08/01/2012 11:49AM

Saratoga Day 11: 8/1/12



12:50 pm: Today's Saratoga pick-6, which starts with a two-day $239k carryover, looks more manageable than most of the cards so far at this meet. (Now watch a bunch of 30-1 shots sweep the card and give us a three-day million-dollar carry into Thursday.)

At the moment, though, it looks shotworthy and not as overwhelming as some of the marathon programs with endless fields have been. After scratches, the field sizes for race 5 through 10 are currently 7, 9, 9, 7, 6 and 11. Also, 4 of the 6 races are on the dirt, including two statebred stakes, and the only juvenile race is the first leg, so at least we'll get a good look at the early betting on the three firsters opposing four second-timers. (I still don't understand why these races aren't carded as the 1st or 2nd on the card instead of the 5th, but two cheers for NYRA for doing the next best thing.)

It's fast and firm, and all the main-track-onlies have been scratched. Here's the lineup as of now:

The sequence begins at 3:13 pm.


1:40 pm: Rough early double, and not just for chalkplayers.

In the opener, Count Catamount ($27.60) ran his Spa record to 3 for 4 in a race marred by the breakdown of 1-2 favorite One Note Samba on the turf.

In the second, even-money favorite Lucky My Way tired badly from an early duel and came home last of six. Classic Point blew past her on the turn and opened a big lead in upper stretch for trainer Allen Jerkens, only to shorten stride badly as three went by her in the final furlong, led by Cypress Isle ($8.20).

Housekeeping note to commenters: Please don't take it personally if I spike your post when it's identical to several other already received, e.g. the flood of "What happened to the #4 in the first race" posts about One Note Samba's breakdown. No point running the same question many times if asked and answered once.


2:45 pm: Margaret Lilian ($9.00) and Pyro City ($14.80) posted front-running sprint and route turf victories in the 3rd and 4th. Was watching the race 4-5 doubles to get a bead on the firsters in the upcoming 5th, first leg of the pick-6, and the Pletcher firster Corail was favored throughout the betting over the second-timers Girluphigh and Liquid Lunch in that order. Mild support for the Matz firster Zazz as the fourth choice.

Here are the willpays into the 5th:

Time to make the tickets.


3:07 pm: Here goes:


3:20 pm: Oh me of little faith. Wouldacoulda shoulda believed the board on Corail, Pletcher firster who was 6-5 throughout the betting and down to 4-5 on last flash, but field did include object lesson of second-timers who were trounced as 7-5 and 3-2 in their debuts. In any case, Corail -- a Wertheimer homebred by Indian Charlie -- got the whole world alive at $3.90 after running the 5.5f in 1:04.52 after an easy half in 46.76,


3:55 pm: I'm out and a little whiny about the trips I got running 2-3-4 behind Unbridled Command ($15.00) -- in a race where only a length separated the first five under the wire -- but I clearly underestimated the winner, who was moving up off a dominant victory vs. lesser. Someone sure liked him because I was shocked to see him go off at 6-1 when I expected him to be 10-1 or better.

Congrats if you're still in it.


4:32 pm: Good result in the 7th as I attempt to crawl out of the pick-6 hole as perfectly logical 8-1 shots Giant Sleep ($19.40) and Catalina Island combined for a $191.50 exacta in the first leg of the late pick-4.

Can someone explain the action on Stay Composed to me? Not fair to knock his performance since he lost the rider, but this looked to me like a quitting 20-1 no-hoper and he went off as the 9-2 third choice.


5:02 pm: Bush-whacked for the second time in three races as trainer Tom Bush, who send out Unbridled Command to win the 6th at $15.00, just sent out Beautiful but Blue to win the Fleet Indian Stakes at an identical $15.00. Another improving runner stepping up, BBB won the Bouwerie June 24 then took on her elders for the first time today and outfought favored Risky Rachel in a long drive.

Beautiful but Blue, an El Corredor filly bred and owned by Chester & Mary Broman, ran the 7f in 1:22.43 and has now won 5 of her last 6 starts.


5:37 pm: Saginaw, away since the Met Mile on Memorial Day, returned with a superb effort winning the $100k John Morrissey for statebreds in a runaway and stopping the time in 1:15.17 for 6.5f.

Away a beat slowly, Saginaw motored up the rail, powered past Dr. Disco (22.32, 44.83) and uncoupled entrymate Fiddlers Afleet around the turn, and ran away from the field down the stretch through 6f in 1:08.67.

Saginaw, a 6-year-old Peruvian gelding from the Devil's Bag mare Devilzene, has turnd into a new and much faster horse since being claimed by trainer David Jacobson from Rick Dutrow last March. He has won 5 opf his last six including three restricted stakes while reeling off one triple-digit Beyer after another. Only the Met, where he haded badly behind world-class dirt milers, proved too much for him.

Eight of the 11 in the finale are covered in the pick-6 at payoffs ranging from $67k to a pool-scooping $941k:

I'm surprised the #1 is covered and the #9 and #11 aren't but apparently I'm easily surprised today.


6:15 pm: Excruciating beat for the 10 people alive to Dan and Sheila (12 live combos) but not Sinorice (2 live combos) as Dan and Sheila led every step except the last one, getting nailed on the wire by Sinorice ($28.00). Trainer Nick Zito's first winner of the meet completed a $470,645 pick-6 and a $17,908 pick-4. The pick-6 payoff was so big that Nassau OTB TV's graphics only have room to display it as "0645.00."

[Update: NYRA is reporting one of the two winning tickets was purchased through Nassau OTB.]

There shall be better days ahead -- starting tomorrow if you like steeplechasing: Remember that the Thursday card begins with two jump races, an allowance and the Smithwick Memorial, followed by nine fenceless events.