08/30/2009 2:34PM

Day 29: 8/30/09


80mph2:33 pm: Late getaway, then flew down the Thruway. But for a 20-minute wait at the Whitestone and a rubberneckers' convention on the Cross Island, there wouldashouldacoulda been a new course record. To the guy at the Mobil station on Broadway this morning who wanted inside info on whether I thought I would make it in four hours today: 3:42. Told you.

Guess you don't need me to tell you at this late hour that races 7,8 and 11 are off the turf, and that that the 4th and 9th are still on grass, though the latter's been switched to the Mellon course.

And I guess those cars aren't going to unpack themselves. Back later on for the Personal Ensign.

5:00 pm: While I was out: Bruce Levine snapped his 0-for-40 streak at the meet winning the 5th with Soda Pop Kid ($6.80), and Todd Pletcher edged ahead of Linda Rice by a 15-14 count in the trainer standings after winning the 6th with Frame of Reference ($5.60).

Just checked yesterday's preliminary Beyers for the Saratoga stakes: Summer Bird (Travers) - 110; Music Note (Ballerina) - 107; Sara Louise (Victory Ride) - 104; VIneyard Haven/Capt. Candyman Can (King's Bishop) -103;  Salve Germania (Ballston Spa) -100.

It's worth noting that while the final time of the Ballerina was about a length and a half better than the King's Bishop, Vineyard Haven ran a significantly faster opening half-mile (44.64 vs. 45.76).

6:15 pm: The way that Icon Project just blew open the G1 Personal Ensign by 13 3/4 lengths, you have to think she might belong in that proposed dream-Beldame along with Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta and Careless Jewel.

The 4-year-old Empire Maker filly was just 2 for 8 on the grass in Europe and here before being rained into a dirt debut in the New York at Belmont June 20, where she blitzed off-the-grass fillies by 13 1/4 lengths. Last time out she got stuck behind Swift Temper's slow pace and settled for second in the Delaware Handicap, but today she reversed that decision and then some, trouncing five dirt graded-stakes winners.

Only one uncovered horse in the pick-6 -- first-timer Angioletta -- and it's paying only $1836 with the current 2-1 favorite, Linda Rice first-timer Stellaluce.

6:28 pm: Angioletta just unseated her rider and has been scratched. Not even a prayer of a carryover....

6:35 pm: ...even with 16-1 Contessa firster Valuable Lady wiring the field as well-meant 8-5 Stellaluce settled for second and the Pick-6 paid $35,637 intead of $1836.