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Friday, July 20, 2012

Spa Opening Day: One for the Road

We made it on site this morning...and yes, we finally eclipsed the 3:59 mark, although the Saratoga Resident is already claiming foul and requesting an asterisk. I pulled into the Saratoga Race Course at 8:56 a.m. in an all-time record 3:57 time frame. We had clear sailing on the NYS Thruway, making it to Amsterdam in a scorching 3:13, but that's when it gets interesting. A truck in downtown Amsterdam slowed things down and Geyser Road was no picnic, but we still had 3 minutes to spare, so he can put whatever asterisk he wants on it. Put a fork in it.

Our advance in this morning's Buffalo News on the Saratoga meeting is up and we also handicapped the Coaching Club American Oaks where we're drinking the Pletcher kool-aid. Hey, it's Saratoga...

Speaking of handicapping, Toga Party V selections are all in and we have 18 contestants trying to take down the annual Toga title. Thanks to everyone for participating. The Space Gal resisted at first, saying she wanted to "go out on top" but I enticed her to try and go for the first ever repeat crown. You'll notice her picks did not change from last year's, though she basically won it with Stay Thirsty.

As for today's card, some horses that look interesting to me today include the filly, 5-Liberty Girl in the 3rd, a 2-year-old firster for Eoin Harty with Ramon up. She sports a couple of nice workouts and her dam has 9 winners from 11 starters (including 2 stakes winners). I'll take a shot with her over the favored Ward filly 2-Lignite (2-1). We'll be watching that one closely as she finished second to Pletcher colt Rose Junction who is running in the Sanford on Sunday.

Other than the wide post, I also like 10-Living My Dream (10-1) in the 7th, who puts the blinkers on for Mike Maker and has Javier Castellano on the turf. Maker is 27% first time blinkers and the other stats (Jockey on Turf - 26% and Jock with Trainer - 25%) make her interesting at those odds. [UPDATE 12:25pm: Living My Dream scratched -- back to the drawing board]

As for the Marvin, I favor 5-Pacific Ocean (although you can't throw out JB at the Spa) and 7-So Many Ways (first time lasix and some killer workouts) in the Schuylerville.

Good luck!



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