1-10. Like a few of the days at the meet so far, many of the winners were among our picks -- there were just more logical choices in our top spots. One winner on top (7th, $3.90). Also a mix of some gimmicks using the picks as our top three boxed in the 5th for the $42.40/$2 tri. Plus our first and third choices made up a couple exactas (4th, $24.20/$2; 7th, $14.40). And there were a few more tickets to be cashed by those who played around with the picks a little.
On-track, the attendance was announced at 62,816 -- which was of course, "spinner" inflated on T-shirt day. However, just eyeballing the crowd indicated that it was probably one of the better attended days of the meet so far. It was NFL Alumni Day, and former gridiron stars had an autograph session early in the afternoon. Former NY Jets star Emerson Boozer presented the trophy after the Jim Dandy.
Speaking of the Jim Dandy it was interesting to watch "The Chief", Allen Jerkens, as he watched his trainee Medallist in the race. Prior to the race most owners and trainers typically make their way from the paddock to their box seats. The Chief made his way down the gap from the paddock to the track and turned left at the last opening into the clubhouse seating area. At that end of the clubhouse is a small bar and The Chief proceeded to calmly order himself a beer. As the horses went through the post-parade, Mr Jerkens moseyed back out onto the gap, sipped his beer, and watched the entire race from that vantage point. Unfortunately Medallist faded to fifth in the six horse field after setting some hot early fractions (much to The Chief's obvious consternation).
Likewise trainer Mark Hennig had little to cheer in the Haskell... To answer the question, where does a trainer watch the race when his trainee is running hundreds of miles away? In Hennig's case, he sat in a front row box in Saratoga's mostly empty clubhouse (the last race at the Spa was long over) and watched Tap Day in the Haskell on a small TV. He shook his head in despair when Tap Day was floated wide into the clubhouse turn and then again when the horse was steadied on the far turn, eventually running seventh of eight.
Weather-wise it was a pleasant day. Temps were in the low 70's and although the sky looked threatening all day no rain ever fell.
It's Hall of Fame day. Inductions for this year's class take place at 10:30am at the Finney Pavilion on East Avenue. And on-track at about 2:30pm there will be an autograph session featuring former Hall of Famers -- look for them on the backside of the jock's room -- the "silks display area".
Schettino entry...Both Diligent Gambler and One Tough Dude look capable in here.
Rush Into Heaven...Was facing stakes company earlier this year. Drops from $50K last time. Connections going well here.
David's C Biscuit...Can't ignore that trainer stat, 43% going sprint to route.
Harbor the Gold.
Stoklosa entry...Positive Gold much preferred. Looks better than a weak bunch in here.
Reign's World...Improved nicely in second start -- despite racing erratically. Could be tough with clean trip.
Karakorum Patriot...Going well this season -- but eleven times a maiden so tough to support on top.
Connie's Magic...Comes back in five days off of good effort. Likes the track.
Account for Me...Claimed for $30K last time, goes for $25K today. Clearly fits with these.
Heir D'Twine...Flopped at Canterbury last time, but we watched Spooky Mulder win here yesterday off of a dull Minnesota effort.
Princess Pegasus...Sire Fusaichi Pegasus is off to a blazing start and Asmussen is excellent first-time out.
Gonnabreakeven...And Pletcher is, of course, solid with firsters as well.
Winsome...Two good improving starts so far. Finished behind Balletto last time and that one came back to win big here.
Private Boot...Three wins in last four, and a good second last time. Now goes first-out for Lake.
Kalookan Lady...Claimed out of big debut win at Hollywood last fall. Off since but Gill/Shuman team going well here.
Two Bayou...Could be tough dropping back in for a tag.
Punch and Beauty.
Capital Peak...Connections got 9-1 Dynamite Flyer under the wire first Sunday. This one looks capable as well and might also offer a price in a contentious field.
Fortune Writers...Showed enough turf promise to last year to ship out west for a try in the Hollywood Derby. Dull that day and off since but trainer OK off the layoff and nice turf work on 8/2.
Kyungbokung...Should be rolling late.
Leading the Parade.
Work With Me...Really stands out in this field. Placed in a couple of NY-bred stakes last two -- faces older today, but still looks tough.
Fiddlers Pride...Six times in the money in seven starts. His last couple at a distance were probably his best yet.
Big Feathers...Nice improving form.
EIGHTH RACE - Hall of Fame G2 $150K
Artie Schiller...7-5-2-0 on turf. Was undefeated on the lawn in 2004 until running into the tough Kitten's Joy last time.
Icy Atlantic...4-2-2-0 on turf -- and it should arguably be 4-3-1-0 because he suffered a tough DQ after finishing first in the G3 Lexington last time.
Mustanfar...Was the beneficiary of that Lexington DQ. Trainer has heated up nicely of late.
Lonesome Too...The trainer has done well here so far with limited starters and we should get some value here. Filly makes second start off of a nice debut. Expect a good try.
She's Sterling...Mott trainee has shown improvement in each start. Tough cookie in this race.
Parading Tomisue...Two turf tries were her best.
Thank the Academy.
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