Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Meet Total ... 59-220

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3-11. Winners in the 1st [$8.60], 3rd [$7.20] and 9th [$6.10]. Highlight of the selections was clearly our off-the-turf picks running 1-2-3 in the opener for a nice cold exacta [$75.50/$2] and tri [$372.00]. Third pick over top selection in the 2nd for the exacta [$22.60 -- and the jockey's objection there seemed warranted, the stewards faced perhaps a 50-50 position since there wasn't a lot of contact -- but with the eventual winner bearing in, our top pick jock had to stop riding momentarily, not knowing if the outside horse would continue to bear in and squeeze ours into the fence. As it turned out the eventual winner stopped just short of making obvious contact and the stews let the results stand -- but again, our top pick was in a tough spot. Oh well, some days you get the bear -- some days the bear gets you...] Top pick over third selection in the 3rd for the exacta [$28.60]. You would have had to have taken a stand against 3-5 Saratoga Russell, or perhaps crafted a four-horse box -- but, in the 5th it was our second over our fourth over our third selections for the exacta [$39.60] and tri [$222.00]. Top four boxed in the 7th for the $1815.00 super. Second over third picks in the featured 10th for a $30.20 exacta.

25,265 fans enjoyed a mostly overcast but essentially precipitation-free afternoon. Warm and humid.

The highlight of the day might have come in the race just prior to the G1 Alabama. The 9th, an 8.5F NW1 on turf ended with the crowd screaming in amazement as six horses hit the wire together. We were standing on the clubhouse apron and we privileged to hear a fan reaction like no other we've experienced at the racetrack -- as the crowd let out another roar after the stretch-run instant replay, then they gave the runners a rousing ovation as they came back to be unsaddled, cheering loudly yet again as the presumptive winner came back, and then shouting one more time when the results of the photo were announced. The chart shows the first six separated by a nose in each spot [view photo here]. Truly one of the most fun race finishes we've experienced.

The G1 Alabama on the other hand offered a different kind of excitement as Careless Jewel stamped herself as a prominent player in the 3YO filly division. Although Rachel Alexandra likely has the title for the division locked up, Careless Jewel was very impressive attending the early pace and then pulling away in the stretch on Saturday -- to run her win-streak to four.


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Volos...This race looks kind of wide-open so this pick is given without much confidence == but this one seems to be moving in the right direction and has some closing punch which might be useful in this heat.
Icetate...One of the speedsters. If he can run back to the Beyer he fired when winning here last time he'll be tough. But that number looks like it might be inflated.
Woodacre/Missile...Missile has speed. Woodacre can close.
Four Star General.

Lemon Mambo...With Lemon Drop Kid on top he could prove tough in first effort on grass.
Straight Talk...Improved when moved to turf -- now drops from MSW.
Luckylead...Also making the potent drop from MSW to mdn clm'r.
Becky's Kitten.
Furious Run.
On dirt: Becky's Kitten, Sequoya Mountain, Furious Run, J'boy, Wow Wow Wow, Lemon Mambo, Grand Rapport.

Maraschino Red...Seemed to appreciate the short late spring/early summer break. Running well now and should fit.
Solo Piano...Frankel/Juddmonte runner hasn't missed the board in seven starts -- but yet to try a dirt sprint.
Beam of Love...Typically in the hunt.
Best Tigress.

Retriever...Beyers moving in the right direction -- topped by a lifetime best Beyer win here on 8/1. Eligible to repeat.
Even Raise...Seldom misses a check and working well for this.
Ea...Could romp with the class relief.

Kidstrong Fever...Not a whole lot to hang your hat on amongst this bunch but this guy could go well for a tag after putting in a couple tries at MSWs.
D'bigcat...Showed some early lick against MSW company in debut. Trainer going well at the meet. Dangerous.
Forty Prayers...Firster from Pletcher.
Show the Way J.
Papers to Prove It/Pretty Drink.

Lorraine in Spain...Had some trouble last time and have to think she's eligible to rebound to a performance closer to her 2009 debut.
Pearl of Valor...Also looking for a rebound to prior good turf form.
Musical Splendor...Two decent tries on grass.
Cherry Lady.
On dirt: Vicarious, Lorraine in Spain, Kittys Wish/Anna's Unreal/Musical Splendor, Pearl of Valor, Saarlandisyourland, No Rhyme Or Reason .

Simply Spiteful...We used her on top on 7/30 -- so we won't jump off just yet. Odds should be right after the debut dud but they're all eligible to improve greatly in the second start and remember, she fired that blazing 9.4 work prior to the 2YO sale.
Muhaawara...Well-bred and working well.
Weak Dollar Policy...Violette/Klaravich 2YO sale purchase -- always a potent angle up here.
Bird Box.
Take a Vow.

Corey's Coming...Interesting if in from the AE list. Made the difficult move from two turns to a sprint last time. Showed good closing punch and should benefit from the education.
Fiona Freud ...Bona fide turf sprint experience.
Meese Rocks...Another AE lister. Showed nice improvement off of the layoff.
Elegant Bess.
Zip by You.
Le Chesnay.
On dirt: Hot and Bothered, More Oats Please, Le Chesnay, Hold the Cruiser, Kitty Nip, Miss Dolan's Rose.

NINTH RACE - Yaddo Hcp $100K
Nehantic Kat...Romped on a yielding course when last seen vs state-breds.
Chestoria...Comes in off of a stakes win here earlier in the meet.
You Go West Girl...Just behind the top pick two back.
Vivi's Book.
Love Cove.
On dirt: Weathered, You Go West Girl, Dean Henry, Nehantic Cat, Mesa Girl, Crazy Catlady.

Properlyintroduced...Debut was OK and has some win-early breeding.
Shot Gun Gal/Bronx Babe...It's Linda Rice in a turf sprint!
Out Nice Them...Has shown a little bit of life in the last two.
City Vice.
On dirt: Synchronicity, Properlyintroduced, City Vice, Out Nice Them.

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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