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Saratoga Day 16: 8/6/12
By Steven Crist
2:04 pm: Back on Long Island after a three-year personal-worst 4:08.01 drive time from Saratoga to Belmont. No construction delays but got stuck behind accidents onboth the Northway and the Cross Island.
Pick-6 with a $72,383.49 one-day carryover scheduled to begin at 3:13 pm. By now you probably know that the 10th (along with the upcoming 3rd race) is off the turf while races 2,8 and 9 remain on the apparently quite-yielding turf. They just ran the 2nd at 11 furlongs on the inner course and the fractions were 26.71, 51.89, 1:17.61 and 1:42.98 en route to a final time of 2:20.95, over nine full seconds off the course record.
Looks like I missed yet another huge debut by a Stonestreet Stable 2-year-old filly in the opener. They've already unveiled Kauai Kate and Teen Pauline to runaway victories at the meet, and this time it was Dreaming of Julia ($2.80), who went to the lead on her own energy in 22.03 and 45.55, and then pulled away through the stretch to win by 10 1/2 lengths in 1:16.48 for 6.5f. The daughter of A. P. Indy was produced by Dream Rush, winner of the G1 Prioress and G1 Test in 2007 when trained by Rick Violette. Todd Pletcher trains Dreaming of Julia as well as Kauai Kate while Steve Asmussen trains Teen Pauline.
2:25 pm: Sort of fun to see a former Godolphin runner win a $20k conditioned claimer at Saratoga on the day that the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale starts.
Ea, now an 8-year-old Dynaformer gelding trained by David Jacobson, just held off Sumo (a 6-year-old gelding bred by Arthur Hancock who had a cup of coffee on the 2009 Derby trail when he was 2nd the G3 Sam F Davis.) The spring of 2009 was Ea's high watermark as well, when he ran 2nd to Researcher in the Charles Town Classic and 2nd to No Advantage in the G3 Schaeffer on the Preakness undercard.
No time to tackle the Pick-6. So please, one of you take it down, or let's get the dark day to handicap a double-carry to Wednesday (where there's already a $257k carryover at Del Mar.)
2:55 pm: In the 4th, Repole dropdown Itsnottheright was 3-5, Ward dropdown Black Rhino was 5-2, everyone else was 10-1 or higher. So of course the two faves went to the front and softened each other up early, with Itsnottherightwinning the battle but weakening late to lose the war to Classic R & B ($29.40), who had to be leading rider Ramon Dominguez's longest-priced winner of the meet.
Here are the early pick-4 willpays into the 5th, where the pick-6 starts:
There are five firsters in the field of eight and three of them -- the #6 (T Dutrow), #3 (Violette) and #5 (Pompay) --appear to be very live in the multirace willpays and the early win pool. The 2-year-old fillies in this race are running for extraordinarily high claiming tags of $150k -- I guess the idea is to give people a spot to run a nice filly at Saratoga without running into a potential monster like one of the Stonestreet fillies, who would not be entered for a claiming tag. That's why this race carries a purse of "only" $56,000, as opposed to the $80,000 purse in today's first.
3:25 pm: Pick-6 almost started with a bomb, as 26-1 Orseno firster Laguna Girl put away 2-1 Dutrow firster in midstretch and looked like the winner, but along came Pompay firster Over the Counter ($12.00) to win a very close photo at the wire. Fierce, second-time starter with a mediocre 58 debut BSF, ran last as the 9-5 post-time favorite, continuing bad run at the meet for Kentucky-based juveniles.
Winner has same connections (Klaravich&Lawrence/Pompay/Maragh) as last year's debut winner Currency Swap. who went on to win last year's G1 Hopeful and last week's G2 Amsterdam.)
3:55 pm: Just for Today ($10.00), fourth choice in field of 6, rallied from last to win a four-way photo in the 6th from 7-2 Artist Colony, 3-1 Box Office and 7-1 Beach Boy Alex. The first three finishers were all sired by Tiznow.
Just for Today, a Claiborne Farm homebred, was dropping from maiden-special to maiden-50 off a pair of 13-length defeats at Churchill Downs. Tiznow-Tiznow exacta came back $46.20, and the TTT tri paid $148.
The upcoming 7th is the one that would have given me pick-6 fits: Eight New York-bred 2-year-olds, seven of them first-timers. Five of them opened between 3-1 and 7-1.
4:30 pm: Lucci the Lion ($5.50), Dubb/Rodriguez/Dominquez firster steadily bet down from 3-1 to 8-5, led every step of the way in the 7th for an easy victory over 4-1 Galluscio firster Maintainer. Lion Heart colt was a $65k 2yo-in-training purchase.
Pick-3 comprising first half of pick-6 paid $279.50 vs. $165 parlay of $12, $10 and $5.50 winners.
5:15 pm: Kissable ($10.40) ran back to her good European form of last year instead of her dull stateside debut at Woodbine last month to win the Waya by four lengths for trainer Roger Attfield and jockey John Velazquez, who will be inducted into the National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame in Saratoga on Friday.
Kissable, a 4-year-old Danehill Dancer filly, brought a career slate of just 1 for 10 into the Waya but was close to some top Europeans in graded stakes at 2 and 3. She showed little running an even 5th in the Dance Smartly at Woodbine July 8, but won today under a confident ride from Velazquez as if she were 4-5 instead of 4-1. Starformer was second as the 5-2 favorite with 9-2 Bizzy Caroline third and 5-1 Bubbly Jane fourth after a mile and a half in 2:32.52.
5:40 pm: Paris Vegas ($30.40), longest shot in a field of six outfinished 6-1 Beau Choix with 3-5 Air Support third to upset the 9th race and a lot of pick-6 applecarts. Looks like the only two live combos (I'm guessing there are two) are to #13 Los Ojitos, and that we'll have a $294k double carryover if he loses:
Paris Vegas, preiously 0 for 11 on the grass, was awfully tough to like, especially against a favorite who ran second in the G1 United Nations last time out. Air Support made what looked like a huge (and perhaps premature) sweep to the lead on the turn but then flattened out and had nothing left when the top two came to him.
6:15 pm: The only horse who could prevent a double-carryover did so with ease, as Los Ojitos circled the leaders and drew off to a five-length victory in the nightcap.
On the bright side, we don't have to spend the dark day doing homework.
Imagine playing in a poker game with a 17% takeout every hand. In a short while everyone would be broke. It is not any easier picking a winner at the track than winning a poker hand.
Hi Steve/anyone, I see from the $2 pick 6 will pay chart that #13 Los Ojitos will pay 147,348.00. If #13 is the only live pick, what is with the other $2 pick 6 will pay amounts ie 2,058.00, 14,820.00 1,764.00 etc? Thanks! My wife and I went to the Spa on hat give-a-way day. Thanks to a very fine recommendation, we dined at Chianti II on Division St that Sun evening. Our meals easily overcame the slightly choppy service on a very busy Sun evening. We would definitely go there again.
If traffic on the Northway gets rough between Exits 13S and 7, don't forget Route 9 is right along the highway, and although it may be a slower ride than the Northway under most conditions with traffic lights, it is still 2 lanes each direction and 55 through about 75% of the stretch. Plus every exit from 13S to 7 can be reasonably accessed by Route 9 (especially Exit 9 at Route 146), When you get to Route 7, you do have the ability to get back onto Interstate 87 south, or get onto 7 East to do the cutoff to the Thruway Exit 23.
Upon further review.................. I will admit to being one of those incensed that the stewards failed to take action against the #1 horse Our Mister in yesterday's third race, who, the way I saw it originally, knocked the backside out of the #2 horse, unseating Dominguez. Having the #5 Loud Pipes on top in all of my plays, I was expecting a swift and expeditious DQ of Our Mister, which did not happen. After reading the comments on this blog last night, I watched the race again today to see if Ramon was actually struggling with balance problems on the favorite, or if I was being handed a spin job by the NY Stewards. Sure enough, the head-on clearly shows Ramon attempting to regain his seat on the fav, when a jolt from Our Mister sent him to the ground. Under normal circumstances, this would be a routine bump which takes place often in conjunction with the break. Score one for the NY stewards for making the correct call.
Steve, how many years in a row has Thomas Voss won a race at Saratoga in an allowance race on the turf? It seems he does it every year and these horses always pay big prices. I know two years ago he started a jumper that won at 5-1 and I got on him that year because I remember him doing that several years in a row. Today, he won with Paris Vegas at 14-1.
Over the Counter? Steve, do you remember the first Over the Counter? He went from running in $4,000 claimers to winning the Sunset Handicap (if memory serves correctly - and that was a long time ago).
With half the entry scratching in the 8th, why didn't NYRA add a Super? (Stupid Entry rule anyways!)
BTW, stopped for dinner at the Skytop Steakhouse off Exit 19 on the Thruway. It had been a regular stop of mine for a number of years, but circumstances change and I hadn't been there for at least ten years now. Their big red lighted sign is mostly obscured from Thruway view by overgrown trees so I wasn't even sure it was still open. It is, and I was still pleased. Alas, they didn't have many customers, so it's not clear whether they will last much longer. I told them they should think of advertising to the Saratoga crowd either via the DRF or the NYRA.
Sorry to interupt but their is an absolute epic building in womens olympic soccer. 3-3 with 5 to go an epic I say old chaps. Canada 3 USA 3 an epic in progress.
Bad luck. We left right away after the last race and had no trouble. (I did take 7 & 787 down to Exit 23.)
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