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Saratoga Day 36: 8/30/12
By Steven Crist
12:15 pm: Three on the dirt, eight on the grass (including two steeplechases), a $73k carryover, and the long-awaited debut of Archwarrior make it a busy, fast, firm and sunny Day 36 at Saratoga.
There are three stakes on the card -- the $75k Mrs. Walter Jeffords, the $100k Equalize and the G2 $150k With Anticipation -- but the race that's most filled with anticipation is the 3rd, when the unraced 2-year-old Archwarrior finally will run. Scratched once when the track came up sloppy and then stuck on the also-eligible list Travers Day, Archwarrior has been reducing hardened clockers to rapturous fanboys in his morning exercise. The Arch colt, a $375k March 2yo purchase, breaks from post 4 (but is wagering #3) for Pletcher/Velazquez.
With the two steeplechases starting the card, it's an 11-race program so the pick-6 does not start until the 6th race, scheduled to go at 3:49 pm. I'm 2-to-5 to sit it out -- it looks like one tough race after another with few if any places to take a stand or hang one's hat. That's no knock on the races -- they look like fun to play one at a time, or maybe the last four on a 50-cent spready pick-4 -- but I think there's a fine chance of a double-carryover to Friday.
Speaking of Friday, don't forget it's a 2:30 pm start.
Here's the pick-6 lineup with scratches as of 12:15 pm. It's currently an 8x11x8x10x11x12 proposition:
12:35 pm: Two more scratches in sequence just announced: Joanne's Halo in the 8th and The B's and E's in the 10th. Chart above updated.
1:05 pm: Two more late scratches: Spring to the Sky in the 9th, and Sonofasumurai (part of an entry) in the 10th.
1:50 pm: Early steeplechase double of You the Man ($31.00) and Cubist ($12.80) paid $265. Early pick-3 willpay adding Archwarrior in upcoming 3rd to those two is $454. Double of Cubist to Arch Warrior would turn a $12.80 winner into an $18.20 double.
Arch Warrior opened 1-9 with $42k of $48k win pool and $11k of $13k show pool.
2:15 pm: Archwarrior an easy if not mindbending winner at $2.50, taking over at top of stretch, drifting slightly, winning by 3 1/4 lengths in 1:10.07.
He's a grand-looking colt and he ran sensibly, stalking from second on the outside and finishing as if added distance is not going to be a short-term problem.
2:50 pm: Royal Rhiannon led from the start and held off 2-1 Glorious View to win the 4th, for older-filly maidens, in 1:23.43 for 7f after getting first 6f in 1:09.96. With only three races on the dirt, all for maidens, there's not much to go on today, but on the basis of the two we've seen, I'm guessing that Archwarrior's race is going to get a Beyer Speed Figure in the 80's.
3:25 pm: Margaret Lillian tried to wire the 5th at 8-1, flying through fractions of 21.09 and 44.07 on the hard turf, but she wilted in upper stretch and backed up to 7th with 9-5 fave Sounds of the City getting the job done in 1:02.78.
Pick-6 starts in 25 minutes. Willpays into the day's last dirt race:
#6 Agualinda, Dutrow firster, 5-2 early favorite on board and favorite in 4-5-6 pick-3; #9 Chifa slight choice in double and clear fave in pick-4.
4:00 pm: Chifa ($6.90), beaten two lengths in slow Parx race in her debut, narrowly prevailed as 2-1 second choice over "fast closing" 6-1 Make Me a Prophet. Used quotation marks because final quarter of race was run in 26.94. Dutrow firster Agualinda last down backstretch, showed little thereafter. Chifa completed $144 early pick-4.
4:25 pm: If I'd played the pick-6, I might have leaned on Lea ($6.00), Dilschneider/Claiborne colt who looked like a stakes prospect winning a maiden race here back on July 21st. He was nominated to today's Equalize Stakes but connections took the N1x route and maybe now he's stakes-bound. If the First Samurai colt hadn't fired today, we might already be talking double-carry because runner-up was 33-1 Presumptive, Roy Lerman trainee who was 36-1 when he beat $20k claimers at Spa July 20. Lea over Presumptive, 10-1 Best Actor and 9-1 Coexist made for a $7808 superfecta.
5:05 pm: Discreet Marq, 4-1 fourth choice despite 14 1/2 length drubbing in slop in debut, won the 8th from box to wire for owner-breeder Patricia Generazio and trained Jim Ryerson. The Discreet Cat colt appeared in jeopardy around the turn as 8-5 Serpe firster Live Life Fast got close, but then he took off again and LLF couldn't keep up. Strikes me as a horse who was more than 4-1 in the pick-6; $219.50 pick-3 for $6.90/$6.00/$10.80 winners suggests same.
5:40 pm: Miami Cat ($9.10), who probably would have been a much bigger price had he not been coupled as a Phil Gleaves-trained entry with Csaba, outfinished 10-1 Film Shot to win the Equalize. Yari was third with Tiz Sardonic Joe fourth. 8-5 favorite Finale, beaten favorite in last fall's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and off since December, was bounced around back to last on the first turn and did little thereafter.
Miami Cat, owned by Gleaves and partners Bruce Hollander and Seahorse Stable, is a gelded son of the Easy Goer stallion Powerful Goer and was bred by his trainer. He ran the mile on the inner course in 1:35.15 under Rajiv Maragh.
6:15 pm: Balance the Books, who had to draw in off the also-eligible list because he finished second in his only other start and preference is given to winners, rallied from last to nail 3-1 Joha and win the G2 With Anticipation. Charming Kitten, the 2-1 favorite, was third with Notacatbutallama fourth.
Private Tutor, 26-1 at the time, was scratched with 1 MTP; if you used him in the pick-4 or pick-6, you got moved to Charming Kitten.
Balance the Books, a $160k 2-year-old purchase, is owned by Klaravich/Lawrence. The Lemon Drop Kid colt is trained by Chad Brown.
Half the field in the 11th is covered in the pick-6, at payouts that suggest the races looked a lot tougher than the 2-1/2-1/4-1/7-2/4-1 results would usually warrant:
6:45 pm: Covered horses ran 1-2-3-4 in the nightcap as Contessa-trained She Gets It, fifth choice at 9-1, was a decisive winner over 5-1 Belongs to Dixie, 6-1 What'smineismine and 7-1 Marcy. She Gets It completed $7,311 pick-4 and five winning Pick-6 tickets at $49,288 each.
Don't forget to sleep in a little tomorrow: First post is not until 2:30 pm.
Ortiz right back, next start from his $25 win yesterday to add fuel to the 7th's $7800 super, finishing second, paying $23 with fave on top. 13th first/second finish at odds over nine to one / 7 winners Perhaps another in several days/closing day.
Mr. Crist, Just a note of thanks from those of us who enjoy the Spa via TVG. Your daily blog allows me to feel kind of like I'm there...Made my first trip last year...enjoyed it even more than I expected...looking forward to next visit...until then, its my bets and your blog that allow me to feel part of the action. Brutus
Loading for last...rooting for another Carry-over ...tco
News is now breaking that Del Mar is planning major improvements (including expanding their turf course to accommodate 14 starters) to land the 2015 BC: It would be great for the sport to have the Breeders' Cup at Del Mar as long as those improvements are made. Del Mar has clearly shown they care about the sport. The big issue there is the same one I've brought up before with NYRA: Can Del Mar install lights, even temporary lighting so the BC can be held at night. Given the success Churchill has had with the BC Classic and Ladies Classic under the lights and for the first time this year and if this year's BC Classic on NBC gets any pulse of a TV rating opposite the plethora of college football that will be airing that night between CBS (Alabama-LSU), FOX (Oregon-USC), ABC (most likely as of now TCU-West Virginia), ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and other regional sports networks, that may be a requirement. I suspect NBC (as soon as for next year) will insist on lights for any future Breeders Cups they televise so the Saturday BC races can cover all of prime time from 8:00-11:00 PM ET as well as the night before (most likely in that scenario the Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies) the last hour of Friday prime time from 10:00-11:00 PM ET. If Del Mar can include lights in a bid for the BC, then I think they stand a very good chance of getting it assuming they can also expand the track and turf course as promised. Otherwise, as early as 2014 I see the BC at Churchill Downs on a near-permanent basis because of CD having lights for night racing.
Steve: What do you mean when you describe Archwarrior's win as easy if not mindbending? Clearly, he won easy. But are you implying it was mindbending, or not quite as mindbending as maybe some had hoped. Just trying to gauge how impressed you were, as I was a little confused by what you had written. Thanks,
Street Life retired.
Is it just me or is Nick Zito having another dreadful meet. He seems to still get expensive 2 year olds to train but he hasn't delivered much.
Update ArchWarrior retired to stud (sarc).
Just noticed while on Twitter,in their "Who To Follow" box, http://www.twitter.com/DRFSteven_Crist is up to 903 Followers (with my add!) Not bad for a guy who has not Tweeted there since May 2011. KUDOS!
Well, that was exciting. Didn't Archwarrior need to win by 10 lengths to justify the hype? Or, perhaps this next field of maidens needs to run in 1:25 so the raw time looks good by comparison.