Today is the first of two twilight Friday race cards at the Spa or as NYRA calls it "Party at the Spa presented by Coors Light". First post goes off at 2:30 pm followed by free live music from the band Rockjunky at the Post area adjacent to the Paddock.
Expect a big crowd (although the weather calls for afternoon Thunderstorms to roll on through) for the card. Actually you can't even call this a twilight card as the last race goes off at 6:56 pm and Sunset is at 8:18 pm. I would love for the card to start at 3:30 and finish up just before 8 pm, allowing the after work crowd to see more of the card.
However the downtown restaurants and bars feel the late finishing time kills their early business so don't expect any additional late Friday cards to be added in the future.
If you do skip out of work early today and get to the track by 3:30 pm you have time to place a bet on the 3rd race, featuring the return of Ice Box, up against 5 others in an $57,000 Allowance Optional Claiming race of 1 1/8 miles. There is not much speed in this race for Ice Box to close on, so I'll take a pass, and go with Neil Howard's Wilkinson, who should go off at attractive odds if enough money flows to Ice Box and Convocation.
On Saturday, the Jim Dandy is all set on what should be a splendid weather day. You can see my take on handicapping the race over at the Thorofan website.