I arrived at the Saratoga clubhouse Thursday seconds before the 5th race went off. I got a bet in just in time. Didn't win that one however. I didn't have time to handicap the races but luckily I did bet the 4th in advance on my way up. I placed a win bet on a John Shireffs-trained horse who got the job done at 5/2. I spent the remainder of the card making small win bets on longshots without any luck. Lost a little for the day. Beautiful weather at the Spa!
I wandered over to the Parting Glass Thursday night to catch Andy Serling's radio show. His guests were Tom Durkin, jockey Rajiv Maragh, and trainer Christophe Clement. Definitely worth catching if you are in Saratoga (or on the internet).
Friday I hit the very first daily double! But it only paid $8.60 and I lost money on my bet. I had an Ipad with me so I handicapped a Monmouth pick three and I hit it - .50 payoff of $26.35, which put me slightly ahead for the day. Then later on hit a nice $57 double for a buck. Michael Matz with Michelle Nevin. FYI, Michelle Nevin is 40 percent second off the claim! Her gelding Writingonthewall got up by a nostril and a nice $19.80 return. I finished Friday $50 ahead for the day.
On to Saturday - Jim Dandy Day! Once again I was handicapping a bit on other tracks. I hit a VERY small pick three at Woodbine (did you know they offer .20 pick threes?). Going into the Saratoga 5th, I was alive to three horses in the pick three but not to the $58 winner. However, the dude sitting behind me had him to hit a nice 4-figure pick four! The Saratoga 6th was a mile-and-a-half on the turf. Knowing that Jonathan Sheppard horses can run all day I placed a win bet on 7-1 Razzle Jazil. He wins it! Going into the Jim Dandy I am about exactly even for the day. I love Tonalist in the race and I am alive to him in a double. I bet a few more doubles with Tonalist and four others in the finale. But Wicked Strong gets the jump on him and Tonalist finishes second. And of course one of my horses in the finale wins at 7-1. It would have been a good day at the windows had Tonalist won but it was a slight loss on the day for me.
Sunday it rained a good deal in the AM at Saratoga so races were taken off the turf and there were plenty of scratches. It was getaway day for me but that doesn't mean no betting. I stopped at Vernon Downs about two hours west of Saratoga to play a couple Saratoga races. I play doubles on the 3rd and 4th race. Both favorites win but I get about double my bet back. So a slight win for day five.
Day six - Monday. I am home and it's my last day of vacation. I spend the morning doing laundry and handicapping Saratoga and the Meadows. More rain at the Spa so once again races are off the turf, many scratches, sloppy sealed track. Not good for betting the Spa so I focus mainly on the Meadows. My best bet at the Meadows wins but only returns 2-1. Picks threes aren't clicking but I do catch a 7-1 winner in the 11th. I'm betting a little at the Spa but it's a chalkfest early on. I did play a single $2.00 pick six and I get a little excited when I hit the first three legs. I have a couple longshots in the latter three races. Longshots indeed do win the last three legs but not my horses. A slight loss for the day for me.
Definitely had a great time the past six days. I cashed tickets each day and ended up with a small profit. The Saratoga experience is not to be missed. This was my 24th consecutive year of going. As usual I went to Breakfast at Saratoga in the morning. So relaxing and fun to see the horses, jockeys, and trainers. Angel Cordero was wandering around, and I got to see Palace Malice workout. He'll be going in the Whitney next weekend. And downtown Saratoga is great. SO much music going on - there is probably close to a dozen bands playing in the four-block stretch of downtown (and that doesn't include all the street musicians you see). If you haven't visted Saratoga during the racing season, make sure you get there!