Saratoga Diary: Picking Flowers, Picking Horses

Saratoga Diary: Picking Flowers, Picking Horses
Photo:
A crew from Martha Stewart Weddings magazine was in town for a photo shoot. They were taking pictures of flowers at The Surrey on the far end of North Broadway with a woman named Ariella Chezar, whose business is picking the right ones for arrangements.

After the shoot, Chezar and friends celebrated the end of their assignment with a dinner at Gotchya's, the new Beekman Street eatery that's becoming a fan favorite.

When it comes to décor, Gotchya's is to classy as Martha is to chaos. It's a noisy joint -- owing to the tight quarters and bare floors -- and cheesy, with black and white photos of Al Capone and the Rat Pack looking down at you from the walls as you dine.

Nevertheless, the seafood is scrumptious and the pasta al dante. How long this will last is a guess. The "hot spots" come and go like an appetite.

Not so for everything, though. The Wishing Well in Wilton is a restaurant that's time-tested. The same goes for Sergio's and Siro's, and to a certain degree, the Stadium Cafe and Hattie's. Some things stay constant in Saratoga. The way to bet winners is one of them.

For example, bet on Todd Pletcher's two-year-olds, regardless of odds. This year, the bobblehead-honored trainer has scored with seven different juveniles in stakes already, including Cotton Blossom at $17.40 and Octave at $21.60. He has swept Saratoga's three graded stakes for first year runners. Remarkably, he's equally adept with horses of older age.

On Friday, Pletcher saddled the easy winner Wait a While to victory in the $150,000 Lake Placid Stakes (gr. IIT) for three-year-old fillies on the grass. At even money, Wait a While was co-favorite with Lady of Venice, although at the end of the 1 – 1/8 mile, she proved much the better.

Garrett Gomez -- not John Velazquez -- rode the winner, and what can you say about that? Either Ron Anderson, his agent, is better at handicapping than Angel Cordero Jr., the agent for Velazquez, or Pletcher has two first string riders to accommodate his thriving business.

Velazquez rode a race on Thursday that showed he's on top of his game. He took Baymont from the number ten spot to win on the turf, weaving in between horses at the end.

Gomez matched him minutes later with a lesson in perseverance. He never gave up on Octave when the filly was going no place, and guess what – she, too, won.

Wedded to each other like polygamists, the trainer and jockeys roll on.

Most Popular Stories