08/12/2013 11:52AM

Saratoga Day 22: August 12, 2013


12:50 pm: Just another fast/firm/75 day in paradise (parimutueldise?) for Day 22 of 40, with two ungraded sprint stakes brightening an otherwise claimer-heavy Monday card: five 3-year-old fillies going 5.5f on the turf In the $100k Coronation Cup Stakes (race 3), and seven older males going 6f on the dirt in the $100k Kid Russell.

And just who exactly were Coronation Cup and Kid Russell to have stakes races named after them?

Coronation Cup is an odd choice, especially as the namesake for a turf sprint, since all 16 of her career starts were at a mile or longer. She won three of her first four starts, including the 1994 Nijana at Saratoga, then lost her last 12 races. The Rokeby homebred was by Chief's Crown out of the sensational broodmare Glowing Tribute (dam of Sea Hero, Hero's Honor and Wild Applause.)

This also is a perhaps unique case of a stakes race being named for a horse who was named after a stakes race: the Coronation Cup is a Group 1 race at 12f for older horses that is run on opening day of the Epsom Derby meeting.

Kid Russell, a Topsider gelding, won 10 of 49 career starts while racing for Hobeau Farm and trainer Allen Jerkens from 1989 to 1992. (Yes, horses used to make 49 starts in four years and no one alerted the Humane Society.) Kid Russell won the 1991 G3 A Phenomenon at Saratoga and was second by a head (at 16-1, Maple up) in the 1992 G1 Carter Handicap to Rubiano.

With a card that consists of four conditioned claimers, a starter allowance and three maiden races beyond the stakes, we could be in for a few more digressive history lessons today here in Blogville.


1:10 pm: An early pick-4 play, proceeding from the premises that anyone can win the 2nd and Magical Moon is very likely to win the 3rd:

Opener went to 5-1 Martini Madness, with 8-5 Tummel second and 7-5 Inflation Target last of five. The winner went 7f in 1:21.92 on what looks like an unusually quick track.

1:40 pm: Anyone could and anyone did: 8-1 Elusive Act over 9-1 So Blessed and 9-1 Hillary D in the 2nd.

Magical Moon opened at 1-9 for the 3rd, the Coronation Cup Stakes.


2:10 pm: Not a fan of Joel Rosario's ride on 2-5 Magical Moon. Rider seemed overly concerned with speedball Lignite, pushing the favorite to go head and head with her from the get-go in 21.37 and 43.92. Unsurprisingly she won the battle, being the vastly superior horse, but unsurprisingly was exhausted from it, tired late, and along came 12-1 Jewel of a Cat to nail her. Jewel of a Cat, a 3-year-old Wildcat Heir filly trained by Ben Perkins, stopped the timer in 1:01.81 under Chris DiCarlo.

2:50 pm: For those Mensa members who were able to come up with Elusive Act ($19.80), Jewel of a Cat ($27.20) and Collaborator ($18.20), some bountiful pick-4's await:


3:25 pm: Due Diligence, Klaravich&Lawrence/Chad Brown firster, pounded to 3-to-5 for debut in turf sprint and ran to it, trouncing field by a city block. He's a full brother (War Front-Bema) to Console, an impressive turf-sprint winner here August 7.

4:05 pm: Try, try again:

4:30 pm: The Truth and K G ($9.70), third in the G3 Bay shore two starts back, won a three-way bob in the 7th over 5-2 Bernie the Maestro and 6-5 Hello Lover in strong starter-allowance for horses who had run for a $30k tag any time in 2011-2013. Winner is named for former Boston Celtics stars Paul (The Truth) Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who on July 12 were traded to the Brooklyn Nets for the 2013-14 NBA season.

5:00 pm: Strapping Groom ($9.20) chased Right to Vote's fast fractions (21.58, 44:11) and then pulled away in the stretch to beat 9-1 Candyman E and 15-1 Leave of Absence to win the $100k Kid Russell. The 6-year-old by Johannesburg, trained by david Jacobson and owned by Drawing Away stable and the trainer, ran the 6.5 f in 1:14.99.

The favorites showed little: Troilus, hammered from 12-1 ML to 3-1, was fifth and Hardened Wildcat ran 6th as the 7-5 choice.

5:30 pm: I have no idea why Beer Is Good opened the 5-2 favorite or went off at 3-1 instead of his ML price of 8-1, but the public was right and he hung on by a bob over Volcano Run to win the 9th and set up the following willpays:

Eight of the nine in the last race of Week 4 are covered in the pick-6. Only G.A.Empress, 1 for her last 40, would produce a carryover into Wednesday.

6:10 pm: Edie ($3.80) won the 10th, completing a $2,247 pick-6 for two 3-to-5's, two 7-to-2's and a 4-to-5.

You may be on your own for some or all of Day 23 on Wednesday, as I'm driving downstate tomorrow and returning sometime Wednesday afternoon. The hounds are staying through the Travers. As you can see, they're enjoying their new backyard here: