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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

TWO GRADED STAKES AT THE SPA DRAW 11 ENTRIES; STILL NO GIFT HORSES

And four of those 11–all entered the the 6-horse Diana–are trained by Chad Brown. (See Eclipse Award-winning John Scheinman’s account of the Grade 1 on the HRI homepage).

Lost in the Diana hub-bub is the fact that the G2 Saratoga Special attracted a field of five. Wasn’t Saratoga once all about racing juveniles? And it’s a Grade 2.

The thing of it is while there are several promising yongsters in here, no one horse would scare anyone away from competing.

The two best horses, as far as we can see, are the two fastest. Be Your Side, who owns a narrow figures margin over Cucina. Either has has significant edge over the other three youngsters.

Hard to tell from the video who might be better. By Your Side (5-2) appears to have a little more brilliance and the better post of the two, the #5 slip on the far outside.

We’re giving the lean, and the call, to Cucina (8-5). First, with two starts he has an experience edge and has run over different surfaces, wet and dry, Gulfstream and Belmont.

He overcame trouble to break maiden at Belmont and after a ragged start seemed to rate professionally on the turn before launching into the lane. Cucina is the shorter price but we expect they will be closer to each other at post time.

We’re taking Cucina to win, not knowing if we will be betting. (The price of Qurbaan saved us money Friday; longshot First Premio, not so much.

Champion turf mare Sistercharlie (8-5) is one of the four Chadsters in the Diana. We love the mare but I’ll let her beat me.

The race comes down to two of three remaining Chads, although Bill Mott, who like Brown has won four Diana’s, has a good puncher’s chance with the streaking Mitchell Road (8-1), a viable upsetter.

Both Brown’s above have extraordinary chances. Neither one has lost this year, and Rushing Fall (9-5) is 2-for-2 at the trip. Homerique (5-2), while lacking the same proven class, has more upside, has won going longer and shorter, and is the better price.

Further, Homerique exits the key New York Handicap that has produced two winners since June and she gets six pounds from her top-class tested mates.

Not taking lower than 2-1, but she’s our win play.

YESTERDAY: Qurbaan rallied between horses and finished third. First Premio, bet down late from the 23-1 we took with several minutes to post, was 9-1 when his odds appeared on the backstretch, performing as if totally outclassed and finished off the board. In his defense, his stretch trip wasn’t the smoothest–but it did not cost him a placing.

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5 Responses

  1. Two stakes with eleven entries…..Saratoga primetime Saturday nonetheless…one trainer with four entries in one alone…something is seriously wrong with this picture….my first thought being Lasix…sad is all as neither race is worth a wager. Turning the page and looking elsewhere.

    For Mark Berner: So a guy steps out of the shower and his just turned four year old son asks the question “Hey Dad, how come your pee-pee has a beard? My son said he cracked up and just had to share this one. I hope I leave you all with a light hearted laugh as I exit NYRA for starting gates elsewhere today.

  2. On second thought, I twinspired a two dollar double on Casse’s Catch a Thrill back sprinting in race five with Pletcher’s two sprints and going long Kokokomo out of A.P. Indy. Just for the fun of it is all. My “bearded” son above once asked me “So Dad, how can your read about a race for 45 minutes and then only bet two bucks. My response was “Scotty Boy, how can you spend an hour washing the tires on your car when you know in the end a stray dog will probably target them.” Lol. We all do what we all gotta do. The damn horses are just ensconsed in me from Carry Back on. Never have I ever left the track broke however. After the tip, plenty of bars, but never the track. Lol.

  3. Like the man said, McD, “a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.”

    Actually, can’t think of those words without hearing Jack Nicholson intone that line in the title role of “Hoffa”

  4. My most memorable Nicholson lines were from C-Nest in response to the psychiatrist query “Why is it Randall that you just can’t seem to get along with chief head nurse Rachet?, and from the Shore Patrol when threatened with arrest for disorderly conduct, he smacks his 45 caliber up on the bar and yells out “I am the F’ing Shore Patrol”.

    Yesterday was a freebie as I was lucky enough to play Linda Rice in the second. I just missed with Derby Champaign in the last race. He ran extremely well late. If only I would learn to add a place wager at over 10-1. Any hoot, note to diary?

  5. You lived to fight another day, McD.

    If you love the game as a fan/player, that’s what it’s all about. Good on you!

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