By Vic Zast
Inclement weather is wreaking havoc with Saratoga.
Yesterday, two men in tights from the New York City Ballet called off
their trophy presentation to the winners of the third race because the rain
would have ruined their costumes.
Tonight, the trainers opted out of their softball game against the Saratoga Springs police
force because the field was too waterlogged to play. Horseplayers are hating
Even the information booth outside of the main entrance is
an island surrounded by a 15 foot moat.
You have to shout your questions to the guy manning it from a distance
or get your shins soaked. Capital OTB
must be reaping a real bonanza. Who
wants to sit in the mud with the rain falling down?
Obviously, some people do. A crowd of more than 10,000 people
believed that the rain clouds would pass and by the third race they did. But the third race was the second and the
second was the first - that's the kind of day it was. Nevertheless, almost $2
million was bet at the track. It would
have been more had there not been only nine races to wager on.
NYRA cards a steeplechase race as the first race each
Thursday. This Thursday, there was no
"up-and-over" for anyone. The
rain-soaked sod, although safe for the horses and jockeys, required relief from
the beating it would take from the animal's sinking hooves.
"We're 30 feet off the rail, so we'd cause no damage to the
regular course, and yes, it's very unusual to get called off," said William
Gallo, director of racing for the National Steeplechase Association. "But we
understand that NYRA must protect its turf courses. We're delighted to have the
race rescheduled for next Wednesday," he said.
Rescheduling is what several horses that were entered but
not raced on Thursday must do. In particular, it was a big disappointment to
have three horses in the seven horse field for the 94th Sanford Stakes
(gr. 2) scratch. The $150,000 race for
two-year-olds lost Notonthesamepage, its pre-race favorite. Desert Party, a
$2.1 million yearling purchase by Darley, won. Desert Party has now triumphed
on two tracks - one synthetic, one sloppy.
Next, the Hopeful?
By the way, Notonthesamepage is trained by Wesley Ward and
was going to be ridden by Elvis Trujillo.
This duo appeared headed for a banner day with winners in the second
(really the first) and fourth (really the third) races, and a close second in
the sixth (really the fifth). They then
finished last in the eighth (make that seventh) and second last in the tenth
(make that ninth).
Prepping for the Travers, Visionaire, closing inside the
leaders under Allan Garcia, won a sprint. Kent Desormeaux had three losing
mounts. In the twilight of Friday, the Big Brown man should lift his 4,999 career
win total to 5000.