FRIDAY RECAP: The featured stakes of the day, Race No. 9 the $250,000 Albany, was won by #2 Americanrevolution, who returned a chalky $3.40 to backers … Three riders captured eight of the 11 races … Meet leader Luis Saez (3 wins), Joel Rosario (3) and Jose Lezcano (2) … Christophe Clement and Linda Rice led trainers with two victories each … Race No. 6 ended in a rare dead-heat between #8 Bustin Bay ($7.60) & #4 Vallarand ($16.60) … The average $2 Win ticket returned $12.20, while the $1 Late Pick 6 paid $36,316 … As for Mr. Ed, his selections continued to pick up steam as PRICE PLAY #7 City Man captured Race No. 8 and his BEST BET #2 Americanrevolution triumphed in Race No. 9. The two scores generated a $46 profit on total plays (after scratches) of $86.
IRAD INDEX: Friday’s score: Saratoga 8, Irad Ortiz 0. Based on a mythical $2 Win bet on each of his mount, the shutout loss of $16 sank the currently underachieving rider further into the hole to -$43.60 on nine wins from 47 starts … Mr. Ed foresees a big turnaround for money rider Irad Ortiz Jr. on Saturday as he has mounts in 12 of the 13 races.
TRAVERS DAY AT THE SPA: This is Saratoga at its very best. Fans, horses, jockeys, trainers and big-time purses add up to an extraordinary event in thoroughbred racing. In Mr. Ed’s man cave ,there are six high holy days of racing — the three Triple Crown contests, the two Breeders’ Cup Championships & Travers Day. Win, lose or dead heat, today is special. Here are my selections:
DAILY DOUBLE (Race Nos. 1-2, 11:35 a.m. ET/8:35 p.m. PT)
Race 1: #8 Speaking Scout
(8-1 morning line)
Race 2: #5 Jack Christopher
Wager: $4 Daily Double of 8 & 5. ($4)
BEST BET (Race No. 7, 3:02 p.m. ET/12:02 p.m. PT)
Bob Baffert brings his ultra-talented, fleet filly #1 Gamine
(3-5 morning line) back east to pad her total earnings ($1.4 million to date). John Velazquez has guided her to four straight victories. Lone speed leads to another wire-to-wire romp. Wager: $40 to Win on 1. ($40)
EXACTA EXTRA (Race No. 8, 3:37 a.m. ET/12:37 p.m. PT)
Mr. Ed looks for these three top-shelf sprinters to blanket wire together: #1 Mischevious Alex
(6-1 morning line); #7 Yaupon
(5-2) and #8 Firenze Fire
(6-1). Wager: $5 Exacta Box of 1,7 & 8. ($30)
LATE PICK 5 (Races Nos. 9-13, 4:12 p.m. ET/1:12 p.m. PT)
Race 9: 6
Race 10: 4,6
Race 11: 1,2,7
Race 12: 2,4,6
Race 13: 1,5,10,12 ($36)
PRICE PLAY (Race No. 12, 6:12 p.m. ET/3:12 p..m. PT)
Welcome to the graveyard of champions as cagey conditioner Al Stall Jr. and regular rider Miguel Mena steer #6 Masqueparade
(8-1 morning line) to upset victory over prohibitive favorite #2 Essential Quality (4-5). Let the parade begin. Wager: $20 Win & Place on 6. ($40)
TOTAL WAGERS: $150
1/ST Bet is offering a Travers Day Money-Back Special: Get your cash back — up to $10 — if your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd on all races at Saratoga on Travers day. GO HERE FOR DETAILS.
Also you can get in on the Travers All-Stakes Pick 5: Register at Xpressbet.com and hit the Travers all-stakes Pick 5 on Races 8-12 and split $10,000.