Player Quick Pick: Saratoga Pick 4 for 7/30/2014

Molly Jo Rosen

July 30th, 2014

by Andrew Champagne

Live racing returns to Saratoga Wednesday with a 10-race card, one that features plenty of wide-open races. The late Pick Four is pretty devilish, but with fields of eight, 11, 10, and 12 horses, it's a sequence that should pay out if you hit it. Here's my stab at it.

RACE #7: This is a one-mile starter allowance consisting of horses with aversions to winning. I'm going four-deep, using #3 Benny's Bullet (5-1), #4 Ear D' Rhythm (7/2), #7 Sundae School (3-1), and #8 Wine Burglar (4-1).

My top two selections to key are Benny's Bullet and Sundae School.

Benny's Bullet adds blinkers in her first start for Gary Gullo, who is 32% with horses adding that piece of equipment for the first time.

Sundae School, meanwhile, has burned more than her fair share of money at 1-for-17 lifetime, but her last four races at Belmont were all good, and the three horses that have beaten her in her last two starts have all come back to win at next asking.

RACE #8: This is a fun sprint for older fillies and mares. Again, I'm going four-deep, using #4 Tiz May West (4-1), #5 Eddy Gourmet (15-1),

#6 La Madrina (7/2), and #10 Queen to Be (5-1).

La Madrina is the horse to watch out of this group. As her name suggests, she's a half-sister to Grade 2 winner El Padrino, and the lightly-raced daughter of Tapit has a huge four-furlong work on July 21st indicating she's ready to fire off a brief freshening.

RACE #9: This is the Wednesday feature, the $100,000 Coronation Cup.

I'm going three-deep in here, using #4 Hot Squeeze (12-1), #6 Recoupe (7/2), and #7 Stars Above Me (5-1).

Stars Above Me is my top pick in here, as she's a European who gets first-time Lasix for Graham Motion. However, these turf sprints are usually won by horses who like this particular 5 1/2-furlong route at the Spa, and nobody in this field likes it more than longshot Hot Squeeze. She wired the field in an allowance earlier this meet, is

2-for-2 at the route, and she may wheel right back in this spot. Do note, though, that she's cross-entered in a race Thursday. If she scratches (or if one of the other two horses I'm using does so), replace her on the ticket with #5 Scatcapade (5-1), who was the last horse I threw out.

RACE #10: In a bizarre twist, two of the four horses who I think can win are on the also-eligible list. As such, the final ticket cost is going to vary a little bit.

We'll start off by using #7 Uptown Joe (4-1) and #11 Candir (7/2).

Uptown Joe ran fourth behind a next-out winner in his first start off a six-month layoff, while Candir goes to the Chad Brown barn and sports several impressive works downstate at Belmont Park.

If the AE's get into the field, though, I strongly urge you to use them. #13 Jimmy Soul (3-1) and #14 Jimmy Fillpot (5-1) ran 2-3 in the race Uptown Joe ran fourth in, and again, that race's victor came back to top winners at next asking. I think that's a key race, and these two pose major threats if they're allowed to run.

If the AE's don't get in, this ticket will cost $48. If one gets in, it will cost $72, and if both somehow get in (and the two main selections still run), it's a $96 ticket. That's a little steeper than I'd like to play, but with the field sizes what they are, one can argue that the wager is worth a sizable investment.