Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Monday, August 20, 2012
Meet Total ... 79-281
[Corrected total - we were one win short, didn't correctly add the wins last Monday]

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4-11. Winners in the 1st [$2.40], 7th [$4.50], 9th [$8.50] and 10th [$6.10]. Three of my "B" selections won - continuing a little bit of a trend this week which featured two or three days that were light on winners-on-top. The biggest disappointment of the day was the sxecond-place finish of "A" pick Always Kitten at 15-1 in R5. Typically we'll hit with a few of those prices during the season - but this year it's been more of a struggle, with at least two or three coming up just short. Yesterday, first-time starter Always Kitten looked to be primed and in a good spot at the eighth pole but Wayne Lukas' first winner of the meet got the jump on us. So, we not only missed a $32.00 winner on top - but personally missed the early P4, which was paying $2363/$2 to Always - a play we not only had in our pocket, but had also used over on the Bankroll page.

Otherwise, there was some fun to be has using the selections on Sunday. B-C-D-A in R2, for fans of the 'box' that meant a potential exacta [$52.50/$2], tri [$227.00] and super [$527.00]. B-C exacta in R3 [$30.80]. In R6 D-C-B, which might have been little deep for some to box the exacta [$32.40] but certainly the tri [$139.50] was within reach. In R7 a cold A-B exacta [$34.20]. And another cold exacta to end the day in R10 [$26.40].

A whopping crowd of 58,701 was announced - but that was a spinner-inflated number on pilsner glass giveaway day. However - it was legitimately a very healthy crowd. Sunday is one of my on-air days for Capital OTB-TV - where we broadcast from the Saratoga backstretch. Typically things are pretty quiet as I drive through the racetrack neighborhood to the TV set. But Sunday morning the front lawn parking lots were already seing early arrivals. The giveaway coupons were gone before R2.

Weather was similar to Saturday - superb, sunny with comfortable temps.


'Taste of Saratoga' Jockey Benefit Event: The Stadium Cafe welcomes racing fans downtown to enjoy a 'Taste of Saratoga' to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. During the event, attendees can vote on their favorite dish prepared by some of Saratoga's top jockeys, including John Velazquez, Ramon Dominguez, and Javier Castellano. The event will also feature guest jockey bartenders and a silent auction. The event begins at 7pm. Tickets are available for $65 and can be purchased at the restaurant at 389 Broadway or at 112 Congress Street.

Tiz Yankee...7-5 ML favorite - and on the numbers looks best. Not by much - but does look best on the numbers. BUT... using this one on top with trepidation on the 'professional bridesmaid' record. Just doesn't seem to want to get the "W".
Flashy Sunrise/Suns Out Guns Out...Both have shown flashes of promise and look like the most likely alternative - BUT... both are also many-time losers.
Round Midnight...The 'other' Zito. Shows some punch on occasion.
Praetorian Gard.

Precious Metal...First off the claim for Jacobsen. Dominguez rides.
Mineswept...An OK third last time in a somewhat similar race when first off the claim.
Recurring Dream...Might rate this one higher except for the low-percentage jock and trainer.
Pete's Parley.

Rangey...Has some early speed - but like our top pick in R1, we use with trepidation off of the recent affinity for coming up short.
Here Comes Drz...Seems on the improve and bullet on 8/6 could signal readiness.
Santonio d'Oro...Dropped to this level and still disappointed last time. Another chance.
Br Alexander.

Brichwood Road... With Pure Prize on top could be interesting first time out.
Becker's Galaxy...Also has some potential on the breeding. Sib Sunset Sally won second start.
Always for You...Bullet work for this attracts attention.

FIFTH RACE $100K Union Ave
Risky Rachel...Could be primed on the cutback to 6F.
Willet...Might be interesting off of the layoff.
Final Mesa...Don't ignore if that 10-1 ML holds up. A couple of duds early this year - but the bullet work says this one might be ready to rebound to prior form.
Superior Sarah.

Cozy Kitten...Finds some class relief off of the stakes tries - but has to overcome the layoff.
Jimmy Simms...The one to catch?
Voodoo Storm...Last couple were a little bit disappointing but has some good back numbers to rebound to.
Tonot Fontenot.

Notacatbutallama...Pletcher/Repole runner got some good education in the debut. Also, worked 10.2 before sale. Sib Toque won second career start.
M Six... The 'other' Pletcher is eligible to come out running.
Leilani's Ticket...Sire and trainer can produce first-out winners.
Night Editor.

Geisha Girl...Improved on turf and worked well since.
Conquesta...Lightly-raced and eligible for better in third start back.
Praise Band...Numbers improving.
Cerce Cay.

Raging Six...Will be interestedto see if that 7-2 ML holds up because this guy looks to have an edge on these.
Little Drama...Should benefit from the last.
Gallant Fields...First off the claim for R Dutrow.
Flat Bold.

Pocket Cowboys...Serious drop off the claim for Repole/Pletcher.
Grand Rapport...Also finding class relief in here.
Free Brave...Should be heard from late.

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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