08/14/2008 1:30PM

Day 20: 8/14/08


I'm watching the early races out of the corner of one eye today while writing a column and trying to get back up there tomorrow, but I'll be back around Saratoga Special time to review the Day 20 racing. Four races off the grass again and a heapin' helping of late scratches. The late pick-4 consists of three off-the-turfers and the G2 Special. Scratches:

7th: 1,3,5,6,7,8
8th: 3,4,7,8,11,13
9th: None
10th: 1a,2,4,6,7,9,10,11

In the meantime, did you know where yesterday's Adirondack winner, Mani Bhavan, got her name? Neither did I. Here's what she's named for:


Mani Bhavan is a building in Mumbai (f/k/a Bombay), India, where Mahatma Gandhi lived from 1917 to 1934. It's now a museum open to the public and a memorial to its former resident.

Who says racing isn't educational?

6:00.01 pm:Two minutes to post for the finale at Saratoga according to the Nassau OTB channel and....you know the rest. They couldn't wait another 10 minutes for tonight's very important Italian-language programming: Women at some Tuscan spa having cucumber slices placed on their eyes.

Only three of the eight (#'s 5,8 and 12) in the off-the-turf finale are covered in the pick-6, so there's a carryover if we can get the 1,3,13,14, or 15 home.

It's pouring here on Long Island but looks like they got only one light shower upstate today. Cross your fingers, we might be back on the grass (other than steeplechasing) tomorrow. NYRA must be guessing the worst is over, having carded four grass races for tomorrow's nine-race Lake Placid card and five for Saturday's 10-race Alabama/Sword Dancer festivities.

On the 20th day, I pretty much passed. I never did any serious homework on today's card, and bet only the Saratoga Special, which I qwik-capped(TM) with about six minutes to post. I agreed with the public -- which sent five of the nine entrants off between 5-2 and 6-1 -- that it was a five-horse race. Unfortunately, I keyed Lyin' Heart with the four others, and he was the only member of the quintet not to be part of a $249.60 tri and $939 superfecta. My lowest handle day of the meet by a factor of five.

Hmmm, TVG isn't showing the 10th at Saratoga live because it's up against Del Mar. (And how exactly does having races go off simultaneously at Saratoga and Del Mar help either track or their customers?) If you're playing California, She's a Real Keeper just won the 3rd at even-money.

6:10 pm: Darn. Same deal at Saratoga, with even-money Chicks Are Better($4.60) taking the nightcap and enriching a couple of pick-6 players by $21,654 while depriving the rest of us of a Friday carryover. Congratulations, you two. Killjoys.

6:30 pm: Anyway, back to the Special: Run Away and Hide didn't exactly run to his name, beating Breakwater Edison by a length and a quarter, but the race (1:15.97 for 6.5f) is going to come up a strong one for the first two finishers, who stalked a sharp pace from fourth and third respectively. At the finish, it was another 5 3/4 lengths back from Breakwater Edison to narrow 2.95-1 favorite Reynaldothewizard, who got third by a neck over Join in the Dance, who tired after cutting sharp fractions of 21.66 and 44.80.

Run Away and Hide, a homebred City Zip colt trained by Ronny Werner is now 3-for-3 by a combined seven lengths. He was making his first start since winning the G3 Kentucky (formerly WHAS) Stakes at Churchill May 1. I'm guessing the figure will come up strong enough to crack the current top 5 Beyers by winning 2-year-old males at the meet through yesterday:

97 Charitable Man (Aug. 10, McLaughlin)
92 Precious Package (Aug. 2, Dutrow)
90 Cribnote (July 27, Violette)
90 Munnings (July 26, Pletcher)
87 Capt. Candyman Can (Aug. 13, Wilkes)