07/29/2010 11:52AM

Day 6: 7/29/10


The sixth day and first Thursday of Saratoga 2010 features three $70k stakes, including the first steeplechase of the meet, and a one-day $35k pick-6 carryover that includes five grass races.

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1:15 pm: Sermon of Love, winner over the flat and runner-up in the NYTW last summer, won the inaugural jump race of the meet at 10-1, longest price of three Sheppard trainees that would have been coupled in the past.


2:15 pm: You knew there were no special firsters among these 2-year-old fillies when Sky Hosoya, Pletcher second-timer dropping from MSW to MC$50k, was pounded to 4-5, and she drew off to win by 9 3/4 in 1:03.66.

Sky Hosoya is from the first crop of Pletcher trainee Bluegrass Cat, the '06 Derby runner-up to Barbaro. Usually pays to follow the first-crop juveniles during summer 2-year-old racing, as the ones that can run are cracked out early to create a little buzz before the August and September sales. The opening-day Schuylerville, for example, included precocious 2-year-olds from first-crop sires First Samurai, Bandini and Too Much Bling. Other freshman sires to keep in mind include Aragorn, Bellamy Road, Bernardini, Congrats, Giacomo, Henny Hughes, Old Forester, Pomeroy, Rockport Harbor, Sharp Humor, Silver Train, Suave, War Front and With Distinction.


10:00 pm: My apologies for disappearing due to technical difficulties, and for the temporary unavailability of commenting.

I didn't get involved in the pick-6 carryover, which attracted $241,820 in new handle and returned $14,195 for four favorites and two 6-1 shots. I didn't get far enough in my ticket-making before things went haywire to be able to say whether I would have put the $15.40 and $15.80 winners on the same ticket. There were 142 live combos going into the finale, 57 of them on 13-10 Devon Rock, the heaviest favorite in the sequence and 12 of them on the victorious Karakorum Legend, the 6.90-1 fourth choice. Only one horse, 40-1 shot Bold Victory, would have caused another carryover, and he ran last of 10.

Don't forget to sleep in a little Friday: First post is not until 2:30 p.m. The plan here is to get the human-and-hound caravan to Saratoga going by 9:30 a.m., offload the household, and still make the double. Odds: Pick 'em.