On the biggest day of racing at the Saratoga meet -- Travers Day -- the racing was excellent and the results pretty good too.
I looked at the Pick 6 sequence (races 7-12) and gave you 24 selections (four per race). There were no scratches on any of my picks. Out of those selections, I had six winners, three seconds and three thirds. That's a 50% success rate. When you figure there were 18 "payable" spots available and I filled 12 of them, that's a 66% success rate.
I wondered whether the track would be the "graveyard of favorites" or the "favorites to the winner's circle" yesterday, and, the favorites held sway in the Pick 6 races. 5/2 was the highest winning payout out of the Pick 6 sequence. Here's how it went:
Race 7 -- Ballerina Stakes -- GAMINE (2/5) was much the best and I had her and the third place finisher CeCe. Johnny V and Bob Baffert may just have the best older filly and mare in racing this year in Gamine. An impressive 1:21:61 for the seven furlongs.
Race 8 -- Forego Stakes -- Favorite YAUPON (2-1) got to the wire first and I gave you that one. Ricardo Santana and Steve Asmussen teamed up for the win. The seen furlongs were contested in 1:21:74, just a tad slower than the Ballerina Stakes. This one will long be remembered for FIRENZE FIRE trying to bite YAUPON as the two battled down the stretch. Who did he think he was, Mike Tyson?
Race 9 -- Allen Jerkins Memorial Stakes -- JACKIE'S WARRIOR (3/2) is a beast and had no trouble with the rest. I gave you that one, plus Life Is Good for second and Following Sea for third. Asmussen again, with Joel Rosario riding. The Pick 3 paid a paltry $17.40 on the $1 bet. The time of 1:21:39 for the seven furlongs beat the winning times for the Ballerina and Forego.
Race 10 -- Personal Ensign Stakes -- LETRUSKA was the 3/5 favorite and ran like it. I had that one. Trained by Fausto Gutierrez and ridden by Irad Ortiz, they held off Bonny South in the stretch. LETRUSKA was probably my "best bet" of the day, if I did such things, and paid $3.50 on a $2 win bet.
Race 11 -- Sword Dancer Stakes -- GUFO went off at 5/2 and proven to be the best, holding off Japan. I had both of those, plus third place finisher Cross Border. Joel Rosario got his second win of the Pick 6 sequence, and Gufo is trained by Christophe Clement.
Race 12 -- The Travers -- Most figured this to be a two horse race, but ESSENTIAL QUALITY (1/2) took control in the stretch and said "See Ya!" to the rest. I gave you him and the second place runner Midnight Bourbon. Brad Cox trained and ridden by Luis Saez, they covered the Derby distance of 1-1/4 miles in 2:01:96. This Pick 3 paid $29.80 on the $1 try and the Pick 6 returned $226.00 on a $1 wager.
We can pick the winners, and we did yesterday, we just can't pick what we'll get paid.
We'll give it go next week. They'll be running at Kentucky Downs over the Labor Day weekend and it's always fun to try and figure out the fields on that turf course.