08/12/2013 12:52PM

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:

Jeff More than 1 year ago
You can harp all you want about Rosario, but if I count correctly, Rosie Napravnik has now ridden 11 post-time favorites so far this meet and hasn't won any of them. THAT is bad.
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
Yes it is JEFF good point didn't notice or hear about that slump I personally prefer other ny circuit riders.
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
Besides I'm loyal to JULIE sorry
richard cowles More than 1 year ago
And now that you mention kid russell with maple up,let me mention the kid with rafmojica up.Remember? Thought not.
Brian Healey More than 1 year ago
Steve, Congratulations on getting relatively hot as of late. I know it is early for this type of question but I am extremely curiousfor your opinion. If you had to vote for horse of the year right now, who would you vote for?
Gregory M More than 1 year ago
Those pooches look to have faster legs than 90% of what I have been betting on. Just don't put Rosario on either, or he'll run them into the ground.
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
LOL Rosario has been pretty bad lately. He just needs a little suspension
Rick Harrington More than 1 year ago
I am going to assume a bunch of casual Saratogians loved the name Beer is Good and whopped down a bunch of bucks on it to win. They're probably of the younger and not sober crowd, but I wasn't one of the 15,000 in attendance.
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
Possibly wagered on by connections along with clever name looked like a good thing in the race and got the MONEY$$
Rick Harrington More than 1 year ago
That's the thing about Saratoga. So many casual fans so there's more people who will bet just on name alone. Most cases it means better payouts for the horses who have the best shots, but in this case... well, they got lucky.
Michael Verrastro More than 1 year ago
Steve: could DRF do an article ( or maybe a three-part series) on the intricasies of the claiming game? Brought some friends to the track and explained claimers best I could but thought a piece from DRF would be helpful. Explain things like optional claiming, the jail period and the claimimg process. Or is there some source you could recommend? Thx. Love the blog. [I recommend Brad Free's "Handicapping 101," the best primer out there. -SC]
LemonDropKid More than 1 year ago
race 8: Do not like Hardened Wildcat at all the way the track has been playing today. Strapping Groom looks like a steal @ 9-2. Good luck to all.
Bill Keating More than 1 year ago
I'm not proposing that there is anything as radical as a track bias here, but it appears to me that, on the dirt track, it is very hard to run down the horse that enters the stretch with the lead, even if the chasing horse(s) appear superior on paper. And, as for the deep closers, they might just as well not show up.
tim More than 1 year ago
Steve, how does it work with your grid? If any of them win you hit it in some degree? Did you hit the late one yesterday? [http://www.drf.com/store/drf-ticketmaker-user-guide -SC]
tim More than 1 year ago
Got it Steve. Very nice hits on these lately.
ElRatonColorao More than 1 year ago
Rosario's internal clock while on the lead is not what it should be the last few days.
tim More than 1 year ago
He will win tomorrow with here's zealacious, wire to wire. $$$$$$$$$$$$$
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
With the horses Rosario gets now He cant help but win a good rider but I think a lot of people got carried away with him. A BIG BIG part of Rosario is his Agent