07/26/2007 2:03AM

Prado, a Pasha, and Poker


--Edgar Prado rode three winners opening day. Two were narrow victories -- the fourth by half a length on Egypt Lane and the Schuylerville by a nose with Subtle Aly -- but his easier three-length triumph on Hangingbyathread in the 7th, a humble N1x for older male statebred grass horses, was his shrewdest ride of the day. Hangingbyathread drew post 11 in a field of 12 but glided past the 10 inside him to find himself alone at the rail by the first turn. Prado then further lulled his rivals to sleep behind him through leisurely fractions of 25.16 and 50.66. The alarm clock went off for the others after six furlongs in 1:15.16, and when they picked up the pace Prado was able to do the same, sprinting home with a fourth quarter of 22.95 and a final sixteenth in 6.06 to widen his margin to three lengths. Give the best horse a tactical advantage and the race is over.

--Some recommended bedtime reading from Thursday's New York Times: Some nice turns of phrase by reporter Nicholas Confessore in this account of State Senate majority leader Joe Bruno's opening-day visit to the track, where he "floated through the crowd like a pasha down the Nile"; and why artificial-intelligence researchers from the University of Alberta may be the future-book favorites for the 2017 National Handicapping Championship -- if they would stop fooling with children's bagatelles like chess, checkers and poker and take on a real challenge.

Devon Allerton More than 1 year ago
Steven Crist, you're full of [it]. Give credit where credit is due. The anomaly is that anyone is questioning a functioning timer at a track that had no problems beforehand or after. Why be such a spurt of the sport? Just because you're an earthboud curmudgeon doesn't mean that good horses don't have days where they feel like they can almost fly. "Saratoga | Posted 7/29/2007, 9:17 am By STEVEN CRIST A track-record Whitney -- or was it?" From: http://www.dmtc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15847 Posted: 29 Jul 2007 11:09 Post subject: Go back and watch the race again, but not bothering to time it. And not on a small screen if you can avoid. Watch his acceleration in the stretch. Watch how he is drawing further away from the field with every stride. He's pouring it on a a bunch when he gets past Wanderin Boy. I don't doubt his time at all. PrivateSmiles
track gal More than 1 year ago
Besides being a horrendous start to Saratogas racing season, it should be a reminder that horses and courses can be a deadly combo. It seemed to me that the 4 races that followed had a pall cast over them. Trouble in the starting gates, and I can not help but feel that for all the bravado, the jocks have to have the nerves working overtime..fear factor anyone? I just want to add that I am glad they are taking the turf horses right to the gate and not making them wait. I also think the warm up periods for the dirt races are way too long, they need to load thoses horses faster...period. The race is on....
Jim Dornan More than 1 year ago
Steve-Great idea on the blog. Very informative and insightful. This definitely puts me in the mood for my annual pilgrimage up there next month. Keep up the great work and see you at Siro's.--JD
Bronx Boy More than 1 year ago
Great journal! How do you read the 5th today. Can Berry Bond stretch out on short rest? Can any of the twelve win? Am I crazy for liking the 5 Interior Design?
Kevin Sullivan More than 1 year ago
Steve-Prado did the same thing on opening day last year (Race 10 8f MSW, Brilliant Cut, Frankel) but at 11-1. In both cases, each horse had the best lifetime raw time to the quarter of the bunch.
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
Larry, I apologize if that sounded like crowing or redboarding. It wasn't -- I went four deep in that race to come up with a $5.90 winner. I was just trying to say that the quin ella of PERHAPS-superior talent AND a tactical advantage is a lethal combo. But I guess that's ultimately an unhelpful truism along the lines of "speed is always dangerous."
Brooklyn Steve More than 1 year ago
Useless stat of the day????? In the 2 allowance races on the turf opening day, Edgar Prado rode both winners, and Fernando Jara rode both runners up. Would be a nice Exacta in todays 9th if that continues.
Larry Roberts More than 1 year ago
At the best race meet in America, with some of the best jockeys around, how does what happened in the 7th race on opening day occur? A 50 and 3 half!!! Today, maiden fillies ran more than a full second faster!!! It's just so rare when someone actually race rides anymore. So many more races are of the merry-go-round variety these days. And Steve, your comment about giving "the best horse a tactical advantage and the race is over", leave that kind of know-it-all comment to guys like Watchmaker, you're too good for that. I certainly wasn't sure before the race who the "best" horse was, and the betting public didn't make that horse odds on. And from your columns, which I enjoy, you admit that you do not always know either. That, I'm sure you agree, is what makes a horse race.