well.
Ahvee's Destiny...Trainer is good in these turf sprints -- but which one of her four do you take in here? We'll side with this one's current good form.
Silver Timber.
On dirt: Ferocious Fires, Good Card, Five Towns, Canadian Ballet, Ahvee's Destiny.

Sweet Ransom...We all know Mott's struggling a little bit at the meet compared to last season -- but maybe that will turn around as we get more grass racing. This one is always in the hunt and should fit here.
Jeux de Danse...Toss the dirt start and this one has been going well this season.
Country Star...Interesting. Ended last season like she might dominate the 3YO filly division this year -- but it didn't play out that way. Now back off of a layoff and trying turf. If she takes to the surface she just might run away with this.
Marie Rossa.
On dirt: Country Star, City Bird, Spritely, Aspiring, Tazarine.

Mr Sam I am...Has been improving nicely in three starts this year.
Bagavond...Might find this company to his liking.
Bishop's Back...Running well on turf.
Flash of Victory.
On dirt: Call Tiger, Bishop's Back, Love Strikes, Flash of Victory, Mondo Diverso, River of Dreams.

NINTH RACE - Union Avenue $80K
By the Light...Undefeated until running second to the talented Indian Blessing last time. Should romp.
Salt Water Reign...Been going well vs NY-breds. Bullet works in prep for this.
Light Tactic...First two were clearly promising. Disappointed after those but could prove interesting off the layoff.
Summer Palace.

Five Boroughs...Attracted a big price as a yearling. Some interesting breeding. Trainer good with debut runners.
Dr Decter...Also sold well, good works, interesting breeding.
Unity...Dangerous having recently shown speed going longer.
On dirt: Five Boroughs, Unity, On With It, I'm Entitled, Fot McCoy.

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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