The Spa Spot: Wrapping up Day 22
Nice end to the week of racing with terrific weather and solid year-over-year increases in attendance and handle.
The weather on this day must have been horrible because the crowd was 9,166 and the on-track handle was a mere $1.3 million. So the percentage increases were huge: 71 percent for attendance to 15,712 and 67 percent for on-track handle to $2,298,650.
- You have to like Ramon Dominguez' chances of winning the riding title. He had four more winners Monday and leads the way with 39. Javier Castellano and Jose Lezcano are next with 21 each. Dominguez has ridden at least one winner on 18 of the 22 days and has had multiple winners 10 times. He tied the track record with six wins on July 22 and Monday was the second time he had four on a program.
- The eighth race was a two-mile affair won by Ea for his second victory in a week. It was the first two-mile race at the Spa since 2009 and an interesting departure from the usual fare. The runners that participated were not accustomed to going that far, the early pace was unrealistic, and the field was very stretched out at the finish.
- Three candidates for Saturday's Grade 1 Alabama had their final works Monday morning. Live Oak Plantation’s Zo turned in a 1:01.90 five-furlong breeze on the main track. Also breezing on the main track was Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can, who went four furlongs in 1:02.78 with jockey Rosie Napravnik aboard. Sea Island earned a bullet for her 48.20 four-furlong breeze on the Oklahoma training track.
Grace Hall, winner of the Delaware Oaks, arrived in trainer Tony Dutrow’s Saratoga barn from Delaware Park on Monday. Dutrow said Grace Hall will jog Tuesday.