07/24/2011 1:16PM

Spa Day 3: 7/24/11



1:45 pm: Bundle up: The heat wave is over and it's relatively frosty 83 degrees out right now at Saratoga,where the day is young but I've already discovered a small corner of the historic race course I had never seen in 34 summers of visiting this place: The Lost and Found department.

After walking home from the track after the races Saturday, my sportsjacket slung over my shoulder because of the heat, I realized that in the course of said shoulder-slinging everything in the jacket pockets had fallen out. I dumped the laptop and retraced my steps through the Union Avenue parking lot, then all the way back to the clubhouse entrance.

It looked like all the day's trash had been swept away, but lying on the ground not two feet from those jockey statues at the entrance, there was my bright-yellow parking sticker and a few pages of scribbled notes from the afternoon. Having already dropped off my laptop bag at the house, I wasn't sure what else I might have lost, but before I could figure it out, my cell phone lit up: It was a text from Mrs. Blog, saying that track security had just called the house downstate to say someone had turned in a checkbook with my name on it, and I could pick it up Sunday.

Turns out Saratoga Lost and Founs is at the very east end of the grandstand at the top of the stretch, on a half-hidden mezzanine level between the ground and first floors. It was as if I had stumbled into an episode of the original "Law & Order" as I navigated a warren of little windowless squad rooms that finally led to Lost and Found -- a caged corridor that looks like the Evidence Locker on every cop show you've ever seen. I fully expected Detective Briscoe to appear and start complaining about mooks and skells.

The officers couldn't have been nicer and they signed out and returned my checkbook, which had been logged and then sealed in a plastic evidence bag. My heartfelt thanks to the anonymous hero who turned it in: Whoever you are, karma is going to give you a big, fat pick-4 payoff by the end of the meeting.


2:15 pm: As for today's first three races:

1st: Congrats if you like Bretton Woods ($22.20), tough to like off her last two but now 4: 2-1-1 over three summers at Saratoga.

2nd: Spectacular Bid's connections in the winner's circle after Harry and Tom Meyerhoff's Dehere of the Cat won his debut against fellow statebred 2-year-olds. Winner is by Discreet Cat (out of Dehere of the Dog).

3rd: We made it 23 races without one, but  the bell tolled for the first turf sprint of the meet. Hysterical Cat, beaten 19 lengths at 55-1 last time out, dropped in for a tag for the first time and wired them at $32.20. Something's out of whack in the turf-sprint universe: Linda Rice sent out two and they ran 6th and 8th.


4:30 pm: Chorus Music just won the Irish Linnet Stakes for the second time in three months.

If you feel like it's been less than a year since you bet on an Irish Linnet Stakes, it's because a race with exactly the same name as today's 7th was run at Belmont April 29, with many of the same fillies in it. This after a Noble Nashua Stakes was run twice at Belmont last fall and there have been a couple of different Xtra Heat Stakes. I'm sure the Saratoga Historical Society could come up with some more obscure figures like James Marvin if they're really running out of horses for the names of stakes races.


6:00 pm: Overdriven ($2.60) was an authoritative winner of the Sanford but seemed more professional than dazzling while winning his second career start and it's unlikely he repeated his debut Beyer of 100. The Tale of the Cat colt wasn't quite Uncle Mo in victory beyond the same Repole/Pletcher connection, beating Bashford Manor runner-up Power Qorld by four lengths in 1:10.60. The Saratoga track was a bit slower today than Friday and Saturday, and the colt's time was the fastest of four six-furlong races on the card, but not that much quicker than the winning times posted by older claimers Happy Bull (110.77 in the 4th) and Coaltown Legend (1:10.96 in the 6th) earlier on the card.


6:30 pm: No carryover into Monday as there was one live ticket to Lavender Lane ($13.80) in the finale. The laptop is staggering to the finish line today but that's only a sentence or two away: The plan is to head south in the morning, get back to Hempstead by first post, and play Day 4 from Long Island while setting up a new laptop.

Farewell, Dell Inspiron XPS M1710. You were a stalwart companion and we had some good years together.