08/25/2010 1:17PM

Day 29: 8/25/10


SARATOGA SPRINGS -- "No sane or rational person would play this Pick Six," Andrew Beyer told me Tuesday night, and I nodded in agreement. But I'm about to put in my tickets and I'm guessing he is too.

[Update: Beyer did NOT play. Guess I'm the insane, irrational one.]

It's a terrible card for multirace players, loaded with firsters and 2-year-olds trying the grass for the first time. But we're all playing with the same handicap and this is only the second two-day carryover of the meet.  The $210k seeding the pool should make it something close to a no-takeout proposition. So once more unto the breach. I'll post the play shortly, after watching the board and making a couple of final fineline decisions. I'll be focusing on the 3,5 and 10 in the opener, the only off-the-turfer of the day.


2:50 pm: The bad news is that one of those last-minute fineline decisions was to move the victorious #5 in the opening leg, 5-1 Kid Curry, from an A to a B. The better news is that most of my play was an all-A's-and-B's main ticket, so I really only lost my backups in the finale -- a scramble where I'd like as many as possible, but not the end of the world.

Here's the play. I'm alive 3x5x2x2x4:

 Today's Pick-6 handle was a whopping $988,615 not including the $210k carryover.


3:20 pm: Arggh. Never mind. Ran 2-3-4 behind perfect-trip Tiger Willie. It looked like Gamblin Fever (12-1 ML, 4-1 PT) was going to win as he pleased in upper stretch after circling the field on the turn, but Castellano slipped the winner through at the rail and prevailed in the battle between a 1-for-14 and a 1-for-20. Yeah, I coulda used Tiger Willie as a C but I would have been dead to him thanks to the Kid Curry demotion. 


4:00 pm: Late lunch today but Ontrack Restaurant Week rolls on. I did a seminar at the Capital OTB Tele-Theater at 12:30, then drove back up the Northway just in time to get the tickets in.

Some early gambling: The yellow light next to the gas gauge came on at exit 8 of 14, reminding me that I hadn't gassed up since last Friday's drive up from Long Island. I tried to remember whether the light means that I've got a full gallon left or just enough to get to the next exit, but since the needle was a good 1/32nd of an inch north of E, I kept driving and made it to the parking lot. Getting out tonight may be another matter.

So today's belated cuisine was a burger from Burgers Central, just to the right of Crepes Central and Hattie's. (I carefully avoided eye contact with the Hattie's people, who must think I've forsaken my daily breaded chicken but I swear, I'll be back Saturday.) I went for the $7.00 steakburger with cheese and went an extra dollar for the bacon, which somewhat disconcertingly arrived atop the burger in the former of a wafer-thin disc the exact diameter of the burger.

But it tasted like bacon, and the burger was big and perfectly cooked, though unseasoned. It hit the spot and earns a solid B.  Yes, I've heard the Shake Shack burgers are supposed to be  the best at the track but we'll see for ourselves tomorrow or Friday, okay?


4:20 pm: Leg 3 went to Michelle Nihei firster Silent Joy ($12.20), which was nice to her since two races earlier her firster Santo Gato was pulled up a few strides out of the gate. Silent Joy rallied furiously to nip Orangeblackandgold, a Tom Proctor second-timer who was pounded to 2-1 favoritism off an in4-1 Tiger Willie had won the second legdifferent 5th on Polytrack at Arlington.

There was an inquiry involving contact in upper stretch between the runner-up and third-place Drumette, but the stewards ruled it "did not affect the finish of the race" and let it stand. 


5:10 pm: No three-day carryover: Everyone's covered in the nightcap, at payoffs ranging from $96k to a pool-scooping $759k. I'd be alive to  four of them if 9-2 Gamblin Fever rather than 4-1 Tiger Willie had won the second leg. Maybe the consos won't be too terrible if I get there.


5:45 pm: Harlan's Ruby completed a $96k pick-six for eight skilled navigators but not before surviving a foul claim and inquiry for bumping moral victor Triune, a Jimmy Jerkens firster who pressed a hot pace, won the battle, and only succumbed in the final strides. Triune would have been a much better pick-4 and conso result for me, but the winner didn't deserve to come down: Both fillies shifted lanes in the stretch and the bumping took place once Harlan's Ruby already had the race won. Unfortunately.