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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Saratoga Notes

The weather is just Del Mar-spectacular up here....better even, as you don't get the morning cloud layer that you do out there. Blue skies, no humidity, and perfect temperature; NYRA couldn't ask for better. Now, if the people will only show up today. Honestly, it seems rather quiet around here - our hotel in Albany, which does fill up with racegoers on Travers weekends, is empty. And Chez Sophie, where we had a farewell dinner last night (it's closing at the end of the month), was only around three-quarter filled when we arrived for dinner after the races. So hopefully, the masses will descend upon the town this afternoon, but we shall see. A lively crowd of 16,325 for Friday's twilight card, after sparse crowds to start the final week of the meeting.

Took advantage of the late post time and drove up to Lake Moreau for some solid hiking and a swim in the lake. The state park has a myriad of hiking trails for every taste, and is always well worth the short trip to Exit 17 off the Northway.

Lots of action in the trainers race on Friday, as Pletcher jumped out to a two victory lead when his totally dead-on-the-board Interactif (6-1 morning line, $33.60) dominated the With Anticipation in his first try on turf and beyond six furlongs. He's by Broken Vow out of a Broad Brush mare, and has Personal Ensign as his third dam. But Ms. Rice roared back with two winners of her own, and you can forget about that thing about none of her winners paying less than 9-5. Us bettors can be slow sometimes, but we eventually figure things out (at which point the trend is usually about to end). Amazingly, her two first-timers ran 1-2 in the 6th (Gitchee Goomie, $5.40); and dropdown Thoroughly Holy ($4.90) was an easy winner in the 8th. That completed a solid $46.60 double for me after Leamington ($15.40) took the 7th for Graham Motion, finishing the meet strong with a run of 7-3-2-1. (He'll start Bullsbay in the Woodward today.)

Another winner for Mike Hushion, now nine for 24, and six of his last 11! I don't quite know why I didn't have first-timer Lovely Lil ($12.20), live on the board from his 10-1 morning line. Sometimes things just seem too obvious. This NY-bred two-year old daughter of Tiznow is one to keep an eye on after a very impressive win, bounding down the lane with aplomb to a winning time of 1:03 3/5, and a Beyer of 81.

Great stretch drive in the 9th, as Tobruk ($15.20) and Here Comes Art went at it nose to nose in a smashing 12 second final furlong at the end of the mile and three-eighths turf marathon. You just don't see them finish like that at this level on the dirt when they go that far....which is why they shouldn't bother even writing those races.

And after the 9th, I fell victim to one of the oldest and most anachronistic rules in the book. I liked the late double at Arlington, but right in the middle of making the bet, the self-service machine just cut off. Other would-be bettors around me suffered the same experience. I looked at the clock, saw it had just turned 7 PM; and then I remembered that, by state law, NYRA cannot accept any bets on-track after that time. Someone's gotta change that law for when the racino finally opens, don't they? No harm done, though just barely as the horses I wanted to bet ran 2nd and 1st; but another reminder of how the racing laws in the state have helped to hold NYRA back for decades.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Silly law, a 7:00 p.m deadline on bets made on track. Is this just the NYRA run racetracks? Must have been made to send all night horse bettors to OTB or Harness tracks to bet. A "racino" at Aqueduct with no race betting after 7 doesn't seem logical.