Saturday Free Horse Racing Picks: Late Pick Four at Saratoga
We’re riding high going into the final Saturday card of the 2021 Saratoga meet. The late Pick Four ticket we gave out in this space Friday hit for $385 and change, and we’ll roll some of the profits back into Saturday’s sequence. I’ve got a $15 play, and here’s how I’ve put it together.
We start things off with an allowance event for state-bred fillies and mares. It’s a big field, and that means you’re likely to get a square price on whichever horse you prefer.
I’m going three-deep, and my top pick is #6 JUST OK IS NOT OK. I think you can toss the last-out clunker, when she had a very adventurous trip and was done going down the backstretch. Her two-back win at Belmont was pretty sharp, and if she runs back to that performance, I think she’ll have a big chance at a square price.
I’ll also use #1A CARA’S DREAMER and #10 ENGLISH BREEZE. Both haven’t won in a while, but they’ve been competitive at this level and distance. The latter runner, in particular, may appreciate a return to two turns, though the outside post is certainly not ideal.
Things don’t get easier in the second leg, an allowance race for older sprinters. I’m going five-deep, and my top selection is once again a pretty nice price on the morning line.
#6 OLYMPIAD didn’t do much wrong last summer. He was third in a race won by flashy Chad Brown trainee Reinvestment Risk, and then topped a very strong field that included eventual stakes winners Caddo River and Greatest Honour. We haven’t seen this Bill Mott trainee race since then, but he’s trained very well, gets Lasix for the first time, and may present some value.
#1 TUGGLE, #3 DUCALE, #4 MARCHING, and #8 BABY YODA are on my ticket as well. Simply put, I wanted significant coverage in this race, which looks far more like a stakes event than a first-level allowance, and I hope I’ve gone deep enough.
I can afford to spread a bit in the first two legs because I’ve got a single in the third. The Grade 1 Flower Bowl is the first of two Grade 1 events in the sequence, and my top pick will be a popular one.
#3 WAR LIKE GODDESS looks like she towers over this field. Her last two wins going long have been incredibly impressive, and any one of her rivals would need to run a career-best race in order to take her down. In addition, this one would probably also need to regress, and I simply don’t think that happens. War Like Goddess is supposed to win the Flower Bowl, and I don’t feel a need to overthink it.
We finish things off with the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, which will be run at Saratoga for the first time Saturday afternoon. I’m going two-deep, and I’m using the two betting favorites.
I’m most intrigued by #1 FORZA DI ORO, who romped in an optional claiming event earlier in the meet despite not having run since a win in last November’s Grade 3 Discovery at Aqueduct. He’s had his issues, but it sure looks like all systems are go here, and if he can take a step forward off of his monstrous last-out effort, we could see something special in Saturday’s main event.
#4 HAPPY SAVER, meanwhile, won this race last season but comes in off of his first career defeat. He almost certainly didn’t take to the sloppy track in the Grade 2 Suburban, when he was a one-paced third. I think the return to fast going will suit him, and he’s shown he likes it here both in the mornings and in his lone prior start over this surface.