My theme for Saratoga this year has been more about defeat than victory. Yesterday was a punishing day in that regard. I had two winners on top but I talked myself out of another few which could have made a big difference.
On my initial scan over the card I had tabbed Working Class Hero as the most likely winner of the second race but I was plagued by second guessing after a rough first day and I switched to the more heavily backed Woodacre instead. Working Class Hero got first run on Woodacre and just wouldn't quit in the lane. He paid $19.20.
Something else I had intended to do was to play Linda Rice's horses in Turf sprints. I was all set to do so with We're Hooked in the 6th and Ahvee's Destiny in the 8th but Rice scratched Ahvee's Destiny and instead of gravitating towards her second entry in the race I went with my original second choice. Awakino Cat paid $20.20 to those that kept faith in the Queen of Turf Sprints.
Once again I had zero returns in my plays of the day. I need to start cashing a few tickets before the losses get out of hand.
The Sanford was an exciting race to watch even if it wasn't the highest quality affair. Backtalk showed his professionalism and nose for the wire with his third straight win over a tightly bunched group of 4 other horses. Generally blanked finishes like this in dirt races mean that the race was not very good and that is the general impression I'm left with. Bulls and Bears looks like the best of this group after having a terrible trip and only losing by 1 1/4 lengths. Most of his trouble was self inflicted but it was still legitimate trouble that made all the difference between victory and defeat. Play him back when he shows up next at this meet.
A few other quick observations I've made. Turf Sprints seem to be going to late runners while having early speed or good tactical speed seems to be more important for two turn races on the grass. Nobody wired a two turn grass race yesterday but two horses at 17/1 and 11/1 nearly pulled it off.