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Thoughts, news and notes from the sports staff of The Saratogian newspaper, located in historic Saratoga Springs, New York. The gang in the corner office on Lake Avenue give you the post-game wrap-ups, news and notes from the games we cover and opinions about the sports we read about every day.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stathead Matt's Picks for 7/24/ 2010

Opening day gave us rain and, as so often happens on rainy days, quite a few upsets. Today the forecast calls for storms early, but the track should be hot and sunny come race time.
Also, I feel like I was holding out on you yesterday. I rank each horse in each race, yet I only gave you my top four. Many races were littered with scratches, and you may have been left without a listed replacement. In the 5th race, I correctly picked the top three finishers in order, but when my 4th horse, Good to Be Me, scratched, you didn't have the opportunity to plug in Ponte Vecchio, who would have filled out your superfecta. Near miss of the day: My 3rd race picks would also have gotten landed a superfecta if they were boxed. That payout came to a cool $4150. (Don't fret, I didn't make that bet either.)
Today will be different. You get them all*. The whole shebang. If one horse has scratched, just move the remaining horses up one spot. The list will be longer, but you'll thank me later. (* getting them all does not include every horse in each maiden race. My ranking system for horses who have little history is more diluted, but I promise at least my top five for the maidens.)

Race 1
1) Winning Ticket
2) Tom Kitten
3) Abilio
4) Mineswept
5) Mr. Vantastic
6) John Wyatt
7) Leatherhead
8) Wishingonadream
9) Mr. Hooker
10) Franklin Delano
11) Thunder Chief

Race 2*
1) D'Sauvage
2) Never Right Joey
3) Bristol Harbour
4) Tall Tale Teller
5) Cousin Frankie

Race 3*
1) Chairman Now
2) Keep Me Informed
3) El Primero
4) Rock America
5) Baatesh

Race 4
1) Missinglisalewis
2) Ad Infinitum
3) Versailles Road
4) Northern Giant
5) Slevin
6) Xodo
7) Cherokee Speed
8) Good Prospect
9) Compliance Officer
10) Bull Hole
11) Strong Commitment
12) Thunder Perfect
13) Thomas Got Even
14) Piazza Di Spagna
15) Rein King
16) Romans Reward

Race 5*
1) Moonwalk Beauty
2) Lindsay's Point
3) Fastish
4) Katlyn Ann
5) Turned to Gold

Race 6
1) Spa City Fever
2) Come Undone
3) Duke of Naples
4) Saginaw
5) Good Karma
6) Dixie Night Out
7) Hammock
8) Hangingbyathread
9) Eire's Run
10) Midnight Billy
11) Alltiffedoff
12) Too Amenable
13) Stormy Success
14) Prince Dubai

Race 7*
1) Wine Police
2) Biddy
3) Goodtimehadbyall
4) Joe Vann
5) Santiva

Race 8
1) Ash Zee
2) Zonga Zing
3) Patience Drive
4) Happy Week
5) Persuading
6) Lady Etienne
7) Cinco De Mayo Mio
8) Spina
9) How Far to Heaven

Race 9
1) Devil May Care
2) Biofuel
3) Connie and Michael
4) Seeking the Title
5) Acting Happy
6) Bahama Bound
7) Lisa's Booby Trap
8) Absinthe Minded

Race 10* (This race is a maiden, but I have extra data on many of the horses participating.)
1) Ae Pit
2) De Price
3) Grand Strategy
4) Equestrio
5) Craven Caden
6) Prospective Union
7) Paperless
8) Deadly Catch
9) Scary Guy

Overall win% this season: 2-10, (20%)

Lock of the Day: 0-1 (0%) - Devil May Care, Race 9: This horse looks like everyone's lock since it opened at 6-5 odds. Devil May Care dominates the rankings though, grabbing 72 of his race's 80 maximum points, while his closest competitor, Biofuel, has 56. This race may not pay well, but you can feel good about the win.

Long Shot of the Day: 0-1 (0%)- Lisa's Booby Trap, LBT hasn't lost a race in its career. 3 for 3. What are the morning line odds for a horse that has never lost a race? 30-1!!! I understand that LBT has not raced against horses of this caliber, but it has shown that it has an eye for the finish line, and it will be hard to bet against LBT when the payoff is so good.

Name of the Day: Absinthe Minded, Lisa's Booby Trap may have a name that will make the schoolboy in you giggle, but it isn't even the best name in the 9th. That honor goes to Absinthe Minded, which is clever enough to get a small bet from me on name credibility alone, even though I have it ranked dead last in the GI Stakes race. Honorable Mention: Chariman Now, Race 3.

Best of luck and enjoy the races.


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