Updated on 09/15/2011 1:42PM

Sunday's Saratoga mid-day report


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Racing at Saratoga is really an easy game.

Find a sprint race.

Find a horse with early speed.

Find your way to the betting windows.

Place a bet.

Win the bet.


The early portion of Sunday's card once again illustrated the need for speed in a sprint as the six-furlong third race was won by, guess what, a horse who dueled for the early lead.

The numbers are quite compelling. To date there have been nine six-furlong races at the meet. Eight have been won by horses who were either on or within two lengths of the lead at the first call.

The numbers for seven-furlong sprints are nearly as lopsided. There have been 10 races at the distance and seven have been captured by horses within the aforementioned two lengths of the lead.

Simple, isn't it?


Stogie Two ($28.40) was sharp off a nine-month layoff as he moved through an opening along the rail and then prevailed in a rousing four-horse photo in a 1 1/16-mile turf race. An exciting start to another beautiful day featuring a fast track and firm turf.


You could call it a 1-2 speed number, but to the pain of those who had win bets on 27-1 Nature's Pick, it was actually a 2-1 number.

Nature's Pick rushed out to the lead in a 1 1/8-mile claimer and led for every step of the way - but the last. Favored Charlie's Card ($5.40), who tracked the longshot in second the entire trip, surged in the final strides to get up by a nose and break the hearts of longshot players.


A six-furlong maiden race for 2-year-olds. Purloin ($4.30), the 6-5 favorite, jumps out to the lead at the break from post seven and, you know the rest.

At the wire, it was Purloin by three-quarters of a length over 25-1 Indyfault, who rallied three-wide on the turn.

Red Jelly, a Mark Hennig-trained first-timer sent off at 5-2, made a good-looking move on the turn but then faded to last. Shug McGaughey's Maya, the 4-1 third-choice, didn't fare much better, failing to fire and beating only Red Jelly.

Royal Prairie (#1) was a late scratch at the gate.


An illustration of why it pays to have Jerry Bailey in the saddle.

At the top of the stretch, it looked like Bailey and 4-5 favorite Boastful ($3.90) were poised to blow past the frontrunning Sandlot Star, who was in the midst of a solid turf debut. Someone forgot to pass along that script to Sandlot Star who battled back fiercely. For a few strides it appeared he might hold off the favorite, but Bailey's urging made the difference as he guided Boastful past Sandlot Star in the last few strides.