08/10/2013 10:33AM

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.