Saratoga Notebook: Day Reflects on Record; Fillies Moving On to Spinaway; Mayakovsky Undergoes Surgery

Saratoga Notebook: Day Reflects on Record; Fillies Moving On to Spinaway; Mayakovsky Undergoes Surgery
Photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese
Pat Day: "...we just wanted to, as per my father's instructions, 'do the best that you can possibly do'."
Approximately an hour after he became racing's leader in purse money won by a jockey, Pat Day was in a private jet on his way from Saratoga Springs for a riding engagement in the West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park. The celebration had to wait.

Day moved past Chris McCarron to the top of the earnings list by guiding With Anticipation to his second consecutive victory in the Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. I). With Anticipation was stuck behind horses at the top of the stretch, but Day swung him to the outside for some running room and he overtook Denon near the wire to win by a head.

Following the winner's circle ceremony, Day flew from the Saratoga County Airport to Pittsburgh and then took a van ride to the track. He was back at his home in Saratoga Springs by about 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

"I wouldn't characterize it as another day at the office," Day said. "It was a great, great, great day.

"Just to win a grade I, $500,000 race is pretty special. To have eclipsed the all-time earnings mark in a race in the way this old boy got it done, that's what horse racing is all about. I'm just so blessed, so priviledged to be a part of it."

Day said he never could have anticipated reaching the heights he's attained during his Hall of Fame career.

"When we started, we just wanted to, as per my father's instructions, do the best that you can possibly do," he said. "When my mom and dad were raising my brother and two sisters and I, that's what they kept impressing upon us. Dad said he didn't care what we done, as long as we done it to the best ofour ability. It didn't matter if we were a rocket scientist or a ditch digger, just do the best job you can possibly do.

"That's been my approach. When I first started, I wanted to do the best that I could possibly do and go as far as the talent and the ability and opportunities would take me.

"Wow. It seemed like I turned around twice and here it is 29 years later and I'mm the all-time leading money-earner. It's hard for me to fathom. It's hard to digest. It's hard to comprehend. It's like a dream and in that case, please don't wake me up."

Mayakovsky Corrects Breathing Problem
Michael Tabor's sprinter Mayakovsky underwent a myectomy Sunday morning to correct a breathing problem and will miss the King's Bishop (gr.I) on Aug. 24. Trainer Patrick Biancone said the colt flipped his palate while finishing fourth in the Amsterdam Stakes (gr.II)on Aug. 3.

"He came out of the operation very good," Biancone said. "It was a very small thing. A five-minute operation."

Biancone said Mayakovsky will miss two weeks of training to allow the surgery to heal. He is likely to make his next start in September at Belmont Park in either the Jerome (gr.II) or the Vosburgh (gr.I)

Awesome Humor on to Spinaway
Awesome Humor was resting quietly in her stall Tuesday morning, about 14 hours after adding a victory in the grade II Adirondack to her resume. Her next start is expected to be in the Spinaway (gr.I).

The Distorted Humor filly was purchased by WinStar Farm following her two-length victory in the Debutante (gr.III) at Churchill Downs on July 6. In the Adirondack, Awesome Humor finished 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Stellar.

"She came out very good," said Ryan Van Tilburg, assistant to trainer Elliott Walden. "She ate up last night good, looks good
this morning."

Van Tilburg nodded toward Awesome Humor's stall in the middle of the barn.

"She ran very well. We're very impressed with her. She's quite a kind filly," he said.

"Typically, early in the spring and summer a lot of these fillies and colts are high-stung speedballs that you never hear from again after the races go past 6 1/2 furlongs. She's not that way. You can do anything you want with her in the morning.

"If you watch her train in the morning she'll go around there kind of at her own pace. She's very mild-mannered."

In the Debutante, Awesome Humor was bumped coming out of the gate, got away slowly and was forced to win coming from off the pace. The Adirondack was a different scenario. She led the 6 1/2 furlong race from gate to wire under Pat Day.

"We didn't quite expect her to go to the front," Van Tilburg said. "She caught everybody by surprise when she broke so sharp from the gate."

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Holiday Runner was fine Tuesday morning following her third-place finish in the Adirondack (gr.II) Monday afternoon.

It was Meadowlake filly's first loss in four career starts. She had not run since winning the Fashion at Belmont Park on June 6.

"I think she needed the race more than I realized," Lukas said.
"She just wasn't as sharp as she's been all spring. I think she'll move forward off of that and be fine."

Lukas said it was likely Holiday Runner would make her next start in the Spinaway (gr.I).

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