Deja Vu

Good horse racing is becoming the staple of Saturdays.  But this time it was racing for two-year-olds - the kind most players have trouble handicapping.  NYRA must have presented some sort of fan-producing promotion - a free trinket for people who wore Tommy Bahamas shirts or a discount to seniors with nose hair.  But whatever the promotion du jour might have been, it wasn't very apparent to those who came to see horses run. 

Races two, six and eight were for maiden juveniles. A 1-1/16 mile turf race was squeezed between sprints.  The irrepressible Chad Brown, Saratoga's newest fascination from nearby Mechanicville, NY, saddled first-timer More Than Real in that one.  The filly displayed a long series of workouts at Oklahoma leading up to her victory, yet the buzz was for High Strider, a Todd Pletcher trainee.  Maybe next time.

The second race congregated New York-foaled colts.  Private Rules, a chestnut colt that breezed five furlongs with Musket Man in :59.4 for trainer Derek Ryan in preparation, didn't disappoint his owner Eric Fein. The eighth race unveiled open company horses with lofty aspirations.  Stonestreet's Brock, a $2.3 million Distorted Humor colt, was the main curiosity.  He beat only horse.  Repole Stable's impressive Stay Thirsty, at 4-5, was the winner.

The first of two déjà vu occurrences took place in the third when Bulldogger won.  The smart Dixie Union colt broke his maiden at Saratoga last August and was headed for glory before his shins got the better of him. Trainer Bob Baffert ran him at Santa Anita in March, but that didn't suit him. Bulldogger, now two for two at the Spa and two for three overall, might be headed for the Gr.1 King's Bishop.

Race 10 was the $500,000 Gr. 1 Sword Dancer Invitational, a mile and a half stakes on the inner turf course.  Telling, a bay horse by A.P.Indy out of a Deputy Minister mare, paid $22.60 in the feature, far too much for a runner that won this event the last time they held it. In 2009, Telling was 33-1 in the mutuels with Javier Castellano aboard.  He's not much for developing confidence. Yet, he's unbeaten at Saratoga.

Away from the racetrack, there's no truth to the rumor that Sam the Bugler will replace Maestro Charles Dutoit (spelled Duoit in The Saratogian) at the Philadelphia Orchestra.  Dutoit ended a 21-year term as principal conductor and artistic director on Thursday evening.  World-renown pianist Andre Watts headlined the orchestra's SPAC performance.  Rossen Milanov conducted.

Siro's upheld the city's reputation for yin yang with Disco Night.  The ‘70s pop singer Maxine Nightingale crushed it, despite fears that she couldn't. "Come for the horses, stay for the cougars," Micah Zajic, up from New York for the fifth time this season, joked.  "Stay thirsty," remarked Matty de Castro, a handicapper who picks winners by names that appeal to him.

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