Wednesday Free Horse Racing Picks: Saratoga Pick Six
I’m making a special midweek appearance because there’s a Pick Six carryover at Saratoga that commands my attention. More than $187,000 is in the kitty leading up to Wednesday’s sequence, which starts in the fifth of 10 races on the program.
New York’s Pick Six has a $1 minimum bet, so it takes some elbow grease to come up with a budget-friendly ticket. The one I’ve assembled costs $72, and here’s how I’ve put it together.
We start things off with a two-turn maiden race for New York-breds, and if you’re looking for two-turn form, you’ll be looking for quite a while. Many of these horses are lightly-raced, so pedigree examinations are prudent.
I’m two-deep, and my top pick is first-time starter #3 KADEN. He sold for $120,000 at auction despite a pretty modest pedigree, but his bloodlines include plenty of stamina. Add in that he’s been working well for a barn that hits at a respectable 16% clip with debuting runners, and I think he’s a must-use. I’ll also use #1 TIVOLI TWIRL, who’s a half-brother to two stakes-winning routers and could appreciate the added distance.
I’m taking a stand in the second leg. These are maiden claimers, and I’m just not sold on #3 MS PENELOPEPITSTOP, the 8/5 morning line favorite. She showed speed last time out, but that was at Monmouth against a group that may not have been much. If she beats me, she beats me.
I’m singling #4 STARSHIP DREAMS, who had an adventurous trip in her debut last month at Finger Lakes. She broke last, made a middle move, and ran out of gas late. She’ll add both Lasix and blinkers, and her workouts since that effort look sharp. This barn doesn’t ship in from Finger Lakes willy-nilly, and I think this second-time starter is very live at a bit of a price.
We’ll go to the inner turf for this optional claiming event, one that boasts a big field. I’m going three-deep, and one of the ones I’m using is a runner I need to bet back after a terrible trip last time.
#1 MISS DELICIOUS was very wide throughout in her local debut last month. She has far more early zip than she showed that day, and the inside draw on this inner turf course could move her up considerably. 6-1 hits me as an overlay, and I can’t play this sequence without her on the ticket.
#7 ELLE EST FORTE and #11 TOWN AVENGER, meanwhile, both ship in from Kentucky for this one. The former came home very quickly to break her maiden in late-June, while the latter drew terribly but ran a good fourth in a paceless stakes race last time out.
I found this optional claimer for state-breds to be the most wide-open race of the sequence. If I could afford to punch the “ALL” button here, I would, but I’ll instead go forward by using four of the seven runners set to go to the gate.
#2 BETSY BLUE is the 9/5 morning line favorite, and she makes sense. She’s never been worse than second in six career starts, and her last-out effort was sharp. She was second in the slop here last month, and she rated behind a pace that wasn’t that fast. I’m expecting a quicker tempo early on here, and that should play right into the way she wants to run.
#3 DIVA BANKER. #4 TRINNI LUCK, and #6 HONEY MONEY are the others I’m using. This is a puzzling race, and I think it’ll be a popular “spread” race for most multi-race exotics players.
The Friday co-feature is the Mahony Stakes for 3-year-old turf sprinters. It’s drawn a field of eight, plus one main-track-only runner, and I’m going three-deep.
I’m most drawn to #8 ARREST ME RED, who is 2-for-2 in turf sprints and has been working lights-out for turf sprint maestro Wesley Ward. The layoff is obviously a concern, but he’s run races good enough to win this in the past and it sure seems tough to argue with that success and his recent drills.
#2 FAUCI and #4 JAXON TRAVELER, meanwhile, both seem live as well. Jaxon Traveler was third behind Golden Pal in the Grade 3 Quick Call earlier in the meet, while Fauci ships up from New Jersey and is almost certainly better than he showed last time out over yielding going in the My Frenchman.
In true Saratoga fashion, the Wednesday card ends with a turf race that boasts a big field. In this case, maiden claimers will go two turns, and I may be living or dying with a horse that seems to be in a “now or never” situation.
#4 CLEVER FELLOW has burned plenty of money in his career, including in his last start. He was second that day in a maiden special weight race and runs for a tag for the first time here. He’s got tactical speed, and it helps that that race’s victor and third-place finisher have both come back to win at this meet. If he gets his desired trip, I think he’ll be a formidable favorite, and I’m fine with singling him to end a budget-friendly play.