Mr. Ed’s Saratoga on (about) $100 a Day (8-20)

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THURSDAY RECAP: Water, water everywhere. How wet was it at Saratoga? Wet enough to wash out Mr. Ed’s Pick 4 ticket. Wet enough to scratch 26 horses, most in races taken off the turf. How wet was it? Fish were seen swimming on the Oklahoma training track — and sealing the main track took on a whole new meaning … High & dry? Only Mr. Ed, who is lost in the handicapping desert during his longest drought of the 26-day-old meet … Back on track, three riders — Luis Saez, Johnny Velazquez and Joel Rosario — had two winners each … Leading trainer Michael Maker had a score, raising his win total to 22 … Chalk prevailed on the sloppy surface, resulting in an average Win ticket paying just $6.60 … The $1 Pick 6 returned $2,136.

IRAD INDEX: After being blanked on his first five mounts Thursday, Irad Ortiz Jr. booted home #4 Marvelous Maude ($5) in the Race 10 finale … For the day, his six Win tickets cost $12 and paid $5, for a net loss of $7. His two-day bottom line: -$12.30. He is scheduled to have nine mounts on Friday’s 10-race card (before scratches). Giddy up, Irad.

 

FRIDAY AT THE SPA: The $120,000 Skidmore Stakes for 2-year-olds at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf headlines the 10-race card … With both dirt and turf courses saturated by days of rain, there could be significant surface changes after scratches are announced around 11 a.m. ET … Today’s forecast: Cloudy with high in the mid-70s … Post time for Race 1 is 1:05 p.m ET/10:05 a.m. PT.

DAILY DOUBLE (Races Nos. 1-2, 1:05 p.m. ET, 10:05 a.m. PT)

Race 1: 1,5

Race 2: 3,4,6

Wager: $2 Daily Double. ($12)

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

In search of a winner, Mr. Ed will take two for the price of one. Either #1 Abdan & #1A Recidivist (both 7-5 morning line) appears good enough to handle these cheap claimers. With Bros. Ortiz on board, favoritism justified. Wager: $30 to Win on 1 & 1A. ($30)

PRICE PLAY (Race No. 6, 3:55 p.m. ET, 12:55 p.m. PT)

Meet leading conditioner Michael Maker ships #9 Enjoyitwhilewecan (8-1 morning line) in for quality claimer/allowance on turf for 1 3/16 miles. Mare will enjoy catching speeders in stretch. Tyler Gaffalione returns to ride. Wager $10 to Win & Place on 9. ($20)

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

Race 7: 1,4,6

Race 8: 5,9,10

Race 9: 3,6,9

Race 10: 3,4,9,10 ($54)

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

Mr. Ed looks for cash at windows by linking #5 Repo Rocks (7-2 morning line) with Irad Ortiz Jr. to #9 Critical Threat (8-1), gelding gets Lasix, and #10 Royal Realm (5-1), getting blinkers. Wager: $2 Exacta Box of 5,9 & 10. ($12)

TOTAL WAGERS: $128

THIS & THAT: Mr. Ed cast his vote for handicapper Jonathon Kinchen as TV’s top racing personality in America’s Best Racing poll … TVG’s Sgt. Nick Hines is leading … One of the Bros. Ortiz has won the Saratoga riding title each of the last six years … The Grade 1, $1 million Pacific Classic for 3-year-olds is Saturday at Del Mar, where there will be a $0.20 Rainbow Pick 6 carryover of $1.6 million with a mandatory payout.

SATURDAY — Grade 1, $600,000 ALABAMA STAKES PREVIEW

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

Seven 3-year-old fillies entered to go classic distance of 1 1/4 miles, six of whom are graded-stakes winners, including Maracuja and Malathaat who finished 1-2 in Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at the Spa earlier in the meet. Here is the field in post position order:

#1 Crazy Beautiful (6-1) – Unproven against elite field going classic distance. Jose Ortiz rides for Kenny McPeak.

#2 Will’s Secret (15-1) – Winner at Oaklawn, doubtful at Saratoga. Veteran John Court rides for Dallas Stewart.

#3 Clairiere (6-1) – Should be in mix early, but questionable at 1 1/4 miles. Irad Ortiz Jr. rides for Steve Asmussen.

#4 Maracuja (7-2) – Scored big upset in Coaching Club American Oaks at 14-1. Look for her in stretch. Ricardo Santana aboard for red-hot Rob Atras.

#5 Played Hard (15-1) – She’s won back-to-back, but not against quality field. In too deep here. Leading jockey Luis Saez rides for solid Phil Bauer.

#6 Malathaat (1-1) – Deserving chalk gets better draw than Coaching Club American Oaks. If she can avoid trouble, she’ll be tough. Johnny Velazquez gets mount for Todd Pletcher.

#7 Army Wife (6-1) – Breeding says she’ll handle distance. Pair of Spa breezes indicates she’s ready for maximum effort. Capable Tyler Gaffalione takes reins for meet-leading trainer Michael Maker.

Mr. Ed’s predicted outcome: 7 (Price Play)-6-3.

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