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Mr. Ed's Saratoga on (about) $100 a Day (8-5)

By Ed Sehon  (VSiN handicapper) 

August 5, 2021 01:21 AM

HANDICAP RECAP: Another gorgeous, high-and-dry day of racing, relaxing and rejoicing (Mr. Ed had pair of tickets worth cashing) Wednesday at the Saratoga Race Course. Others joining in the festivities were leading jockey Luis Saez (26 wins) with another two trips to the winner’s circle along with Jose Ortiz (24) and Irad Ortiz (23) … As for leading trainers, Chad Brown (9) had two wins and Todd Pletcher (9) one. Michael Maker (14) continues to top all conditioners … The average Win ticket for nine flat races was $9.77.


THURSDAY AT SARATOGA: With the exception of the Birdstone Stakes (Race No. 9) marathon at a mile and three-quarters, judging by the remainder of today’s rather weak program, it appears the racing secretary is saving the best for the upcoming weekend, which will feature numerous outstanding thoroughbreds competing for rich stakes purses. In an effort to boost Mr. Ed’s depleted bankroll again, here are several plays worth a look:


PRICE PLAY (Race No. 4, 2:49 p.m. ET/11:49 a.m. PT)

Sharp conditioner Michael Stidham hires Tyler Gaffalione to pilot #5 Made My Day (9-2 morning line), stretching out to mile on grass after series of sharp works. Wager: $5 Win, Place & Show on #5. This one could make Mr. Ed’s day. ($15)


$1 PICK 3 (Races Nos. 4-6 (2:49 p.m. ET, 11:49 a.m. PT)

Race 4: 5,10

Race 5: 1,5,8

Race 6: 5 ($6)


EXACTA EXTRA (Race No. 5, 3:21 p.m. ET/12:21 p.m. PT)

Three stand above others in low-level claimer: #1 Wartime Hero (4-5 morning line), Luis  Saez rides; #5 Chase Tracker (8-1), trainer Nick Zito long overdue; and #8 Z’finale (4-1), James Bond-Manny Franco fits off fast work. Wager: $2 Exacta Box of 1,5,8. ($12)


BEST BEST (Race No. 7, 4:29 p.m. ET/1:29 p.m. PT)

Powerful duo of jockey Luis Saez & trainer Bill Mott poised to repeat Belmont winning effort on slop in early June with #7 Landbiscuit (5-2 morning line). Turf mile is gravy on biscuit. Wager: $20 to Win & $10 to Place on #7. ($30)


$0.50 PICK 4 (Races Nos. 7-10, 4:29 p.m. ET/1:29 p.m. PT)

Race 7: 6,7,9,10

Race 8: 1,4,5

Race 9: 1,3,4,6,7

Race 10: 1,9 ($45)




ON SECOND THOUGHT: After revisiting my essay on the high cost of overnight accommodations in Saratoga Springs during the racing season (see 8-1 edition), it occurred to me that other items of necessity can also run up the price of a day at the Spa. Here are some of the ones on my daily expense report: coffee & bagel ($7) before 4:30 a.m. trip to Oklahoma training track & backstretch; coffee & donut ($5) for my friend Junior the groom; mid-morning veggie omelette breakfast with mimosa & tip ($30); deli sandwich & two 24 oz. brews in cooler for eats during races ($20); parking near track on private lawn ($30); clubhouse admission ($10); wagering bankroll ($100); double shot of Buffalo Trace at Siro’s after races ($30); dinner tab at Bistro Franco with Mrs. Ed & guests ($350) … Add it all up, including housing, and perhaps this column should be headlined “Mr. Ed’s Saratoga on (closer to) $1,000 a Day!” Worth it? You bet it is, every dollar.


FRIDAY STAKES (three for lots of money)

National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (Grade 2, $200,000), 3-year-olds on turf at a mile

The Alydar ($120,000), 4-year-olds & up on turf at 1 1/8 mile

The Troy (Grade 3, $200,000), 4-year-olds & up on turf at 5 1/2 furlongs

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