Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Meet Total ... 109-419

Note: Revised win total above - we had four winners on Monday 8/19, but only added two to our total for the day. And we subtracted, rather than added, the one win we had on Thursday 8/29.

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5-10. Winners in R3 [6.90], R4 [6.30], R5 [dead-heat, 10.80], R7 [3.10], R8 [5.00]. Gimmicks: R2 ... BEAD x 30.40 t 72.50 s 419.00; R3 ... ACD x 34.80 t 65.00; R4 ... ABCD x 13.60 t 40.40 s 94.50; R6 ... BAD x 14.40 t 57.50; R7 ... ABDC x 14.40 t 44.00 s 114.50.

13760 attended and we have to wonder if the weather forecast scared many away. They were predicting a 70% chance of precip - but the weather continued the meet-long trend - partly sunny and comfortable.

[Catching up with Sunday's gimmicks: R1... ADx x 24.40; R3 ... ABx x 35.80; R7 ... ACB x 38.60 t 86.00; R11..BAx "C" scr x 22.20; R12 ... ACB x 89.00 t 249.50.

MEET RECAP: Kinda felt like I stunk up the joint. Pulled up the rear of the chasing pack - and I was hanging right with that bunch at the midway point. Hit a little too much of a late-season lull and fired three one-fers right after the Travers. Typically things are a lot tighter here during the last couple of weeks.

There were some frustrating days along the way: Sunday 8/25 - three winners on top, but five "B" selections won. Thursday 8/29, one "A" pick wins, while six "B"s get it done. I started to wonder if perhaps I was being too clever. I debated 'going Costanza' and doing things the opposite way - handicap the card and then elevate all of my "B"s -- but that had the potential to make things even more frustrating.

So I plugged away as before and went 13/34 over the last three days of the meet -- where was that over the previous week and a half?!?

As noted at the top of the page - we did manage to squeeze out a few more winners on the recount. I never total up the ROI number until after the meet and during that process I discovered a couple of bank errors in my favor - as they say in Monopoly - and readjusted my win total accordingly.

Actually managed to get closer to the break-even point with exacta plays: Our top two picks, A-B, for cold exactas scored 31 times for a return of $746.80/$2. Boxing up the top two picks, A-B or B-A, hit 55 times and returned $1337.00/$2.

2013 Final Saratoga Handicappers Scorecard

Say wha--?!? Only a few short months after the NY Daily News scaled back its racing coverage and moved some reporting and info to its website - the News scores big at Saratoga with the top two public handicappers for 2013. Yikes - not even sure Dave Little makes it to town during the meet and Bossert starts the countdown to sleeping in his own bed about the time Tom Durkin announces, "And they're off at Saratoga!" for the first race of the season.

But - hats off. Dave Little got edged last year by DRF's Dave Litfin - and made amends nicely in 2013 with a front-running score. And Bossert put together a number of good days - including six winners on top on closing day.

Right behind and chasing with a shot was a pack from both The Saratoga Special and The Saratogian. Solid efforts from that group as well.

The list below includes virtually all of the public handicappers available in newspapers in the Saratoga region as well as the NYC tabloids which are available upstate - and which still offer racing coverage... You will note that this year's list is smaller than in the past.

Final numbers for previous seasons can be found here: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003.

Mid-season scorecards are here: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004.

Note: Discrepancies in total number of races played is due to some handicappers losing races due to scratches.

Numbers below are per what is printed in the appropriate editions of the newspapers or are provided by the handicappers themselves. We do not independently audit the figures.

Final - Races played ... $2 win total
Dave Little
NY Daily News
128.418 ... 775.40
Jerry Bossert
NY Daily News
126-418 ... 739.70
Gaile Fitzgerald
Saratoga Special
Daniel Feiss
Liam Durbin
John Shapazian
Saratoga Special
Bill Taylor
Andrew Champagne
Dave Litfin
Daily Racing Form
Kyle Brownell
Post-Star [Glens Falls, NY]
115-420 ... 676.10
Vic C
NY Post
111-418 ... 665.00
Mike Jarboe
Albany Times Union
111-420 ... 723.30
Tim Wilkin
Albany Times Union
110-420 ... 761.90
Seth Merrow
Best Bets - equidaily.com
109-419 ... 687.50
Nick Kling
Troy Record/Saratogian
108-420 ... 673.30
Bill Heller
Daily [Schenectady] Gazette
Tom Law
Saratoga Special
Charles Bedard
Saratoga Special
Mark Hoffman
The Recorder [Amsterdam, NY]
100-417 ... 710.00
Joe Lods
NY Daily News
99/419 ... 663.70
Mike Lipack
NY Daily News
88/418 ... 632.90
Chad Summers
Saratoga Special


Dark day. No racing. See you next season.


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.

Archives of daily Best Bets picks and plays pages: 2013 ... 2012 ... 2011 ... 2010... 2009 ...2008 ... 2007 ... 2006 ... 2005 ... 2004 ... 2003

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