Saratoga Springs, NY--August 5, 2007

Dear Diary,

Triple Crown three year-olds were in the news today. One didnt race. The others did, but not at Saratoga.

Must hurt if youre Monmouth Park and many fans refer to your million-dollar signature event as a prep for the Travers.

Ouch!

And wouldnt you know it? Given the results, the Haskell might be the best thing that could have happened to the Travers.

Were thinking that if Curlin had won instead of finishing third, he sits out the Midsummer Derby for sure. But now can he afford to spot Street Sense another prestigious victory?

Curlin looked a tad short of condition at the Shore and should move forward off the Haskell. The question for him now is will it be the Travers, or the million-dollar Super Derby? The Super Derby figures to be easier and would put him where he needs to be on Breeders Cup day.

This is getting good, right?

What does Haskell runnerup Hard Spun do now? Come back in the Grade 1 Kings Bishop at seven furlongs on the Travers undercard, or await the million-dollar Pennsylvania Derby against foes he can dominate?

As for Any Given Saturday, it sure looks like hes caught up to the heavy heads. There is no denying he rates with them off his Dwyer, and now his Haskell, tour de force.

But as for him coming back in three weeks against Street Sense? Sounds like that might be a little too quick for Todd.

Woodward, anyone?

Meanwhile, the Triple Crown horse that didnt run would be Belmont Stakes heroine, Rags to Riches.

Beneath Angel Cordero Jr., she worked a solid half-mile on the training track, :49.86. She was never asked for speed, was within herself, and galloped out strongly.

Not bad for a filly who most believed a week ago was going to be retired.

But before you start making your Alabama plans, put down the phone and listen. Todd Pletcher is making those spacing speeches. How starting her back in the Gazelle and then the Ruffian prior to the Breeders Cup makes sense.

The Gazelle gives Pletcher more time and, of course, is back at Belmont Park. Not that this filly needs to carry her racetrack around with her, but we know she likes Big Sandy, right?

Whatever Todd does will be geared toward getting the filly to the World Championships the best way he can. Thats the goal now. The Alabama is steeped in history.

But the Alabama doesnt play on the world stage the way the Breeders Cup does. Besides, Todds Mother Goose and Coaching Club Oaks winner, Octave, was pronounced a definite Alabama starter after her five furlong breeze in 1:03.53.

Wherever she runs, she will cause a stir. And not for her celebrity, which would be enough. But because now there may be a chink in her armor somewhere. But not according to Cordero.

She galloped and pulled up goodshe did it so light. She doesnt put any effort to go that fast.

But youve got to run against her to find out if shes the same filly that won the Belmont. Soon well learn whos game and whos not. If she does run in the Alabama, her next work might be with company, Pletcher said.

Well be watching those work tabs.


* * *

First Race: Smart Bunny got the smart money, and the lions share of the purse money, Shaun Bridgmohan getting a leg up from trainer Neil Howard. Maybe it was Bridgmohans money as he was seen in arm-pump celebration soon after the wire Lost Etiquette and Inside passage finished well enough for second and third, respectivelyMarias Kitty was awful in a dull performance. Bet back or not? We havent a clue.

Second Race: Rusty Arnold unleashed a good looking debuting juvenile filly in Morakami, who chased favorite first-timer Sunday Holiday and ran her down at sixteenth pole before drawing away. Bet the runnerup back; follow Morakami into stakes company next outStewards made inquiry into stretch run in which Morakami bumped lightly with Sunday Holiday; looked frivolous to us.

Third Race: Russian Gypsy was tipped as the training start thus far at the meet and ran to that billing, leading solid preliminary allowance field throughout. Track wasnt as speed conducive as yesterday, so she deserves extra points here. City Bird finished well late for place and will probably make amends next time out; note.

Fourth Race: Heres a new angle. Break your state-bred maiden on the inner track then put her away until Saratoga. Sounds silly, I know, but Good Card came roaring down the center of the track for Pat Kelly and Jose Bracetty and drew off sharply from favored Makin Me Famous, who was used hard chasing the speed into the stretch. If you liked her today, bet her back next time.

Fifth Race: Funny race. Cant understand how nine other jockey could allow Alan Garcia to gallop out to the lead from the 9 post going two turns then continue to sit as they let him set a slow, controlled pace. Of course, she had plenty left for the drive. Dose of Reality stalked the slow pace but could hold second; Donk entry of Stormy Catch and Queen of Protocol did their best running much too late, the latter losing ground throughout. Follow both.

Sixth Race: Cagey Girl set a strong pace, open the lead further into the stretch, but just failed to last and Kats Golden Ways made a well timed run beneath Javier Castellano. Miss Blarney Stone saved ground to no avail; no pop when the real running started and settled for third.

Seventh Race: Getting off the double duck! Duchess of Rokeby finished explosively in deep stretch beneath Jorge Chavez--back from California for good this time--and gave Allen Jerkens his first winner of the meet It looked like the speedy Longingfortheone was home free until those two final strides, Kent Desormeaux looking around for competition. And he found it. Third finisher Sultry Sue, meanwhile, drifted at the sixteenth pole and continued to bear out impeding both Too Much Zip and Outofthewest. Stewards should have taken a look, regardless of their eventual findings The debuting Outofthewest virtually eliminated himself before the incident, angling out into the 7 or 8 path at headstretch. If you have a horses to watch list, put him on it, then follow his progress. Might pay handsomely to do so.

The Lemon Drop Kid: Overnight stakes for three-year-olds goes to Loose Leaf, Desormeaux shooting the fence in deep stretch and drawing off through a final sixteenth in :12 2/5. After finishing fourth to Chelokee at Churchill, Notebook colt made strong mid-race move in Iowa Derby before tiring. Today, he saved his best for last. Might be ready for prime time one day; note.

The G2 Fourstardave: Cant beat Bill Mott; cant even hope to contain him. Seven-year-old Silver Tree showing no signs of age, emerged from behind a slow pace and sprinted away in the final sixteenth, giving Desormeaux a sweep of the days stakes. Drum Major found his best form to wrest place, the slow pace hindering both the runnerup and show finisher Host. No excuses for favorite Brilliant, on the lead from the inside entering the stretch but unable to match strides late. Mott simply continuing to do extraordinary work here.

Tenth Race: Storm Boot Gold took the lead over the very firm course in :23.32 going 5- furlongs and that was all she wrote.