Saturday Free Horse Racing Picks: Early Pick Four at Saratoga
The first Saturday card of the Saratoga season is upon us! I usually give out late Pick Four plays in this space, but since I gave a ticket for that sequence out on my YouTube show, “Champagne and J.D.,” I’ll focus on the early Pick Four in this space. I’ve assembled a $12 ticket that ends with my best bet of the day, and hopefully we can use this sequence to generate some value on that runner. Let’s take a look!
This starter allowance event drew a field of seven, and I’m using four of the runners. I understand why #5 REPO ROCKS will be favored given his last-out score, and I’m using him. However, he’s not my top pick.
#6 CHRISTOPHER is one of only a few in here with multiple wins, and he’s run well twice at Monmouth Park after coming off a long layoff. He’s shown an ability to pass horses late, which could be very valuable, and the recent work tab looks very sharp.
In addition to those two, I’ll also use #3 BABY YODA and #7 TRASH TALKER. The former ships up from Maryland and makes his first start for Bill Mott, while the latter was second in a claiming race at Belmont last time out and was claimed out of that event by Natalia Lynch.
I’m going two-deep in this turf race for 3-year-old fillies, and I’m not crazy about several horses that figure to take money. #2 LOVE AND MONEY has one race under her belt at 5 1/2 furlongs, and #9 THIRD DRAFT had every chance last time out at Belmont and couldn’t get the job done.
I prefer #11 MISS DELICIOUS, who beat Third Draft on that occasion and gets Lasix for the first time. She looks like the controlling speed in this race, and if she’s able to dictate terms beneath Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, I think she’ll be very tough to run down.
#7 MAGISTERIUM is also on my ticket, and she may be a price. She’s 10-1 on the morning line but was claimed by Orlando Noda late last month. He’s very good at getting horses to improve first off the claim, and she’s displayed plenty of back form both in the U.S. and in Europe.
We’ll stay on the turf for the third leg, which is for older New York-breds. I’m going three-deep, and while my trio includes the two likely favorites, it also has a pretty big price.
#8 AUSTRIAN is my top selection. He was beaten just a head last time out at Aqueduct in a race without much early pace. Any early speed, at all, will play into his hands, and few have been riding better at Saratoga than Luis Saez.
#7 GRAPE NUTS WARRIOR also makes sense, especially given the connections, but he’s my third choice. #2 COTTON is the big price I’m including. He ran very well to break his maiden going a mile last time out, and the second and third-place finishers from that race ran third and fourth in a similar event on Opening Day. Cotton may be doing what he’s always wanted to do, and at his likely price, he needs to be on my ticket.
As mentioned, my best bet of the day runs here, in a race for 2-year-old maidens. The Steve Asmussen barn already unveiled a very fast 2-year-old on Opening Day, and I think he’s got another one ready to go here.
#9 CHATTALOT sports several eye-catching gate drills at Keeneland, and if he runs to those, I think the race is for second money. The outside post is a real plus, especially for a first-time starter, and if he’s able to flash the speed he’s hinted at in the mornings, look out. He won’t be any sort of a price, but I think Chattalot is a very likely winner, and I’ll single him to finish off my $12 ticket.
Saturday's Saratoga Racing Picks