Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Meet Total ... 97-358

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2008 Saratoga Meet -- FINAL Public Handicappers Scorecard

The list below includes virtually all of the public handicappers available in newspapers in the Saratoga region as well as the NYC tabloids which are available upstate.

Topping the list this season -- the venerable Russ Harris from the New York Daily News. Harris came out swinging right from Day One and wow'd the crowd on July 30th when he went an incredible 9-for-10.

Harris also managed to maintain the respectability of longtime handicappers from the embarrassment of having a newcomer top the standings -- but hey, hats off to upstart Brien Bouyea of The Saratogian for just missing the rookie season upset.

It was a tough season and both of the top finishers deserve accolades for rounding up an impressive number of winners-on-top.

Eight more public handicappers reached the century-mark or better and that was a solid number this season.

Equidaily.com's total of 97 was a slight disappointment -- especially since we entered Week Six -- and, for that matter, the final day -- with a legit shot to reach 100. But we'll take solace in the fact that our $642.10 ROI ranked as fourth-best -- and was not that far behind Harris' topper of $671.00, despite the fact that he was showing nineteen more winners!

You can see where these handicappers stood at the mid-point this season as well as checking out mid-season scores from years past: 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004.

For comparison, final meet totals for the past few seasons can be found here: 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003.

Note: Discrepancies in total number of races played is due to some handicappers losing races due to scratches.

Table below lists the handicapper, affiliation, winners-on-top/races played, $2 win-bet total (hypothetical $2 win-bet wagered on each top selection).

Russ Harris
NY Daily News
116-359 [$671.00]
Brien Bouyea
Tom Cavanagh
NY Daily News
111-359 [$626.60]
Bill Taylor
Matt Graves
Albany Times Union
108-357 [$624.60]
Bev Swimm
Albany Times Union
103-357 [$578.10]
John DaSilva
NY Post
100-357 [$622.30]
Dave Little
NY Daily News
100-358 [$588.90]
Kyle Brownell
Post-Star [Glens Fall, NY]
100-359 [$576.90]
Mark Cusano
Daily [Schenectady] Gazette
Jerry Bossert
NY Daily News
99-354 [$620.70]
Debbie L
NY Post
98-352 [$536.10]
Liam Durbin
Vic C
NY Post
97-353 [$666.10]
Seth Merrow
Best Bets - equidaily.com
97-358 [$642.10]
Nick Kling
Troy Record/Saratogian
95-358 [$504.80]
Dave Litfin
Daily Racing Form
Bill Heller
Daily [Schenectady] Gazette
Mark Hoffman
The [Amsterdam, NY] Recorder
93-353 [$625.20]
Daniel Feiss
Mike Jarboe
Albany Times Union
91-357 [$572.70]
Nick Tammaro
90-359 [$581.20]
Sherry Ross
NY Daily News
84-356 [$502.60]
Ed Fountaine
NY Post
82-354 [$573.50]
Tim Wilkin
Albany Times Union
82-358 [$491.50]
Tom Law
NY Post
80-353 [$643.60]
Mike Lipack
NY Daily News
68-354 [$522.00]


1-11. We entered Week Six needing to average just slightly better than 3-a-day to reach the 100-win mark for the season. Things were pretty much going according to plan coming into the final day -- but we couldn't sustain. Only one winner on top [2nd, $4.90]. We had a feeling it wasn't our day when we lost the dead-tight photo in the opener. Add to that the one lock-of-the-day suspect, 1-2 favorite Dynaforce, running a horrible fifth in the co-featured G3 Glens Falls Hcp, and our top pick Munnings getting off to a troubled start in the G1 Hopeful and it was just one of those days -- when we needed just the opposite kind of an afternoon.


Dark day. No racing.

See you next year.


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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