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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

SPA DIARY, DAY 4: FIRST SATURDAY IN THE BOOKS; SUNDAY QUICK CALLING ALL TURF SPRINTERS

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, July 16, 2022 — If betting on human connections is your thing, you had a very formful first Saturday of Saratoga. If you prefer it that it remain strictly horse racing, then you’re out of luck.

Record-setting Belmont Park spring-summer meet winner took three days to get off the duck. But when he did, Chad Brown hit for the cycle–twice. Single, double, triple, home run, as in four winners and a sweep of the first four positions in a six-horse Grade 1 Diana.

Super barns do not make for such a super game, do they?

If betting jockeys is your game, and you’re an Irad Ortiz Jr. fan, you followed him into the circle thrice on Saturday. Joel Rosario? Same, a riding triple.

However, if you follow horses, Robyn and Eli (13-10) managed to beat only three of 11 rivals in the third race. Kudos to Higher Quality, a desperate winner (.95-1) of the next race but to give Chad his first of the day and the public’s lone winner. Wait, there’s more.

In the seventh, it was right there in the name: Reinvestment Risk, who finished fifth of seven at 1-2. Undefeated Bleecker Street? Not any more; 3rd at 4-5 in the G1 Diana.

Did Fort Ticonderoga’s maiden win impress enough to make him the 13-10 choice in the ninth. He managed to beat four of 12.

And, finally, the impressive Todd juvenile maiden breaker, Forte, who could do no better than fourth at 1.45-1 in the G3 Sanford.

But no worries. We have a sure-fire winning favorite in today’s feature race. Want to read more?

G3 QUICK CALL STAKES Race 8

The Skinny: Not overthinking this one. Big Invasion (6-5) owns layover figures and is the proven class as he seeks his fourth consecutive turf sprint stakes score, including three wins and a second at today’s trip or similar. His tactical speed and outside draw should facilitate a perfect stalking trip for Turf Team Clement-Rosario. Seven weeks fresh, he blew out sharply for this always entertaining turf-sprint stakes.

MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Big Invasion

MORNING LINE VALUE: Run Curtis Run (12-1)

STRAIGHT AND EXOTICA: Big Invasion to win, no price restrictions. Exacta Wheel 8 // 3-4-6-7. Trifecta Key 8 over 3-4-6-7. Superfecta Key 8 over 3-4-6-7. Superfecta Wheel 3-4-6-7 // 8 // 3-4-6-7 // 3-4-6-7.

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26 Responses

  1. Watching some of these horses coming from their last place position and closing in to victory reminds me of when I started seriously betting on horses with Turf racing being my favorite ones. Dropping names like Fell,Samyn,Krone and even Bay Shore’ s Migliore whose best riding was when he would try to pull following horses to sleep by cutting slow fractions. Add Cruguet,Bailey to that list with Eddie Maple losing too many races at the stretch.. Noticed S.Brigdgemohan,a rider who had success yrs ago as Asmussen main guy,just like Santana was until a couple of yrs ago. Got the first and eighth races only staying profitable But with a 3 race losing streak making my first base bet at $ 30 and more. Don’t know about the gimmicks since a couple of Single bets did not win which will stimulate more gambling horseplàyers to bet more in pools or solitaire.Still not my kind of bet since I rarely play Pick 3.I play lotto ,though,no more than $ 8 when the pool is as big as the odds,$ 350 mil$ .Happy hunting .

  2. Well, I observe that the monopoly is going strong at Saratoga with Pletcher and Brown winning six of the eleven races yesterday. Today it will probably be Asmussen’s turn to trot to the bank.

    Yesterday, Mr. Pricci, you picked a nice blue blood to win (In Italian $18.60) but clouded the result with a bunch of silly exotic bets that are difficult to win and where only one ticket each exotic bet can win; sure doesn’t compute in my hollow head (how does a ‘capper select three or four plodders to finish second and third Alice?). A Jackson or Grant to win on In Italian would have required a larger rubber band on your wad.
    – – – – – –
    Without the wind blowing, The Open is about as exciting as watching my tomato plants grow. Wide open fairways and greens a mile long.
    What’s thrilling about anyone (high school kid or a professional golfer) putt thirty or more feet from the hole? In fact, what’s so awesome about watching any golfer putting?

    1. Cloudy…Cloudy? Looked pretty sunny yesterday, cashing two of three exotics. $25 exacta payout on a $1 wager? That’s the kind of cloud that covers dinner. (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

      Sometimes, it pays to quit while your ahead, WC

  3. Maybe take a nap or try reading a book.
    Thinking the complaint department might be closed on Sundays is all.
    Maybe Wordle?

  4. A cold Guinness 0.5 in hand, the golf is pretty sweet on a very young in the day Sunday noon. Been watching several hours and let racing pass today. Still stings thinking about that Great Navigator miss. The local small NJ connection almost pulled out a really nice score. Twin spires betback allowed cover, but…..

  5. Congrats to the winners of the $299K Pick Six. Was that 10 winning tickets ?

    SAR 2022: 4 for 9, minus $48, minus 27% ROI

    Wagers for SAR 17JUL2022 (Day 4)

    Race 4 – $20 to SHOW on CRAFTY DADDY
    Race 5 – $20 to WIN on SHERIFF BIANCO
    Race 7 – $20 to SHOW on BELLA PRINCIPESSA

  6. I figured about 10 winning tickets, too. I had 4 of 6, no cigars for me!

    Go get ’em today, Dan…

  7. Must have been the Guinness Officer. I had no mindset to wager today. Pricci is the guy you should be lookin’ for. I don’t know nothin about no invasion.

    Somebody set me up I tell ya. I don’t know how, but my off track account has been hacked for sure. I take the 5th too. I don’t know nothin about nothin.

    Jul 17 12:52:25 PM Accepted Saratoga 8 Exacta Box $1.00 7,8 $2.00 – –
    Jul 17 12:39:08 PM Accepted Saratoga 10 Win $2.00 10 $2.00 – –
    Jul 17 12:37:51 PM Deposit $10.00 $10.00

    Good Luck with Bianco and Bella Dan. Here’s to keeping that “in Italian” record in play.

  8. ” Clouds in my caffe’ “, In Italian, Andiamo a Firenze,Bella Principessa x a Pizza Bianca . Pricci s main pick,and cold exacta was a few ticks off the track record while winning with the jockey looking around. Congrats ! 10 races with two of the probable three favorites to win the riding title in this Saratoga 2022 colony winning 7 of them.Also,two respected ones at their craft,graceful,humble
    , athletic and strong.,Irad … Out of 8 betting props hit four exactas,3,4,5 and last race,the one which was not even profitable x a buck. Got the third race good,,Nothing taken for granted as i usually smirk when listening to the Six,Seven or is even Eight different experts who just look foolish with their picks day after day. ” If not them,who?” Let Pricci show the way ! Talking about being taken for granted, he may not be T.Durkin Fred Capossella,or Johnson BUT, i always liked John Imbriale even when he was subbing for some of those mentioned before ,yrs ago.Never ,publicly,heard or read any compliments going his way. Right to the point,race from ” And they re off !” to the finish,without fanfare or British,Australian accent( which i won’t understand why is it needed from golf to soccer to too many racetracks!). Good,steady,excellent job,John Imbriale,and not Imbrial…It ain’t Spanish ! In one race there was Jacqueline Davis,Dylan Davis and Mc Carthy riding: Husband,wife and brother… In the last race all in the family .I think that Dylan was riding the winner,# 5….🤔🤔 Next week,more $erious.

    1. Sorry,Dylan Davis won the 9th with a longshot,but yes,all three were riding in the last race with Jackie being a somewhat late jockey change..( not that it changed anyone s mind. !) Rosie N. she s Not !!😇

  9. Back at ’em on Wednesday. 36 racing days remaining to make up for a bad first week. (4 for 12, minus $108, minus 45% ROI). I’m in good company. Pletcher is 2 for 17.

    It was a wise decision to implement a 2 days off schedule. There was racing at Saratoga 6 days per week as recently as 2018. I couldn’t withstand the intensity of only 1 dark day – and I’m watching from home !

  10. Two day break is mandatory for everyone, including the players. The poor horsemen had one day to deliver and pickup laundry, go to the bank groceries, all of it. This is more civilized.

    Speaking from experience, as one gets older, a lot harder to stay focused. I concentrate on the stakes, stakes class and of MSW but can’t do full cards anymore, expect for big carryovers with a chance to find two singles.

    Invested $36 Saturday, had four of six. As the late, great Harvey used to say, Saratoga’s a marathon, not a sprint. Stay the course, Dan!

    1. Welcome to the club! Have been trying to say for decades that some races have to be ignored.Too many questions, doubts esp.those cheap claiming maidens.Four,five races seem enough to try to decipher while the rest of the card give us time to step back,do something else,,,unless they happen to be in the late double,betting less while shooting in the dark..without winning expectations..Just like tomorrow’s Megaball of some $ 500 mil$ . You make it sound as if Im the only one who appreciates J Imbriale ‘s race calling.

  11. Please add my name to JGR’s recommended recognition list targeting John Imbriale. He always provides a great call and never gets carried away with himself. Some previous race callers, like Dave Johnson for example, attain a celebrity status, and then next regress when they view that their call of a race becomes bigger than the race itself. About the time Johnson started making big bucks with the networks for example, he thought he had ‘it’, and his calls grew louder and louder and more repetitive. “And down the stretch they come’, over and over, and over again, in the big race day coverage on ABC. Like we didn’t already know where the stretch was Dave. It just got old is all. Same thing happened with Keith Jackson’s coverage on college football. He was simply great, the very best in fact, until someone told him he was, and then the wheels came off the wagon.

    Imbriale always stays within himself. Several of the talking heads on the associated racing analysis shows could better learn their crafts by listening and employing J.I.’s humility. A class act, he knows his job, and he simply does his job very well. Always prepared, semper paratus with the Coast Guard, and he always delivers. Much appreciate his calls. Even when finishing second.

    1. McD,never thought that i was in a minority taking J.Imbriale’ s ability and style for granted esp for us who hung around NY area tracks, betting parlors. If someone is watching the race, the call does not need verbal gesticulations or embellishments. This is not baseball ,hockey or basketball on the radio. ” Just the facts,madam !” A note x the guy who’s s been doing calls at the Big M and also,x memory ‘ s sake to the late Jack Lee ( Yonkers/Roosevelt) and ‘ Bullet ‘ Bob Meyer. The last time I heard that guy at Tampa Bay Downs was Not impressive. That other Keystone,Philly track caller was better.A matter of taste,not personalities unlike the annoying of guy doing Yankees games.Awful,awful even if I’m rooting/ betting the Bombers against anyone,,but the ( Long Island) Mets. ” It is far,it is long,,it is caught”, Pleeez !!

    2. McD,never thought that i was in a minority taking J.Imbriale’ s ability and style for granted esp for us who hung around NY area tracks, betting parlors. If someone is watching the race, the call does not need verbal gesticulations or embellishments. This is not baseball ,hockey or basketball on the radio. ” Just the facts,madam !” A note x the guy who’s s been doing calls at the Big M and also,x memory ‘ s sake to the late Jack Lee ( Yonkers/Roosevelt) and ‘ Bullet ‘ Bob Meyer. The last time I heard that guy at Tampa Bay Downs was Not impressive. That other Keystone,Philly track caller was better.A matter of taste,not personalities unlike the annoying of guy doing Yankees games.Awful,awful even if I’m rooting/ betting the Bombers against anyone,,but the ( Long Island) Mets. ” It is far,it is long.,,it is caught”, Pleeez !!

  12. Gents, not sure Johnny I needs your support, but I’m sure he appreciates it and I will be sure to reiterate the message the next time I see him, hopefully soon.

    Imbriale has many fans, and for the reasons you list, many horseplayers appreciate his clear, crisp race calls free of the embellishments that have become so common-place these days.

    Rank and file horseplayers want reportage, not editorializing. That’s what sites like HRI are for…

  13. Embellishment has it’s occasional place in race calling. For one of the best examples of basic horse race announcing with an exciting zing to it, go onto YouTube and listen to Jim Hannon’s call of the 1987 Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs.

  14. I dunno, but DanM wrote above that Todd Pletcher has two wins in seventeen starts. My records indicate two wins in twelve starts, with only four not ‘hitting the board’. Further, in the twelve starts Pletcher has won purse money totaling $164,600. It appears that he is doing very well financially.

    Mr. Pricci: You wrote above that you no longer have time to ‘do full cards’. In the fifteen years or so I have read your comments here at HRI, I can’t recall once where you have ‘capped a full card or any claiming races except the Claiming Crown races.

    What’s a track announcer got to do with pick’in winners? Golly, I remember it was just a few years ago that Kentucky Downs even had an announcer for its races.

    Anyone got the early double at Philly scooped? Very nice card there today.

  15. Forgot to mention that in the Diana Stakes won by your pick, Mr. Pricci (In Italian), Chad Brown had four entrants and they all finished first through fourth, winning $465,000 of the $500,000 purse. I suppose that you find this occurrence just fine (and the monopoly continues, Alice).

  16. I’ve written about super trainers and super owners much of late. And I’ve also spoke of purses being too high and between the three issues are hurting horse racing.

    So do try to know from what you speak.

    BTW: I don’t share in purse money, only mutuels once in a blue moon.

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