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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Where'd the Day Go?

- I've written before about how fast a day at the track goes by. But I find that there's no better way to make day fly away than to play the races at home. One moment, I'm switching over the check out the Yankees day game, and the next thing I know, it's the Pick Four at Del Mar, and I'm looking for the Mets on Sunday Night Baseball. I don't know where the day went.

It was an up and down day as far as the betting goes. I spent several hours giving back much of the profits from the Pat Kelly longshot, including on some bad bets and questionable decisions. For example, I don't really know why I felt compelled to oppose Buddy's Humor in the Jersey Derby. Sometimes you know you made a bad bet just a few moments after the starting gate opens.

Later, I tried to score on Any Given Saturday via the late daily double, but dismissed the Pletcher/Gomez horse trying the grass for the first time in the 14th. But later on, I nailed the 5th race exacta at Del Mar; a nice score on a $42 number, and if I'm allowed to apply the winnings retroactively, it would put me just about even betting-wise on my Del Mar trip. That counts, right? Hmm, maybe I'm getting the knack of this Polytrack after all..

Brad Free wrote in his analysis for Sunday that "it is tough to make up ground through the stretch on Polytrack." And I'd say that was the case for the last few days. But today, four of the five main track sprint winners came from way out of it. And Nashoba's Key made up a lot of ground late with a rousing late rally after being boxed in around the turn by Victor on Balance (notice I'm on a first name basis with those guys now) to win the Grade 2 Clement Hirsch. She's unbeaten in six races now.

- Gary Stevens, on TVG, noted during the post parade for the Haskell that Any Given Saturday seemed to be consciously strutting his stuff before the big crowd, comparing him to a boxer entering the ring. Jill Byrne loved the way he looked too, and Matt Carothers picked him on top. So the TVG crew was on the ball. They were all incredulous that Cable Boy was the same price as Hard Spun, and even I, who have been skeptical of the latter, had to agree with that. Byrne thought that Hard Spun looked nervous and washy in the paddock, but he seemed to calm down on the track, and he put in his usual good but not nearly good enough effort for second.

TVG generally did a good job (though why wasn't this race on ESPN?); I find Stevens to be a good listen. One disappointment was that there were no pre-race interviews with Jill Byrne from the paddock, only one with Pletcher a few minutes before the race. But she was on the ball after the race, speaking with Curlin's rider Robby Albarado before the winning connections.

But I don't know where Christina Olivares is. She was at Del Mar last weekend, but hasn't been seen there since last Sunday. I was hoping to get photographed with her, and I'm rather disappointed.