The Dog Days of Summer ahead & Pick 4 now
By Shawn Rychling
The old expression “The Dog Days of Summer” goes back to ancient Rome and is supposed to occur during the period that Sirius, the “Dog Star,” rises at the same time as the sun. According to Wikipedia, for what they are worth, it was/is the 40-day period from July 3 to August 11, and it was marked by heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck. They are now taken to be the hottest, most uncomfortable part of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
Years ago, the Dog Days were always associated with baseball. We baseball fans thought of it primarily as the month of August, which for baseball teams is the fifth month of season and the time when injuries and travel catch up with them. And it was also when the fate of a team’s pennant race chances were likely sealed and it became easy to start mailing it in. Lethargy indeed!
For horseplayers in New York – or at least this horseplayer – the Dog Days begin shortly after the Belmont Stakes. It’s the time between the Triple Crown’s third jewel and Opening Say at Saratoga. This is a certainly a time marked by lethargy, bad luck, and at times indifference, just like those baseball players who may be out of the pennant race.
But the Dog Days will end on Friday, July 20 as Saratoga opens for a 4-day weekend and then is followed by six consecutive six-day weeks. Full weeks of racing seem to be very rare around NYRA these days! The 40-day Spa meet, which includes 69 stakes worth $18.8 million in purses, will run through Labor Day, Monday, September 3. It’s the oasis of our racing year.
The 149th Travers Stakes will be held Saturday, Aug. 25. Perhaps we’ll see Justify – the second time in four years a Triple-Crown winner would start in the Midsummer Derby.
NYRA schedules so many events and special days around Saratoga now that it can make your head spin. Don’t let the racing get lost in all the fanfare. And even though the racing is the star, make it a point to go to breakfast and then stay until the sun goes down as the beginning and end of the day at Saratoga are the most relaxing hours of the entire year!
Still a few weeks of Belmont to go and here is our grid for Saturday’s early Pick 4
A B C
Race 2 4, 6 3 5, 9, 11
Race 3 1 3 2, 6
Race 4 3, 4 7 5
Race 5 9 5 7
Best of luck and find out how to get all our Hot List analysis for at Interbets.com.
Just 28 days until Saratoga!