07/26/2013 12:52PM

Saratoga Day 7: July 26, 2013



12:50 pm: Mild and cloudy, fast and firm for Day 7, a solid card headlined by the $100k Curlin for 3-year-olds who have not won a stakes race. The Curlin is sort of a secondary prep for the Travers -- this year's field does not appear to have anyone who would be competitive in tomorrow's Jim Dandy, much less the main event Aug. 24, but maybe someone takes a step forward and his connections decided to take a shot.

Today's opener looked like a good one on paper, a rematch between Currency Swap and Dr. chit, who ran 1-2 in last year's G2 Amsterdam, but Dr. Chit (and lonsgshot Spa City Fever were both scratched. Currency Swap now looks odds-on in a field of four.

With a noon temperature of just 70 degrees and a nice breeze going, I figured it was finally time to try the "NYC's Mac'N'Cheese Truck" over by the Carousel. I like my Mac as much as the next fella but it's a proposition that just doesn't appeal to me when it's even slightly warm out.

Today's menu offered four varieties of the gluey comfort food (and reputed hangover remedy): Classic, Bacon, Bar-b-q pork and buffalo-wing flavor, served in a large or small Styrofoam cup. (The classic goes for $6 small/$8 large, the others are $8 small/$10 large.) The small is big enough for anyone who has eaten in the last 72 hours, because this is dense Mac that you could use as spackle --- even more so if you go for the bacon variety and accept the offer of toasted breadcrumbs atop it all. The bacon pieces, somewhere between bits and chunks, was tasty and the crumbs were nicely crunchy but I still couldn't finish more than half my order.

I'll grade it a solid B for Mac fans, but I probably won't return until there's a chillier day after a night when I've been overserved at the bar.


1:05 pm: Currency Swap, winner of the 2011 Hopeful and 2012 Amsterdam here, was a flat third to Jake N Elwood ($6.70) and Saturday's Charm in his first start since last Sept. 22. The winner enjoyed a tactical advantage, leading through mild fractions of 23.21 and 45.97 en route to 6f in 1:10.25, but Currency Swap was right there in second most of the way and had no kick in the stretch.


1:45 pm: Race 2 did not flatter Race 1: The $35k conditioned claiming fillies ran nearly as fast as the stakes-caliber horses in the opener, with Tanglewood Tale ($17.40) going the 6f in 1:10.46, only a little more than a length off Jake N Elwood's 1:10.25 in the opener.


3:45 pm: It's pick-4 time:




5:05 pm: Transparent finished first in the Curlin with a wide sweeping move, but was disqualified for bothering fifth-place Proud Strike. Fortunately, however, those who backed the best horse were still rewarded because Transparent's coupled entrymate, Romansh, was the one who finished second and was elevated to victory. The official order of finish affected very little parimutuelly, because the change from a 1-1a-3-7-5 finish to a 1a-3-7-5-1 finish left the win, exacta, trifecta and superfecta outcomes the same. The only wagering beneficiaries were people who bet Bad Hombre (#3) to place and Edge of Reality (#7) to show.

Transparent, a Bernardini-Habiboo colt owned by Darley Stable and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, ran 6th in the Gotham in his only previous stakes appearance and this was his first start since a fast, 10 3/4-length allowance victory at Aqueduct April 4. Romansh, a Bernardini-Cologny colt owned by Darley and trained by Tom Albertrani, was making his fourth start and his stakes debut.

5:28 pm: Quiet Ending, 7-2 fave as field was loading, scratched at the gate. Looks like pick-4 and pick-6 wagers will be transferred to #9 Tiz Teresa.


5:40 pm: Second choice To My Valentine ($11.00) wandered into the middle of the course in the stretch but had plenty left to hold off narrow favorite ($46,966 vs.$44,669) Tiz Teresa and win the 9th. Willpays, with 6 of the 10 covered in the pick-6:


5:59 pm: Professor Plum broke through the gate just before the start but was reloaded and will be allowed to run. 

6:05 pm: Oxford Street tried to wire the field at 22-1 but got the staggers in upper stretch and heavily-favored Coach Royal ($5.70) was waiting right there to inherit the lead and draw away, completing thin $394.50 pick-4 and $1,869 pick-6.

Post time is 1 p.m. Saturday for an 11-race card that includes the Grade 1 Prioress (race 5), Grade 1 Diana (9th) and Grade 2 Jim Dandy (10th). The latter two will be televised nationally by the NBC Sports Network cable channel. I'll be doing "Talking Horses" in the Carousel here with host Andy Serling starting at 11:45 a.m.