08/12/2006 12:00AM

Litfin's Saratoga plays for Sunday, August 13


We struck gold with Knox!

As the saying goes, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while, and our little golden nugget was Knox, who scored for Gary Contessa and Richard Migliore off a distance turnback, a turf-to-dirt switch and a drop in class to $20,000 claiming - the bottom rung on the Saratoga ladder. As luck would have it, I managed to sniff out the $363.50 trifecta cold in the analysis after Cat's a Rockin came from the clouds to get second money from a tiring Rockhewn, but the way we've been going a $16 mutuel on a $50 win bet felt like winning a pick six. Well, almost.

Buoyed and revitalized, and now with a deficit that is far more reasonable, we try to get some momentum going through the weekend.

I like races 4 and 6 on Sunday's card, and sandwiched in between as race 5 is a turf route for 2-year-old maidens. These maiden races on the grass often produce good-priced winners, so maybe we can get lucky with a little pick 3 action in addition to the win bets.


Dixieland Squall, bred and co-owned by David Cassidy of Partridge Family fame, has been beaten a total of 147 lengths in eight starts.

I like her anyway, and hopefully some of those ugly running lines will help the price. Yes, she has lost eight times, and frequently by lopsided margins, but just two of those races were on fast dirt tracks with Lasix - her final start as a 2-year-old chasing Oprah Winney, who has developed into a multiple stakes winner; and her last start at Belmont, which was her third start back from a layoff. She chased a comparatively fast pace most recently, and in this easier matchup she can't help but be on or near the early lead.

If she wins, I'll go down to the winners' circle and join Cassidy in a reprise of "I Think I Love You."

The bet: $20 to win on Dixieland Squall. Also, let's try a $1 pick three part-wheel, Dixieland Squall with ALL with Massoud. (We'll tally the total on that after late scratches)


Massoud always runs well on firm turf, particularly firm turf at Saratoga. He reaffirmed his affinity for the local courses with a galloping win against $35,000 stock on opening day, and he has plenty of back class to handle the one-level raise to $50,000.

The bet: $20 to win on Massoud.

Total wagers previous day: $50
Total return previous day: $400
Total win/loss previous day: plus $350

Total wagers for meet: $722
Total return for meet: $511
Total win/loss for meet: minus $211