08/12/2010 2:28PM

Day 18: 8/12/10


I focussed my limited getaway-day time on today's little pick-6 carryover races, but the first two races of Day 18 turned out to be pretty interesting from the parimutuel sidelines.

In the opener, the third steeplechase of the meet, owner William Pape and trainer Jonathan Sheppard were in the winer's circle for the third time....and at $14.40 for the hat trick with Lead Us Not. The winner ran a highly unusual race, leading early, allowing Riddle and Saluda Sam to pass him after the first mile and a half, then rallying in the stretch to run them down and score by three-quarters of a length over uncoupled stablemate Parkers Project for a $91 Sheppard-Sheppard exacta. (In last week's jump race, the Sheppard-Sheppard exacta paid $27.60.)

In the second, all the money steamed in on 6-5 Violette firster Inflation Hedge and 7-2 Mott firster Come a Callin but both 2-year-old fillies neglected to do much running. running 6th and 7th to set up some wild payoffs after 30-1 Nicks firster Valiant Passion ($63.00), 6-1 McLaughjlin firster Shaaraat, 48-1 Matz firster Bacata and 45-1 Terranova firster Mean Reversion crossed the wire in that order. The super paid $14,286.75 -- for a dime! -- a theoretical payoff of $285k for $2 but the pool was only $57, 927 ($42k after takeout) so only 30 cents worth of winning tickets were sold.


2:32 pm: They only just now announced the scratches of the remaining main-track-onlies in the 10th, so it looks like we're staying on the turf. 


3:00 pm: Here goes:


I was determined to keep the play to $1,000 or less and only missed by $8. It's a "single backup" play -- just one trip off the A line permitted -- by investment limit rather than by design. Every horse I have listed as a C began as a B, but I could whittle no more. Hey, I've heard you've gotta be in it to win it. At least I seem to have smoked out the two favorites in the opening leg.

I singled In Te Domine in the 8th on all tickets, not because I think she's the biggest cinch of the meeting but because there was nothing else resembling a single to me in the sequence and she does look pretty solid. No complaints about the card -- yeah, it's cheap, but the races are competitive and playable.


3:20 pm: Well, that was fun while it lasted, all 1:23.62 of it. The only question at around 1:20 of that was whether I'd start out with Star of New York as a 7-5 A or Harmonizer as a 5-1 B, because Durkin never saw 9-1 Heritage Hall coming ("With 50 yards to go it's Harmonizer and St---Oh, look at this!") until the wire and, watching on tv, neither did I. Heritage Hall, a 4-length winner for $10k maiden claiming at Churchill last time out (over a 0-for-9 maiden who returned to lose his next start at Delaware Park as the 3-to-10 favorite), paid $20.20 as the fifth choice in a field of seven.


5:00 pm: We probably need a big-time goofy result in teh last two to get a two-day carryover after In Te Domine ($3.00) won the NYSSSOLD (New York Stallion Stakes Statue of Liberty Division.) Don't be too eager to bet against ITD next time out off a seemingly slow and narrow victory over an undistinguished field: She had trouble early steadying behind a very slow pace, circled the field on the turn, mowed them down at will and Dominguez eased up before the wire.


5:45 pm: Seventeen live combos going into the finale to carve up $194k: four each to the 9 and 10, three each to the 2 and 4, two to the 1 and one to the 7. If the 5 or 8 wins, we'll be playing for a $194 carryover tomorrow, but I'm not holding my breath.

The 9th -- first time I can recall $10k claimers running in the next-to-last race of the day at Saratoga, once the place where stakes races were carded -- went to co-favored 2-for-21 Great Crusade, a $750k yearling three summers ago.

Eager to see whether Nassau OTB shows the finale, carded for 6:03 pm, three minutes after the programming usually switches suddenly to RAI Italian-language programming. Since I haven't heard a single complaints about it this summer, I'm guessing and hoping that's a thing of the past, but I've got that kicked-in-tv graphic at the ready just in case.


6:30 pm: No Nassau OTB cutoff, so I got the cheap thrill of watching uncovered Gentle Touch, a former Linda Rice trainee, lead to upper stretch. Then current Linda Rice trainee Precision Farming ($14.40) inhaled the field and won off under a hold to complete a $65,864 pick-6 payoff to three wise horseplayers.

Those thunderstorms they've been talking about appear just about to hit Long Island, so tonight's departure has been put off until early morning. You don't want 162 pounds on greyhound in your back seat during a thunderstorm in the dark.

If you want to watch tomorrow's Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, they're being broadcast live on HRTV and streamed at www.racingmuseum.org , starting at 10:30 am ET.


charles spencer More than 1 year ago
Ditto for the new DRF format, I can't get your blog auto loaded into MyYahoo page now. And my work blocks access to the DRF web site...guess its time to get a new job!
Jeff T. More than 1 year ago
This Saratoga blog (even the day after) is still the greatest read. I love how you dive into your proclamations and post them... and then have the humility to say "Well, that was fun while it lasted, all 1:23.62 of it." Please keep taking your vitamins and supplements... we want you around here well past your 69th birthday (like the God-Father of the PP's).
Kevin Murphy More than 1 year ago
Hey Steve, love the Blog....A question: When do you place your bets? Do you it before the horses leave the paddock or right before the enter the gate? The reason I ask is I was wondering if you like to monitor the betting odds and actions of the horses in the paddock and warming up on the track. Thanks again Steve for the Blog and I look forward to reading everyday! [Kevin: Since I'm mainly a multirace player, I'm usually in the dark about paddock behavior and warmups, not that interpreting either is my strong suit. I do like to monitor betting patterns but only in the few situations where it really means something, like first and second-time starters and returnees from long layoffs. For the most part, I think the idea that there's all this "smart money" out there that "knows" how the races are going to come out is hooey. -SC]
ML/NJ More than 1 year ago
That was FAST! Thanks.
Figless More than 1 year ago
Friday's Spa card includes FIVE maiden races on a nine race card, four of them claimers, the other an inscrutable 2yo field going two turns on the grass. Two nice Stakes with small fields, a conditioned claimer on the grass, and an open claiming turf sprint. Why should I care? Why should I not check out Monmouth?
jim f More than 1 year ago
Thank you Steve for the improved layout of the comment section!!!
utah2395 More than 1 year ago
Today's last race was nuts. Is it me or are the betting patterns for this year's meet more than unusual? When that Linda Rice horse opened at 5-1, then drifted higher, I thought the steed was deader than Julius Caesar. Also, the 10 was bet off the board of of not so reliable form. I can usually get somewhat of a grip on this, however this year, Im in the dark.
onefifty9n2 More than 1 year ago
Thanks for the blog Steve. A few questions for my horseplaying brethren. - any insight as to why they are moving the feature to different positions on the cards this year? I think they've done it in years past but not to this extent. For me there is a lot of comfort in tradition, and not having the 'featured' race be the next to last is a bit disappointing. - is anyone actively making their own figures for the circuits they follow? is there any value in such an endeavor? sometimes im concerned that the figures produced by the Beyer Boys are on such a mass scale that the time necessary to make accurate figures may not always be spent. anyone have an idea how many people are involved in the daily production of figures? not to say the figures aren't a quality product im just wondering if dedicating some time to making figures for say the NYRA circuit provides any profitable insight. - if anyone has made figures for Saratoga can they share how much of a point adjustment is made to the time shart that Beyer and Davidowitz have printed in their books. I'm new at this but at first glance it seems the figures are pretty high when I start looking up times.
Jim F More than 1 year ago
Ditto to ML's comments about the new blog design. Having a scroll bar within a page that has a scoll bar is frustrating as is the view 10 only comment section that resets the page when clicking on the grouping. Pies om Wheels for "The Mig" pizza for lunch tomorrow!
Mike P More than 1 year ago
Steve: The only thing I don't like about the new website is that I can't access your blog on my Samsung Blackjack anymore. I still read each night at home. Thanks for all that you do. Mike P.