09/03/2007 4:08PM

By a Thread


I hope you're aliver than I am after the first two legs of the closing-day mandatory-payout pick-six. I guessed wrong on the 2-year-old turf firsters in the opening leg, relegating Big Brown at 14-1 to C status, and it's hard to complain when a horse you practically leave out wins by what looked like 15 lengths. [Update: margin was 11 1/4, time was 1:40.33. Two races later, G3-quality 3-year-old stakes fillies covered the same distance in 1:40.08.]

Big Brown, a $190k 2yo-in-training purchase at Keeneland, was a pretty well-kept secret. The Boundary-Mien colt was fifth choice in the pick-threes and pick-fours and the seventh choice in the win pool, opening at 9-1 and drifting to 14-1. On the other hand, given that winning trainer Pat Reynolds was 0-for-41 with firsters over the last five years, maybe 14-1 was more alive than it looked. Also, Edgar Prado had been named to ride before his Saturday injury. Jeremy Rose, up for the day to ride Rosinka in the Glens Falls, filled in and just held on tight for the joyride.

That left me alive with one thin ticket for 6-of-6, though it might not take that many to get the front end of the pool and there are other ways I could sneak through the back door for 5's. The remaining 6-of-6 possibility went 8/2,5,12/3/4/1,5,6 the rest of the way, and I got through the first single when Ground Hero was a comfortable winner at $7.90. So now I'm rooting for a chalkfest the rest of the way, with three favorites into two odds-on singles and the three favorites in the finale.

Here at the halfway point on the card, Cornelio Velasquez has gone one up on Kent Desormeaux after they entered the day deadlocked at 43. Each picked up a stakes mount later on the card -- Velasquez on Hostess in the Glens Falls, subbing for Prado, and Desormeaux on Maimonides in the Hopeful, subbing for Rafael Bejarano, who was injured when 15-1 Marital Asset broke through the gate before the fourth. That was the race Velasquez won, with 9-1 Steve's Double beating Desormeaux on 5-1 Elusive Value.

Jack D Pritchard More than 1 year ago
Dear Steve,this note is in response to jagmans comments about getting "New" fans into racing.All the problems that exsist in this industry, are "Man Made" this great game of ours continuues to decline, becuase of poor managment that just doesn;t undestand the pluse of the player's and they never will.They ( in the west coast) have been courting the younger crowd for years, while the "Baby Bommers" are getting ready to retire. This group will inherit an estimated 10 trillion from their parents, if managment ignores this group any longer racing will be in more trouble Life begins at 50 should be shouted from the roof-tops at every racetrack in this country. Many of these "Baby Boomers" have never set foot at a Racetrack, lets change that Steve.
Jagman More than 1 year ago
Steve, You and some other writers are keeping the game alive. Top notch horse racing needs SOMETHING to get new fans. I don't think the mini-casino thing will work. I LOVE to watch the races live but being 56 years old I can't be a savior. I think you have to keep the time between races under 20 minutes. Why can't that be done ? Thanks for the space, Bob D.
GregB More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the blog for the entire meet, please keep it up. Also, your book "Exotic Betting" improved my handicapping focus/return about 10000%. That being said, I bet Big Brown today because that's the name of Phil Lesh's 4-string bass (Grateful Dead's bass player for those of you that aren't obsessed with it). No handicapping involved, but an excellent "vibe" angle and a win bet and exacta means I'll buy the first round of drinks at the Phil shows in NYC on November 5,6, 9 & 10.
chisox More than 1 year ago
As an upstater close to Saratoga today is certainly a sad day. I hate to see everyone go. Steve, I thoroughly enjoyed the blog. We can learn alot from you if we are listening. How does a Belmont "Fall Championship meet" blog sound?. I know, not quite the same. Also, the Siro's seminars are fantastic. See ya next year.
toddsincharge More than 1 year ago
I could see that one coming in the Hopeful. Ready's Image chased a very fast horse in the Sanford, and a match race scenario really looked probable today. And a Dream Surpreme closer was in the race. Mott got some icing on his Saratoga cake.
Dan More than 1 year ago
UGH!!!!!!! THE ONE TIME I need the chalk...what happened to the #3?? Delaware Park strikes again (I am from DE)- rooting for consos...
Dan More than 1 year ago
Am right there with you in leg 4 - call me a chalk eating weasel, but I need the #3!! tough as I usually shy away from this - was bankroll constrained today, so I had to play a pseudo caveman ticket (on my utopia bacups and mains ticket I made out earlier, I would also have the 1 & 6 in leg 4)...am alive in the last 3 with 3/1,2/1,6...good luck!
Arazi More than 1 year ago
Steve if it make you feel any confident on one of your single (#3 in Race 8), the Racing Post Rating for Makderah's last race, Diana, is 116 which is her highest ever although she got beat. Good Luck. Best, Arazi