5-10. Five winners on top (2nd, $13.00; 3rd, $5.00; 7th, $6.10; 8th, $8.70; 9th, $3.00). In the 6th our second and third choice completed the $101.00/$2 exacta with our top pick rounding out the $215.50/$2 tri. In the co-featured Jim Dandy we scratched into the winner with our other two flip-flopped behind for a meager $20.20/$2 triple. There were some other gimmicks to be had using the selections -- and with our first or second pick winning eight of the ten there was also a good mix of doubles and 'picks'.
On-track, 29,291 turned out to enjoy yet another picture perfect summer day of racing. Sunny and warm. The main 'Mellon' turf course was closed for at least one day as an irrigation pipe broke and leaked some water about 100 yards from the finish line. All turf races were conducted over the 'inner' turf course.
It was over that course that Sand Springs posted an impressive gate to wire victory in the G1 Diana. Until there's a decent rain, or you notice some change, keep in mind that the turf is hard and front-runners have an edge.
In the co-featured G2 Jim Dandy it was Pletcher's Flower Alley winning easily. Noble Causeway was a very late scratch when jockey Jerry Bailey felt the horse was not warming up well. Trainer Nick Zito was unhappy with that decision and was quoted saying, "Bailey didn't like the horse. The vet didn't have any problem with him, but Bailey didn't like the way he was warming up. He walked back perfect."
Also, plenty of hats -- both fashionable and outrageous were seen on the grounds as participants took part in the annual hat contest in between some of the early races.
Off-track it was a busy Saturday night in Saratoga -- more so than usual. The 'perfect storm' came together to create a logjam of merry-makers downtown after the races and into the night. Of course there was a solid crowd at the track during the day. Later on, the annual Hat's Off music festival continued on Broadway which attracted a large crowd. And at SPAC it was Tom Petty bringing in a big crowd. Post-track traffic was a mish-mash of people leaving the track, coming into town for Hat's Off, and coming into, and leaving, town for the Petty show. The fun continued late into the night.
Get your hat! A free Saratoga ball cap is given with each paid admission while supplies last.
Stolen Identity...Wow, could be the first repeat winner of the meet! Comes back after taking $20K claimer on Opening Day. Barn known to work this angle however.
Volatility...Should find the drop to his liking.
Crazybrook...Looks like he's at the top of his game and should make jump from mdn clm into this race.
Classic Expression...Have a feeling this gal will move up on turf. Prado rides.
Dancy's Angel...Stretches out after two sprints, an angle we like.
Time Heals...Her speed should be effective today.
Martin entry...I'm On It/Wayward Liz.
Run Thruthe Sun...Graded stakes-placed in SoCal earlier this year. Claimed at Hollywood then shipped east. Connections have worked this route successfully before.
Concorde's Edge...Solid through first five then faltered last time -- but it's hard to overcome a poor start in those turf sprints. First time in for a tag, should be tough.
Illustrious Kiss...Like Concorde this one's last looks like a toss. Prior efforts were all good enough to compete here.
Old Forester...Mott trainee seems to have come back to races as an improved 4YO. Comes in off of three solid stakes efforts.
Willard Straight...Just missed in a very fast edition of G3 Poker but might be up against it here a little bit with come from behind style.
Mass Media...Graded stakes winning sprinter on dirt makes turf debut for Frankel.
Milky Way Guy.
Chief Strategist...Had some trouble in debut but should have picked up some valuable experience.
Halo Humor...Working well for good first-out trainer.
Love Locket...Another trainer with good debut runner stats.
Onemorefashion...Just have a feeling this lady might be set to run well in third start of year.
Russian Sweetiepie...Could be kicking ourselves after race for not having her on top but though she has two wins over the track, her two tries in 2004 were both misses -- as the fave. Sneaking feeling she might disappoint again today, but certainly she's the one to beat.
Holly Rae...Comes off a nice win at this level last time and up-close style should suit this track.
Some Irish Legend.
Mayo Post...Hmmm, was the last the signal of a turnaround in the new barn? We'll know more today but that Beyer figure lays over this bunch. Post position no bonus.
Rapid Rickey...Started rounding into good form last fall. On the shelf since. Will be tough if able to come out running.
Witch Ways West...Yet to miss the board in six lifetime starts.
Asti...If able to repeat that front-running effort last time she stands a good chance of hanging on today.
Dubaian Duel...Mott turfer has been bridesmaid last three.
Sagitta Ra...Frankel trainee fits with this bunch.
NINTH RACE - Go For Wand G1 $250K
Society Selection...3-3 on the track including two G1s last season -- one of those against Ashado. Should appreciate the pace scenario and return to two turns.
Ashado...Figures say it's still questionable whether she's returned to top 3YO form. Should have some pace pressure from Andujar.
Andujar...Appeared to move into top echelon of this division with her authoritative win in G2 Milady. Faded late last time and as noted, she and Ashado might both want the lead.
Those Littlethings...This filly really improved when switched to turf in Florida. Long layoff is a big concern but even at less than 100% she could be best of this bunch.
Storm Dorm...Obviously didn't like the dirt last time.
Looking for Loot...Could wake-up with drop.
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