Player Quick Pick: Saratoga Pick 4 for 7/24/2014

July 24th, 2014

by Andrew Champagne

Those who have read this space for the last week saw me go back on my “no hitting the ‘ALL’ button” pledge on day two of the 2014 Saratoga meet. Well, get the pitchforks ready, folks, because I’m going there again.

RACE #7: Many of these older state-breds are very similar to one another. None of these horses like to win very much; in fact, the 12 runners in the program have just five combined wins in 2014. It’s tough trying to find horses that are ready to win, and I’m going three-deep in search of one. #2 Glowing Ember (5-1) may be the race’s main speed, #6 Abilio (7/2) comes back to state-bred company, and #8 Powerful Instinct (9/2) will close and is dangerous if the early pace is fast.

RACE #8: Eight older fillies and mares will go six furlongs in this

$16,000 claimer, and I’ll go three-deep again. My top pick is #2 Pura Vida Zen (3-1), a Finger Lakes shipper from the Jeremiah Englehart barn. Englehart has had ample success with this move in the past, and this mare has no aversion to winning, with 11 victories in 31 career starts.

#6 Wholelotaroyalty (5/2) isn’t a terrible favorite, as she drops way down in class for Mike Maker. I’ll use her as well as #1 Precious Franca (5-1), who has run solidly in her last five starts and will be closing late.

RACE #9: Here’s the “ALL” race, folks. The Quick Call Stakes is a 5 ½-furlong turf sprint, and several major players here try turf for the first time. There’s simply no way to feel secure about picking ANYONE in this race, which is why I’m picking EVERYONE.

If I’m being forced to pick a winner, I’ll reluctantly back #4 Good Bye Greg (4-1). He’s 2-for-2 on synthetic surfaces and has never really been tested. Add in a worktab with four consecutive bullets dating back to May and a trainer who is red-hot (34% conditioner Larry Rivelli), and you’ve got a horse that’s very, very dangerous.

RACE #10: Thankfully, I was able to trim the finale down to two horses. #3 Harmony Bay (3-1) and #8 All Over Me (2-1) are both legitimate favorites, and it sure seems like these two tower over the rest of the field. Harmony Bay comes back to the flat after winning a steeplechase race two back, while All Over Me drops down in class for new trainer Mike Maker.

It isn’t the greatest race in the world, but it helps to be able to narrow the ticket down a bit, especially after an “ALL” race. Good luck, everyone!