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Thursday, August 02, 2012

Thursday and We're Off

A somewhat less-winded recap of Thursday's card as we prepare to head up to the races tomorrow morning.  You can follow me on Twitter for spontaneous observations if I'm in the mood and not getting killed too much.

In the 3rd, Tuvia's Force ($8.00) gave Zito two in a row after 35 straight NY losers (he won twice at Parx on the 4th of July), and I do recall writing about similar occurrences in the past while writing about this wacky game.  Part of it is definitely percentages.  Not like a 15%-type guy like Zito suddenly completely loses his scoring touch like Scott Gomez; just a matter of time, and the percentages dictate that they're likely to come in bunches.  Even money favorite Joe Vann faded to 5th and was claimed by Linda Rice, as the Toddster continues to cull his stable after losing two similar dropdowns in Wednesday's finale.

Slumber ($6.20) took the 4th for Mott, his 4th winner of the meet, all after significant layoffs.  This one had been off since rallying for 4th in the Hollywood Derby on Thanksgiving weekend; the other three were Alaura Michele (301 days), Raison d'Etat (182) and Lunar Victory (142).  Those are his only winners from 27 starters.  6-1 runner-up Kindergarden Kid was claimed for the optional 50k tag by Maker for Kenneth Ramsey.

Caution Sign ($11.80) took the 5th by collaring front-runner Malibu Red, who was 5-1 for trainer Jason Servis.  Mentioned Servis the other day - he's now 6-2-2-0 - think he's a guy we can make some money on this meet.

San Pablo ($4.60) was the first of two straight for Pletcher, as he temporarily took over the trainer lead from Chad Brown, when he won the 6th, the Birdstone.   In the 7th, R King of the Road ($3.00) outdueled Little Drama after a spirited stretch duel.   That's the 4th win in 6 starts for this 4yo (gelded)  son of Trippi out of a Concorde's Tune half-sister to the minor stakes winner R Holiday Mood (also by Trippi).

Gary Sciacca took the 8th on the grass with bombshell The Silver Machine ($68.50), really hard to make a case for even in retrospect.  But Sciacca pops these every once in awhile; just 6% (13 for 189) over the last five calendar years at Saratoga coming into Thursday; 12 of those on the grass, and this is the 7th to pay at double digit odds.  The 3yo daughter of Drewman, an Indiana-based son of Unbridled, was nursed along nicely on the lead by Irad Ortiz, Jr., basically running at an even pace, albeit incrementally faster each quarter, and holding off the fast-closing Forever Vow.

Chad Brown tied the Toddster at nine winners apiece with Inaugurate ($5.10) in the 10th.  Claimed the 4yo daughter of Empire Maker for 50K at Gulfstream in February, dropped her to 35K off the layoff here.

Lisa Lewis now two-for-two on the meet, both on the grass, and this one in the finale, Archer Hill ($7.20), a first-out two-year old son of Big Brown, who, I have to say, steroids and all, was the last three-year old that really got me excited.  He made a "breathtaking move," as a spry-sounding Durkin put it, sweeping very wide past the field on the turn, and continued with good energy to wear down Holy Endeavor and outlast Pletcher's Notacatbutallama who we mentioned in the last post.  Archer Hill is out of a Grand Slam mare who's a half to the stakes (though just occasional) winner Dina.  See you in Saratoga.