2-7. Two winners through an abbreviated card (6th, $3.10; 8th, $5.10). We had a cold exacta in the 8th ($19.40/$2) and a nice reverse exacta in the 3rd ($33.40).
On-track -- the streak is broken! -- only 7,734 showed up despite free grandstand admission. Saratoga had hosted crowds of a least 10,000 for 250 straight racing days going back to 1998. After feeling the effects of Katrina with soaking showers overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, the first two races -- both steeplechases -- were canceled. The remainder of the card went to post at 2pm ET and, as mentioned, NYRA offered free grandstand admission. All turf racing was moved to the main track and racing was done over a sloppy, sealed track all afternoon. It was cloudy during the day and some threatening dark clouds moved in before the nightcap, but other than a couple brief showers there was no precipitation to speak off throughout the seven races that were run.
The weather forecast looks pretty good but there was a downpour after racing Wednesday so there will be no turf racing today.
Exaggerate This...Took a huge drop last time for Pletcher and that raised red flags. That he didn't win off the big drop is a concern -- but he finished second behind a former SoCal stakes winner who was also dropping. Early speed might suit if track is playing like Wednesday.
Make My Day Jur...Also looks to be sent early -- if speed is holding it becomes a tough call, will one of these top two sneak away, or will they knock each other out? Typically one sneaks away. We'll see.
Battle Hero...Took a big drop in for a tag last time for Pletcher and grabbed out of that by Lake. Expect him to go well in first start for that barn -- but track might not be conducive to his big closing move.
Market Force...Find this guy interesting in that he debuted going long on turf for Lukas and now cuts back to a dirt sprint. Lukas runners tend to go better in their second starts and this one showed some speed last time. Again, interesting...
Desert Quest...Decent first start. Zito another trainer that has them looking better in their second start.
Clear the Way...Improving numbers in first two starts -- and trouble in both.
Out of Rock.
Evasive...Seems like a snug fit at this level for 38% trainer.
Vroom Hilda...Seems to be in improving form and won here in latest. Claimed out of that one.
Think Fast...Could wake up with move in for $50K selling price.
City Attraction...Another that looks interesting on today's card. Debuted at 63-1 less than two weeks ago here for connections that like to win at Saratoga. Was a dud that day far behind an impressive Biancone winner. Tossed in a bullet work three days ago and adds blinkers for this. Taking a shot.
Samurai Warrior...Some nice works including a bullet on dirt in July.
North East Storm...Also working well -- on turf. Hmmm.
Stolen Identity...Has move up the claiming ladder with improving Beyers over last three. If he can continue that march forward he can get it done here.
Summerland...Won big at $25K. Followed up with a close second at $50K. Now in for $35K. They'll have him to catch and he's the one to beat on his best.
Departing Now...Eligible to go well with drop in for a tag.
Silverdale... Zito's typically go better in their second starts -- and this one makes the big move MSW to mdn clm.
Friendly Torpedo...Also making the big move from MSW and trainer has big stats in that department.
Head Ofthe Charles...Trainer does well with debuting 2YOs at this meet.
Paving the Way.
Poco Bueno...Won for $50K on the turf last time. Now drops to $35K which raises some question marks. But has gone well on dirt and looks like the one to beat if the drop doesn't prove to be an attempt to unload.
Broad Acres...Looked pretty good last time at $50K despite trouble.
Suave Prince...Might be the one to catch.
EIGHTH RACE -- Saratoga Dew $65K
Judy Soda...Competitive against open company -- now she moves in against NY-breds and it looks like she's the controlling speed. Gotta like the jock switch.
South Wing...Always love the angle of stretching out after two sprints after a layoff. Dangerous.
Fait Accompli...Won this race last year and now making third start off layoff.
So Sweet a Cat.
He Dicho...Absolutely looks like a monster in here. Showed solid improvement in his second start to just miss going 7F on dirt last time -- just what this race is now with the move to the main track. Really not facing much in here.
Spin Factor...Expensive 2YO sale purchase in 2004 has put in a couple of good tries on grass. Again, this is a weak field so this guy should be heard from if turf talent transfers in even a slight way to the main track.
Fierce Storm...AE lister might have shown some added maturity coming off the layoff in 4YO debut.
Mr Supreme Court.
Jacob Nicolas Dean.
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