How to bet Del Mar's Late Pick 4 starring Arrogate
by SCOTT SHAPIRO
The first Saturday of the Del Mar summer meeting is upon us and is headlined by the presence of the great Arrogate.
The 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner has not been seen since his last to first victory in the $10 million dollar Dubai World Cup back in March, but looked wonderful when he schooled on Thursday afternoon.
The presence of a 1-9 favorite that is extremely unlikely to lose in this sequence means that it has limited upside, so keep your budgets down. I highly advise against spreading deep like you might in a set of races that are all wide open.
Here are my quick thoughts on Races 7 through 10 on the Saturday afternoon card and how I will attack the four-race sequence:
The late Pick 4 commences with a two-year-old maiden special weight event contested at five and a half furlongs over the main track.
This looks like a two-horse race to me between the two morning line favorites.
My top pick is #9 Gracida. This full-brother to Grade 1 winner Big World commanded $400,000 at the FTF March 2017 two-year-old in training sale and draws well to the outside. The Zedan Racing Stables ridgling comes in off a steady series of works for trainer Doug O’Neill and looks to be a real runner.
I also respect the 5-2-morning line favorite #3 Bahamian. The Reddam Racing Stables colt sold for over thirty times the stud fee of sire Freedom Child at the OBS April 2017 sale and looks very fast for trainer Simon Callaghan.
Both juvenile runners have reportedly been training well leading up to their first start. I will be very surprised if one does not hit the wire first.
The second leg is a wide-open allowance event contested at one mile over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
While it can be won by a number of the fillies or mares entered it is important to realize that nearly every horseplayer will see it that way and construct their tickets in the same manner. Therefore, connecting on an 8-1 will not have the same value it may normally have without a 1-9 single on 99% of the tickets played.
I will limit my ticket to three horses.
My top choice is #11 Ok Doll for trainer Richard Baltas. This daughter of First Samurai should be prominently placed just off the lead of longshot #8 Khaleesi. She comes in off a six-month layoff, but has run well fresh before and will get the jump on her main rivals.
I will also include #4 Lucy De, the second of the two Baltas ladies in this heat. She makes her second try for her new barn and has a win in her only try over this course. Finally, I will toss in late running #9 You’re A Goat. If they go too fast early, this British-bred should be rolling late for trainer Dan Blacker.
The ninth is the $300,000 Grade 2 San Diego Handicap.
#3 Arrogate is about as likely of a winner as you will ever see in Thoroughbred racing. He towers over this field that is down to five with the scratch of #6 Dalmore.
For my thoughts outside of singling the heavy favorite, check out my article on “How to Find Value in the San Diego Handicap.”
Saturday’s late Pick 4 concludes with a maiden special weight event over the lawn for three-year-olds and upward. Like the eighth race, the majority of the public will view this as a race to spread in.
I like the chances quite bit of #5 Borg for Simon Callaghan and Kaleem Shah.
The son of Candy Ride drew the rail in both of his two tries sprinting over the main track and disappointed in both finishing fourth. He should move forward on the stretch out to two turns and the surface switch from turf to dirt. He is a half to $249K earner Our Way, who has won 4 of 12 going a route of ground on the lawn. Additionally, Callaghan boasts solid numbers in nearly all relevant categories and legs up jockey Rafael Bejarano for the mile and a sixteenth journey.
I will also include late runners #2 Divisor and #7 Lucky Soul both who should be moving well late if the pace is hot early, as well as #11 Awesome Heights who has struggled to finish races with energy throughout his career, but gets hot-riding Kent Desormeaux and who will get first run and is worth a shot at 12-1 on the line.
Here is how I will play the late Pick 4:
Ticket 1: ($1 Pick 4)
Race 7: 3+9
Race 8: 4+9+11
Race 9: 3
Race 10: 2+5+7+11
Ticket 2: ($5 Pick 4)
Race 7: 3+9
Race 8: 4+9+11
Race 9: 3
Race 10: 5
Total Budget: $54
Good luck and enjoy Arrogate!
You can find my full card Daily Selections each and everyday for the Southern California circuit here:
Arrogate photo courtesy Melanie Martines (@SkimtheRail)