08/16/2013 12:35PM

Saratoga Day 25: August 16, 2013


12:45 pm: "Another impossibly beautiful day at Saratoga," was how Tom Durkin welcomed the fans for Day 25. No argument here: 72 degrees going up to 80, fast and firm. If everyone up here sounds a little giddy about the weather, it has been a remarkably lucky run. Grass races have been rained out only twice in 24 cards, and the heaviest rains have been on dark days.

Today's racing is heavy on maidens and statebreds, with two stakes for the latter.

In the 3rd, Dayatthepsa is 2-to-5 on the ML for the $150k Yaddo and the race indeed looks like a mismatch: A Grade 1 winner against a collection of ordinary statebreds who among them lack a graded victory of any kind. On top of that, she looks like the dominant speed in an otherwise paceless field. The $100k Saratoga Sunrise is essentially a rematch of the July 22 Evan Shipman, with the 1-2-4-5-6 finishers returning from a race that ended in a blanket finish.

1:15 pm: Like Everest, because it is there:

1:45 pm: Artemis Agrotera, 2-year-old NY-bred Roman Ruler-Indy Glory filly apparently touted from Maine to Spain, won off by 10 lengths after being pounded to 2-to-5. Broman homebred trained by Mike Hushion scored by huge margin stablemate Star Grazing in 1:10.53. Artemis Agrotera is named for a ruined 5th Century B.C. temple in the center of Athens.

2:00 pm: with 5 MTP to the Yaddo, bridgejumpers have already put $120k of $137k in show pool on 1-9 Dayatthespa.

2:10 pm: Call off the bridge watch. Dayatthespa ($2.50) provided no anxious moments for those who put $219k of final $259k show pool on her, stalking Sally's Dream through 6f in a mild 1:13.15 before taking over and pulling clear to win comfortably by 1 3/4 lengths over 19-1 Wholelottashakin, with 9-1 Inimitable Romanee third. The 4-year-old City Zip filly, trained by Chad Brown, is now 8 for 12 in her career, including a victory in the G1 QE II Cup last fall. The double from Artemis Agrotera paid $3.90 for $2.

2:30 pm: Belated restaurant review:

Had my first trip last week to the Mouzon House at 1 York Street, a sister restaurant to the popular One Caroline Street, and I’ll be going back. The restored two-story Victorian house at the bottom of a hill at the edge of High Rock Park off Broadway provides a cloistered retreat from Saratoga with the feel of a restaurant in the flower district of New Orleans. You can dine inside for a total escape from town, or on the porch/patio where flowerboxes almost obscure the view of a massive parking lot. The live music, some skilled but subdued jazz guitar, was just the right accompaniment.

The “signature” house appetizer of crawfish beignets was a little light on crawfish but otherwise tasty, and the duck-confit crostini were excellent. Jambalaya as an entrée, available with your choice of meat, fish or chicken, also was very good, though be forewarned that the chicken variety contains chunks of deep-fried chicken, an unconventional but mostly successful preparation. Desserts were exceptional, especially a rum-raisin bread pudding, and cocktails were frosty and generous.

My only complaint was the service, which was erratic -- appetizers arrived almost 10 minutes apart and a drinks order was forgotten. So I'd say go, but not if you're in hurry.

2:45 pm: Considering the pick-3 of Artemis Agrotera ($2.90), Dayatthespa ($2.50) and Laguna Gal ($5.50) paid $14.00, the pick-4 willpays could have been worse:

3:45 pm: Cavetto ($20.20)in the 5th ($20.20, $170.50 pick-4) another first-out winner for Christophe Clementunderbet with debut runners for a trainer who wins with them at a 21 percent clip. This was his fourth firster to win at the meet -- they've been 4-1, 6-1, 4-1 and 9-1.

Souper Speedy, even-money in the 6th, looked sunk in midstretch but came again to run down 24-1 Say No More in the final stride.

Think I'll start the work on tomorrow's 12-race card instead of playing the late pick-4. No real opinions or wacky longshots, and the five-horse finale is a sad affair. If you put a gun to my head and $144 in my hand, I'd go with a 2,3,6,8/1,4,5,6,7,8/4,6,7/1,5 caveman ticket for a buck.

And now that you made me say it, I guess I might as well go bet it.


4:50 pm: As the late Joe Hirsch often used to say: early speed is always dangerous. Congrats to Ballistic Sue for holding off the cavalry to win the 8th. Guess I should have spent another $24 and hit the all-button.

5:30 pm: Awesome Vision ($5.x0) avenged his narrow defeat to Bigger Is Bettor in the Evan Shipman July 22 by holding off that rival by three-quarters of a length to win the $100k Saratoga Sunrise.Longshots Most Happy Fella (15-1) and Anaphylaxis (28-1) ran third and fourth.

Here are your willpays into the finale, and I don't care how big a gun you bring this time, I'm not playing it:

Racing resumes at 1 p.m. tomorrow with a 12-race card with a lot of filler leading up to the G1 Sword Dancer (race 9) and G1 Alabama (race 10). I'll try to make some sense of it on "Talking Horses" starting at 11:45.