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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saratoga Notes

Just around 30,000 on a perfect summer day at Saratoga. OK, the paddock bar is very cool as advertised, but I hate hate hate the new infield tote!

OK, so the picking up the Form on the way in and winging it thing didn't work on this day, at least as far as making money goes. But horse racing is sometimes called an 'action sport,' and I have tons of action when I'm doping out the races as the minutes tick down towards post time. I feel more engaged and alert, whereas, when I've handicapped extensively in advance, there's a lot of waiting and idle time; and I find that those days can start to drag. I'm less attuned to the tote, and less willing to deviate and go with a feeling. Whether or not that outweighs the advantages of extra information is hard for me to say.

I found my simulcasting options limited on Saturday because the Form had a lousy selection of tracks....I just don't understand sometimes what goes into the decision of what tracks will be published on what days. There doesn't seem much rhyme or reason, and it sometimes leaves out tracks that you would think more people would be more interested in. On Saturday for example, besides the tracks available in the cheaper edition (Monmouth and Del Mar), it had Suffolk, Finger Lakes, and Arlington. Good luck even finding TV's carrying those tracks. But, for Sunday, it has Calder, Laurel, Woodbine, and Arlington; now you're talking, should be an action-packed day...but why not on Saturday too?

Enough maiden races for you? Four more on Saturday, including an all nonwinners Pick Three from races 6-8. And no less than five of them on Sunday!

In the second, the two favorites, Exley and D'Sauvage went 21.4 and 45.3, and they were toast, it was painful to watch them flounder home; final quarter of 26.75 seconds. Private Rules ($19.60) picked up the pieces; the Head Chef liked him on the walk over to the track but didn't bet him for some reason. I tried to comfort her by telling her that the race had fallen apart, and the horse wasn't really that good. I don't think it worked.

In the third, Bulldogger ($4.30) won for Baffert, first time fast dirt track, but two-for-two at Saratoga. Interesting three-year old colt is a son of Dixie Union out of a mare by Tricky Creek (Clever Trick).

The 4th was an absolute tote move. Maid to Win, the 4-1 third choice in the ML, was bet on the nose in the win pool; at one point with about six minutes to go, when she and two others were all 5-2, she had less than half in her show pool than those two, and less than at least a couple of the others. Then, after drifting up to 3-1, she got slammed at the end and went off at 2=1 (second choice). Straight to the front after a stumble at the start, and home free with Castellano for trainer Dominick Galluscio.

5th race, the chart comment of the day:

NO RHYME OR REASON ($8) was positioned within striking distance along the outside soon after the start, sat well reserved under a good hold during the run around the bend, remained on hold, awaiting options nearing the quarter pole, was maneuvered over to an available seam in the vicinity of the three sixteenths pole, went through it, without need of cncouragement, en route to grabbing command, had the rider take on quick peek at the competitors behind, then was allowed to coast the remainder of the way under a mild hand ride.
First timer More Than Real ($9.90) yet another first-out winner for the unconscious Chad Brown (his sixth), now 28-12-3-3 on the meeting. More Than Real is a two-year old son of More Than Ready out of a Dehere mare.

George Arnold is now three for ten at the meet; Hurricane Day ($21.40) was making his sixth start, at five different tracks.

And Telling ($22.60) got a brilliant, ground-saving trip from Garrett Gomez to win the Sword Dancer for the second year in a row. That's it, as you might be able to tell, I'm running out of time......time to get ready to head back to the races for Sunday. Best of luck and have a great day.


Anonymous said...

Actually in the 4th Saturday, the Maid to Win race, with 3 minutes to go and the 3 horses at 5/2 Maid to Win's place pool was empty compared to the other 2. On $23,000 wagered on her to win, only $4,100 was in her place pool. The other 5/2's had $7,300. Think someone knew something?

Anonymous said...

Genting has direct ties Stanley Ho, who among other things has ties to a bank in North Korea (yes Little Kim's corrupt country) which allegedly has ties to funding terrorism, not to mention Ho's ties to Chinese Triad's. I cannot possibly see how NY approved this company. It is nonsense that The Lottery stated they undertook extensive background checks in about two months.

The gaming authorities in New Jersey, with far more experience than NY Lottery in these matters, took over a year to find MGM's connection to Ho's daughter unacceptable.

Susan said...

why do you hate the new tote so much? I liked it WAY better than those old, terrible screens that are always missing bulbs and you are left trying to guess, is that 3-1/9-1 or what?

ljk said...

I agree with Susan. New tote board is great.

alan said...

Susan, I think the tote is just plain ugly....the font is freaking awful - loud, inelegant, and totally out of place. The old infield totes were perfectly functional, even with any missing bulbs (which kind of added to the charm as far as I was concerned). In my opinion, of course.

Anonymous said...

ho-hum, what a horrible year it has been for horseracing. Handle continues to plummet. Meanwhile there are some great stars in the game but they never meet. If not for Zenyatta's amazing streak, the entire year would be a wash. Her win over St. Trinians was electrifying and the race of the year in my eyes, but man it would have been nice to see her try a little more than Rinterval in her next start. Ah well, at least the BC returns to Churchill where we can at least hope for some drama. -jp

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