08/10/2007 6:26PM



---Marc Attenberg, DRF's Vice President/Internet, today proposed a $100 bet that I could not go the rest of the year without using the word "absurd" in this blog or my columns. I accepted the wager but reduced it to $1, because my father once told me that a gentleman never bets more than $1 on a sure thing. (Fortunately, there are no sure things at the racetrack.) Fortunate, too, that "preposterous" and "ridiculous" are handy synonyms.

--Harvey Pack always likes to say that the last race of the day determines whether you'll be dining at Siro's or 7-11, and you can see how I did on today's 9th by observing what's on my plate for Friday night supper:

Before you go feeling too sorry for me, I must confess that Cheese Waffies are one of my favorite things about Saratoga. The nearly fluorescent orange delicacies are largely unavailable in the greater New York City metropolitan area, but plentiful here in the foothills of the Adirondacks,

But I digress. Danzaway ruined what was left of my day by winning the off-the-turf finale, knocking me out of conso contention as well as several preposterously large pick-4 possibilities. The winners of races 6-8 paid $20.60, $8.50 and $6.40, a $280 parlay that would have suggested pick-4 probables starting at under $1,000 with Dubliner, the 8-5 favorite. Instead, that lowest payoff was $2,728 and the others ranged from $4500 to $42,000, including the winning one to 10-1 Danzaway paying $10,543. The gate scratch of a 5-2 shot in the sixth race means that the $20.60 winner of that race might have been closer to 15-1 than 9-1 in the pick four, but even so the payoffs were enormous.

So was the return of $178,790 to the lone pick-sick winner, who spoiled everyone else's prospective double-carryover fun for tomorrow by using Danzaway. I'd also love to know whether that one winner won the 8th race with the "wrong" half of the entry when Dorm Fever finished first in the off-the-grass Heed Stakes. I suspect most people who used the $6.40 winner were actually betting on entrymate International Fever, who ran third.

--Dubliner, by the way, is turning into the Hesanoldsalt of the statebred maiden ranks. His second-place finish to Danzaway was his sixth consecutive second in seven career starts. Something went wrong in his debut, where he missed finishing second by a head and settled for third. Dubliner showed new versatility today, finishing second on dirt after a previously all-grass career.