07/20/2013 10:31AM

Saratoga Day 2: July 20, 2013

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11:30 am: It's about 10 degrees cooler today than it was for yesterday's Opening Day sweatfest, but storms are supposedly on the way and they still haven't scratched all the main-track-onlies from the five grass races that begin the Saturday card.

We got about two hours of thunderstorms here last night starting around 9 p.m. but the ground is so dry that you'd hardly know it if you slept through it. The turf is still labelled "firm" and the main track was looking fast until they began sealing it here a few minutes ago. That seems a sensible precaution since there are no dirt races scheduled until 3:35 this afternoon, and that's a lifetime when it comes to Saratoga weather.

As expected, Summer Applause was an early scratch from the G3 Shuvee and will instead run in the Delaware Handicap. No one out of the G1 CCA Oaks.

Here are the picks for "Talking Horses," which starts in the Carousel in about 20 minutes. Mike Watchmaker will be the guest tomorrow, and I'll be back on the show next Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday, July 20: 1) 6-5-8-3 2) 6-4-5-12 3) 8-11-10-6 4) 13-11-2-8 5) 4-10-11-5 6) 1-10-3-8 7) 8-10-13-11 8) 4-3-1-2 9) 7-6-1-5 10) 3-1-4 11) 12-11-7-2-3

 

1:40 pm: Still no rain yet and last night's storms don't seem to have slowed the turf course much -- statebred fillies went 8.5f in 1:42.14 in the opener and statebred maidens went 5.5f in 1:03.23 in the 2nd. The early turnout looks a little light for a Saturday but it's finally on the pleasant side of tolerable to walk around the place.

Today's Hattie's sandwich was back to the usual high standards after yesterday's Dry 'n' Salty misadventure.

 

2:15 pm: If I hadn't seen the race and you'd told me that I got beat a whisker in the 3rd with 11-1 Broken Spell by 6-1 Silsita, I would have uttered some bad words and assumed Silsita had gotten loose on the lead and I'd just missed catching her. Instead, it was Broken Spell who went to the front, put competition to sleep through slow fractions, and then got nailed by Silsita. Then Broken spell actually came back at her after being passed and almost renailed her, but not quite. Either way, grrr.

The race was the $100k My Princess Jess for non-winners of a sweepstakes on grass -- kind of a consolation race for those not quite up to running in the graded Lake George next week. Silsita was the field's lone graded stakes-winner, having taken the Bourbonette Oaks on poly. The 3-year-old Macho Uno filly is trained by Todd Pletcher, who sends out the favorites in today's graded stakes later on -- Unlimited Budget and Princess of Sylmar in the CCA Oaks, and Authenticity in the Shuvee.

 

2:50 pm: Delayed start for the 4th after various incidents at gate, resulting in gate scratches of #1 Utopian Wife and #4 Scribbling Sarah. Once that was all sorted out, Therapy ($11.40) beat 20-1 Courageous Karen with favored Pie's first Lady up belatedly for third.

3:20 pm: Tycoon Cat ($19.60) won the 5th to complete a $4,464 early pick-4 and conclude the turf portion of the program. Six dirt races ahead, with the track labeled "good" after being unsealed and still none of that predicted rain.

Despite the lack of a carryover, I'm making a little pick-6 play given the rarity of an all-dirt sequence and my thinking that Authenticity is a flat-out single:

4:00 pm: fields for next Saturday's three graded stakes shaping up as follows, as per NYRA press office:

Jim Dandy: Palace Malice, Freedom Child, Code West, Mylute, Looking Cool, Vyjack, Will Take Charge, Perfect Title.

Diana: Centre Court, Laughing, Starformer, Stephanie's Kitten, Dream peace, Minakshi.

in the time it took me to type these two sentences.

Prioress: Kauai Katie, Midnight Lucky,Wildcat Lily, Irish Lute.

 

4:38 pm: As advertised, here's that rainy day. A little cloudburst just hit the track, then stopped.

5:30 pm: Authenticity ($3.00) wasn't as impressive as she was in her last two starts but got the job done winning the G3 Shuvee over Flashy American and Sea Island. Eblouissante, who would have been double digits were she not a half-sister to Zenyatta, finished last as the massively-overbet 4-1 second choice in her first start since January.

Authenticity's connections may have decided she had this field so much at her mercy that there was room to experiment with rating her. She was taken back off a very slow pace set by Sea Island and sat second until upper stretch. She went by the leader easily enough but then had to be roused to turn back Flashy American.

Fifteen minutes to the CCA Oaks, where the betting so far has Unlimited Budget at 8/5, Princess of Sylmar at 9/5 and My Happy Face at 5/2.

6:00 pm: She may have been 38-1 when she won the Kentuky Oaks, but Princess of Sylmar confirmed herself as the leader of the nation's 3-year-old fillies with a strong six-length victory in the Grade 1 CCA Oaks. Her winning time of 1:51.07 was significantly faster than Authenticity's 1:52.33 in the Shuvee half an hour earlier, albeit in a faster-paced race, and she won the race impressively by running down a loose leader on her own and then drawing away. My Happy Face held second after leading to the stretch turn, with Marathon Lady third and Unlimited Budget fifth and last after a slow start as the 6-5 favorite.

The Oaks gave a sweep of the day's stakes races to Pletcher, who also trains Autheticity (Shuvee) and Silsita (My Princess Jess).

Here are the willpays heading into the finale. Everyone's covered in the pick-6 except #10 El Cuadro:

 

6:30 pm: Road Agent ($10.00) edged Velvet Cap to complete a $279 pick-4 and $3,286 pick-6. Racing resumes tomorrow with a 10-race card featuring the Grade 2 Sanford for 2-year-olds. No rain in the forecast, so expect monsoons.