08/26/2008 6:05PM

Dark Day 5: Breather



As you can see, everyone's taking it easy back in Hempstead today, recovering from the first five weeks of Saratoga '08 and gearing up for what should be a dramatic final six days of racing. Saturday's scheduled appearance by Curlin in the Woodward will be the emotional if not parimutuel highlight of closing week, and the first 20,000 customers Saturday will get a copy of this commemorative Peb (Pierre Bellocq) poster:


The Woodward is one of four of Saratoga's 14 Grade 1's still to be run. Here's a recap of the Grade 1's in the books at Saratoga and Del Mar this year, including the winners' Beyer Speed Figures:

As for Wednesday's card, which starts with a steeplechase and includes six maiden races, here's the lineup for the pick-6, which is 5/6ths on turf and starts with a $55k carryover from Monday:

Race 5: 2yo MdSpWt, 5.5f -- Field of 7 (6 firsters)
Race 6: 3+ Clm 60k, 8.5f-IT -- Field of 10
Race 7: 2FNY, 8.5f-MT -- Field of 9 (5 firsters) + 5 A-E's
Race 8: 3+FNY Mollie Wilmott S., 1m-IT -- Field of 10
Race 9: 3+ MdSpWt, 5.5f-MT -- Field of 10 (3 firsters) + 1 A-E
Race 10: 3+NY Alw N1x, 8.5f-IT -- Field of 11

Let's one of us hit this thing tomorrow, okay? As commenter "str3268" pointed out, if we do get our first double-carry of Saratoga '08, Thursday's card includes the only steeplechase of the meeting that's part of the pick-6: the New York Turf Writers' Cup, which has eight betting interests. If we get that far, any thoughts on playing it without hitting the "all" button would be appreciated.

Van Savant More than 1 year ago
bob m.; Interesting comment. I viewed the picture, and didn't give it a second thought. I appreciated it for its' beauty, and also for its style. Art is a difficult thing. It is inherently subjective. Art is by its' nature designed (or intended) to illicit an emotional response. It worked apparently. Love it, hate, it, or object to it, but you must concede that it is Art. And with that said, understand that this is not a blog about Art. So to that end, you should begin by trying not to be so hypersensitive to what you believe are slights against so-called "victim-groups". ...Because I (and others) have responded, then yes, you achieved your goal. If this is the case, then well-done, sir. You "got us". Maplethorpe opened my eyes to the issue of the objection to Art. It was a tough pill to swallow for me, and so while I understand what I believe to be your contrived and dishonest objection to this caricature, be aware that "that dog won't hunt", if you know what I mean (and yes, I am a native american, not that you care).
Nicole More than 1 year ago
Teresa, Again, yes you are missing something!.
Bob W More than 1 year ago
The NY Turf Writers Cup is a handicap race. Last year the three lowest weighted horses ran 1-2-3 with the triple over $3000.
Teresa More than 1 year ago
Hmm. A caricature of a disadvantaged, mocked, and oppressed group, to celebrate the monied and the privileged. And *I'm* missing something?
SamG More than 1 year ago
If it gets that far my only thoughts for the steeplechase would be toss the likely favorites and hope for a big payoff.Wednesday doesn`t look a whole lot easier.Three of the firsters in the 7th are exceptionally well bred for turf esp Grace's Valentine.Our Golden Dream shows 4 turf works and Thomas Bush is 2 for 10 with firsters on the grass.Either half of the entry could win if they draw in.Very interesting race but I think I`ll pass on the pick 6.Good Luck.
bochalls More than 1 year ago
Like Daimon's Glory in R5, Moonshine Hall in R7, and taking a shot on Roll The Di in R8. The latter has very competitive 'come home' times with the other more classy runners in the race, and cuts back to a mile....we'll see.
Mickey More than 1 year ago
Teresa - The illustration above is a caricature - so, yes, I would saying you are missing a lot...
Richard Dorfman More than 1 year ago
If NYRA prefers to blame the weather for this meet's poor showing (both attendance and handle), so be it. This long-time horseplayer has reduced his appearances for a far more sensible reason: the quality of the racecards. This Thursday's card is proof positive and may be an indication we've hit rock bottom, maybe not...but NYRA ought to look long and hard at what the best case scenario can possibly be (even when the sun is shining) when presenting a 10 race program, half of which is carded at 5&1/2 furlongs!! Why would anyone drop in at Saratoga for a few days, pay $10-$15 for a clubhouse seat, $150-$250/night for a hotel bed, for the pleasure of betting mini-sprints??
Dave Oppedisano More than 1 year ago
I'd like to see the data upon which otis_campbell and others conclude that "no player wants a steeplechase carded as anything other than the first race." I didn't like the switch years ago when NYRA started it, and I don't like it now. They're just not that hard to sort out. Trainer intent is just as evident in these races as in others. Same with back class, recent form, etc. Personally, I'd much rather watch and bet on a 'chase than one of the cheap claimers or NY-bred maiden races that litter the race cards day in and day out. The bottom line is that races don't always go the way we plan. Trotters can break stride, jumpers can toss their riders or leave the course, and runners can pull up or bolt. It's called racing, so deal with it. You might not remember Lady's Secret bolting in the slop at Saratoga and creating havoc in the show pool, but do you remember Big Brown's Belmont?
bob m. More than 1 year ago
i have to say that the peb poster is one of the ugliest things i ever saw and is clearly an insult to native americans...