07/28/2011 1:55PM

Spa Day 6: 7/28/11


2:00 pm: It will be interesting to see if a $100,000 guaranteed pool will move the needle much on today's Pick-6 handle at Saratoga. A non-carryover Thursday card, even a pretty strong one like today's, rates to handle a little less.

This new preomotion, scheduled to be offered every Thursday during the meet, is the latest attempt to stimulate Pick-6 handle when there's no carryover. A decade ago when Barry Schwartz was the NYRA chairman, he came up with the idea of dropping the takeout fby 10 points (then from 25 to 15 percent, now 26 to 16 percent), and while any decrease is welcome it really didn't do the trick. In addition, it created the unfair impression that NYRA was jacking up the takeout when there was a carryover, when in fact it was lowering it when there wasn't one.

Despite what you may have heard elsewhere, I'm not playing it today. The only non-carryover pick-6's that interest me are the ones on major racing days, when an influx of casual money is as good as a carryover. Good luck if you're wading into the pool.


2:20 pm: J C's Pride, who set a track record of 56.52 for five furlongs yesterday winning his second start, received a Beyer Speed Figure of 101. Somewhat lost behind his sharp performance was the excellent debut of the runner-up in the race, Pletcher trainee Mr. Style, who was beaten just 3 1/4 lengths and received a sparkling 91 Beyer for his debut.


3:00 pm: Catching up on the earlier races:

1st: First steeplechase of the meeting went to All Together, a 6-year-old by...wait for it...Danzig! He beat Demonstrative by 2 1/4 lengths, reversing a 10-length loss to that rival at Belmont July 3rd going 18 furlongs. This was a mere 16.5.

2nd: A field of just four 4-year-old fillies for this N3x allowance, not one of them coming off a race in New York -- two from Monmouth, one from Churchill and one from Prairie Meadwos. The first three finishers were bet almost identically: Ha Ha Tonka ($5.50) and runner-up Stormandaprayer were both 1.75-1 and third finisher The Underling was 1.80-1.

3rd: Trainer David Jacobson, 1 for 17 at Saratoga last year, won his second race of the meeting when Malibu Artiste ($3.80) rallied wide to wear down Spina by three-quarters of a length.


4:10 pm: Higher Court, favored on the board at 3-1 for the upcoming $75k Quick Call Stakes, was just scratched in the paddock. If you used him in the pick-4 or pick-6, looks like you'll inherit eaither #7 Longhunter (currently 3-1) or #8 Great Mills (now 7-2) as the post-time favorite.

First two legs of that guaranteed pick-6 went to Crazy Party ($7.90) and Best Act ($9.80).


4:30 pm: If you used Higher Court, you scratched into the winner, as Great Mills ($7.20) outfinished Fudgsicle to win the Quick Call as the narrow ($58,491 to $56,178) favorite over late-bet Royal Currier. Great Mills, a Millenium Farms homebred War Front 3-year-old trainmed by Steve Asmussen, had failed in three straight richer, longer stakes but was right at home turning back today to 5 1/2 furlongs, which he covered in 1:01.39.


4:45 pm: Don;t have an exact number, but I'm told that the pick-6 pool fell just short of the guarantee so NYRA will have to kick in about $6k to bring the pool up to $100k. And remember, that's the gross pool, not the payout: If exactly $100k is in the pool, $16k goes to takeout, leaving $84k to be paid out -- $63k to the 6-of-6 winners (or a $63k carryover if no one picks 6) and $21k to consolations.


5:15 pm: Lots of Stones, who trailed throughout the 8th race after a troubled getaway, was declared a non-starter by the stewards, setting up a host of refunds and consolations. The good news for pick-4 and pick-6 players is that the race was won by the post-time favorite, Full of Gut, whose win payoff fell from $4.80 to $4.40 after the bets on Lots of Stones were removed from the pool. (The prices on the first four finishers, as initially posted, were 7-5/2-1/12-1/9-1. After the stewards' decision, these fell to 6-5/2-1/11-1/8-1.

So let's say you used both Great Mills and late-scratch Higher Court in the 7th, and both Full of Gut and official-non-starter Lotsa Stones in the 8th in the p-4 or p-6: You're now alive four times instead of once. And that's why the payoffs are probably going to look awfully small on both bets.


5:50 pm: Kinda Spicy at 6-5 was the third straight winning favorite on a day when only one winner in the first nine races has been more than 7-2. Kinda Spicy, who won her debut at Belmont June 19 by 6 3/4 lengths, stretched out to two turns flawlessly in her second career start, won by 3 1/2, and looks bound for graded stakes.

Kinda Spicy is a 3-year-old Darley homebred by A. P. Indy from the Chilean mare Isola Piu Bella. Four of the six starters in this nine-furlong N1x were sired by either A. P. Indy or by sons of A. P. Indy (Bernardini, Malibu Moon.)

All 10 in the finale are covered in the pick-6, seven of them at under $5k.

The plan here is to hit the road a little after 9 tomorrow morning, get back to Saratoga by 1, unload and unleash the hounds, and make it to the track for that sorta-twilight card that begins at 2:30 p.m.


Dogs Up More than 1 year ago
Frankel taken Down!! By copyright 'claim' by Racingukcom. Went back to Youtube to take another look at the race. Scratched.
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
“I am not sure what is wrong with R Albarado” – Dan, he’ll rebound notably, either tomorrow Friday 07/29 or Saturday 07/30/11 with a nice big score (not necessary as beneficial to the bettor, as to the equally-deserving jockey, trainer & owner). Oh no here we go again, to be consumed by the monster 14-race card on Sunday at the Haskell - almost as long as the Tour de France! (same drug testing). Can we get “frequent miles” for these endurance contests. Iimagine how people who work the track each year feel… Eats: No “Jersey Shore” Hattie’s exists. Alternative: Dan Burke’s Fromagerie (Rumson); to make the 1st race (why?!), the reservation is at 11 a.m. IO wonder how cheese will taste on Wheaties. IO wonder why my spellcheck thinks “IO” is a word; maybe has something to do with being a horseplayer, “I owe”… Steve, speaking of spellcheesies, how is your new MacAppMSoft Humung-goid Megabyte Smasher-7013 working out? Does it fit in a back pocket? Has it been briefed on not allowing itself to be placed anywhere near certain other klutzy writers who knock coffee cups (full) over when they lose at the wire, in the press box? Can it swim? Why not? With the exception of the 9th race, the Saratoga faves/near faves have lulling us to sleep. Generally, on or after August 2nd, as a trend, this will likely change - with a bang(s)! Enjoy the “sure things” while they last (or as they frequently do, they don’t).
Black Mambo More than 1 year ago
Stevie Boy: What happened to all of the local reviews, i.e. restaurants, cheese waffles, etc. I am from here so it won't affect me, but help a brother out. [More of that to come once I get back up there. -SC]
Dogs Up More than 1 year ago
Watched Frankel run like no other. Video quality was exceptional. If he came to the US he would need a shadow roll, might need one there. After the race he jumps a bare spot on lawn.
J. Stone More than 1 year ago
The results show D. Von Hemel won with his first starter today. The DRF indicated he had five horses up for the meet. The next one entered is Alternation for Saturday. I would believe he has brought horses that should all run great at the meet. He has not been to the Spa since early 90's.
richard More than 1 year ago
Sad day for racing when stewards can dip into payouts and declare non starter due to head being cocked.
Tom H More than 1 year ago
Steve With the non-starter of the 6 horse in the 8th race, what happens with the Pick 4 if I had both the 6 and the 5 on my ticket? Do I get the payout twice if I end up cashing? [Yes -- works just like a late scratch. -SC]
bigjcc526 More than 1 year ago
Toga is a great track to visit,one of if not the best. But over the last couple of years,I find the weekday cards unbettable. There's hardly any prices,and if the fave doesn't win or run 2nd,the 2nd fave does. There's more than enough racing around in the summer to take a pass on these"unwinnable" cards.
Stefan More than 1 year ago
Steve, I tuned in to the NYRA Rewards video of race 5 just before it started -- did the pick 6 guarantee come into play?
dan More than 1 year ago
I am not sure what is wrong with R Albarado but you just cant take him right now. His ride on the fav in the 5th race was just horrible. The effort might have been worse then the decision making.