08/25/2013 4:16PM

Saratoga Day 33: August 25, 2013


4:15 pm: Late getaway, Sunday traffic, just walked in the downstate door. Looks like there hasn't been a bigger price than $7.80 in the first six races, so I guess I didn't miss any life-changing opportunities. I'll get tied on and we'll watch the last few together.

In the meantime, puzzle me this: Why was the $100k stakes race that just went as the 6th named for Idle Rich? The filly of that name won 6 of 21 career starts and $315k, including the 1999 Glens Falls at Saratoga and the 2000 All Along at Colonial, but this race was for males.


4:30 pm: What the Frost (2-1) in the 7th made it seven favorites in seven races. Is that why the very ordinary-looking #13 in the 8th (hillhouse High, 4th in debut running for purse only after losing a shoe) is being pounded to 7-5 in a race where no one else is shorter than 6-1?

Of course I'm playing the late pick-4. Not to do so would be like a day without orange juice. Let's start out trying to stop this chalkfest in its tracks:


4:55 pm: There we go. Zinzay, 19-1 Rusty Arnold firster by Smart Strike from the family of Musical Chimes, chased 4-5 Hillhouse High, collared her in upper stretch, and prevailed in a long drive to the wire. "She'll pay forty dollars to win!" Durkin said as they crossed the wire. Actually, $41.80.

Field included half-sisters to winner of earlier stakes on card and to favorite in later stakes: Sabbatical, half to Idle Rich winner Imagining, ran 6th, and Crown Queen, half to Personal Ensign Handicap favorite Royal Delta, ran third.


5:30 pm: Gentleman's Kitten, 3-1 second choice in 8th, just held off 14-1 Share Out in race marred by two incidents: Early leader Sarava's Dancer took a bad step and was pulled up on the backstretch, and Kris Royal clipped heels on the far turn. Sachem Spirit 4th as suprisingly heavy favorite at even money.

6:05 pm: Royal Delta ($3.10) let On Fire Baby take the lead through a first quarter in 23.56, powered past her to take over through a half in 46.78 and 6f in 1:10.76, then ran away from Authenticity in the stretch, going the mile in 1:35.20 and was not asked for much as she won by 4 1/2 lengths and stopped the timer in 1:48.34 under 124 pounds, 6 to 10 more than the competition. The champion 3-year-old filly of 2011 and champion older filly of 2012 looks well on her way to another Eclipse Award.

All but one of the dozen in the 11th are covered in the pick-6:

6:35 pm: Ready Signal, a loser of 10 straight and off the board her last six, rediscovered her good form of a year ago at 27-1 to complete a $10,787 pick-4 and a $51,694 pick-6.

Ten races tomorrow to complete the penultimate week of the meeting, including a pair of $100k stakes for fillies: The Smart N Fancy for turf sprinters at 5 1/2 furlongs and the Saratoga Dew for statebreds at 9 furlongs.