Greetings from Saratoga, where the weather has mostly been wonderful, and where the time just flies by, as usual. Man, Thursday already. Headed up here with grand aspirations to post regularly. But that obviously ain't happening, sorry. It's between that and handicapping....and I want to make some money!!
I texted the Head Chef after a brutal beat in the 9th on Monday: Just got nailed on the wire for a big exacta score. And she responded: Is that good or bad?
Well, it was bad. Had a nice exacta wager on Allen Jerkens' Go Unbridled over favored Mischief Maker in a second-choice-over-the-favorite combo that was returning a generous $30, and watched as the latter got nosed out in a head bob.
However, I'm doing pretty well up here, thanks to a couple of exacta scores featuring a favorite over a longshot: Plainview over 19-1 Twigazuri Strait in the 7th, also on Monday; and Granny Mc's Kitten (actually the second choice) over 15-1 Duff One in the 8th on Wednesday. Add in the 4th race triple at Delaware on Monday, and it's been good over all. Nonetheless, in this game, we take the bad with the good. And in addition to getting beat in that exacta, also suffered (mostly silently) when 9-1 Sabouli was similarly nosed, in the 7th on Monday; and by the longest shot in the field too. That one hurt. The winner was Indian Starlight, who went wire-to-wire, and man, the speed has been tough on both grass courses here.
I've also had bets on three horses who didn't finish their races, which is never a good thing for anyone involved. Kris Royal and Sarava's Dancer were both euthanized on the course after the 9th on Sunday; and I don't yet know the fate of Old Brownsboro, who was vanned off following the 10th on Monday. (Not a good last 24 hours for that horse's trainer, Ian Wilkes, who announced this morning that Fort Larned would be scratched from Saturday's Woodward.) There is concern regarding the safety of the grass courses, which have been hard used to what I imagine are historical proportions given the dry weather here, which will likely prove to be an outlier as the years pass.
Big carryover for the Pick Six today, and I couldn't blame anyone planning on singling Roses for Romney (8-5) in the 9th, given the way speed is holding up on the grass. I might be wary though of Pure Amour (5-1), who is two-for-two since transferring to the barn of the red-hot George Weaver. Overcame significant trouble entering the final turn to win two back; and took matters into her own hands when the pace was slower last out, taking charge earlier on, and holding off the next-out winner Lawless Miss. Really like the way those efforts look visually; and the TimeformUS Pace Projector indicates a couple of wild cards in Sus Annmaries Gold and Simplistic to possibly push the favorite to a fast pace. So I'll be looking at the exacta prices with Weaver's mare over Roses for Romney.
OK, a few pictures then back to work and play.
That's Royal Delta before her race on Sunday, trailed by trainer Bill Mott in the bottom photo. I'm not one to get all gushy about a horse, especially one who has cost me as much money as this one has. But she was pretty magnificent, before and during the race.
Yeah, another picture of the swing band and the dancers. Can't get enough of that.
It's pretty quiet here. I like it!
Hiked down and up the Indian Ladder Trail at Thacher State Park on Tuesday. That park had originally been slated for closing a few years back due to budget considerations; it was saved, but only partially so, it would seem. It's largely well maintained, but there are no services at all, and several of the trails seemed to be closed and not maintained. A really sad sight for a grand natural resource. But the Indian Ladder Trail lives on in all its glory. Used to hike this back when I went to school at Union College....had been quite some time since I'd been there!