07/24/2011 2:16PM

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.


RNB More than 1 year ago
A little late to comment on this, but someone I knew once left his wallet at a computer. Someone actually turned it into the Lost and Found without a thing missing! As for karma...I'm not so sure I believe in it. Last summer, someone dropped several 20s on the ground, I picked them up, chased the person down to return the money, and had nothing, but tough beats for the rest of the day.
RNB More than 1 year ago
A little late to comment on this, but someone I knew once left his wallet at a computer. Someone actually turned it into the Lost and Found without a thing missing! As for karma...I'm not so sure I believe in it. Last summer, someone dropped several 20s on the ground, I picked them up, chased the person down to return the money, and had nothing, but tough beats for the rest of the day.
Walt P. More than 1 year ago
Perhaps if they won't do it in the fall as I previously suggested with the Bowling Green, I would look at perhaps during the meet at Saratoga naming a stakes event after Mark Haines, the late CNBC anchor who had a love of the sport (and as previously noted, NBC in my view made a mistake by apparently never considering using him on their horse racing coverage). If there was enough notice, everyone who worked with Mr. Haines at CNBC along with many in the financial world (who continue to have a great respect for the late Mr. Haines) would make a point of being at Saratoga for such a race, especially if for instance it were on a Saturday or Sunday. He was that well respected (for those who don't know, I had previously suggested NYRA rename the Bowling Green stakes on September 10 in honor of Mr. Haines).
Richard Dorfman More than 1 year ago
Steve, Get yourself a Macbook Pro. Less headaches, better product.
Bill Daly More than 1 year ago
Horseplayers better believe in karma and hope for all the good karma they can get. That may account for the honesty referenced by walmattwa. Don't do anything that might cast you in a bad light with the gods of racing.
str3268 More than 1 year ago
To DON REED: I can confirm form being in the clubhouse Saturday that an entire area of 5 machines have been pulled right off the wall where they were last year. The wires are just hanging there. And further down there was bank of about 15 machines and at least 5 of them were either missing or turned around. Definitely fewer places to bet with machines. Seems like computer/IT problems everywhere. The servers in the clubhouse said there computers were down both days. And one of those big new infield screens is sketchy. Hopefully Week 1 glitches that can be fixed.
Wayne 80 More than 1 year ago
Well, they could name a race after one of my favorite horses, Riva Ridge, who they thoroughly dissed when they changed the graded race named in his honor to the Woody Stephens (who was overdue for a race named for him on the Belmont card, but not a sprint, hardly his forte').
Jim Fargo More than 1 year ago
Steve, I lost my cooler a couple years ago,(fortunately all the beers had been consumed). I went to lost and found to report my loss. The guy opened up a door which exposed "cooler heaven". There must have been a 100 of them. He calmly stated.."just pick out one you like". So if you ever need a cooler.......
Todd R. More than 1 year ago
I have to boast just a bit. I really liked the #5 Hytserical Cat in the 3rd and wouldn't you know it, he won! Fortunately I cashed in, but if I had played it a little better, I would have had a huge payday. Oh well, live and learn. And NYRA keep the turf sprints coming - - I always seem to do well on them! And by the way, I am writing this comment using a Mac...best laptop I've ever owned!
peat moss More than 1 year ago
once again nyra makes the genius move of taking race 4 off the turf 1 minute after the running of race 2.I waited until 1 minute to post time of race 2 to put in my $36 pk4 and will be lucky to get my money back if 1,2,or8 win race 5.Nyra could have taken all the races off turf 5 minutes sooner.The 4th should have stayed on turf being the pk4 had started and the course was so firm. They have ran on much worse courses and i will not make any multirace bets anymore if it is raining. Why cant we have the option of using alternates in these multirace bet. I have also sent a copy of this to charlie hayward.