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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Notes - August 29

- I did the handicapping column for Thursday's races in the Saratoga Special, and it should be up here, if not now, then shortly. I'm doing Friday's too, so I gotta go but I'll squeeze in a quick post here.

I'd love to get a hold of some old Racing Forms, from the late 70's or so, when the meeting was only four weeks. I'd be interested in checking out the races for the last few days of a season, to see how many races horses typically ran there during the course of the meet. It's quite noticeable to me this week that most of the horses, if they've run here at all, did so once, during the first week or so of the meet. It's no wonder the cards became so shaky midway through - all the good horses that ran in the competitive races during the first week or so need the 4-5 weeks in between, and the races probably wouldn't have filled had they been written. I have little doubt that a look at a Form from late August, 1980, would show that the horses ran more frequently, perhaps far more so, in the four weeks then than they do in six now.

Another record-setter at 5 1/2 furlongs today, this time a Baffert/Zayat Del Mar import named J Be K who won by seven in 1:03.13. This $350,000 juvenile purchase by the good debut sire Silver Deputy, out of a mare by Valid Wager (Valid Appeal). Not much on the catalog page, so he must have looked good in the breeze show. The trainer has another one on Thursday - Indian Blessing, by Indian Charlie, has a five furlong work of 57.12 at Del Mar.

A winner and a close second for Graham Motion, as Good Day was beaten by.....Prom Party? Yes, it's true, the Toddster, back in the winner's circle!! That gives him 11 winners out of 99 runners, for an even 11%. He'd won just one of his last 43, having gone 14 in a row without a win since Wait A While became his first winner in 29.


Anonymous said...

Alan, it was quite typical of horses to race 2 and even 3 times during the old 4 week Spa meet. I think the lower number of repeat runners these days is, in part at least, due to the much greater demand for stalls and racing at the Spa by a wide variety of horses who qualify for races with many different conditions, thus the turf sprints we all love?/hate and the NY breds which were largely non-existent during the 4 week meet era. And I'm sure P.J. Campo hears "I didn't ship my string up here to keep 'em all in the barn for 36 days" often enough so he cards races to fit the available inventory to keep the "customers" happy. I have a pal, a retired airline pilot, who I brought over last week-end for the Travers as a first time visitor and who now tells me he's hooked on the Spa, is putting the house on the market, and making the move to the Spa in time for next season! It's amazing what that place does to some people, me included! /S/ Green Mtn Punter

Anonymous said...

The "Spa" is like the old grey mare. She ain't what she used to be.