07/26/2007 7:57PM

Day 2: Bombs Away


we were headed for the carryover we should have had yesterday, but again there was one winning ticket, this one worth $66,594. Not only that, but every horse in the finale was covered.

The key to hitting the $4,417 late pick four would, in retrospect, have been to single the very impressive Ready's Image ($3.80) in the Sanford. That was my initial plan but then I got greedy and talked myself into a speed-duel scenario where Ready's Image and Fed Watcher would run each other into defeat and set things up for a closer, so I went four deep in the Sanford and shaved Truly Blushed off my tickets.

Bad move. Ready's Image sat right off Fed Watcher through a sensible half in 45.30 and blew past him on the turn, widening his lead to four lengths at the wire in a fine 109.90 that should translate to a Beyer even better than the sparkling 99 he earned winning the Tremont July 1. Tale of Ekati, The Roundhouse and Sok Sok closed from the rear to complete the superfecta in that order, though there was no superfecta betting on the race. (NYRA seems allergic to the popular bet, offering it on only two or three races a day and never the same ones, not to mention being about the last track in America to shun dime supers. Even the Breeders' Cup announced Wednesday it is offering those this year, which perhaps will embarass NYRA into changing its lonely and medieval stance.)

With Tremont and Sanford victories in his pocket, not to mention Beyers of something like 103 and 99 in his last two starts, Ready's Image is the serious and solid leader of the nation's juveniles, but how far will he go, being by More Than Ready out of a Clever Trick mare? The flashiest late move in the Sanford came from The Roundhouse, a half-brother to Circular Quay and, like that colt and Ready's Image, a Todd Pletcher trainee.

The pp's are up for Saturday's stakes-rich card that includes a tremendous renewal of the Whitney, which drew a field of 12 in which you could make a case for at least 11 of them. You might want to get an early start on it.