6-9. Can't say how long this bullet train will last, but two days in and we're the hottest public handicapper covering Saratoga! We've gotten some very complimentary emails from folks who have been using the picks the last couple of days. Thanks for the kind words -- just a caveat bettor, it will be tough to keep shooting six-fers... But we'll keep trying!
Winners on top in six races again Thursday (1st, 16.60; 2nd, 5.00; 3rd, 3.40; 6th, 4.90; 8th, 4.00; 9th, 4.30). There was also a nice mix of gimmicks to be had using the picks... Top picks combined for the two early doubles (race 1/2, $46.60; 2/3, $7.80) and the late double (8/9, $8.30). We had a cold exacta in the 2nd ($36.20/$2) and well as the quinella ($18.20). Our top three ran 1-2-3 cold in the 3rd for the exacta ($7.80) and tri ($22.80). In the 4th our top two flip-flopped for the nice $83.50 exacta (also $24.40 quin) -- the 14-1 winner was our second choice and yesterday's comment said, "Wild Berry...Trainer wins with 10% first-time out -- but at a huge ROI." In the 5th it was our third pick over our top choice for the $17.60 exacta. And in the 6th it was a very nice exacta with our top pick over our third choice ($195.00) -- hopefully folks hopped onto this one as our top three picks went off at 7-5, 28-1, 52-1, making an exacta box a lucrative venture even with the chalky favorite in the mix. And finally, playing with the picks just a little bit could have results in some decent mid-card Pick3's... A nice day all around.
On-track, a reported crowd of 30,500 -- although it was clearly much smaller. The figure was inflated by the bobblehead giveaway. The giveaway, by the way, was disappointing because it was the first in recent memory the seemed to leave some folks without a gift. Typically over the last few years NYRA has been well-stocked with giveaway items and coupons have been available to anyone entering the track well into the card. For instance, the Bailey bobbleheads never ran out despite many more people attending last year on that giveaway day. Thursday however, patrons arriving before, or shortly after, the first race were out of luck as coupons, and presumably bobbles, had run out.
Weather-wise, things continued on the weird side as two huge downpours hit the track during the afternoon -- only to clear up each time and let the sun peak through. The rain before the 6th was so heavy it was tough to see the backstretch through it.
The post-race crowd at Siro's was more manageable than Wednesday's -- spotted heading in for dinner, trainer Allen Jerkens.
Look for the weather to start to improve but NOTE the 6th race is off-turf, although the featured Baruch is still on as of this writing. However turf conditions should be soft or yielding after rain of the past three days...
Don't forget, tonight is the first night of the annual Hat's Off music festival along Broadway. Musical acts of all genres perform for free all along Saratoga's main street. The action goes from 7-11PM.
Klesaris entry...Oath Of Office is riding a three-race streak into this. Judge Harper has been competitive against cheaper but this field doesn't look particularly strong.
Mr Reins...Pletcher horse comes out of mdn clm win -- which conjures up some doubts, but has been improving and these guys aren't world-beaters.
Take Me Out Back...Is in the right spot on his win-lose-win-lose cycle. Drops. Would probably rate higher except we need to see trainer start to heat up at this meet before backing his stock strongly.
I'am A Red Sox Fan...Experience counts in these events and this one opened career with decent second against open company -- on an off-track. Last was an OK second against state-breds.
Bond Arbitrage...Has some nice works and should go well in first try.
Master Ben...Trainer/owner combo have tossed a few bombs first-over in the past.
Gygistar...Just seems to have a class-edge here -- but is no lock. Off since February. Note that big G1 win here in the slop last year though.
Captain Red...Threw in a clunker last time -- but that was off a layoff. Has done well at trip and on off-going previously. 1-1 on the track.
Maybry's Boy...6-3-2-0 at the trip.
Webejamminmon...Best last out Beyer and that was against high-priced open claimers at Churchill. Should compete as well with MSW state-breds.
Unbuckle...Adds blinkers and DW Lukas runners tend to improve in second start.
Rb's Glitter...Another that should go better in second try.
Bert's Nicky...Has gone well on off-tracks -- and won big when last spotted at this level.
Laser Con...Scratched yesterday and entrymate ran second. Takes a stiff drop but Lake needs top win a few at the meet before we can back with enthusiasm.
City Of Peace...This seems to be his level.
Captain Fantastic...MTO entrant gets his preferred surface and won last time he ran at this level -- and it was on an off-track.
The Sherminator...Turf-to-dirt. Drops to lowest level yet.
Robin Of Trinidad...Has gone well at $50K and below.
Alchemist...Regally bred McGaughey filly has won first two like a champ. Only question mark is the off-going -- but she's bred to take to it like a duck.
Holiday Lady...Faltered in grass experiment but has placed in graded company previously.
Ashraaf...Should take a lot of action after nice win in slop last time -- but has some two-turn question marks to answer.
Rouvres...The angle here is the expected soft going. Euro-imports always seem to have at least a little edge in experience when it's soft and this Clement 4YO was a Group winner in France over a yielding course.
Del Mar Show...Won this event last year in probably his best performance. A little too inconsistent in last couple of seasons to back with complete confidence though.
Tap The Admiral...With plenty of speed in here this one might be well-served if able to use closing tactics that took him to a nice G2 win at Churchill last time.
Danceinthestreets...Brings a four-race streak into this, including running through first two alw conditions in last two. 2-2 on off-tracks.
Queen Isabel...Will appreciate return to main track.
Editors Shake...First time in for a tag for Asmussen.
Rosie Is A Leader.
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