Thursday, August 23, 2012

Showdown at the Spa: Day 31

We have given our two TDN crack handicappers, Brian DiDonato and Steve Sherack, a mythical $1000 bankroll and told them they can bet no more than 5% of that on any given day at Saratoga on a straight win bet. The winner, at the end of the meet, gets $100 in a TVG betting account, along with bragging rights until next July.

DiDonato: Thursday - Kamchatka was bet down to an underlaid 7-2 and got bounced around a bit in the lane before settling for fourth. To top it all off, Sherack found another winner in Central Banker. My only hope at this point may be if Bernanke announces QE3 for my bankroll.

Friday - Race 9 - GI Ballerina S. - #2 All Due Respect (20-1)
   Ready for the craziest DRF Formulator stat you've ever seen? Over the last five years, trainer Todd Pletcher is two-for-31 with a $0.19 ROI with new acquisitions in graded stakes. That's enough for me to play against heavy favorite Turbulent Descent, who I've always thought was a bit dressed up (going to assume It's Tricky will scratch as expected). Unlike the GII Honorable Miss H. that featured one of the hottest paces you'll see here three weeks ago, there's very little speed in the Ballerina. Turnback All Due Respect figures to be on the lead, and while her 2012 form isn't really up to par with these, she has races further back that fit well. Conditioner Rick Dutrow scores at a 31% clip with a $2.53 ROI turning back and going turf to dirt, and All Due Respect could add to those solid numbers if she gets clear here. Play: $30 Win. Alternate 1: Race 2 - $15 Win on #8 Pure Treasure. Bankroll: $720 - Record: 27-2-4-4.

Sherack: Thursday - Nice tally by Central Banker ($7.80) to get us back in the win column and open up some more daylight on DiDonato as we hit the homestretch. My Asmussen firster came running late at 12-1 in that one too, coming within a neck of completing the exacta. Time to start rolling again.

Friday - Race 7 - Clm 20000N2L, 3yo/up, f/m, 1 1/16mT - #3 Frivolous Alex (6-1)
   Frivolous Alex looks like the right one here at a very generous morning-line quote of 6-1. She’ll certainly appreciate this drop to $20k non-winners of two lifetime after graduating in wire-to-wire fashion in a $40k tagger at Monmouth July 15 and finishing a respectable fifth after leading in the stretch in a $35k beaten claiming event over this course Aug. 2. The bay has some decent early foot, gets a great speed rider in Joel Rosario, and hails from the very dangerous George Weaver barn, which has been rolling throughout the entire meeting. Play: $25 Win (Turf Only). Alternate 1: Race 3 - $14 Win on #3 Perfect Trippi. Bankroll: $1,196.80 - Record: 30-7-4-4.

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