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Saturday's free horse racing picks from handicapper Andrew Champagne comes to us from the late Pick Four sequence at Aqueduct.

Saturday Free Horse Racing Picks and Strategy: Late Pick Four Sequence at Aqueduct

Saturday’s card at Aqueduct is full of high-quality racing and top-notch betting events. In fact, the late Pick Four contains nothing but stakes races, and I think there’s value to be had in this sequence. I’ll attack it with a $22.50 play, and here’s how I’ve put it together.


We’ll start off with 2-year-old turfers in the Central Park Stakes. It’s drawn a field of eight, and I’ll use three of them.

I think the Awad was a pretty strong race, and I like how #1 GENERAL KEN won it. He rated a bit behind pretty slow fractions and pounced late to get his nose down right on the wire. He took a step forward on figures that day, and if he gets any more pace to chase, I think he could show even more improvement here.

#2 GENO and #3 SY DOG are on my ticket as well. The former was the one General Ken nailed last time out, while the latter stormed home to win at first asking for a barn whose debuting runners aren’t usually fully-cranked.


I can’t get too cute in the Discovery, a two-turn race for 3-year-olds. We have a six-horse field and what figures to be a short-priced favorite, and that chalk is a single for me.

#3 SPEAKER’S CORNER ran a dud in the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby two back, but I’m drawing a line right through that race. He stepped up in a big way last time out when he romped in an optional claiming event and earned a 109 Beyer Speed Figure. I’m a little concerned about the lack of Lasix, which certainly seems to move him up, but anything remotely close to that number will make him the one to beat in this spot.


I have no such strong opinions in the Grade 3 Long Island, a 12-furlong turf race for older females. I’m using five of the eight runners signed on, and I sincerely hope I’m going deep enough.

Christophe Clement has three runners in here, and I’m using them all. Oddly, I’m most drawn to the one likely to be the biggest price. #8 SORREL didn’t run badly in her lone U.S. start, when she was third in the Grade 3 Orchid behind War Like Goddess and Always Shopping. Those two are very talented horses, and she’s been working steadily ahead of her return to the races.

In addition to that one, #4 LA DRAGONTEA, and #7 MUTAMAKINA, I’ll also use #1 SUMMER IN SARATOGA and #2 ORGLANDES. This is a fun race to handicap, and if you have a strong opinion, you’ll likely get a square price on whichever runner you prefer.

RACE #10

We’ll finish with the Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship, and much of the value in this sequence, to me, stems from the fact that I don’t like probable favorite #7 VALUE PROPOSITION. Yes, he’s run well to win his last two outings, but four of his six wins have come over the Belmont Park turf course and he’s shortening up in distance pretty considerably.

I’ll try to beat him by going three-deep, and my top pick is #3 ARREST ME RED. He’s a perfect 4-for-4 sprinting on turf, including a Grade 3 win last time out. World-class turf sprint trainer Wesley Ward clearly has him going in the right direction, and I think he’ll be the main speed in this contest.

#5 PULSATE and #8 BIG PACKAGE are the other two I’ll use. Pulsate is remarkably consistent and should appreciate the slight cutback in distance, while Big Package has won five of 11 turf starts and will be rolling late at a pretty nice price if anyone challenges my top pick out of the gate.


R7: 1,2,3

R8: 3

R9: 1,2,4,7,8

R10: 3,5,8

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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