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Saratoga Day 39: 9/2/12
12:50 pm: The remarkable run of good weather continues at Saratoga, where it's fast and firm for Day 39 of 40, an 11-race card featuring the G3 Saranac for 2-year-old turfers and the G1 Spinaway for 2-year-old fillies.
Dreaming of Julia was scratched as expected from the Spinaway, leaving Teen Pauline to carry the Stonestreet stable colors as a heavy favorite by herself. Baby J also came out, leaving a field of five.
Just four maiden-claiming races left among the 22 races of the meet, three of them in a row today as part of an all-maiden early Pick-4.
No down-to-the-wire races for the trainer and jockey titles this year: Todd Pletcher has 35 winners to Chad Brown's 27, and it's a pole back to Steve Asmussen in third with 12. Ramon Dominguez is up 14 winners on Javier Castellano, 60-46.
1:50 pm: Liquid Lunch a very shaky 6-5 favorite in the 2nd for maiden 2yo fillies, coming off tiring efforts in slow races at 5f and 5.5f and stretching out to 7f. Not that surprisingly, she tired again and 4-1 Bond firster Cue the Moon, 19-1 Mott firster Emollient and 12-1 Violette firster Madgi all went by her to combine for a $1,936 tri.
2:50 pm: Willpays for the early pick-4, which ends with the last of three straight maiden-claimers:
3:00 pm: Overnight Beyers from Saturday: 108 for Emcee (Forego), 105 for To Honor and Serve (Woodward), 98 for Dominus (Bernard Baruch).
3:20 pm: One of those 6-5 Repole dropdowns finally won as My Sweet Candy ($4.40) held off Believe in Betty. Claimed for $50k on April 22, won for $25k here in first start since. #1 Fava scratched at the gate, 19-1 at the time. You got moved to My Sweet Candy in the pick-4, where actual payout was $884 vs. $1075 willpay before scratch.
3:55 pm: Back-to-back winners for trainer Bruce Levine aw 4-1 World Premiere got up late under Domnguez to catch favored Tanglewood Tale in the 6th, with 32-1 She's Gosphel also passing the favorite late. Levine now has 11 winners at the meet, tying him for fourth in the standings with Bill Mott and George Weaver. Catalonia (#3), 14-1, scratched at the gate.
4:25 pm: Shakeira up late to win the 7th for Dubb/Brown/Dominguez, giving the rider his fourth of the day and 64th of the meet. The meet record is 65 by John Velazquez, but that was for a 36-day stand.
Late pick-4 starts with the upcoming 8th. Favorites Lucky Chappy in the Saranac and Teen Pauline in the Spinaway look solid, but the bookends are open races. The play:
By the way, everyone pronounces Shakeira "shah-KEER-ah" like the Colombian singer but she has no "e" in her name and I always read it at as "Shake Ira." This recalls other mispronounced horses such as Russia, who was known as "Roo-SEE-ah"; Aldebaran, named for the star "Al-DEB-a-run" but routinely called "Al-da-BAR-in" as if he were a wiseguy named Al The Baron; and the late Ross Morton's calling Alegateachend "alla-ga-TEACH-und" instead of "A Leg At Each End."
5:00 pm: Tried to buck the Ramon Tide but couldn't keep him and 2-1 favorite Temper in Command out of the winner's circle in the wide-open 8th. That's five for the day and 65 for the meet. He only has one more mount on the card -- longshot Unbridled Command in the upcoming Saranac.
5:35 pm: Four in a row and six on the day as Dominguez just won the Saranac on the improbable Unbridled Command ($22.60), who had never faced open company or run in a stakes race before.
Dominguez had Unbridled Command perfectly placed as Skyring tried to wire the field, and he made his move on the turn. He wore down a game Skyring, and Lucky XChappy -- inexplicablty still last at the top of the stretch -- came flying late but too late to be third.
Unbridled Command races for Lakland Farm and is trained by Tom Bush.
5:50 pm: Unbridled Command and 8th race winner Temper in Command are both 3-year-olds from the first crop sired by Master of Command, an A. P. Indy-Lady Lochinvar stallion standing in New York. Master Command was a leading older male the first half of 2007 when he was trained by Todd Pletcher, winning the Mineshaft, New Orleans and National Jockey Club Handicaps.
6:10 pm: So Many Ways ran down a softened-up 3-5 Teen Pauline to win the Grade 1 Spinaway 45 days after winning the G3 Spschuylerville on Opening Day. The 2-year-old daughter of Sightseeing is owned by Maggi Moss and trained by Tony Dutrow.
Teen Pauline and 13-1 Corail set the table for the winenr by knocking heads early, as John Velazquez on Corail went after the favorite from the start. After a quarter in 22.19 and a half in 45.13, Teen Pauline pulled clear as Corail retreated, but So Many Ways had been sitting behind them in third and moved up. Teen Pauline fought back for a few strides but then tired, and 19-1 Sweet Shirley Mae passed her for second late.
The winner's time was a moderate 1:23.74, only three lengths faster than the erratic debut maiden winner Cue the Moon earlier on the card.
Willpays into the finale, where 8 of the 12 are covered in the pick-6:
6:15 pm: Ripley's Gold (#7) just scratched in the paddock. If you used him in the pick-4 or pick-6, looks like you'll be getting moved to #12 Simple Exchange, the current 5-2 favorite.
6:35 pm: Simple Exchange ($6.80), first-time Jamie Ness and blinkers-on, rocketed through the stretch to win the finale as the favorite.
No carryover to the Hopeful card on Labor Day, but there's a mandatory payout of whatever is bet into the pick-6 pool (after takeout), whether or not anyone picks 6, because it's Closing Day. The racing starts half an hour earlier than usual, at 12:30 pm.
steve, thank you again for the great blog.. you make us non new yorkers feel like we are a part of the best 6 weeks in racing. could teen pauline have been more disappointing? all the earlier races made it look like a 12.90 last eighth was the norm. we expected more from a track record setter. so they come home in 13.47 after a very slow third quarter and she is nowhere to be found. what do you attribute that to?
I believe Corail was ridden by Johnny V an early jock change announcement
Steve - Thanks again for your blog this summer. It's always a must read for me every year. Master Command was euthanized in 2010 after a breeding accident. It's nice to see his offspring doing so well.
Yet another late scratch in the finale! That's at least three on the day. Does anyone keep track of these scratches?
Unbridled Command ended my PIck 3 and Pick 4 had the next 4 horses underneath. Frustrating. PUtting it all on the 12 in the last. If I lose, my Saratoga meet is over a day early.
The guys at the (Hayden) Planetarium pronounced it "Al-de-BAR--n" when I was a kid.
Steve, Like your pick 4. Joe's Pick 4 8th-A:2,7 B:9 C:3,4,5,6,11,12 9th-A:1 C:4,6,10 10th-A:1 C:2,3,6 11th-A:5,6,12 B:2,4 C:1,7,8,11 Played 2$AAAA $1.50 BAAA AAAB $1 BAAB $.50 3A'S 1C Good Luck
Wow Dominguez is on fire. Did not think had a chance to win on Shakeira at the top of the lane. He is on fire.
With a tough to beat even money horse in the 10th today struck me as a good day to play the Grand Slam to try to improve her price.
Steve, Your blog is really one of the most enjoyable among the many great things about the Spa meeting. Thanks for the great work and I look forward to reading you on Saturdays at Belmont. Bill Robb