08/18/2014 1:21PM

Saratoga Day 28: 8/18/2014


2:15 pm: Welcome to today's unscheduled, abbreviated blog. Day 28 was supposed to be a day off, but the $71k pick-6 carryover proved too tempting. (Day 28? The meeting ends two weeks from today? Is it me, or is it just flying by?)

Anyway, fair warning: you may not get more out of me today than what follows and an "Oh well, see you Ffriday" if/when things go sour.

I flinched when I first typed out the conditions for today's 5th through 10th, with maiden-claimers bookending the sequence, but on further inspection it didn't seem that daunting. (Now watch me go 2 for 6.)

The two horses most people are probably considering as singles are the infrequent winner Dyker Beach in the 7th and the unreliable Natalie Victoria in the 9th, the featured Summer Colony Stakes. I leaned on the former. I know he's 1 for 19 and has lost three straight photo-finishes, but I think he's found a field he can't help beating.

As for Natalie Victoria, obviously she takes a class drop today after setting the pace and tiring in the G2 Molly Pitcher last time out. Her two races prior to that would win this. Problem is, her 30 previous starts wouldn't put her in the winner's circle here, and I have no idea which Natalie Victoria we'll get today. I ended up using both her and Ambusher as A's, Zucchini Flower as a B, and Endless Chant as a C.

The fun begins in less than an hour, with post time for the 5th scheduled for 3:14 pm. Good luck to us all.

3:30 pm: It took a lot longer to adjudicate the th race than it did to run. 7-1 Dividend appeared to have 8-5 Boss Man measured, but the favorite surged at the wire and the photo showed he held on. Then it was on to a steward's inquiry and an objection from the runner-up's rider. Finally, the result stood, so the whole world made it through the first leg alive.

4:05 pm: First two legs looked tough to me on paper, but both were won by the favorite. In the 6th, 5-2 choice Devilish Love ran down slightly-higher 5-2 Corporate Culture for her third straight victory going a mile on the grass. Corporate Culture was probably best, rallying from last into slow fractions and ending up in a dea-heat for 2nd with Corporate Culture. The winners of races 2 through 6 were all 3-1 or less, but the pick-5 combining them still paid a hearty $2,708 (vs. $1252 parlay.)

4:35 pm: There was a moment approaching the furlong pole when Dyker Beach seemed to be looking around for company and someone to finish second to, but nobody came to get him and he couldn't help winning the 7th at even-money. Three races, three favorites. Woohoo.

5:05 pm: I could have put $20k into this pick-6 and I still wouldn't have used St. Alban's Boy.

Oh well. See you Friday.*

*-Or Wednesday if it somehow carries again.