Thursday, August 2, 2012

Showdown at the Spa: Day 13

DiDonato: Thursday - Krissy Kat finished a decent wide-trip third at 7-1, but wasn’t quite good enough. At least she wasn’t scratched!

Today - Race 6 - Msw, (S), 3yo/up, f/m, 5 1/2fT - #3 Cape Cod Carol (8-1)    Cape Cod Carol has had three rough trips from three turf tries this year, and while the pilot who was aboard for two of those three runs returns, I can't resist giving her one more chance. A distant fourth in the slop here last term, Cape Cod Carol resurfaced at Belmont June 16 for her grass bow. Taken back early after steadying at the start, she was forced to check again in the lane before finding a seam and putting in a nice late run to be fourth, beaten 3/4 of a length. The top two finishers controlled things throughout, so it's not as if the race collapsed. Jose Lezcano then took over from the always-patient Junior Alvarado July 1, and the new rider gunned Cape Cod Carol to the lead through a :21.59 quarter--she dueled with return opponent Drinksonthehouse before fading to 9th (that foe checked in seventh, and is a bit interesting here as well). A.P. Hutchy, who enjoyed a perfect pocket position in that July 1 affair, figures to be a big favorite here off her dream-trip second-place finish. Back to Cape Cod Carol--Alvarado climbed back aboard July 15, and he again took her very far back. She appeared to have run turning into the stretch, but her rider jammed on the brakes despite what appeared to be plenty of room down on the inside. Alvarado eventually got her going again, however, and Cape Cod Carol put in fastest-of-the-field final furlong in :11.95 to get up for third. The problem here is obvious--Alvarado's tentativeness has gotten Cape Cod Carol beaten twice now, but hopefully he's learned his lesson and will put her into the race a little earlier this time. He generally seems plenty competent. Play: $20 Win (Turf Only). Alternate 1: Race 8 - $20 Win on #2 Belle of the Hall. Alternate 2: Race 6 - $10 Win on #6 Drinksonthehouse (Turf Only). Bankroll: $755 - Record: 11–0-2-3.

Sherack: Thursday - Smokin’ Alice sat a perfect stalking trip behind the speed in fourth, but failed to land a blow in the stretch, reporting home a disappointing fourth as the 2-1 favorite. Back to shopping for value, for now.

Today - Race 6 - Msw, (S), 3yo/up, f/m, 5 1/2fT - #2 Jitney (8-1)   Have some concerns that Jitney may fall a bit too far back for her own good over this speed-favoring course, but still think that she could be live at a price here. The Team Millennium homebred ran a huge race to finish a close fourth--9-5 morning-line favorite A.P. Hutchy was second, beaten a neck, after sitting a perfect trip that day--going six furlongs versus similar in her turf debut at Belmont July 1. Outsprinted in eighth through hot fractions of :21.59 and :44.84, the chestnut zig-zagged her way through the stretch after altering course several times to come within a length of the winner, good for a very respectable 71 Beyer. Stretched out to 1 1/16 miles on the July 20 opening-day program, she showed some early interest to press in second, but clearly wanted no part of the added distance and tired badly to report home ninth. Love that she returns on relatively short notice for this, and the Hertler barn, despite a very quiet year (five winners from 77 starters) so far, is more than capable of delivering upstate. From a five-horse sample at the Spa this summer, the Hertler stable hit the board with Considerate, who placed a decent third at 13-1 to Hessonite in the Irish Linnet S. July 27. Barrel of Love failed to finish in the money, but gave her supporters a good run at 9-1 after leading in the stretch before getting swallowed up late to finish a close fifth. Hertler had his picture taken twice at Saratoga last year, with both wins coming courtesy of Miss Vindictive; he also hit the board with a handful of longshots in 2011 as well. Play: $25 Win (Turf Only). Alternate 1: Race 7 - $25 Win (Turf Only) on #7 Never On Time. Alternate 2: Race 3 - $20 Win on #7 Smart Believer. Bankroll: $1,328.50 - Record: 12-4-1-0.

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