08/30/2007 1:36AM

Carryover From Hell


I pass up a Saratoga carryover about as often as the greyhounds pass up a t-bone steak, but I swear by all that is holy that you won't have to fight me for the $57k in the kitty for Thursday after no one ran the table on Wednesday's card.

We knew going in that it was going to be daunting if it carried Wednesday, due to the once-a-meet inclusion of a steeplechase in the Thursday sequence, but that's not the half of it. Just look at this lineup:

Race 4: Maidens, 2-year-old fillies, 5 1/2 furlongs.
Race 5: Maidens, 2-year-old fillies, 5 1/2 furlongs. Statebreds.
Race 6: Maidens, 2-year-old fillies, 5 1/2 furlongs.
Race 7: $60k 3yo turf claimers.
Race 8: Steeplechase.
Race 9: Maidens, 2-year-old fillies, 5 1/2 furlongs. Statebreds. On turf.

Anyone remember a NYRA pick-six sequence with four 2-year-old filly maiden races, or a NYRA card with five (yup, race 2 is also for the young ladies) 2-year-old maiden filly races? Me neither.

As for the rest of Wednesday's highlights:

*Race 2: J Be K.'s track-record debut discussed earlier earned a Beyer of 98, which will put it on the leaderboard as the fourth best figure recorded by a 2-year-old colt in North America so far this year (behind two by Hopeful favorite Ready's Image and one by Gold Coyote.)

Race 6: Todd Pletcher snapped a 1-for-42 streak and got his 11th winner at the meeting when Prom Party, a half-sister to Volponi, ran down favored Going Day to win by a neck. He's now in a three-way tie for second in the trainer standings with Contessa and Dutrow, eight behind Mott.

Race 8: Criminologist, a 4-year-old Janney/Phipps/McGaughey filly by Maria's Mon, got her first stakes victory with an authoritative 3 1/4-length victory over stakes-winners Amansara and Mo Cuishle in the $80k Perfect Sting for older grass fillies. Criminologist shattered Amarettitorun's 1997 course record of 1:46.22, skipping 9 furlongs on the parched inner turf course in 1:45.61. On Saturday, Shakis set a course record for the same distance on the Mellon course when he was timed in 1:45.33.

Race 9: I actually liked Darjeeling (blinkers on, two big works, positive trainer change) in the finale but was far too clever to bet her to win at $33.60, instead using her in pick-fours that died with Amansara and trifectas that excluded the runner-up. Yes, I know: I'm an idiot. But I'm still not playing Thursday's carryover.

El Angelo More than 1 year ago
Groovy: I thought the same thing as you; in addition to the BC, obviously, the real big chance is the increase in importance in the Whitney on the racing calendar, something that never used to be case. (I wonder if the fact that Saratoga was 2 weeks shorter was a factor.) I feel like that epic Will's Way-Formal Gold race really got that started, though obviously greats like Easy Goer had been running in it well before.
Pete More than 1 year ago
Steve, at the conclusion of the day Monday, I'd be interested to know how you finished for the meet - in the red or the black?
Green Mtn Punter More than 1 year ago
Mike- your Pick 6today sounds like racing's version of OJ's book, "If I Did It, Here's How"! To Groovy: Over the past few seasons the Whitney has succeeded the Travers in being the Spa's greatest stakes race. While it is true that the Whitney was overshadowed by the old NY Handicap Triple, I also remember that Kelso, the greatest handicap horse in my lifetime, won the Whitney 3 times from '61 to '65 while being named HOY 5 years in a row during that stretch. The Whitney has always been a very prestigious Spa stakes and I am pleased to see it back at the top of the heap. Unless we can reform the Eclipse voting, the Travers appears to be losing it's luster, and that is a real shame. Barely 39,000 this year on Travers Day; forget the hot weather excuse, it was the mediocre field, stupid! Spa fans know when they are being treated as a mere "sideshow" to the BC Main Event- they don't show up. The new franchisee has a lot of work to do to insure that this undesirable trend is reversed, starting next season.
Dick W More than 1 year ago
Yes, that 3rd race was a weird one. Somebody lost a ton of $$$ on Hesanoldsalt. Not only did he go off at 3 to 5, but somebody must have put a huge show bet on him as the show payoffs were 16, 17 and 11 for the top three - in a five horse field !!! And the trifecta and exacta paid $923 and $277 respectively which is highly unusual in a 5 horse field.
MIke More than 1 year ago
Steve: At least for laughs and giggles, will you share your As and Bs for Thursday?
gary More than 1 year ago
two other things.......... Congrats to the guy who had all six and took home a nice pile of dough. and , Steve, are you not going to take a shot at the $700k carryover at Del mar which should swell to about $2 million by post time? You once told me, you never bet Cali races and I'm curious if $2 million will tempt you enough.
gary More than 1 year ago
Had the winner in all four maiden races which is a first for me, and had the 60k claimer, and then completely whiffed on the Steeplechase. Had no idea how to handicap it, but in retrospect i see that weight is a huge key. I had Mixed up and Preemptive Strike who were the highweights. They gave away way too many pounds to the top three.am I right here or is it just part of the deal?
mike c More than 1 year ago
Why dont I listen? Just had to play one more pick 4 before the meet ended. But it wasn't the babies that killed me, it was Sleek John!!! Got the first leg home and have singled most tix with Nkosi Reigns (a play against Hesanoldsalt who is an unbelievable 3-5). Things are looking great early as Garret is nusing the speed and Salty is laboring. Down the stretch, it's, it's, it's Sleek John??? Nailed me in the last 50. Brutal. Sleek John??! Course none of my backups contain Sleek John and now I'm rooting hard against my other keys (Freakstein, Psycho DJ and Cape Cod Escape). You know the rest. Cape Codder holds on by a nose at 11-1 and finishes off a 29k payout. Ugh. My only consolation is an across the board bet on Nkosi that covers the cost of the pick 4 (thanks Salty!). Man, I can't wait for those mid-winter fields at the Big A!!!
Groovy More than 1 year ago
Steve: I just read your article about the placing and timing of the Woodward Stakes. When I was a teenager in the mid-1970s, the Whitney was not as prominent as it is today, probably due to scheduling. The Handicap Triple Crown was generally a more important focus of the leading older horses, a series of races that ended before the Saratoga meet commenced. Most of the stars, like Forego, passed Saratoga and prepared for the championship races at Belmont Park. This generally included the Marlboro Cup, the Woodward Stakes and the Jockey Club Gold Cup. I remember one September at Belmont when Big Spruce won both the Governor Stakes and the Marlboro Cup, both distance races, a week apart from each other. In many years, the build-up from race to race at Belmont to determine Horse-of-the-Year was palpable.
Floppydog More than 1 year ago
A great day for just sprawling near the paddock with yummy grease and NYRA lemonade (wish it were slightly less sweet), an Ashton maduro later, studying (appreciating) the pedigrees of the pretty young zillion-dollar beauties as they parade and get saddled. As you lie there, imagine a rematch of Invasor-Bernardini in this weekend's Woodward.