09/03/2010 2:52PM

Day 37: 9/3/10


Waiting for Hurricane Earl, which is heading north and expected to hit Long Island with enough wind and rain that they've already cancelled tonight's "Dukes of September" Fagen-McDonald-Scaggs concert I was planning to attend at Jones Beach. So while trying to get a refund from the ticket broker in Utah I bought the tickets and parking passes from on Wednesday, I at least can watch the entirety of Friday's twilight card, which began at 2:30 and is scheduled to conclude with the 9th race at 6:56 p.m.

They just ran the first of the afternoon's two stakes races, the $70k Saratoga Dew for statebred filly dirt routers. Wicked Diva got loose through 6f in 1:14.14, had a daylight lead with 100 yards to go, then held on by a nose in a three-way photo over the surging favorites Banker's Buy (8-5) and Don't Forget Gil (5-2).

Saratoga Dew, owned by Charles Engel and trained by Gary Sciacca, was the nation's champion 3-year-old filly of 1992, the only year she raced. She won 8 of 11 starts that year, including the G2 Comely, the G1 Gazelle and the G1 Beldame by six lengths over Versailles Treaty, earning a 108 Beyer. In her only start at Saratoga she was beaten a nose by November Snow in the Alabama.

Today's other stakes, the G3 With Anticipation for 2-year-olds on the grass, is named for one of the best American grass horses who never won an Eclipse Award: With Anticipation, who won 15 of 48 career starts and over $2.6 million in an eight-year career for Augustin Stable and trainer Jonathan Sheppard.

It's a little odd to name a juvenile grass race after a horse who made his turf debut at 3 and ran so indifferently that he didn't try the grass again until he was 6, but once he returned to the weeds he had two remarkable campaigns: As both a 6-year-old in 2001 and a 7-year-old in 2002, the gray son of Relaunch and Fran's Valentine swept the G1 United Nations at Monmouth, the G1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga and the G1 Man o'War at Belmont. Both years, however, he lost the Breeders' Cup Turf to Europeans who won the Eclipse Award as champion grass male -- Fantastic Light in 2001 and High Chapparral in 2002.


5:00 pm: Second dq'd winner of the meet as 9-2 Albertrani firster Palooza (Castellano) finished first but was placed second behind Violette second-timer Overseas Market (Dominguez) for moving three paths out and in front of the runner-up nearing the wire. It was a close call: No question Palooza changed lanes, but she was about exactly a length in front when she did and it's not clear that Dominguez had to alter course. Tough takedown for Palooza, who did all the early dirty work dueling for the lead, won the battle, and still made it under the wire first.


5:25 pm: 2-year-old filly Winter Memories ($7.50), well-bet Toner firster by El Prado from the excellent grass filly Memories of Silver, finished strongly to win first time out at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass. Her 3-year-old half-sister, La Cloche (by Ghostzapper), won earlier at the meet. 


5:55 pm: Count Catamount, more than twice the price of any of his rivals, opened the door for a pick-6 carryover into Woodward Day winning the 7th at $72.50.


6:00 pm: Today it's "Turismo and Turisti" that Cablevision just switched to at the stroke of 6 o'clock. Did someone miss the memo about twilight racing?


6:14 pm: Just looked up and Saratoga's back on Channel 74.


6:30 pm: So both of this week's grass stakes for 2-year-olds were won by maidens. On Wednesday it was second-timer Fancy Point winning the P. G. Johnson, and today it was third-timer Soldat ($19.40) looking very good winning the G3 With Anticipation over favored Powhatan County. Soldat, a War Front colt trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, was second in both of his prior starts in sprints on wet tracks to runaway winners: Bail out The Cat in June at Belmont and Hopeful entrant Wine Police at Saratoga in July.

Still no hurricane weather here five miles from Belmont Park but the sky grows ever more ominous and the wind is picking up.

According to the willpays NYRA just posted, there are three combos alive in the pick-6 going into the finale at a pool-scooping $83,770 each. Prince Will I Am, the 5-2 favorite, is covered but so apparently are currently 14-1 Thunder Perfect and 16-1 Thabazimbi. the eighth and ninth choices in a field of 10. This seems goofy, as does the possibility that if Thabazimbi wins, the $83k pick-6 will pay less than the $137,956 pick-4.


7:05 pm: Thabazimbi came out flying in the 11-furlong grass finale, opening what looked like a double-digit lead down the backstretch before packing it in at the top of the stretch. Prince Will I Am had cut the corner and looked ready to charge to the lead but was cut off by the tiring Thabazimbi and checked sharply. He looked like he might be off the board but Prince Will I Am somehow regathered himself and rerallied to win, outfinishing Slambino.

So one pick-6 winner at $83,770, a few more pick-4 winners at $19,445, and no carryover into Saturday. Rats. But it's a compelling 11-race card including the G1 Forego (9th) and G1 Woodward (10th) and I'll be back in earnest action.

Dave or Divot80 More than 1 year ago
HMMM! - Looks like 3 singletons to me in races 9 - 11 on Saturday.( 1-3-10). A small Pik 3 to say the least. Add those to the 'ALL' button in race 8 for a decent PIK 4. ( Caveat-my last winner was ages ago and I lost the ticket on the way to the cashier's window.) Divot80
george quinn More than 1 year ago
Hey Steve, 1.6 million in the Del Mar pool to start today. You swinging, or are you buying a popcorn and sitting in the stands? George in Tampa
Henry B More than 1 year ago
Just read about the increase in takeout at Calfornia. Truly is disappointing, states are taking out so much that is is impossible to win. Politicians are going in with both hands and skimming all the money off the top. I love to bet on horses, but I have to give it up. It is hazardous to the health of my bankroll. they are scooping at least 20% off the top of every bet I make.
dave More than 1 year ago
Tax question. The Twinspires player's pool hit the Spa pic6 a couple days ago. How are the tax issues handled ? This blog could offer the same ; and Steve Crist could pay the taxes !! Just kidding, but I figured if I had invested $50 in that Twinspires pool , my return would have been $100. The winning ticket cost $30,000. The marketing peons at Churchill called this professional "handicapping".
bigjc More than 1 year ago
Del Mar has the mega carryover that chalkatoga couldn't get. i'm glad I shifted my tack to Monmouth and DelMar midway through the meet. i never thought that would happen,and i never thought that I can't wait for Belmont. This meet was horrible besides the Grade 1's.If they keep the same schedule next year I won't even look at the place.
EJXD2 More than 1 year ago
Jim: http://rtn.tv/ EdD
Matt More than 1 year ago
Steve are you putting a ticket together for the monster carryover at Del Mar?
Walt P. More than 1 year ago
Jim: Agreed that TVG should try to work a deal with DirecTV that would allow them to have a "Channel Mix" that can be offered virtually year-round, with channels devoted to one track (one for Saratoga, one for Del Mar, etc.), with perhaps up to seven such channels offered in addition to the primary channel. In turn, if I'm at DirecTV, I look at contacting TVG about doing such a deal (and also contacting HRTV about doing something similar in addition to looking to add that channel to the DirectTV mix) as DirecTV could then turn around and promote that to horseplayers as a major incentive to switch from cable (something a lot of serious horseplayers I suspect would be willing to make the switch to, especially if it's offered in whatever packages TVG is already offered on), benefitting both TVG and DirecTV (and possibly HRTV as well). Also, as for Formulator, I would strongly recommend printing all files to PDF if you're not already doing that. Doing so will give you an extensive library you can look at down the road, something I also do with all charts for the tracks that are of primary concern to me.
r More than 1 year ago
Del CO of $0.00 PICK 6 CA CarryOver $1597469.73 Any defectors for a day?
Horserun More than 1 year ago
Steve, Why are you using a Utah ticket broker, actually didnt even know they had brokers in Utah, for a NYC show ???.....contact me anytime and i will get you great seats for face value !