09/02/2010 2:12PM

Day 36: 9/2/10


Another turf festival at Saratoga today, with 7 of 10 on the grass totalling 71.5 furlongs including two divisions of the Riskaverse Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. I can't remember the last time we had a two-division stakes race around here, but the Riskaverse -- an ungraded and unrestricted mile for 3-year-old filies -- drew 58 nominations and 23 entrants.

Today is Day 36 of the meet, which would have meant Closing Day in recent years but in 2010 brings us only to the 90 percent mark of the expanded 40-day meeting. Three of the four remaining card safter today have already been drawn, and entries for the final Labor Day card will be taken tomorrow.

And speaking of tomorrow, don't forget that it's the second and last Twilight Card of the meeting, with a 2:30 rather than 1:00 start. I completely forgot about it when, a couple of days ago, I saw that Donald Fagen is playing at Jones Beach on Long Island tomorrow night (with Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs) and I snapped up tickets online for a 7:30 show. I remembered about the late post time about three milliseconds after pushing the button to complete the purchase. So, possible hurricane permitting, I'll probably be cutting out just before the 8th of tomorrow's 9 races. At least it won't be the conclusion of a five-day $5 bazillion carryover.

As for yesterday's carryover festivities, thanks to you all for your support and sympathy. You can call off the suicide watch; the game goes on. And I couldn't help noticing that after unsuccessfully trying to root home the Tom Voss-trained steeplechase-to-flat Sharps Island in yesterday's finale, the trainer returned in today's opener to win the final steeplechase of the meeting with 18-1 Easy Red. If you go back 19 races in Easy Red's past performances, you'll see a Sept. 2008 allowance race at Laurel where Sharps Island beat Easy Red by 1 3/4 lengths.


2:55 pm: You've got 19 minutes to get into the final $100k guaranteed Thursday pick-6 of the meeting. I'm passing, with no carryover and a tough bunch of 2-year-old maiden races in the sequence. It will be interesting to see what the handle is. On the five previous Thursday guarantees, there were carryovers three times making the guarantee moot, and the two other times than handle just cleared the mark at $112k and $108k. Those two days make the experiment a success, as the normal non-carry weekday handles are usually in the $60k-$85k range.

Awesome Maria, making her first start for Pletcher and her first since finishing second by a head to Devil May Care in the G1 Frizette last Oct. 10, won the first division of the Riskaverse in 1:35.06 by half a length over second-choice Snow Top Mountain.


4:33 pm: Technique ($8.60), a half-brother to Godolphin's Tahitian Warrior, held on to win the baby-race 7th but was fortunate to do so. Cane Garden Bay, a well-bet (9-2) Rockport Harbor firster, came roaring down the center of the track from far back to miss by just a head and it was only another long neck back to Rice second-timer It's Truly Ahvee, who checked and altered course behind the winner.


5:45 pm: Queen of the Creek ($10.40) wired the field through strong fractions to win the second and much faster (1:33.94 vs. 1:35.06)division of the Riskaverse.

Lisa's Booby Trap, the even-money favorite off her 4-for-4 dirt record and media-friendly backstory, was fourth early and faded badly late to finish last of 10. I got involved in tris and supers trying to get her off the board at such a preposterously short price, but couldn't come up with either 34-1 Ultimate Class or 25-1 Kittilicious, who ran 2-3 to complete a $2,386 trifecta and combined with 16-1 Doe Run for a $10.795 super.

Six of the 10 in the finale are covered in the pick-6, though not deeply: three winners at $38k to the favored #3, two winners at $55k to the 6 or 10, and one winner at $110k with the 1,2 or 5. If the 4,8,9 or 11 get home, there's a $110k carry into tomorrow's twlight affair.


6:05 pm: The racing guy at Cablevision or Nassau OTB must be on vacation: Four minutes to post for the last at Saratoga and Channel 74 just switched to "Settenote Musica." So I clicked over to TVG, where four minutes later the screen says it's post time at Saratoga but we're still watching horses warm up for the 3rd at Del Mar.


6:07 pm: The cable guy's vacation might have ended early. Saratoga's back on Channel 74 and it looks like favored Theresmyeverything ($6.60) won the finale to complete a $212.50 pick-4, a $38,835 pick-6, and Day 36.


Tony More than 1 year ago
In 2005, both the Yaddo and De La Rose were split into two divisions, and barring any further brain failure, I think those were the last stakes that were divided at Saratoga before the Riskaverse. Yeah, I'm a few days late to the party, and that I know such things is truly sad, but trivia is trivia, after all. As for Lisa's Booby Trap, to be fair, grass was just an experiment. But that's the thing about a bandwagon: the revolving doors always work. When she's back sprinting on dirt in stakes through the fall, I expect the revolving door to spin again.
grasslover More than 1 year ago
I also noticed that on TVG yesterday. Let's watch horses warm up for a race minutes away at Poly Mar, while horses are at the gate at Saratoga, getting ready to run a race that decides pick 6 and pick 4 wagers. I understand that based in California that TVG might be partial to So Cal racing, but yesterday was just ridiculous...
djr More than 1 year ago
Steve, congrats on being close with a three thousand dollar wager. How about joining in with the rest of us two hundred dollar betters and try to hit the pick 6 at Del Mar today. Very difficult card with maidens on syn, turfers, etc.
stephen smith More than 1 year ago
Hey Steve when you talked about the great group of 87 3YO's you didn't mention Lost Code, who I think won a couple of G1's [He was the one top 3yo of that year not in the Travers. One of our editors, Irwin Cohen, had the same thought and correctly changed my original "the seven best 3-year-olds" to "seven of the best 3-year-olds" because of Lost Code. -SC]
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
News Item – Golfer Phil Mickelson visits Del Mar race course. Phil’s horse was disqualified for inappropriate club usage in a designated sand trap in the Del Mar infield (which had been trampled upon earlier in the day by the thousands of fans following the golfing horses around the course) – thus ineligible to play in the sudden-death playoff, at the end of the regulation 18-furlong competition.
marc More than 1 year ago
Steve you should get verizon fios tv [if available in your zip code] tvg and hrtv on the sports package.
mike m More than 1 year ago
Whats with the low payout of the triple in todays 9th race? 4-1,35-1,24-1 pays 2300.00?? I hit the 9th race tri on wed and it was 6-1,9-1,16-1 and the tri payed 2100.00 . what gives?? [My guess is that a)Lisa's Booby Trap was not as short a price in any pool except the win pool and b)lots of people (myself included) were aggressively playing against her. -SC]
r More than 1 year ago
Double co at del. fri........ Nice book of co stories. I reckonize the jockey on the cover I think his first name begins with r.
harry m leonard jr More than 1 year ago
you will be seeing a great show
bigjcc526 More than 1 year ago
Another stale day @ 'Toga,awful prices again. Up to a couple of years ago,you could feel good betting 15-1,20-1 as they looked good. Now anything over 5-1 hardly has a chance. Horse racing will be going the way of the dinosaur if this continues