Mr. Ed's Saratoga Best Bets for Friday, August 25; news & notes

By Ed Sehon  ( handicapper) 

August 24, 2023 08:02 PM

Saratoga Best Bets, news and notes

TRAVERS WEEKEND AT SARATOGA: G1 $500K Personal Ensign for fillies and mares (Race No. 9 at 5:44 p.m. ET/2:44 p.m. PT) kicks off two action-packed days racing at the Spa. In addition to the $1 million G1 Travers for three-year-olds (preview below) on Saturday, four other first-class, graded stakes will be featured. First post today is 1:10 p.m. ET/10:10 a.m. PT)

I NEEDED THAT: Mr. Ed had a plastic surgeon apply a Tourniquet to his bankroll to stop the bleeding. It worked! … Nothing like hitting six of seven posted selections last Saturday to turn a season around. So, after 13 days of betting at the Spa on, I’ve wagered $1,406.00 and cashed for $957.15 for a net loss of $448.85 … With six posting days remaining — today, tomorrow and next week’s four-day closing weekend — Mr. Ed’s ready to close out the meet on a profitable note.

TIMELY INQUIRY: Why doesn’t Mr. Ed ever consider times as part of his race analysis? When working as a PR assistant at Flagler Kennel Club in Miami (all those years ago) one day he asked the track superintendent, “How often does a track record time occur?” He replied, “Whenever I want one to. How about tomorrow night in the fifth race?” No way, Jose, was my immediate, wide-eyed reaction. The next night in a field of no better than average greyhounds in Race 5, the winner easily eclipsed the track sprint standard that had stood for three years. Handicapping lesson: When using time as a handicapping tool, get to know the man who maintains the racing surface — especially when his nickname is Speedy!

SPA NEWS & NOTES: Jockey Luis Saez has been sidelined indefinitely with a dislocated collarbone. Flavien Prat picks up ride on Mage in Travers … Prior to being injured, Saez was the meet’s second-leading rider with 30 wins. Irad Ortiz Jr. leads all jockeys with 42 wins, followed by Saez (30), brother Jose (28) and Tyler Gaffalione (26) … As for trainers, Chad Brown has the top barn with 29 victories, followed by Linda Rice (24) and Todd Pletcher (20).



FIELD FOR TRAVERS (post position, morning line odds, trainer/jockey, comment)

1. FORTE (7-5) T. Pletcher/I. Ortiz … favorite, most accomplished with seven wins.

2. ARCANGELO (5-2) J. Antonucci/J. Costellano … Belmont Stakes champion.

3. TAPIT TRICE (12-1) T. Pletcher/J. Ortiz … triumphed in Blue Grass at Keeneland.

4. MAGE (4-1) G. Delgado/F. Prat … Kentucky Derby winner, fan favorite.

5. NATIONAL TREASURE (8-1) B. Baffert/J. Velasquez … wired Preakness field.

6. DISARM (8-1) S. Asmussen/J. Rosario … adds blinkers to improve focus.

7. SCOTLAND (12-1) B. Mott/J. Alvarado … outsider, steps up in class.

(Mr. Ed’s Travers Stakes selections will be posted on Saturday)


Here are my selections for today:

Race No. 3 (2:20 p.m. ET/11:20 a.m. PT)

Mr. Ed’s pick is #2 BUBBLE ROCK (3-1 morning line) to capture the $150K Smart N Fancy Stakes. Brad Cox-trained four-year-old is in the best form of his career following two excellent Grade 3 efforts. The horse has three in-the-money finishes in turf sprints at Spa. Regular rider Joel Rosario returns to the irons. Wager: $10 to Win. ($10)

Race No. 4 (2:52 p.m. ET/11:52 a.m. PT)

I like closer #2 HIGH TIDE (5-2 morning line) for overdue trainer Carlos Martin. He’s already won two of four at the Spa, and based on recent bullet work, he appears poised to make it three. Luis Saez (now on IR) was named to ride as the gelding cuts back to a mile and a sixteenth. Wager: $10 to Win & Place. ($20)

Race No. 5 (3:26 p.m. ET/12:26 p.m. PT)

Mr. Ed is betting on #9 DARK VECTOR (4-1 morning line) to emerge from the shadows for hot trainer George Weaver following a disappointing turf try. Javier Castellano knows the son of Bold d’Oro, having won easily on him at Belmont in May. Wager: $10 Win and Place. ($20)

Race No. 7 (4:34 p.m. ET/1:34 p.m. PT)

Mr. Ed likes a trio: #3 HEADLAND (8-5 morning line) for Rice-J. Ortiz team; #4 REPEALING (6-1) for Stall-Leparoux tandem, and #8 ONTHEONESANDTWOS (8-1) for Santana-N. Casse duo. Wager: $5 Exacta box and $3 Daily Doubles with #9 RHOMBIQUE (10-1) in Race No. 8. ($39)

Race No. 9 (5:44 p.m. ET/2:44 p.m. PT)

I like an ice-cold Exacta box of #5 NEST (4-5 morning line) and #6 CLAIRIERE (5-2) in the G1 $50OK Personal Ensign stakes for old fillies and mares. Two are undisputed leaders in their distaff division. Spa rematch may go down to the wire. ($20)

Race No. 10 (6:18 p.m. ET/3:18 p.m. PT)

Mr. Ed likes #10 ARRASOU (9-2 morning line) in the maiden special weight finale. Expensive daughter of Mendelssohn moves to turf for powerful Irad Ortiz Jr.-Chad Brown combo. Should benefit from an outside post. Wager: $10 Win & Place. ($20)






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