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Saratoga Day 35: 8/29/12
12:37 pm: It's four on the dirt and then six on the grass for a fast, firm and sunny Day 35 where six of the day's races are for 2-year-olds.
There would have been a $299k carryover into today if the 3-2 fvorite, Lord Pipes, had won Monday's nightcap. He wasn't covered but 7-1 Miss Suwanee was, and she romped by 3 1/2 lengths facing males. Maybe it's just as well, as the all-turf sequence is a very tough one, with three juvenile grass races in the mix including the P.G. Johnson stakes for fillies.
There are two other $100k stakes on the Wednesday card, both restricted: The 6f David for 2-year-old statebreds, which goes as the 3rd with a field of five, and the one-mile Win for non-winners of a turf stakes in 2012, which is the 6th race and has a field of nine. The Win is the only one of the six straight turf races not at a mile and a sixteenth.
The card starts in 25 minutes with the only dirt route juvenile race of the meet, a maiden race at a mile and an eighth. Darley/McLaughlin second-timer Thane, fourth to stakes prospect Palace Malice in his debut, is the 1-to-5 favorite with 23 MTP.
1:10 pm: Norumbega ($17.40) ran down 1-to-5 Thane in midstretch to win the 9f baby race. The Tiznow-Meghan's Joy colt, beaten 10 lengths on the grass in his debut, ran the mile and an eighth in 1:51.86. Too soon to tell if/how much the track is faster than it was last Sept. 2, when Speightscity won this race in 1:53.08.
Norumbega, according to Wikipedia, was " a legendary settlement in northeastern North America, inextricably connected with attempts to demonstrate Viking incursions in New England. Like Cathay, it was a semi-legendary place name used to fill a gap in existing geographical knowledge."
2:00 pm: It didn't affect me either way, but I thought that was a bad dq in the 2nd where 5-1 Brazilian Court was placed second behind 4-1 runner-up Scofield. You can argue till the cows come home whether Scofield was pinning in Brazilian Court or Brazilian Court was bulling his way through a non-existent hole, but their bumping appeared to have absolutely no effect on the outcome of the race and when that is the case i always vote to leave it alone. Why punish the bettors who selected the better horse for something that could/should have been adjudicated with a jockey fine?
2:55 pm: Hearts of Red, 11-1 outsider in six-horse N2x filly field field where other five were 6-1 or less, successfully turned back from five routes to upset the 4th in 1:09.75 for 6f. WIllpays into the 5th, including early pick-4:
3:25 pm: Fredericksburg, who closed 15 lengths while running fourth in his debut behind Craving Carats, went to the front from the rail, shook off a sustained challenge from Winning Cause and pulled clear to win the 5th. Summer Shiner, third in the Craving Carats race while near the pace, came from far back today and was visually impressive rocketing past horses around the stretch turn and finishing best of all. Brickyard Kitten, forced wide from post 12, also contested the pace and held well for third in his debut.
4:05 pm: Swift Warrior ($10.20) caught Yield Bogey in midstretch and pulled away to win the $100k Win Stakes, with 14-1 Hoofit up for second over 6-1 Yield Bogey. Swift Warrior, a 4-year-old First Samurai colt trained by John Terranova, was making his first start snce April 1st and second since finishing third in the G3 Tampa Bay Stakes Feb. 25, a race in which Hoofit finished 10th.
4:30 pm: Juvenile turf racing, which had seemed more formful this year after a steady string on longshot winners last summer, reverted to throw-a-dart form in the 7th as 21-1 Sheppard firster Hedonemewrongsong beat 21-1 Hennig firster Coarsegold, followed by 18-1 Mott second-timer Sandsarita and 12-1 Kimmel firster Ruthie Ble Eyes next at 12-1. They combined for a $9,686-for-$2 tri and a $96,961-for-$2 superfecta. I detect the fhe faint scent of a carryover in the air.
5:00 pm: Guess it was just a matter of time before pople began importing European 2-year-olds to plunder our grass stakes even before the Breeders' Cup, just as they routinely do with older horses. Watsdachances ($9.50), Irish 2-year-old filly by Diamond Green coming off a maiden victory at Navan, won the $100k P.G. Johnson over 11-1 Broken Spell, 6-1 Tarafromthecape and 5-1 Da Mi Basia Mille for new trainer Chad Brown.
5:30 pm: Back-to-back Brown, as Gimme Credit ($4.70) got the job done in the 9th and Castellano remained seated all the way to the wire. Weird-looking race, as 31-1 Wihingonadream opened what had to be a 15-length lead between calls, turnd for home 10 on top before wilting yet hanging on for fourth. Cinnamon Beach ran 2nd at 45-1 with Dugan third at 14-1, and that' how a 6-5 shot keys a $10,567 superfecta.
Five of the 12 in the 10th are covered in the pick-6, at $24k to $73k. With the other seven, we'd get a $73k carryover to Thursday. Ooops, make that "other six" as uncovered #5 Stormin Esther was just scratched in the paddock.
6:15 pm: There's a $73k carryover to Thursday at Saratoga after 11-1 Corinzia, first turf after two dirt losses by a combined 57 lengths, won the Wednesday finale over 12-1 She Be Bunny.
Tomorrow's sequence is on races 6-11: After a sprint in the first leg, it's five straight on the turf, including the $100k Equalize for 3-year-olds (race 9) and the G2 With Anticipation for 2-year-olds (race 10). Yes, the With Anticipation really is a G2, the same as the Hopeful.
Steve, I wanted to take the time to let you know how much I enjoy your blogs from the SPA and your time when you partner up with Little Andy for Talkin' Horses in the Carousel on the weekends during the meet. I was up there two weeks ago during the Alabama weekend and sat right in front to take in, as Andy and Jason are prone to offer as, "the prattle". Good stuff, enjoyable blog and I find it very interesting how often logically you and I are seemingly of the same opinion. Try not to let that negatively blanket this intended compliment of your contributions to the overall SPA experience LOL. Thanks again for all you do, I know this was a particularly hard meet for you in other ways yet you've continued to do great things for those of us who remain passionate about the game and NY Racing in particular.
Little longshot Ortiz. Irad about him. Wins that finale with $25 horse. His twelth first or second place finish with horses going postward with odds greater than nine to one....seven of them winners. Scoring in this bracket every ninth mount or so on average. One bad 0-32 skein.
I'm glad to hear that you felt the DQ in the 2nd was poorly judicicated. The outside horse #2 with the 1-51 jock, clearly came in on the #5 and initiated the contact while the #5 was moving into the hole, and the inside horse even came out to make it a three-horse billiards game. The #5 showed that he was the best horse and won the race anyway, only to be DQ'd - For What??? I did have a dog in the fight, but was confident that since it didn't effect the order of finish and cost anyone a placing (the credo that the NY stewards prclaim to live by) that the finish certainly would stand. You could have knocked me over with a feather when the horse came down. That was the kind of DQ I'd expect from the Thistledowns or Ellis Park stewards who rule with no rhyme or reason. What happened to the steward's ruling that they posted last year on all objections and inquiries explaing their rulings??? Still seething!
"Guess it was just a matter of time before pople began importing European 2-year-olds to plunder our grass stakes." They switched to Old York Breds.
Steve: As always, thanks for the GREAT Blog during the Spa meet!!! Tell me you wouldn't be disgusted if you picked two 21-1's in the exacta in a large field (today's 7th) & it only came back at $454??? That exacta would've paid $900 at Keeneland??? Penny for your thoughts....?
Steve, Norumbega is also a mountain in Acadia National Park in Maine. Lots of wild blueberries to eat on top.
Boy was I awful in the 7th. Get out P3 tossing the chalk here, 4-6-9/1/1-2-6-7-8-9-10
While listening to BJ Thomas sing, "Hey, wontcha play another Somebody done somebody wrong song", I'll just quote Francis the Talking Mule: "Two year old fillies? Even they don't know who's gonna win." And add that it's about time for a Double C-O.
Yield Bogey yielded both first and second, finishing third. Hoofit - winner of last years Phoenix (KEE- Gr. 3) and 11-1 in the BC Turf Sprint - rallied for second.
Interested to hear everyone's thoughts on the late P4. Good opportunity for DRF Ticketmaker to strut its stuff. Looking like this for me 7th A 5-7-10, B 1-4 8th A 3-7, B 5-6 9th A 1-6, B 12 WIDE OPEN 10th A 1-2-6-7-8-9, B 4-10-12 $132 investment going just AAAA and All A/1B. I think I like my chances being wrong once in wide open races better than being right every time, so probably won't double up my AAAA