3-9. For us Friday played much like Thursday -- three meager winners on top (5th, $3.80; 7th, $4.30; 9th, $4.20) but still plenty of action with our second choice winning in three more. A couple of the races were a little bit frustrating as our second choice got up to beat our top selection after things looked good for us at the top of the stretch in the 1st and 6th. But that resulted in OK-valued reverse exactas in both (1st, $30.60/$2; 6th, 22.20). In the 6th our third choice got up to complete the tri ($50.00). In the featured 8th, the Honorable Miss, our top three boxed for the $94.00 tri and our fourth pick completed the very nice $303.50 super. And as usual, playing with the picks could have pulled in some more gimmicks and 'picks'.
A solid Friday crowd of 21,160 were treated to another nice day. It was sunny and hot but the humidity levels had dropped from Thursday making it fairly comfortable. It was a big day for trainer Steve Asmussen who won his career 3000th when Forest Music went wire-to-wire in the G2 Honorable Miss. Also having a good afternoon, jockey Edgar Prado won four.
Off-track, the annual Whitney Eve gala took place as usual at the Canfield Casino in Congress Park, downtown in Saratoga Springs. Presided over every year by the 'Queen of Saratoga', socialite Marylou Whitney, this year's party has an Egyptian theme. The entrance to the building was decorated in black and gold pyramid fashion. A small stage was set-up next to the entrance with a short play being performed that had something to do with King Tut (it wasn't much of a play). A 7 o'clock eight royal trumpeteers played a flourish at the entrance to the park and in sashayed a group of bellydancers (in keeping with the theme?) and then a horse-drawn carriage carrying Marylou Whitney and her husband. At that point the play started again, and we left...
Jerry Bailey will be signing copies of his bio at the NYRA Paddock Gift Shop from 11am - noon.
Landmark...Been banging around NW1 condition in Kentucky. Now drops in for a tag in second start off of a brief layoff.
Bohemian Rain...Seems improved on turf. Claimed tow back and barn might have needed one to figure her out.
Aunt Dot dot...Fits at this level.
First Expression...Has been showing speed. Should appreciate cutback in distance.
Air Race...AE lister will have to overcome outside post if he gets in. Debut effort makes him dangerous here though.
Groove Jet...Showed plenty of early foot against open claimers in Florida -- but in tough with 12-post today.
Just in Fun.
Blutarsky. Award Seats.
Ice Wynnd Fire...Comes out of a couple of decent one-turn tries and should be set up nicely for this.
Skagway...Seems to have gotten the hang of the game and comes in off of two wins.
Noble Causeway...Zito trying to get in a prep for Travers after this one was a late scratch from Jim Dandy. We liked him in that opening week stake and still think he could round into a nice 3YO -- but this is kind of a saucy group that includes some older runners.
Sea Drama...Sheppard/Augustin turfer ships in off of nice debut effort in Delaware despite going very wide.
Grand Reserve...Came from out of the clouds to run third in Florida debut last December. Super 6F work for this.
Cat's On a Prowl...Another coming off a nice first try and working well.
Cab...Scratched Wednesday out of a race won by entrymate. Trainer superb with firsters.
Grand Survival...$1 mil 2YO sale purchase for another super debut trainer. Fast work on Monday.
Brilliant Son...Experience does count -- and this guy was a good fourth in a G3 stake last time.
Bird Charm/International Cat.
Come Close...Another Sheppard Special shipping in from Delaware for Augustin. Two dirt tries should have him geared up nicely for this -- along with bullet work on Monday.
Zurich...Mott trainee appears to be rounding into top form.
Take the Bluff...Seems to be improving with every start.
SEVENTH RACE -- Sir Cat $65K
Classic Campaign...Toss last -- looks like slow pace put him closer to front than he might prefer. Bailey should sit a nice stalking trip and rebound this one to prior top form.
Smooth bid...On the improve for trainer Asmussen.
United...Four seconds in five turf starts -- but look who he has finished behind: English Channel, Purim and Dubleo. All top turf stakes winners.
EIGHTH RACE -- Test G1 $250K
Zito entry...In the Gold closed to win a 7F stake at Keeneland and today's race might set-up similarly with a quick early pace to shoot at. Hide and Chic really turned the corner down in Florida.
Flying Glitter...Always in the hunt and if the front-runners stick this could be the one to hold on best.
Tabor entry...Maddalena will eventually bounce back to that form shown in Florida. If today's the day, watch out. Sense of Style showed a liking for this track last year and might be ready for her best in this third start of 2005.
NINTH RACE -- Whitney Hcp G1 $750K
Saint Liam...The pro-tem leader of the division since the retirement of Ghostzapper. Let's toss the SoCal trip and concentrate on the two other G1s this year -- where he wasn't challenged late.
Limehouse...Had his own Cali sojourn that is forgettable. Hit top form prior to that and we look for a rebound.
Pollard's Vision...Seldom missed a check and has been competing at this top level right along.
Classic Explorer...Showing steady improvement in figures with each start. We'd like to him sit off the early speed and get first jump at the top of the lane.
Lucky S Lorenti...He's the one to beat off of that last race -- but will he be able to come from the clouds on this track?
Rodeo Runner...This guy and A Very Young Jet are expected to show early foot. Both capable of being there at the end.
A Very Young Jet.
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