If you are a Pick-Four fanatic you have to love every Saturday at Saratoga. There is a guaranteed $500,000 pool on tap and that means a sweet payoff for those who can take it down. Last week we had some luck, and if the Wagering Gods are smiling, we may just have ourselves a fine day.
Race #9 – The (G-1) Prioress Stakes – 6f – 5:12 p.m. ET
#6 – Agave Kiss (8-5) = Second time off the layoff, and was a beaten favorite. Dominguez stays aboard this New York-bred, and she will be tough to wheel in down the lane. 6/6 at the distance.
#5 – Judy the Beauty (6-1) =Joel Rosario broke ties with his agent this past week, and he is doing everything in his power to stamp himself on the New York circuit. If they go really fast this gal can get motoring late. The switch from turf to dirt gets Wesley Ward a 29% win clip.
#1 – Emma’s Encore (4-1) = Junior Alvarado has the call for the Giant Killer. Draws the rail, and should benefit from that last race victory at a huge price. 3/3 with wins at the distance.
Race #10 – The (G-1) Whitney Handicap – 1 1/8 – 5:45 p.m. ET
Plenty of early foot in this heat, and the closers should have a big say in the outcome.
#6 – Ron the Greek (3-1) = Jose Lezcano in the irons for Bill Mott. They are winning at a 27% clip at the Spa, and comes back off the shelf after winning the G-1 Stephen Foster at Churchill. Lezcano fits this guy, and look for him late in the lane.
#8 – Hymn Book (4-1) = John Velasquez in the saddle for Shug McGaughey. This gelded son of Arch makes his second start off a layoff. If the speed starts coming back a bit you can count on this guy bringing the heat. Good to see Johnny V. back in action!
#7 – Flat Out (4-1) = Rosie Napravnik in the driver’s seat for Mott. 2/2 ITM at Saratoga, and bobbled at the break last out. I think we’ll see a bigger effort today.
#2 – Hunter’s Bay (20-1) = Emma Jane Wilson up for Reade Baker. Exits the poly at Woodbine, and Baker is mad-genius at getting horses ready. Backs up from a 1 1/4, and she makes the trek to the Spa to go 4-in-a-row.
Race #11 – O.C. $35,000 – 7f – 6:18 p.m. ET
#6 – Dominus (8-5) = John Velasquez for his go-to-guy Todd Pletcher. Been off since the King’s Bishop in 2011. He has definitely faced better, and if he feels half up to the task, it should be over quickly.
#1 – Inflation Target (4-1) = Alan Garcia aboard today. This son of Tapit is always knocking on the door, and if Dominus needs one to get the kinks worked out then I am leaning in this direction.
Race #12 – Claiming $20,000 – 1 1/16 on the turf – 6:51 p.m. ET
#1 – Balance the Budget (2-1) = J.J. Castellano gets the call fresh off a claim last out.
#5 – Love Man (5-1) = Rosie in the irons and comes into the race fresh for the Trombetta barn who has had him on the shelf since 6/7.
#10 – Not Today (3-1) = David Cohen in the saddle. Two nice races on the green, and will have to overcome the outside post. I think you’ll get better than 3-1 on this guy.
Ticket cost = 3 X 4 X 2 X 3 = $72 for a $1 ticket, and $36 for a 50-cent version.