Whitney Day…LIVE!!

7:36 PM EDT

There’s still one Grade I left in America and all eyes will be on Zensational.  Here are some initial thoughts about the Grade I winners we’ve seen so far:

FLASHING– The cutback in distance obviously did it for this gal as she exited a horrendous drubbing at the hands of Rachel Alexandra.  This event seemed more like a war of attrition than a tour de force, however, the final time was a spritely 1:22.40 (pending re-analysis after a teletimer malfunction).  This filly is obviously geared more towards sprinting and is obviously capable of capitalizing on a great setup.

BULLSBAY– I’ll readily admit that I didn’t see this result coming.  A race that went from looking like it might be another Whitney runaway for Commentator became a considerable upset as the son of Tiznow, Bullsbay, powered home in solid fashion.  Let’s be honest though, Bullsbay is hardly a legitimate handicap horse and this race just illustrated what a lackluster group is the older male division right now.

TAKE THE POINTS– After two close finishes behind Battle of Hastings at Colonial, this son of Even the Score proved best under a perfect ride by Kent Desormeaux.  This race lacked a standout and it seemed like the known quantities rose to the top.  Take the Points is a versatile animal who has developed steadily and obviously doesn’t need to take his course with him as the boggier going bothered him not in the Secretariat.

DYNAFORCE– The two wins this mare has earned in America have been in Grade I races where she upset a heavy favorite on wet turf by getting the jump.  She received another perfect ride by Kent Desormeaux and stayed on nicely.  Trainer Bill Mott is very dangerous with horses going 2nd off layoffs and this gal obviously prefers turf with a bit more give.  Look for her to come back in the Flower Bowl and should excel if there’s a bit of rain leading up to it.

GIO PONTI– The Million featured three horses who hail from a category that you can’t find in a racing publication as Gio Ponti, Einstein, and Presious Passion are old warriors who always run their race.  This rapidly improving son of Tale of the Cat just went about his business once again and kicked clear off the turn to win by a length.  He is beyond versatile as he’s now won at 8 furlongs on firm turf, 8 furlongs on Pro-Ride, 10 furlongs on 3 occasions and 11 furlongs.  That’s what you call consistency.

We still get to see what Zensational has in his holster as his punishing early speed should be on full display in the Bing Crosby.


5:00 PM EDT

I’ve neglected to stay on top of the live blog but being at the wagering facility makes it tougher.  How about Kent Desormeaux on the green at Arlington today?  I’ve been as big a Desormeaux detractor as any over the years but the guy can flat out ride on the spinach.  He put Dynaforce in the perfect spot from the get-go and she is now a two-time Grade I winner with the lone similarity between the two wins being the boggy condition.

The Test is a minute away and we’re rolling the Capital OTB Pick 4 for the patrons with Cat Moves.

3:25 PM EDT

Well, Afrikaner did what he was supposed to do and it was nice to see Cornelio Velasquez get it going a bit with back-to-back wins aboard Fort McCoy and Immortal Eyes.  Is there a better trainer on the circuit than Angel Penna given the run he’s been on since earlier this year?

It’s time to start constructing a Pick 6.  I’m thinking it’ll be more a fort than a mansion considering it behooves all punters to hold a bit in the kitty for the Pick 4.

2:20 PM EDT

They’re through three on Whitney day at Saratoga and it’s been all mid-range prices thus far.  My top pick in the opener, Brecciate, came roaring down the center of the track and scored at 7-1 and he was followed by Andiron in the 2nd and Fort McCoy in Race 3.

The 4th features a bulky field and the board is wide-open now with #3 THIEFONTHERUN (FIRST-TIME GELDING) currently on the board at 3-1.  He obviously rates a big chance going 2nd off a layoff for a barn that is overdue to get things going.  I’ll take #2 SHAREHOLDER DUES at a juicy 11-1.

I’ll be back shortly with looks at the Pick 6 (carryover of 140k) and Pick 4 (guaranteed pool of 500k)


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