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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Saratoga Thursday

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!

You mean, you guys still aren't using your iPad at the track?  (Apparently not, from what I observe!)  I have yet to been to a betting window, and haven't once had to go in search of a TV on which to watch my favorite simulcasting tracks!

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!


jk said...

The suits at NYRA pushed thru a takeout increase bets made from out of state and now are ready to shut down the Big A. Not much of a vision on growing the business from this group.

The New York Racing Association's goal of becoming financially sustainable is proving to be elusive.

In its first open meeting ever in the city celebrating 150 years of thoroughbred horse racing, the NYRA board emphasized on Wednesday that the red ink cannot continue to flow.

Increasing revenues and paring expenses, perhaps even closing Aqueduct Race Track, have become top priorities, based on a discussion at a meeting of the NYRA reorganization board.

Figless said...

Laying the ground work for the inevitable sale of Big A land to the Port Authority, all you need to know is they wont even spend a few bucks on a new coat of paint.

They also seem to be creating road blocks to re-privatization, raising the bar to what is probably an unreachable goal with the current labor contracts

Anonymous said...

There is no takeout increase whatsoever. None. Zero. The fact that a source market fee, which exists in many States already, was added BY THE STATE, and was miserably reported about, doesn't change this. Yes, it may affect some rebate players, as well as ADWs, but it is not even close to a takeout increase.

jk said...

Source market fee increase vs a takeout increase is all the same to the customer who loses his rebate. Another money grab under a different name.

Indulto said...

Is it still politically correct to use the term "Nott's Nipple" since Union went co-ed? LOL

Are yours and Bennett Liebman's the only highly visible Union attendee names in racing? Do the two of you ever chat?

Jeff said...

Why the hell is NYRA updating their tote system on Monday instead of waiting until the meet is finished? No Del Mar from Saratoga Monday.

Anonymous said...

This comment section is a brilliant example of the perverse hatred for NYRA. First, one poster is castigating NYRA for something that not only are they not responsible, but in a best case scenario ( As surely there will be a loss of handle because of this ) they barely even benefit from.

Then Jeff makes his post about the new Tote system. NYRA is not updating their system on Monday. But, what the hell, don't let facts get in the way of a rant.

Jeff said...

I saw it up on the toteboard today and got an email from NYRA that certain tracks wouldn't be available for betting Monday because they wereupdating their tote system, so don't try and tell me what the facts are if you don't know yourself.

Figless said...

I got the same email and thought it ridiculous, why would they do this on Labor Day??

jk said...

Is NYRA looking into how Strapping Groom can win a Grade 1 a few months after being claimed for $35k? The trainer also had a horse breakdown the day before.

jk said...

A Daily News editorial calls for closing the Big A and using the land for low income housing.

Figless said...

Thanks JK, its just a matter of when and what, Big A is heading for demise. The funniest part of this editorial is;

"As this page has long argued, the move would free up Aqueduct’s acreage for development that generates revenue and delivers huge benefits to the city."

Yeah, turn this land over to NYC Housing Authority, that will generate revenue, they are arguably the most corrupt and inept agency in the state if not the country. It took 11 months to repair the only elevator in a project near me, lovely.

More public housing is not what this City needs, more affordable housing YES, but not public.

If you ask the neighborhood I am sure they would prefer the track to a housing project.

And the Port Authority is no better.

Figless said...

I just cant get past the continued painting of NYRA as a "corrupt" agency.

Inept for sure, but CORRUPT???

As compared to the Port Authority or NYC Housing Authority or the NYC School Construction Authority or any elected Albany politician??

NYRA would be nominated for sainthood compare to any of these.

NYRA is probably the LEAST corrupt NY State agency and probably no more inept either.