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Andrew Champagne previews is back for Saturday's meet at Golden Gate and has the Early Pick Four covered for us.

It’s a big weekend at Golden Gate Fields. The Northern California track is hosting its annual Gold Rush Weekend, and Saturday’s card has plenty of fun betting races.

Since I’ve already previewed the late Pick Four on my weekly YouTube show, “Champagne and J.D.,” I’ll dissect the early one here. This sequence begins in the second of 12 races, and I’ll attack it with a $12 ticket that looks like this…


We’ll kick it off with a maiden claiming event for older fillies and mares. I’m pretty shallow in all but one leg of this sequence, and I think you only need to go two-deep to catch the winner.

#7 CHIEFTESS AINE is a logical favorite. She certainly looks like the main speed on paper and did everything but win against a similar group last time out. Trainer Jamey Thomas has enjoyed a stellar meet at Golden Gate, and I think there’s a real chance she goes to the lead early, gets comfortable, and proves tough to run down.

I’ll also use #1 THAT’S MY STORY, who found two turns a bit too far last time out. She cuts back to what sure seems like her preferred trip here, and while I’m not crazy about the rail draw, I do think she’ll take a step forward and could provide some value.


I’ll take a stand in this two-turn claimer on the turf, as I’m not a fan of #7 SIDE EFFECT. She’s talented, but there’s a lot of other early speed (at least on paper), and I can’t endorse her at or near her 7/5 morning line price.

I really like #4 MUSIC BABE, and I’ll single her here. She hasn’t won in a while, but I’m willing to draw a line through her last race since it was her first outing in nine months. Isidro Tamayo claimed her out of that race, and her late-running style may make her the one to hold off. The faster they go early, the better her chances figure to be, and I think this race is likely to fall apart late.


Remember how I said I was going pretty narrow in all but one leg? This is the puzzler. It’s a maiden race, and other than #2 LIFE IN PARADISE, I can make cases for every other runner in this six-horse field.

With that in mind, I’m going to hit the “ALL” button and hope for a price. There just isn’t much to go off of in here, and since the field is pretty small and I’ve been able to take stands elsewhere, buying the third leg seems like the correct play.


We’ll finish the sequence with a maiden race for turf routers bred in California. #7 TRASH TALKIN CAT is the 9/5 favorite, but he’s 0-for-13 with five second-place finishes, and the presence of #5 AL MILLON BOB means he won’t be alone on the lead.

I’m two-deep, and #4 MISS EVER READY is my top pick. She’s shown significant improvement since a barn switch earlier this year, and she should benefit from the likely pace scenario. I think she’ll be rolling when the field turns for home, and that the 11th time will be the charm for one of three fillies preparing to face the boys.

#1 TRIBAL NATION is on my ticket, too. He showed a new dimension last time out, when he was taken back and rallied to run third. He’s proven he can stretch his stamina out to two-turn trips, and if he can rate off of what could be a hot pace, he may be able to sit a dream trip.


R2: 1,7

R3: 4


R5: 1,4

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Article Author

Horse Racing

Andrew Champagne is a horse racing handicapper with a specialism in juveniles. One thing is for certain, Champagne gets the party started.


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