07/28/2013 10:15AM

Saratoga Day 9: July 28, 2013


11:15 am: A rainy (but not yet an off-the-turf rainy) Sunday for Day 9, which features a $98,749 pick-6 carryover and the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes. Some light morning rain has tapered off and there's a "chance" of thunderstorms later in the day, but the turf is so firm that it's unlikely any races will come off the grass, especially since they're mostly early in the program (races 1,2,3,5,6 and 8 of 11.)

The compulsion to run 11 rather than 10 races on Amsterdam Day is a bit beyond me, and it led to a somewhat ugly middle of today's card, with three consecutive bottom-rung N2L claimers starting in race 6, which is where that carryover pick-6 begins.

Here are the pre-scratch "picks" they'll be putting up under my mug on "Talking Horses," which starts in half an hour in the Carousel: 1) 6-1-7-2; 2) 6-10-2-8; 3) 1a-4-9-6; 4) 8-5-3-7; 5) 3-2-12-9; 6) 1-2-8-6-5; 7) 4-13-6-3; 8) 12-7-1-11; 9) 1-7-4-3; 10) 3-2-6-1; 11) 7-9-1-3-8.


12:50 pm: Slowly but surely they're scratching the main-track-onlies from the pick-6 races so I guess we're staying on the grass. here's the carryover lineup including scratches that have been announced so far:


1:10 pm: Winning Cause, who had not tried the grass since his first two career starts, rallied strongly to run down Joha and win the $100k Sir Cat Stakes for 3-year-olds to open the Sunday card. Winning Cause, a Giant's Causeway colt owned by Alto Racing and trained by Todd Pletcher, made his last four starts on Polytrack, winning the Grade 3 Lexington at Keeneland April 20.

All MTO's now scratched from the 6th and 8th (chart above updated.) 


1:25 pm: Two late scratches from the 2nd: #3 Red Constitution and #4 Samurai's Honor.

2:45 pm: Back-to-back 13-1 winners in first two legs of early pick-4 set up some juicy willpays -- $10k for $143k -- even with 2-1 favorite Barrister Jim winning the third leg:


Times of turf races suggest persistent drizzle has yet to affect the courses. Harder to tell about the main track, where $25k maiden claimers needed 1:52.72 for 9f but it was a ragged group and they were strung out from here to Schuylerville at the finish.

3:15 pm: Pick-6 starts in 22 minutes. here's my play:


4:15 pm: Argggh. Had a good idea with 13-1 Mr. Woolman in the 7th and thought he had his early duel with 17-1 Meeker Avenue won, but Meeker Avenue ($36.40)came back at him and put him away to win the second leg and knock me out.

4:45 pm: Any whining now moot: Dissension just took the third leg of the pick-6 at 33-1, making a double carryover to Monday look very likely.

5:05 pm: If it does carry again, there will be a carryover of around $330k (today's handle was $405,874 on top of the $98k carry). Here's what the sequence looks like:

5:30 pm: Norumbega ($7.10), Janney/Shug/Tiznow colt who won Saratoga's lone 9f dirt race for 2-year-olds last summer, outfinished longshots Tiz Adonis and Kid Sidney to win at 9f as a 3-year-old. Midnight Taboo, 12th in Belmont and then scratched from Friday's Curlin for this N1x, pounded to even-money, flattened to run 4th after middle move.

6:00 pm: Forty Tales, who rallied from so far back to win the woody Stephens on Belmont day, did it again in the Amsterdam to nail 8-1 Mico Margarita by three-quarters of a length. Salutos Amigos was third with Mentor Cane fourth after setting sizzling (21.77, 44.49) fractions but blowing the stretch turn.

Forty Tales, a Tale of the Cat colt owned by Perretti Racing and trained by Todd Pletcher, ran the 6.5 f in 1:15.64 under Joel Rosario.

There is ONE live pick-6 ticket, to #9 Spin Chief, that would pay $330k. Otherwise, that's where the pool will start tomorrow:


6:30 pm: There's a $330,087 carryover to Monday's card at Saratoga after the one live combo failed in the finale. Thingamajigger ($10.20) took the nightcap as Spin Chief, the sole live horse, stalked from good position early but went very wide on the turn and faded steadily thereafter.

First post is 1.p.m. and the pick-6 starts with the 5th, scheduled for 3:08 p.m.