3-11. Three winners on top (5th, $4.30; 6th, $9.50; 7th, $4.60). In the 4th it was our third choice over our first pick for the $38.20/$2 exacta. And our second selection came in to complete the $136.00 tri. We had the race 5-6-7 P3 cold for $36.00. And it was a reverse exacta in the 9th ($16.80).
Attendance was a disappointing 48,894. Hard to blame it on the weather which was fine until late in the day. Humidity was high but otherwise it was very nice with plenty of sun... That is, until about twenty minutes before the Travers. As the horses entered the paddock to be saddled for the big race it started to sprinkle. That let up a little as the horses left the paddock -- but within five minutes dark clouds covered the facility, to the point that all the outdoor automatic lighting turned on as though it were night. The Travers itself was moved up about five minutes in order to beat the storm, which it did, barely. By the time the winner Birdstone made his way back to the winner's circle a wild storm had hit the racetrack with winds whipping and a torrential downpour in progress. The typical post-race festivities took place under umbrellas but the Marylou Whitney/Nick Zito/Edgar Prado contingent got soaked anyway.
Within minutes the announcement was made that the day's final race was canceled. This left the corwd mulling about with kind of a is that all there is attitude. That, combined with the rain outside, kept the grandstand/clubhouse mostly full for a long while after the race. But the weather was only part of the afternoon's odd ending. At one point a loud roar arose from the crowd... On-track three shirtless guys ran from somewhere in the vicinity of the eighth-pole to the finish line -- as the crowd continued to cheer them on. After crossing the finish line they made their way off the track via the winner's circle.
Perhaps another ten minutes went by when the crowd roared again. This time a loose horse was running down the stretch. As is standard procedure when a horse gets loose a loud warning siren is triggered. The horse continued around the clubhouse turn, the air-raid siren blared, and the horse -- much to the delight of the crowd -- turned around and was making another run into the stretch but before making it back to the stretch it was collared by a couple of outriders.
Quite a strange afternoon indeed.
Prior to that however it was a nice day of racing. Smokey Glacken was an impressive wire-to-wire winner of the ungraded Victory Ride. Nothing to Lose turned the tables on Silver Tree and won the G2 Fourstardave -- reversing the result of their meeting earlier in the month in the Bernard Baruch.
Likewise Pomeroy improved on his second-place finish in the 8/7 Amsterdam by scoring in the G1 King's Bishop.
And in the big event, it was Birdstone that proved best in the G1 $1 mil Travers. A superb training job by Nick Zito to have this one ready to contest a mile and a quarter after sitting out almost three months since the 6/5 Belmont. Zito's The Cliff's Edge finished second. The major disappointment was 5-2 fave Lion Heart who appeared a lock when he passed the half-mile in a pedestrian :49.0. He eventually faded to last -- but it was reported that he suffered a career threatening injury.
Off-track, within 30-45 minutes after the conclusion of the Travers the rain let up. The party continued at Siro's although the crowd was less congested than usual for the season's big day. Things continued to go full-steam there until well into the night as the crowd danced to the beat of The Burners.
Downtown was also crowded well into the wee hours -- although also not quite the kind of numbers that are typical for Travers day.
Commentator...Most of these have been banging around this condition for awhile -- on the other hand this guy blasted through MSW in first try and a similar run today blows this bunch away.
Thatswhyweboughtto...Seemed to be getting the hang of it with maiden breaker two back then faltered a little in first try at NW1. That experience and jock switch should help.
Keely entry...One Talented Pro looks capable of sucking up for a piece. Platinum Case ran third in similar last time despite traffic trouble.
Ms Will a Way...Ran a decent second in 2004 debut. Could be tough if able to move forward off that effort.
Town Charmer...Showed good speed last time -- might last longer with a trip over the track under belt.
Graceful Pro...Not a bad try in first start and they're always capable of great improvement in second start.
Ravaro...Must get in from AE list but is competitive at this level.
Resurgence...Never got into it for $50K last time Drops today and has a significant jock change.
Sardaukar...Also is eligible to wake-up on the drop.
On dirt: Peekskill, Lord Langfuhr, Robin of Trinidad, Tubrok, Unanimous Decision.
Summer Raven...Fired a big one second-time out for Pletcher -- just had the misfortune to run into the Biancone monster Sense of Style.
Hurricane Annie...Expecting improvement in secdon start for Violette.
Majestically...Asmussen is good first-time out and this one is working well. Would be no surprise.
Up Like Thunder...Pretty solid debut. Will be tough if able to improve any.
Brassy Boots...Thirds behind a very good Balletto last time. Gets positive jock switch.
On the Porch...Broke maiden then went right into stake at Monmouth. Ran third that day and should go well now that back in against NY-breds.
My Typhoon...Mott filly is bred to be special. Half-sis to Galileo. Watch out.
Winsome...Three good tries on the dirt for Jerkens. Could be set up for a good try on the grass.
Lady Lyra...Some good-looking turf works for debut. Could come out running for Zito.
Spring Tide/Our Rose.
On dirt: Winsome, Ballymena, Clearly Kathy, Nives, Kip Smile.
Bellanique...Nice improving form and coming off a win over the course.
Little Buttercup...Hard to fault the solid competitive form shown this season. AE list.
Gebb's Dixie...Should be rolling late.
On dirt: You Promised, Stand On Top, Co Co Heart, E Ticket.
Key Deputy...Blasted his best race over this track last year -- also likes the trip.
Shuman entry...Both Philadelphia Jim and Spooky Mulder look capable here.
Buzzy's Gold...Comes out of a solid win here on 8/5 for Jerkens.
NINTH RACE -- Ballerina H'cp G1 $250K
Lady Tak...Best race was last year over this track at 7F in the Test. Will be very tough if she takes to this track in that manner again in 2004.
Harmony Lodge...Already proven as a horse-for-course going 4-3-0-0 at the Spa -- including this race last year.
Ebony Breeze...This horse is always in the hunt.
My Trusty Cat.
Cosmos Mariner...Tough to step from maiden claimer into open claimer but this is not a strong bunch and this guy has shown some nice consistency and looks like he'll fit here.
Sand King...Seems to fit at this level.
Boston Brahmin...Showed a little spunk when dropped to $20K last time.
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