Saturday at the Spa

Let’s look at the late Pick-4 today at Saratoga, a sequence that includes three stakes races.

Race 8 (G1 Vanderbilt) – 3/up, 6 furlongs, dirt – As you would expect from a Grade 1 sprint, there is a lot of speed, though #3 El Deal (7-2) might be fastest of them all. The question is, at a short price, do you want to take this Jorge Navarro trainee who has faced much weaker? We don’t. #8 Limousine Liberal (3-1) has beaten weaker fields in his last two but is drawn perfectly outside. Our top pick, however is #5 Bird Song (5-1). He turns back out of route races and was poorly ridden and inexplicably rated in the Foster last time out. The turnback suits him perfectly. #4 AP Indian (5-2) is logical and was part of a strong pace behind Whitmore last time, but he missed training time and two races (True North, Belmont Sprint) since then and his races last year were much faster.

A – 5, 8
B – 4
C – none

Race 9 (G2 Bowling Green) – 3/up, 11 furlongs, turf – Our best bet of the day is #4 Sadler’s Joy (3-1) in here for Tom Albetrani. He was a fast-closing third behind #7 Ascend (7-5) in the Manhattan last time, but that was going 10 furlongs, and the extra ground should suit Sadler’s Joy perfectly, who won the 12 furlong Pan American in April. Plus, in the Manhattan, Sadler’s Joy had to close from seventh into a last quarter run in 21.99 seconds. We’ll note that Ascend ran very well last time with a wide trip but the extra distance is also a bit of a question and he’ll be a short price. #1 Bigger Picture (7-2) won the Grade 1 United Nations last time but had a dream inside run under Joe Bravo and this is a tougher spot.

A – 4
B – none
C – none

Race 10 (G2 Jim Dandy) – 3yo, 9 furlongs, dirt – This is the first time that the Derby and Preakness winners have met in the Jim Dandy and we prefer #2 Cloud Computing (6-5), the Preakness winner for trainer Chad Brown. We’ve been impressed with each one of his four starts and he was very game running down Classic Empre (who did do the dirty work) in the Preakness. #1 Always Dreaming (1-1) had an easy trip on a soft pace in the Florida Derby and ran well but was aided by being on the inside in the Derby. His Preakness was bad, I think has to be a little bit of a concern, though Todd Pletcher certainly thrives more off breaks (like this 10-week break) compared to the two-week break he had in the Preakness. #5 Good Samaritan (12-1) is a turf horse but they are taking a shot here – he’s had some tough turf trips, but his dam was a turf horse, and the only sibling to win did so on grass.

A – 2
B – 1
C – none

Race 11 (Maiden Special Weight) – 3/up F&M, 8.5 furlongs, turf – #2 Durable Goods (3-1) is very logical off a solid bow in a good field in which she waited in some traffic at the top of the lane, but there are a few others that we’ll use. #7 Remarqued (8-1) ran well in her turf debut behind the impressive Rubilinda and stretches out. Though the dam was a sprinter, she is by Arch so 8.5 furlongs should be within reach. #4 Fashion Length (12-1) is the second foal from stakes-winning turfer Theyskens Theory and gets on the lawn for the first time for Shug McGaughey. #5 Length (12-1) is from a good Claiborne family (Size, Width) and goes out as a first time starter for Bill Mott who has had one turf FTS run well at this meet. Finally, #1 Elude ran well at Gulfstream (her trip on January 7th was a disaster and her subsequent race on February 19th gives her a chance here). She was wired at Tampa and hasn’t been seen since, but if she has improved a bit since then, she can hit the board at a big price.

A – 2
B – 1, 7
C- 4, 5

For $60, we’ll play the All-A ticket for $4, and the 3A/1B and 2A/2B tickets for $2 apiece.

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