1-9. Kind of a quirky afternoon where everyone we talked to seemed to be in the same boat -- our picks were in the hunt in most of the races, just not in any way that offered us a whole lot at the checkout window.
One winner on top (3rd, $6.30). And in that 3rd race our top two completed a nice $62.50/$2 cold exacta as our second choice went off as the 15-1 second longest price on the board. And our third choice ran fourth -- so we just missed what would have been a rather juicy cold tri. Otherwise, the top three picks mixed up for a couple more exactas on the afternoon.
On-track a solid weekday crowd of 25,305 turned out. The weather was perhaps a little cooler than Thursday -- but similar. However, whereas Thursday featured a brief mid-card shower, Friday had that same mid-card shower, and then some sustained sprinkles through the 8th and 9th races. Fans stayed under cover for 15-20 minutes after the nightcap until the rain let up and the skies cleared.
The highlight of the afternoon was the record-breaking performance by jockey Jerry Bailey. He came into the day one win behind Angel Cordero for the title of all-time winningest jockey at Saratoga. Bailey quickly tied the standings by taking the first race, and then he went on to establish a new mark by winning the 3rd and 7th races. Jockey Richard Migliore also had a three-bagger on the afternoon. And jockey Pat Day missed some of his earlier mounts when his flight in from out-of-town was delayed -- but he arrived in time to keep his commitment on My Trusty Cat, and that one got up in the shadow of the wire to win the G2 $150K Honorable Miss.
Off-track, a typically large start-of-the-weekend crowd packed Siro's. The New York Players were the entertainment for the day and they had a good crowd of dancers gyrating to the music in front of the stage. Spotted among the revelers were NYRA's own Sam the Bugler, and owners Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds, Jack Knowlton and Gus Williams of Funny Cide fame, and Roddy Valente.
Things seemed a little quiet downtown Friday night -- perhaps the cooler weather kept folks home. Things were still hoppin', but it wasn't quite as raucous as a usual Friday night during the season.
There is a $207K P6 carryover.
A couple of stakes -- the G1 $750K Whitney and the G2 $150K Amsterdam -- highlight a fun, very contentious card. The stakes can be seen on ESPN at 5pm ET.
Colonial Bay...Motion/Prado turfer started season with a win at Colonial. Had a win over this course last year.
Forget the Judge...Never ignore the Sheppard shippers on the grass. Could add some value here.
Resurgence...Will be rolling late if able to get in from AE list.
On dirt: Colonial Bay, Buckle Down Ben, Seeking the Money, Mr Amano, Colonel Warden, White Buck.
Funk...Pletcher/Velasquez firster. 'Nuff said.
Lion Cat...Don't forget that Biancone can have them ready for debut efforts as well.
Thunder Ridge...On the other hand, Lukas runners tends to go better second time out.
Must Win Soon/(not other half of entry)... Fired a huge number two back then failed in turf experiment. Tough if able to rebound to that prior effort.
Snub the Devil...Another that needs to find form shown prior to last start.
Storm Sizzle...On the other hand, this one faltered in slop two back and then returned for big turf sprint win last time. Set up well for today.
Old Forester...Really stepped up in first try on turf.
Settle Up...In good form this season.
Agent Danseur...Drops back into alw off of a decent try in G3 last time.
Catch the Glory.
On dirt: Old Forester, Every Mountain, San Telmo, Bankruptcy court, Eagles Hill, Outer Reef.
Big Top Cat...Lukas not super-strong with first-timers -- but this 2YO is regally bred and is working well for debut.
Obsidian...Expect this Pletcher trainee to move forward in his second career start.
Silver Train...Debut was great and they're always eligible to improve with that experience under their belts.
River Belle...Pletcher filly making first start since last fall but was facing Group 1 company in Europe. Tough if in from AE list.
Shoot...A couple of solid tries for Frankel since arriving stateside.
Seven Moons...On the improve in three turf starts this year.
On dirt: Whoopi Cat, Pop Princess, Amanuensis, Mariakel.
Philanthropist...Back to Prado and might get a good trip in first try around two turns.
Navesink River...Big move from MSW to NW1 but showed good improvement from start one to start two of 2004.
Go Now...Has been going well since last start at Gulfstream.
EIGHTH RACE - Amsterdam G2 $150K
Pomeroy...Seemed to enjoy return to sprint winning a G3 last time in Jersey. Training well since.
Bwana Charlie...Seemed to take him awhile to get the hang of it -- but has been going pretty well in stakes since spring.
Weigelia...Could be the one to beat coming off of a nice stakes win on Calder's Summit of Speed card.
NINTH RACE - Whitney H'cp G1 $750K
Newfoundland...Looks like an abundance of speed in here and perhap Johnny V can get this guy to settle into a good stalking position from the outside post.
Peace Rules...The three wins this year were three of the nicest performances we'll see this year. Guttsy competitor will have some company early.
Bowman's Band...Has been competitive against the best all season.
Roses in May.
Friendly Island...Perhaps was spotted a little too ambitiously in $100K stake last time off of monster debut. Now into proper NW1 race and we'll get a better read today on just how good this one is.
Citizenship...Improving right along in four career starts.
Oz...Nice debut win as fave here last summer. Off since but look capable of being in the mix if ready.
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