On Thursday, August 11th the late Pick-4 is all about turf racing. So if you love the green grass at the Spa, you should definitely plan on throwing down a bet. The late Pick-4 at Saratoga has been attracting a nice handle averaging around $350,000, which has resulted in generous payoffs for sharp players. Here is an early look at the Pick Four action including free Saratoga picks for each race.
Race 7 – Lucy Scribner Stakes
5 ½ Furlongs | Fillies | 3 Year Olds | Purse: $75,000
Top Choice: Funny Sunny
Won her last race going six furlongs at Gulfstream Park, but that was over 5 months ago and on a fast dirt track. While she doesn’t look exactly suited for a grass race, her connections might have something up their sleeve. Her speed figures at Gulfstream tower over the competition and she may be able to steal this race on the lead.
Other Options: Ms. Cruisen an allowance winner at Parx Racing and Doing Great who won the $50k Oakley Stakes by over six lengths at Colonial Downs.
Race 8 – New York Stallion Series Stakes
1 Mile | Open | 3 Year Olds | Purse: $100,000
Top Choice: Hessonite
Dropping down from Grade 3 company, where she finished 3rd against a much tougher field. She went off at odds of 10-1 and just missed 2nd place by a head. Her best performances on the turf have a higher speed rating than her competition here and she should like the mile distance.
Other Options: Freud’s Honour had a sharp 5 furlong workout and ships from Monmouth, she won her last race at odds of 18-1. Lady On The Run comes out of a win in a state-bred allowance event at Belmont on June 23; her last workout at Belmont looked great.
Race 9 – Maiden Claiming $75k
1 1/16 Miles | Open | 2 Year Olds | Purse: $36,000
Top Choice: Golden Noble
This first time starter’s dam, Goldendale, has 2 winners from 5 starters with one of those over turf. While Nick Zito isn’t known for having a high win percentage with his first time starters, he is winning at a 15% rate overall for 2011. This colt also has the extra advantage of having worked over the turf at Saratoga, where he went 4 furlongs in a respectable 49:60.
Other Options: If you’re too nervous to bet on a first time starter consider Ventura Bar or Knock Rock.
Race 10 – Claiming $20k
1 Mile | Open | 3 Year Olds And Up | Purse: $26,000
Top Choice: Midnite Silver
Ran against some of the best turf runners in the US two back in the Grade 1 Man o’ War Stakes at Belmont Park around this time last year and now shows up in a $20k claimer, after only making one start in 2011. While sometimes these huge class drops make horseplayers suspicious of form, let’s hope Midnite Silver’s connections are serious about winning one and getting this horse back on the right track.
Other Options: Pampered Sir is trying turf for the first time, hoping for some better luck.
Leadwithyourchin is a 9-year-old veteran who has done well at the $20k claiming level with plenty of on-the-board finishes.