0-10. Normally shooting an oh-fer would be cause for disappointment -- and while we can't rejoice at the results in terms of our overall record, the handicapping was solid and players who used the picks with any creativity should have come out of the Opening Day card with a nice bankroll to start the meet.
Amazingly our top pick ran second in seven of the ten races (in one of those we were DQ'd from the win position to second-place). And our second picks won seven of the ten races. Perhaps more importantly for Best Bets readers, those two things happened in the same race four times during the day. In other words we had four boxed exactas (3rd, $39.80/$2; 4th, $13.40; 8th, $11.60; 10th, $75.00). In that 3rd race our third pick was nosed out of the show position at 31-1. The tri with our top two over a 17-1 paid $359.50 -- ooo, so close to a big, big tri with our top three. But we made up for the near-miss when our top two combined for one of those flip-flopped exactas in the 10th with our 4th selection completing the $432.00/$2 tri -- we gave that one out as one of our plays on the Bankroll Challenge page.
Otherwise, a solid crowd of 25,306 attended despite the steady rain Tuesday which washed turf racing onto the main track and caused requisite scratches. Wednesday morning opened up still gray and a little cool, but by mid-afternoon the sun was shining and temps and humidity were up. Kind of a head-scratcher though as to why the track was sealed all day. It remained labeled muddy all afternoon.
Spotted watching the Schuylerville from the rail in the winner's circle was Saturday Night Live's Jimmy Fallon. As soon as the fillies crossed the finish line he departed the area. He was spotted later on in the day walking through the Siro's neighborhood.
And Siro's had their usual jam-packed post-race Opening Day crowd. It was quite a chore to move through the throng -- and the funsters were still going pretty strong when a slight drizzle hit the area at about 8:30pm.
We shot an oh-fer yesterday after going through the entire 2003 meet without such an afternoon. However, as mentioned above, the handicapping was solid. So we'll forge ahead with confidence, although Thursday's card comes up quite contentious.
Don't forget, Thursday is the meet's first giveaway day, as each paid admission will include a free John Velasquez bobblehead (while supplies last). Also, any $2 non-winning NY Lottery ticket can be exchanged for free admission to the grandstand. And speaking of the lottery, don't forget to visit their booth out by the Big Red Spring and putt for prizes! They have a couple of putting areas set up and you get three putts (for free) with prizes given depending on how many you can sink.
Runingforpresident...Pletcher 3YO should improve in second start of season. Needs alert break.
Storm Boot Gold...Also making second start of 2004. Last was solid try, running a good second after showing early speed. The one to beat.
Quayle...Showed good speed in debut and they're always eligible to move forward in second start.
Ms Banker...Solid improving form to end 2YO season. Layoff a concern but trainer strong with runners going first-out for his barn.
Miss Crafty Pal...Trainer scored with a 5-1 shot in Wed's nightcap. This one showing good improvement in three starts this year.
Tree Lover...Been in the hunt most every time since last fall. Should fit with these.
Spun Sugar...Pletcher solid with firsters and this one has some nice works for this.
Show Me the Town...Ran second to Angel Trumpet last time and that one put up a good fight to just miss in stake here Wednesday.
Comacina...Maiden was third in $100K stake last time. Training here since May and fired a bullet on 7/25.
Hope's Diamond...Ten times a maiden but improving nicely this season and might be getting the hang of it.
Brassy Kitten...Inconsistent but certainly capable in this spot on best.
Mystical Sea...Another that seems to be putting it together lately.
Unbridled Sidney...Huge maiden win in the slop two back. Decent second in follow-up. Might be tough to catch today.
Quies...Another that should benefit from try last time at this level.
Grey Traffic...Back on dirt. Back in a sprint. Could better this rating.
With the drizzle last night we'll give out comments for dirt, although we'll also include turf picks below...
Dont Knock America...Clearly improved as a 3YO and has a good dirt record.
Tomorrows Banquet...Can't ignore the MTO entrants. Might rate this one higher if one of the top Spa jocks was onboard.
Dixie Bourbon...A move to dirt wouldn't hurt his chances -- but the trip might be a little long for him.
If it stays on turf: Unbuckle, Pogolotti Hill, Dont Knock America, Dixie Bourbon, Rhumjar.
EIGHTH RACE - Sanford G2 $150K
Afleet Alex...Devastated MSW then NW1 in Delaware. Could be this good.
Lunarpal...Experience counts and this guy's already won three stakes. Tough.
Consolidator...On the improve for Lukas/Lewises who won Schuylerville Wednesday.
Speed Hunter...Hmmm. Vanned off in last but appears to have a big class edge here. Red flags are flying but this is the one to beat if all four wheels are on.
Shake the Dice...Eligible to wake-up with a move down the claiming ladder.
Wise Talk...Last raises some concerns but we'll throw it out and say he didn't take to that track. Was going well prior.
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