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.