2-10. We weren't wildly out of it -- but just far enough away for most of the afternoon to wind up with a fairly slow day. Two winners on top [4th, $4.80; 5th, $4.80]. Reverse exacta in the 8th [$20.20/$2]. Just a little more action using the picks -- including some fun in the nightcap if you were willing to go five deep with the selections... It was our second choice over the fourth, fifth and third selections [exacta, $46.20/$2; tri, $194.00; super, $1100.00].
The disappointment of the day for us was 5-1 Hunting Hillbilly in the 6th. We had that one on top in the season's opener and he got off in a tangle that day and still ran well, so we were anxious for the follow-up. Can't say we were thrilled with the ride from Mr Bejarano who went wide coming into the stretch -- and on the inner course that's just not they route to take. Just behind the leaders turning into the lane, by the time they straightened out HillBilly was probably eight lengths back in the wide path. Ugh. Finished a non-threatening fourth.
Attendance was 31,692 and the crowd enjoyed another "Chamber of Commerce afternoon with temps in the low- to mid-70s and plenty of sun.
Later on the fans jammed Siro's for some post-race fun and a performance by local favorites The Burners. There was plenty of fun down the street at rival apres-race venue The Horseshoe as well. And things continued on well into the night downtown -- with city police on their toes until closing time at 4am as the revelers were in a rowdy mood.
Tote bag giveaway day -- free with each paid admission while supplies last. It's also Salute to Jerry Bailey Day, plus some NFL great will be on hand for autographs. Plenty of fun...
It's the Ritz...A closing third in a similar race last time -- now adds a furlong. Just looks to be in slightly better form than the rest of these.
Gameboye...Might get the wake-up call with the drop.
Fifty Seven Flat...Three improving races this season and they might signal he's getting the hang of it.
Bitter Lemon...In a contentious race this gal gets a slight nod. Tagg having a solid meet and this one is liable to move up in her second start.
Awesome Ashley...Always scary to leave the Pletcher/Velazquez firster out of the top spot.
Somethingaboutyou...Good looking debut and they're always eligible to improve next time out.
College Girl...Seems to have found her proper level.
Gorgeous Mistress...Hasn't hit the winner's circle since being claimed -- but has run well enough to compete here on occasion.
Willi's Sweet Girl...Showed a little life last time at this level.
What's That Marnie...Might be set up to run a big one in third start of 2006.
Dixieland Squall...Finally got a dry, dirt track in her third start of the season and last might have been a little bit of a wake-up call.
Accrediting...Works leading into this says she's ready.
Carrs and Stripes.
Fernando Po...Find this one very interesting stretching out and turfing off of two decent dirt sprints.
Rocket Legs...Pletcher firster by Dynaformer should take to the surface.
Giant Chieftan...Cost almost a million. By Giant's Causeway. Trainer good with debut runners.
Massoud...Win here on opening day was good enough to indicate he'll handle the rise.
Privy Seal...Good, improving numbers with each start. Prado returns.
Cresson...Dangerous moving in for a tag.
My Belonging...Third start off a layoff and looks like he could be ready to pop.
World Wise...Trainer super with firsters -- but the 7F trip is a tough debut distance.
Countess Scala...Been working steadily here at the Spa since June for Biancone.
EIGHTH RACE - Irish Linnet $70K
Rewrite...Hard to go beyond this gal in here.
Flying Zee entry...Both Fairytale Story and Whateverwillbwillb look capable of being heard from in here.
Itsnotthemoney...Was on the improve before going into stake last time -- should find this 3YO restricted field more to her liking.
Kats Golden Ways.
NINTH RACE - West Point Hcp $100K
Golden Commander...Won this race in 2004. Lightly raced last year but 6YO looks ready to return to top form.
Dave...Won this race in 2005 and should improve on wide trip fifth-place finish in latest.
Certifiably Crazy...The one to catch -- and if Retribution wasn't in here we might have used this one on top.
Mascot...AE lister. Has found a home on turf.
Rocky Blue...AE lister. Also got a little bit of a wake-up when moved to the green. And found his level too.
Armament...Dangerous first-off the claim for trainer that wins at an eye-popping 45% rate in that scenario.
Eye for Style...Has appreciated the move into the claiming ranks.
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