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Mr. Ed's Saratoga on (about) $100 a Day (9-3)

By Ed Sehon  (VSiN handicapper) 

September 3, 2021 03:02 AM

THURSDAY RECAP: A few weeks of relatively dry weather came to a thundering end Wednesday evening as the New York area got inundated by buckets of rain, knocking all Thursday racing OFF the turf. As a result 39 horses were scratched, cutting Mr. Ed’s action from a posted $121 to $53 … Jockey Joel Rosario continued to have a hot hand with three victories. Meet-leading rider Luis Saez had a pair of winners. Leading trainers Chad Brown and Todd Pletcher each had a victory … The featured (off-the-turf) P.G. Johnson Stakes (Race No. 9) was won by #2 Miss Interpret ($3.50), who was entered for main track only by coy trainer Todd Pletcher. The 2-year-old filly was ridden by Jose Ortiz … Mr. Ed’s BEST BET (#5 Motivated Seller in Race No. 7) won, but paid only $2.80, thanks to a short field due to scratches … The average $2 Win ticket returned $8.40 and the $1 Pick 6 paid $9,320.

IRAD INDEX: Time is running out for Irad Ortiz Jr. as he chases a positive return on investment (ROI) over the final 16 racing days. Based on a $2 Win wager on all his entries since Aug. 18, the premiere rider stands at -36.20, after posting a single chalky winner from seven mounts on Thursday. He’ll need some pricey winners over the last three days in order to end up on the plus side … He’s listed to ride in all 10 races on Friday.

THIS & THAT: Speaking of Saez, he has closed within eight victories of equaling Roman Dominguez’s Spa record 68 wins in 2020 … The historic racing venue achieved record handle of more than $70 million on Wednesday … As the meet comes to a close, pay special attention to popular riders and conditioners who have underachieved thus far. They have a way of pocketing get-out-of-town purses unexpectedly … Hey, everyone, including Mr. Ed, needs a few clams in his chowder.


TODAY AT THE SPA: With no rain in the forecast, here’s hoping ON THE TURF racing returns and the number of scratches will be minimal. The $120,000 Lucky Coin turf sprint for 4-year-olds & up is Race No. 9 (5:39 p.m. ET/2:39 p.m. PT) feature.

BEST BET (Race No. 2, 1:41 p.m. ET/10:41 a.m. PT)

When one of Mr. Ed’s favorite young trainers (Al Stall Jr.) attracts the runaway top jockey (Luis Saez) to ride a debuting 2-year-old filly from Triple Crown winner (American Pharoah), he heads to the windows to bet #6 Old Pho (4-1 morning line). Wager: $20 to Win on 6. ($20)

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

Mr. Ed likes #2 Noble Conquest (20-1 morning line) to keep improving; #3 Austrian (5-2) to continue being consistent; and #8 Panster (7-2) to relish extra ground. Wager: $4 Exacta Box of 2,3 & 8. ($24)

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

HOF conditioner Todd Pletcher gets a horse ready off a lengthy layoff as well as anyone in the game. #10 Farmington Road (10-1 morning line) has a ton of back class and a string of solid works. He’s ready to score at a price. Wager: $10 Win & Place on 10. ($20)

EXTRA EXACTA (Race No. 8, 5:05 p.m. ET/2:05 p.m. PT)

Mr. Ed likes #1 Gold Panda (2-1 morning line) repeat effort for Charlie Baker barn; fresh #3 Prince of Pharoahs (5-1); & #4 Big Bobby (5-2) benefiting from works. Wager: $4 Exacta Box of 1,3 & 4. ($24)

LATE DAILY DOUBLE (Race Nos. 9-10, 5:39 p.m. ET/2:39 p.m. PT)

Race 9: 4,6,8

Race 10: 4,9

Wager: $4 Daily Double ($24)


LABOR DAY WEEKEND: There’s something for every horseplayer as the 40-day meet comes to a spectacular close over the holiday weekend. Highlighting $3 million in stakes action are the Grade 1, $2 million Jockey Club Gold Cup, being contested at Saratoga for the first time Saturday, and the Grade 1, $300,000 Hopeful for the youngsters on Monday.


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