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Saratoga Day 34: 8/27/12
By Steven Crist
2:50 pm: Pick-6 with $72k carryover starts in 20 minutes with the 5th at Saratoga.
Just walked in. Took almost five hours to get back to Long Island from Saratoga. Construction (just in time for Labor Day weekend!) has begun on the Northway, right around mile marker 49 southbound, and then some heavy rain that's headed the Spa's way started pouring down before I hit the Whitestone. Good thing I wasn't planning to play this carryover anyway.
3:00 pm: Here are the early pick-4 willpays -- not very princely, but square enough for a sequence that has begun with $3.60, $6.50 and $5.50 winners:
There seems to be an ongoing problem with the pick-4 and pick-6 willpays on scratched horses. The pick-4 to the scratched 1, 10 or 11 are listed as paying $348 -- the same as the payoff to #8 One More Cat. But One More Cat is not the morning-line favorite, or the favorite in any other pool, so why would anyone inherit him? He was 5-1 ML and is currently the fifth choice in a field of eight at 6-1. Anyone holding a ticket with the first three winners and one of the scratched horses is being told he'll get $348 if the post-time favorite wins, but he'll actually get just $125 if Let's Have Us One holds up as the favorite by post time and wins.
3:20 pm: O'Frederica ($9.30), as low as 2-1 in early betting but co-second choice at 7-2 behind 9-5 Let's Have Us One at post time, rallied wide from behind a three-way pace duel (among Let's Have Us One, Gladhander and One More Cat) to win the opening leg of the pick-6 for Tony Dutrow/Dominguez.
3:55 pm: See Me Proud, who moved via $20k claim from Bill Mott to Patrick Quick three starts back, made the pick-6 a lot more interesting with an upset victory in the 6th. He held off 12-1 Myhorseofcourse, with second choice Parachute Coney 3rd at 7-2, third choice Imperial Robyin 4th and 4-1 and Pletcher dropdown English Major last as the 4-5 favorite.
4:15 pm: A weird and unhelpful odds board for the upcoming 7th, a turf sprint for juveniles where 6 of the 8 are firsters: Every horse is between 4-1 and 11-1, with five of them in the 4-1 to 6-1 range.
4:30 pm: Late money made Tony Dutrow third-timer Indian Splendor the 9-5 favorite, and she blasted out of the gate to open a huge lead through a quarter in 21.31, then bolted to the outside fence on the turn. There was a cavalry charge to the finish that ended with Matz firster Sensational Appeal, beating 9-2 Team Valor/Motion firster Speaking Role. The all-Fair Hill exacta returned $204.
With $22 and $33 winners in the second and third legs, it's not too early to be thinking double-carryover. Wenesday's sequence of the 5th through 10th consists of six grass races, three of them for 2-year-olds including the featured P. G. Johnson Stakes for fillies.
5:05 pm: Leap, Lasix-on for second start, ran down Comandante in the final stride to win the 8th, for statebred 2-year-olds. Board said the firsters were nothing special -- three of the four were 20-1, 24-1 and 51-1 -- and those who had raced went off as the first three choices. Leap, a Broman homebred by Hook and Ladder trained by John Kimmel, paid $9.00 as the third choice.
Parlay of first four winners in pick-6 is $7,135. In the upcoming Saratoga Dew Stakes, five of the six running opened between 5-2 and 5-1.
5:40 pm: Go Unbridled's upset victory in the Saratoga Dew at 5-1 left only three live pick-6 combos: One winner at $299k to the #1 Chief Gaga, #4 Stellabymoonlight and #8 Miss Suwanee -- the latter two fillies running males.. Anyone else -- including ML and current favorite #9 Loud Pipes -- and it's a $299k carryover to Wednesday.
In the Saratoga Dew, favored Opus A led early, turned back a challenge from Great Gracie Dane in upper stretch, but could not withstand the late run of Go Unbnridled, who surged to the lead inside the eighth pole and drew away. Go Unbridled, a 5-year-old Unbridled Jet mare, is owned by Howard Whitbred and trained by H. Allen Jerkens, who won the G1 Prioress wirth Emma's Encore earlier at the meet.
6:15 pm: Miss Suwanee ($17.40), off since January, ran the boys off their feet with a runaway score in the nightcap that rewarded one bettor with a $299k pick-6 and deprived/spared the rest of us a double-carryover to Wednesday's grass festival.
Amazing!!!!!! I lost my bet on Secretariat at the Spa when Jerkins beat him with Onion in 1973. Almost 40 years later, I get blown out of the late pick 4 at Saratoga by Jerkins again. Would this guy please go away:
I wonder if this "Maiden Madness" will continue at Belmont(probably). In 55 years of going to Saratoga, this is the worst I have seen....today, 4 of tthe 6 Pick-6 races were for maidens! There are 5 Mdn. races on both Wednesday and Thursday. Four of the 9 races on Friday are also Maidens. Bingo and Lottery players may do well on these days.
Steve, I didn't see an article about Javier Castellano being fined $2000 for not riding out and standing up before the wire. Well $2000 is a joke he made more than that on the race. Alan Garcia should've been fined and suspended too!
The Giant Killer strikes again! For me, it NEVER gets old watching an H. Allen Jerkens runner getting up for all the money in the feature race @ Saratoga. I don't know how many more Saratoga meets "The Chief" will continue to be a part of, so I relish watching(and of course wagering on) every starter he sends out, knowing for the most part that in ole' H. A. J.'s eyes, that his particular runner has a good chance of upsetting a field, for if the Chief didn't believe his horse belonged, he wouldn't send him/her to meet the starter. Hail to The CHIEF!
Steve, I know your Spa stay was more brief than usual, but did you get to P.J's? ( I heard it is open 12 months now, do you know?)
Steve, thank you for your blog, it's really enjoyable; we're heading to Saratoga for the last weekend, from Colorado. Didn't see any restaurant recommendations this year . . . Lastly, a small but loud HOORAY for the folks in KY that (initially here today) did the right thing for horses and horseplayers on the lasix issue.
Hi Steve - I see the much anticipated first start of Archwarrior's career should take place on Thursday. Any guess on what he will go off at? I would take a stab at 1 to 2.
Working on the Wednesday card while watching this one, and we have a couple of interesting items: The first is just the second nine-furlong maiden special that I think any of us know of for TWO year olds ever contested at Saratoga. Two more two year old races after that, and six overall including the P.G. Johnson. I can't remember there ever being six two year old races on the same program at Saratoga, which looks like the new limit on eight-horse fields has helped make happen. It is a good sign for the fall meet at Belmont, where hopefully we'll see winners not have to go into stakes company just to start.
As for Dullahan (who won the Pacific Classic), in my opinion, he should go next in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at 1 1/2 Miles on BC Preview day at Belmont September 29. Win that and follow it up with a win in the BC Turf and it could very well be enough for him to be three year old champ since in that scenario he would have three Grade 1 wins over older horses. Speaking of the Pacific Classic, Game on Dude was not exactly tiring in the stretch of that yesterday. Dullahan simply ran him down in a :24 1/5 last quarter and a track record for the Polytrack surface at Del Mar of 1:59 2/5.
Couldn't make it up to the Grand Old Spa this year. But thanks for the blog. I have read it and enjoyed it for many years. Saratoga would not be Saratoga without your blog. Can't say I saw all of your comments. Saw many comments from you and readers about Hattie's Chicken Sandwiches. But did I miss your comments about Cheese Waffies this year? Thanks again Steve, you had another great meet under difficult personal circumstances.
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