Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Meet Total ... 7-29

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2-9. Winners in the 3rd [$5.50] and 8th [8.40].

15,330 attended -- a number that was surely affected by the mid-day weather. With twilight first post at 2:30pm ET, the lunchtime precipitation in the area -- a continuation of morning showers -- certainly kept many people away from the meets first-of-two late afternoon cards. But, while the early part of the slate was soaked [all turf races were moved to the main track], the sun actually peeked through just prior to the featured Lake George.

A lovely evening followed and crowds were getting their Friday nights off to a start at track-neighbor watering holes Siro's and The Horseshoe. And Saratoga's main street, Broadway, was jammed with revelers well past dark as they enjoyed the first night of the Hat's Off Festival with musical acts performing from 7-11pm.

Spotted at the track in the first three days of action: Celebrity chef Bobby Flay was, of course, in the paddock prior to Wednesday's feature. We say "of course" because he had a runner in the race. His Stormandaprayer didn't win -- but she did outrun her odds, finishing a decent fourth in the field of nine as the 39-1 rank outsider.

Also seen trackside -- Thursday afternoon TVG's Christina Olivares was in the box seats enjoying a day at the races. Mailman's holiday?

And seen both Thursday and Friday, Mike Francesa, longtime, popular radio host at WFAN.


Hats Off Festival continues Saturday night downtown -- with musical acts playing along Broadway (Saratoga's Main Street) from 7-11pm.

Targe...Could have a class edge in here on the drop.
Untopable...Should be the one to catch form the rail.
Lonely Highway...First off the claim for Levine -- a potent angle. And local owner likes to win here.
Commodore Way.

Tigresco...Should benefit from the first-start education. This is a full-sib to the very nice grass stakes winner Pommes Frites.
Tawaared...Has taken to the grass and seems to be improving.
Zimmer...Improved nicely in second start -- which was his turf debut. Further improvement today wouldn't be out of the question.
On dirt; Hoopoe, Zimmer, Tigresco, Grangerardo.

Dixieland Star...Lightly-raced 4YO could be primed in third start back -- he was last year.
William Thomas...Clearly the one to beat.
Toque...Been in the hunt in all starts.
Brave Soul.

Colors Flying...Another impeccably-bred runner from Phipps/McGaughey. Should benefit from the first start. Nice work in prep for this.
Antitrust...Let's look for a rebound to a performance closer to the one displayed two back.
Eagle Strike...Looks like he's figuring out.
Soda Jerk.

Burley's Gold...Gets tested today but the maiden-breaker showed real promise.
Unbridled's Heart...Still shopping for that NW1 win but has been knocking at the door.
Luv Gov...Perhaps over-matched in last two. Should fit with these.

Hockley...Darley 2YO auction purchase (worked 10.4 before sale) ran well in debut. Certainly wouldn't be a surprise to see him improve this time.
Discreetly Mine...Another with a solid debut under his belt.
Maitre Salama/Anwar Sadat...Maitre Salama preferred. Firster is precociously bred and goes for a win-early trainer.

Sette E Mezzo...Should be rolling late.
Winchester...Might blow by this bunch after having faced G1 company much of last year.
Carson Hall...Usually in the hunt on turf.
The Roundhouse.
On dirt: Ea, Gone Astray, Even Raise, The Roundhouse, C Street.

EIGHTH RACE - Lake Luzerne $70K
Pastel Gal...From the Funny Cide team. Should be heard from in the lane.
Chestoria...Back in versus NY-breds.
Love Cove...Better than the first two starts of 2009 indicate.
Cagey Girl.
Stormy Relations.
On dirt: Dean Henry, Cagey Girl, Yet Again, Offhand Remark, Here Comes Rita, Raffie's Treasure.

NINTH RACE - Diana G1 $500K
Forever Together...2008 champ in this division. Looks to be primed to run well today. Won this race last year coming out of the same Belmont stake.
My Princess Jess...Just behind top pick last time. Almost always gets a piece.
Rutherienne...Seventeen in-the-money finishes in nineteen starts.
Carribean Sunset.

TENTH RACE - Jim Dandy G1 $500K
Kensei...We'll roll the dice here a little bit. This guy stepped up big-time in the G2 Dwyer. An aberration or has he turned the corner? We'll hope for the latter.
Warrior's Reward...Trouble in the Dwyer. Should offer more today.
Charitable Man...Like Warrior's Reward this one will do better than troubled-trip in latest.

Hype...Should have a huge class-edge on this bunch -- just depends on whether this is a fire-sale move or not.
Stevil...Also moving in for a tag.
White Holiday...And another one moves into claiming company.
Chinese Whisper.
On dirt: Hype/Pluto, Stevil, Budget, Good Question, Actor's Groove.

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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