4-11. We said yesterday that we'd turn it around after floundering through the first three days and we finally got things back on track about halfway through the Saturday program. Four nice winners on top and we just missed with a couple others, including the nightcap where ours was leading within the final furlong at 8-1 but just couldn't hold off the winner. But it felt good to finally put a few races together!
A crowd of 29,216 was blessed by Mother Nature as the day started with a drenching shower just after sunrise and that seemed to validate the forecast that was predicting some inclement weather throughout the day. Instead, it cleared out after breakfast and remained picture-perfect (still a little humid) for the entire afternoon.
The racing was superb topped by the track-record breaking run of Lawyer Ron in the G1 Whitney. ABC-TV had a real presence for their broadcast of the four stakes with a camera on a crane that 'floated' over the crowd around the winner's circle, as well as a crane on the far turn that looked about five-stories tall! Post races -- with the nice, warm summer evening -- folks enjoyed the Saratoga night-life. Popular racetrack neighbor Siro's -- where many fans go immediately after the races to enjoy a beverage and some live music in their backyard -- has instituted a fan-unfriendly cover charge this season. Understandably their crowd -- while still healthy -- was thinner than might be expected on a Saturday.
Downtown the Hat's Off music festival continued. The streets were jam-packed for the performances that ran from 7-11pm and they revelers were still bar-hopping until just before the sun came up.
It's ballcap giveaway day. Free while supplies last. And don't forget the new 'spinner' policy. There is a multiple-purchase window inside, near the main souvenir shop in the grandstand.
Cool the Economy...They obviously has high hopes last year and she showed some flashes. Now drops to $20K off of an OK effort for $40K.
Tzipi...Should fit well at this level.
Heaven's Flame...Dangerous with the speed and on the drop.
Rap Tale...Pletcher off to a little bit of a slow start but he'll get his. This one ships in from NJ and might offer some value off of the debut -- but it won't be a surprise to see him improve today.
JZ Warrior...An OK third behind According to Plan in first start.
Jolie the Cat...Asmussen/Heligbrodt runner put in a good try to start career at Churchill.
Just Hoping...Firsters aren't the kind we expect from Augustin/Sheppard top pop at the spa -- but this one has a little breeding and fired a bullet in prep for this. Interesting.
Tuckahoe Road...Improving with each start. Cuts back to this 5.5F trip -- which might not be a bonus after going longer -- and being stuck on the outside. But he still looks like the one to beat.
Slewfoundmoney...Has shown plenty of early foot going longer.
On dirt: Ms Sabbatical, Stormy Winter, Just Hoping, Tuckahoe Road.
My Sister Diane...These connections picked up a win on Thursday and sometimes trainer/owners can get on a little roll up here. This one ships in from Florida where the competition can be salty.
Josefina's Pride...Could be interesting if she shows the speed that was on display two back.
Early Hatch...Takes a step up the ladder off of a Delaware win.
On dirt: Willi's Sweet Girl, Morlana, Most Charming, Snows Gone.
Mine Or Who's...Sire is still brand new so the breeding is a bit of a question mark -- but wouldn't be surprised to see the offspring of Mayakovsky turn out to be precocious.
Staid...Two decent tries so far and nice improvement start #1 to start #2.
Exonerated...Showed some speed and faded in debut --- the kind of set-up that she should be able to move forward off of.
Admiral Bird...NY-bred had success last year in open-company stakes. First two starts of 2007 were OK -- and he should have his legs under him now.
Banrock...Will be heard from in the lane.
French Transition...Return to turf. Return to alw conditions. Should appreciate both angles.
On dirt: Taking the Redeye/French Transition, Prince Raffie, Ready Enough, Questioning.
Breezing...Might have regressed a little bit off of the debut. Let's look for the rebound.
Abby Morgan...Toss the turf experiment.
Talented Treasure...Two good starts so far.
Second Marriage...Showed speed last two going longer and on turf.
Lottie Zip...Obviously an improved 3YO. Dangerous.
Classic Flirt...Beat open company in debut. Flopped last time but expect better today.
NINTH RACE - G2 Jim Dandy
Street Sense...Not invincible -- losing preps prior to his two biggest wins, and clearly the goal here is the G1 Travers. But he's working up a storm and should dominate this small field even if he's less than 100% cranked up.
Sightseeing...Had trouble last time but two prior indicate that he's rounded to top form.
Tiz Wonderful...Undefeated as a 2YO -- but this is a tough spot to make a seasonal debut.
Short Fuse Tara...Trainer is back after a two decade hiatus -- and is doing well so far. Claimed this guy last time for $25K and goes for $20K today. Will profit on the deal with a win, even if she's claimed.
Sweet Time...Speedball from trainer Lake.
Fighting Speedy...Grass is clearly not her game.
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