Scully: Opening-day Pick 4 play at Saratoga

July 13th, 2022

D. Wayne Lukas has won a record-tying six editions of the Schuylerville S. (G3) for two-year-old fillies, but none since Classic Elegance in 2004. The Hall of Fame trainer will be represented by stylish debut maiden winner #9 Summer Promise in Thursday’s opening-day feature at Saratoga.

Listed as the 3-1 second choice, Summer Promise is eligible to compete for favoritism with early 5-2 choice #1 Just Cindy, who must work out a trip from her rail post. Summer Promise will show speed from a favorable outside draw in the six-furlong race.

She didn’t break sharply when breaking from the rail on June 25, but quickly recovered and blitzed her rivals wire-to-wire at Churchill Downs. A half-sister to three stakes winners, including Grade 1 scorers Creative Cause and Vexatious, Summer Promise netted a fine 83 Brisnet Speed rating for the five-length decision, and the Uncle Mo filly looks poised to keep moving forward, breezing a bullet half-mile work (:46) in preparation.

Summer Promise will be key to multi-race wagers, including the Late Pick 4. I will recommend a ticket, contingent upon Races 8 and 10 remaining on turf. Here are some quick thoughts.

Race 7, Wilton S. (4:29 p.m. ET)

Three-year-old fillies will square off in the first race in the new Wilson Chute, which breaks into the first turn, and nine are set for the restricted mile stakes.

#7 Tarabi must improve upon an even second at odds-on, but she can’t be ignored in the second start back. #1 Goddess of Fire should appreciate the cutback in trip, and #2 Gina Romantica is well-drawn following a nice win for Chad Brown. #6 Favor, third in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) two back, experienced a tough trip in the Black-Eyed Susan (G2); she can show more on the class drop.

Race 8 (5:05 p.m. ET)

Twelve fillies will contest the entry-level allowance on the inner turf, and I prefer inside posts early in the meet. #1 Canisy and #3 Myriskyaffair enter in good form for Christophe Clement, and #2 Bravo Kitten will be finishing with Tyler Gaffalione following a solid effort versus stakes foes at Horseshoe Indianapolis. #6 Customer List didn’t appreciate the soft turf in the Penn Oaks last time, she’s a bounce-back candidate for Brown/Irad Ortiz Jr.

Race 9, Schuylerville (5:39 p.m. ET)

#9 Summer Promise adds last year’s leading jockey, Luis Saez, for her first stakes attempt.

Race 10 (6:13 p.m. ET)

Plenty of speed is signed on for the $35,000 claimer at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf, and #2 Highway Queen and #4 Rigby will look to make a late impact. #10 Dame Time drew well on the outside, and should race up close before offering her best.

  • 50-cent Late Pick 4: 1, 2, 6, 7 with 1, 2, 3, 6 with 9 with 2, 4, 10 ($24)