3-9. Clearly Week One of 2004 was not as good as Week One of 2003 when we started the meet with a red-hot streak. A slower start this year but we're holding our own when compared to the rest of the public handicappers out who are sitting right about where we are with winners on top. Of course with a few breaks we would be right back in '03 territory as our top pick has run second seventeen times during the past six days -- including one DQ and a number of near-misses. But as we've said a few times, the handicapping is solid and the picks have combined for some nice scores.
Monday, three winners on top (4th, $3.90; 7th, $3.60; 9th, $6.20). Also a good mix of gimmicks using the picks... Among those: Top three boxed in the 1st for exacta ($16.00/$2) and tri ($36.20/$2); in the 5th our top two flip-flopped for the exacta ($16.80/$2) and our fourth picks completed the tri ($164.50/$2); and in the featured 8th our third pick top our top choice for the $90.50 exacta. Plus a few others...
On-track, 15,805 attended the final day of Week One. Continued nice weather, sunny and humid. Balleto, the winner of the 3rd, could be a 2YO filly to watch: She's now undefeated in two starts and Monday she rallied nicely along the rail to rundown fave Paragon Queen who was coming off a second-place finish in a Churchill G3 behind Classic Elegance and that one looked like a monster herself winning the Schuylerville here opeing day.
In the very next race trainer Steve Asmussen unveiled 2YO colt Megascape and that one won off by five.
The feature was the ultra-competitive G3 $100K Lake George for 3YO fillies on grass. The public was having a tough time finding a favorite eventually settling on Frankel's Venturi. They sent that one off at 3-1 but she had to settle for second behind Clement's Seducer's Song. Locally-based connections, the syndicate Team Solaris looked ready for a good time in the paddock as their talented filly Lucifer's Stone had only missed the board once in eight lifetime starts -- but the best she could do Monday was fifth as the 3-1 second choice.
Later on Monday evening a good crowd enjoyed the warm summer weather and ventured down the street and around the corner to the East Side rec field to watch the jockeys take on the state police in a charity softball game. Pitching for the jocks were the alternating duo of John Velasquez and his agent Angel Cordero. Jerry Bailey and Pat Day made a few appearance at the plate and in the field as well as a number of other jocks. It was a pitchers battle as the scored was tied 2-2 through the end of the scheduled seven innings. Those innings went by so fast that the organizers tacked on two more innings and with the state police batting last in the 9th they dropped in a blooper with a man on third and managed to win the contest 3-2. After the game folks met with the jocks for autographs and a good time was had by all -- including Dogwood Stable prez Cot Campbell who was among the fans in the bleachers.
Clever Concorde...Looking for a big performance here dropping in for a tag. Prado rides.
Lake entry...Sparkling Blue has plenty of early foot. Cove Hill Missile always in the hunt.
Lady Stars...Looks to fit here and has good tactical speed.
Pomeranze...Little bit of a wild-card as this one was racing in Europe and the middle east -- and only US start was on turf. Was facing boys in some of those overseas starts and two back was in the UAE Oaks. Might be the one to beat dropping in for a tag.
Take Me There...Good try at this level last time.
Banker's Heiress...Should be rolling late.
Extent...Mott filly will probably have to juice up that Beyer number -- but second career start is where that kind of improvement can happen.
Paragon Queen...Hard to ignore the second behind Classic Elegance last time. That one looked like a monster taking the stake here opening day.
Balletto...Like the top pick is capable of moving forward in second career start.
Megascape...Trainer is solid first-time out.
Kat's Fairy Tale...Daughter of Tale of the Cat could be formidable.
Daylights End...Good debut and likely to improve nicely today as well.
Chopper Won...Third start of season. Comes out of good win in off-turf minor stake. Shown ability to get the trip.
Monkey Puzzle...Fits well with this bunch. Must get in from AE list.
Crete...Early speed can often be dangerous in these marathons.
On dirt: Bo Bos Vice, Chopper won, Mr Amano, Deputy Strike, Delta Sea.
Tiffany touch...Pletcher/Velasquez debut 2YO. 'Nuff said.
Kiki B...Brings in some nice works for this.
I'm Waiting...Expect a better try in second career start. Might add some value.
Save the Profit...Pletcher 3YO looks to lay over this field of NY-breds.
Shoahlihs Tale...Could be ready for nice effort in fourth start of 2004. Not too high on other half of entry, Fifty Three Cards.
Fiddlers Cat...AE lister improved on turf.
On dirt: Save the Profit, Big Feathers, Sicilian Boy, Red Down South.
EIGHTH RACE - G3 $100K Lake George
Venturi...Another Frankel/Gann private purchase and if you're not familiar with what that pair has picked up in the past, how about: You, Peace Rule and Medaglia d'Oro? Off since Sept but Frankel OK off the layoff, in fact solid in all pertinent stat areas. Connections look confident picking this spot for US debut while filly still eligible for conditions.
Lucifer's Stone...Local connections will certainly be hoping to get their picture taken today and this filly is legit. Will be in the hunt and could easily be in front at the end.
Seducer's Song...Clement filly has stepped it up on turf.
Deputy Squealie...Should be a little tighter today in second start of the year. Finished second in last two behind next-out winners.
Secret Forest...Nice debut. Shouldn't be a maiden for too long.
Unshuttered...Mott filly capable of showing up big today if she gained some maturity going from 2-3YO.
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