Player Quick Pick: Saratoga Late Pick Four for 8/30/14

Profile Picture: Andrew Champagne

August 30th, 2014

By Andrew Champagne

The final Saturday of the 2014 Saratoga meet is upon us. We've got one last $500,000 guaranteed late Pick Four pool to go after, one headlined by several stakes races and a couple of longshot plays. Let's get to it.

RACE #9: We start off with a turf sprint for fillies and mares, and this one isn't easy. I'm going five-deep, using #1 Orient Harbor (7/2), #3 Gratitude (8-1), #7 Scatcapade (5-1), #8 Ballerina Belle (3-1), and #11 Hot Squeeze (8-1).

Gratitude is actually my top pick in here. Kiaran McLaughlin horses are hitting at a ridiculous 48% in turf sprints, and the McLaughlin-Irad Ortiz, Jr., combination has hit at a 27% clip this meet. Her last outing wasn't great, but she was five-wide on a course that often favors inside speed, and that was her first start in two months. She's worked great for this one, and I think she's sitting on a big effort.

RACE #10: Our second leg is the Grade 1 Forego for older horses at seven furlongs. I'm again going five-deep, using #3 Vyjack (15-1), #6 Palace (3-1), #7 Falling Sky (6-1), #8 Clearly Now (7/5), and #9 Weekend Hideaway (10-1).

I can't go against Clearly Now on top. His race last out at this distance was mind-blowing, as the son of Horse Greeley earned a 113 Beyer Speed Figure while running seven-eighths in 1:19 and change. He thrashed eventual Grade 1 winner Palace that day, and while Palace is a very good horse who could improve, it would take significant regression off that effort for Clearly Now to lose. That's possible, and it's why I went five-deep, but if you're looking to lessen the cost of your ticket, going shallow in this leg could be the way to go.

RACE #11: Here we have the Grade 1 Woodward. One of the most historic races in New York has drawn a field of 10, and I'm using three of them: #2 Itsmyluckyday (5/2), #4 Moreno (2-1), and #6 Zivo (5-1).

Moreno keyed a $222 Pick Four on Whitney Day that we gave out, and he's my top pick here. Like in the Whitney, he figures to be the lone speed, and that's a very dangerous scenario for his opponents. He looms large here, and it will take significant improvement by the rest to overcome the likely race flow.

RACE #12: We finish with a turf route for older horses. The payoff leg isn't easy, and I'm hoping to score with one of three horses: #1 Jonrah (10-1), #7 Belisarius (3-1), and #8 Iron Power (7/2).

Belisarius definitely looks like the one to beat. He was stakes-placed in his native Ireland before coming to America, and the Bill Mott trainee adds Lasix for the first time in this spot. He ran second at a mile and a half last out, so this distance (a mile and three-sixteenths) should be no problem, and it doesn't hurt his cause that many of these rivals seem to have aversions to winning (Iron Power, for instance, is just 2-for-12 in the past two years, and is 0-for-3 lifetime at Saratoga). This seems like a great spot for Belisarius, and he seems like a probable winner.

This ticket isn't cheap. It comes out to $112.50, and it easily could have been much pricier. However, with the guaranteed pool what it is and the Saratoga meet drawing to its conclusion, this is the time to take a stab and see if we can score big before heading south to Belmont. Good luck!