3-10. Got off to a nice start with two winners on top in the first three races. Then things slowed down -- but we picked up a winner in the co-feature when Speightstown was the eye-popping winner of the co-featured G2 Vanderbilt. The Pletcher sprinter is now 4-4 in 2004 and making a solid bid for the divisional title. His win Saturday set a stakes record and tied a 32-year-old track record.
So overall it was three winners on top (2nd, $3.70; 3rd, $5.90; 7th, $3.80). In the co-featured G1 Sword Dancer our top pick, 10-1 Rochester looked to be in a prime spot at the top of the stretch -- but just didn't have the necessary kick and finished fourth. So we were stuck with some limited value on the afternoon.
Besides Speightstown the other big performance on the afternoon was put in by the Biancone first-out 2YO Scipion. This $1.9 mil purchase is a half brother to the 2002 2YO Eclipse winner Vindication. Scipion dropped back early in the seven furlong event, prompting announcer Tom Durkin to comment that the horse was just unable to keep up. Scipion was still last at the top of the stretch. Still last at the 3/16 pole. Still last at the 1/8 pole -- but starting to move. Within that final furlong the promising freshman passed the entire field to win by a length. A stellar performance and a horse to watch.
Attendance was 33,808. The weather was very nice. Sun early, overcast later on, but temps were comfortable and we avoided any precip.
The trophy for the Sword Dancer was presented by baseball great/broadcaster Jim Kaat. Later on there was a typical party-hardy crowd at Siro's and things were still hopping there at 9pm. The party continued downtown until the wee hours -- bolstering the watering hole attendance figures which were a little light on Thursday and Friday nights.
There's an $80K P6 carryover. And, of course, the weekly giveaway. Today it's a nice umbrella -- free with paid admission while supplies last.
Maytown...Seems to have improved nicely as a 3YO. Just missed in two tries this year.
Bowen's Dream...Firster from Pletcher/Velasquez. 'Nuff said.
Morph...Beaten fave last time. Expect a rebound to prior form.
Heroofthegame...Connections putting together a good meet and they spot this one well.
Paris Adventure...Tossed a dull one last time -- but came to the Spa off a couple of dull tries last year and moved forward significantly.
Mighty David...Claimed out of winning effort here on 7/31. Moves up but could be tough.
Polish Times...Toss the Claiming Crown try and this one is better than these.
Roar On Tour...Gill/Shuman team again. Drops in for a tag and will go well in here.
Northwest Hill...Another moving in for a tag. Put in some good tries in the midwest recently.
Mambo Bell...Looks to be in good, improving form.
Farhana...A little dull in Spa debut but was going well prior. Might be better with a race over the track.
Fusionista...Could be getting the hang of it. Johnny V rides.
Right This Way.
Candy Striper...Pletcher's always capable of stepping it up in second start and this one might even offer some value.
Private Gift...Adds blinkers and lasix off of a couple of decent tries at Churchill.
Comacina...Biancone filly has run three straight third -- including a stakes try.
Fitting Tribute...Trainer is always dangerous first off the claim.
Lite the Point...Claimed by Lake for $50 two back, now goes for $35K. Could prove tough to beat.
One Tough Dude...Drop should help.
Saint Waki...Check the PPs this year... With drop in for $70K tag he's not facing the likes of Champali, Lion Tamer or Speightstown.
Limero...Just missed in similar event last time.
Grendel...Had trouble in latest but was going well prior.
Ana's Lady Bird...Showed speed then faded to be a decent third last time in first start in about nine months. Capable of taking this if able to improve off of that effort.
Storm Minstrel...Threw in a clunker three back but otherwise has been solid all year.
Wildcard Cat...Another one having a good 2004.
NINTH RACE - West Point $100K
Foreverness...Just missed in similar stake two back. Bailey was also onboard that day and winner was Quantum Merit who went on to score in a G2 at Churchill. Bailey back onboard.
Irish Colonial...Probably the one to beat off of a just-miss third in G2 Baruch last time.
Will's Journey...If able to sneak in from AE list this Bond trainee could prove interesting in first turf try.
Spite the Devil.
On dirt: Spite the Devil, Will's Journey, Lord Langfuhr, Golden Commander.
Sun Sapphire...Yet another live runner from Gill/Shuman. Ran away in an alw event at Charles Town last time. Drops in for a $20K tag today.
Pam's Ruckus...Seems improved since coming back from brief layoff. Prado rides.
Ravishly...Expect a wake-up with the drop.
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