Saratoga Springs, NY--July 28,2007

Dear Diary,

The Derby winner runs tomorrow!

As opposed to todays extremely contentious Whitney, I didnt need a road map to find the favorite for the Jim Dandy.

Kentucky Derby hero Street Sense is the 2-5 overnight choice to win and, on paper, looks impossible to beat. His talent and class are proven. His performance figures tower over his rivals.

If he runs, that is.

Oh, hell very likely run, but not without some pre-race drama regarding the possibility of a wet track.

Hes a very valuable horse, trainer Carl Nafzger felt compelled to remind us. Hes handled everything. But the ultimate decision to run will be up to Mr. Tafel and Darley, he said Friday.

Isnt it bad enough that Street Sense and all other horses sold for stupid money to foreign interests are whisked away to the breeding shed before their time? Now controlling interests know whats best for their horses race schedules, too?

Someone tell me the last time Nafzger made an irresponsible decision concerning one of his horses? Skipping the Belmont notwithstanding, of course.

Street Sense looks like a layover, obviously. But its not like there arent other interesting horses.

Shug McGaughey has been waiting to race Sightseeing around two turns since his somewhat surprisingly strong effort in the Wood Memorial. Everything about this colt indicates that two turns is his best game.

Sightseeing showed high class winning the G2 Peter Pan despite being hindered by soft fractions. He had little chance in the Dwyer when Any Given Saturday put on an awesome display of brilliance.

Undefeated Tiz Wonderful is returning from an injury. When last seen at 2, he was defeating Any Given Saturday and eventual Blue Grass winner Dominican in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.

Tiz Wonderful has been training with extreme purpose, Steve Asmussen obviously intending to double-team Street Sense eventually with this colt and, of course, Preakness hero Curlin.

C P West is making his first start since finding himself on the lead in the Belmont, a race Nick Zito probably would have skipped in a perfect world. His Preakness proved that he belonged with the divisions best.

C P Wests last two works were very strong, unusual in that Zito worked him on the main track instead of Oklahoma. The colt did, after all, break his maiden on this surface in his racing debut.

* * *

If numbers mean anything, and they do, Twilight Racing at Saratoga is here to stay. Compared to 2006, Fridays attendance went from 16,167 to 18,795. On track, live handle jumped from $2.9 million to $3.7 while all sources went from $13.8 to almost $15.8 million.

Some restaurant owners already are complaining about lost business as the races end shortly after 7 p.m. I think they should try to remember that if it were not for thoroughbred racing

First Race: First polytrack result of the day, four horses under a blanket across the finish line, with Private Lap winning it on the re-bob from 38-1 Wood Winner, in front a jump before the wire Sir Jackie came off the rail in midstretch but hung, no excuses. Fire Hero finished well too late; note. Bailero lost too much ground throughout; if you liked him yesterday, bet back.

Second Race: Would never have seen this result two years ago; Zito and Bill Mott finishing 1-2 with first-time starters. Winning War Pass looks like a good prospect, repelling challenges then drawing off late in 1:10.26... Runnerup Commandeered chased from third in the three-path throughout and continued willingly; a good race to build on. Globalization probably needs a field he can boss from end-to-end. Last time, he was used hard early. This time he chased but lugged in when the serious running began Slews Tiznow finished well late while ridden out in deep stretch after angling off rail deep stretch; follow progress.

Third Race: Trainer Dale Romans off to an excellent start, this time getting it done with Thorn Song beneath under-appreciated grass rider Eddie Castro. Import Chief Running Bear, making U.S. debut for Graham Motion, was dead on the board and didnt raise a hoof. Giant Chieftain got a lot of play for the hot Stanley Hough barn; the result decidedly cool.

Fourth Race:Fresh Episode stalked the pace, took clear command into the stretch and withstood all challengers, paying $97. Any questions?

Fifth Race: Stats get you beat and stats make you rich, sometimes all at once! Jimmy Jerkens is an almost obscene 38 percent effective with second-time starters. His favored Forest of Dreams took a clear lead into the stretch but stopped. Meanwhile, Wally Dollase is a profitable 28 percent with new acquisitions. Blackfoot Trail made the last run successfully beneath Cornelio Velasquez, giving him a natural double, returning $63... The victory completed an early Pick 4 of $163,000+. The exacta, however, was a bit light. Holla Bend paid $26.40 to place, the exacta paying $1,486. Rule of thumb, win times place, was $1,662...Fourth finisher Mikes Dream Team finished fast too late; follow.

Sixth Race: Bulletin! Bulletin! Favorite wins at Saratoga! Read all about it: Monster Drive wins game stretch battle from Zipperoo! Pays $4.90, keys exacta worth 19.60!

Grade 1 Diana: Let the winning and in-ing begin! Not that you ever were going to keep My Typhoon out of the Filly & Mare Turf anyway. But the promotion is not for serious fans, only casual ones, and anything that shines a light should not be dimmed Speaking of Castro on the turf, here he is winning a Grade 1 with a well judged ride aboard the very consistent My Typhoon, giving Mott a natural double Argentina finished strongly for place in her five-year-old debut; will be a serious threat atop the division from this point forward; note Favored Makderah, not quite ready for prime time, settled for third.

Grade 2 Alfred G. Vanderbilt: The only surprising element in the victory by Diabolical was the generous price ($7.00). This colt has come to hand as a four-year-old for Steve Klesaris, who won his second on the card, as did jockey Mario Pino. Attilas Storm and Commentator hooked up as expected, through splits of :21.74 and :44.45. Diabolical took final command in midstretch and outfinished an extremely game Attilas Storm and the late running Simon Pure in 1:08.67. Looks like the sprint division has a new leaderCouldnt understand the fuss over Benny The Bull. Why 5-2? Commentator? Im afraid he cant do it at this level anymore.

Grade 1 Go for Wand: Bobby Frankel was concerned about the 9 furlong distance for Ginger Punch. No problem, stalking Teammate until ready then she was gone. By six widening lengths. If Allen Jerkens couldnt kill any giants, he did manage a 2-3 finish, as Miss Shop outran her pacesetting stablemate in the final sixteenth.

Grade 1 Whitney: Lawyer Ron! 1:46.64! Wow! Post 11 was no problem. Neither was a deep contentious group. Stalking three wide always comfortable beneath Johnny Velazquez. Lawyer Ron took command in upper stretch then drew off powerfully in the final furlong to put daylight between himself and the extraordinarily game runnerup, the pacesetting Wandering Boy, who must have appreciated any moisture remaining in the surface Diamond Stripes was a willing albeit non-threatening third. Interesting to see where and when Todd Pletcher runs the winner back. Hell need lots of recovery time following that heat!

Eleventh Race: Gary Gullo, trained-turned-agent-turned-trainer again, takes the finale with a new acquisition, Any Which Way, over a dogged Saratoga Kaz. Royal Livingston, following a promising debut, finished gamely late along the fence and should continue to progress. Mor Chances, fourth, finished too late; follow progress.

Bias Report: Track fast (damp), played honestly. Turf: Firm, no pronounced bias.