08/03/2006 11:00PM

Litfin's Saratoga plays for Saturday, August 5



We settled for a second and a third with Friday's plays. The runner-up finish by Hunter's Tale at 5-1 was especially frustrating, because he raced wide from post 6, and had been drawn on the rail when the race was originally scheduled to go on Wednesday. Of course, that was the day when a heat index of 107 forced the cancellation of a full card for the first time in 138 years at Saratoga.

Just one more way to lose a race, I guess.

On to Whitney Day.


Redefined was claimed at Belmont in June, and returns off a layoff on Saratoga's inner turf course, where he posted his lifetime Beyer top last summer. He is a bit erratic, but is versatile in terms of where he can be placed in the running. He is 6-1 on the morning line, and we should get some value here because the favorite is Neuf de Carreau, a 6-year-old gelding poorly drawn in post 8 who seems to have a character flaw: he is 2-2-8 from 25 lifetime starts, including losses all three times he was head and head for the lead at the stretch call this year.

The bet: $25 to win on Redefined

RACE 9 & 10

I think Flower Alley will beat Invasor in the Whitney. Flower Alley returned from a designed layoff with a good prep to win the Salvator Mile in the slop at Monmouth, and the horse he beat, Park Avenue Ball, returned to win a minor stake with a 110 Beyer figure.

Flower Alley first broke through to stardom winning the Jim Dandy and Travers, and is regarded as the leader of the older handicap division until someone proves otherwise.

Invasor comes off wins in the Pimlico Special and Suburban, but the only Grade 1 winner in those fields was Wilko, the 2004 Breeders' Cup Juvenile shocker who is totally off form recently.

In race 10, Yankee Thunder stretches out after a sharp debut win in a turf sprint at Belmont. He ran the last eighth of a mile in 11.92 seconds, an encouraging sign, and his pedigree also indicates the ability to get the distance.

The bet: $25 late daily double: Flower Alley - Yankee Thunder

Total wagers previous day: $50
Total return previous day: $0
Total win/loss previous day: minus $50

Total wagers for meet: $400
Total return for meet: $111
Total win/loss for meet: minus $289