Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Thursday, July 29, 2009
Meet Total ... 1-10

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1-10. Winner in the 2nd ($3.30). We certainly didn't knock 'em dead -- but playing around with the selections a little could have allowed one to cash a few OK tickets. Top two reversed for the exacta in the 6th ($45.60/$2). Third and second selections combined for a $90.00 exacta in the 3rd. And boxing up the top three selections in the 10th brought back the exacta ($91.50) and tri $210.50).

A solid opening day crowd of 25,444 attended. The early part of the card featured some sun, along with warm and muggy conditions. Weather forecasts earlier in the day threatened that rain would hit mid-afternoon and those predictions proved to be right on the money as the precipitation started sometime around the 6th and continued well into the evening.


Terpsichorean...Comes from the Sheppard barn and has some good jump experience including a stakes-placing last time.
El Viaje...Flat runner impressed in jump debut.
Dugan...Uncouple barnmate of top pick has won a jumper but competitive on the flat most recently.

Jaystone...Could prove to be the one to catch.
Woodacre...In good form -- although we're not sure about the competition faced most recently in those conditional claimers.
Inquisition...Impressed in maiden-breaker three back. That was for a $40K tag -- now drops in for $20K. Could wake-up.
Dakota Dunes.

Base Commander...The drop is a concern -- this barn certainly doesn't specialize in $25K claimers. But, if he can rebound slightly off of that seasonal debut behind the talented Ah Day and get back to some of the numbers shown in 2008 he should certainly contend here.
Executive Fleet...Another with some back-class taking a drop. Hmmm.
Great Emperor...Could prove interesting going turf-to-dirt and moving back in for a tag.
Kaper Lake.

Collar...Clunker last time -- in first off the claim -- is a concern, but takes a drop today and owner likes to spot them where they can win.
Smart Trade...In for a tag.
Carmen's Kiss...Improved since the switch to grass.
Treat Her Right.
On dirt: Collar, Golden Artemis, Crema d'Oro, Has Squoken.

Choosing...Hasn't missed an exacta this year and drops to lowest level today.
Survived...Off for the better part of a year but trainer is OK with that angle. Will fit with these if ready.
Miss Fleetfoot/Fancy Footsteps/Queen Stephanie...Miss Fleetfoot has won four of last five. Footsteps is typically in the hunt. Queen drops.
Inter Galatic.
On dirt: Speechifying, Miss Fleetfoot/Queen Stephanie, Fortheboysatthebat, Toga Tiger, Grace Happens.

We're Hooked...Trainer-angle. Rice is just too solid in these Spa turf sprints to ignore.
Corey's Coming...Should appreciate the return to a sprint.
Fiona Freud...Proven turf sprinter.
On dirt; Rosies's Promises, Sister's Speed, Citifiesta, Two Moons, Green Harbor, Judicial Leader, Top Lass.

Simply Spiteful...Top worker (9.4) prior to April auction.
Kinsey...Full-sib to nice stakes-winner Electrify. This one should benefit from the debut education.
Snap Happy...Could be ready first-time out.

EIGHTH RACE - Quick Call $70K
Ahvee's Destiny...Another turf sprinter for trainer Linda Rice.
Indian Ashton...Off since winning here last year but will contend if ready.
Our Friend Harvy...Fifth -- but by less than a length, in this race last year.
American Cruiser/Redefined.
On dirt; Southern Exchange, Knights Cross, Indian Ashton, Perfect Officer, Rebellion.

B>NINTH RACE - Sanford G2 $150K

Backtalk...Already a stakes winner.
Enumerate...Asmussen looks for a sweep of the first two Spa baby stakes. Won convincingly from the rail with his filly yesterday.
Bulls and Bears...Gutsy debut win.


Living Large...Showed promise in turf debut.
Big Gavel...Over-matched two back -- otherwise seems to like the grass.
Ranger James...Could be interesting if he comes back from the layoff with some added maturity.
Vertical Flight.
On dirt; Al's Deputy, Livin Large, Big Gavel, Heavenly Blaze, Bullstar.

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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