SARATOGA DIARY: FIRST ACT WILL BE DIFFICULT FOR THE SECOND HALF TO DUPLICATE

Nothing on Twitter, the launching pad for national angst, surprises me. Not that it’s always bad news. Sometimes it’s just bad takes on good news. Consider Saratoga 2020 for example.

There’s the pining for the traditional 24-day meet which was replaced for the first time last year. “The quality isn’t as good now” is a common complaint despite the face the number of races are about the same due to the five-day race week.

Objectively, not much has changed, it’s still Saratoga and still the best extended race meet in this hemisphere. And even if that weren’t true, the Saratoga brand remains magical.

On balance, field size has been smaller but overall quality has been maintained. There always have been claimers and state-bred races. But some of the shortest fields, filled some of America’s best horses, still show up and put on a show.

And some of the absent horsemen won’t have the Saratoga main track, with its reputation for being tough on the horses, to blame next year. We have been lauding the new surface since Day 2 of the meet for its fairness and safety.

Even when the rare bias does occur, it’s easier to overcome than in the past. A damp-fast track the day after a biblical late-night deluge last week even rendered seeing disbelieving. So here we are at mid-week, a brief of 2020 Spa highlights, Part 1:

The jockey race among the Ortiz brothers and Joel Rosario has been the most contentious we can remember. What makes it so compelling has been their dominance. The three riders have account for 91 of 194 races run.

With Irad Jr. one ahead of baby brother Jose, 32-31, Rosario, with 28. is currently double the output of Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, with Tyler Gaffalione one behind Castellano with 13 victories.

Battle for leading trainer has been no less contentious. Three winners separates four horsemen: Todd Pletcher, with judicious placement and horsemanship, leads the way with 16.

Christophe Clement, the training story of the first half , is next with 15. His horses win the right way. Mike Maker, who has been spooky, especially en fuego on grass, is next with 14, one ahead of recent perennial Saratoga leader, Chad Brown.

Brown’s horses have been under-performing and at one stage suffered through an uncharacteristic 1-for-34 slump. But he has many more bullets left to fire, with a Murderer’s Shedrow to do so. Brown is too good at what he does and remains favored to take the title.

Horseplayer’s have risen to the occasion as well, tabbing the winners of 69 races, a win rate of 35.6% that is better than the national average. The “Graveyard” still picks off the occasional victim, then that’s Saratoga, and horse racing, isn’t it?

TRAVERS UNDERCARD SPARKLES

With no hyperbole, intended or otherwise, G1 Ballerina winner Serengeti Empress gave one of the most remarkable performances ever seen, certainly the gamest performance of the meet.

Pace does make the race and to be gunned from the pole going seven-eighths, getting the first half mile in 43.74, unheard of on this circuit, resist two speed challengers and hold off G1 winner Bellafina, nicely positioned with the table set, was stunning.

After getting 7 furlongs in 1:21.83, it’s on to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Trainer Tom Amoss, using good judgment in leaving his filly here where she’s thriving and point to the a distaff sprint at the same trip, is making the right call.

It was the performance of the meeting until Gamine showed up an hour and a quarter later and rock the house and G1 winning Venetian Harbor by seven with hand encouragement only in 1:20.83.

As above, pace does make the final time, too. Gamine ran her half mile in 45.14, a second and two fifths slower than her older rival, thus able to finish faster. She faced less physical pressure, too, as Rosario took a snug hold of Venetian Harbor, giving his rival a half-length advantage, albeit unlikely to alter the result.

Jose Ortiz showed class, admitting he made a mistake aboard Imprimis, who won the Troy as much the best. Amazing what a throat surgeries can do, begging the question why is this kind of information not noted anywhere before the race.

Ortiz used an unnecessary right-hand on the “winner” as he raced by everyone. He lug-left tightened it up, an ensuing chain reaction highly likely costing third finisher second money. The elevation was gutsy, tough, but proper call.

The narrow victory by My Sister Nat over the season-debuting Mrs. Sippy saved the 2020 renewal of the Waya from being completely forgettable. These are two talented marathon race mares, but give me the second finisher when they meet again.

Other performances worthy of note was the debut of juvenile Mutasaabeq who was bet from from the opening bell, winning with authority as the odds-on favorite, appearing to have a bright future.

Loved the karma. The colt started the year with the retired Kiaran McLaughlin and ridden Saturday by Luis Saez, who is represented by agent McLaughlin. The Into Mischief bay colt is likely, though not necessarily, to return in the G1 Hopeful hinted trainer Todd Pletcher.

SUNDAY FUNDAY

Seasons, a chestnut daughter of the great turf mare Winter Memories by Tapit–by a gray, from a gray–won on debut with grim determination, holding off a challenger with momentum who looked a certain winner. But the pedigree came out, getting redoubtable ‘J.J.’ Toner off the duck…

Windfall Profit broke turf maiden for Shug McGaughey as if stakes events are in her future… Spinoff was carefully pointed to the overnight Alydar Stakes and delivered what appeared to be a breakthrough performance…

Tiz the Law, a deserving heavy favorite for the SEP 5 Kentucky Derby, does not corner the market on feel good stories. Trainer Tom Drury Jr. has made a transition from “equine cleaner,” a horseman’s horseman with layups, to center stage.

His handling of Art Collector has been masterful beyond the 4-for-4 record, getting away with a light work schedule and still winning the Ellis Park Derby with classy authority. Colt’s tactical speed and class are likely to show up on Derby Day.

Some credit also to Brian Hernandez Jr., who calls Churchill Downs home as has handled the bright lights, taking the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic aboard Larned for Ian Wilkes. Hernandez will seek his sixth straight score on Art Collector SEP 5.

Most observers have been saying for years that a bad day at Saratoga is about five times better than daily attendance at Belmont Park, and sometimes attracts more than twice the handle.

Horse shortages notwithstanding, the race week was shortened to five days to accommodate a mid-July opener so it’s about a wash when it comes to number of races run.

If there is a complaint that has some validity is that, on balance, fields are smaller but then the number of daily races have

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23 Responses

  1. Exciting racing at the Spa despite no fans. I’m sure the second half will uncover some exhilarating gems. Honestly, I’m looking forward to 2021 and return to normalcy.

    1. We’re all looking for 2021 and a return to normalcy, T. But until there’s leadership, a plan that results in a mandated nationwide effort, I fear it can be worse in early 2021, not better.

      I pray to God I am wrong, nothing would make me happier.

  2. Lots of ink spent here at HRI applauding Tiz the Law; a blue blood that appears to be a great thoroughbred managed by Sackatoga stables, the same owners of Funny Cide. I hope that they do not mismanage Tiz the Law as they did Funny Cide. How’s that? The owners kept racing Funny Cide in open company through 2007, rarely seeking restricted New York bred stakes where the horse would have broken Cigars record of sixteen straight wins; instead the owners kept going after the ‘big’ stake races where Funny Cide fought bravely, but couldn’t get to the finish line first. It was hard to watch for me.

    So, is Tiz the Law fattening anyone’s wallet? Belmont Stakes $3.60; Travers $3.00 (where’s the money Alice?). What’s the Kentucky Derby going to do for my wallet; use the race in a double or pick three? Thought this ‘game’ was about cashing tickets, making money.

  3. The money was in the vertical pools, our cold trifecta turned 1-2 into 8-1, that’s why they’re there.

    If your unfamiliar with Barclay Tagg, here’s the 411: I never heard that concern at any racetrack–among the most jealous places in the world–voiced about Barclay at any of them, and I’ve been hanging around them for a little more than 50 years.

    I believe your concerns are unfounded.

    1. If I were the owner of Tiz the Law I would go straight to the breeding shed after three year old campaign. Why risk it? But if you want a solid 2-1 bet on two solid runners just play the KY Oaks/KY Derby DD. Gamine with Tiz the Law. Nothing will beat Gamine and Tiz the Law will probably roll like he always does. Yes, both are blue blood specials and you will never see them at Penn National or Parx but they both will be at Churchill next month. Send it in. It’s a lock. But John Pricci is right: The Derby for TTL will be a challenge. The Oaks for Gamine? Another laugher.

  4. wmcorrow – the derby will do nothing for your wallet this year. Look to the undercard to fatten your wallet.
    this year – the derby will come down to TIZ THE LAW – ART COLLECTOR – HONOR A.P. – NY TRAFFIC -CARACARO. If you want to throw money at the race – do a .50 tri 2x5x5 = 12.00 or 3x4x5 = 13.50.

  5. My concerns may be unfounded, but facts are facts: 29 starts after the 2003 Belmont Stakes. Won six and two of them were an allowance race and the final race was, finally, a New York bred race at Finger Lakes which clearly indicates that Sackatoga stables had Funny Cide placed to high from late 2004 through 2007; the blue blood probably would have won all 29 starts if kept in New York bred races.

  6. even cheaper bet if you just want to do something on the derby – .50 tri. – 1x4x4 = 6.00 with the law on top – might triple your bet. that is probably the only bet I will make on the derby. The undercard is the way to go – not to mention the other tracks running that day.

  7. one can read and listen to everyone and everything. It is always helpful – I do listen and read because something may be pointed out that I may have not thought about. BUT – WHAT DO YOUR EYES TELL YOU !

  8. Kim Mason: My middle name is Mason, so I’m all ears. I don’t bet odds-on horses, but I have, rarely, used them in a double or pick three.
    Your on the right track when you comment ‘the undercard is the way to go – not to mention the other tracks running that day’. Like Parx, Delaware, Laurel, and occasionally Finger Lakes where odds-on favorites are rare and there are no Bafferts, Pletchers, Shugs et cetera.

  9. Wendell, There’s just so much more too this sport than “How much did he or she pay?”. Not looking to argue mind you but, I am lucky to view things differently. I can be quite content with two bucks wagered, and at times content watching greatness with no wager placed at all. Morning workouts are even a treat and rewarding. I recall watching Lure pass in an early Fall AM stretch the legs at Belmont years back. Beautiful to witness is all.

    All of this $3.60, $3.00 talk has me thinking back to watching an old movie called The Reivers which includes a few racing scenes of beauty. Take a few minutes to reread Paul Moran’s Eclipse Award “The Nighmare in the Daytime.” It might restore a sense of appreciation for the sport itself. It is really much, much more, than cashing a ticket.

    clash of champions unfolded in magnificent fury. Two memorable female thoroughbreds: unbending will and granite courage doubled, four nostrils flared, four eyes bulging, muscles rippling rhythmically in the sunshine beneath the leather whips of frantic riders. Poetry in flight. They raced together into the stretch, everything on the line, a crowd of 51,236 cheering wildly, millions of others frozen before television screens. What was developing was the quintessential confrontation of thoroughbreds, each carrying a jockey and a share of history. What was happening was the Breeders’ Cup personified, the essence of the game.

    Go for Wand, sublimely brazen in the face of her greatest challenge, had taken the fight to Bayakoa in the $1-million Breeders’ Cup Distaff yesterday on a long-awaited Belmont Park afternoon that was painted in sunshine and washed in tears. And while giving herself completely to the pursuit of victory, Go for Wand lost her life in the most tragic moment in racing since the immortal Ruffian gave her life to a match race on this track more than 15 years ago.

    You could almost hear the bones snap in the last row of seats in the grandstand. And the gasp seemed to hang in the crisp October air before melting into sobs for the New York heroine.

    In full flight coming to the sixteenth pole, she reached forward with the legs that carried her to the most important moment of her career, the race in which she would secure a Horse of the Year title with victory, the race in which victory would have placed Go for Wand among the best fillies ever to grace American racing. She reached out in wanton singlemindedness toward what seemed her destiny, a half-length in front of Bayakoa and on her way to victory when time stopped as if electrocuted and the seventh Breeders’ Cup was transformed instantly from a celebration of the thoroughbred into a wake.

    Go for Wand’s right hoof hit the ground at the sixteenth pole and her ankle snapped. She fell, headfirst, catapulting jockey Randy Romero over her neck, and somersaulted, her legs flailing at the sky as she rolled on her back. The filly, who a year ago established herself as a 2-year-old in the Breeders’ Cup at Gulfstream, was mortally injured in pursuit of the moment for which she was destined since conception. She stood again, clumsily, instinctively, on her shattered leg. She struggled wild-eyed in terror toward the wire on a stump of shattered bone, her hoof swinging below the fracture when she lifted it from the ground. By now, she was at the outside fence, looking out imploringly over a crowd with a fist-sized lump in its collective throat, indeed over a world of racing enthusiasts struck dumb by what they watched. Unable to understand that the fragile thoroughbred legs that had carried her to greatness had betrayed her, she limped onward, as if searching for help, as if she had not yet conceded defeat.

    They ran four more races at Belmont yesterday after Dr. Neil Cleary administered the fatal injection that would relieve Go for Wand of her misery. One was worth $3 million. But the seventh Breeders’ Cup was over at the moment she fell. Racing stopped, at least in spirit, as though it had been stabbed in the heart by a hot knife. Trainer Billy Badgett left the side of his wife of three weeks and rushed to the side of the best filly he ever trained, the best filly he may ever train, for she was truly a once-in-a-lifetime horse. Rose Badgett, who was Go for Wand’s exercise rider, stood near the rail at the finish line and wept the tears of one who has seen a friend killed, unable to follow her husband to the filly. She took a few tentative steps toward the crowd of men at the rear of the horse ambulance, stopped and lowered her face into her hands. There still was weeping to do in the midst of turmoil.

    The group at the rail before which Go for Wand stood in the final moments of her life fell into shock, which yielded to almost a tear-stained, speechless anger. How could a fate so terrible befall a filly so special, a New York filly performing before those who appreciated her most, who sent her to the post a 3-5 favorite against an older champion from California? And why on this day? Why on this brilliant autumn afternoon graced by the ultimate in equine competition?

    “She was going great,” said Romero, who was not injured but was shaken visibly by the loss of the filly he rode in each of 10 victories in 13 races. “She was giving it her all. She was in front and when I slapped her she was digging in . . . and her leg just snapped. She was a great filly, one of the best of all time.”

    There was no triumphant celebration for Ron McAnally, who trains Bayakoa. Tears were in his eyes as he awaited his mare’s return to the winner’s circle. His lower lip quivered. The words that his wife, Debby, spoke before he left their box for a hollow observance in the winner’s enclosure haunted him. “They give their lives,” she said, “for our enjoyment.”

    “I can’t cope with this,” McAnally said, choking on the words. “That other filly . . . ”

    Badgett returned, his stare fixed straight ahead, his eyes red, and with his wife strode purposefully past television cameras, photographers and reporters, through the tunnel that leads to the saddling paddock and through the gate. “I just can’t say anything” were the only words that came from the man who felt the loss most deeply, even more than Jane duPont Lunger, who owned and bred Go for Wand. Badgett had guided the filly from greenness to greatness, virtually lived with her, and lost her forever in the Belmont stretch. There were no words.

    The record will show that Colonial Waters ran second, 6 3/4 lengths behind Bayakoa. Valay Maid was third and the time for 1 1/8 miles was 1:49 1/5. Bayakoa paid $4.20 and earned $450,000 for owners Frank and Jan Whitham. She is the first repeat winner of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and secured her second Eclipse Award as champion older female. In every respect, she is a deserving champion. She saw what would have been her finest hour virtually erased by the outpouring of emotion for her fallen rival.

    “I’ll remember her winning the Alabama at Saratoga, the Maskette and the Beldame,” someone said in the winner’s enclosure as the ambulance carrying Go for Wand’s corpse passed. “Not this way.”

    1. Thank you for this reminder of Paulie’s Eclipse recap, racing’s day that will live in infamy. I do what I do for people who get it. Thanks for getting it.

      1. Doc, I had to stop several times while reading it to my wife because I had to hear the words out loud and share with her only the things I feel worthwhile. It was very emotional.

        Early through the piece, I thought about printing and bring it to Billy B the next time–the first since FEB–I visit GP. Can’t do it, it would hurt too much. Bill Nack is my hero and mentor, instrumental by introducing me to Newsday Sports Editor Dick Sandler, a great boss who lung since has passed.

        But I’m not sure the great Nack could have matched this. Paulie was a contemporary and friend. He belongs in the pantheon of great writers who ever covered the sport. I know I have a little writing ability but I’m a hack compared to the great Paul Moran.

        Miss you, Paulie…

  10. McD: I appreciate your enjoyment of Thoroughbred racing’s ‘big’ races and the beautiful thoroughbred itself. I also have great respect for the thoroughbred. However, on most weekends hundreds of thoroughbred races are run across this screwed up country. All of the entrants are from the same family tree and they ALL look and run the same; in fact the winner of ALL the races hit the finish line within a mere one to four seconds of each other – a FACT that the human eye cannot differentiate, thus ALL races look the same.

    The media has influenced you and many, many others that the ‘best’ racing is stake races – Baloney!

    Now, would Thoroughbred racing exist if one could not ‘get a bet down’?

    The thoroughbreds going to post at Parx or Delaware are bred from the same family tree; they are beautiful horses and most races are thrilling to watch and they may hit the line two or three seconds slower than a stake horse, but who knows except the tote board timer.

    Sorry, McD, it’s about cashing tickets, and not $3.60 or $3.00 tickets.

  11. Correction to add “Nightmare in the Daylight” by Paul Moran

    Wendell, There’s just so much more too this sport than “How much did he or she pay?”. Not looking to argue mind you but, I am lucky to view things differently. I can be quite content with two bucks wagered, and at times content watching greatness with no wager placed at all. Morning workouts are even a treat and rewarding. I recall watching Lure pass in an early Fall AM stretch the legs at Belmont years back. Beautiful to witness is all.

    All of this $3.60, $3.00 talk has me thinking back to watching an old movie called The Reivers which includes a few racing scenes of beauty. Take a few minutes to reread Paul Moran’s Eclipse Award “The Nighmare in the Daytime.” It might restore a sense of appreciation for the sport itself. It is really much, much more, than cashing a ticket.

    “Nightmare in the Daylight” by Paul Moran

    “A clash of champions unfolded in magnificent fury. Two memorable female thoroughbreds: unbending will and granite courage doubled, four nostrils flared, four eyes bulging, muscles rippling rhythmically in the sunshine beneath the leather whips of frantic riders. Poetry in flight. They raced together into the stretch, everything on the line, a crowd of 51,236 cheering wildly, millions of others frozen before television screens. What was developing was the quintessential confrontation of thoroughbreds, each carrying a jockey and a share of history. What was happening was the Breeders’ Cup personified, the essence of the game.

    Go for Wand, sublimely brazen in the face of her greatest challenge, had taken the fight to Bayakoa in the $1-million Breeders’ Cup Distaff yesterday on a long-awaited Belmont Park afternoon that was painted in sunshine and washed in tears. And while giving herself completely to the pursuit of victory, Go for Wand lost her life in the most tragic moment in racing since the immortal Ruffian gave her life to a match race on this track more than 15 years ago.

    You could almost hear the bones snap in the last row of seats in the grandstand. And the gasp seemed to hang in the crisp October air before melting into sobs for the New York heroine.

    In full flight coming to the sixteenth pole, she reached forward with the legs that carried her to the most important moment of her career, the race in which she would secure a Horse of the Year title with victory, the race in which victory would have placed Go for Wand among the best fillies ever to grace American racing. She reached out in wanton singlemindedness toward what seemed her destiny, a half-length in front of Bayakoa and on her way to victory when time stopped as if electrocuted and the seventh Breeders’ Cup was transformed instantly from a celebration of the thoroughbred into a wake.

    Go for Wand’s right hoof hit the ground at the sixteenth pole and her ankle snapped. She fell, headfirst, catapulting jockey Randy Romero over her neck, and somersaulted, her legs flailing at the sky as she rolled on her back. The filly, who a year ago established herself as a 2-year-old in the Breeders’ Cup at Gulfstream, was mortally injured in pursuit of the moment for which she was destined since conception. She stood again, clumsily, instinctively, on her shattered leg. She struggled wild-eyed in terror toward the wire on a stump of shattered bone, her hoof swinging below the fracture when she lifted it from the ground. By now, she was at the outside fence, looking out imploringly over a crowd with a fist-sized lump in its collective throat, indeed over a world of racing enthusiasts struck dumb by what they watched. Unable to understand that the fragile thoroughbred legs that had carried her to greatness had betrayed her, she limped onward, as if searching for help, as if she had not yet conceded defeat.

    They ran four more races at Belmont yesterday after Dr. Neil Cleary administered the fatal injection that would relieve Go for Wand of her misery. One was worth $3 million. But the seventh Breeders’ Cup was over at the moment she fell. Racing stopped, at least in spirit, as though it had been stabbed in the heart by a hot knife. Trainer Billy Badgett left the side of his wife of three weeks and rushed to the side of the best filly he ever trained, the best filly he may ever train, for she was truly a once-in-a-lifetime horse. Rose Badgett, who was Go for Wand’s exercise rider, stood near the rail at the finish line and wept the tears of one who has seen a friend killed, unable to follow her husband to the filly. She took a few tentative steps toward the crowd of men at the rear of the horse ambulance, stopped and lowered her face into her hands. There still was weeping to do in the midst of turmoil.

    The group at the rail before which Go for Wand stood in the final moments of her life fell into shock, which yielded to almost a tear-stained, speechless anger. How could a fate so terrible befall a filly so special, a New York filly performing before those who appreciated her most, who sent her to the post a 3-5 favorite against an older champion from California? And why on this day? Why on this brilliant autumn afternoon graced by the ultimate in equine competition?

    “She was going great,” said Romero, who was not injured but was shaken visibly by the loss of the filly he rode in each of 10 victories in 13 races. “She was giving it her all. She was in front and when I slapped her she was digging in . . . and her leg just snapped. She was a great filly, one of the best of all time.”

    There was no triumphant celebration for Ron McAnally, who trains Bayakoa. Tears were in his eyes as he awaited his mare’s return to the winner’s circle. His lower lip quivered. The words that his wife, Debby, spoke before he left their box for a hollow observance in the winner’s enclosure haunted him. “They give their lives,” she said, “for our enjoyment.”

    “I can’t cope with this,” McAnally said, choking on the words. “That other filly . . . ”

    Badgett returned, his stare fixed straight ahead, his eyes red, and with his wife strode purposefully past television cameras, photographers and reporters, through the tunnel that leads to the saddling paddock and through the gate. “I just can’t say anything” were the only words that came from the man who felt the loss most deeply, even more than Jane duPont Lunger, who owned and bred Go for Wand. Badgett had guided the filly from greenness to greatness, virtually lived with her, and lost her forever in the Belmont stretch. There were no words.

    The record will show that Colonial Waters ran second, 6 3/4 lengths behind Bayakoa. Valay Maid was third and the time for 1 1/8 miles was 1:49 1/5. Bayakoa paid $4.20 and earned $450,000 for owners Frank and Jan Whitham. She is the first repeat winner of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and secured her second Eclipse Award as champion older female. In every respect, she is a deserving champion. She saw what would have been her finest hour virtually erased by the outpouring of emotion for her fallen rival.

    “I’ll remember her winning the Alabama at Saratoga, the Maskette and the Beldame,” someone said in the winner’s enclosure as the ambulance carrying Go for Wand’s corpse passed. “Not this way.”

  12. wm – nice middle name – just an fyi to any who care – money can be made on the BIG RACE DAYS – might just have to put in a little more effort. Any size profit is a win. One does not have to bet on every race – which a lot of people try to do at the track or online. Heck – races are a few minutes apart when everything is rolling along. Not enough people set a goal and stick to it – everybody gets caught up in the action and go nuts. EVERYBODY IS LOOKING FOR THE BIG ONE. Just like when people go to the casinos – They say I have $500 to lose – I ask them How much do you want to WIN – they look at me like i am crazy. Set a limit each day. I have learned this over the years – THE HARD WAY. I enjoy the people i have met over the years at the track and just enjoy watching the horses run. It is entertainment to me just like fantasy football and betting on draft kings. Being retired – I have noticed that if you want to make money – bet on races MON.-TUES.-WED.-odds are better and more 8-1 to 15-1 win and place. Stay away from THURS. – SUN. races.

  13. Wendell, But I am not dedicated to Stakes only. In fact my favorite race to this day was the old Starter’s Handicap at the Big A. Usually back in the day the last race of the day. As the dusk would arrive over the deep stretch, so would the combatants loaded with an assigned weight hopefully making all things equal. After that all about heart. Thinking Career Lady with Pancho or maybe Swing Rex. I know John has his favorite recalls as well. The best memories are not restricted to Stakes only.

    At times the $4 payout builds the bridge to the next race. Riders Up!

    1. I’ve got two starter heroes for you McD: Palanque III, trained by Buddy Jacobson, and Frank Martin’s Table Hopper, maybe the most famous starter horse of all those ninth race Saturdays.

      TH routinely carried in the high 130s and never seemed to lose. Palenque had great early speed in those races, damned if you challenged him and damned if you didn’t.

      Pretty sure those horses qualified in $3,500 claimers. Wow!

  14. Well look what has just happened here – put 4 across on #2 – race 2 at saratoga – winner – paid 27.20 – 9.20 – 5.10. Also had a $1.00 ex. box at parx race 2 – winner – paid $ 65.30 – odds were 11-1, 3-1, 9-1. The .50 tri paid $252.10. Good day so far, mon – wed are the days to play the horses. Man i love this sport.

  15. 18-1 just won at finger lakes race 2- for us old folks its name ” early retirement ” – sometimes just picking a name or a gray is just as profitable.

  16. my bad – pushed wrong key – saratoga was race 1 – I am a one finger pecker and the mind moves faster than the finger.

  17. TTT

    Why for decades has the tradition been that the races with the highest purse money are placed on the tail-end of the card? Was it because people bet more money on those races? It most definitely is the reason. I’m all for the “pretty horsey angle,” and the aesthetic value and pleasure of watching these creatures compete; from the $2,000 claimers at Boise Downs, to the $1,000,000 races held at the Beverly Hills Turf Club. Certain individuals who comment here seem to be fighting against the carnal nature of man with respect to the unrighteous mammon, and vehemently oppose that nature. 7th at Delaware, 5-Purrageous Dyna across the board. Go get the money.

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