3-12. We were really struggling early in the card but managed to get on a mini-roll once the stakes races kicked in. Three winners on top (8th, $3.40; 9th, $6.10; 10th, 2.60). Otherwise, we had a couple cold exactas (8th, $7.10/$2; 9th, $9.70). And in the King's Bishop we managed to find some value underneath 1-5 winner Lost in the Fog as our third and fourth selections followed the fave under the wire to complete a $78.00/$2 tri. And the three winners in a row we also had some doubles and picks.
On-track, the attendance of 42,841 has to be ranked as something of a disappointment given the picture perfect weather. NYRA's new pricing structure for the big day might have played into it -- as well as the short fields in the stakes. But for those that did turn out -- despite the short fields -- the stakes offered up four good-looking winners. Leroidesanimaux raced to a new course record in the G2 Fourstardave coming off a long layoff -- and now looks like a legit threat in the BC Mile. First Samurai is now undefeated in three after running away from favored Henny Hughes in the lane to take the G1 Hopeful. And although the G1 Travers was on the card we might have seen this year's top 3YO in the G1 King's Bishop as Lost in the Fog ran his record to an amazing 9-9 with another impressive performance sprinting. Finally, it was Flower Alley confirming that he came back from a late spring-early summer break as an improved animal. After a near-miss in the G2 Dwyer he has now strung together wins in the G2 Jim Dandy and G1 Travers to move into contention for the 3YO crown if he can manage to string together some nice wins this fall to dislodge Afleet Alex.
Earlier in the card, the well-bred Shark [Danzig-Surfside] collapsed on the track following the 3rd. The 3YO was suffering from heat exhaustion and managed to get up and walk under his own power after a few minutes of treatment. The crowd showered him with relieved applause.
The last race Saturday went off a few minutes after 7pm and traffic -- both foot and car -- was jammed around the track vicinity for quite awhile thereafter. Next-door nightspot Siro's closed their doors shortly after the track let out as crowds descended en masse. For the better part of two hours the policy was one-out, one-in, but the lines were long at both the back and front entrances to the backyard fun. Plus, the parking lot adjacent was packed with revelers making their own fun at tail-gate parties. The Siro's backyard featured entertainment from local favorites The Burners UK and the place stayed crowded and happy until late. Spotted among the throng were, John Walsh of Fox TVs America's Most Wanted, also jockey Corey Nakatani, and trainer DW Lukas.
Later on a check at nearby nightspot The Horseshoe turned up an equally large and happy crowd. And of course the fun continued at the downtown establishments well into the evening with the police closing off the popular club strip Caroline Street to auto traffic at about 11pm. From then on the street was jammed with funsters walking from bar to bar along the lane.
Love to Tango...Looks like he might be the lone speed again -- but can the 8YO string four together?
One Eyed Joker...Should go well with a race over the course under his belt.
Dutrow entry...Peace Emblem back in four days and barn is live with those types. Mr Pleasantfar fits at this level.
On dirt: Love to Tango, Full Flow, Pay Attention, Dutrow entry, Peter's Puddles.
Cinderella's Dream...Purchased earlier this year at 2Yo sale for $190K. Goes out for win-early Pletcher.
Mrs Chippy...Expect improvement in second start from Mott.
Motor City Mama...Trainer having a solid meet and daughter of City Zip showing some good works.
Awesome Twist...Ran second to Better Than Bonds and that one was a decent third behind Lost in the Fog yesterday. This one fired a big win over an off track in April.
Penn Pacific...Showed some super promise to begin career and now returns off a layoff. Looks like they'll have her to catch.
Conservationist...Toss the two-turn flop. Expect better today.
Champagne Ending...Had some trouble in last but was up close to Carlow two back and that one came back to repeat here. Huge win over an off track in May.
One Mean Queen...Faded late and now cuts back a half furlong.
Riserva...Nice improvement shown start one to start two.
Philanthropy Lady...Strong string off works including a couple at more unusual longer distances. Tepid top vote in super-contentious race.
Slew Peg...Last two works seem to indicate she'll improve today. AE lister.
So Original...Could be ready to go first-time.
Ebony Rose/Its Just a Dream.
Red Handed Robin...Had been facing older than dropped into $20K claimer against 3YOs last time and won nicely. Claimed out of that and moving only a half step up the claiming ladder.
Picata...Was facing higher priced claimers at Calder.
Dynamo Hum...Drops seems suspicious but she might romp if all the wheels are still on.
Philanthropist...Very lightly raced and hasn't really had a chance to string a few together. Last time was second to a 1-2 fave in a very short field. Might move forward off of that effort.
Ice Wynnd Fire...On the improve and likely to try same front-running style as he used to win last. That might prove tough to beat as there's not a lot of speed to challenge early -- but this bunch might be a little tougher than last.
Broadway View...Capable on best and has some limited -- but good, wet track experience.
EIGHTH RACE -- Tenski $65K
Connie Belle...Behind Whos Cozy last two so this is a little dicey -- but Mott is going well and this gal is showing string of improving Beyers.
Who's Cozy... As noted, has bested top pick last couple and they'll have her to catch again today.
Royal Bean...Having a pretty solid summer.
Lil's Golden Crown.
On dirt: Exploivacious, Flashy Three, Forever Smart, Royal Bean.
NINTH RACE -- Ballerina G1 $250K
Happy Ticket...Had some trouble but still finished second last time to the very talented Madcap Escapade. Was undefeated in nine prior to that.
My Trusty Cat...G1 winning mare just missed in this race last year.
Forest Music...Looked like a champ winning the G2 Honorable Miss here on 8/5 in first try for Asmussen. Distance is a question mark.
Real Knowsy...Faded to third in a similar event over an off track here last time -- and that's a concern, but note that last two were wide trips. This is a weak bunch, so a clean trip could be key to helping this gal graduate.
Distinctive Julia...F'Lakes invader had solid debut here and now makes a big jock switch.
Wayward Liz...When she popped a 50 Beyer last year she backed it up with two more nice tries (albeit "nice" for this weak company). Maybe a repeat of that form?
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