09/02/2011 1:25PM

Spa Day 36: 9/2/11



2:25 pm: Four days and 45 races to go for Saratoga 2011, starting in five minutes with today's late-starting 10-race card that features a trio of $75k stakes races carded as the afternoon's 2nd, 3rd and 8th races.

It's an unusually strong start to the Friday card with an N3L alloance race, the Gold N Roses Stakes and the Distorted Humor Stakes comprising the day's first pick-3. All feature heavy favorites: Sunrise Smarty is currently 4-5 in the opener, and Zow (2-1 ML) and Wine Police (6-5 ML) will be clear choices in the two stakes.

Main track fast, turf firm, no carryover in the pick-6.


2:40 pm: Sunrise Smarty, dropping from a sixth-place finish in the G1 Carter April 9, held off Starforaday's late charge from last  to win the opener in 1:10.11.

Here's the early pick-4 dabble. After the two stakes, it's an 11-filly field of statebred juvenile fillies trying a mile and a sixteenth on the grass, and then six 2-year-olds in the first 9f maiden race for 2-year-olds on the main track that anyone recall.

AAAA @ $4 = $128

CAAA, ACAA, AACA @ $1 = 120

Total = $248


3:15 pm: Zow ($4.10) got an easy (47.72) lead and led an orderly procession of 2-year-old statebreds under the wire in 1:12.13 in the Gold N Roses. Silent Thunder, 14-1 outsider in a field of five, was second beaten three-quarters of a length in a race where only 3 1/2 lengths separated first from last place.

First two races tipped the tight owners' race between Michael Dubb and Michael Repole in the latter's favor. They began the day tioed with 13 wins apiece, then Dubb just missed in the first with Starforaday while Repole's Zow gave him a 14-13 lead after the second. Both are through for the day. Repole has six more starters and Dubb has eight over the last three days of the meet.


3:45 pm: If you pounded the all-chalk pick-3, you got $11.40 for $2 but paid a little extra in agita to get Wine Police to win the Distorted Humor at 4-5. Wine Police broke sharply but then steadily fell back to last down the backstretch and did not appear to be responding when Leparoux began asking him around the turn. The Speightstown colt finally kicked in midstretch and rallied up the outside to catch 11-1 Free Entry at the wire in a moderate 1:11.45. Turf sprinter Higher Court, trying dirt for the first time, was the early leader but faded to third while second choice Chip Shot was a dull fourth.

Wine Police, an impressive debut winner here last summer, is now 3 for 5, with thirds in the Hopeful and Amsterdam in his other two starts.


4:10 pm: Weaver firster Royal Bonnie ($15.20), by Yankee Gentleman and a Theatrical mare,  turned back 10-1 Proud and Charming to win the 4th as the fourth choice in a field of 10. Landlubber, pounded to 9-5, pulled up in distress on the backstretch.

Given the $4.10/$3.60 start, pick-4's are paying decently -- $208 to $479 with the four favorites, and over $2k with the two longshots.


4:45 pm: Speightscity ($8.20) was the only one of the half-dozen 2-year-olds who wanted any part of the unusual 9f distance, running off the screen despite bearing out in midstretch to win by 10 in 1:53.08 for Contessa/Castellano. Pick-4 paid $317.50 (vs. $229 parlay). 


5:15 pm: Bunch of tough races coming up in the late p[ick-4 and I'm fooling around with some oddball horses and notions:

Where, you might ask, are all the favorites in the first leg, the 7th? I'm taking a shot that they're all one-way speeds, will run one another into submission, and set it up for some goofy closer once the race falls apart. I'm not fighting the logical favorites in the Riskaverse (race 8) but siding with new faces and stretchout angles against the familiar favorites in the 9th. In the 10th the two outside horses look like the right ones but you might want to use 20-1 Prince Dubai at least underneath in your intrarace exotics -- cross out the two bad dirt races, remember that he beat this kind here two years ago at 27-1, and he doesn't look so bad.


6:15 pm: Bah. Ran 2-3-4 in the Riskaverse behind Elusive Pearl ($19.80), Medaglia d'Oro filly who was making her turf debut and stretching out off a pair of synthetic sprints for Trombetta/Velazquez. Elusive Pearl was in front after a mild 6f in 1:13.48 and wasn't getting caught as she ran a final quarter in 23.07. Ruthenia finished fastest but too late and 9-5 fave Starformer had a trainwreck of a trip bottled up inside almost every step of the way.

With four losing favorites in the first four legs, fair chance we're on our way to a Woodward Day carryover. 


6:55 pm: More bah. Got Quantock to run second at 25-1 but didn't use Zalmara, the 16-1 shot who beat her in the 9th. Exacta came back $802, tri was $6224, super was $42,318.

This is going to be a very nice late pick-4 for anyone clever enough to have it (they're all paying $10k or more), and needless to say there's already a pick-6 -- no wait, two live combos! It will pay $64,406 to one winner if the #4 or #11 win the finale, otherwise it's a $64k carry.


7:25 pm: Ouch for whoever was alive in the pick-6 to Red Leader and Midnite Silver, who just ran 2nd and 3rd to uncovered Short Shrift, the 7-2 post-time favorite. That was really the worst result for that person, who was going to get $64k if one of those won, and $21k if anyone else EXCEPT Short Shrift had won, because the two live tickets would have been the only two consos with anyone but Short Shrift. Instead, there were five conso tickets at $4293 apiece, so the ticket that would have been worth $66k with two horses and $22k with seven others provided only $8,586 worth of consolation. Maybe he "saved" with the pick-4, which paid $17,591 for $2.

That leaves $64,406 for us to chase tomorrow on the 12-race Personal Ensign/Forego/Woodward card, and it's an all-dirt sequence starting with the 7th at 4:07 pm.