08/09/2010 12:09PM

Day 16: 8/9/10



Just as glad there wasn't a three-day carryover today considering how badly NYRA arranged Monday's card: The finale is a 10-horse 2-year-old filly statebred race with NINE first-time starters. The last race of the day is the single worst place to put such a race, giving multirace players no opportunity to see the toteboard on a race where there are 10 horses who have made a combined one career start.


It's not as if they didn't have options: The race carded as the 4th is also for 10 maidens, but only one is a firster. The nine-horse 6th, an allowance race for veterans, could easily have been flipped with the firster-filled finale. So the only question is whether this was a craven and deliberate attempt to create multirace chaos in hopes of a carryover, or whether whoever arranges the races just doesn't know or care.


1:40 pm: Lazy, sloppy, caveman, last-minute run-to-the-window-because-Internet-access-cut-out 3x4x11x2 early pick-4 play (right). The thinking:

Leg 1: Obvious Asmussen and Pletcher firsters (1 and 4), Ralph Nicks firster (6) arguably as live at 4-1 in early betting as Pletcher firster is at same price.

Leg 2: Obvious Mott and Darley second-timers (1 and 2), plus priceir, subtler Duggan(4) and Albertrani(5) second-timers.

Leg 3: Clueless, gambling, undisciplined use of All button.

Leg 4: Favorites Casablanca Smile(4) and Changing Skies (5) appear to tower over three rivals in five-filly Waya Stakes.

So far so good as Nicks firster took first leg at 6-1.


2:25 pm: Been watching the state Senate hearings on the Aqueduct racino between races ( http://www.livestream.com/nysenate ) and so far Genting International seems to be answering all of the politicians' questions to their satisfaction. The senate's is one of four final approvals required for the project to go forward.

Sen. Eric Adams, chairman of the committee questioning Genting, said in his closing remarks that he was impressed by Genting's presentation and would recommend their approval to senate and assembly leaders "by the close of business today."


2:45 pm: Serves me right: Second choice Bigshot ($10.60) led a parade of favorites under the wire in the all-button race. So my two pick-4's, if they get there, will return either $316 or $287 -- gross -- on the $264 investment. So I'm about 2-to-5 to get either 1-to-5 or 1-to-10, textbook definition of a bad bet. 


3:30 pm: Woohoo. Changing Skies won the Waya to give me a $23 profit on the $264 bet, the equivalent of a mutuel payoff of $2.17 for $2.  


3:45 pm: What's wrong with this picture (other than its being out of focus from being shot through a pane of glass with a cellphone)?

The sharp (really, it is) new infield toteboard shows the win odds and WPS pools in race 4 for numbers 1 through 9. Problem is, it was an 11-horse race. Big video ads are cool but not at the expense of showing the odds for ALL the runners. And yes, I know that's a DRF ad covering up #'s 10 and 11.


5:15 pm: Western Tease, winner of the interesting 7th race, is now 7 for 7 in his career -- four straight in 30 days(!) at Suffolk Downs last October and November, and now victories at Suffolk, Delaware and Saratoga this year. In today's seventh -- a starter allowance for anyone whodebuted for a $4,500 tag in his Suffolk debut. had run for a $16k or lower tag since 2008 -- he gamely outdueled Jack on the Rocks in a 6.5f race that came up a very quick one: 1:15.83 on a day when the two other dirt races have gone in 1:10.98 for 6f (N2L fillies) and 1:23.84 for 7f (MSW fillies.)

Western Tease, a 4-year-old West Acre gelding, easily qualified for the race, having debuted for a $4,500 tag in his Suffolk debut.

All but two of the 10 in the finale are covered in the pick-6. They're still not showing (with 8 MTP) the odds on #'s 10 and 11 on the infield board:


5:45 pm: The three firsters who were bet to 3-1 or less ran 1-2-3 in the finale, with Linda Rice runner Higher Desire ($8.90) completing  a $610 pick-4 and $6,772 pick-6 to end Week 3 of 7.

With 16 of 40 days and 155 races in the books, John Velazquez is atop the jockey standings with 23 winners, followed by Javier Castellano (19), Ramon Dominguez (15) and Julien Leparoux (13). Among the trainers, it's Todd Pletcher with 13, Chad Brown with 10, then Bill Mott and Linda Rice with 7 apiece

Got lucky with the weather today as the predicted t-storms never hit. But now as the light Monday crowd (14,259) is exiting to the strains of "New York State of Mind," the sky is turning gray and the wind is picking up.

Driving back downstate tomorrow for horse and mother visits. I'll be blogging Wednesday's and Thursday's cards from Hempsteadatoga, back up here Thursday night.