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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pop the Top on this Bad Boy

Yeah, I admit it, it's corny...but do you have a better picture of a Saratoga Opener?

Tomorrow my four year streak of Saratoga openers will come to a screeching halt. Business and family responsibilities will keep me from my annual visit, but we'll be watching (somehow) from the other side of the state as the 40 day meet opens under potential ominous weather conditions. Afternoon thunderstorms are predicted my and the chance of rain is currently 70%....same as we are projecting for the Queen City.

While the haters will complain about the quality of racing, there will be quality racing every day of the meet and plenty of opportunities to pick your spots for that potential life-changer (still waiting on this end).

I looked at the entire card and these are the more interesting races in my humble opinion for tomorrow with my race thoughts....

RACE 1 - 1 1/16 miles on the Inner Turf $43K Allowance (3 yo's and up)

Sackatoga Stable sends out Seattle Mission third off the layoff and 1-1 on the Toga turf. My pal Jeff is part of this partnership and I like his chances for trainer Barclay Tagg. Tapitdar shows a couple nice works and you always have to pay attention to Javier Castellano's mounts on the grass. Jose Lezcano jumps on Kuggerand and gets a 4 lb weight break and sports a win at Saratoga on his ledger. Off turf considerations: Steal the Shot (#15) has a nice wet Tomlinson and warrants consideration.

Selections: 1-3-8

RACE 2 - 1 1/16 miles on the Mellon Turf Course $51K Mdn Sp Wt (F&M 3+)

If this stays on the turf, I think Home Rule is my best bet of the day (and my probably early P3 single). Javier rides her for the fourth straight time, beaten by a length and a half as the favorite last time out. Simply Carina and GoGo try and tackle Home Rule, beaten by a length and a half for third in the same race. At 8-1 ML this horse could have some real value. My third selection, Holy Place, is running her second career race and Johnny V rides (Javier had the first mount - take note) for Todd Pletcher. Off turf considerations: #15 Gold Collection and #16 Gold Collection should both be solid in the slop.

Selections: 11-8-9

RACE 3 - 6 1/2 furlongs, $52K Allowance N1X

First race scheduled on the real dirt (hopefully) and my first longshot selection of Footcandles (15-1 ML), I love this colt by BC Sprint champion Speightstown whose sportings some nice works in this short field. Aspire and Bonavento should take all the money based on their connections so we'll throw them in our P3 play as well.

Selections: 7-1-5

We'll jump ahead a few races to the baby race and the 2 stakes races to complete our opening day card thoughts......

RACE 7 - 5 1/2 furlongs, $50K Md Sp Wt (2 yo fillies)

Obviously I have a penchant for anything pirates, so naturally I love Playing Pirates in this one. Sir Calvin rides for D-Wayne and has a string of bullet works gracing the PP's. The Malibu Moon filly Malibu Cougar is my second choice. She's the most expensive filly in the field ($325K) for Steve Asmussen who is striking at 21% with his 2yos. The Pletcher/Johnny V combo will again take the locals money at the window and we think With the Current will hit the board for the Toddster (hitting at a whopping 26% with his 2 yr olds).

Selections: 1-6-8

RACE 8 - 7 furlongs, $75K James Marvin S.

This race always seems to attract the name horses on opening day. Last year Pyro came in 2nd and went on to win the Forego later in the meet. This year a couple of oldies but goodies grace the Marvin. I'm going with Vineyard Haven off the layoff (he also won in the slop on Travers day last year in the King's Bishop only to be DQ'd). bin Suroor Saeed has been successful off long layoffs in the past and had a monster 2009 meet. I like Discreet Treasure on a bit of a cutback in distance and decent wet Tomlinsons, especially if the late afternoon thunderboomers show up to spoil the party. It's hard not to include Cool Coal Man or Le Grand Cru in the mix here, and at this point I'm still up in the air.

Selections: 4-5-(?)

RACE 9 - 6 furlongs, G3 Schuylerville S. $100K (2yo fillies)

The first graded stake of the meet features 7 competitive fillies vying for the first graded winof their respective careers. The Bandini filly Let's Get Fiscal (oh, Olivia Newton John, you take me back), an impressive maiden winner last month at Belmont also has some nice works to show and Alan Garcia is in the irons. Final Mesa will take a lot of dough at the windows and for good reason for trainer Wesley Ward, looking for her fourth straight win. She'll definitely be on the P3 ticket. Show Me the Bling (I loved her daddy Too Much Bling) will try and move forward off several bullet works to catch a piece.

Selections: 3-7-6

Well there's my thoughts for a few of the opening day races. Looking forward to getting there next week for Dandy weekend and seeing some old (and new) friends. The Toga Party III Contest selections are posted on the upper right sidebar and the first contest point is up for the taking tomorrow (opening day card attendance number). The prognostications range from Railrunner's 18,500 to Tony Bada Bing's 32,185......we'll know soon enough.

Let's keep those storms away!

Insert Olivia Newton John - Let's Get Physical You Tube Here (I couldn't do it....after watching the first 30 seconds, I just couldn't do it.......sorry) in honor our The Schuylerville Selection.


tencentcielo said...

The song is just called "Physical". It was my ringtone for a year, so i should know. :-)

and it's not as as bad as this video:

Tony Bada Bing said...

It was rainy and was my playing until Le Mi Geaux pulled off the upset..had her $10 to win...


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