The Spa Spot: 2012 Day 1 in the books
There were a few doubles on the first day of the 2012 season at Saratoga Race Course:
- Jockeys Rosie Napravnik, Joel Rosario, Ramon Dominguez and Javier Castellano won two races apiece.
- The Dutrow brothers, Anthony and Rick, won the stakes races on the program. Rick took the Grade 3 James Marvin with Pacific Ocean, who paid $14.20. Anthony, who also won the finale to complete the late double, won the Grade 3 Schuylerville with So Many Ways, who paid $7.60.
Rick Dutrow on Pacific Ocean's win: “I told a lot of people that called me … he was training so much better for this race than he was for his last race. In his last race, he had a bad post, there was a lot of speed, he was in a bad spot. Today was different. He had everything going his way. He was sitting on a race. He ran big. I have to see how he comes out of this race. He’s not the easiest horse in the world to handle. I have to see how things are and go from there. Naturally, the race at the end of the meet here [Grade 1 Forego, September 1] makes sense. It’s a big race and he likes this track."
Anthony Dutrow on So Many Ways' victory: “These young fillies were at a disadvantage with how the track was playing. I understand the track was favoring speed today. I told the entry clerk who took the entries we were going to win this race. I’ve won this race before [with Touch Love in 2001] with a horse that wasn't’t as fast as her. I thought we’d be in good shape out there with the way this filly can finish up and we were. I do think this filly will go on. Her pedigree says she’ll stretch out. Absolutely [I’ll] look at the Spinaway [Grade 1, September 2].”
- There were a couple of significant long shots that scored at the Graveyard of Favorite: Presumptive, who paid $75.50, and Nine O Wonderful, who opened the program with a win in the first race and paid $28.20
Of course, there were plenty of other singular pieces of news from the opener of the 144th season of racing in Saratoga Springs:
- Thanks in large part to Presumptive's upset victory, no one hit the Pick Six wager. There will be a $60,316.86 carryover into Saturday's program. The 14 bettors who selected five of the six winners in the bet received $1,436.
- Trainer Chad Brown, a native of Mechanicville, notched his first Spa winner of the season with Book Review in the fourth.
- Only three of the 10 races were won by favorites
- NYRA noted the passing of Hall of Fame trainer Frank "Pancho" Martin following the playing of the National Anthem. Martin, 86, died Wednesday. He trained some top-notch runners, like Autobiography and Sham, and was the leading trainer in New York for 10 consecutive years.