08/03/2009 1:55PM

Day 6: 8/3/09



2:45 pm: Missed the first three while driving back to Long Island. Not a straw in my path until I hit the Whitestone Bridge, crawled home from there. Track-to-track driving time, Saratoga to Belmont, including two rest stops, was 4:15:32.30. Guy I know who likes to bet on anything wanted to go over 4:07 for $1,000, but I didn't bite. Good number, though.

Dondo seemed happy to see me back at the desk, though disappointed there were no Cheetos in my laptop bag.

Didn't get involved in the all-maiden early pick-4, but the plan is to get tied on in time for the late pick-4 and the excellent renewal of the G2 Amsterdam.

What a pleasure to have the NYRA signal back on the Nassau OTB channel after the blackout from June 3 through July 26.

4:15 pm: Tough but fascinating sequence. Couldn't get around going three-deep in the six-horse Amsterdam with Everyday Heroes, Quality Road and Capt. Candyman Can. I'm rooting for Quality Road to return in the pink, but have no confidence he's going to be 100 percent off an injury-induced layoff and a barn change. Capt. Candyman Can is a very solid 3-year-old sprinter, who would benefit from a possibly hot pace, but may just be tuning up for the G1 King's Bishop at his preferred 7f distance. If the doubts on both come true, Everyday Heroes is the logical alternative. I even wavered on including Custom for Carlos, who comes off a big-fig effort in the Jersey Shore, but just can't see him winning the battle AND the war.

Here's the play:



4:40 pm: Ugh start. In a race I thought was teeming with intriguing bombs, second choice Pull Dancer was clearly best, paying $8.00 as just a B.

By the way, that was a nice performance by Dance Gal Dance winning the Fleet Indian Stakes for statebred fillies in the 6th. She dueled with Doremifasolatido through fractions of 22.38 and 44.66, and pulled clear to win by two lengths in 1:21.71. Dance Gal Dance now has six victories and two seconds in eight career starts.


Also, I'm well aware I owe you a bunch of answers to a bunch of recent questions (Rachel, My Man Lars, Cheese Waffies etc.), and we'll get to those tomorrow on the dark day before I head into the big city for the Steely Dan concert. In the meantime, if you hadn't heard, Rachel Alexandra's magnificent Haskell got the biggest Beyer Speed Figure of the year: a 116.

5:10 pm: As Quality Road came to the winner's circle after a splendid return winning the Amsterdam by 2 1/4 lengths, announcer John Imbriale said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we do know that Quality Road is a particularly fast 3-year-old, but I don't believe those times on the board are correct. But we'll check it out."

He was looking at posted fractions of 22.45, 44.95 and 1:06.85, and a final time of 1:13.45 for 6.5 furlongs, which would have lowered Topsider's track record by a full second.

The opening quarter and half look reasonable given Dance Gal Dance's splits, as does a final sixteenth in 6.60, but the third quarter in 21.90, and the posted six-furlong split of 1:06.85, don't pass the smell test. However it turns out, it was an excellent judgment in the heat of the moment by Imbriale to question the times.

In any case, Quality Road is back but where does he go now? Stretching out from 6.5f to 10f in the Travers seems a bit ambitious, but the King's Bishop seems a bit redundant. Interesting choices ahead.


5:44 pm: Dave Litfin is reporting over on The Inside Post that track officials are now saying the final time of the Amsterdam is correct and that only the six-furlong split is off -- it should have been 1:07.22 and not 1:06.85.

Everyone except the 4 and 11 is covered in the pick-6 in the finale.

Calling it a day. Back tomorrow with the items mentioned above -- plus the incredible-but-true story of Badger Popeye's spleen.

6:00.01 pm: Glad I'm not alive in the pick-4 or anything. Three minutes to post for the last race of the day and the Nassau OTB channel just switched to the Neapolitan hip-hop strains of "In Italia" Italian-language programming. Yep, I'm home.

6:05 pm: Over to TVG for the nightcap. 44-1 firster Tri Polar lost the lead in deep stetch to 8-1 firster Cleric, but came again to eke out a victory worth $41k to one pick-6 ticket-holder. Tri Polar, a 3-year-old Newfoundland gelding, is owned and trained by Suffolk Downs-based Giuseppe Iadisernia. Nice way to end opening week, if you had him.

trackjudge More than 1 year ago
http://www.crossroads-market.com/hard-to-find-grocer/Wise-Cheese-Waffies-5oz-bag/productinfo/HFDE153/ for all you cheese waffies fans
Bill M More than 1 year ago
Thanks Bob Jacobson for the trip down memory lane. I thought a remembered G. Iadisernia as the guy A. Beyer wrote about. Jeez, and both those were firsters. Reviewed the chart of Tri Polar this morning...gate-to-wire throught quick splits, headed in deep stretch comes back, no problem. Bless his heart. Oh well, as they say. Turn the page.
eric More than 1 year ago
that final time for quality road is not accurate. a timer an infant plays with can figure that out. special horse and loved seeing him coming off the big layoff, but that time was ridiculous and is NOT accurate.
Nick Briglia More than 1 year ago
We are all anxious to see a beyer for Quality Road. Steve, I think we would all appreciate it if you can get that to us.....
Steve Moody More than 1 year ago
Wondering if anyone hand-timed the Amsterdam? I ran it back on my DVR and clocked it 3 times. I caught it twice in 1:14.14 and once in 1:14.15. That's still record time, I believe, but more realistic than 1:13.45.
lifelong_amsterdamian More than 1 year ago
Rachel Alexandra appears to be a great horse and the owner is trying to stamp her as one of the greatest ever. I think it would be really interesting if she ran in the Alabama which on paper appears that it would be nothing more than a paid work out and then came back and faced quality road in the travers and won that. Claimers run every week and they run all out she could pontentially win the alabama under wraps. it would be pretty historical for her to win both something that might not ever be accomplished again.
Steve More than 1 year ago
I followed Iadisernia's 1st timers after Beyer's column,and they all came up empty.Its a complete guessing game when he has one placed correctly.
bochalls More than 1 year ago
I too was nipped by Iadisernia in the finale and also missed out on the P3, DD and a nice win bet. Weaver truly is snakebitten....does anyone remember Busher? She always seems to get lost in the discussion on great fillies. Took on the boys on any surface, any distance...convinced that Quality Road woulda won the Derby...I found out long ago-its hard to beat the Quality Road-Quality RoOOOoooOOOad.
Raps7 More than 1 year ago
Nice first week of racing at the Spa. What I have really enjoyed is: 1) Garcia and Maragh. Two great young riders who have given some outstanding rides 2) Dominguez. Knock that he always has the "best" horse, but some fantastic rides on "inferior" horses 3) Coa, Prado, JR, Javier having to work for wins. No free rides my friends 4) Contessa and Dutrow not dominating the trainer standings 5) Full fields Here's hoping to more good racing and that my favorite, the Mig gets his first win soon.
Wayne80 More than 1 year ago
Zenyatta's connections ducking Rachel plain and simple, the NYRA detention barn is no excuse. If its good enough for everyone else it should be good enough for Zenyatta. Sure NYRA would give them a choice of location. But if they refuse to deal with the detention barn they still need to ship East and beat her on dirt somewhere if they want Champion Older F&M Honors(lets hold off on HOY for either of these until/if they prove they can beat older males, please).