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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Opening Day Closes With A Rush

- I've already tried typing saratoga opening day 10th race into You Tube but it's not there; so I can't post the video of today's finale at Saratoga. But you know where to go to watch it. It was a day of exciting finishes, but none could top the wild finale. I think it's quite possible that each of the four horses strung across the track at the finish had the lead for one instant or another in the last sixteenth of a mile.

For those who lost out on a Pick Four that was haveable, but not too haveable to that point, or, heaven forbid, on the Pick Six when longshots Strong Presence and American Dream'a surged by just when it looked like they would manage to slide by with favored Papa's Kara, it may not be destined to remain a pleasant memory. But for those in the crowd of 30,000 who don't care about stuff like past performances and handicapping, a couple of bucks on either the implausible Strong Presence or the implausibly overlaid American Dream'a could bring them back to the track again to put their money back on the table. Try to think of it that way. But that's a tough beat any way you look at it.

The Schuylerville was an exciting finish in its own right, with Subtle Aly just lasting over I Promise. And as I believe Tom Durkin did, I thought that the latter might have gotten her nose down at the right time. It's always been my understanding that the horse that the track announcer mentions first is the one he/she thinks won; and they're usually right. But it was Subtle Aly hanging on, a quick payoff for IEAH Stables, who purchased the filly privately after she scored a 97 Beyer in winning her debut at Churchill. She's by French Envoy, a Deputy Minister stallion who stands for $5,000 in Florida, out of an Alydar mare; this filly's second dam is the BC Sprint winner Very Subtle. French Envoy (pdf file) had the stakes winner Pay Wright in his first crop last year amongst ten winners overall.

Blitzing was three-four wide turning for home, and then took a right turn around midstretch. But once she recovered, she put her head down and charged towards the leaders, coming up just a nose and a neck short. The final eighth was a slow 13.30, but she finished strongly and I look forward to her going a bit longer than this.

- Unfortunately, Massoud did not survive his fall in the first race.


ljk said...

Really a glorious sunsplashed day.

Unusual though that 4 of the 6 main tracck races (3rd, 6th, 8th, & 10th: all sprints) were won by closers in the middle of the track. No horses, even the precocious 2 year olds, won wire to wire on the main track. Tomorrow is another day but it almost makes you want to forget all you know about the main track at the Spa.

Anonymous said...

Would someone please inform me of the "claim" situation regarding the euthanized favorite in the 1st at the Spa, Massoud?

From what I've been told in the past, the owner/trainer who placed the claim for Massoud are now the owners of a dead animal. Is this true? Is it possible to have any insurance for a situation such as this?

Alan Mann said...

Case - Yes, that's the sad truth. Once the bell rings and the gate is open, the new owner takes possession (though not of any purse money earned). And yes, I believe there is insurance against that.

El Angelo said...

A story a buddy of mine told about a minor track he used to work at regarding a claimer: a horse was claimed by FIVE people in a $20k claimer before a race. During the race, the horse breaks down and is euthanized. The 5 owners gather in his office regarding the "shake", i.e., to draw lots to determine the winner. My buddy suggests "Gents, if you each want to just pay $4k, I won't say anything." Four agree, the fifth says "no, draw lots". I don't have to tell you who won that lottery.