Thoughts on Saratoga's Late Pick 4, Del Mar Oaks

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

August 19th, 2017

The 50-cent Late Pick 4 at Saratoga on Saturday features three turf races plus a contentious renewal of the Alabama (G1). Here's they way I'm playing it.

Race 7

The top two morning line choices should suffice in this entry-level allowance. #4 MOM'S ON STRIKE (3-1), who narrowly missed winning the $200,000 Pebbles at Belmont last fall at huge odds, was a solid get-fit second in a July 29 allowance following a 9 1/2-month layoff. #6 ELLERY LANE (4-1) hasn't run since June 2016, but missed by only 1 1/2 lengths in the Balanchine (G3) in her last start in Ireland. The winner of that race, Roly Poly, is now a multiple Group 1 winner.

Race 8 -- Lake Placid (G2)

#3 LA CORONEL (8-5) is arguably the best three-year-old turf filly in the nation. A maiden winner here last summer, she confirmed at Churchill Downs on Derby weekend that she can handle pretty much any type of ground. If, for some reason, she's not entirely over her jaunt to Royal Ascot, #6 UNI (3-1) can move forward off her U.S. debut third in the Belmont Oaks (G1).

Race 9 -- Alabama (G1)

#2 HOLY HELENA (4-1) is capable on dirt and just beat the boys in the Queen's Plate over 1 1/4 miles, today's distance. #4 LOCKDOWN (5-1) was no threat to a loose-on-the-lead #5 UNCHAINED MELODY in the Mother Goose (G2), but the added distance should work more in her favor this time. #9 ACTRESS (15-1) looked like a future Alabama contender when breaking her maiden in the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico. The recent 1 1/16-mile Delaware Oaks (G3) was too short for her, so the step up in trip should be very suitable.

I'll be playing Actress to Win also.

Race 10

#1 ASSERTIVE (5-2) and #6 STAR MAVEN (30-1) have been within shouting distance of higher class fillies such as Holy Helena, Salty, Inflexibility, and Proctor's Ledge during their diploma quest. #4 SPEIGHGAL (8-1) didn't fare too badly in her recent debut at huge odds and wouldn't need to improve a whole lot to get in contention here. #7 REMARQUED (9-2) was second to the highly-regarded Frankel filly Rubilinda two back, and last time failed to recover sufficiently from an early stumble.

Here's the ticket: 4,6 with 3,6 with 2,4,9 with 1,4,6,7 = $24.

Del Mar Oaks (G1)

You can read my Pacific Classic (G1) and Del Mar H. (G2) wagering analysis here, while the Del Mar Oaks, which goes as Race 10, is a fascinating handicapping and betting exercise.

She got a late start to her career, but #6 MEADOWSWEET (12-1) has won two of three since late May and is bred to be absolutely any kind. She's by Smart Strike and out of the multiple Grade 1-winning turf mare Tranquility Lake, making her a half-sister to Grade 1 winners Courageous Cat and After Market, as well as Group 2 scorer Jalil.

Good luck on this fabulous day of racing!