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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:
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)
Friday: At Attention finished well for 2nd on July 25 despite being wide most of the race. Interesting.
Nine race card today, and ten races tomorrow. Perhaps NYRA is capable of adapting! To the bloggers who complain about races carded for the turf, what do you expect the racing secretary to do? There are simply too many horses on the grounds who are here to race on the turf. If there is an complaint to be lodged, aim your arrows at the grounds crew--why can't we have racing on soft and yielding turf? As an astute blogger pointed out many days ago, the Europeans do not seem to have this problem. e_s
OFF THE TURF AGAIN except the Lake Placid ! Its not even raining here yet ??? Can someone tell me what they are saving the turf for ? There is only 2 weeks left to the meet and I think they have used it 3 times so far . Its just ridiculous. who makes these decisions ?????
All--- Just curious to get your opinions on how "off" turf courses may favor or hurt certain style runners. For example; yielding favors forwardly placed speed types- or firm favors horses with closers and horses with a "nice turn of foot." Thanks
Another awful card today at the spa . This is my worst nightmare coming true that the Spa cards would be as bad as the AQU and BEL meet . I can't really understand it . AS a season clubhouse seat patron I don;t feel so bad that I sold half my seats to this years meet. I will say when you look at DEl and MOM they are running $45,000 races where they used to run $4,000 . That may have alot to do with it. At least the next 3 sat cards look to be great cards . Maybe NYRA really does need slots! It sure needs something . I'd say a complete shake up of power. I too ordered my copy champions .
Steve, FYI: "Champions" and "Bet With The Best-2" were ordered on Monday and arrived in ol' Rio Blanco, VT via UPS on Thursday. Fast, efficient service as always from DRF and DRF Press! At times when I'm late in ordering a special edition I have called John Short at DRF East Coast Circulation and he is always very accomodating. Hats off to Daily Racing Form, you guys run your business like a business by putting the customer first. Started dipping into "Champions"- no dedicated horseplayer/fan should be without it in his/her library, it's a wonderful collection of championship thoroughbred racing history in prose and lifeftime past performances. Just to look at some of the legendary racers' PP's is a treat, to see names of some of the old tracks which no longer exist such as Jam, HdeG, and Hia stirs up images of racing's glory days. Which brings up a related subject: Would like to see a similar, highly detailed treatment of North American racetracks, past and present. Each track would receive 10-20 pages of prose, stories, details of the plant and racing surfaces, legendary owners, trainers, and characters who inhabited the track, and many photos. Another one I would like to see is an in-depth history of the Saratoga track and the Spa racing racing experience by era. Two more titles for DRF Press which I think will be "sure things"!
Race 6 @Saratoga Thursday. An old timer taught some tricks to look for when betting horses. Thurs. one of those paid off. First race off front wraps after two dismal efforts. Killed! Gave the winner to several people in the Travers bar area and I'm still waiting for my drink!
Steve, I still love the smashed TV image, referring to the Cablevision/RAI 6:00 shut-out. I have spoken to an executive at Cablevision, Liz Bracken at NYRA and e-mailed Charlie Hayward about this issue. The Cablevision executive was cognizant about the problem and understood it. However, she would not remedy it because she said " you would not believe how many complaints we get when RAI is delayed." She was right, I don't believe it. However,without any data I certaily couldn't challenge her on it. Liz Bracken was very well informed and genuinely tried to remedy the RAI problem, however, she could not. My e-mail to Charlie Hayward was also to no avail. I suggested that NYRA shave one minute off post for races 2-10. In light of the fact that post-time on a Saturday for the 10th race was 5:45, It seemed to me that a 5:55 post on Weekdays instead of 6:04 was reasonable. Charlie was unwilling to shave one minute off post for races 2-10. Don't get me wrong I am not blaming Chalie Hayward.With handle down, Nyra needs every wagering minute available and I probably would have done the same thing if I was in his position. With war raging in Afganistan, Georgia and Iraq, not being able to view the last race at Saratoga is obviously a small problem. Nevertheless, if TVG was not able to broadcast Saratoga, I wonder if somehow you would have been able to remedy this admittedly small problem.
I know this is "off topic" but I have a question regarding a comment made by a trainer recently that appeared in today's DRF.com. Here is part of the article: Wednesday, Get Funky won his second consecutive stakes in the Green Flash Handicap over five furlongs on turf, beating a field that included 2007 Breeders' Cup Sprint runner-up Idiot Proof. Ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr., Get Funky ($7.40) rallied from fourth in a field of seven to win by a length over Idiot Proof, the 6-5 favorite. Get Funky was timed in 55.39 seconds. The victory left Get Funky on course for the newly created $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, with an expected start in the Morvich Handicap on Sept. 24. Both the Turf Sprint and Morvich will be run over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course. Get Funky won the 2007 Morvich. Owned by Keith Abrahams of Brentwood, Calif., and trained by John Sadler, Get Funky has won 7 of 16 starts and $604,757. Two years ago, he frequently started in races at a mile or farther, but has been campaigned mostly in sprints this year. "John was always thinking he was a good sprinter," said Abrahams, 48. Sadler considered the Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park on May 26, but opted for the Robert Kerlan Memorial Handicap over six furlongs on turf on July 6, which Get Funky won. "We do think he can run a mile," Abrahams said. "We were all set for the Shoemaker and John said, 'I want to sprint.' " Idiot Proof led to early stretch of the Green Flash. "He needed a race," trainer Clifford Sise said. Idiot Proof was making his first start since finishing second in the $2 million Golden Shaheen for sprinters in Dubai on March 29. He will be pointed for a defense of the Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 27, Sise said. ============================ Steve...what I don't understand is this... What does Clifford Sise mean by saying Idiot Proof "needed a race?" For the life of me (and I'm not being sarcastic and I didn't bet the race) I cannot fathom how a trainer can use such an excuse for a 5 (five) furlong race. Steve (in general or specific terms) what does this mean to a horseplayer when a trainer makes such a statement? It's 5 short furlongs and I really don't get it. If the horse is training and running multiple 5 and 6 furlong workouts for the past 2 months, what is the real problem with "needing a race?"
Another ugly card at the spa.....How many days till Tampa Bay Downs opens??? ...