07/04/2008 3:05PM

Holiday Carryover Live


4:01 pm: I'll have a pretty good idea what kind of shape I'm in after the first leg of the double-carryover Independence Day pick-6 at Belmont because I'm planning to put about 70 percent of my eggs into the basket of morning-line favorite Doremefasollatido. Beaten a neck in her debut despite a wide trip and a perhaps premature move, she ran well enough to win the vast majority of 2-year-old statebred filly maiden races. Also, Jimmy Jerkens trainees routinely improve sharply second time out -- he's running at 38 percent with that move over the last 18 months -- so we might as well get the suspense over with early.

Unless, of course, one of the firsters takes serious, serious money and I scramble to reconfigure my tickets in the next 25 minutes.

4:20 pm: Doremietc. opened the 2-1 favorite in the win pool and is also the favorite at the equivaklent of 2-1 in the race 2-3-4 will-pays. Sweet Ober Melissa, third in Doremietc.'s debut, is the 7-2 second choice in both pools with firster Not A Peep not far behind in the 7-2/9-2 range. The other live-looking firster on paper, Clement trained Akilina, is next at what seems like a tepid 6-1/7-1 despite a bullet turf work and a trainer firing at 28 percent with firsters.

I'm not sure what to make of firster She's Prime, dead in the pick-3's at around 12-1 but holding at 4-1 in the win pool. Trainer Mike Miceli has a 20:0-0-1 record with firsters since 1/1/2005, but only two of them have been under 10-1.

4:40 pm: Phew. With Tom Durkin's fullthroated singing of the musical scale threatening to shatter my eardrums like a cheap wineglass, Doremifasollatido cruised to a lengthy victory in the opener at 8-5. The Clement firster, Akilina, was a distant second as Sweet Ober Melissa held third at 7-2 and the hot Bush firster Not a Peep, hammered to 5-2 late, was fourth after making a menacing move on the turn.

That leaves me alive on five tickets including the big caveman one singling Doremietc. and the little backups which also require victories by either Caesar Beware in the 6th or Lucky Island in the co-featured Tom Fool.

5:15 pm: No phew, big ouch. My three A's run 1-3-4 but the seemingly victorious Admiral Byrd at 7-2 bothers fourth-place 9-5 fave Doc N Roll and is placed behind him after a long blinking inquiry, elevating second-place My Man Lars (a 10-1 C) to first and thinning me out badly. Of course if my third-place A, 16-1 Bethpage Black had outnodded My Man Lars for second, he'd be the one being put up and I'd be loving life. Instead I'm down to a thread of a single live 1x2x1x3 ticket that goes 4/3,6/2/3,5,10. Arggggh.

Hats off to George Weaver for getting My Man Lars ($23.40) ready to (sort of) win in his first start since Nov. 24. That and the fact that he looked like a mile was a little short for him, made me relegate him to C status in an impossible race where I probably should have split my eight open horses 4/4 instead of 3/2/3. From such tiny decisions our fortunes flow.

The 5th was run in a driving rainstorm that began about 10 minutes to post time and ended before the inquiry did.

I have no real beef with the takedown. I don't think Doc N Roll was winning the race, but he was still in the thick of it 100 yards from home when Admiral Byrd came over sharply and forced him to check.

5:48 pm: Reduced to rooting for a 3-5 (actually 3-4 at $3.50) shot, at least I didn't have to beg as Caesar Beware won the third leg by half a dozen lengths. That leaves me 2x1x3 where I'd hoped to be 4x2x5 with Admiral Byrd or Bethpage Black.

I had four of them open to win the upcoming G2 First Flight Handicap and when it came time to split them 2/2 for A/B purposes, I made what I'm hoping was the correct decision to emphasize the closers, and thus went with Baroness Thatcher and Wild Gams instead of Rite Moment and Any Limit. There's a decent possibility of a four-way pace duel that could set things up for a late gobbler. I could also make a case that Baroness Thatcher is just a little classier than these, since there are no Grade 1 winners in the field and Baroness Thatcher has lost two of those by whiskers -- the Ballerina by a nose to Eclipse winner Maryfield, and the Humana Distaff by a head to dual G1 winner Intangaroo. Problem is that she's lost 13 races in a row and 16 of 18 overall.

The main track has been sealed and downgraded to muddy for the two upcoming G2 7f stakes. Is it wet enough to help Any Limit in the First Flight and Tasteyville in the Tom Fool, both undefeated on wet tracks? Here's hoping not.

6:25 pm: Well, that's about enough torture and whining for one afternoon. Baroness Thatcher couldn't have been worse and appears in need of a freshening, but Wild Gams made a monstrous move around the turn in the First Flight as if she were going to collar Any Limit and win by twilight. Unfortunately, once she reached Any Limit's collar she didn't gain another inch during the final furlong and thus dies another dream.

Before someone helpfully points out that I'd be in great position to hit the thing if I'd made one super-caveman ticket instead of 14 zigzaggy A/B/C ones, I don't do the latter just for fun. A single ticket using every A, B and C horse would have cost $28,800 instead of the $896 I invested. I'd rather take 30 shots at the latter level than one at the former.

I suppose we could have a triple carry if Council Member and Zyxt win the last two, but I'm not sure that stranger things have happened.

7:01 pm: No triple carry, as all eight horses in the finale are covered, ranging from $10k on favored Unbridled Refrain to $315k on Easter Guardian -- I think, since I got one look at the will-pays and twilight racing seems to have interfered with NYRA's ability to post them on the NYRA Rewards betting site.

Lucky Island was very strong winning the Tom Fool on the lead in 1:22.73, 1.13 seconds faster than Any Limit's First Flight.

Alive for five consos to the 3,5,7 and 10 and if they pay $180 each I can get out for the day. Either way, time for refreshments and fireworks. Enjoy what's left of the holiday.

11:45 pm: Back to work: $1.19 million pick-6 carryover into Hollywood's rich Saturday card, and the sequence includes the American Oaks, Triple Bend and Cash Cash Mile, which makes it in theory more accessible to a national audience and back-East folk like me. The pick-6 begins with the 6th race, scheduled for 2:42 Pacific time. That's about half an hour after a pair of Grade 1's: the Vanity at Hollywood, where Zenyatta's 2-5 on the ML, and the Prioress at Belmont. where Indian Blessing is likely to be shorter than her 9-5 ML. The G1 United nations at Monmouth is scheduled for 6:47 ET.