Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Meet Total ... 36-120

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Dark day. No racing.

The Fasig-Tipton sale concluded its two-night run on Tuesday. With some seven-figure sales the 2009 auction was deemed a success. Tuesday night featured some unintended excitement when a mystery bidder won a horse for $1mil and promptly left the grounds before validating his status. The horse was brought back through the ring and eventually sold for $300K.

Had an earthquake swallowed up the Fasig-Tipton sale pavilion on East Avenue these past two nights the racing industry and media certainly would have suffered a severe blow. Sitting in the facility and mingling through the backyard area were a virtual who's who of the sport.

Among the trainers spotted: Ky Derby winners Chip Woolley, Carl Zafzger, and Bob Baffert. Also, Ron Ellis, Mark Hennig, Michael Dickinson, Phil Serpe, Ken McPeek, Seth Benzel, Graham Motion, Michael Matz, Christophe Clement, Kiaran McLaughlin, Gary Sciacca, Barclay Tagg, DW Lukas, Rick Violette, Dale Roman, Saeed bin Suroor, Steve Asmussen and Scott Blasi. Industry names: Breeders' Cup prez Greg Avioli, National Steeplechase Director of Racing Bill Gallo, West Point Thoroughbred's Tom Bellhouse, NYRA's Dan Silver, Andy Serling and Jason Blewitt. Media types included ESPN's Jeannine Edwards, TVG's Christine Olivares, DRF's Matt Hegarty and Glenye Cain Oakford, Bloodhorse's Steve Haskin, local news anchor Liz Bishop, also John Pricci, Paul Moran, Karen Johnson and Eclipse-winning fotog Barbara Livingston. Also, jockeys Richard Migliore, Jose Santos and Pat Day. And actor Peter Barton was seen -- he's also a racetrack regular and has been for years, with a relative living in town.


Starship Angel...Beyer-wise this gal probably has to step up a point or two -- but she's lightly-raced and seems to be moving in the right direction. The question mark is perhaps the surface -- she's won the last two on dirt, but those were moved off the turf, leaving the competition as a variable.
Platinum...Certainly to take plenty of action off of the big Beyer maiden-breaker. We'll see today if: a) that figure was legit, and b) she can get the two turns with as much vim and vigor.
Stone Legacy...Marylou Whitney/Lukas runner is kind of a proven "non-winner" but has shown enough to be competitive here.
Dean Henry.

Back Back Back...Has a little bit of breeding, but, more importantly, that gets teamed up with a win-early trainer.
Swashbuckler...Worked in 20.4 before sale.
Aspire...Nicely-bred and working well.
Grand Strategy.

Southern Dynasty...Just missed -- behind a next-out winner -- when switched to turf.
She's Above Da Law...Bred to go well early and working well.
Out Post...Beyers are moving in the right direction and she seemed to appreciate the grass last time.
Ride On Josephine.
On dirt; Out Post, Ride On Josephine, She's Above Da Law, Southern Dynasty.

Fire Wood...We love this race -- but the big question mark is: Who will still be running at the end of two miles?!? This guy has some experience going long -- though not this long, but he ran well at 12F in a G3 in March.
Lord Kipling...Also has some decent experience at marathon-type trips.
New Fandan...And yet another that we presume will get the distance.
Mr Again.

Mystic City...F'lakes shipper has some precocious breeding and a couple of promising works.
Spirit of Rose...Also bred to be quick and win early.
Opus A...Trainer can have them ready to roll.
Precious Penny.

Belle's Home...We're hoping this is an anti-horse-for-course at Gulfstream. All her non-GP races have been good -- including a couple here last year.
Kaleigh Rose...Solid this season.
Classical Fashion...Going well since switching to turf. AE list.
Quiet Alice.
Delta Weekend.
On dirt: Vicarious, Top Lass, McVictory, Princess Westly, Kevazinga.

My Golden Opinion...Could be finding a little bit of class relief in here.
Marq of Love...Been turfing for a long time -- but has run well on dirt.
Volos...Trainer is good first-off the claim.
Distant Point.

Cliff Meadows...Interesting with the drop off of the claim -- but if he's well spotted a win and a claim wouldn't hurt the connections. And we have to assume the red-hot trainer has him well spotted.
Dancing Tin Man...Could be dangerous moving in for a tag.
Eldoktori...Should show some punch late.
Fairway Drive.
On dirt: Three in the Bag, Fuhever Dancing, Cliff Meadows, Deputyville, Starforaday.

NINTH RACE - NY Stallion $150K
Scientist...A tepid nod off of what looks like some improving form this year -- but this heat is a little bit of a toss-up.
Livin Large...Has gone well on turf -- and has a win at the meet.
Storm Hope...Should contend here.
Uncle T Seven.
On dirt; Uncle T Seven, Livin Large, Katskill Bay, Minnie Punt.

Stroll for Acure... Should fit well with these if in from the AE list.
D'Wildcard...Also should find this bunch to his liking.
Wild Way...Stepping up slightly but ran well at this level earlier.
Smart Enuf.
Bold Vindication.
On dirt; Good Question, Wild Way, D'Wildcard, Bold Vindication, Smart Enuf.

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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