2-9. Two winners on top (2nd, $7.80; 7th, $3.00). We said that it would be hard to keep up the pace of our red-hot Week One -- and it proved to be true. We said all this week, we zigged when they zagged. The results were epitomized by the 3rd on Mondau when our top pick, Bredwinner, took the lead in the lane and looked every part a winner -- until our third choice, World Series, came again inside the eighth pole to win. It's enough of an aberration to see a horse get passed and then come back within the final furlong to feel as though we were a somewhat snake-bit during Week Two. But again, no need to panic, as with the rest of the week, on Monday ours were in the hunt in the lane and there was enough action using the selections that we can feel comfortable with the handicapping.
On-track, 16,938 turned out for more of the same weather-wise: Sunny, warm and humid. The crowd was treated to one of the last appearances in the Saratoga winner's circle by (now retired) jockey Pat Day. After the 6th race NYRA held a very nice ceremony recognizing Day's career and his retirement. All the jockeys from the current Saratoga colony were present and some nice words were spoken about Day and then he took to the microphone for some comments of his own (Click here for full coverage of the ceremony). Both before and after his speech the crowd gave Pat Day an extended round of applause and after congratulations from all the assmebled jocks, he left the winner's circle area and was surrounded by fans -- taking perhaps twenty minutes to accommodate each request for an autograph or photo.
Fans had plenty of chances for Hall of Fame autographs earlier in the day as a group of HOF'ers were gathered at tables behinds the jockeys' room about mid-afternoon for an signing session. Lines of fans snaked in front of the greats for an hour or so and fans were able to meet, greet and get 'John Hancocks' from the likes of: Ron Turcotte, Pat Day, Jorge Velasquez, Manny Ycaza, Braulio Baeza, John Rotz, Frank Whiteley and others.
The Hall of Famers were present because Monday morning was the annual HOF induction ceremony -- held at the Fasig-Tipton pavilion. A standing-room only crowd attended. David Cassidy was the keynote speaker and indicated his passion for the sport. Talking about buying his first racehorse as a teenager. Annual treks to Saratoga each summer. And volunteering to be an ambassador for the sport.
The inductees this year included steeplechase trainer Sidney Watters, steeplechase jock Tom Walsh, steeplchase runner Lonesome Glory, and of course, trainer Nick Zito.
Dark day. No racing.
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