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Friday, August 10, 2007

Elvis Is In The House

- I posted early this day about how hot it's been in New York, and it was Breeders Cup weather today. I also mentioned that I wasn't able to do hours upon hours of work on each day's Saratoga card for the Saratoga Special selection box given my work schedule. After picking three winners on Wednesday, I've had a total of one winner in the last two days. And that one was English Colony, life and death to win by a nose at 6-5. How weak is that? Guess I'll be up late doing Sunday's card..

The weather was clearing as we headed up the Taconic State Parkway, though some stubborn low clouds just refused to yield, creating an eerie scene. When we reached the northern end of the parkway, we were, what, around 45 minutes from Saratoga? This was my usual route to the Spa, and we were tantalizingly close. It was obvious from the sky that friendly high pressure would assure a perfect weather weekend at the races. But we had to turn off at the last exit to head up to Vermont. Shoot. Well, next weekend.

Looks like another tough day of racing on Saturday. Just a couple of quick notes, and then gotta get some sleep. The Leopard, a $2.5 million Storm Cat colt trained by Pletcher, makes his second career start. He ran second by 1 1/2 lengths to Fed Watcher in his debut, a race in which the winner created a splash with a Beyer of 98. However, that fig has apparently been downgraded sharply after Fed Watcher ran 5th in the Sanford, since The Leopard is sporting a rating of 83. I picked him in the Special, but I like the long series of works and the breeding on Zito's first-timer Aquarian. He's a son of Fusaichi Pegasus, a decent first-out sire at 11%, out of an AP Indy half sister to Go For Gin and Pleasant Tap. May pay to watch for longer distances, but Zito's juvenile first-timers are pretty sharp again here this year, with a winner, second, and third out of five starters.

In the 7th, we have Uncle Indy, who's been an international good thing his last two starts. The tote action has not translated to a win, but maybe a switch to grass, assuming the race stays on, will help. He's by AP Indy, out of the Grade 1 (Flower Bowl) grass winner Auntie Mame, who is by the grass champ Theatrical.

And as I mentioned previously, I liked English Channel (Smart Strike) even before the announcement of Better Talk Now's injury, and the race now becomes, I think, a foregone conclusion. Not to say that Trippi's Storm and Always First aren't nice horses, but with Fri Guy to serve as a willing target once again, as English Channel prefers, I think this is one in the selection box I should get right.

One last note. We had two teenagers in the car, but since they both had their IPOD's we were actually allowed to listen to what we wanted to. The highlight for the Head Chef by far was Elvis Costello's Oliver's Army. When I heard the lyric:

If you're out of luck or out of work
We could send you to Johannesburg made me think of Hennessy, Johannesburg's sire, who passed away at the age of 14. Guess I have a pretty one track mind these days, eh? I tried to link to his Stallion Register page, but it's already been taken down, on to the mythical Dead Stallion Register that would make a great present for the degenerate horseplayer in your family if it existed. But it doesn't. So instead, I give you Elvis.


Anonymous said...

First, Hüsker Du, and now Elvis Costello. If you mention Pavement tomorrow, I may just have to fly out to New York.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I happened across your blog and it's very nice. I see you mentioned Aquarian. He's on my watch list. I'm a die hard fan of his owner and trainer because of Sun King. He showed a lot of closing speed and heart. I was up at Saratoga for the Whitney and am heading back for the Woodward now that SK is headed there. I love it up there. I'm always interested in meeting new racing fans. Feel free to email me at