The Spa Spot: Wrapping up Day 27
Lovely weather and a merchandise giveaway promotion produced a big crowd and significant increases in handle.
- The on-track attendance for the pilsner glass promotion was 58,701, which was a 15 percent jump over the 2011 figure of 50,870. The on-track handle jumped 38 percent to $3,917,912 and the total handle was up 44 percent to $16,178,714.
- Favorites ruled again, winning six of 10. For the meet, it's at 37.9 percent.
- Javier Castellano each won three races and to reach 30. Leading rider Ramon Dominguez and Rajiv Maragh each won twice. Dominguez has 45 and a shot at eclipsing the meet record of 65 set by John Velazquez during the 36-day meet in 2004.
- Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas won his first race of the season. Lukas, who turns 77 on September 2, is the leading money-winning trainer in history, owns a host of records and is one of racing's all-time greats. He was the leading trainer at Saratoga six times.
"What we've got is a bunch of horses bred to run a route and we're just now getting some of these route races," Lukas said. "We ran a bunch of horses earlier in the meet where we gave them an out, we embarrassed ourselves almost - running a Dynaformer at 5 1/2 furlongs , for example, and it just didn't work - but the ownership wanted to see them. Now, as we get into the fall, we'll be OK. We've got some awfully nice horses."
Lukas' 2-year-old, Broken Spell, won a 1 1/16 miles maiden race on the Mellon Turf Course.