Scully: Thomas Hill key to late Pick 4 at the Spa Friday

Profile Picture: James Scully

August 5th, 2016

Quick Call won eight races at Saratoga over a four-year period (1987-90) and Thursday’s feature paid tribute to the noted “horse for the course.” Bug Juice didn’t contest the 5 ½-furlong turf sprint, squaring off against $25,000 claimers on the same program, but it was fitting to see him continue to show an affinity for the Spa as he improved to 4-for-6 locally with a narrow victory.

I love the “horse for the course” angle when value is involved and #6 THOMAS HILL holds appeal in the 10th Race on Friday. Listed at 10-1 on the morning line, the 7-year-old gelding hasn’t been a prolific win machine over the course and trip, but he’s performed commendably the last three seasons.

Last year, Thomas Hill came to the Spa in bad form but turned things around with a strong showing, finishing a close fourth for former trainer Bruce Brown. The son of Scat Daddy reversed a streak of three consecutive unplaced efforts when missing by a head in a runner-up effort at Saratoga in 2014. And he did the same in 2013, snapping a 12-race losing skein with a 7-1 upset in upstate New York.

Owner Bing Cherry Racing and trainer Michael Pino had an eye toward the friendly confines at Saratoga, claiming Thomas Hill from his 2016 debut, an unplaced effort at Belmont on June 18. The gelding figures to put his tactical speed to good use against a far-from-imposing group of rivals and Thomas Hill can prove best beneath Eric Cancel.

I will play Thomas Hill straight and single him in the late Pick 4.

.50-cent Pick 4 tickets (Races 7-10):

8,9 with all with 5,9 with 6 ($12)

8,9 with 1,2,3,4 with 1,6,8 with 6 ($12)

1,2,3,4,6,10 with 1,2,3,4 with 5,9 with 6 ($24)