07/24/2013 11:51AM

Saratoga Day 5: July 24, 2013


12:50 pm: Welcome to Week 2, which begins with a 10-race card featuring the Grade 2 Lake George and a two-day $245, 278 pick-6 carryover.

Heavy rains here Monday night have left the turf course "good" and prompted taking today's tweo scheduled turf sprints (races 7 & 10) off the grass. Both will still be contested at 5.5 furlongs but on the main track. the day's three other grass races will still be run on turf.

I'll be playing the carryover and posting my tickets before the sequence begins. In the meantime here are my notes on the card. For new or forgetful readers, the "Top" column lists each horse's top Beyer Speed Figure on a surface and distance I deem relevant to today's assignment.


2:15 pm: After Much Stronger ($4.40) trounced fellow $35k claimers i the opener, Montana Native took the $100k Broom dance, the secondary stakes on today's card, for 3-year-old fillies who had not a stakes. Montana Native. a Yes It's True filly trained by Ken McPeek, took over after 6f in 1:12.41 and widened to win by 3 1/2 lengths over flash Forward in 1:51.76 for 9f. Profetiza, narrowly favored over the winner ($55,168 vs.$54,255), did not show her usual speed, raced wide throughout, and finished fifth.

In the 3rd, even-money Town Hall looked to have the race won after spurting away to a four-length lead into the stretch turn, but she blew the turn and fell back to fourth. She rerallied after straightening out and racing close to the grandstand rail, but could only get up for second to Nevada.

2:45 pm: Pick-6 begins in 23 minutes. Here's my play:


3:15 pm: Tough beat if you liked 4-1 Inaflash in the 5th, first leg of pick-6, dramatic victory if you preferred 9-2 Mama Zee. Inaflash looked home free with 3 1/2-length lead at furlong pole with closest pursuers sputtering, but Mama Zee rallied from far back to nail the tiring leader. Work N Flirt, briefly third early, was finished turning for home and faded badly as the 4-5 favorite.

Nice anecdote from commenter Hialeah in the coments below. I had to rescue it from the trash: DRF's blogging software had robotically blocked it because of an "objectionable" word -- the mention of Beaver Falls, PA. No fooling.

3:50 pm: Didn't have to wait for the photo in the 6th to know I was out of the pick-6, as it was a blanket finish among three I didn't have -- Seal Cove($23.20), 9-1 Turallure and 12-1 Hoofit. Vitoria Olympia and Sleepless Knight dueled each other into defeat and favored Mr. Commons flattened out badly after making a middle move at the leaders. Race was a prep for the G2 Fourstardave Handicap Aug. 10.

5:30 pm: Kitten's Dumplings ($5.00) stamped herself the top 3-year-old turf filly with a strong rally from far back to win the featured Grade 2 Lake George over Watsdachances and Tapicat. Midnight Watch sprinted out to a big early lead through fractions of 23.55, 46.45 and 1:10.95 (these were the "corrected" fractions after a Teletimer error erroneously posted 21.22, 44.37 and 1:08.82.) Kitten's Dumplings, coming off dominant victories in the Edgewood and Regret at Churchill, rallied on the outside and mowed down the field as Midnight Watch faded to fourth.

Kitten's Dumplings, a Ramsey homebred trained by Mike Maker, finished the mile and a sixteenth in 1:39.96. The Lake George leads to the G2 Lake Placid here August 18 at a mile and a furlong.

Here are the willpays into the finale. All 12 are covered in the pick-6, at tasty payouts ranging from $48k to just over $1 million:


6:00 pm: Where's Danny made it 2-for-2 today for horses making their dirt debuts in off-the-turf sprints by running down dueling front-runners Cowboy Prince and Show Some Lovin to win the finale and complete a $563 pick-4 and $60,902 pick-6.

Racing resumes at 1 p.m. Thursday with a 10 race card featuring a pair of ungraded $100k stakes: the Lottsa Talc for NY-bred fillies at 7f (race 4) and the Quick Call for 3-year-old turf sprinters (race 8.)