08/21/2009 1:00PM

Day 21: 8/21/09


2:00 pm: It's pouring at Saratoga and the late scratches are flooding in as all grass races except the featured G2 Lake George have now been taken off the turf. The main track is sloppy, the turf has already been downgraded to "soft."

I picked a good day to take a pass. No, I'm not still sulking over yesterday's finale. Remember that speech that 500 of you were nice enough to help me out with? It's Sunday morning so I'd set aside today to put it all together.

So you're on your own with what's left of today's card, but a couple of final points about yesterday.

I have no regrets about how I played, and while it's frustrating the way things have worked out, I choose to believe I've played these three double-carryovers at the meet about as well as I could. The first two times I got myself into position for nice scores and just happened to lean the wrong way both times, where I was left with three of the five horses I thoght could win the last leg and one of the other two beat me. Those things even themselves out in the longer run. As for yesterday, things broke the worst way with a winning favorite who was a staggering underlay in the pick-6 (and pick-4), which paid less than half the parlay.

A few of you asked how I hedged. I don't know f this was the most efficient thing to do, but I bet $1,000 to win on Beso Del Sur at 1.90-to1 and $600 to win on uncovered Proud Diva at 7.70-to-1 and $100 on uncovered Approved by Mom at 29-to-1, an additional investment of $1700 on top of the $2088 pick-6 play. That produced an additional $1200 profit when BDS won and paid $5.80, completing that rotten $3278 pick-6 (plus 18 consos at $48.20 apiece.) All in all, $3788 in, $7045 out.

If the pick-6 through BDS had been paying the $5k to $10k it should have been, I wouldn't have bothered with the win bet on the favorite, but I just wanted to take a little bit of the sting out of that result.

The rain has died down but there's supposed to be more on the way tonight. If you're playing Saratoga, keep an eye on post times as they may accelerate the time between races to try to finish the card before the next storm hits.

2:30 pm: One other thing: D'Funnybone's 10 1/2-length victory in yesterday's Saratoga Special has been given a preliminary Beyer Speed Figure of 90, but it's a good example of a race where any honest figure-maker will tell you that rating this race is largely a matter of making your best guess.

The problem is that four of yesterday's last five races were run on the grass, so the Special was the first dirt race in over two hours and, more importantly, the first after a brief but violent mid-day downpour that changed the footing. While the three pre-rain dirt races early on the card fit together, applying that same variant to the Special would have given the runaway winner an implausibly low 75, 11 points below his previous start, which was a defeat rather than a 10 1/2-length victory.

That winning margin complicates things because it's hard to peg a winning figure for the race on the performances of seven horses who were utterly trounced, with not one of them seeming to fire anything like his best shot.

So you're left with a very rare case of a race with few if any legitimate points of comparison with either the other races on the card or the past performances of the horses in the subject race. It's a puzzlement worth keeping in mind if only not to be too literal-minded about the figure for the race when D'Funnybone and the others return. He obviously ran a big race and the rest of them didn't, but further calibration is next to impossible. 

5:45 pm: No carryover into Saturday, as three winners took down $12k each. Just as well so as not to lead me into temptation with a sequence that begins with three consecutive 2-year-old maiden races that include 24 first-time starters.

Not much more rain in the last couple of hours, but more's supposedly on the way tonight. Five of tomorrow's 11 (1st, 4th, 7th, 9th, 11th) are scheduled for the grass