Mr. Ed’s Saratoga Best Bets for Saturday, August 19; news & notes


Saratoga Best Bets, news and notes

SPA NEWS & NOTES: Cap’s off to long-time handicapper and host of Today at the Races Andy Serling for picking winners in eight of 10 races on Thursday. His other two choices ran second … Top trainer Chad Brown has 12 horses entered in seven of 12 races today … Big crowd yesterday despite OFF the turf resulting in 39 scratches and a rather dull day of racing, but to quote my mentor, “A bad day at the track, beats a good day anywhere else.” … Chad Brown, with a win Friday, leads trainers with 25 wins, while Irad Ortiz Jr., who was shut out, still remains atop the rider face with 38 trips to the Winner’s Circle.


TRAINERS TO WATCH: Rick Dutrow (busy barn), Danny Gargan (sleeper), Al Stall Jr. (underestimated), Steve Asmussen (all-time leader), Rudy Rodriguez (on a roll) and George Weaver (on top of his game)

JOCKEYS TO RIDE: Tyler Gaffalione (hitting his stride), Katie Davis (a real comer), Manny Franco (dependable), Jaime Torres (star apprentice) and Flavien Prat (among the best).

TRACKING MR. ED: I made progress toward my goal of profitability by hitting the  Daily Double for $30 and cashing a win ticket for $37.50. With only $98 in action (after scratches) my loss was a respectable $30.50 … For the meet., Mr. Ed has cashed tickets for $665 on plays of 1,279.00 for a net loss of $614.

TODAY AT THE SPA: Race 9 (3:45 p.m. ET/2:45 p.m. PT), the G1 $600K Alabama Stakes for three-year-old fillies at a mile-and-a-quarter highlights the 11-race card. First race post is 1:10 p.m. ET/10:10 p.m. PT. Here are my selections:

Races 1 & 2 (1:10 p.m. ET/10:10 a.m. PT)


Race 1: #1 RISK IT (4-1 morning line) & #7 SPECIAL ELEMENT (7-2)

Race 2: #5 DANCING GROOM (6-1), # 7 WALLEY WORLD (7-2) & #13 FORTUNE SELLER (7-2). Wager: $4 Daily Double ($24)

Race No. 4 (2:46 p.m. ET/11:46 a.m. PT)

Mr. Ed likes #10 NO MORE TALK (4-1 morning line). A veteran of 87 races, the nine-year-old gelding cuts back a furlong for trainer Wayne Potts, who’s 24% off the claim. Previous best speed figure 83 beats soft field. Top rider Irad Ortiz retains the mount. Nothing more to say. Wager: $10 Win & Place. ($20)

Race No. 5 (3:18 p.m. ET/12:18 p.m. PT)

I like four: #1 LAFITTE’S FLEET & 1A DAUFUSKIE ISLAND (7-5 morning line); #3 ABADIN (3-1), and #8 DURANTE (3-1). Wager: $5 Exacta box ($30)

Race No. 6 (3:52 p.m. ET/12:52 p.m. PT)

Mr. Ed is betting on #3 BERNING HONOR (7-2 morning line) to win the maiden claimer for Dominick Schettino’s barn. Flavien Prat climbs aboard for the turf route. Wager: $5 Win & Place. ($10)

Race No. 7 (4:26 p.m. ET/1:26 p.m. PT)

I like #2 ASPRAY (7-2 morning line). Chad Brown and Flavien Prat team up in G2 $200K Lake Placid Stakes at a mile and 1/16th. Strong works and turn back can only help the three-year-old daughter of super sire Quality Road. Hoping the race stays on grass. Wager: $5 to Win & Place. ($10)

Race No. 8 (5:02 p.m. ET/2:02 p.m. PT)

Mr. Ed’s PRICE PICK OF THE DAY is #5 ROYAL TAKE CHARGE (10-1 morning line) for trainer Al Stall Jr. I’m willing to forgive a weak effort in the previous race at Delaware Park. The other four lifetime starts indicate the filly has what it takes to beat this crew. Optional Claimer at a mile on dirt. Young Reylu Gutierrez retains the mount. Wager: $5 Win, Place & Show. ($15)

Race No. 9 (5:45 p.m. ET/2:45 p.m. PT)

Mr. Ed’s PLAY OF THE DAY is a $5 three-way Exacta box of #2 WET PAINT (2-1 morning line), #3 JULIA SHINING (5-1) and #8 RANDOMIZED (9-2) in the G1 $600K Alabama Stakes for three–year–old fillies at a mile and a quarter. ($30)

Race No. 10 (6:19 p.m. ET/3:19 p.m. PT)

Mr. Ed shoots for the moon with #1 DUKE OF HAZZARD (8-1 morning line) in the finale. Comeback trainer Dick Dutrow stretches the seven-year-old gelding out to a mile on the turf.  Pitch last race. Guy’s won nearly $6K. The innermost post won’t hurt. Gate master Kendrick Carmouche rides for the first time. Wager: $10 Win & Place. ($20)


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