3-9. The handicapping is still solid but the frustrating trend established Wednesday continued... Although our top pick won three (2nd, $5.80; 7th, 9.70; 8th, 8.00), we also had four of our top selections run second. Doh!
However, we did score a cold exacta (2nd, $17.00/$2 -- our fourth pick completed the $52.50/$2 tri) and two more with our top picks flip-flopped (3rd, $36.20/$2; 9th, $51.00). So over the first two days of the meet our top two picks have combined for seven exactas for a total return there of $244.00.
On-track 32,168 turned out for a nice afternoon -- although it seemed less crowded than Wednesday. The weather was somewhat of an improvement with plenty of sunshine although humidity levels shot up. The lone turf race on the card was moved to the main track (although, obviously, the steeplechase race went on the lawn) and that surface was upgraded to "fast" by the 3rd race.
Highlight of the day was perhaps the victory in the 2nd which allowed jockey John Velasquez to reach the 3000-win plateau for his career. A fun coincidence as it was also Johnny V bobblehead giveaway day!
And Delaware shipper Afleet Alex put on quite a show taking the G2 Sanford by over five.
If you like to play the Pick 6 don't forget that there's a $186K carryover heading into Friday's card.
Also, after the track you might want to head downtown for the annual Hats Off to Saratoga Festival. Musical acts perform from 7-11pm all along Broadway, Saratoga's main street. And it's all free!
Won Dozen Roses...Last summer this filly ran third here for the Sackatoga group. Since claimed away she's arrives back at the Spa on a two-race streak, both at this trip.
Marquet Rent...Claimed last time for $40K, now in for $20K. That raises some red flags -- but has been competing against better.
Burst of Dawn...Improving form recently, albeit against cheaper.
Big Apple Daddy...2YO brings in a string of bullets in the holster including the impressive :34.3 on May 15 (at what I believe is El Commandante in Puerto Rico). Will have to work out a good trip from the rail though.
Anacot Steal...Good debut against open mdn clm'rs in NJ. Always eligible to improve second time out.
Hottothetouch...Bred to be a pretty nice NY-bred competitor. Might need one or two though.
Hermoine's Magic..Won't take Harry Potter to get this one home today... Just some continued improvement in third start of 2004 for Pletcher.
Oneofacat...Toss the last -- could have been the slop or the first try around two turns. Back to sprint today and should rebound to prior good form.
Air Marshall...Capable of being in the hunt on best effort.
Caribbean Cruiser...2Yo is dusting 'em at F'Lakes in the am. Will be tough if able to hold that kind of form in the afternoon.
RBs Lewis...Can move forward in second start.
On the River...Solid connections behind this $550K yearling buy. Mott not necessarily known for first-timers -- but can get it done occasionally.
Storm N Lightning.
Minni Sangue...Off most off 2003 and now gets to string a couple together after running well on 7/2. Shown a liking for this course in the past.
Earth Shaker...Has improved greatly since arriving in Lake barn.
Kimster...AE-lister comes in from Suffolk but was competitive on this circuit in one try last fall.
On dirt: Jester Rahab, Show Bug, Cupasoup, Candybedandy, Sicilian Princess, Wired N Reafy.
In Rare Form...Improving sort from Bond. Looks ready to graduate with Prado in the saddle.
Owns the Place...Blinkers, lasix and a fast track. Could be his day.
Confirmed...Comes in off of a couple of near-miss efforts for Zito.
Houston's Prayer...Toss last. Maybe a bounce. Maybe a little overmatched. Prior effort was good enough to take this.
Little Jim...Potentially something special -- but we'll get a better read today.
Philadelphia Jim...Connections have already scored here.
EIGHTH RACE - Baruch G2 $150K
Nothing to Lose...Rounding into pretty good form and should be in good position to notch first score of the season.
Union Place...Good form so far this season and has run well over the course.
Silver Tree...Clearly would be no suprise, especially with Mott/Bailey. But distance might not be his strong suit.
On dirt: Evening Attire, Gygistar, Nothing to Lose, Mr Light, Irish Colonial.
Bellanique...Stepped it up since moving to turf.
Marnie's Heirloom...Maybe a little bunch last time? we'll find out more today but first two turf starts showed some talent.
Angel in Harlem...Beyers to this point seems a touch light -- but with only four starts there's still plenty of upside.
On dirt: Such Grace, Angel in Harlem, Anabeltaylor, Mr Light, Irish Colonial.
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