Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Friday, August 28, 2009
Meet Total ... 67-258

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0-9. Yeesh -- our second oh-fer of the met and we're making our march toward 100 winners much more interesting than we might like. There were a few tickets that might have been cashed using the plays -- but overall, a washout. We can take some modest solace in the fact that many of the public handicappers we reviewed last night also struggled on Thursday. It was one of those days. Hopefully you were able to scout out some of the value that was offered.

16,537 attended to enjoy a very nice afternoon. What a difference a week makes! Last week we were in the midst of a stretch of warm and sticky weather but things seem to have broken on Wednesday night and Thursday morning was actually nippy. By the time the races kicked off temperatures had moderated to a comfortable level -- hovering between hi 60's and low 70's. And there was plenty of sunshine.


Battle of the Brews. Backyard, noon - 4:30pm.

Groomedforvictory...This has the look of a fairly wide-open event so we hand a tepid nod to this guy off of the near-miss in a similar race here on 8/9.
South Fourth St...Won at this level two back.
Ruffino...Seems to have an edge Beyer-wise -- but kinda feel this type probably needs one off of a layoff.

Ostensibly...Another race that looks wide-open. We'll go with the firster by Cozzene.
Upper Gulch...Longtime non-winner was going well at Belmont and then failed to live up to that in her 2009 Saratoga debut. Look for a rebound.
Evening Star...Has some win-early breeding and should improve in her second start.
She's a Ketch.
On dirt: Choice Play, Distinctively, Shine Softly, Seeking Sunshine, Catnandu.

Powder Princess...Impressed in debut. Should get a little bit of a test today. We'll see...
Underground...Baffert filly is likely to get a lot of support because of the 101 Beyer fired in the debut. Flopped when ambitiously-placed in her second start she comes back here with some bullets in the holster. Dangerous -- but she still needs to prove herself on dirt.
East Breaks...Been running well since spring.
Heavenly Vision.

FOURTH RACE - Funny Cide $78K
R Clear Victory...Dominguez won the latest by getting the jump on speedy Future Prospect right out of the gate. Doesn't need the lead however and might take a stalking approach over a 'fast' track.
Future Prospect...If the top pick does stalk it's likely this one will be the one to catch.
Stud Muffin...Probably better than last and might show it on a dry surface.
Dr V's Magic.

Rebellious Chic...Debut looked like an effort to improve off of and she should appreciate the turf.
Es Mia...Likely fave after running a close-up second in a rich stake last time -- but post position won't help.
Song for Pupcake/Lovely Promise...Song of Pupcake preferred. First two were OK and could be interesting today on the stretchout.
Triple Tax Exempt.
On dirt: Rebellious Chic, Properlyintroduced, Lovely Promise/Song for Pupcake, Es Mia.

Around the Cape...Hmmm, steep drop raises red flags. As does the lack of works -- but are they trying to hide this one's form? Unfortunately we won't know for sure until after this race...
Smooth Wind...Could be primed to run well in third start back.
Spanky Fischbein...A dud in first start back from a layoff - but finds class-relief in here.

Loxy Lady...Nice try when dropped to this level last time. Capable of improving off of that effort today.
AP Light...Has been running well in and around this level last few.
Pearl of Valor...This is actually some significant class-relief for this one. Dangerous.
Musical Splendor.
On dirt: Day Trippi, Crema d'Oro, Musical Splendor, Tooralooracollora, AP Light, Seattle Grey.

Kicky Tune...We like Songandaprayer as a win-early sire -- but this one has struggled so far. We'll roll the dice however that he might be able to carry his speed longer with the move to turf.
Master...Nice second when moved into a similar spot last time.
Certifiably Royal...Beyers would say he's the one to beat -- but those were fired going longer and turf sprinting seems to be something of a specialty. We'll see...
On dirt: Everybodtwantsone, Master, Coach Fruscio, Kicky Tune.

NINTH RACE - Baruch Hcp G2 $200K
Deal Making...Owner Augustin has been part of many of the Sheppard Specials we've cashed on over the years. Obviously this one isn't a Sheppard trainee but we'll stick with the angle and an owner that has been known to upset here.
Justenuffhumor...Undefeated on turf and the win here last time indicated she's very good.
Cowboy Cal...Might be interesting on 'firm' ground.
Mambo Meister.
On dirt: Cowboy Cal, Mambo Meister, Sette E Mezzo, Kutais.

Lone Cypress...Moves up but should contend in first start for Asmussen.
Wild Conga...Could be dangerous returning to dirt and dropping to lowest level.
No Detour...A longtime non-winner typically runs well. Drops.
True Crusader.

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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