Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Meet Total ... 27-89

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3-10. Winners in the 1st [$7.10], 2nd [$3.40], and 3rd [$7.40]. Three straight winners means two doubles [R1-2 $13.00/$2; R2-3 $13.60] and a P3 [$48.00]. Would have had to have gone four-deep in the 5th but a box produced a decent tri [$342.50]. Fast start -- slow finish on the day for us...

23,368 in attendance -- for yet another beautiful afternoon of racing. The post-race neighboring watering holes were in full swing as folks enjoyed music and libations on a warm summer evening.


There is a two-day P6 carryover of $140K.

Pacific Star...First three starts were improving efforts -- then regressed with move to Churchill. Does need further improvement but might be able to accomplish that on a new surface.
Kickapoo...Pletcher trainee moves in for a tag.
Global Effect...Maiden-breaker seems to indicate he could move through this condition easily -- but he's lightly-raced, so we'll know more after today.
Brook Dance.

Parker's Project...First couple Sheppard Specials of the season for us on today's card [yeah, yeah, we missed the jumper on the flat Monday - don't remind us...]. This guy probably needs to step it up here -- but not by much, and that's what makes a Special special.
Spell...Promising debut. A repeat or improvement makes him the one to beat.
Laguna Moon...Should be heard from in the lane.
After Shock.

Elsie's Warrior...Had a tough time separating the top two selections but we went this way ever-so slightly. Two nice, improving efforts since moving to grass.
Todo K...Faded a little bit in last two -- but cuts back in distance today.
Copay...Bred to be able to run early -- but trainer not a big debut-win guy.
Western Connection.

Chief Tomoka...Showed some good speed last time and that, along with the drop, should have him primed to go well today.
Futuristic...At the proper level -- and this might prove to be the proper distance as well.
Thiefontherun...Very lightly-raced 4YO has obviously had some problems. Second start off a long layoff. First start back was OK and the jock switch is noteworthy.
Gas House.

Afrikaner...Have to admit to some trepidation here -- why the drop to the $25K level after three decent starts at MSW, especially since they paid $182K for him? Hmmm. However, if he runs back to his numbers he towers over this weak bunch.
Crazy Charlie...Also dropping out of MSW company. If you're taking a stand against the top selection this might be the way to go.
Coach Fruscio...OK second when dropped to this level last time.

Ketubah...Improved markedly with the move to turf. If that race is to be believed then a follow-up win isn't out of the question.
Chorus Music...Been stuck at this condition for a few races now -- but usually is in the hunt.
Exclusive Scheme...Has some closing punch.
Frivolous Buck.

Thunder Minister...Been running well on turf this season -- just not quite sure how well he fits with these. We'll find out today!
Missinglisalewis...Also solid on grass this year.
Piazza Di Spagna...Will be rolling late. Dangerous.
Gold Vendetta.

EIGHTH RACE - Hettinger $70K
Project Rose...Our second Sheppard Special of the afternoon. This one is perhaps the more typical -- being owned by Augustin and looking somewhat overmatched. But could prove very interesting on the stretchout and the move to turf.
Kiawah Cat...Beyer figs moving in the right direction this year.
Bluegrass Princess...Toss trouble-trip last time. Going well prior and is stakes-placed.
Striking Dancer.

NINTH RACE - Test G1 $300K
First Passage...Wolfson shipper was impressive winning a nice G3 at Calder.
Cat Moves...Improving. Undefeated -- including a G1 last time.
Flashing...Looks to be back at proper distance after having faced Rachel Alexandra at 9F last time.
Heart Ashley.

TENTH RACE - Whitney G1 $750K
Macho Again...Looks like this one is going to come down to who will fire their best shot today. We'll take our shot here - with the 2009 G1 Foster winner. BUT, he's thrown in just as many clunkers this year as he has wins.
Dry Martini...Won the G1 Suburban last time and could be in good form now.
Commentator...Defending champ will be the sentimental favorite while going for a third win in this race -- but the 8YO lost earlier this year at Charles Town and, while the last was a convincing victory, it was vs NY-breds. Capable on best, but suspect.
Smooth Air.

Day Trippi...Bombed in a couple tries on synthetic -- but won impressively when dropped in for a tag and moved to dirt. If she takes to turf a repeat is within her scope.
Treat Her Right...Will appreciate the return to the weeds.
We're Hooked/Pals First Lady...We're Hooked preferred. Move in for a tag might provide the wake-up call.
First to Come Home.

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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