08/03/2012 2:01PM

Saratoga Day 13: 8/3/12


3:00 pm: A late getaway from downstate, but clear sailing thereafter. Doesn't look like I missed anything juicy in the first four races, but feel free to tell me otherwise.

Here are the early pick-4 willpays to ponder while I get tied on for the back 60 percent of the Friday card:

The pick-6 starts with the 5th and with a $77k carryover.


3:25 pm: The 5th was probably over when Jocosity got in off the also-eligibles, but I likely would have overthought a free bingo square since the 2-year-old Toddler was making his dirt debut after two Polytrack 2nds at Woodbine. On the other hand, one of those seconds was in a $150k stakes despite a stumbling start, and he was facing an uninspiring lineup of firsters. In any case, Jocosity ($3.60)ran away from the field early and late, setting fractions of 21.79 and 44.93 en route to a final time of 1:02.85 that looks like it will come up a big number.

Jocosity, a Canadian-bred who sold for $210k as a 2-year-old in training, is a son of Sharp Humor. He was the 7th 2-year-old maiden winner at the meet for Pletcher (joining Kauai Kate, Park City, Lawn Man, Charming Kitten, Top Tier Lass and Corail.)


3:55 pm: Looked at the furlong pole of the 6th that the pick-6 would start with two strong chalks, as 8-5 A. P. Hutchy had led from the start and still looked strong. She began to falter in the final sixteenth, though, and 5-1 Drinksonthehouse caught her nearing the wire, but then 7-1 Jitney (out of Take a Taxi) came flying on the outside to beat them both. Jitney, a 3-year-old Team Millenium homebred trained by John Hertler, is a daughter of the Japanese-bred Forty Niner stallion Utopia, who stands right here in Saratoga Springs.


4:35 pm: Third of the day for Pletcher, the second with a Repole Stable dropdown. Never On Time, beaten 35 1/2 in two juvenile starts, returned off a 10-month layoff with a string of good turf works and ran to them, wiring a field of $65k maiden claimers at $14.60. Didn't hurt that the opposition laid back off soft fractions of 24.35, 49.15 and 1:13.22.

Joonbi in the 1st was also a dropdown. Repole claimed her for $62,500 June 23rd and sent her out to win with a $35k tag today.

Two stakes coming up: 8th is the $100k John's Call at a mile and five-eighths on the turf, restricted to non-winners of a graded stakes this year, and the 9th is the G2 Honorable Miss for older fillies at 6f.


5:10 pm: Patience proved the key in the 13-furlong John's Call, as Junior Alvarado made the last move behind a relatively quick pace and piloted Harrods Creek to a four-length victory.

Ballet Boy carved out quick-for-a-marathon splits of 23.75, 47.50, 1:12.67 and 1:37.89, stalked by Hailstone, 6-5 Tahoe Lake, and Harrods Creek in that order. Around the last turn, Hailstone took the first shot, sweeping to the lead, and then Tahoe Lake came after him. Then Alvarado cut Harrods Creek loose and he mowed down the leaders.

Harrods Creek ($6.00), is a 5-year-old by Langfuhr, is owned and was bred by Drs. J. David Richardson and Hiram C. Polk, and is trained by Bill Mott. He had been second or third in three G2 or G3 races but this was his first stakes victory.


5:50 pm: The patience thing worked for Alvarado again in the Honorable Miss, as he kept CC's Pal well off 9-5 It's Me Mom's scorching fractions of 21.14 and 43.78, cut the corner on the turn, eased out late and scored a narrow viuictory over Island Bound in 1:09.88.

C C's Pal ($8.50), a 5-year-old Alex's Pal mare owned by Eric Fein and trained by Rick Dutrow, won the Ladies Handicap on new Year's day and the G2 Vagrancy at Belmont June 2. Pretty sure this makes her the first horse to win stakes races as all three NYRA tracks this year.

All but two of the nine in the finale are covered in the pick-6, ranging from 10 live tickets at $31k to #5 Glory in Motion to two live tickets apiece at $157k to #7 Viv's Tiara and #10 Stray Bullet. The uncovered horses are #3 Centrique and #8 Grace and Courage -- the latter trained by Gabriel Goodwin, whose lone starter at the meeting (Lady Utopia, by the aforementioned Utopia) paid $142.50 to win.



6:15 pm: There was a moment when uncovered Centrique and Grace and Courage were thrid and fourth around the stretch turn and I thought we might have a $315k double-carry to Whitney Day, but the moment passed quickly and 9-5 Ultimate Class was a runaway winner. Eight winners at $39,498 apiece.


I'll be in the Carousel tomorrow at 11:45 am for Talking Horses. Might even be done with the 12-race card by then.

Gina Adams More than 1 year ago
This will be a past post on the last race seeing that past posting seems to be alive and well in the tote system. The #9 was 5-2 when loading and crossed the wire at 9-5. How many of these horses have been hammered and then seen its number cross the wire first?
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
I really don't think it's past posting. Tracks take simulcast pool transmissions up to the moment the gates open and it can take up to 30 seconds for the odds to be updated. It's an annoying situation and it looks bad, and the tracks are to blame for not cutting off all betting when the first horse loads, but it's (usually) not larcenous.
Chuck Seeger More than 1 year ago
No, the problem lies in how the money gets to the pools. In the age where video (a much more complicated format as opposed to the text of numeric data) flies through the internet at the speed of light, wagers are still being "batched up" at various hubs around the world and sent to the track as opposed to every bet being its own transaction to the host. This technology is so old and unacceptable in the 21st century. It also is one of the primary indicators of how horseracing has becomea totally "BS" wagering platform, and the industry continues to do nothing about it. But it's just one of the reasons why people like me, who have been involved with horseracing for almost 40 years, have stopped gambling seriously on this sport for over 10 years.
Wonderagain More than 1 year ago
Makes it tough to place single race bets. Rusty Arnold's Centre Court dropped from 4-1 to 5-2 in blink of an eye very late in betting before winning Lake Placid. We're talking significant late odds drop on a Rusty Arnold turf stakes filly in NY v. a BC Juv. Turf winner and a publicized Euro import for Schwartz.Though certainly a major contender, I was very surprised by that late odds drop. Then Centre Court won a very tough race. Just an example of betting trends I've noticed at meets like KEE and SAR. Don't think it's past posting but maybe significant amount of smart money that's difficult to bet with and deadly to bet against. W/relative anonymity of ADW it's very easy for insiders/whales to bet significant amounts late on a "good thing." Just a theory. Legit Spa card for Whitney Day! Fight to Win!
Rick Mochrie Jr. More than 1 year ago
I watched the replay on MSG, as you watch them load the horses into the gate for the last race you can clearly see the 9 horse is 2-1 on the toteboard in the background
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
I got hammered this way, but NJ Account Wagering was the culprit. Last weekend, I hit a 19-1 winner. At least, that was the odds on NJAW's race card on the betting page (the one with the eye-ball burning napalm orange bleeding all over the page). Plenty of time had passed between when the horse had won and when I saw "19-1." I turned the page to the video, which was displaying the actual physical tote board in the infield. The horse had won at 11-1. And no one/ones had hammered the horse down from 19-1 to 11-1 in the last cycle. If anyone reading this also has NJAW, ALWAYS consult the video first.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
Exacty Steve: Churchill Downs and other tracks tried closing the pools early and that proved to be unpopular a few years ago.
ilias katogiritis More than 1 year ago
Where is Ray Sousa, another boat race on the turf in the 7th by the latino cartel.
Fred Reardon More than 1 year ago
How many Inner Turf races do we have to watch where they just let a horse coast on the lead in 49+ and then nobody can catch 'em?
kingsailor2 More than 1 year ago
W.G. More than 1 year ago
It's simple, the Jockeys seem to in those races know they would be sacrificing their own chances if they decided to gun after horses going fast paces and probably are instructed by their trainers not to. Jockeys are also a lot smarter now than they may have been in previous years.
kevin r More than 1 year ago
I had Drinksonthehouse as my best bet yesterday. But ran up the butt of a horse on the turn and lost momentum, but still ran on for 2d.
thomas j More than 1 year ago
Yesterday? At what track and what race number?
kevin r More than 1 year ago
Just meant I posted it on yesterdays blog that the 6 in the the 6th was my best bet.
Anthony Pasceri More than 1 year ago
i read that post and used the 6. Unreal, Bridgmohan prbly won't win another race this meet. Tough beat. Good lead.
Frank Rainville More than 1 year ago
Linda Rice used to own the turf sprints at Saratoga. What happened?
thomas j More than 1 year ago
Things change.
Dutch More than 1 year ago
Pretty clever response. (For those who didn't get it, Things Change was trained by Linda Rice)
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
I'm waiting for a foal, "Spare Change."
orsch226 More than 1 year ago
looks to me she never got new stock. still running the same horses she did three years ago. ahvee's destiny etc....
Gunner More than 1 year ago
Plus, Corny V is her "go to" guy and he hasn't been riding all that well.
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
I think she figured out the turf sprints long before the othertrainers (and most horseplayers) did, and now everyone's running better stock in them.
jim samson More than 1 year ago
They've been running turf sprints for decades, you mean there was some secret Rice knew that took everyone else two years to figure out? Nope. Not buying it.
James Geimer More than 1 year ago
You in on the P6 today Steve?
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
Nah, spent half the day driving and I'm working on the 12-race Whitney card.
Jessica Cook More than 1 year ago
I just wanted to say thanks, Steve. For all you've done for the sport. Absolutely love both of your books. Good luck today.