I hate using this section to have to address people with no sense of decency and/or respect, but here we are. During Wednesday’s card at Saratoga, NYRA paddock reporter Maggie Wolfendale tweeted news of a horrifying encounter with an older man who ran up to her, grabbed her hair, and bragged about it.
If you think this behavior, or behavior like it, is in any way acceptable, please stop reading anything I produce (either in The Pink Sheet or on my website) immediately. I want nothing to do with anyone who thinks it’s okay to physically harass women in that way. Additionally, if you saw this happen and can identify the perpetrator in question, please contact NYRA security so this clown can be banned from the premises.
WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS: Speke didn’t break and was second all the way around the racetrack, thus foiling $20 worth of double tickets.
THURSDAY’S PLAY: It’s another perplexing card, so I’m treading fairly lightly. I’ll focus on the fifth race, and while #9 POTOMAC is the horse to beat, my exactas key possible overlay #7 GIO LUCKY, who’s wheeled back quickly by a trainer who has shown an ability to win with such runners. I’ll use that one above and below #1 FLATEXCEL, #3 SOUTHEAST, and Potomac in $3 bets.
TOTAL WAGERED: $18
Best Bet: Pink Twist, Race 7
Longshot: Codrington, Race 8
Miss After School
#4 TIME WARP: Gets my nod in a race where I could not possibly have less of an opinion (heck of a start, right?). This pick is solely because I think she’s much, much better than she showed in her debut, where she missed the break and paid dearly for it; #6 MOLLY’S PARTY: Was third going shorter early in the meet and stretches out at second asking. I’m not sure she wants to go this long, but of the ones in here with experience, she has by far the best recent effort; #7 MISS AFTER SCHOOL: Hasn’t worked particularly quickly ahead of her debut, but she’s bred to want this trip, Joel Rosario signs on, and she’ll likely be a square price.
#6 BROOKLYN GERTY: Returns after more than a year away and has a few recent works that indicate she’s ready to run. Additionally, she catches what seems like a soft field for the level; #3 MALARKEY: Has finished second in both of her dirt starts and ran reasonably well last time out at this level. John Velazquez keeps the mount, and she figures to be prominent early; #1 FREE KITTY: Is 0 for 13 lifetime, but generally runs the same race every time out, and such an effort is likely good enough for a piece of it here.
The Mason Factor
#1 DOVE SHOOT: Led most of the way in his debut going slightly longer downstate. That day’s runner-up has since come back to win, and his early zip should be on display given the rail draw; #8 THE MASON FACTOR: Woke up last time out going short on turf at Belmont. He was second going seven furlongs that day, and while I’m a bit skeptical of if he’ll want even less ground, a repeat of that effort gives him a shot; #5 CROSS MULTIPLY: Adds blinkers after tiring going longer earlier in the meet. He’s got experience going short on turf, and he may be in a position to sit back and make one big late run beneath Joel Rosario.
Single Gem (MTO)
Phone Funky Munky
#3 CONGRUITY: Wired a similar field downstate that included many runners in this event. He had a perfect trip that day, but this heat seems to have a similar lack of early speed, one he could capitalize on; #10 PHONE FUNKY MUNKY: Drops in for a tag after three unsuccessful starts against allowance foes. He ran well here twice last year and could appreciate the class relief; #5 MICHAEL WONDERFUL: Was a beaten favorite last time out at this level, but his lone prior start around two turns was his lone win to date. In that race, he beat my top pick in this very event. DIRT SELECTIONS: SINGLE GEM, MAIMO, ESPRESSO CALIENTE.
#9 POTOMAC: Will likely be favored after putting it all together in the mud at Belmont Park. He tries winners, and while he may be overbet, he seems like the most likely winner; #3 SOUTHEAST: Drops down in class after falling victim to a paceless race earlier in the meet. His sprints from earlier in the year weren’t bad, and he’d benefit from fast early fractions; #7 GIO LUCKY: Gets a rider switch to Javier Castellano and is wheeled back quickly by a barn that’s had success with similar runners in the past.
Secret Passage (MTO)
#4 TICONDEROGA: Was my top pick in the rescheduled Lure Stakes and looms large provided this race stays on the turf. He’s run against top-class opposition in the past and has done some of his best running around two turns; #7 AQUAPHOBIA: Is another that may benefit from going to a two-turn route of ground. Toss the Grade 2 San Luis Rey, and you’re left with a runner that hasn’t run a bad race since being claimed last fall; #8 SIDING SPRING: Returns off a long layoff and figures to be prominent early. He’s been gelded, and he may have the speed to clear this field early. DIRT SELECTIONS: SECRET PASSAGE, TEAM COLORS, SIDING SPRING.
My Girl Annie
#5 PINK TWIST: Beat many of today’s rivals when second in an allowance downstate. She goes two turns for the first time, but she’s worked well and has the pedigree to handle this trip; #2 PUFFERY: Was beaten a length and a half by my top selection last time out. She’s got plenty of tactical speed, and John Velazquez retains the mount; #1 MY GIRL ANNIE: Improved when stretched out to two turns last week. She was second that day, and while this is a better field, at least the distance isn’t much of a question mark.
#2 GOODBYE BROCKLEY: Won going long two back before finishing a close-up second going seven furlongs. She gets an extra furlong here, and that seems like the trip she wants; #3 KREESIE: Beat my top pick two back and tries two turns for the first time. She’s got plenty of talent, but she may need more pace in front of her than she’ll get; #7 CODRINGTON: Has run well here in the past and may have been compromised by the yielding going earlier in the meet. If the ground is on the firmer side of the spectrum, it will play to her strengths, and in that instance, the morning line strikes me as an overlay.
#7 MAMA MARY: Ran well in her debut (which came up as a pretty tough event for the level) before not taking to a sloppy main track at all last time out. She goes back to the grass here, and assuming this stays on that surface, I’m expecting an improved performance; #2 ANDRETTA: Just missed when entered for a tag last time out, and was also very competitive here last year when put up to second in a DQ that puzzles me to this day. She’s shown talent and may get first run turning for home; #3 SOMETHING JOYFUL: Was second in her debut and is certainly a competitor if she’s right, but she hasn’t been seen in 11 months, so she may very well need this race.