07/07/2011 4:21PM

Belmont Park: Are we at Saratoga already?


 Testing, testing. 1,2,3. Check. Check.

 A wicked electrical storm complete with heavy rains, streaks of lightning and loud thunder swept through here as the eighth race was being run. Power was interrupted briefly, causing a disruption of the television signal and resulting in no replay of the race. Not sure if the photo finish camera was working, luckily none was needed to determine that The Zipster was a convincing winner over Scorch the Torch. Katskill Bay was third.

 The teletimer was knocked out and there will not be an official time for the six-furlong race. The first quarter was run in 21.27 seconds, but that's all we'll know. The Zipster, under Mike Luzzi, dueled on the lead with Head Heart Hoof, who backed up to finish fifth of six as the 6-5 favorite.

 Though the track was labeled fast on the board, it will be recorded as muddy on the official chart. In a case of unfortunate timing, the maintennance crew opened the track right before the storm hit, creating a mess of a track for the last two races. Rarely are both of the last two races scheduled for the dirt, but such was the case on this day. The track will be labeled sloppy for the nightcap.

 There is one live pick-six ticket with Sentimental Lass, who has never run over a wet track but has the breeding to handle it. The return would be $30k. Good luck!

 The storm was reminiscent of the types of storms that hit Saratoga. The sun was out by the time the horses came back to be unsaddled. Speaking of Saratoga, opening day two weeks from tomorrow.