08/19/2013 11:29AM

Saratoga Day 28: August 19, 2013


12:30 pm: Sunny/fast/firm for Day 28 of 40, a 10-race, 77-horse card where the nominal feature (race 5) is the $100k Union Avenue for statebred fillies.

The Union Avenue reunites five of the six fillies who ran in the Lottsa Talc here July 25th when Clear Pasaj held on by a nose over Willet with Miss Valentine another nose back in third. Clear Pasaj led at every call going 7f that day, and there appears to be no other early speed in the field again, so Willet and the closers may have to move sooner today to catch her as they shorten up to 6f this time.

Four of the day's first five are on dirt, then the card ends with five on the grass. It will be interesting to see what sort of fractions are posted in the turf races after highly improbable ones were put up in yesterday's last two races, which have yet to be officially adjusted or corrected.

1:15 pm: Early pick-4, with the emphasis on the all-A line:

2:15 pm: Three races, three losing favorites at even-money or less.

In the opener, Thug Daddy, third in a slow race in his debut, managed only fourth behind clearly well-meant Capuano shipper/firster So Lonesome ($6.50). In the 2nd, Flores Island was 3-to-5 off a good second in the July 29th edition of this filly N1x, but tried going to the lead instead of rating today, and was stalked and collared by stretchout Sheer Drama ($11.00). Then in the 3rd, Hot Stones was overbet at 3-to-5 off a moderate maiden victory and managed only third behind Make the Moment ($9.80) and Sweet Maxine.

And that's how you end up with a $188 pick-3 on two second choices and a third choice, all of whom could have been liked as much as the three favorites, who would have produced about a $24 pick-3.

2:45 pm: Ouch. Bozique at 8-1 looked like she was going to nail 2-1 Hot Tempo two strides from the wire, but she didn't quite get there. Still, a triple-A start into the Union Avenue:

Turf fractions in 4th, run on inner with rails out at 18 feet, looked plausible and normal: 23.58, 47.56 and 1:12.54 en route to mile in 1:36.79.


3:15 pm: Willet laid closer this time and Beautiful But Blue put some early pressure on Clear Pasaj and that allowed Willet to sweep to a dominant 1 3/4-length victory in the Union Avenue for the all-A $445 pick-4.

Willet, a 5-year-old Jump Start mare, races for Jimmy Islein and partners and is trained by Iselin. She now has a 5-4-1 record in 11 career starts and is 8: 5-3-0 in statebred company.

All grass and no stakes racing the rest of the way. The late pick-4 looks tricky and wide-open, and I'll be back in half an hour with a spready play.

3:50 pm: Eriugena split horses midstretch and won 6th as 5-2 second choice. Third winner in a row for Rosario, who has four more mounts today, after losing 2nd and 3rd on odds-on favorites.

Here's that late pick-4 play, where I obviously have lots of open horses in every leg and will be trying to zigzag my way through it:

5:20 pm: She's Not Lazy, longest shot in 9th at 18-1, and 7-1 Keening ran around the track together through a mile 49.08 and 1:13.24, leaving them with enough to finish 1-2 in that order as no one could pick them up. As a result, nobody's alive in the pick-6 and the pick-4's are paying $9k to $158k:

So there's a $60,741 carryover to Wednesday. I intend to prepare by sleeping in tomorrow and then eating as many hot apple-cider donuts as I possibly can at the Washington County Fair.

charming idiot More than 1 year ago
one of my best memories from saratoga is going to the washington county fair when my son was about 5. i have pictures of him on giant tractors and watching the local power company explain electricity. it is great that you still go steve.
Gregory M More than 1 year ago
Apple cider donuts? Granted, I've never tried one but also granted that I may never, ever want to try one. Nice work on the Early P4.
James More than 1 year ago
If you can eat a plain donut from Dunkin then you can eat a half dozen cider donuts in five minutes without even trying, or stopping to breathe. If you can eat donuts you owe it to yourself to try them.
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
Have a good fair and see you back Wednesday traveling toward the TRAVERS "E.Guillet"
horsesone More than 1 year ago
sent some pictures from the fair Steve. Have a good time.
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
Glad that finished it. There is something wrong with that TURF course. Some horses are just CLIMBING (losing action)' Guess its time for the carryover to get going LOL You could almost have predicted that !
David Juffet More than 1 year ago
How hot is chad brown?
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
I love Rosie giving them some of their own medicine Sending to the front walking around the track with all the contenders under strangleholds waiting for the 2nd mile then running the final !/16 PERFECT. Any fit horse can run full speed a 1/4 of a mile !!!!!
ML NJ More than 1 year ago
Some horse's full speeds are faster than other horse's full speeds.
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
Valid point but many horses on the ground if allowed to walk around/Canter whatever term used can accelerate for a 1/4 mile in front
David Schabell More than 1 year ago
IMO, Christmas came early for Rosie again today. I'm sure she thought she was toast traveling to the outside of the leader, with accomplished (for 3 yos) sitting in behind her. The track was obviously carrying speed today as evidenced by the second "bad" winner coming right back in the 10th Race. Something is wrong when the best handicappers (supposedly) in America can only come up with 4 of 6 in the Pick 6. Sorry, but Rosie and the 8 in the finale were virtually impossible from where I'm sitting. Very frustrating!!!
Equinometry More than 1 year ago
Saratoga has produced more illogical results this year than any year I can remember. To hit the late Pick 4 you either had to play a quick pick or your lucky numbers. The winner of the 7th was plausible as she was routing for the first time against a bunch of proven losers going two turns with the exception of the 9 who was rated instead of sent to the lead. More likely than not Ortiz thought he was on the best horse and conceded the lead to what he thought was a hopeless long shot. The winner of the 8th was usable but with a record of 6: 0-2-4 she was just as easy to toss as she had the looks of a career maiden. The winner of the 9th took advantage of the slow pace. I looked at her for a while but could not use her because she was too slow and did not figure to be able to finish fast enough to hold off the logical choices. The winner of the 10th was impossible. If Christophe Clement can't get a horse to run on turf there is no way Patrick Quick should be able to. I was against the favorites and thought an upset was likely but figured one of the second time starters would step up and run a big race. Saratoga is the meet I look forward to most and focus on the most. Since Del Mar switched to Poly it has been a second thought the last few years. I simply could not pick a winner there but this year the two tracks are reversed. I am picking winners at Del Mar on a consistent basis and picking losers at Saratoga on a more consistent basis. At Del Mar when I miss a P4 or P5 its usually a 3/4 and 4/5. At Saratoga I've been going 0/4 or 1/4 most of the time in P4's. I feel like I am in Bizarro World.
Richard Land More than 1 year ago
Your joy at having a "traditional" nine race Thursday card may turn to sorrow if the Travers is race 12 on a 14 race Saturday extravaganza.
Richard Land More than 1 year ago
In your day 21 installment of this most excellent blog, you reviewed a lobster roll thusly: "A king [sized] gets a full half pound of chopped lobster tossed with Mayo and Old Bay" and the key word is "chopped". Its chopped so fine and thin that you think you're eating that you think you're eating that fake crabmeat from which generic seafood salad is made..." Also a review of Saratoga racing this summer?
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
My father informed me of this the other night. Its mostly filler
jimf552 More than 1 year ago
There is no filler in lobster roll. It is what it is "lobster salad" and it is awesome as are the raw and steamed clams and the lobster mac and cheese is to die for. The best stand in the track by far!!!
James More than 1 year ago
But Steve's review of Siro's crab meat roll was right on. Big chunks of crab and enough to fill two rolls or $8. If only the buttered and grilled the roll instead of just taking it out of the wrapper. I'd have tipped $2 for that.
TomN More than 1 year ago
I am encouraged you are using the #5 in the 10th Steve...he is my key to the todays card