Shapiro’s July 23 Late Pick 4 at Saratoga

Profile Picture: Scott Shapiro

July 22nd, 2020

The second Thursday card of the Saratoga summer meeting is a competitive one that as always offers a late Pick 4 conducted over the final four events. The sequence commences with a 6 1/2-furlong dash over the main track and concludes with a conditional claimer over the same configuration.

Race 7:

There are a number of runners that possess similar running styles in the first leg, which should lead to a contentious early pace. This makes a couple of the top choices on oddsmaker David Aragona’s morning line vulnerable, including 7-2-favorite #1 Big Q. The Big Brown filly ran well in her first try off the bench on June 28, but had a favorable outside trip. She is capable of moving forward in her second start of the form cycle, but the inside draw with a lot of early zip to her outside will present a major challenge.

#10 Bertranda is listed as the co-second choice. The 6-year-old mare has earned over $362,000 and has six lifetime victories, but is 0-for-4 at the distance. She is likely to get caught up an early tussle on the front end making her tough to endorse at her probable price.

I will play against Big Q and Bertranda to kick things off.

Race 8:

I am also going to take a chance against the top two choices on the morning line in this special weight event over the Saratoga sod.

#4 French Reef makes his second career start after being headstrong on the lead in a two-turn race over the turf last November at Aqueduct. The son of New Approach may have matured since that performance and could take a liking to one-turn, but at a short price I am willing to let him beat me.

I am also ready to take on 3-1-second choice #9 It’s a Wrap. The son of Twirling Candy burnt a ton of money in a pair of speed-and-fade efforts at Aqueduct this winter. Then, in his first try on the grass last month, the Kuehne Racing gelding got a perfect trip, but was unable to get the job done when failing to switch leads in the lane. He also bumped a rival in the stretch and was disqualified from second and placed third.

I will lean on a trio of runners that should provide greater separation in the sequence, including #1 Modesto. The son of Uncle Mo is trained by Wesley Ward and out of a mare that won at first asking at Gulfstream Park. With a clean break from the rail he is dangerous, as is #8 Ethos, who has not been seen since an eighth-place finish on debut last September. The pricey son of Ghostzapper ships upstate after a strong series of drills at Belmont Park for James Jerkens. #2 Call Home will be a big price after tiring badly in the same race It’s a Wrap exits last month. Look for the Dialed In colt to take a big step forward with a better start on Thursday afternoon.

Race 9:

#4 Honest Mischief ran into a buzz saw in early June when he encountered Volatile in the $100,000 Aristides S. at Churchill Downs. The Juddmonte Farms colt put forth a solid effort in his first try as a 4-year-old, but was no match for the Steve Asmussen trainee that almost broke the track record that afternoon in Louisville. The son of Into Mischief meets a solid group of sprinters in this high-level optional claimer, but there are no runners of Volatile's stature in this bunch. Look for Javier Castellano to sit off the likely pacesetters #3 Admiral Lynch and #6 Captain Scotty and take control when they turn for home. My single.

Race 10:

#11 Financialstability takes a massive drop in class into this $16K N2L event for trainer Chad Brown. The son of Midnight Lute has underwhelmed since selling for $290,000 at the OBS March 2017 sale, but finds a much softer group than the ones he has encountered thus far. He will be tough to deny in the finale, but I will also include #10 Prince of New York. The Cairo Prince colt should get a perfect stalking trip on the cutback for Jeremiah Englehart.

Suggested Wager: (50-cent Pick 4)

  • 2,3,5,7,8,9 with 1,2,8 with 4 with 10,11 = $18