Another good betting day for Team McLean.  We cashed tickets in six of the nine races, with three dead cold winners — including our “Best Bet of the Day,” in the 7th.

Our biggest “hit” came in the 6th, though, when we hit the winner and keyed the exacta — which returned $52.25 for $1 dollar.  

We hit the exacta in the 3rd, which cashed for $17.60 for $1; we hit it again in the 7th, for a return of $10.90 for $1; and we hit the exacta in the 8th, which cashed for $21.30 for $1.

Not a bad day.

See you guys on Wednesday…

Monday’s are not nearly as bad when you wake up and know that Saratoga is running.  Live. Good horses. Great races. Better handicapping.  So, here we go, on another beautiful, sunny, great Monday:

1st: 1-4-5-6-3…Champagne Ruby (1) gets the call for trainer Danny Gargan, who is having a terrific meet and good year.  Comes off a galloping 63/4-length victory in open company here in her last and see no reason why she can’t wheel right back.  Maybe the slop moved her up in the last, and this track — honestly — could use a little more moisture. Everything Magic (4) drops way down the class order for a good trainer and ships in from the Jersey shore.  Will be good odds. Hot Yankee (5) spit the bit early in her last against the preferred choice.  I don’t think she liked the off going at all, and if she catches a dry track she may have a better shot in this spot.  I bet the 1 to win/place and then box the 1-4-5 in one exacta and take a small saver exacta with the 1-4-5 over (only) the 6-3.

2nd: 5-2-7-4-1…Hollywood Royal (5) gets the tack in the afternoon for the first time, but goes for a barn that can gear up off works alone.  Well bred and cost $250,000 as a yearling. Working very nicely for debut. Really like Vigor (2) in this spot.  Bill Mott’s horses usually take a race or two to tighten up and gear down and this one looks like she should improve off the May race, even though she has been off since. Has been training well for this return.  With her kind of speed, she should use the rail (which has been death for these types of races). Serious I Candy (7) gets the blinkers on and worked lights out here on Aug. 7.  If she can show that can of form in the afternoon, she may be tough at a price.  I bet the 5 to win/place and then box the 5-2-7.  Again, I take a small exacta wheel of the 5-2-7 over the 4-1.

3rd: 1-5-6-2-3-7…Happy Farm (1) gets my nod in this one, coming off a 4-length victory in a race downstate.  Has won the last two, and looks to be training very well for this one.  Trainer has done very well with 9 starters this meet, logging 2 wins and a second. Baby Bear’s Soup (5) comes off a win at Belmont and moves up in class for a trainer that hunts wins like it’s nobody’s business. Watch out. I really like Junket (6), but he prefers to run second and third more than win. If he can figure out how to run past them at the end, he can easily win.  I bet the 1 to win/place and then box the 1-5-6 in one exacta.  I take the 1-5-6 over the 2-3-7 in a small saver.

4th: 7-6-1-8-2…My top pick in here, Paris Cruise, was scratched, which means (I think) that trainer Wesley Ward really loves his Pocket Book (7). Then, again, don’t we all? John Velazquez dumps regular job with Todd Pletcher to get on board this one, too. Signs point to this one.  But I wouldn’t dismiss Gidu (6), even though Johnny V jumps ship.  This is a first timer on the grass, which is not Pletcher’s “A Game,” but this son of Frankel has been training right along for the debut. May want more ground, but will be fun to watch. Snapper Sinclair (1) will improve off his last effort and gets the grass for the first time. Watch out for this one. I bet the 7 to win/place and then key over/under all the other numbers listed.  Could be a bomb underneath.

5th: 8-2-1…My top pick in this one, She’s Stunning, was scratched, too. I really like her dropping into this classification. But she’s a no go, and I turn to my next three choices. Scatnap (8) has had only one race this year, and she tired in that one.  But she has been working steadily for her return and gets the ship up here for a solid barn operation (3 thirds in 4 tries this meet). She should get into a good stalking position from the outside post and have a run, if fit. Millie (2) nearly pulled off the win in her last out and drops another notch.  Will be running at the end here. Miss Tutu (1) should benefit from the drop and a return to the main track.  Is plenty fit enough for this distance and could surprise at a price.  I bet the 8 to win/place and then box the top 3 choices. I go light here.

6th: 5-4-10-7-9…Any Questions (5) gets my top slot in this spot. Previously trained by Bill Mott, this colt now starts for the first time with a trainer that does very well (.26 win %) with newbies. Doesn’t need to improve much to be a contender in this one, and keeps the same rider. This one cost $300,000 a year ago at OBS and now goes for $40,000. Watch out.  Win With Pride (4) was nominated to the Triple Crown series by his connections and drops into the claiming ranks for the first time.  This one cost $450,000 as a yearling.  Still a colt, too. A claim possibility here and a win threat, too. I really like New Jersey John (10), as well.  He make a terrific late run in his last effort on the grass and should come right back with a similar try for a top trainer. I bet the 5-4 to win/place and then box the 5-4-10 in one exacta.  I key the top three over the other two in one exacta, as well.

7th: 3-2-4-5-6…I go with Heavenly Score (3) in this spot. Was pinched inside throughout the last one in a stakes here.  Finds easier spot today and if she can wiggle out and have a cleaner run, then she will be tough in this spot. My Best Bet of the Day. Anathema (2) has hit the board in 9 of her last 10 starts.  Only one win in that grouping, but she tries every time, and maybe the grass will help her today. I like her at a price. Battlement (4) will be a short price after her huge run on June 18 at Belmont, coming from the very back of the pack to get nipped by a neck.  Gets a nice rider change in here. Have to beat this one, but timing has to be perfect in this sprint. No room for error coming from that far back. Bigkat and Camille (5) is a horse I have been watching and playing all spring.  Ran a real good one last out, and just missed at a price.  May sneak into contention at another big price today. I bet the 3 to win/place and then key over/under all the rest.

8th: 1-4-2-6…The Saratoga Dew Stakes for NY-breds…Jc’s Shooting Star (1) is my top choice. This mare is a stalker who does hit the board quite often with 17 ITM finishes out of 27 career starts.  Has only 3 wins to date, but may close with a purpose in this one.  The winner of the last has gotten really good since switching barns to Ian Wilkes, and had a perfect rail trip in the slop.  This one’s 3rd is better than it looks on paper. Literata (4) is likely to be the PT favorite, coming off an easy 4-length victory at Finger Lakes.  I hate betting these types, though. Jcs American Dream (2) ships in from Monmouth Park, where she was a beaten favorite.  Has been running a lot of open company races and should like the return to state breds. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the 1-4-2 in one exacta and the 1-4-6 in another.

9th: 1-3-10-8-5…Musical America (1) is my top choice and almost a “Bet of the Day” candidate. Goes for a sneaky good trainer and gets a class drop of significance. Unexplained (3) is another Gargan pupil and if you toss out the last one, he has been right there knocking on the door. Snag (10), for trainer Todd Pletcher, was a beaten favorite in his last out and does have a closing kick.  Needs an absolute clean trip, though, to get on top here. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then key over/under all the rest.

Good luck &

All the Best/Gene