Player Quick Pick: Saratoga Late Pick Four for 8/17/14

Profile Picture: Andrew Champagne

August 17th, 2014

Few things in handicapping are as painful as going 3-of-4 in a late Pick Four sequence. Yesterday in this space, we were an inquiry away from hitting a pretty sizable Pick Four. However, we’re back on the horse for Sunday’s wager, and this one isn’t easy, either. Here’s how I’m playing it.

RACE #8: …oh my. This is easily the most wide-open race in the sequence. We have a field of 10, and most of them could win without shocking me. As such, I’m going six-deep, using #1 Discreetly Elusive (3-1), #6 Evening Show (4-1), #7 Ode to Sami (8-1), #8 Our Amazing Rose (8-1) , #9 Misszippityslewda (5-1), and #10 Nuffsaid Nuffsaid (6-1).

These horses all seem about the same, but I went with Evening Show on top. She adds blinkers in her first start for Steve Klesaris, which is the second start off a long layoff. Her last race here wasn’t bad, and in a field where many have angles that are pretty discouraging, she seems very logical.

RACE #9: The second leg is the Alydar, an overnight stakes for older horses going long on dirt. I’ve gone two-deep here, using #1 Alpha (9/5) and #2 Dawly (3-1).

Alpha loves Saratoga more than just about any other horse currently in training. He won the Travers in 2012 and the Woodward in 2013, and while the long layoff is a concern, this isn’t a fantastic field. If he’s ready to run, he should be much the best, but I included the ultra-consistent Dawly just in case he needs a race off the bench.

RACE #10: This is our feature, the Grade 1 Sword Dancer. I’m going three-deep, using #4 Main Sequence (2-1), #5 Imagining (7/2), and #7 Twilight Eclipse (5/2).

I like Imagining on top. He loves Saratoga, and he’s quietly turned into one of New York’s best turf courses. There isn’t a ton of early speed in this race, meaning it could turn into a repeat of the Man O’ War, where the Shug McGaughey trainee went wire-to-wire.

RACE #11: We end with a maiden race going long on the grass. I’m going three-deep again, including #2 Jimmy Fillpot (7/2), #3 Breakeven Analysis (4-1), and #9 Hines (2-1).

Hines could win, but he’s had a number of chances and may be overbet. As such, I’m using Jimmy Fillpot on top. He ran third behind next-out winner All Included in his last outing, and this seems like a weaker field.

This winds up being a $54 ticket. If you’re playing the sequence, best of luck!