Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Meet Total ... 68-268

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1-10. Winner in the 7th [$6.70]. Also, second over third selection in the 9th for the meager $13.00/$2 exacta. And in the 10th we lost a heartbreaker of a photo [thought we won it when watching live] as our third selection won over our top pick for the exacta [$24.20] with our second pick completing the tri [$77.50] and our fourth pick rounding out the super [$162.00]. But certainly -- on the winners-on-top end of the equation anyway -- Week Five is disappointing up to this point.

21,342 attended. It was overcast but comfortable. However, the skies opened up about three hours after the finale and it rained hard for awhile and continued to come down in some fashion or another through most of the night.


The rain has continued in the area overnight -- although the forecast is tentatively looking for things to perhaps clear-up, at least somewhat, as the day progresses.

Pegasus Tommy D...Better than last.
Separatist...We've chased this one through a number of races -- but he's a confirmed bridesmaid [note that he even finished second in his maiden-breaker].
The Plot Thickens...Looks like the one to catch.
Cardiff Road.
On dirt: Inherit the Gold, Heavenly Blaze, Her Latest Flame, Knife and Fork.

Devil May Care...Win-early breeding [half-sib to Regal Ransom] and win-early connections.
Much Rejoicing...Had a half-sib win yesterday here for the same trainer.
Cautionary Tale...More of the win-early breeding and connections.
Cast Call.
Sheryl's Melody.

Schneerson...Nice debut and Asmussen runners can improve in their next starts.
Eagle Strike...Has had plenty of tries -- but seems to be getting better this summer.
Saratoga Lightning...Nice improvement in the second start with the move to dirt.

Golden Mexico...Lightly-raced 3YO could be ready to pop off of the mere-miss last time.
Get Stormy...Trying stakes company -- but looks ready for the assignment.
Strike Again...Nipped the top pick last time.
On dirt: Brother Keith, Hoopoe, Hamazing Destiny, Presto Change O, Mike From Queens, Glittermans Cartel, Smarten Destiny.

Auteur...Clunker last time but the races prior indicate he'll be competitive here if able to rebound.
Live On the Edge...Will be rolling late.
White Holiday...Another that should be heard from in the lane.
On dirt: Grand Stage, Stratos, Forest King, Good Question.

Successful Mission...Showed talent as a 2YO on turf and is eligible to come back with some added maturity.
Picou...Stakes quality performer is coming off of a nice seasonal debut.
Tiger Woodman...Seems like the last was an aberration.
On dirt: The Roundhouse, RJs Brigade, Rikman, Mr Unstoppable, Richland Creek, Rip Rap.

SEVENTH RACE - Victory Ride G3 $100K
Sara Louise...Showed high-promise last year and is working well for return.
Selva...Hadn't missed the exacta before last time -- expect a rebound to that form.
Sky Haven...Beyers moving in the right direction this year.

Kajiwara...Expensive 2YO purchase goes out for good win-early trainer Asmussen [worked in 20.3 before the sale].
Three Day Rush...Looks like a useful debut effort.
Bulldogger...Firster from Baffert working lights-out.
No Truth Told.
Kettle River.

NINTH RACE - Ballston Spa Hcp G2 $200K
Rutherienne...Consistent and talented graded-stakes performer.
My Princess Jess...Expect an improvement on the latest.
Closeout...Should make presence felt late.
Cocoa Beach.
On dirt: Cocoa Beach, Captain's Lover -- you're on your own after that...

TENTH RACE - Ballerina G1 $300K
Indian Blessing...Ran perhaps her best race this track and trip last year.
Informed Decision...Very talented filly is 5-for-5 at the distance.
Music Note...She has to be better than last time.
Tar Heel Mom.

ELEVENTH RACE - King's Bishop G1 $300K
Munnings...Very talented runner from high-profile connections returns to best-game sprinting after a worthwhile experiment going two-turns in the G1 Haskell.
Big Drama...Another returning to what he probably does best.
Capt Candyman Can...Good second here behind freakish Quality Road earlier in the meet.
Everyday Heroes.

Kensei...We'll roll the dice a little on a runner that simply might be improving and coming into this moving in the right direction. Looked good beating a couple of these in the G2 Jim Dandy. The question mark is the distance -- but if he can go this far he should stalk and get first run.
Summer Bird...Sire won this race on a sloppy track. G1 Belmont win would seem to indicate that distance won't be a problem. If there's enough pace early he'll be the one to hold off late.
Quality Road...Will have to be a freak to get it done today given the circumstances that have brought him to this point -- but it's possible he is a freak.
Charitable Man.

Ranger James...Should benefit from seasonal debut and was running numbers last year that could take this.
Whirlwind Poppy...Might be the one to catch.
Pernice...Showed some life last time.
Spa City Fever.
On dirt: Whirlwind Poppy, Titletown Tiger, Petey Bedouin, Spa City Fever.

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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