07/29/2011 4:14PM

Spa Day 7: 7/29/11


5:15 pm: Slow to load (the car), away awkwardly (Whitestone Bridge construction), in heavy traffic early (on the Hutcheson) but clear thereafter, I got back to Saratoga about three hours later than scheduled. But better late than tomorrow, and the hounds are settling in nicely at the rental house.

Missed the double AND the return of Ice Box in the 3rd, where he ran third to Convocation and Ron The Greek. Still haven't seen the replay, but I refer you to the Homeric account of the 2010 Derby runner-up's performance in the race chart: 

"ICE BOX gunned from the gate, outworked the eventual winner for command, was placed in hand once that rival had done so, offered some resistance to the rating tactics being applied by the pilot, fighting against the bit, before settling down and rated kindly for most of the way on the first turn as well [as] down the backstretch, was given some rein departing the half-mile pole, seemingly was placed under stronger and stronger handling making his way past each subsequent station, trying to stay on even terms with the top one as well as possible, was under a drive just prior to the quarter pole, yet surrendered the lead nonetheless, angled outward preparing for another run at the new leader in upper stretch, didn't have enough to offer at this juncture, getting outfinished for place honors too."

Convocation, last year's Suburban runner-up, scored by 3 1/4 lengths over Ron the Greek, last year's LeComte winner, with Ice Box a length back in third.


6:00 pm: Turbo Compressor ($15.20), third to Haskell entrants Pants on Fire and Concealed Identity in the Pegasus last time out, won the restricted (non-winners of a 2011 stakes) Curlin for 3-year-olds.

Turbo Compressor, a Pletcher trainee, got super loose on the lead, running his first six furlongs in 1:14.60, leaving him with plenty in the tank to finish up in 1:51.12. The final time compares favorably with Convocation's 1:52.64 in the 3rd, but I suspect the mid-day rain may have made the track quicker.

Raison d'Etat, an A.P. Indy-Sightseek colt, ran second for Juddmonte and trainer Bill Mott, who got his annual birthday winner out of the way in the 2nd race with another Juddmonte homebred, Reach a Decision ($26.20).

Turbo Compressor completed a $6,415 pick-3 following pricey scores by Isn'tlovejustgrand ($21.80) in the 5th and Moreno's Mom ($75.00) in the 6th. Dare say there's going to be a pick-6 carryover into tomorrow's Diana/Jim Dandy card.


7:00 pm: Caviar N Champagne ($31.20) splashed to victory as another downpour hit before the finale, completing the longshottiest day of the meet. Nobody picked six, nobody picked five, 4 of 6 paid $541 and there's a $40k carryover into tomorrow. The late pick-4 paid $60,434 for $2.

Back on Talking Horses tomorrow at 11:45 a.m. There allegedly will be no more rain in these parts until Monday, and the forecast for tomorrow is 85 and sunny.

Dick Gunther More than 1 year ago
Nick Zito [denied] bettors of Ice Box of any chance at winning by putting him on the lead. Not good enough to say he put a race under Iice Box's belt. Horses are suppose to be declared entered to win. If not, go to the training track....
brucef More than 1 year ago
The main track at Saratoga, which in prior days had been running 6-8 speed points fast, was closer to 20 speed points slow in today's races. (It did get faster after the 8th race rain.) For what it's worth, I gave Convocation a 101 and Turbo Compressor a 105. [The Beyer FIgures were also four points apart with a split variant from the mid-day rain, but less generous: Convocation got a 97, Turbo Compressor a 101. -SC]
ChrisT More than 1 year ago
Steve, I'm with Dan. Your continued use of the Whitestone is killing me. Other than that the blog is delightful. Unbridled Humor sails tomorrow. cheers, Chris
Mike M More than 1 year ago
Steve, I was sitting next to a friend who hit the 5th(winner $21.80) and 6th(winner $75) double and he could not believe that is paid "only" $348. This does seem kinda lite and I admitted that I would have been pretty ticked. Any thoughts?? I was thinking closer to $700
Dan More than 1 year ago
Steve, The Whitestone is a nightmare- Take the Throgs Neck Bridge- Stay right going to I-95 North then you can take the exit to the Hutch northbound- this will save you some time. Have a winning weekend. Dan
Tony V More than 1 year ago
I too thought it was a very strange day . One question Steve, shouldn't the last race exacta paid more then $600 ?????? Who do u like in the Jim D . i like Alternation .
Todd R. More than 1 year ago
What do you think the odds are that we will be on the turf for races 1, 5 and 6 tomorrow? [Pretty short. Supposedly that was it for the rain. -SC]
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
"Happy birthday Bill Mott and thanks for the $26 winner!" Me too! Insisted that Mrs. Driver (aka Mrs. Poster) wager on two of the three Mott horses on Bill's birthday before we left for mini golf. How about a Mott owner getting a brand-newbie, naming him "Bill's Birthday," and running him on a July 29th? Sure would be an improvement over the all-time championion horrible horse name spotted in Arkansas @ a decade ago: "Betty's Bathroom."
FReardon More than 1 year ago
Hello Steve, So glad to hear the Hounds of Belmont are, safely, the Hounds of Saratoga. Was intrigued by that 2nd race (MSW - T - 9.5f) but could not make it. Can't think of a better guy than Bill Mott to WIN! Good Luck, as we move along.
jerry More than 1 year ago
strange card today. never got into the rhythm. hoping to break even using 7,8 over 4,5 10,12 in last. weekend cards look good. may even try monmouth on sunday.