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139th meeting of Saratoga concluded; records fall

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  • 139th meeting of Saratoga concluded; records fall

    Just 24 hours away from the start of the much anticipated season, possibly the last under NYRA control, with an A-list jockey colony and many great races in the making!

    With 21,000 + attending just the open house on Sunday, with only steeplechasing as live racing, this year could be a banner one. That is more people then have attended some other track meets on the day of their signature race!

    Wednesday is pronounced by the Schuylerville Stakes (G3) for 2-yr old fillies at 6 furlongs.

    The horses aside, you'll have Julien Leparoux, Edgar Prado, Kent Desormeaux, Calvin Borel, Garrett Gomez, Johnny Velazquez, Sean Bridgmohan, and Eibar Coa riding in that race alone.

    An interesting 2-yr old filly in the Schuylerville, based upon her ownership:

    According to Plan, trained by Barclay Tagg and owned by a partnership that includes NYRA chairman Steve Duncker and NYRA president and CEO Charlie Hayward, won her debut by 4 1/4 lengths while running five furlongs in 56.21 seconds. She came back with a solid four-furlong work over the weekend at Saratoga.

    "She's gotten pretty aggressive," said Robin Smullen, Tagg's assistant. "She was aggressive before, but now she's like sitting on top of the world. She thinks she's all that."
    DRF 7-24-07 "Plenty to get excited about at the Spa"

    The backstretch is filling up with some of the game's highest-profile runners, led by Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, Preakness winner Curlin. If Street Sense runs in Sunday's Jim Dandy as expected, he will be the first Derby winner to run here during his 3-year-old season since Thunder Gulch in 1995. While Curlin is preparing for the $1 million Haskell at Monmouth on Aug. 5, there is hope for a Street Sense-Curlin showdown in the $1 million Travers on Aug. 25.

    Saturday's Grade 1 Whitney is expected to draw a competitive and large field from which a new handicap division leader could emerge to replace the recently retired Invasor. Flashy Bull, Brass Hat, Magna Graduate, and Papi Chullo head the field.

    The $750,000 Whitney was moved from the second Saturday of the meet to the first Saturday to accommodate the new Breeders' Cup Challenge Series. The Whitney will be run on the same card with the Diana, Go for Wand, and Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap. The winners of those four races earn automatic berths into their respective Breeders' Cup races this fall at Monmouth Park.
    TVG is broadcasting exclusively the Saratoga races (HRTV gets the snub for live races) save for ABC/ESPN who gets some of the finest action.

    Saturday July 28th is a don't miss day for racing on ABC Sports and in fact Saratoga/NYRA reworked the race cards to accomodate the tv schedule!

    On Saturday, Saratoga will stage its richest-ever day of racing, with four graded stakes worth $1.7 million on an 11-race card boasting more than $2.1 million in total purses. The four graded events serve as the inaugural legs of the Breeders' Cup Challenge. Under the new "Win and You're In" format, the winner of each race will earn an automatic berth in the corresponding Breeders' Cup event on October 27 at Monmouth Park.

    The victor of the $750,000 Whitney H. (G1), for three-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles, will be guaranteed a spot in the starting gate for the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1). Accordingly, the winner of the $500,000 Diana S. (G1) for distaffers at nine grassy furlongs will secure a place in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1), the heroine of the $250,000 Go for Wand H. (G1) at 1 1/8 miles will gain a berth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1), and the fastest speedster in the $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. (G2) at six furlongs will book his ticket to the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1).

    In order to accommodate ABC's live, two-hour coverage of the Breeders' Cup Challenge beginning at 4 p.m. (EDT), the race schedule has been changed. The Go for Wand will now be carded as the 7TH race, the Vanderbilt as the 8TH, the Diana as the 9TH and the Whitney as the 10TH.
    Some great stuff!
    Last edited by Glimmerglass; Sep. 4, 2007, 09:42 PM. Reason: the start has come and gone... 36 days of joy

  • #2
    Street Sense is here (came Sunday) and is doing well.


    • #3
      And Curlin worked this morning.
      F O.B
      Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
      Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


      • #4
        So those of us with no TVG can't watch Street Sense Sunday? That's a BUMMER!

        Who do you guys like in the Jim Dandy? You think Tiz Wonderful is going to suprise us?


        • Original Poster

          So I wonder who the horse was who got loose on Monday ...

          From a Saratoga blog:

          Thoroughbred can’t wait for post time
          July 23, 2007 at 12:18 pm by Christen Deming, staff writer, Times-Union

          Apparently the humans aren’t the only ones excited about Wednesday’s track opening.

          Early this morning, a horse got loose at the track and decided to take a little joy run around the city’s east side neighborhood. We got a call from a Nelson Avenue resident that said he was getting his daughter ready for basketball camp this morning and saw a thoroughbred run past his house. The horse, cantering down the street, must’ve high-tailed it down Union Ave. then hung a right onto Nelson. Although, he could’ve just ducked through some backyards.

          NYRA officials caught up with the skittish horse shortly there after. It’s unclear which horse it was, but if he’s running on Wednesday, for the determination and exhuberance, I’d put him at 3-1 odds.
          A handy site for those going there Albany Times Union's Saratoga Racing Season page


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by miss_critic View Post
            So those of us with no TVG can't watch Street Sense Sunday?
            Nope at least not live as neither ABC or ESPN could secure the rights to air the Jim Dandy. Likely that is due to their large role with Saturday's coverage of the "Breeders' Cup Challenge" at 4 p.m. ET on with the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap, G1 Grade 1 Go for Wand Handicap, Grade 2 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap, and Grade 1 Diana Stakes.

            The Grade 2 $500k Jim Dandy Stakes (won last year by Bernardini and run on a Saturday) is looking like a very strong field with Tiz Wonderful and Street Sense, as well as Sightseeing, C P West and Cowtown Cat.

            Of course you will be able to see the replay on-line shortly thereafter its run.

            I will put my money on Street Sense as he's put in some brilliant workouts and while Saratoga is the graveyard of champions I just don't see that level of effort from Tiz back yet.


            • Original Poster

              More on today's hard charging filly, According to Plan, trained by Barclay Tagg in the Schuylerville Stakes:

              The 89th edition of the race for 2-year-old fillies is a Grade III event at six furlongs worth $100,000.

              Purchased for $80,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company April juvenile auction, she is by Out of Place-Waiting, by Affirmed, a pedigree that does not exactly lend itself to precocity.

              "We never asked her for lots of speed in her training, so we were surprised as she went 22 and 44 1/5 seconds for the first half mile in her debut," said Robin Smullen, assistant to Tagg. "But she doesn't have to be in front, and since it looks like there is lots of speed in this race, she can sit off the pace if they go out there zinging."
              Source: The Saratogian July 24, 2007

              Cornelio Velasquez returns aboard According to Plan at 119 pounds, the weight carried by all starters.


              • Original Poster

                Can history be repeated?

                Last year's opening-day attendance at the Spa was 27,346. With good weather this year's opening should exceed that number.

                Also the winner of the first race in 2006 was Massoud, who just happens to be entered in today's opener.

                Race 1; set for 1:00 pm EST " 1/16 Miles (Inner turf) for 4 Year Olds And Up Claiming Purse: $46,000

                PP #3 is Massoud, trained by Graham Motion and ridden by Johnny Velazquez, listed at 5-2 this morning


                • Original Poster

                  If you are looking for interesting bits mixed with some good commentary at Saratoga check out the articles in the Saratoga Special put out by ST Times/Sean Clancy and crew


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
                    Also the winner of the first race in 2006 was Massoud, who just happens to be entered in today's opener.

                    PP #3 is Massoud, trained by Graham Motion and ridden by Johnny Velazquez, listed at 5-2 this morning
                    Massoud well in the lead by a length in the final stretch of the turf course broke down and with him went down Lieutenant Danz as well. A very ugly event and I cannot imagine a good outcome for either horse although both jocks do manage to walk away


                    • Original Poster

                      Schuylerville Stakes (G3) was a brilliant race for 2-yr old fillies although a terrible break for the Barclay Tagg trained betting favorite. Cornelio Velasquez aboard that horse that was anything but 'According To Plan'.

                      Nice to see an an unexpected winner!


                      • Original Poster

                        A brilliant dead-heat in the final race at Saratoga! With two more horses just a head away from the wire themselves. Lovely!

                        First day of racing and 3 wins by Edgar Prado; 1 victory for the following: Ramone Dominguez, Calvin Borel, Julien Leparoux, Castellano, Garret Gomez, Bejarano, and with the last race being a dead heat Coa and Alan Garcia also get a win too


                        • Original Poster

                          Following back up the first race as of 5 pm EST the condition of Lieutenant Danz and his rider, Raul Rojas, is still not known, however it was confirmed that Massoud was euthanized this afternoon.

                          Massoud, a seven-year old gelding, was 5-2-2-0 at Saratoga lifetime prior to today's start. Rest in peace good man.


                          • Original Poster

                            Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
                            Last year's opening-day attendance at the Spa was 27,346. With good weather this year's opening should exceed that number.
                            First day total surpassed last year's: attendance of 30,052

                            On-track handle of $3,825,564 which was an opening day track record for handle on Spa races.

                            Article and Video of the $111,000 Schuylerville Stakes (gr. III)


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post

                              I will put my money on Street Sense as he's put in some brilliant workouts and while Saratoga is the graveyard of champions I just don't see that level of effort from Tiz back yet.
                              I am with you on Street Sense and I agree about Tiz. I just don't know.

                              It's always a trick for me to open Bloodhorse without peaking at the headlines and somehow scrolling down to view the race. I like it to be a suprise. But it's too small on my screen. Is there somewhere else that might show it bigger?


                              • Original Poster

                                I'm not sure about bigger as that is more of a software issue hence caracing.com, drf.com, bloodhorse.com, etc all seem to have the same size replay videos

                                You can also check ntra.com after the race as they too have the replay of NYRA races


                                • #17
                                  Lieutenant Danz from what I heard is fine.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Originally posted by HungLikeAStallion View Post
                                    Lieutenant Danz from what I heard is fine.
                                    That is good news!

                                    Insult to injury: Massoud had been claimed out of the race by trainer David Jacobsen for $35,000.

                                    Another disurbing element and which much be fixed:

                                    Velazquez was lucky not be struck by a trailing horse and he was soon seen sitting up. The ambulance was extremely slow to respond to Velazquez and he eventually walked off the course and back to the jockeys' room under his own power.

                                    According to track officials, there was a lack of communication between the outriders and the ambulance driver in part because there weren't enough walkie-talkies.

                                    "That is more than unacceptable,'' said Bruce Johnstone, NYRA's manager of racing operations.

                                    Though he was not injured, Velazquez was upset that he was not properly attended to.

                                    "I hope we fix it," Velazquez said. "Hopefully, it doesn't happen again. Hopefully, they get their act together. It was addressed with the stewards and everything, so hopefully they get it together."

                                    Velazquez rode the remainder of the card, though he finished the day 0 for 8.
                                    Source: DRF 7-25-07 "First day thrills and spills"


                                    • #19
                                      I feel awful about Massoud, but will admit that David Jacobson has a somewhat clouded past and I find it hrd to find sympathy for him.
                                      F O.B
                                      Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                                      Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


                                      • #20
                                        Does anyone know when Rags to Riches will come to Saratoga for the August 18 race? Sorry I just read she's at New Bolton for a check up before coming to Saratoga.I saw their horse trailer coming up the thruway and thought she might be on it.

                                        Also can you go see her at their barn like the other barns at the track or is it closed.