08/29/2010 2:51PM

Day 33: 8/29/10

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SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Some Travers Day preliminary Beyer Speed Figures:

Uncle Mo(5th): 102

Dynaslew (G2 Ballston Spa): 99

Rapport (G3 Victory Ride): 103

Rightly So (G1 Ballerina): 100

Discreetly Mine (G1 King's Bishop): 93

Afleet Express (G1 Travers): 105

Beyer Associates judged the track to be faster for the early dirt races on the card (the 1st, 2nd and 5th) than for those thereafter, but used the same variant for the four dirt stakes races.

Here are those will-pays a few of you requested for the Travers/Personal Ensign double, of interest not only if you played it and are alive but also if you're trying to guess how today's feature may be bet:

 

The pool for the wager was a mere $116, 476, so we're talking about something like only $15k in live wagers.

 

3:45 pm: Speaking of small pools, if there's no carryover in California or New York, the Pick-6 pickings are slim for carry-chasers. Here, according to the NYRA Rewards website, are the top 5 carryovers up for grabs in North America today:

1. Elllis Park: $2,482

2. Arlington:  $1,826

3. Woodbine: $1,173

4. Louisiana Downs: $541

5. Delaware: $245

 

4:30 pm: And here's that Travers win photo you asked for. Doesn't get much closer than this:

7:00 pm: Well, there's a $100k carryover into Monday. Anything else interesting hppen around here today?

Rachel Alexandra, at least the 2010 version, sure doesn't want to go a mile and a quarter. Her defeat to Persistently, who had a route victory over the track but hadn't been mistaken for a stakes horse since her 2-year-old season, was not without some merit: She turned back Life at Ten, the most accomplished older dirt filly in the east this year, through a solid and pressured pace, and when she spurted away from that one in upper stretch, the roaring crowd thought for a moment it was seeing the Rachel of old. But the 2-5 favorite was weary, needing just over 27 seconds for her final quarter, and 21-1 Persistently was persistent to run her down by a length.

No word yet on the future of the 2009 Horse of the Year. Even if she races again and tries to go out on a winning note in a race such as the Beldame, it's hard to imagine the long-awaited showdown with Zenyatta ever taking place, as the latter is being pointed for the BC Classic at 1 1/4 miles, a distance it seems unlikely Rachel would try again.

We talked a lot about Persistently in this space two years ago, when she was an impressive closing sprinter in her first two career starts, then ran second to Sky Diva as the even-money favorite in he  Frizette and fifth in Stardom Bound's BC Juvenile Fillies. But she'd raced in only allowance races since then, winning two of eight starts including a 9f route over the track last time out. She appeared to have been entered in the race to help fill it out and perhaps so the Phippses could have a runner in the race named for their undefeated champiion Personal Ensign.

Persistently keyed a $78k late pick-4 and the $100,848 carry. There was one conso winner announced at $47,062, which makes no sense given the 75/25 carryover/conso split. Canadian currency? [Update: According to a mutuels official, the one conso may have been sold in Panama, which could be the source of the discrepancy.]

The crowd was announced as 23,347, which was 5,333 more than turned up the day after last year's Travers.

 

Jeff T. More than 1 year ago
After the Traver's Day card, everything seems anti-climactic... even Rachel A. Why does everyone feel the need to re-visit her 2009 to get some type of consolation? The horse (Rachel) should have probably been retired after the Woodward. It is obvious Rachel doesn't want to prove anything to anyone... anymore. Borel is not the problem. Asmussen is not the problem. J. Jackson's wife is not the problem. She was ridden into the ground and owes nothing to anyone; except maybe Zenyatta... who was and still is the better athlete in 2009 or 2010.
Dave More than 1 year ago
Just realized that you're that guy who published Racing Times way back when. I have the first issue .Is it a collectable item ?
Qev More than 1 year ago
Valiant effort, brave girl. I'll take a horse that gives me it's whole heart--gate to wire--over any other sort on any day. As for the results; Pace Handicapping 101.
Ryan More than 1 year ago
Steve, Rachel looked exhausted after the race. As she walked back in front of the grandstand she could barely lift her head up. After Zenyatta races, her ears are still pricked and its if she didn't even break a sweat. Clearly she just is not a classic distance type of horse. I hope the connections find a few shorter distance races that she can finish up a remarkable career. Cheers.
Ryan More than 1 year ago
Steve, Rachel looked exhausted after the race. As she walked back in front of the grandstand she could barely lift her head up. After Zenyatta races, her ears are still pricked and its if she didn't even break a sweat. Clearly she just is not a classic distance type of horse. I hope the connections find a few shorter distance races that she can finish up a remarkable career. Cheers.
Dan More than 1 year ago
Silly me. I don't know what the Superfecta paid in the Ensign. Help. [No superfectas on five-horse fields. -SC]
Marc More than 1 year ago
Geez.. what is wrong with you guys? 1st- last year Rachel would have towroped this field even at 10 furlongs.. she is NOT the same horse as last year.. haven't you all noticed she does not have the turn of foot she had last year?? you know.. that burst when she seperated from the field coming into the stretch.. she is simply a slower horse.. and all the hand wringing and dissecting the particulars of this race are silly. If there has been something done wrongly by her it is from Asmussen for insisting she be on the lead whe her best races last year.. she came from behind the leader.. Listen as Steve says some get better at 4 some regress..Forego was in Secretariat's Derby.. he surely got better at 4. Affirmed could not beat Seattle Slew when Affirmed was 3.. next year he did the same to Spec Bid.. Rachel was a one of a kind 3 year old filly and she simply slowed down as a four year old.. she lost her turn of foot.. thats all
tom mcdonough More than 1 year ago
I hear a lot of complaints about burying a race with a lot of firsters in the middle of a pick six---it is almost as bad to run five of the Pick 6 races on the turf without a turf race in the opening races to give some indication how the turf is playing.
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
By the way, I see Gov. Patterson attended the Travers. Did he pay for his own tickets?
Figless More than 1 year ago
NYCOTB feed from NYRA was not much better, they showed someone (Phipps grandson?) walking the mare back to the winners circle but then the screen froze for about five minutes with an alchohol advertisement over the window where the winners circle presentation should have been. Not sure if it was OTB screwing up or from the NYRA feed, in either case it was really annoying to a fan of the game. Wanted to see the Phipps celebrate this historic victory. PERSonal Ensign goes to PERSistantly.