Mr. Ed's Saratoga Best Bets for Friday, August 18; news & notes

By Ed Sehon  ( handicapper) 

August 17, 2023 07:30 PM

Saratoga Best Bets, news and notes

TRACKING MR ED: Last Saturday, even though we lost $29 on posted plays of $174, Mr. Ed is smiling for he had a trio of winners paying $60, $28 and $57. respectively, cashing for a total of $145. And I had a legit shot at hitting a Pick 4 for a bundle. So after 12 days of selections totaling $1,181.00 and cashing of $634.05, Mr. Ed's net loss is $546.95—nearly all of it on failed Pick 4 plays. So...

A COURSE CORRECTION: When I began posting for, my goals were threefold: to inform, to entertain and to turn a profit. So far this season, Mr. Ed feels he's fulfilled the first two legs—and failed miserably at the third. After reviewing previous picks, I discovered I was wasting ink going for the pot of gold in the multi-race selections. For instance, If I were to go into Labor Day closing weekend down $750 (more than half on losing multi-race bets) and hit a nice Pick 4 for $1K, thus showing a $250 net profit for the meet, what have I really accomplished? Going forward, I would much prefer to grind out a reasonable return on investment by consolidating picks. So, beginning today, I am dropping extravagant, shoot-for-the-moon selections to concentrate wagering dollars on Win, Place, Daily Double and Exacta picks. If I can stop bleeding dollars now and cash more tickets, then I'll be on track to accomplishing my goals.

SPA STATS: Leading riders with number of wins: Irad Ortiz Jr. (38, including four-bagge on Thursday), Luis Saez (27), Jose Ortiz (25) and Tyler Gaffalione (24). Top trainers: Chad Brown (24). Linda Rice (21) and Todd Pletcher (17)... Field shaping up for the Travers Stakes a week from Saturday. Expected starters include Tapit Trice, Mage, Arcangelo and Forte.


TODAY AT THE SPA: The $150K Skidmore Stakes turf sprint for two-year-olds (Race No. 8, Post Time 4:58 p.m. ET) tops the day's 10-race card. First race post goes at 1:00 p.m. ET. Unfortunately, rain is in the forecast, which may result in several scratches and surface changes. Here are Mr. Ed's selections:

Race No. 1-2 (1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT)

Mr. Ed likes a $5 Daily Doble

Race 1: #3 COREY AND QUINN (7-2 morning line) and #6 VIVID DREAMS (7-2)

Race 2: #5 LUNA LOCA (5-2) and #6 T MAX )1-1). Wager: $20. ($20)

Race No. 4 (2:39 p.m. ET/11:39 a.m. PT)

I like #4 STUNNINGLY (2-1 morning line) for trainer Steve Asmussen. Stretching back out to a mile, the sophomore filly retains the riding services of Joel Rosario. The expensive daughter of Gun Runner is getting better with each race. The Pace sets up for a late kick. Wager: $10 to Win and Place. ($20)

Race No. 5 (3:12 p.m. ET/12:12 p.m. PT)

I'm willing to take a shot with #8 OGLETHORPE (6-1 morning line) as trainer Danny Gargan stretches the son of Arrogate to 1 3/16th mile. No reason why the four-year-old won't move forward versus so-so competition. He should stay in the race if it goes off on turf. He gets a rider upgrade as Luis Saez returns. Wager: $5 Win and Place. ($10)

Race No. 7 (4:20 p.m. ET/1:20 p.m. PT)

Mr. Ed like three: #2 RED RUN (5-2 morning line) for Maker-J. Ortiz combo, #4 SPEED BIAS (2-1) for Marquett-I. Ortiz team, and #5 COSTA TERRA (9-5) for Rice-Lezcano duo. Chalky, but very playable. Wager: $5 Exacta box. ($30)

Race No. 8 (4:58 p.m. ET/1:58 p.m. PT)

Mr. Ed's PLAY OF THE DAY is #9 FANDOM (5-1) morning line). Trainer Wesley Ward thought enough of this youngster to send him to Ascot. Johnny Velasquez stays aboard for turf sprint. Looking for maximum effort from the powerful Stonestreet Stable. I'm a fan. Wager $10 to Win, $5 to place. ($15)

Race No. 9 (5:34 p.m. ET/1:34 p.m. PT)

I like #9 WENDELL FONG (8-1 morning line). Ray Handle hires smiling Katie Davis to ride in this claiming sprint. The son of Flat Out should get a perfect trip from the outer-most post. Wager: $5 to Win and box in $5 with 1, 2, 3. ($35) 


SATURDAY AT SARATOGA: The G1 $600K Alabama Stakes at a mile-and-a-quarter for three-year-old fillies leads an excellent 11-race card. First race post time is 1:10 p.m. ET.

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