07/26/2010 2:00PM

Day 4: 7/26/10


SARATOGA SPRINGS -- 78 and sunny, just one (race 6) off-the-turfer, and a $48k carryover you can chase among yourselves while I'm driving back down the Thruway.

The switch of the 6th to the main track means that we weill have gotten through a week of Saratohga, albeit a four-day one, without a single turf sprint. None were carded for the first two days, and yesterday's three were all switched to dirt.

Today's stakes race is the $70k Evan Shipman for older statebred routers, which is somewhat mysteriously being run as the third instead of the eighth. It's a seven-horse field, as is the allowance race being run in the usual stakes spot, and there's no overwhelming favorite. Maybe there was a concern that the race would lose Slevin, entered and scratched as a main-track-only on Saturday, and another scratch would leave them with a five-horse feature, but so what? In the absence of a more compelling reason, it's just weird to squander your only stakes race of the day at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

3:00 pm: The Shipman turned out to be a corker of a race, with six of them across the track in upper stretch and a three-horse fight to the finish that ended with Giant Moon a narrow winner over Icabad Crane and Groomed for Victory after 1:49.31. While Giant Moon was never going to be his 5-2 ML price, $3.70 seemed a little stingy in the return department.

That followed an early double with male and versions of the same conditions for $10k claimers -- open 3-year-olds and non-winners of three elders. Jockey Ray Maragh won both, with Show Trial in 1:10.71 in the opener and the filly Primed to Be Ready in 1:11.16 in the 2nd.

The 4th, opening leg of that pick-6 I didn't play, went to second choice Mystic Fever at 7-2, a race where I'd have probably gone four deep. Come on, people, what do you say we get some longshots home the rest of the way and play a double-carryover Wednesday?

And with that I'm calling it a half-day and hitting the road, trying to duck both the Albany and New York rush hours. I'll follow along on sattellite radio, as commenter andyscoggin proposed, and fill in the late results tonight when I am back home amid the comforts of hearth and hounds.