08/20/2012 1:24PM

Saratoga Day 28: 8/20/12



1:25 pm: Another pretty, sunny and mild afternoon at the Spa for Day 28, where a field of six remains for the featured Union avenue stakes, which will go as the 5th race, last leg of the early pick-4. So let's play it.

Risky Rachel looks like a legitimately heavy favorite, so I'm leaning on her and hoping for a more chaotic result in the 4th, a turf sprint for statebred juveniles with five firsters. Like so:

The reason I made the race 4 backups B's and the race 5 backups C's was to illustrate that I'm playing the race 4 backups heavier than the ones in race 5. For example, a $180 play would be AAAA @ $2 ($72), AABA @ $1.50 ($54) and AAAC @ $0.50 ($54).

In the opener, Suns Out Guns Out scored at 4-5 while 8-5 Tiz Yankee did something remarkable: He ran second for the 5th time in a row and for the 8th time in 10 career starts. He has run second at five different tracks (CD, GP, Prx, Bel, Sar) under six different jockeys (Castanon, Rose, Bisono, Nakatani, Lezcano and now Wilmer Garcia.) Still, he's a lot better than an empty stall: Today's 20 percent of an $85,000 purse brought his career earnings to just over $105,000 despite his 0-for-10 racing record.


1:45 pm: Mineswept ($6.30) slipped through horses and held off Precious Metal to win the 2nd, race marred by the breakdown of dueling Pete's Parley midstretch. Dave Grening reports that jockey Junior Alvarado was removed by stretcher wearing a neck brace and Pete's Parley walked into the horse ambulance.


2:45 pm: Meh. Everything broke the worst way as chalks Mineswept and Rangey won the 2nd and 3rd and, after some momentary cheap thrills from 17-1 Hengroen and 8-1 Everydoghashisday in the 4th, Hertler second-timer Half Wildcat ($12.20) got up to win the 4th. Risky Rachel just opened 3-5 for the Union Avenue:

3:30 pm: Risky Rachel ($3.40) a dominant and deserving winner of the Union Avenue, with Willet a solid second in her first start since December. The 5-year-old Limehouse mare, the lone starter for trainer Juan Coronel this year, was bred and is owned by Sanford Bacon, who also bred the star statebred Say Florida Sandy, the 2001 New York-bred HOTY. Say Florida Sandy is a half-brother to Dancin Renee, the dam of Risky Rachel.  

Pick-4 paid paid $179.50 vs. posted willpay of $180.00, presumably because a few tickets were sold to the early-scratched Funky Munky Mama.


4:00 pm: As I always say: If at first you only get back 74.8 percent of your investment, try try again:

(Apologies for the improvised graphics.)

It's clouding up kind of quickly, but no rain or surface-switches yet.


4:40 pm: Even-money Notacatbutallama continued the chalk parade with a runaway victory in the 7th. The story on the winner's name is that owner Mike Repole was playing some kind of group parlor game where you give clues but can't use five specified words. He had to give a clue for "dog" so he said "Not a cat but a...." and his wife Maria for whatever reason completed the sentence with "llama!" Thus, not a cat but a llama, with the spaces removed.


5:05 pm: Not my day. Holiday's Jewel ($19.80), who appeared to be fighting the rider and tugging for most of the race, wore down Geisha Gal in a long drive to the wire to win the 8th.


5:45 pm: Little Drama a decisive winner of the 9th at 6-5, setting up some chalky willpays in the finale of Week 5, including a pair of sub-$1k pick-6 payouts:

6:15 pm: Grand Rapport ($5.40) won the Dropdown derby over 7-5 Pocket Cowboys -- a former G3 winner beating a $476k statebred stakes winner, both running for $25k. The winner completed some odd-looking multirace payoffs -- a $463.00 (that one went UP by 50 cents over the willpay) pick-4 and a pick-6 that paid only 50 percent higher at $665.

No racing tomorrow; the chase resumes at 1 p.m. Wednesday.