Greetings from Saratoga Springs,
The first ten days of the meet have come and gone with a lot of surprises. Shippers dominating early and Graded Stakes top horses biting the dust.
This is my sixth full year at Saratoga, and I can tell you this is a bit different.
I am sure you have heard they added materials to the track, and it seems to have its detractors, but there is a few other reasons we have had some uncertainties.
Every SPA meet so far I have been part of, Chad Brown and Todd Pletcher have horses ready to run the first week of the meet. This year has been a bit different. Chad didn't debut a baby until this past weekend and Todd blew two odds on first time starters the first weekend. That's a rarity, but why?
Two years ago on the fourth of July weekend we got sneak peek at Frosted for Darley on the main track. Last year the main track opened up even earlier, and one morning we had 17 different gate sets. This year it was quiet. The main track was deep and trainers were a bit cautious to go and set down their young horses. Then, the Belmont contingency didn't show up until almost opening day, ten days ago.
As much as Oklahoma training track is a great facility, its not the main track, and horses can only get so fit, especially this year where it was deeper and sandier. The perfect storm. A deeper, new sandier track and a later start.
Add rain, a few days of it, and the track, with this new clay and sand content, has struggled some. As of late, jocks have been reporting its two types of tracks: Dry on top, wet underneath, a track that's not really aspiring to have your horses work hard over. In fact, the first couple of days, I found myself writing how horses were in maintenance mode and some all the way out to the middle of the track.
Then came last weekend where two break downs inside the stretch run shook everyone up. Do I blame the track? No. Anytime at the start of the meet, horses with pre-existing conditions are vulnerable over a new surface. It just adds to the dribble.
All of the above leads to a confusing few days, however, working on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday cards of this week, horses from morning works on the main and Oklahoma and from the training track turf course are starting to pop up looking fit and ready.
Del Mar was also in the same boat as the first works over the Del Mar surface took place the Saturday before, five days before the start of the meet.
The first few of any meet, I label 'chaos cards' (some of you saw it at Del Mar too), new surface, new surroundings, mass hysteria. Anywhere I have clocked and handicapped those are the days to watch and not thrown down with both hands (I need to heed my own words).
Unfortunately, can't teach old dogs new tricks, and players love to open the billfold nice and wide early. They are not alone.
We are NOW getting into the zone I feel comfortable, we got horses getting fitter, and are accustomed to this track, and that's where we shine. I can see it after we had over 2380 horses work here over a 10 day period of July 15 and July 30.
This is a different Saratoga this month and you may see a horse that ran on opening week, off the layoff or first time out, that will improve dramatically second time over the surface, in fact, I'll be betting on it!
From Bruno's desk ~
Some of you have noticed that you cannot go back and reopen a file. You won't be able to do that any longer and here is why?:
I was thoroughly confused with what our analytics from the site showed, for example, Joe Smith having 27 downloads in one day of the same product. Joe Smith is lazy. He opens the file, doesn't save and goes back and forth on the site between his download and whatever else he has going. It meant he was opening the file 27 times a day. Any of you who count on your analytics for your business, understand, that is confusing. The solution is simple Save Your File, but it didn't end there. Joe Smith kept doing it everyday and then in panic mode contacting me to send him a new file. I have got 1500 Joe Smiths. The answer is simple for Joe, SAVE YOUR FILE, the site is not made to withstand a packed house flipping back and forth, opening files. So please don't be like Joe, SAVE YOUR FILE. As you know I love to help, but can't do the important stuff If I am constantly bailing out Joe (and there was a lot of Joes).
Bruno WiththeWorks The Book
Bruno De Julio, author of the 2005 Bruno on Workouts: Exposing the Mystery, is helping handicappers and horseplayers once again. In partnership with Brisnet.com, De Julio, Racingwithbruno will be releasing Bruno WiththeWorks in April of 2017 with 12.5 % of the book sales donated to Old Friends Retired Racehorses Retirement home.
Industry leaders, and handicappers expressed great enthusiasm over the 2005 Bruno on Workouts:
Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown winning trainer, Bob Baffert said this about Bruno on Workouts in 2005: “In the sport of Horse racing, the only way to survive is to outlast your competition. You can't do that if you're not good at what you do. Bruno has proven throughout the years he is very good at what he does. I have always trusted his judgement and ability.”
“I never really saw horses until I saw them through Bruno's eyes. For understanding how a throroughbred ran and will run, he has true vision.” Mark Cramer -- author of Kinky Handicapping.
Horseplayers like AL K.,the backbone of the industry, found Bruno on Workouts extremely helpful in 2015: " I just want to send a thanks to you on your work Bruno On Workouts and the impact that it has had on me. I read your book last fall and have re-read it twice since then. Your book has allowed me to look at races and workouts a little differently and I am spending more time handicapping the races I do play. Win or lose, I am playing with more confidence, standing by the decisions I make, trying to learn from my bets, and I am not playing scared. Thanks for helping me find the fun in the game again!, Al."
Bruno on Workouts has stood the test of time but in eleven years some things have changed. Its time for a bigger, better Bruno WiththeWorks:
The NEW version of Bruno WiththeWorks will feature Brisnet past performance data covering Clocking, types of works, in depth analysis of why workouts are one of the most important handicapping factors , and much much more. The book will be in print and e-book format for all Kindle, Tablets, and smart phones. Release date is TBD.
Racingwithbruno and Brisnet team up daily at Racingwithbruno.com and Brisnet.com.
Also follow Racingwithbruno’s Bruno, Amy Kearns, Mike Miaskisz,Gino Buccola, Andy Villanueva and Dane Nelson on Twitter at @Racingwithbruno,@amy_christineK, @racehorsetimer, @mikesaratoga,@avillanueva3rd and @itsmeginob.