4-12. Four winners on top [2nd, $9.50; 5th, $9.30; 9th, $3.40; 11th, $2.70]. Would have liked to up the 33% win-rate on the day with twelve races to look at -- but we can't really lament any of the selections. Took a shot against Henny Hughes in the G1 King's Bishop which might look like a mistake with 20-20 hindsight. However, although Henny won like a champ, our pick Mach Ride was better than his fourth-place finish. The horse stumbled badly at the start and then had some traffic trouble later on. It happens.
A rather tepid Travers day crowd of 40,785 -- and many of those didn't show up until midway during the card. The weather might have scared people away -- but even though it was cloudy and cool all day the rain held off and it was a nice day of racing.
Our "soapbox" comment: Rain wouldn't keep a crowd away from seeing a star -- or potential star -- and certainly Bernardini is all that -- but how can we expect fans to line up behind a horse that has only raced five times? The "21st century" mindset of trainers is to put these "stars" in bubble wrap and take them out five or six times a year and it often isn't enough to spark the interest of the casual fans.
However, the late posting has allowed us to hear some late changes, which included the alert that they are off the turf on Sunday. So our turf races below simply include our dirt selections.
Marco's Tale...Hmmm, tossed in a clunker in first-after the claim. Takes a little drop and might be able to revert to prior good form. If he can do that he'll be tough -- but that a big "if".
Fete...Trainer sports gaudy first-off the claim stats (44%) -- but the layoff and the drop are cause for concern.
Dr Doright...Lightly raced and still has some upside potential. Early foot likely.
On dirt: Youknowshesright, Sweet Flyight, Zen Princess, Tuscan Star.
Touch Me Once...Threw in a big work on 8/16. Comes out of what might be a key race. Eligible to run a big one.
Champagne Truffles...The one to beat if we can believe that last Beyer.
A Bit of Pressure...Might be the one to catch in the short field.
On dirt: Seeking the Money, Shining Bull, Drizzly, Northern Storm, Immersed in Gold.
Smart Surprise...Looks to have some win-early potential.
Featherbed...Second-out for Pletcher -- a potent angle.
Our Ryann's Express...Experience counts and this one put in a solid debut effort.
East Lake Classic.
On dirt: Accrediting, No Rizpect, Off Sweets, Jetastik, Scatkey..
Pletcher entry... Both Jessamy Jane and Maizelle were expensive purchases going out for a win-early trainer.
Pleasant Hill...Had trouble and just missed in debut.
Bemused...This one is eligible to come back improved and could be very dangerous.
Summer Palace...Might have needed the last -- her first in eight months. Improvement possible.
Mama Theresa...Looks capable of stalking and being in the mix late.
Go Jersey Ginny...Hasn't missed the exacta in five starts this year.
NINTH RACE - Ballerina BC G1 $250K
Malibu Mint...Huge effort at Calder two back and then followed-up by just missing with a late close here on 8/4. The extra furlong should help.
Dubai Escapade...Had an impressive win-streak snapped -- by Malibu Mint -- last time. That looks like a fluke however. Expect a much better performance today. She's the one to beat.
Indian Flare...Seven furlongs could be her best game.
On dirt: Brushed Bayou, Most Beautiful, Stand by the Phone, Golden Knolls.
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