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Saturday, September 2, 2000
Sunday picks

By Bill Finley
Special to ESPN.com

The Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap
9th Del Mar
Distance: One Mile
Purse: $250,000
For: 3-year-olds and upward
Purse: $250,000
Grade II

After showing a lot of ability in 1999 as a 3-year-old, Prime Timber has been a bit of a disappointment this year, but it looks like he's rounding back into form. After finishing out of the money in his first two starts this year, he ran second behind Skimming in the San Diego Handicap and Skimming came back to win the Pacific Classic. There's a ton of early speed in this race, which should set the race up well for him. El Corredor must stretch out from six furlongs to a mile, which isn't always easy. The son of Mr. Greeley has looked good sprinting for Bob Baffert and will be tough if he can handle the extra distance. National Saint also ran into Skimming in his last. Might stalk a fast pace.

Picks Summary: 1. Prime Timber  2. El Corredor  3. National Saint


Niagara Breeders' Cup Handicap
8th Woodbine
Distance: 1 1/2 miles on the turf
Purse: $300,000
For: 3-year-olds and upward
Grade II

Yankee Dollar had all sorts of problems in his last start, breaking flat-footed to fall well behind a very slow early pace Trained by Joe Orseno, he was caught very wide on the far turn and still closed for second. He looks like a nice, improving horse for a good barn. Quiet Resolve is 3-for-4 this year and is no doubt the horse to beat. Has proven he can go this far and is in good form. Incitatus, the pride of Barbados, beat Quiet Resolve two back and then ran into better in the Bowling Green. Would like a soft course.

Picks Summary: 1. Yankee Dollar  2. Quiet Resolve  3. Incitatus


The Saranac Handicap
9th Saratoga
Distance: 1 3/16ths on the turf
Purse: $100,000
For: 3-year-olds
Grade III

Rob's Spirit is a typical Mott-Bailey grass horse. He's good, will be a very short price and looks nearly unbeatable. After running second in the Hill Prince, he romped over a soft course in the Lexington. Typical of most Mott horses, he's getting better with experience and should handle this assignment. Aldo has a chance to upset at a square price. Beware, though, he doesn't like a soft turf course and they're calling for rain. Aldo might be able to run back to a big effort on June 1, when he won a $50,000 allowance by a nose. Since then has been on soft turf and the mud. Another knock is that he's from a cold barn. Three Wonders looks tough for a quiet Elliott Walden barn. He's won his last two on the grass and may be getting better.

Picks Summary: 1. Rob's Spirit  2. Aldo  3. Three Wonders