Mr. Ed's Saratoga on (about) $100 a Day (8-21)

By Ed Sehon  (VSiN handicapper) 

August 21, 2021 12:31 AM

FRIDAY RECAP: Graveyard of favorites? Hard time convincing Mr. Ed as average Win ticket returned $8.90, the third consecutive day of sub-$10 returns on $2 wagers … The day’s lone stakes, The Skidmore, an off-the-turf sprint for 2-year-olds, went to chalky betting choice #2 Avery Jane ($5.20), trained by Wesley Ward … As for jockeys, meet leader Luis Saez captured the early Daily Double (Races Nos. 1 & 2), but was blanked the rest of the way. Tyler Gaffalione won the late Daily Double (Races Nos. 9 & 10) … Trainer Todd Pletcher had a pair of trips to the Winner’s Circle … The $1 Pick 6 paid $25,403.50.

 

IRAD INDEX: Jockey was only able to boot one home Friday from six (after scratches & changes) chances, bringing his three-day record to three wins from 17 starts. Based on $2 Win wagers, he’s at -$19.20 since we started tracking this for the final three weeks of the meet … Note: Irad Ortiz Jr. has seven rides at the Spa on Saturday. Also, whatever he does at Woodbine on Sunday WILL NOT be included in the IRAD INDEX here.

 

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SATURDAY AT THE SPA: Second only to Travers Day next Saturday, this is Mr. Ed’s favorite day at Saratoga. Two excellent stakes for ladies highlight the outstanding 11-race program, led by the Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama (Race No. 10, 6:13 p.m. ET, 3:13 p.m. PT) for 3-year-old fillies at the classic 1 1/4-mile distance … A little more than a half-hour earlier (Race No. 9, 5:39 p.m. ET, 2:39 p.m. PT), sophomore gals will compete in the Grade 2, $200,000 Lake Placid at 1 1/16 miles over the Mellon Turf Course … The card also features a pair of $100,000 Maiden Special Weights contests (Races Nos. 1 & 7) for 2-year-olds, potential 2022 Triple Crown participants … Like the outcome of any of the 11 races, the weather is highly questionable.

 

$0.50 EARLY PICK 4 (Races Nos. 2-5, 1:41 p.m. ET/10:41 a.m. PT)

Race 2: 4,5

Race 3: 1,2

Race 4: 2,3,4

Race 5: 1,4,8 ($18)

 

EXACTA EXTRA (Race No. 5, 3:23 p.m. ET/12:23 p.m. PT)

Three sharp trainers hold keys to exotic bet: #1 Regal Speaker (5-2 morning line) for Danny Gargan; #4 Ghost Giant (2-1) for Rob Atras; and #8 Good Old Boy (7-2) for Robertino Diodoro. Repeat after me: Regal Ghost is a Good Old Boy. Wager: $5 Exacta Box of 1,4 & 8. ($30)

 

$0.50 LATE PICK 4 (Races Nos. 8-11, 5:03 p.m. ET, 2:03 p.m. PT)

Race 8: 2,3,4,6

Race 9: 2,4,6

Race 10: 6,7

Race 11: 1,4,9 ($36)

 

BEST BET (Race No. 9, 5:39 p.m. ET/2:39 p.m. PT)

A personal friend of Mr. Ed, who is a breeder-owner, recently hired Jorge Abreu to train string of young horses. He is delighted with his decision. NY-bred filly #4 Runaway Rumor (7-2 morning line) looks live, especially stretching out on turf. Rumor is Jose Lezcano will ride. Wager: $20 to Win, $10 to Place on 4. ($30)

 

PRICE PLAY (Race No. 10, 6:13 p.m. ET, 3:13 p.m. PT)

Many handicappers look forward to a rematch of top two finishing fillies in Coaching Club American Oaks. Mr. Ed looks beyond that duel, picking Grade 1 newcomer, winner of last two, #7 Army Wife (6-1 morning line) for top trainer Michael Maker to score upset under young Tyler Gaffalione in prestigious Alabama. I’m in the Army now. Wager: $10 to Win & Place. ($20)

 

TOTAL WAGERS: $134

 

AWAY FROM SPA: For those who thirst for additional thoroughbred action, both Woodbine and Del Mar are offering excellent programs over the weekend … At least two members of the Saratoga jockey colony will be working out of town: Joel Rosario to ride Dr. Post in the Grade 1, $1 Million Pacific Classic in California today and Irad Ortiz Jr. to pilot Safe Conduct in the Grade 1, $1 million Queen Anne’s Plate in Canada on Sunday.

 

ON TAP ON SUNDAY: Fillies & mares, 4-year-olds & up, will face off in the $120,000 Summer Colony Stakes (Race No. 9, 5:39 p.m. ET/ 2:39 p.m. PT) at 1 1/8 miles … Post time for Race No. 1 of the 10-race card is 1:05 p.m. ET/10:05 a.m. PT.

 

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