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.


Gary Peacock More than 1 year ago
Lezcano again a winner aboard his only turf "red-zone" mount. $19.80 / $7.20 Mr. Turf at a price.
Slew32A More than 1 year ago
Steve, Whats your opinion of these Repole purchases. Is he being mislead or so bent on a owner title that he throws his money blindly away?
Rick Harrington More than 1 year ago
That's three out of four Pick-6's that paid less than $1,000 [granted the one Friday included "ALL" winners]. You're not going to get rich off the races at Saratoga at this rate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am what you call an oldtimer and I will be 75 years old next month. How many more years can I count on Daily Racing Form printing the Speed Rating and Track Variant? though their compilation may not be as sophisticated nor comprise as many variables are the BSFs, I find them useful, particularly the TV. As to the BSFs, well that is a story for another day.
john deksnis More than 1 year ago
Next year at Saratoga, we'd like to rent one of the houses that face the training track. Any readers here ever rent one of those for the meet? If so, are they hard to get? Waiting list? Any info would be appreciated as we only just now started looking into it.
Spencer Krull More than 1 year ago
Try racingcityrealty.com for rentals. I've used them in the past, and Tom Federlin is a pleasure to work with.
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
That's who DRF uses too.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
I read a posting that said steves been having a tough saratoga meet.well in all fairness to steve this has been one of the most challenging meets ever at saratoga to this point.i have done resonably well at this meet for many years yet find myself way behind and struggling this year.i cant put my finger on why,but i think the higher purses have changed some basic angles ive relied on in the past.i think going foward new york winter form will become more relevant and kentucky and florida form less so.
Yuwipi More than 1 year ago
Notacatbutallama. Story behind the name got me thinking about a "Family Feud" episode many years ago when a pressured contestant was frantically trying to come up with an answer for "what European country had the most emigrants to the United States" and finally shouted out "Switzerland!" Two good weeks left in the meet. Luck to all.
2ynniaps More than 1 year ago
steve-aren't you mad that you ( and I) were able to bet a scratched horse last Thursday. Is there a flaw somewhere??
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
There's definitely a flaw if the horse was scratched at 4:26 pm, which is what the website said, but was still live in the tote system at 4:43 pm.
DavidM More than 1 year ago
On a silly note that story about the naming of Notacatbutallama reminded me of a classic Odd Couple episode. They were on Password and the word was Pencil. Oscar's clue was lead......Felix's response was graphite!
Gina Adams More than 1 year ago
Gary Contessa 8 wins at the meet. A sign that there are waaaaaaaay too many claiming races at the watered down Spa.
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
But 5 of his 8 wins are in maiden or allowance races.
DavidM More than 1 year ago
Steve, don't let facts get in the way!
James Tunick More than 1 year ago
I would bet that Contessa doesn't have eight wins combined from 2008-2011 at Saratoga.
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
And you would lose, albeit narrowly. He had 11 wins from 2008 through 2011 -- 0 in '08, 1 in '09, 5 in '10 and 5 in '11.