08/29/2007 2:18PM



J Be K., a Zayat/Baffert first-time starter by Silver Deputy, set a new Saratoga track record of 1:03.13 for 5 1/2 furlongs winning his debut in Wednesday's second race.

It was the second time the mark has been lowered at the meet. On Aug. 16, the Ronny Werner-trained filly Secret Gypsy ran the distance in 1:03.26 winning her debut, breaking Mayakovsky's 2001 mark of 1:03.32. The distance is rarely used except for 2-year-old maiden races. Saratoga could probably hand a free track record to someone if it carded a sprint stakes for older horses at 5.5f.

J Be K. was Baffert's third juvenile winner here since pulling his top 2-year-olds out of Del Mar because of his dislike of the Polytrack surface, which he believes does not showcase fast 2-year-olds to best advantage. J Be K., purchased for $250k at a February 2-year-old-in-training sale, broke straight to lead from the outside post in a field of nine and rattled off fractions of 21.87 and 44.88 en route to a 7 1/2-length victory over third-time starters Mr. Shortcakes (Pletcher) and Saratoga Seven (Lukas.)

If those two ran close to their most recent efforts (Beyers of 73 and 69 respectively) then J Be K. probably ran a Beyer in the mid-90's, but we'll have to see how the day's three other dirt sprints in races 5, 7 and 9 come up before assessing just how quick the track is today.

J Be K. was kept pretty quiet, paying $9 as the tepid favorite in a field of nine where most of the other firsters were dead on the board and did very little running. The one who took a late shot in the mutuels was Zito trainee Fierce Wind, 6-1 with two minutes to post but 3.65-1 at the close of betting. He ran fourth, beaten 13 lengths.

Teresa More than 1 year ago
Hmmm...maybe it's just post-race handicapping, but wouldn't be so sure about Baffert and DM, given these recent comments, published in the NY Daily News: "'It was nice to come back here,’ Baffert said. ‘You guys have some serious fans here. Your horses are appreciated here. At Del Mar everybody's just getting drunk and going to the beach.’” Full article: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more_sports/2007/08/17/2007-08-17_baffert_will_spend_more_time_at_spa-2.html.
Dick Wright More than 1 year ago
I doubt that Baffert or any other trainer or owner is overly concerned about times as long as their horses are winning or at least performing to their potential. The sythetic surface at Del Mar is not the same as some of the others such as the one at Hollywood and many horses who have shown consistently good form on dirt (i.e. Bordonero) have struggled over this surface. Times have been agonizingly slow.
Can See'em all More than 1 year ago
Is it that Baffert doeesn't think his horses will run well on Poly, or that he's simply concerned with the final times?
TodoSeSabeTodoMeCuentan More than 1 year ago
For the record, Baffert didn't really decide to move his horses from Del Mar to Saratoga. It was his owner, A. Zayat, who, after a heated argument with DM president Joe Harper retaliated by shipping all his horses out of DM. The big fight started when Harper refused to promise Zayat that the Polytrack would be watered in the afternoons. I dare to say that Baffert would still have all those Zayat colts and fillies in DM if it was entirely up to him.
Tony More than 1 year ago
Mr Baffert should start looking @ homes in upstate NY . so cal is going to be a thing of the past for him, just like it is for Garrett Gomez
Bruce Friday More than 1 year ago
Steve: The Pick Six ticket examples you provided were helpful in understanding how you construct an 'efficient', i.e. non caveman, multi-race ticket. Any chance you could provide us with an example of one of your multihorse, i.e superfecta, tickets ? Thanks.
bochalls More than 1 year ago
Well, Steve, my late Sar swoon took a turn for the better with a couple lucky ones today (or can one still call it luck when one blindly plays G Weaver and he keeps sendin 'em in!?) Fortunate again in the last by virtually wheeling Clement top & bottom, then watching in horror as she did her best to get scratched at the gate. Saw the very sharp works on Darjeeling and used her on top with many others. Thanks again...we'll miss ya after Monday.