Saturday, August 11, 2012

Showdown at the Spa: Day 21

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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: Saturday - All scratched again yesterday, but I guess I was asking for it by selecting turfers... Hoping I can let Sherack punch himself out a little bit before I make my big move.

Today - Race 6 - Msw, f, 2yo, 6f - #3 Distortion (8-1)
   Distortion had about as nightmarish a debut (video) as a horse can have, but might actually have some talent if she can work out the mental part. Bet to 6-1 when unveiled in Kauai Katie's opening day romp, the $300,000 KEESEP yearling was off extremely slow and lagged at the back of the pack early. She bolted at the head of the lane, completely going out of the video picture and probably spotting the rest of the field what? 20 lengths? It's hard to really quantify that sort of trouble but, somehow, she got going again and even passed one rival to be beaten only 25 3/4 lengths by the winner. The daughter of Misty Rosette (Stormin Fever), two-for-two with a stakes win as a juvenile before adding a Grade III win and GI Test S. placing at three, now gets blinkers, which she desperately needs. Zito is 4-for-12 with a $6.76 ROI over the past year with maidens adding blinkers for the first time (stat courtesy DRF Formulator) and he could pad those stats if Distortion has learned form her debut. Play: $20 Win. Alternate 1: Race 7 - $20 Win on #3 Atlantic Dream (turf only). Alternate 2: Race 11 - $20 Win on #5 Dan the Tin Man. Bankroll: $951 - Record: 17-2-2-3.

Sherack: Saturday - Corporate Jungle was a clear-cut second-best to the very impressive Wise Dan in the Fourstardave...Convinced that a former president’s eyes will start blinking from finally seeing daylight once DiDonato takes some money out of his wallet to make a wager.

Today - Race 11 - GII Saratoga Special S., 2yo, 6 1/2f - #5 Dan the Tin Man (8-1)
   Canadian invader Dan the Tin Man should be taken very seriously here. Thought highly enough of to debut in the Victoria S. June 16, the dark bay showed some early interest before tiring down the lane to finish a well-beaten fourth. Drawn on the rail for the second straight time while adding blinkers in a 5 1/2-furlong Woodbine maiden special weight July 8, Dan the Tin Man raced in tight quarters early, took over when ready, and dropped the hammer in the stretch to score by five impressive lengths, good for a very respectable 77 Beyer. Trainer Ricky Griffith is quickly becoming one of the best young trainers in the game with his 2-year-olds, and Dan the Tin Man can be any kind. If his five-furlong move in :59 4/5 over the Woodbine training track in late July is any indication, the Debmar Stables colorbearer should handle dirt just fine. Javier signed on to ride is certainly an added plus. Play: $30 Win. Alternate 1: Race 4 - $14 Win on #9 Slamm’n Lou. Alternate 2: Race 2 - $14 Win (Turf Only) on #2 Belongs to Dixie. Bankroll: $1,340.80 - Record: 20-6-4-1

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