Saratoga Best Bets, news and notes
TW3: At the risk of dating myself, older-but-wiser Mr. Ed believes TW3 (That Was The Week That Was) is an appropriate moniker for what's been happening over the past seven days or so. It's truly a dog's breakfast of THE GOOD (White Abarrio & Rick Dutrow, Brightwork & Ways and Means, Irad Ortiz Jr., Linda Rica and Chad Brown), THE BAD (CODY'S WISH, USA Women's Soccer, NCAA football, Mr. Ed's abysmal record, the brothers Ortiz), and THE UGLY (mindless decisions by the Saratoga Stooges, a power outage, bad weather = too many OFF THE TURF — and the untimely death of Maple Leaf Mel, RIP). The second half of the meet began yesterday. Here's hoping for brighter days and profitable plays ahead for all of us between now and Labor Day.
SPA STATS: On Thursday, jockeys Tyler Gaffalione and Manny Franco each had a rare hat trick of three wins apiece. Irad Ortiz Jr., currently on suspension, leads all riders with 31 wins, followed by Luis Saez with 23, and Irad's brother Jose, also serving three days away, with 20. In the race for top trainer, Linda Rice and Chad Brown remain tied with 18 wins each.
TRACKING MR. ED: Hardly a pretty picture. I've wagered $975.00 and cashed tickets totaling $408.85 for a net loss of $566.15, or slightly more than $50 a day on ten posted days here at VSIN.com. Trust me, I"m ready to cut my losses.
TODAY AT THE SPA: Diverse 11-race card, headlined by the rescheduled G2 National Museum of Racing HOF Stakes (Race 8) and the Evan Shipman Handicap (Race 9), offers several handicapping challenges and opportunities. First post is at 1:10 p.m. ET/10:10 a,m. PT. Here are Mr. Ed's selections.
Race No. 1-2 (1:10 p.m. ET/10:10 a.m. PT)
Mr. Ed likes a $3 Daily Doble
R1: 1, 3, 4
R2: 2, 5 ($18)
Race No. 3 (2:20 p.m. ET/11:20 a.m. PT)
My pick is #1 ROCKY SKY (5-2 morning line) for superstar trainer Chad Brown's barn. Off to a slower-than-usual first 20 days, the talented conditioner is now atop the standings and may never look back. His five-year-old mare is on the right track and should set a perfect trip under sharp Flavien Pratt. A budding star. Wager: $10 to Win. ($10)
Race No. 5 (3:26 p.m. ET/12:26 p.m. PT)
Mr. Ed's PLAY OF THE DAY. He likes #5 REPEALING (6-1 morning line) for favorite trainer Al Stall Jr. Super-speedy work indicates Al's got this gal pumped for her turf debut. The conditioner recruits grassman Julien Leparoux to put the filly in the mix early, snag the lead and never look back. Wager: $10 to Win and box in $2 Exactas with 2, 3, 6. ($22)
Race No. 6 (4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT)
Mr. Ed's betting on #6 MARSALIS (5-2 morning line) to go wire-to-wire for Steve Asmussen, racing's winningest trainer. Joel Rosario climbs back aboard four-year-old son of Curlin in this pricy sprint. This guy's got game. Wager: $10 to Win and Place. ($20)
Race No. 7 (4:34 p.m. ET/1:34 p.m. PT)
Mr. Ed's SHOOT FOR THE MOON longshot of the day is smiling Katie Davis riding #9 MAD BANKER (12-1 morning line). Chalking up her fourth win of the season on Thursday, the young rider continues to excel on lower-quality stock. Once she catches the eye of a better barn, it's Katie bar the door. In his earlier days, Mr. Ed was a sad banker, but I'l save that for another day. Play the hunch. Wager: $4 Win, Place and Show. ($12)
Races Nos. 8-11 (5:08 p.m. ET/2:08 p.m. PT)
Mr. Ed likes a $0.50 Pick 4
Race 8: 1, 2, 3
Race 9: 1, 2, 5, 8
Race 10: 1, 5, 10
Race 11: 1, 2, 6, 7 (cost $72)
TOTAL WAGERS $154
COMING UP SATURDAY: Three stakes, highlighted by G@ Saratoga Special (Race 8) for promising two-year-olds, and the G! Fourstardave Handicap (Race 9) First post for the 10-race card is at 1:10 p.m. ET/10:10 a.m. PT.