Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Meet Total ... 84-312

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2-10. Winners in the 2nd [$9.50] and 5th [$13.40]. Also, second over third selections for the exacta in the 1st [$34.20/$2]. In the 5th it was the opt pick over the third selection for the exacta [$69.00] with our second choice completing the tri [$135.50]. You would have had to have gone four-deep in the 6th but it might have been worth the box with our fourth pick topping our third selection for the exacta [$188.00] with our second choice rounding out the tri [$639.00]. In the 7th our top two flip-flopped for the exacta [$45.60]. And in the 10th our move-up [after scratches] third choice over our top pick for the exacta [$175.00] with our second pick finishing the tri [$561.00].

Attendance figures weren't provided on the charts we looked at Wednesday night -- but we were told a figure of approx 10,800 attended. We'll double-check and try to verify that [on Friday's update]. Whatever the number, they enjoyed a gorgeous early September afternoon, with plenty of sun and comfortable temps.

We're still chasing the century-mark for the season as far as winners-on-top -- and going into Week Six we said we needed to average three a day. Obviously we came up just short on Wednesday [although it was a good day for the selections] and if we come up one short of 100 winners at the end of the season we'll look back at Zilva [7th, $11.20] as the one that got away. We've been chasing the Augustin runners all meet and even had Zilva on top a couple of weeks ago -- but we just couldn't pull the trigger Wednesday although we commented it might come back to haunt us. It did -- as Zilva, our second-place selection, just got up late to nip our top pick. Doh!


Fifteen $1,000 vouchers being given away in one hour [1-2pm]. Also, Rachel Alexandra is scheduled to be schooled in the paddock sometime around the 5th race.

Tough, contentious card today. Coming up with our required per-day average of three winners will be a challenge...

FIRST RACE - Fout Hcp $70K
Dynaski...Won the flat race on Open house Day. Came back to win a similar stake here on 8/13. Adds ten pounds but looks tough if able to hold current form.
Arcadius...Second to top pick last time.
Terpsichorean...Sheppard trainee is typically in the mix.
Lead Us Not.

Rock Star Royalty...Win-early breeding with Five Star Day on top.
Water of Life...OK in debut and that looks like one to build on.
Speckledbird...Another making her second career start and moving form MSW company.
She Wears the Best.

THIRD RACE - PG Johnson $70K
Smart Seattle... Hard to ignore off of the solid debut win.
Lisa's Kitten...Should appreciate the return to turf.
Write When Ready...Improved nicely with the move to grass.

Etched/National Pride...Etched preferred. Undefeated in three starts in this country [fourth in lone Dubai start]. Have to assume there have been some issues for this very lightly-raced 4YO. But he's come through when he has made it to the track. Probably needs to step it up here -- but that wouldn't be unheard of for a lightly-raced horse coming off of a layoff.
Dr Pleasure...It's hard to know what to do with this kind. He can win -- or run a dull fourth. Not a model of consistency but he did come here for a big win last year in somewhat similar fashion.
Timber Reserve...Stakes-quality runner has been off for a while but won here last year in somewhat similar company.
Famous Patriot.

Ennis Lady...Picked with much trepidation because we don't like to play a barn on an oh-fer this deep into the meet -- but we do like Speightstown runner to fire big early.
Strike It Rich...Unbridled's Song is another win-early sire.
Happy Week...Got some good first-start education.
Restless Song.

Meriwether Jessica...Trainer continues red-hot and is in the thick of a chase for the title. Looks like the rider just gave up after trouble last time -- which probably made sense at the 5.5F trip. Prior Beyer figs put her in the thick of this.
Kiawah Cat...Mott trainee will be rolling late.
Kristi With a K...Last two snapped a long string of exacta finishes. In the hunt more often than not.
Striking Dancer.

Angel's Cove...Bred to find success early -- and on turf.
Raise the Kitty...Must get in from AE list but if so this one is dangerous moving MSW to mdn clm'r, after having run well at the higher level.
Flower Exchange...Showed speed vs MSW company on the dirt -- could be very dangerous here.
In Te Domine/Eager Leader.

EIGHTH RACE - Riskaverse $70K
Bluegrass Princess...Close-up finish here on 8/8 behind a very talented filly. Should go well again if able to repeat that effort.
Miss Catalyst...Seems to have figured it out over the last few and Beyer figs say she's a contender -- but this is a little bit of a class jump today. We'll see...
Fast Tigress...Could be interesting getting 'firm' turf today.
Afternoon Stroll.

West Ocean...Just missed in debut. Looks best if she's able to repeat -- or improve.
Successful Friend...Hmmm, have to decide whether the Beyer last time signaled a turnaround, or was it an aberration? We'll go with the former.
Out Post...Fired lifetime best Beyer with move to turf.
Ride On Josephine.

Platinumplus...We searched for an alternative to this one -- because the last couple and the layoff simply don't inspire much confidence. But if Tagg has her ready she should be tough versus this bunch of $35K conditional claimers.
Possessive...Another that should be dangerous dropping in for a tag. Will be rolling late -- but will it be too late?
Kevazinga...Always leery when they start stringing troubled trips together -- they start to look like they find the trouble. But if she can negotiate a clean trip she should contend.
Fourth Chapter.

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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