Monday’s Late Pick 4 at Saratoga

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

July 23rd, 2018

The Caress Stakes for fillies and mares sprinting on the lawn highlights a nine-race card on the first Monday of the Saratoga meeting.

I think this could be a really good sequence to take a swing at with the potential for square prices in every leg.

Race 6

Seven will go in the optional-claiming test for Empire State-bred runners and the 1 1/8-mile event lacks a standout. #3 Danebury (5-2) has big gate speed and fine current form. Charlton Baker pupil is a wire-to-wire contender who picks up Joel Rosario.

#5 Evaluator (6-1) is a nose shy from being a dual stakes winner and the removal of blinkers off the break could prove to be a plus. Michael Dilger trainee may prove best of the late runners and John Velazquez taking the mount adds to the appeal.

#1 Calculated Risker (5-1) gets the rail and was a big second two back at 1 1/18 miles at Aqueduct.  I will go three-deep to start the Pick-4.

Race 7

The Caress is not for the faint of heart and looks like a Grade-2 affair. To prove the point, #10 Tillie’s Lily has dominated in all four of her lifetime races and sits at 8-1 on the morning-line.

Classy stakes heroines #2 Morticia (5-1), #3 Triple Chelsea (3-1), #4 Lull (7-2), #6 Fire Key (10-1) and #7 Girls Know Best (8-1) will also be included.

Race 8

$50,000 starter allowance is the second nine-furlong race on the main oval in the sequence. #1 Make the Rules (9-2) has done little wrong from two races and will make the first off the Mike Maker claim today. Gelding stayed on well at seven-eighths most recently, suggesting he wants to run longer.

#3 Harangue (7-2) was put in a very ambitious spot in his first for Juan Guerrero at Belmont off the layoff. Pure Prize gelding has speed and will improve second off the shelf with the class drop.

#8 Indigo Yankee (10-1) closed powerfully to graduate at Churchill Downs last time. Ian Wilkes trainee lands in a race where the pace could be swift and contested. I think he will show the best turn of foot in the stretch under Jose Ortiz.

Race 9

State-bred turf sprint closes out the card. #5 Just Cat (8-1) intrigues most to me at a nice price. Second timer showed good early foot in a turf debut over a ‘good’ Belmont lawn before tiring late. She has trained well since and the Michelle Nevin charge is kin to four turf graduates.

City Zip filly will move forward under Johnnie V for a barn much better second-time out. She also adds Lasix.

#7 Silencia (8-1) was full of early speed before throwing in the towel in a dirt bow in the spring and Baker trainee could be the pace of the race. Daughter of Silent Name has trained swiftly of late and took a ton of money in her debut. Dylan Davis has the call.

50-cent Pick-4 ticket (races 6-9)

1,3,5 with 2,3,4,6,7,10 with 1,3,8 with 5,7 = $54