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Saratoga Race Course
Thursday, July 24, 2003
Meet Total ... 6-10

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Yesterday

6-10. Clearly we can't promise a 60% hit-rate every day -- but this was a solid way to start the meet.

Six winners on top (2nd, 4.60; 3rd, 10.00; 5th, 15.20; 8th, 3.90; 9th, 7.10; 10th, 19.20) -- for an ROI of 200% on straight win bets. We also ran 1-2-3 in the 2nd for the exacta ($11.00/$2) and quinella ($6.10) -- there was no tri in the race. And we had a cold exacta in the 5th ($36.80).

On-track over 28,000 showed up despite inclement weather early in the day. About two hours prior to post time a torrential downpour blew through the area. Things cleared up somewhat for the early part of the card, although the humidity level made things sticky. Then, just before the 8th, the rain returned and continued throughout the rest of the card. Things cleared again in time for the throng to depart the track and head to their cars -- or to nearby Siro's for some liquid refreshments. And the joint was jumpin'!

Commander Cody christened the new stage in the re-modeled Siro's backyard. Things have been re-configured in order to abate some of the noise concerns of neighbors. Notably the stage has been moved to the far back corner of the yard, and a band shell was built -- presumably to cut down on the noise. Also, the large outside bar has been moved 90 degrees and now protrudes into what was the large open space. Likewise, the front seating area has been expanded into what was the large "yard" area.

Not being well-versed in the area of design of public spaces I can only speak as a novice -- but the new Siro's design seems poorly conceived. However, that didn't dampen the spirits of the revelers. Spotted in the midst of the crowd: trainer Bobby Barbara and Funny Cide's owner Jack Knowlton.

Today

Not a stellar card so it will be hard to repeat yesterday's above average performance. The track condition was soupy by the end of Wednesday's card -- so expect the condition to remain off, at least through the early portion of the card -- and perhaps throughout the day. No turf races are carded.

Don't forget -- Saratoga offers a rare weekday giveaway... An Edgar Prado bobblehead with each paid admission, while supplies last.

FIRST RACE
Malagash...Voss typically gets some jump wins here. This one is familiar with the turf course as a flat runner. Won nicely last fall in jump debut. Makes third start of year and could be ready for a big effort.
Dancewel...Always in the hunt and has an experience edge on these.
Sheppard entry...Seafaring Man has looked good in two jump tries. Cherokeeinthehills broke maiden in a big way last time.
Neilson entry.

SECOND RACE
Milky Bar...Won for a $20K tag in first Spa start last year. Comes out of a solid win at Belmont off of layoff.
Lake entry...Laser Con has high speed and takes significant drop -- but can't put Lake on top on this track until he starts to win.
Ekundu...The post is no bonus but might surprise on turf-to-dirt angle.
Fabulous Peak.

THIRD RACE
Spanish Empire...Has some speed. Has Beyers that outshine these. Has Bailey. It all adds up.
Larry King...Expect he's better than last -- but the concern is the dull effort was due to the off-going which he'll see again today.
Galvanizer...Debut was OK and Pletcher shoots at 25% second time out of the box.
Munaadel.

FOURTH RACE
Hurricane Hannah...Solid second in debut. Looks hard to beat unless one of the firsters is special.
Wild Berry...Trainer wins with 10% first-time out -- but at a huge ROI.
Brassy Kitten...They're always eligible to improve nicely second start -- and this one went well in debut.
Travellin' Along.

FIFTH RACE
Thunder Blitz...Short field and Frankel/Bailey runner has some speed. Might take these all the way.
Gigawatt...Canadian invaders did OK here last year. This one has lost twice in five tries -- both to the very nice Wando. Could be a good one.
Puzzlement...Would be the top pick but closing style might put him at a distinct disadvantage in this short field.
Quest.

SIXTH RACE
Amazer...Good try in first start. Adds blinkers and lasix.
Yen...Comes back quickly after winning training race here on Sunday.
Shout...Owner/trainer combo scored in the finale Wednesday at a nice price.
Tango For Tips.

SEVENTH RACE
Looking Grand...Was outclassed in Mike Lee last time -- should find this company more to liking. Likes the off-going. Has won twice at 7F, so should like the trip.
Intelligent Male...Doesn't miss the board often. Adds blinkers off good try in Belmont slop last time.
Dutrow entry...Flip and Stu and Hogan's Spirit both look capable on best.
Heavenly Kevin.

EIGHTH RACE
Chapel Royal...Has won first two like a champ -- including G3 Flash.
Pretty Wild Again...Might offer some value to the gimmicks after running fourth in Tremont -- but let's excuse that due to some traffic trouble.
Heckle...Two solid wins -- including G3 Tremont -- bookend a fade in Churchill stake, so there are still some question marks.
Lukas entry.

NINTH RACE
Connie's Magic...Likes the track. Drops in price off of nice Belmont win in seasonal debut. Won at this level here last year.
Private Practice...Should appreciate this company.
Baby Shaq...Has been running competitively against cheaper.
Whisk.


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