Saturday Free Horse Racing Picks: Late Pick Four at Parx
Saturday is Pennsylvania Derby Day at Parx, and the card features a whopping 13 races on the slate. The main event goes as the 12th, and it’s part of an all-stakes late Pick Four that starts in the 10th. I’ll attack the sequence with a $16.50 ticket, and here’s how I’ve put it together.
RACE #10: I’d love to get cute in the opening leg, the Grade 2 Gallant Bob for 3-year-old sprinters. However, I can’t get past probably the best 3-year-old sprinter in the country, and he’ll be a popular single.
#7 JACKIE’S WARRIOR comes in off of two fantastic showings at Saratoga. Most recently, the Steve Asmussen trainee fended off Life Is Good to win the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial. In doing so, he earned a career-high 107 Beyer Speed Figure, and anything close to that sort of effort here would obliterate this bunch. He’ll likely be 1/5, and I simply cannot go against him.
RACE #11: The Pennsylvania Derby’s sister race is the Grade 1 Cotillion, and I’m taking a bit of a stand against the morning line favorite. #6 CLAIRIERE runs well all the time and has picked up some big checks, but she’s winless in her last five starts, and it’s not like she hasn’t had chances to capitalize on great trips.
I’ll try to beat her by going three-deep. My top pick is #8 ALWAYS CARINA, who comes back to a route of ground after cutting back to seven furlongs in the Grade 1 Test. That seemed a bit too short for her, and she appears to be training lights-out ahead of this nine-furlong test. She’s got plenty of tactical speed, which always helps, and I think she’ll be prominent throughout.
I’ll also use #4 MARACUJA and #5 ARMY WIFE. The former capitalized on a brilliant ride to win the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks two starts ago, while the latter tired a bit going longer in the Grade 1 Alabama and has literally never run a poor race on the dirt.
RACE #12: The Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby took a bit of a hit when it was announced #9 MEDINA SPIRIT would scratch. However, it’s still a very fun race, and I’m taking a big, big step out here with a “separator single.”
#3 SPEAKER’S CORNER came back running at Saratoga when he obliterated a solid allowance field to win by more than five lengths in his first start since October. Everything about his pedigree says he wants to go two turns, and he’ll get a chance to do that for the first time in his career. This is far from an easy spot, to be sure, but 12-1 is a very attractive price on a talented horse trying something he’s bred to love, and if he wins, it assures a very, very good day for yours truly.
RACE #13: Going a bit narrow in the first three legs gives me some flexibility heading into the Saturday finale, and that’s a VERY good thing. The Alphabet Soup Handicap for Pennsylvania-breds hits me as extremely wide-open. I can’t find reasons to be enthusiastic about the favorites or reasons why the horses who figure to take money are miles better than those who likely won’t.
You can probably guess where this is going, but I’m punching the “ALL” button to finish this off. If I can get Jackie’s Warrior home, beat Clairiere with a medium-priced horse, and score with Speaker’s Corner, I want to get paid. This ensures that I will.