Player Quick Pick: Saratoga Pick 4 for 7/23/2014

Profile Picture: Molly Jo Rosen

Molly Jo Rosen

July 23rd, 2014

by Andrew Champagne

An opening week saw one BetAmerica Saratoga Pick Four hit for $89, while two others each came up short by less than a length. Week two begins Wednesday, and we’ll try and hit the ground running by tackling not the late Pick Four (which is just plain evil), but the early one, which begins in Race #3.

RACE #3: A couple of classy fillies will look to strut their stuff on the undercard, and one will likely be odds-on here. That’s #5 Got Lucky (1-1), who has run second in three different graded events and was last seen running seventh in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks.

Got Lucky looms large, but I don’t think she’s a lock. As such, I’m also using #4 Madaket Millie (5-1), who tries dirt for the first time Wednesday. However, her race May 18th proved to be a key one, as both the winner and second-place finisher came back to win. The worktab is solid, as are the connections, and if she’s ready to go, I think she can give Got Lucky all she can handle.

RACE #4: This is the toughest race in the sequence, and I went five-deep in here. The favorite is #2 Betweenhereandcool (5/2), who was last seen trailing 24-plus lengths behind the winner in his 2014 debut. Maybe the class drop wakes him up, and I’m using him, but this is a race where one almost HAS to go deep.

I’m also using #1 Wild Finish (15-1), #4 Shot to Win (8-1), #6 Ithastobegeorge (3-1), and #7 Santa Elf (7/2). Of this group, Ithastobegeorge is my top pick. Thomas Morley has quietly had a very strong year with a small barn, and this one has never missed the board in three starts at Saratoga. There’s a class drop here as well, but again, this race could unfold in many different ways, so don’t be afraid to go deep.

RACE #5: #2 Girlaboutown (8/5) is a huge morning line favorite, and while she’s a contender, I don’t know why she’s such an overwhelming chalk. Her debut was on a muddy track, which she probably won’t see Wednesday, and while the works are solid and Michael Hushion is 35% with second-out maidens, it isn’t like she towers over this field.

In fact, I went four-deep in this race. Girlaboutown could win, but so could #3 Moonlight Fantasy (5-1), #4 Saharan Serenade (30-1), and #5 Verismilitude (4-1), who happens to be my top pick. Steven Asmussen rarely works his horses quickly, which is why this Henny Hughes filly’s worktab is so impressive. She has two very strong five-furlong works at the Spa, including a bullet on July 14th, and I think she’s ready to roll.

You read my group correctly, by the way, as I AM using a 30-1 shot.

Saharan Serenade’s last dirt race was far from bad, as she ran third behind a next-out winner. Turf wasn’t the answer last out, so that race is a throw-out. She’s certainly worth using at a price.

RACE #6: Remember what I said about classy fillies? Hello, Grade 1-winning filly #1A Artemis Agrotera (2/5), good to see you! Her 2014 debut was forgettable, but this is a much easier spot, and many may single her and entry mate #1 Spinit to Winit, who is no slouch.

I, however, will also use #8 Hot Splash (5-1), just in case Artemis Agrotera needs another race to round into form. Hot Splash has ample early speed and is cutting back in distance second off the layoff. It isn’t like there’s a ton of speed in here, so if Artemis Agrotera takes back, Hot Splash may be able to lead through comfortable fractions and have something left turning for home.

This is a $40 ticket ~ good luck!