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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gray skies = Gray horse

As noted in my Gone Fishin' post prior to leaving for Toga, JB's K had given the gray skies = gray horse angle. So what do you know...3 of 4 grays hit yesterday on a rain-soaked opening day! Cognito ($4.60) in the 2nd, Lookin at Her ($11.40) in the 5th and Building New Era ($4.70) in the 7th.

Here are some photos from the opening day monsoon:

Star Player ($11.40) romping home in the opener. G-Money with at $10win bet cashed early in our group!

Tom Durkin getting ready to call the 4th....

They break from the gate in the 4th, won by the 1A theartofcompromise ($11.60).

A view of the Turf Terrace where we had a Big Tuna sighting (Bill Parcells - boo Dolphins!)

Jardin ($25.00), the winner of the Schuylerville in the Post Parade...

All in all despite the rain, we had a fun day (when is a day at the track not fun). I caught one big exacta for $5 (paying $110) in the 5th with the aforementioned Lookin at Her and Vinnie Van Go (what a stretch run by Vinnie!), a small exacta in the 2nd (2/7 was the combo in both!) and a $3 place bet on Sonny Pajamas in the 10th. The champ of the day was the Puma (the artist formerly known as M-Bug) who nailed the tri and exacta in the last race paying bocco bucks. It was off to The Lodge and Grey Gelding (where else on a gray day) for libations, food and good fun with friends. Many thanks to the Saratoga Resident who always goes the extra mile for his pals.


JB said...

What do we make of Commentator wiring the field in a Grade I at the Spa!? Is a phenom at 7 or is the handicap division that weak? I tend to think its a little of both. When on his toes he can run most sprinters of their feet, laying claim to some of the highest beyers of any older horse in training. On the other hand, Student Council, Grasshopper and AP Arrow aren't exactly Invasor, Ghostzapper and Curlin. But he ran a heck of a race, breaking alertly, setting solid fractions in front of decent horses and getting a brilliant ride. Of course, you have to give a lot of credit to Nick Zito, a cagey NY trainer who always has his stock ready for the big ones. What makes tomorrow's Jim Dandy is a very interesting race is the trainers angle of trying to get a solid Travers prep over the Spa course v. going all out to put a Grade II win on his horse's resume. I think a horse like Tale of Ekati, trained by the understated Barclay Tagg is a horse that will be on his toes ready to compete. I also think West Point will be letting out all the stops trying to capture a stakes win with Mucho Uno at the Spa. However, Pyro, who in my mind is clearly the one of the top 5 3 year olds in training (Big Brown, Harlem Rocker, JbK, Denis of Cork) might be more ready for the Travers than the Dandy. I think D'Tara will be short and Anak Nakal will need more distance to prevail over the Spa dirt. I don't know very much about the other entries but an Eion Harty 3 year old must be respected, irrespective of graded earnings. My picks:
Tale of Ekati
Macho Uno
Tiz horse

Anonymous said...

On another note I must take exception to the current standings in the turf division as posted by equispace. Why isn't Kip DeVille in the top 3? This horse might be the most consistent turf miler we've seen in a long while. He's beat the best in the world at the Breeder's Cup and won grade I or II's in 4 different states (NY,CA,NJ,KY) while being ridden by 3 different jockeys. I love Shug's Dancing Forever. I respect Paul Reddam's Red Rocks/ And I think Helen Pitts has handled Einstein brilliantly but... if I had one horse at one distance on one surface it would be Kip DeVille running a mile on the turf. That said, for the last few years as I've watched the races, it seems there is always one horse that I just really like and its not necessarily because of a wager or particular race. Artie Schiller, Henny Hughes and Kip DeVille are in that class. This year I have two -- JbK and Proud Spell.

Handride said...

Anon thanks for taking interest in the TBA standings, and your question is a relevant one coming from a person who follows this game. You and I both know Kip Deville as a BC champ, winner of a carreer 3 Gr I's. However, this year he has only won the Gr I Makers Mark (120) and the Poker Gr III (15) for 135 points.

The top 3 horses in the TBA standings are Einstein (2 gr I wins) Artiste Royale who has a gr I win along w/ a 2nd and a 3rd, and Dancing forever who has a Gr I and a gr II win.

So, Kip is not in the top 3 for a couple reasons.
1 - He is being lightly campaigned. The TBA hopes standings would encourage trainers to enter their horses more, and wouldn't you like to see Kip run more?
2 - The Poker is a Gr III. the TBA is at the mercy of the AGSC, we try and keep as much opinion out of it as possible, and the Poker being a Gr III is an important race for Turf Milers, but the AGSC overall ranks it a Gr III
3 - The standings only count for this year.

Last year Kip finished 2nd in the TBA turf standings with 545 points, at 135, he needs another BC Win, another Gr I, and a Gr II win, that seems kind of doubtful with it being almost August, but that's what you get w/ a lightly campaigned horse.

it's a shame that the AGSC doesn't do anything to encourage running, a horse like Kip is worth what he's worth thanks to pretty much one win (BC Mile) if he does it again it will be big, but the regular season doesn't even matter.

I know NFL players who are getting on in years and have made themselves starts usually get an injury during training camp (or hold out all together), but imagine if they took off the whole season as well?!!!

THanks for taking interest in the standings, hopefully this answers your questions more fully, and you can always check out this page for a further discussion of the standings

EquiSpace said...

JB: I agree with your assessment on Commentator, he beat a fairly weak field...on to the Woodward?

Anon: Thanks for reading. Hopefully Handride's comment addressed your concern and gives you some background into the TBA standings. The standings are a great tool as they could be used to generate increased fan interest and keep our great horses running in big races!

Good luck to your favs later in the meet in the Alabama and King's Bishop (I picked them both in my Toga Party blog!)

JB said...

Well the Jim Dandy went to West Point's Macho Again. I'm glad to see that stable get a win in a race filled with great tradition. Everyone I've ever met associated with West Point has been a lot of fun to be around. Barclay Tagg's horse had no excuses but Pyro did. He was slightly compromised at the start but closed like a freight train to make it interesting. I doubt Macho Again will get the 1 1/4 (his Jim Dandy time was good but not great) but Pyro is dangerous next time out. Pyro's trainer, Steve A.(I'm one of his few big fans), spoke very confidently going into the race and post race said he really thought Pyro would win it. On to the Travers where it could really get interesting if Big Brown's connections decide to give him a shot. Neil Howard trained Mambo in Seattle, a late blooming 3 year old will be ready, as will Todd Pletcher's (who is having a sneaky good meet) Harlem Rocker. The potential travers fields connections are a who's who of racing; Farish/Howard, Stronach/Pletcher, IEAH/Dutrow, LaPenta/Zito and potentially Zayat/Mott if Z-Fortune makes the trip. No doubt saratoga brings out racing's royalty. Speaking of which, that Mary Lou Whitney sure has a great sense of humor. Her Lukas trained colt in tomorrow's second race at the Spa is named, "Luv Gov." Go figure. Could she be a little disappointed that the racing interest that she lent her name to as Chairwoman was put aside by the NY's former chief executive? I don't know but Luv Gov was the NY Post headline the day after the story broke. But I digress. Let's talk Haskell. A million dollar race for 3 year olds going a 1 1/8 mile on Monmouth's main track. Big Brown needs to be atleast 85% to tackle the field. Toddy Pletch puts Prado on Atoned and Eddie Castro will pilot Nick Zito's Cool Coal Man. I don't think this is the race handicapper's want to try to beat Big Brown. He has everything to lose by underperforming. I predict he wins for fun with Castro, Bravo and Prado battling it out for 2nd and 3rd. I'd really LOVE to Brown at the Spa. Given my current 0'fer streak at the Spa I probably shouldn't be giving any angle information but... don't forget about Coa on the Turf, Linda Rice going 5 1/2 furlongs, especially when Corny V. gets the nod and the lethal combo of Prado and Shug. Equispace I loved the Jim Dandy music video.

EquiSpace said...

Thanks JB, your insights are always a welcomed addition...keep em coming..

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