August 29, 2009

Travers Day / Rainy Day

Ahh … Travers Day. One of my favorite days of the year. The Travers itself is always great, throw in a bunch of other very good stakes at Saratoga and you have yourself one of the best racing days of the year. Unfortunately, this year looks like it might be a little wet. I will not let that dampen my enthusiasm though. What I will do, is alter my selections accordingly for the wet track. Here is what I think:

Race 7 - The Victory Ride
Sara Louise, the last horse to beat Rachel Alexandra, will be overbet. Since I am not fond of her chances anyway, coming off the long layoff, I am happy to throw the favorite right out. All of her Twist, part of the Kelly Breen entry, can handle a wet track and should appreciate the fast pace carved out by her entry mate. She is the main play. The longshot play is Trix in the City, from the hot Linda Rice barn, who is actually stepping down in class after chasing the blazing Elusive Heat in her latest. She should be high odds and has a chance. The play - The All of Her Twist entry boxed with Trix in the City, Selva and Reforestation

Race 9 - The Ballston Spa
I am hoping that NYRA can keep this race on the turf. If so, on a yielding or soft turf, this race becomes more wide open. Recent import Salve Germania and Thomas Proctor’s Closeout both would appear to prefer soggy grass and could have enough to take this against the very classy, favorites Rutherienne and Cocoa Beach. The play - Key exacta box Salve Germania and Closeout with Cocoa Beach, Rutherienne, My Princess Jess and Captain’s Lover.

Race 10 - The Ballerina
Two of the best female sprinters in the world Indian Blessing and Informed Decision will battle in an interesting 7 furlong affair. I give Indian Blessing the slight edge in the slop, but not by much. Longshot Modification is not as good, but appears to want dirt and like it wet. Throw in Music Note who lost the 3-year-old filly championship by only a head last year and it should be a fun race. The play - Trifecta with Indian Blessing and Informed Decision boxed for 1-2 and Music Note and Modification in the third spot.

Race 11 - The King’s Bishop
What a race! The fur should fly early. Insuring fast early fractions causing some weary legs in the lane of this contentious sprint. Having said this, I am going for the closer, Not For Silver. 15-1 on the morning line, but this horse should love rallying at 7 furlongs off a fast pace. With the likes of Big Drama, Munnings, Capt. Candyman Can, and Vineyard Haven, this is as classy a race as you will see for 3-year-old sprinters, enjoy. The play - Not For Silver to win.

Race 12 - The Travers
Is he great or is he just good? That is the question with Quality Road. We should find out today. I will not be betting him for three reasons. He will be overbet, possibly closing in on even money. He may be a little short, coming off only a 6 ½ furlong sprint and I expect him to be involved in a contested early pace. Because of that pace I like Summer Bird, who we know loves the distance and should have a perfect trip. I had decided to throw out Kensei, but he is just a little more scary on a sloppy track. Any of the others have done enough to not be a major surprise in this solid field of seven. The play - Summer Bird to win.


Heather said...

nice picks!
*i'm going for Trix in the City for the Victory Ride.
*Cocoa Beach in the Ballston Spa.
*Indian Blessing in The Ballerina.
*I can't make up my mind in the Kings Bishop- I like Big Drama and Not for Silver

And, in the Travers...i woke up this morning with Quality Raoad on my mind, and you know i love him but, Kensei is still sticking with me. Summer Bird will finish in the money, but not sure where.

Things DO change when the weather takes a turn for the worse (or, for the better, for some horses!) i just want to see a day of racing with ZERO casulaties!!!

LDP said...

I wonder if QR will take back today, leaving OE with an easier lead than anticipated. If so OE could be real strong. If not, SB will win. QR will be in the money either way, but i don't think he'll win. He'll either not have enough left in the tank, or not be able to close w/ SB.

I like Indian Blessing, then BD in the King's Bishop. He's had some tough luck recently and the cut back to 7 furlongs will be great for him. And getting some weight from Munnings isn't bad either.

Brian Zipse said...

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Race 9 - Ballston Spa
Salve Germania - Rutherienne
Exacta Paid $204.50

Celeste said...

All were exciting races! I was hoping for Indian Blessing to get her winning form back, but she was not too shabby. King's Bishop, I was happy to see Vineyard Haven doing so well, but man, it would have been cool if he could run straight, but on the other hand, I've liked Capt. Candyman Can a long time, so that wasn't a bad outcome in my opinion either. Summer Bird rocks and I have liked Hold Me Back in his past efforts and was glad to see that Quality Road did not simply go backward. I think with more seasoning, he can get the distance.

Ernie said...

Spectacular call, Brian. Way to go