08/17/2011 12:12PM

Spa Day 23: 8/17/11


12:10 pm: Races 1, 8 and 10 are off the grass at Saratoga today while the 6th and 9th remain on turf labelled "yielding."

The first card of Week 5 begins with a $38,865 pick-6 carryover from Monday's sloppy card. The sequence (currently 6x10x8x7x6x9 after scratches) starts with the 5th of 10 races, scheduled for 3:13 p.m. No worries about today's weather:

Still handicapping the sequence and contemplating whether to play. 

Juvenile figs from the last two cards here: Union Rags got a Beyer Speed Figure of 95 for his 7 1/2-length victory Monday in the Saratoga Special; My Miss Aurelia (and runner-up Millionreasonswhy) got a 91 winning the Adirondack Sunday; and Stopshoppingmaria got a 101 winning a maiden race by 9 3/4 lengths Sunday.


2:30 pm: May we now officially classify the 5th race at Belmont July 9 as a Negative Key Race? Stat, the winner, came back Monday and was beaten 7 1/2 lengths as the favorite in the Saratoga Special. Trade, who was 2nd, and Street Fight, who was 3rd, returned in an August 6 maiden race and finished 6th and 9th at 3-1 and 7-2. And half an hour ago the 4th-place finisher, Rockin Boogie, finsihed second at even-money in a maiden race. I'm not saying all four of them aren't decent horses with a license to improve, but they've burned a lot of money in their second starts.


2:55 pm: Thirteen minutes to post for the 5th and here's the pick-6 play for today:

I let the board and the dd willpays determine my A's and B's in the opening leg, a 6-horse field with 5 firsters. The ones from Hushion (#3 at 2-1) and Casse (#6 at 3-1) seem liver than those from Ryan, Shivmangal and Fawkes.


3:20 pm: Board was right, as 2-1 Reserved Quality ($6.20) and 5-2 Patrioticandproud duked it out to the wire, finishing in that order in the 5th. This is a good case of why it really helps to see the board in firster-filled races. I initially had Purest Form rather than Reserved QUality as my second A but when Reserved Quality took mo much more money in the win and double pools, despite Fawkes having better stats with firsters than Hushion, I leaned the other way.

That's not a typo in the upoming 6th where I have #4 Jacob's Dream as my third A along with the two obvious favorites. Jacob's Dream was one of the few potential bombs I could find in heh sequence: He has back figures good enough to win this and his last race struck me as better than it looks on paper and perhaps a sign of imminent return to his best form. When the excellent public handicappers Dave Litfin and Andy Serling didn't have him 1-2-3-4 in their Talking Horses picks this morning. I smelled riches.

But I guess others had the same idea since he just opened 6-1 and not 15-1.


3:52 pm: Looked awfully good for a while there. Jacob's Dream drifted to 10-1, sat second to a 36-1 shot to the turn, blew past him and opened a five-length lead in upper stretch...and ran out of gas. Three ran right by him in the final furlong and even-money Chardsey nosed out 3-1 Doublespeak at the wire. 


4:30 pm: Rats. A 2-1 B (Goodtime Boy, $6.70) catching a 10-1 A (Ganador) is never a good thing. Alive, but only 1x2x3 and those are all chalks after a chalk-chalk-chalk start.



5:35 pm: Bridgetown ($3.60) successfully returned from his Royal Ascot misadventure over soft ground to jog in the $75k Troy at 4-5. That's five straight winning favorites and I'm alive to the three faves in the finale for three-digit payouts and a loss for the day: $452.50 to the 5, $997 to the 6, $693 to the 10. There will be days like this.

With five favorites, three second choices and one 7-2 third choice winning the first nine races, now watch something nutty happen in the nightcap.

The pick-6 to #7 is paying $7,777. Spooky. I'm reduced to such observations amid this blizzard of chalk.


6:35 pm: Required the stewards' assistance to get put up for a $693 pick-6. I guess Purplegreenandgold had to come down -- the head-ons showed him bumping Pure Home Brew twice and carrying him out a few paths, but I also think Pure Home Brew is a bad hanger who wasn't necessarily going by.

The pick-6 with Purplegreenandgold, who was nearly the annual Roy Lerman putover, was $8,484.

SamG More than 1 year ago
I have a goofy horse of my own in the WestPoint.Gimme Credit(15-1ML) is an 8 yr old and may have lost a step but he ran well enough as recently as June 10 to put him in the mix.He ran pretty bad last out in a 60k claimer but he was up on the pace which is not his preffered running style.He should get some pace to run at and if the price is right I'll hope Bruce Brown isn't just sending him out for some exercise.
Nick More than 1 year ago
Steve, Used your A's and B's as a guide along with Little Andy's anyalysis on Talking Horses, thought there was a good chance this could chalk out. Played a caveman 1x1x3x1x1x3 = $18 ticket for a nice $700 and change return. Keep doing what you do, the players love seeing your daily thoughts...
Ryan More than 1 year ago
They've done it again Steve, running the Lake Placid as the 4th Sunday to keep it out of the P6/P4 due to Winter Memories. Likely the best 3yo any of us will see all year, will race at 2:39 local time as many tourists are just getting to the track. A disgrace.
hialeah More than 1 year ago
Hi Steve, Beautiful day in the northeast and it would seem the track will be baking. Didn't comment on your "hound(s) on board" photo from the previous Blog entry, but it was a very good pic. About the time the image appeared, so did my mailman with an invitation to a greyhound reunion where there will be a Greyhound Wedding between Miss Diva and Mr. Lucky. So I have that to look forward to. As well as today's Pick-6 carryover sequence, cuz it is a carry-over. Good luck.
Richhf More than 1 year ago
I can see the Spinaway being a great race if all three horses decide to run in it off their impressive races on Sunday. After the 2 1/2 inches of rain that fell over the past 60 hours, I am not surprised to see a Yielding turf for today. Just a reminder to those who may not have seen the entries for tomorrow: Like two weeks ago, the card starts with TWO jumpers. First non-hurdle race is at 2:10pm. I assume the Pick-4 is Races 3-6 again, right.
don More than 1 year ago
steve just wanted to let u no love your book read it every day i liked to play doubles used to play them the same bet on each doubles not anymore u have have changed my whole way of thinking about betting.
yuwipi More than 1 year ago
A lot of grousing, my own included, about the number and quality of maiden races this meet. We didn't get here overnight. The deterioration of quality racing at Saratoga has been a multi decade process. I wish we knew the percentage of horses in the barns by lifetime wins. Thank somebody for the out of town trainers who still ship to the Spa. I don't even want to think what the meet would look like without some new blood. Took an early look at the Alabama day card. More of the same. What's the sense of knocking ourselves out getting worked up over it. Watching today's races I was struck by the notion that 90+% of the horses running were not identifiable to me by their colors. Was a time that you'd train the binocs on a field and when you saw the Rokeby, Christiana, Harbor View, etc., etc. colors you immediately knew so much about the horse that the race was just more interesting. Those days are gone for good I guess. Still Saratoga and a special place.
trackster More than 1 year ago
invested $32 on pick six alive to the 6 for $997 cohen rode aggresive as he usually does but to no avail.
brucef More than 1 year ago
# 7 in the 10th (will pay of $7777) was not so lucky afterall; it getting scratched at the gate. If you have him on your Pick 6 ticket you're switched to the post time favorite #5. If I understand your preference - since you already had the #5 on your ticket - you'd want to be moved to the second favorite. Naturally, you already had that one (#10) on your ticket as well. So I guess you'd be moved to the 3rd favorite - etc. I can see this ending up with you being switched to a horse which has absolutely no chance whatsoever. I guess there are no fool-proof options for these late change contingencies.
rickhf More than 1 year ago
I liked it better when they allowed the alternate selection on the pick-6 ticket, where if you indicated, you would be switched to that alternate selection. Too bad Breeders Cup 2004 brought an end to this practice.
dale tillotson More than 1 year ago
An oddity in the race 5 trifecta. The all substitute silk trifecta. Winner #3 in red spa silks, place #6 in white spa silks, and show #1 in green Belmont silks as the spa ran out of substitute silks. Steve check the drf files of years past and see how many times this has occured at the spa or any track. Take your time and put it into a Sunday column sometime, as the research I am sure is near impossible.