Player Quick Pick: Saratoga Late Pick Four for 8/24/14

Profile Picture: Andrew Champagne

August 24th, 2014

By Andrew Champagne

New York-breds take center stage Sunday at Saratoga, and their presence is a major part of the day's late Pick Four. All 11 races on the card were written strictly for state-breds, and this sequence features a pair of lucrative stakes races. Let's get to it.

RACE #8: We start off with the $200,000 Fleet Indian Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. It's attracted a field of nine, and I'm using four of them: #1 Alwaysinstilettos (5-1), #3 Storied Lady (7/2), #4 Flipcup (3-1), and #7 Desert Valentine (6-1).

Desert Valentine could be any kind. She's 2-for-2 and hasn't really been tested, and while both of her races to date have been much shorter than this distance, this seems like the ideal spot to see how far she wants to go. In a race full of early speed, this is a horse that doesn't need the lead, and the Gary Contessa trainee could sit an ideal trip at a very nice price.

RACE #9: The second leg is a fun turf sprint for fillies and mares. It's attracted a field of 12, and I'm going three-deep, using #3 All Mine Tonight (7/2), #10 Nonnie Connie (10-1), and #11 Rumble Doll (5-1).

All Mine Tonight ran a close-up fourth last out against a better field. The winner of that race was Hot Squeeze, who came right back to win her next outing (also at this route). All Mine Tonight makes her second start off a long layoff, and Javier Castellano staying on is a good sign. I think she's definitely the horse to beat, and in a field this size, you just might get 7/2 on her.

RACE #10: The day's feature race is the $250,000 Albany Stakes for 3-year-olds. I'm using half of the eight-horse field, as #2 Little Daddy (4-1), #4 Empire Dreams (3-1), #5 Effinex (20-1), and #6 Captain Serious (9/5) are on my ticket.

Captain Serious may not want to go this far, but he's the lone speed in this field. Two back, he ran a huge race in the Dwyer against open company before yielding to Kid Cruz in the final strides. There isn't a Kid Cruz-ish horse in here, and as such, Captain Serious looks very much like the horse to beat.

However, Effinex is worth a play at 20-1. He goes to the barn of Jimmy Jerkens, who had a pretty good day Saturday (you may have heard about his 1-2 finish in the Travers). He's hitting at a 27% clip with new arrivals, Rajiv Maragh signs on to ride, and it isn't insane to think that considerable improvement could be in the cards.

RACE #11: Our payoff leg drew a full field of 12. This isn't an easy sequence to hit, and this isn't an easy leg to end on. I'm gambling that the talent drew inside, as I'm using #1 Bold Senator (4-1) and #2 Cody's Notes (8-1).

8-1 on Cody's Notes seems like a pipe dream. The gelding made up a ton of ground in his turf debut, and while he finished seventh, he was beaten less than three lengths. Two horses in front of him that day came back to win at next asking, and this seems like a much, MUCH weaker field. Bold Senator has talent and could win, but Cody's Notes is my "key" horse, and he could make this wager pay.

Speaking of paying, this ticket costs $48 for a 50-cent bet. With the big fields, though, it's certainly a sequence that's worth a stab. If you're playing it, best of luck!