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Spinster Day Scorecard
Sunday is the last day of coast-to-coast Breeders' Cup preps, including three Grade 1's that will be telecast on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. EST, right after "Polo -- 2007 Triple Crown." Who knew polo had a triple crown?
4:15 p.m. EST, Kee race 7: NG $150k Bourbon S. 1 1/16m-T (BC Juvenile Turf)
Nownownow, the Biancone-trained winner of Saratoga's With Anticipation, is the 9-5 ML favorite in a field of seven 2-year-old turfers. Your Round (4-1) ran just as fast closing for third to Prussian in the Summer Stakes, and Gio Ponti (5-1) looked good winning his debut at seven furlongs on the grass at Belmont. Adriano, fourth in Saturday's Breeders' Futurity, is an early scratch.
5:12 p.m. EST, Bel race 9: G2 $150k Jerome H. 1m-dirt (BC Dirt Mile)
This field of eight 3-year-olds has four interesting runners: Daaher, who ran a monstrous race at Saratoga Aug. 26, winning a 9f N1x by 13 3/4 lengths and earning a Beyer of 107; Digger, who has won his last two by a combined 18 1/2 lengths; Vitruvius, a half-brother to Corinthian who's a half-length away from being unbeaten in three promising starts; and Most Distinguished, the G2 Amsterdam winner and G2 Woody Stephens runner-up.
The next four races comprise the ESPN2 telecast and are all BC Challenge Win-and-You're-In events:
5:15 p.m. EST, Kee race 9: G1 $500k Spinster 1 1/8 m-Poly (BC Distaff)
This would be a great race to have a clever notion about a longshot, because there are questions of fitness and intent surrounding the most accomplished runners. Lady Joanne (5-2) is using this as her bridge between the Alabama and the Distaff but trainer Carl Nafzger may be using her Polytrack debut as purely a prep (see Street Sense); Asi Siempre, last year's Spinster winner (and brutal-trip Distaff runner-up) hasn't been out since July 15; and it's still unclear whether Panty Raid (4-1) isn't a much better filly on grass.
5:40 p.m. OSA race 5: G1 $250k Lady's Secret H. 1 1/8m (BC Distaff)
Hysterical Lady is listed at 8-5 with Tough Tiz's Sis 2-1 in a field of six, but it seems on paper they should be more like 3-5 and 3-1 respectively. Hystericalady has run six triple-digit Beyers, six more than the rest of the field combined, is the lone multiple graded-stakes winner, and also looks like the lone loose speed -- which she might also be in the Distaff 20 days hence.
6:15 p.m. EST, OSA race 6: G2 $250k Oak Tree Mile, 1m-T (BC Mile)
Lava Man returns to the turf as the 4-5 favorite in a field of six and while it's hard to root against him, it may pay to play against him: Gallant and likeable as he may be, he also may have lost a few steps and his recent grass form gives him no edge in a field where he'll have company early. The race also marks the grass debut of Surf Cat, who has been first or second in 12 of 13 career starts and has hung up 10 straight triple-digit Beyers.
6:45 p.m. EST, OSA race 7: G1 $300k Ancient Title S. 6f (BC Sprint)
Greg's Gold is 4-5 in a five-horse field where Bordonaro (9-5) and Idiot Proof (3-1), brilliant on their best days but with only a single G3 victory apiece this year, probably will need a victory and an automatic starting berth just to get into the BC Sprint.
Steve -- Do you have any memories or stories from covering John Henry at the Times that you might be able to share with us?
Here's a very arcane question: I was looking through some racing records and I noticed that Damascus won the Aqueduct Hcp at Aqueduct on Sept. 2, 1968. Also, he raced at Belmont later that same month. Now, I know that the new Belmont opened in the spring of 1968. Why would racing have shifted back to Aqueduct for a short period of time following Saratoga and preceding the Belmont fall meet? Anyone?
What, you don't like seeing the mph of the top four runners in a race and trying to calculate the speed your horse might be running along at while in eighth place down the backstretch? The guy who came up with this should get a raise. Pump up the volume boys and girls, there's math in the house! Seriously though, do you think this is just a way for the producers to avoid displaying changing odds during nationally televised races? Do you think the NTRA is happier having Steven Crist say they suck or would they prefer having every paranoid horseplayer out there looking for a guy with a laptop past posting on the grassy knoll?
I think I can help, from a guy who now makes way more betting keeneland than doing mortgages, you must zero in on track bias at keeneland and only take closers. speed has no chance, if a horse is coming off the grass to poly thats good not bad, any speed or stretch out horses toss out, stay away from inside sprinting unless a deep closer, ignore post position routing its all closers, stay with top riders do not take ouzts, diego, williams etc the top guys win every race. 10cent supers and 50 cent pick 4's and pick 3s are the way to make money, make a stand in 1 race and spread like crazy taking all closers you will get a 15-1 and hit a good bet to get you out. And finally turn off the volume if you have tvg they know nothing about keeneland.
Steve.Having just read the articles on John Henry, by Glenye Cain Oakford, and Jay Hovdey, I can say only one thing to you and your staff. Thank you and your staff for what you do.
Mr. Crist- Any thoughts on Daaher? Might be an interesting prospect in one of the BC races if he goes. . .
Do you have any comments on the Biancone suspension? It stains the sport just prior to the Breeder's Cup. It could have been five years or perhaps even lifetime. It is particularly unfortunate for racing because Biancone has a bit of the star quality about him... engaging, good with the media... a lot of presence. His owners swear by him. But to more practical matters, does all of this make him a bet against for Breeder's Cup purposes?
Dyaln Thomas was truly game in the Arc. Steve, I am thrilled to here that he is coming for the Cup according to Aidan O'Brien's postrace comments. Part of me is salivating to bet against him at 3-5, then I realize the sad state of American Turf horses. Is this the year the Arc curse is broken at the Cup? What are your early thoughts of Dylan in the Turf?
Here's a day where the runner ups were more impressive than the winners in a pair of races: Lady Joanne was gutsy after setting the pace the entire race on a tiring track, and did well to be second. Greg's Gold had a trip from hell, and was flying late to catch 2nd. If either of these horses are prices on 10/27, they're steals.
Ituna did me in for my score of the day. I was sitting pretty in super & tri after keying #12--- and here comes Ituna to ruin the day--did not use--just could,nt make a case for that horse. just lousy lately. Anybody out there to help a player on losing streak/