HANDICAP RECAP: Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. was the Spa star of Wednesday (the official half-way point of the 40-day meet) by booting home three winners for three different trainers — none of whom were named Asmussen … Luis Saez (36 wins) added to his lead among riders when he won Race No. 1 ($16.80). But, Saez was shutout for the final nine races … Trainer Michael Maker (17) posted another winner in Race No. 4 ($29.80), to extend his barn standings lead … Chad Brown (15) & Irad Ortiz Jr. (27) teamed up to capture the nightcap (Race No. 10) … The average Win ticket returned a generous $14.50 … The carryover Pick 6 paid $49,798 for $1 … And, finally, Mr. Ed’s Price Play (Race No. 7) finished second, paying $16 on his $10 Place bet.
THURSDAY AT THE SPA: Race No. 3, the $100,00 Saratoga Dew Handicap for fillies & mares, 3-year-olds and up on the dirt, headlines the 10-race program … Mr. Ed has asked the NYRA to rename the race the Saratoga Due in his honor … First post: 1:05 p.m. ET/10:05 a.m. PT
EXACTA EXTRA (Race No. 2, 1:41 p.m. ET/10:41 a.m. PT)
Mr. Ed favors a pair of Michael Maker gals, #4 Candy Flower (7-2 morning line) & #7 Whimsical Muse (2-1). He teams them up with #1 Flashing Red (9-2) with Ricardo Santana Jr. on board. Wager: $5 Exacta Box of 1,4 & 7 ($30)
BEST BET (Race No. 4, 2:49 p.m. ET/11:49 a.m. PT)
Up handicapping at 5:30 a.m. ET, Mr. Ed enjoys a few chocolate cookies with his coffee. This one jumped off the past performances right into his cup — #1 Chocolate Cookie (3-1 morning line) for Todd Pletcher & Irad Ortiz Jr. Other favorable factors include inside post, beaten choice in last and cutback to mile. This Cookie won’t crumble. Wager: $20 to Win on 1. ($20)
PRICE PLAY (Race No. 5, 3:21 p.m. ET/12:21 p.m. PT)
Bet down to 2.85-1 in muddy Spa debut, look for #5 Red Hot Rumble (10-1 morning line) to redeem himself for red-hot duo of Steve Asmussen & Ricardo Santana Jr. Mr. Ed doubts he’ll get 10-1, but trip to Winner’s Circle at a price is promising. Wager: $10 Win & Place on 5. ($20)
$0.50 PICK 4 (Races Nos. 7-10, 4:29 p.m. ET/1:29 p.m. PT)
Race 7: 1,5,10,11
Race 8: 1,2,3,6
Race: 9: 1,6
Race 10: 3,4,11 ($48)
TOTAL WAGERS $118
ON TAP ON FRIDAY: The $120,000 Tale of the Cat dirt sprint for 4-year-olds and up … Mr. Ed’s on the Spa scene observations from the backstretch, the picnic area, the Finish Line and hopefully the Winner’s Circle.