Thoughts on the $1 million Guaranteed Late Pick 4 on Travers Day

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

August 25th, 2018

I'll join colleagues Scott Shapiro and James Scully, and many others, in taking a shot at Saturday's $1 million guaranteed Pick 4 at Saratoga that includes a quartet of Grade 1s.

Race 8 -- Ballerina

#2 IVY BELL (5-1) might be the forgotten filly here to an extent. Started her tenure with Todd Pletcher in strong style and recent attempts suggest she's simply not as effective at a mile or longer. Respecting on the cutback. #6 LEWIS BAY (3-1) is hardly ever out of the mix, though solo unplaced try was the Test (G1) over this track two years ago. #7 MARLEY'S FREEDOM's (5-2) credentials are obvious as she's become one of the West Coast leaders of the division since joining the Baffert barn.

Race 9 -- Forego

#3 WHITMORE (4-1) may not be #1 LIMOUSINE LIBERAL's (3-1) equal at seven furlongs, but appeared to have the more adventurous trip of the two in the Belmont Sprint Championship (G2) and was pipped late. Seemingly more effective when he makes an outside bid and perhaps he'll get it this time. #8 CITY OF LIGHT (9-5), the only horse to beat Accelerate this season (at 1 1/8 miles!), is a one-turner at heart. Threat to runaway from these with a repeat of Malibu (G1) or Triple Bend (G1) performance.

Race 10 -- Sword Dancer

#4 HI HAPPY (6-1) perhaps found 1 1/4 miles too short in the Manhattan (G1), when he lost to #2 SPRING QUALITY (4-1), and also willing to forgive lackluster try on soft ground in the Bowling Green (G2). Showed star quality taking the Pan American (G2) and Man o' War (G1) before then. Spring Quality a late scratch from the Arlington Million (G1) a few weeks ago, and presumably in better health today. Will offer shortest odds ever in brief turf career here.

Race 11 -- Travers

What else is there to say about Saratoga 2018? Chad Brown seems to hold the goods. #9 GOOD MAGIC (2-1) will be hard to depose as the leading three-year-old colt in training, while #3 GRONKOWSKI (4-1) turned in a huge, albeit unexpected, effort against Justify in the Belmont (G1). #4 BRAVAZO (12-1) reportedly lost some shoes when second in the Haskell Invitational (G1) to Good Magic, and has always been more formidable second off a layoff (e.g. Risen Star [G2] and Preakness [G1]).

FREE Travers Stakes PPs courtesy of!

Here's the 50-cent ticket:

2,6,7 with 1,3,8 with 2,4 with 3,4,9 = $27.

Good luck!