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1-9. Well, Week Five started icy cold -- and ended icy cold, with winners on top anyway. It wasn't completely discouraging because each day there was a little something in the gimmicks dept. that helped ease the sting. But we're looking for a stronger finish over the last six days of the meet.
Winner in the 7th (3.40). Our top two picks flip-flopped for the $26.20/$2 exacta in the 5th. In the 7th our top pick bested our third choice for the $10.00 gimmick. Our best mix of the day came in the 6th -- where we were left with only three after our second choice scratched. With three runners in a six-horse field we were happy with the exacta ($72.50) and tri ($163.00) payoffs as it was our second pick over third choice over top selection.
On-track it was a relaxed crowd of 17,352. The weather was comfortable, with warm temps and an overcast sky that looked threatening at one point -- but never sent any precip downward. And by the end of the day the sun was poking through.
Prior to the races each day NYRA offers a half-hour program on the in-house/simulcast broadcast which features a couple of handicappers going over that day's card. The two selectors are rotated throughout the meet. Monday one of the handicappers on the program was Nick Kling of the Troy (NY) Record and he took a couple of minutes during the program to deliver a little bit of a rant -- and a worthwhile one...
When Tom Durkin came on and gave the program changes for the card at noon he noted the in the 9th Andy Boy would be equipped with two aluminum pads. As Kling noted, this is information that was not available prior to Durkin's announcement. And there would probably be many people on-track, and certainly many, many more at simulcast outlets who would never be aware of this equipment change. And two aluminum pads has to be viewed somewhat negatively when handicapping.
We did a quick check and noted that the majority of public handicappers used Andy Boy in their mix, with some using him as the top choice. As Kling noted, the rules should be changed so that such a serious equipment change is noted in the PP's -- otherwise the horse should be scratched. As it turned out, Andy Boy went off as the 5-1 fourth choice in the field of twelve. He was subsequently pulled up on the backstrtetch of the race and vanned off.
Dark day. No racing.
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