08/27/2012 1:53PM

Saratoga Day 34: 8/27/12




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.

john More than 1 year ago
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:
soto More than 1 year ago
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.
Slew32A More than 1 year ago
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!
D'Funnybone More than 1 year ago
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!
Anthony Pasceri More than 1 year ago
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?)
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
Never made it there. It's under new management, right? Last summer it was kind of disappointing.
Rick Harrington More than 1 year ago
Re-opened this Spring with a new name: BAR-B-QSA. Not sure about the management. Maybe next year?
kingsailor2 More than 1 year ago
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.
rstanzel More than 1 year ago
Do yourself a favor, take a 15 minute drive and go to the Wishing Well...awesome place.
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
Couldn't agree more. Ate there last week and the classic atmosphere and chow are as good as ever. Be sure to get some fresh tomatoes and corn, and the lobster is outstanding.
kingsailor2 More than 1 year ago
Thank you ! Forgot to say I especially admire how you are able to "put in" your blog all kinds of tables and pictures. Looks so great.
Michael Gara More than 1 year ago
I second Steve here. My Mom and Dad started their honeymoon at the Wishing Well in 1949 before traveling to Canada. It was a tradition in our family to take in Saratoga Racetrack and the Wishing Well every summer until my Dad passed last year (belated sympathy for you loss, Steve.) It is remarkable how consistently outstanding the WW has remained these many years.
John Fasola More than 1 year ago
Celebrated my younger brother's birthday (12 of us) up there Thursday night one week ago and it was outstanding which is consistent with what we've experienced the previous ten or so times we've been there the past 5 or 6 summers. Yes, the fresh tomatoes and corn (don't forget the little cornbread loaves!) are fantastic and a meal could be made by just feasting on those items alone. That meal will be the lasting recollection of what unfortunately has become a meet to forget . . . a chalk fest of such dramatic proportion that I am thinking of throwing my form out and playing nothing but favs and top jocks as opposed to attempting to get clever. Today, as an example, I watched O'Frederica's video's from Delaware multiple times prior to placing my P6 plays and simply saw nothing that merited giving that horse the type of significant respect he was garnering yet, when they turned for home, he turned into Secretariat right underneath Ramon's silks . . . back to the Wishing Well!
Samuel Stone More than 1 year ago
To John's Comment, I did the exact same thing, couldn't wait to play against him and the 5 horse in that race, and at the wire, there they were, top two. And earlier Wilmer Garcia was on a horse that stopped in his debut like he was hit in face with a skillet, today he put away the other speed and finished second to Castellano in 1st race who won on the front end with a logical horse yes, but in reversal of style. Tough meet.
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
John, don't change horses in midstream.
John Fasola More than 1 year ago
After singling #6 Comandante in Race 8 on Monday and getting beat literally in the last 99.9999 percent of the race, costing me a piece of both the P6 and the P4 (nice conso on the P6 at least but I'm just sayin' . . .) as I had the right horses the rest of the way, AND after also having played Neon Moon in the 7th in $20 Exacta's top and bottom and ALSO getting beaten in the final desperate jump by Johnny V on a Graham Motion firster and AFTER getting a HUGE break when the big FAV #9 went out to the far side of Union Avenue in the far turn to actually PUT me in the position to HIT a monster Exacta as the firster of Matz bucked Formulator stats for his first time babies and was going on to win the race at over $30, I was ready to go back to the Wishing Well only this time it would have been to seek employment so as to allow me to forego wagering in its entirety for the balance of this meet at the SPA. Alas, the racing Gods sensed by angst and threw me the proverbial bone yesterday as my 1,3,5,7,10/7,8/1/all late Pick 4 wager, for a buck no less, returned me a very fair $4,900 . . . so all is right with the world, no names of horses, colors of saddle towels or silks, determining which horse by virtue of their various body function releases are "lighter and thus more ready" than the others, etc for me . . . it's still a roll up your sleeves, dig around where others dare to go and find that price horse that - when coupled with some more obvious and playable sorts - can lead to a smile inducing, blog posting experience. Thanks . . . gotta go as there is a carryover in the P6 and only five cards left to try and get even or ahead for the meet.
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
Agreed! We're looking forward to going there next week. We've never had a bad meal or an unpleasant experience at the Wishing Well, in all these years. STEER CLEAR OF: EVERYTHING ON BROADWAY. This isn't unmitigated good advice. I know you might miss one or two good places, but it just isn't worth the risk (dinner checks on vacations are bets - and you don't get shifted to the post-time favorite after the waiter brings out the rubber steaks and escargot). There's just something about B'way that makes it a perennial magnet for mediocre restaurants that vanish as quickly as they appear, hazardous tourist traps. One exception to this rule is of course Mrs. London's, but much more so for the pastries end of the restaurant than the restaurant, which after a brilliant beginning, dumbed down their menu, which is now uninspiring. Also recommended: Mio Posto (Italian). First-year restaurant, received a great review from journalist and former restaurant owner Cheryl Clark. If they're only half as good as Lanci's the restaurant that closed (damn it!) and now is the Mio Posto location, you can't lose. The Beekman Street Bistro is out of the way, but not that far, and gets five out of five stars for consistency as well as the food. They are first class pros, all the way. Good luck!
Alan Stern More than 1 year ago
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.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
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.
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
Anyone remember who won that first 9f 2-year-old race? It was last year and the winner was.....Speightscity, who led for the first six furlongs of this year's Travers before tiring to finish 8th at 52-1.
rstanzel More than 1 year ago
Here's what's annoying. We hear connections griping that they can only get 2yo's going long on the grass...they want to go long on the dirt...Yet we get a thundering herd of 6 for this race, and most of them are hopeless. Much like the 2 mile race horseman supposedly want...then half the field scratched a couple weeks ago. Over/under for time on this race will be about 1:55 2/5
W.G. More than 1 year ago
1 1/8 Miles to me is a bit long for two year olds to be running no matter what the surface. If somehow NYRA is allowed to do capital improvements to Saratoga, I'd like to see them EITHER rebuild the old Wilson Mile chute that would allow races at a mile on the dirt (the Jim Dandy years ago used to be at a mile in fact) OR build an auxiliary finish line a sixteenth down that would allow for races on the main track at seven and a half furlongs as well as six furlongs and 1 1/4 Miles on the Mellon Turf Course. If you rebuild the old chute, you could then have some mile races late in the meet for two year olds on the main track that likely would be more appealing than the nine furlong race that opens Wednesday's card.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
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.
Kevin Smith More than 1 year ago
point of entry will destroy him
Ray Manley More than 1 year ago
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.
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
Thank you Ray. It seems that Cheese Waffies have gone the way of the Grand Union Hotel Stakes and the dodo in the north country. Couldn't find them at any of the convenience stores or the fancy new Price Chopper. The last time I saw them anywhere was at a gas station in Hempstead a few months ago. I bought all four little bags of them and then saw they were several months past the sell-by date. But they weren't bad.
Ryan Jones More than 1 year ago
Steve - they still have them all over in NJ. I see them at bagel shops and deli's all the time.
Timothy Bullock More than 1 year ago
The Walmart on Route 50 in Wilton usually has them in-stock, but that doesn't do you any good.
Rick Harrington More than 1 year ago
Tip for next year: Try the Hannaford, either in Wilton or a little out of the way in Milton. I know the Hannaford near Glens Falls have them regularly in stock.