08/22/2013 12:30PM

Saratoga Day 30: August 22, 2013


12:30 pm: Sunny, fast and firm for a rare nine-race card on Day 30, with the stakes racing early in the card: the new York Turf Writers Cup steeplechase is the first of the day at 1 p.m., an hour before Easter Gift and Casaba square off in the five-horse overnight Alydar Stakes.

With only nine on the card for just the second time at the meeting, don't forget that the late multirace bets start earlier than usual -- the pick-6 (with no carryover) starts on the 4th race and the late pick-4 begins with race 6.

1:10 pm: Italian Wedding, part of a three-ply Jonathan Sheppard-trained entry favored at 19-to-20 ($3.90), won the $150k New York Turf Writers Cup to open the card.

The 8-year-old Alphabet Soup-Effervescent gelding is not only owned and trained by Sheppard but also was bred by him. ("I own his dam and his grandmother," Sheppard said after the race.) Italian Wedding only one of his 19 prior career starts on the flat, finishing 6th in a 2009 maiden race at Colonial, and has slowly worked his way up to the elite ranks of steeplechasers. He was sidelined more than a year before returning to the races with a good second in the A. P. Smithwick Aug. 1, then jumped forward a few lengths today with a career-best performance.

I've got to finish up a Travers column but I'm putting in the following early pick-4 play for some background entertainment while I write:


2:20 pm: Vitoria Olimpica, a Group 1 winner in Brazil making his dirt debut, outfinished 6-5 Easter Gift to win the $100k Alydar stakes in 1:49.10 for 9f.

The 4-year-old Northern Afleet colt, a TNT Stud homebred now trained by Todd Pletcher was sixth in a turf mile in his U.S. debut July 24th after leading to midstretch. Today he was third early behind Percussion and Csaba, moved on the far turn, seemed destined for no better than 2nd when passed by Easter Gift, but fought back at the inside as the favorite sputtered late.

And I'm pretty sure that ad above is, as several commenters suggested, from 1907. Six races each day, rain or shine!

2:50 pm: Big bloated pick-4 willpays:


Remember, no breather race between pick-4's today, as the second one starts in race 6.

3:20 pm: Horvat Clan ($9.30), reclaimed by Ramseys/maker in last, swept to lead from last and edged away from Native Wave to complete $5,051 early pick-4. Onwards:

4:25 pm: The Ready to Act race here July 22 has yielded heavily overbet losing favorites in 2yo filly turf sprints here the last two days. Yesterday, the runner-up from that race, Ruslana, was off the board at 2-1 as McLaughlin firster Almurra won at 23-1. Today in the 7th, the third-place finisher behind Ready to Act and Ruslana, Pletcher trainee Super Sky, was a bizarre-world 1-to-2 and ran second to 8-1 McLaughlin firster Sky Painter. Fourth-place finisher Duff One did win her next start, but that was an off-the-turf race Aug. 9 that earned a winning BSF of 50.

5:05 pm: With Sugar On Top, 11-1 outsider in inscrutable 8th, moved last and best to create the following willpays. Only two of the nine in the nightcap are covered in the pick-6 -- one winner each at $43k, or a $43k carryover to Friday:

Here's the Travers Day card. You might want to get to work now if you're going to play all 14:


jimf552 More than 1 year ago
Rick Harrington - if you want easier way to access and exit race track, send me an e-mail using this user name @ aol. Let me know what time you plan on arriving and departing and if you already know where you are parking.
Rick Harrington More than 1 year ago
Thanks for the invite, but having been around this area for all my life, I already know what routes to the NYRA lots have more congestion and what routes don't. My comment about the 6PM parking lot on Union is based on prior knowledge of how traffic can be on that road during that time of day after a big race day. As is, I will not be able to attend Travers Day because of work obligations.
George Escowitz More than 1 year ago
Steve: You used phrase bizarre-world. Bizzaroworld happens to be running in 9th race today. Bizzarroworld was also a part of a Seinfeld episode. Looks like no carryover if it is a Bizzaroworld win today.
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
George, I wasn't joking about the Pletcher Fever/Craze. I find it mandatory especially after this weekend missing the pick 4 and 6 on account of Pletcher horses not favored. I personally cant be beat by one Barn/Stable and sleep well LOL
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
The players hammered Pletcher 2nd time starter Super Sky 1-2 out of frustration. I think people are just sick of these horses winning and not being invited to the party. Where its now almost required at these meets Saratoga/Gulfstream to bet EVERYTHING sent to the track in fear of being knocked out of exotics on the PLETCHER horse. I believe its really affected Peoples handicapping and wagering. The win percentage and just numbers are overwhelming....
George Escowitz More than 1 year ago
The elusive prize averts us wouldbe Pletchercatchers.
Yuwipi More than 1 year ago
As you mentioned your Travers column Steve it reminded me that you get out of town each year on the day after. Is the evacuation a personal tradition or can even a thing as good as Saratoga wear a little heavy after a while? [It's primarily because the people we rent from want their house back for closing week, but yeah, 5 1/2 weeks is about enough. -SC]
Equinometry More than 1 year ago
Going the ABC route rather than caveman in the late Pick 4 today: R6 (A) 1,8 (B) 2,3,5 R7 (A) 7 (C) 1,8 R8 (A) 1,3 (B) 4,6 R9 (A) 6,7 (B) 5,8 (C) 2,4 Total cost is $72 using $2.00-$1.00-$0.50 betting units.
Roy Wilkinson More than 1 year ago
To go further since it looks like we are saying 1907....Colin won the Saratoga Special (then at 6f) in 1907 and went on to become one of the best race horses of his time.
Roy Wilkinson More than 1 year ago
F.R Hitchock became president and Harry Paine Whitney became vice president of the Saratoga Association in 1904. Also found newspaper article where Hitchcock was looking to resign in 1910. Travers Stakes was not run in 1911 or 1912. I assume the ad would be between 1904-1910.
Roy Wilkinson More than 1 year ago
The Windsor Arcade was also only around from 1901-1911. Seems like we have all narrowed it down to about a six year period from 1904-1910.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
H.P. Whitney died in 1930. He's listed as VP so going back from there how many Mondays fell on August 5th during his Vice Presidency of racing term. We'll figure this out. bb.pok.ny
Jeremy Denierio More than 1 year ago
Based on the board of directors and matching the dates to a calendar, I'm going with 1907
AnonyMous More than 1 year ago
Played the early Pick 4. Out. That was fun.