Saratoga Best Bets for Saturday; news and notes
YESTERDAY’S NEWS: Chalk City ended with a bang Friday when the average $2 Win payoff swelled to $14.60. Up until then, the average payoff for the meet was hovering below $10 … Trainers Tom Morley and Rudy Rodriquez each had two wins … Luis Saez and Joel Rosario each had a riding double. Irad Ortiz, who leads the jockey colony with 22 wins, was shut out for the second day in a row … And, ironically, Linda Rice, who leads all conditioners with 14 wins, also pitched a shutout.
TRACKING MR. ED: I hit my LONGSHOT OF THE DAY, #9 FARADAY (7-1 morning line) who returned $80 for my $10 Win wager — only to miss scoring an additional $200 in Exactas through a DQ. So, after seven days on VSiN.com, Mr. Ed has bet $653 and cashed for $324.85 for a net loss of $328.15, or $54.70 per day. Do better days lie ahead? You betcha.
TODAY AT THE SPA: Into every horseplayer’s dreams a little rain must fall. Not always. Just like there are no one-handed economists, neither are there any one-handed weathermen. On one hand, it might pour on Saturday. However, on the other hand, it might not. It’s tougher to predict the weather than it is picking winners. Having said that, Mr. Ed believes the downpour will hold off until late afternoon. With that said, all my plays (below) are for FAST and FIRM surfaces. If I’m wrong, many of my selections will scratch, leaving the MTOs to pick up the pieces. On the other hand … I’ve been wrong before — rain or shine.
TODAY AT THE RACES: The Grade 1 Vanderbilt for older sprinters and the Jim Dandy for 3-year-old sophomore colts highlight the 12-race card … Race No. 1 post time at Saratoga is 12:40 p.m. ET … On the West Coast, the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap and the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes are featured at Del Mar, where first post is 2 p.m. PT
Race No. 2 (1:11 p.m. ET/10:11 a.m. PT)
Mr. Ed likes #7 FLOKI’S FLIGHT (7-2 morning line). Under-rated rider Ricardo Santana accepts mount on speedy gelding, who has won his last three races in Kentucky for top trainer Dale Romans. No reason he shouldn’t come home on top, again. Wager: $10 to Win. ($10)
Race No. 5 (2:46 p.m. ET/11:46 a.m. PT)
Mr. Ed likes #2 TIZZY IN THE SKY (5-2 morning line). This 4-year-old daughter of Sky Kingdom drops following a disappointing 5th in Grade 3 Comely Stakes. Conditioner Todd Pletcher hires Luis Saez for cutback to 7-furlong sprint. Consistent figures make her my choice. Wager: $10 to Win and box in $3 Exactas over and under 5,7. ($22)
Race No. 8 (4:26 p.m. ET/1:26 p.m. PT)
Regardless of weather, Mr. Ed likes an ice-cold Exacta box in the Grade 1 Vanderbilt Handicap: #4 ELITE POWER (4-5 morning line) and #5 GUNITE (8-5) in prestigious 7-furlong sprint. These two tower over five others. Wager $10 Exacta box with 4,5. ($20)
Races Nos. 9-12 (5:02 p.m. ET/2:02 p.m. PT)
Mr. Ed’s PLAY OF THE DAY is a pricy $0.50 Pick 4
Race 9: 5,6,11
Race 10: ALL (1-5)
Race 11: 5,8,9
Race 12: 2,5,7,9 ($90)
Race No. 10 (5:45 p.m. ET/2:45 p.m. PT)
While Mr. Ed feels that any one of the five sophomore colts entered could capture the Grade 2, $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes, #5 ANGEL OF EMPIRE (5-2 morning line), for trainer Brad Cox and jockey Flavien Prat, holds the edge from outermost post. Ultra-consistent son of Classic Empire, from the Risen Star win through his solid 4th in Belmont Stakes, choice should sit perfect trip heading into the stretch, and have enough fire power left to out finish the others. Wager: $20 to Win. ($20)
TOTAL WAGERS $162