07/22/2013 12:58PM

Saratoga Day 4: July 22, 2013


12:55 pm: Fast, firm, mid-80's for Day 4 with a forecast of "thunderstorms developing around late afternoon."

The main attractions today are the featured Evan Shipman for New York-breds and a trio of 2-year-old maiden races early on the card, including a turf route that begins a pick-6 with a $57k carryover. I'm currently on the "pass" side of the fence on playing it -- it's a tricky sequence with a small carry. But I've been known to change my mind and shall keep you apprised if I do.

Wired Bryan received a Beyer Speed figure of 80 for his 5 1/4-length victory in yesterday's Sanford, consistent with the impression that it was a subpar edition and one where no one except the winner did any running in the race. Bern Identity received an 80 winning last year's edition, and Desert Party got only 1 78 in 2008 but every other Sanford in the last 20 years has gotten a better figure including triple-digit performances from Kelly Kip, More Than ready, Chapel Royal, Afleet Alex and Ready's Image.


1:10 pm: Take that, Mayor Bloomberg: Big Sugar Soda ($12.00), Asmussen second-timer, beat the gate and then ran away from some more heavily-bet firsters to win the opener for 2-year-old males in 1:03.59. The winner, third in his Churchill debut June 28, is a Ready's Image colt and was a $45k yearling purchase.


1:45 pm: Whomping Willow had the misfortune to catch Bahnah in her debut and Brazen Persuasion in her second start, running second both times to the fillies who dead-heated in last Friday's Schuylerville. So she was 4-5 in today's second race, despite switching from dirt to a turf sprint. Whomping Willow chased 11-1 Ward firster Ruslana to upper stretch but then began backing up through the field and it was chad Brown firster Ready to Act ($17.20) who caught Ruslana at the wire. Whomping Willow ended up 7th.


2:45 pm: Chance Encounter ($8.70) split the leaders nwith a sharp move on the turn and drew off to win the third in a romp over. $20k claiming fillies. In the 4th, Weaver second-timer Joe Can Gallop came up inside Kingston Bay to win a turf sprint for older maidens with 7-5 Mongol Boss a flat third.

On to the pick-6 which I'll let y'all carve up among yourselves -- or mess it up and give us a double-carry to Wednesday with a dark day to handicap it. In the first leg, the upcoming 5th, Clement firster Sea Queen has opened the 5-2 favorite with Pletcher second-timer Candy Kitty at 3-1.


3:20 pm: Early money was right on Sea Queen ($10.80), who drifted from opening fave to fourth choice at post time but comfortably outfinished 5-2 Kitten Kaboodle and 9-5 Candy Kitty. Hillhouse High ran fourth but was running for purse money only after losing a shoe at the gate. So you were switched to Candy Kitty in the pick-4 or pick-6.

3:55 pm: Thomas Hill, claimed by Mitch Friedman from his last, bet from 12-1 ML to 7-1, prevailed over Ziptronic and Southern Tier to win the 6th and make the pick-6 a little more interesting.

On to the pick-4, where I'm putting in this play for afternoon amusement:


4:30 pm: Stop Sign turned back Dapper Draper in upper stretch ad then held off Foggy Road late to win the 7th as the slight favorite in a field where five of them went off from 3-1 to 5-1.


4:55 pm: Can't be many pick-6 tickets left alive after Angel South somehow wired the field to win the 8th at $71.50. Not the kind of race where too many people hit the all button and I don't see how else you could have had her. This wasn't a slow-pace theft job where someone opens a big lead and the closers come too late: Angel's South led the field to the top of the stretch and the cavalry came closing in as expected but the leader just kept going as everyone else sputtered.

5:35 pm: If you're alive in the pick-6, you're lying. Bigger Is Bettor's 11-1 upset victory in the Evan Shipman just wiped out the last living tickets, and there's a double carryover into Wednesday's card. Bigger Is Bettor, rallied up the inside to edge favorites 2-1 Aweasome Vision and 3-2 Read the Bylines with Groomedforvictory a close fourth. Bigger is Bettor is a 5-year-old Chester & Mary Broman homebred sired by Grand Reward and trained by Rodrigo Ubile. The winner had not raced on the Saratoga main track in 23 months....since winning the 2011 Albany at 26-1.

The willpays:

Single asterisks mean 5-of-6 consos, double asterisks mean 4-of-6 consos.

6:05 pm: Starship Gambler ($4.30) opened an eight-length lead down the backstretch and coasted home an easy winner -- even so, 5 of 6 was worth $4,858. The carryover to Wednesday is $245,278. Take half a day off tomorrow and then get to work. That's my plan.

Don Passidomo More than 1 year ago
Hope you post your picks early Steve, I am giving it a shot Wednesday, will probably single three races in one basic ticket and expand at bit more on another
Jason Beides More than 1 year ago
Not for nothing but joe rocco jr rode bigger is bettor in the shipman,not jr alvarado.
Yuwipi More than 1 year ago
Just took a look through today's charts and caught the attendance number of 9k. Pretty light for what seemed a nice day weatherwise. I've groused about NYSB races plenty over the years but at it's best, like today's Evan Shipman, it provides extremely entertaining racing. The first four in there really gave us a show. The prequel is over, on to the six week meet.
New York Racing Fan More than 1 year ago
Surprised you didn't head back to Long Island for the rest of the "family" (the hounds) as per usual custom in year's past. [That's the plan for NEXT week.-SC]
Angie Rossi More than 1 year ago
Hi Steve, Do you have any opinion if there is a track bias so far? The reason i was asking is because of the high payouts on more than a few races since opening day. Thanks in advance! [Speed obviously held well on the turf, esepecially the inner, the first four days but the course took a LOT of rain Monday night and may be different now. -SC]
Thomas Nicholson More than 1 year ago
Love the prices on these winners. All mostly double digits and then some. 1 1/16 on the Turf thats where the $$$$$$$$ is for the bettors. Can't wait for Wednesdays card. Saw some thing that if it repeats from 3 or 4 years ago means big $$$$$ in Tommy's pocket! Enjoy, everyone.
Ernest More than 1 year ago
Does Tommy like Elaine?
Konrad Kleinbub More than 1 year ago
They came home in 22 and change. It was a theft, 49+ for the half in a mile race!!
Dave More than 1 year ago
49 half in a mile turf race is not a theft? I was shocked they went that slow with Fantasy of Flight in there.
jimf552 More than 1 year ago
These jockeys need to wake up. The front end on the inner is like a conveyer belt.
Tim More than 1 year ago
I'm feeling some "graveyard" action here in the Evan Shipman....
D'Funnybone More than 1 year ago
Steve, why oh why does NYRA allow horses to compete for purse money only? Again today in the 4th race, with about a minute to post, John Imbriale announced that the #7 horse(Hillhouse High) would be running for purse money only. My question is WHY? If the horse is wearing incorrect shoes(Which I before have witnessed as a reason why a horse would run for purse money only, but of course it was not announced to the public as to why this horse was running for purse money only), why should the horse be allowed to run in the said race? Why not just scratch that entrant? Maybe I an missing the boat here, but besides the owners of the horse collecting purse money depending on the horse's finish, why should this entrant be allowed to run? If this runner interferes with another runner in the race, can he/she be DQ'ed? Can the jockey of the horse in question be allowed to claim foul against another runner? And along with another antiquated NYRA rule, I suppose this can happen: A horse you use in a multi-race wager(Pick-3, Pick-4) is designated to run for purse only money, and because of NYRA's rules, you are given the post time Favorite. Well, the original horse you select WINS THE RACE, yet NYRA gives you the post time favorite, who of course finishes up the track, and YOU LOSE!!!
Dale Tillotson More than 1 year ago
Goofy gating beginnings in the 5th with Hillhouse High and the shoe story. Steve please help us. With rulings like this is it an indication new CEO got no racing clue? [This is decided by the stewards, not by someone in management who has been there less than a month. -SC]
Dale Tillotson More than 1 year ago
Yea I know that, could not control myself. So to the Stewards whats up?
jimf552 More than 1 year ago
Ran for purse money only better than being left in.