08/10/2013 11:33AM

Saratoga Day 20: August 10, 2013


11:30 am: It's 75 and sunny, dirt and turf both cautiously labelled "good," and only race 5 is off the turf for Day 20 of 40 at Saratoga.

Races 4,8,9,10 and 11 remain on the turf, races that include the entire late pick-4 and the G2 Fourstardave Handicap (race 10), where Wise Dan will carry 129 pounds against six rivals weighted from 115 to 118. Race 11 has been moved from the Mellon to the Inner turf course.

Here are the picks I sent in before scratches for "Talking Horses," which begins in the Carousel in about 15 minutes: 1) 6-7-2-3; 2) 1-2-5-3; 3) 6-4-7-5; 4) 2-1-6-9; 5) 3-13-7-2; 6) 6-5-3-4; 7) 7-2-3-6 8) 12-5-3-7; 9) 4-2-3-8; 10) 1-6-7-3 11) 8-4-3-11.


1:15 pm: In the opener, Moonlight Song, good second to Eastwood in last, got loose out front and Ternango could not reel him in late. A loose early pick-4 play:

1:35 pm: Stupid-rule alert: Sure hope you didn't have a 4-2-1-5 super in the 2nd because that's how it came in but the bet was cancelled when 13-1 Lion DNA was scratched at the gate. That left a field of five, and you can't run a superfecta on a five-horse field in New York because it supposedly would be too easy to "fix."

So let's get this straight: It was okay to have a superfecta as six horses approached the gate, but when one of them was scratched, the jockeys would have telepathically conspired to fix the race since there was now one fewer starter?


2:05 pm: Where's Danny, Irish-bred gelding by Diamond Green, was 0 for 10 on turf and synth, now 2 for 2 since coming stateside and switching to dirt after running down El Cuadro to win the 3rd. Rubysandpearls, eased in last when claimed for $35k by Servis, dropped to $20k today and eased again at 5-2.

2:45 pm: No idea what correct pick-4 willpays are into Race 5 as NYRA Rewards system has completely nonsensical payoffs listed (like $77.50 when the three-race parlay is already over $350), with no payoffs on some runners and varying ones on scratched horses. Better to post nothing than this.

3:10 pm: Dighton ($9.60) completed $2,090 pick-4 outlined above (BABA), and I don't think I want to know what it was paying with 13-1 runner-up Chalybeate Springs(#2). Curious if anyone can tell me why #9 Kiss of Thunder, not in my foursome of A's, went off as the 5-2 favorite.

Upcoming 5.5f baby race includes two War Fronts whom opened c0-favored at 5-2: Sound of Freedom, a $365k 2-year-old purchase for Twin Creeks/Pletcher, and Mosler, a $1.05 million yearling purchase for Dilschneider/Mott.

Main track was upgraded from good to fast before 5th race; don't think it really changed, just wasn't very wet from the get-go today.

3:45 pm: Team D/Tony Dutrow firster In Trouble ($120k Tiz Wonderful April 2yo buy), up in final strides to nail Pletcher favorite Sound of Freedom, who fought off early challengers but weakened late. Million-dollar baby Mosler in mix, nipped for third, galloped out well.

Late scratches from stakes: Bella Castani in the Auntie Mame, Za Approval in the Fourstardave.

4:10 pm: Ambassador Bridge, 5-1 second choice at the time, scratched at gate just before 7th. In his absence, 6-1 third choice Even Got Quiet nailed 5-1 second choice Do I Amuse You. Soul House, 4-5 favorite, got second straight bad ride at the meet, being pushed early into pace, falling back on turn, then rallying belatedly the way he wants to, just salvaging third.


4:25 pm: Let's play two:


Obviously this could be a thin one if Wise Dan and Adirondack Dancer win the last two legs, but the first two look open to me so it's worth a shot.

5:00 pm: Hate to waste a live 35-1 shot by running second to a 16-1 shot I still can't make, but the all-button C leaves me alive by a thread.

First three winners in pick-6 sequence paying $17.20, $15.20 and $35.60 might make you think carryover and wonder what tomorrow's sextet looks like. Here's a glance:


5:20 pm: Summer of Fun, 3rd in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, rallied sharply into slow fractions to catch Effie Trinket and win the $100k Auntie Mame by a length and a half. The race was restricted to 3-year-old fillies who had not won a graded stakes over a mile on the turf this year. Summer of Fun, an Include filly, races for Bona Venture stable, is trained by George Weaver, and ran the 8.5f in 1:44.66 under Joe Rocco Jr., his third of the day.

Wise Dan just opened at 1-to-9 for the Fourstardave with $98k of the first $135k in the win pool bet on him.

5:40 pm: With $304k in win pool, Wise Dan has been holding steady at 1-to-4 -- which could be $2.50, $2.60 or $2.70 -- for the last 10 minutes.

5:55 pm: Wise Dan scored a professional is not eye-popping 1 1/4-length victory over King Kreesa to win the Fourstardave, angling off the rail in upper stretch and running down the frontrunner in 1:34.00. King Kreesa, who set a reasonable but solid pace of 24.24, 47.48 and 1:10.59, was second best, with Lea another 4 3/4 lengths back in third and 11-1 Mr. Commons fourth. Wise Dan carried 129 pounds, including John Velazquez, 12 more than the runner-up.

Adam McNeill of Saratoga Springs, who won a free $15k bet on the race, wagered on Wise Dan. No word on whether he hedged.

Here are the willpays into the 11th and final event at the hippodrome:

Looks like there will be two winners at $72k with Adirondack Dancer or Namron, one winner at $145k with North Star Boy, and a $145k carryover to Sunday with anyone else.

Tim Vana More than 1 year ago
Steve, Excellent comments in the Form re Wise Dan's connections' 2013 campaign. I commented in a very similar fashion on another blog, and got blasted by other readers. It seems that very few people understand that standards are a legitimate issue,and upholding them is important for the game. Now, let's see if the racing media has the guts to refrain from passing out the hardware, if Mr. Fink continues down the path of least resistance.
ATOWN WHAT More than 1 year ago
Steve, Your blog is great and very informative. I'd love to know how you "bet" your ABCs. Ex: do you do: A,A,A,A then AB, AB, AB, AB, then ABC, ABC, ABC, ABC...and adjust by cost of bet...or do you zig zag? Still trying to find out the best method for P4 as it seems i am always left with a cheap 50 cent wager with one C and a bunch of favorites every time I play.
Brian More than 1 year ago
Late pk 4 with Dan and Summer Of Fun pays 1276. Shoulda had it, and wonder what a pk 5 would have paid. Good job as always nyra We are all riveted to that grand slam payoff.....
Dave Loatman More than 1 year ago
UGGGHHH...five outta six never felt so bad...and yeah, i had the speed piece in the 2nd leg singled...only at the track can you win $4500 and walk away feeling like a loser...
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
Wise Dan surely was tested today in the Fourstardave a lot more than many expected. Course had to be closer to Yielding than Good today at the Spa.
Corey More than 1 year ago
Have to disagree Walt, did you see the final time?
kevin r More than 1 year ago
Good day for you Steve. Two Pick 4s posted.
Elliott More than 1 year ago
Congrats again Steve.
Bryan Langlois More than 1 year ago
Steve, After Uncle Sam takes his usual slice...how much over the 15k will Mr. McNeil actually come away with. My guess is he will only walk away with about 16-17K after taxes. Is that right? While I would love to have that much of an almost "Sure Thing", still rotten to lose that much of it to The Man...[There are no taxes when you bet on a horse who pays $2.80. Payoff must be 300-1 for reporting or withholding. -SC]
Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
But he still has to report the 15k as prize winnings subject to federal and NYS tax,correct? Since he bet correctly and, therefore,didn't lose it(duh!), isn't the 15k like game show winnings?
Angie Rossi More than 1 year ago
Steve, congrats on first pick four and good luck on the last one. I hope the 4 or 8 win for you.
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
Steve, Congrats on early score in the Pick 4 was with you and wasted 8 Yellow Mountain (35-1) in the 8th using on top. Still Hurts ! LOL Wondering if public can follow the round-table tomorrow THANKS ?? Try the Jockey Club's website -- I think they're streaming it. -SC]