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Saratoga Showers

While she obviously didn’t like the slop at Saratoga the other day (finishing last after tying up in the Schuylerville, which was won by Jardin), Ocean Colors is still very much on my ‘watch’ list. Bill Finley’s article on her prior to the race is well worth checking out; here’s hoping for a more successful return next time out. As to the 2-year-old boys, it seems all we can say at this point is that Desert Party doesn’t mind a little mud and traffic.

Visionaire is a winner again; he seems much more comfortable as a sprinter/miler and his win yesterday against some respectable older horses including Street Magician and Out of Gwedda earns him a start in the King’s Bishop. It’s sort of a mini Win and You’re In.

The Win and You’re In issue is being much discussed at Saratoga; the Times Union argues that it should mean that the Breeders’ Cup entry fee is waived for winners of designated races. I’ve gone back and forth on it myself; I don’t think any of the already-nominated horses should get a free pass (nor do I think regally-bred foals won’t be nominated), but for the ex-claimer from nowhere who gets in by a fluke (and let’s face it, it’s going to be a comparatively rare, if easy to promote, storyline), go ahead and let them join the party for free.

In any event, this should be a fun weekend – Da’ Tara returns in the Jim Dandy (as does stablemate Anak Nakal) on Sunday, but before that Nick Zito also sends out his old warhorse Commentator in the Whitney. I also have an eye on Solar Flare, a recent import from Argentina now in the care of Larry Jones, and am curious to see which Grasshopper shows up for the race.

In addition, Ginger Punch looks pretty unbeatable in the Go for Wand, even though she will be carrying a lot of weight, and Thor’s Echo is back Stateside for the Vanderbilt.

Meanwhile, across the pond, Aiden O’Brien seems unable to lose; he has Duke Of Marmalade running on Saturday in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and Glorious Goodwood kicks off next week, with Henrythenavigator looking to clean up in the Sussex Stakes. Also of note in the article is that ‘underperforming‘ fixtures on the British racing calendar have been axed, so that even with new races added, the total number is down. Imagine if all (well, more of) American racing were short, high-quality meetings like Saratoga…

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