Saratoga Picks: Late Pick 4 the best value on July 29

The Late Pick 4 on Friday afternoon at Saratoga is one of the best tickets to play ... see why, below ...
The Late Pick 4 on Friday afternoon at Saratoga is one of the best tickets to play ... see why, below ...

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Saratoga Picks: Friday, July 29, 2022

  • Race 1: 2-3-5-1
  • Race 2: 5-2-7-9
  • Race 3: 3-7-2-6
  • Race 4: 10-3-6-12
  • Race 5: 5-7-10-2
  • Race 6: 10-4-9-7
  • Race 7: 4-7-9-3
  • Race 8: 10-4-1-11
  • Race 9: 7-5-9-1/1A
  • Race 10: 10-12-6-4
  • Most Likely Winner: Chuck Willis #10 (Race 8)
  • Best Value: Built Different #10 (Race 10)

Saratoga ... known the world over as "The Spa" ... is situated snuggly in Upstate New York. The celebrated track is poised to enter its 3rd weekend of racing. The town north of Albany is bustling with activity and has what many consider the best competition of the entire year.

NYRA will continue to put forward another major stakes schedule (the Grade 2 Jim Dandy will be a highlight on Saturday, among other "graded" races), and with full fields, it should be another exciting go!

At we have you covered, including all of the action! It is a good time for some of the best that North American racing has to offer. Stay tuned! If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country this Friday be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter ... Horseracing_USA !!!

Horse Racing Picks

Late Pick 4 … Races 7-10

Race 7: Dirt, 1 1/8th, Curlin S. $135k, 3

We are going to start this sequence with a bang, and if you are a colt that couldn’t make tomorrow’s Jim Dandy (G2), then this is the haven. Out of this field of 9, only Rudy Brisset’s Western River #1 is entered in both races. He might scratch, and stick with the “Dandy.” When it comes to a top selection, I am sure many a bettor will be leaning heavily on Kenny McPeek’s Creative Minister #7. The Kentucky-based trainer has a pair entered in this race, but this son of Creative Cause will be the focal point. That is probably right, especially since he ran in 2 of the Triple Crown races … the Preakness (G1) and the Belmont (G1). The former was a race that most liked because he was 3rd behind Early Voting and Epicenter. I know he has the ability to win a contest like this one, and with the services of Dylan Davis for the 1st time, that makes him even tougher. Let’s include him, but when it comes to my choice, I much prefer Todd Pletcher’s Make It Big #4. I actually saw this entry win the Springboard Mile $400k at Remington Park in December. Red Oak Stable was working with Saffie Joseph at the time, but they transferred their prize to Pletcher right after the son of Neolithic ended up 10th in the Sam Davis (G3) at Tampa in February. Taking their time getting him back to the track, the colt returns to a spot that is within the realm of the possible, and I like the switch to John Velazquez. The maturity that he has gained these past few months will be an asset, and his price has the chance to be in the double-digit range. Going longer … might be something that he is ready to take on. One other runner that is worth a hard look is Chad Brown’s Juddmonte homebred, Artorius #9. By the great Arrogate, who we lost, this colt broke his maiden last time at Belmont. He exhibited some strong foot late in the game, going a mile. He has never had the opportunity to go 2-turns, so that is definitely a question mark. Ridden by Irad Ortiz, he should have the opportunity to prove himself against much tougher company. These connections are just rolling along right now. It’s a must to include their 3-yr-old. Let’s use all 3 of these runners to get this ticket moving!

Leg 1: 4/7/9 (3-Deep)

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager, WPS #4 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)


Race 8: Turf, 5½F, OC62.5kn2x, 3+

The name Tracy Farmer is synonymous with sound investing and ownership of Thoroughbreds. Once again, he and HOF Mark Casse pair to bring a Woodbine turf sprinter to Saratoga. Chuck Willis #10 to my eye looks like the class of this field, and the gelding by Kodiac (GB) is making his 3rd start in this cycle. My top selection in the last race in the sequence was ridden by Johnny V, and this one will be too. He can handle turf sprinters with the best of them, and I like this class entry so much that this is going to be my “Single.” Breaking from that outside gate should help keep him clear of traffic, and allow his HOF rider to take up a solid position as he travels just over 5-furlongs. This is going to be a barnburner of a race, but Casse has the upper hand, I think … moving right along!

Leg 2: 10 (Single)

Wagering Recommendation: $25/$50 WP #10


Race 9: Dirt, 6F, ALLW50ks, 3+

We find ourselves among Starter ALLW-types, and this dirt sprint is going to be raucous from start to finish. We have a cadre of Belmont imports, a Churchill invader, a Spa runbacker, and even a NY state bred participant. You can hit the “All” button, and probably no one would bat an eyelash. As for me, I am not short on opinions, and when you are playing a multi-race ticket like this one, that can certainly assist. I see Horacio De Paz’s Baltasar #9 being the race time favorite (in line with David Aragona’s M/L), just based on his last performance in Elmont at this class level. The gelding by Bodemeister lost the lead a second before the wire. Manny Franco will be looking to not allow that to happen again. The price might not be that inviting on De Paz’s entry, so instead, I am backing Norm Casse’s play. Dark Timber #7 is the horse that I mentioned earlier that is running back in this spot. The son of Mineshaft was on the turf in a “Starter” and clearly did not like the view on 14 July. I always like it when a trainer does something like this, which is actually quite rare these days. He clearly thinks his horse is “fit,” and with the frontend dirt speed that he has shown in the past, it could be a superb move. The choice of regular rider Tyler Gaffalione gives me even more confidence because he knows this runner very well. One other entry that caught my eye, and deserves to be included is the Bond Barn’s On the Hill #5. This gelding by Fed Biz is extremely logical given that he has finished 2nd in both his last starts. The Spa switch might be just what he needs to get his 2nd career win in 5 attempts. He is getting a significant rider upgrade in Luis Saez, and that makes me think this one is a bet. What a turn and burn this is going to be! I am going 3 Deep, and heading to the finale …

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Trifecta Box, 5/7/9

Leg 3: 5/7/9 (3-Deep)


Race 10: Turf, 1 1/16th, ALLW50ks, F&M 3+

The class standard replicates itself in this end to the late P4, but this time around we have older females routing on the Mellon Turf Course. I am going to complete this ticket by simply backing either of the Ortiz Brothers' mounts. This pair always seem to be duking it out over the lawn in some kind of throwback to their childhood. Jose Ortiz is on the D’Angelo Barn’s Built Different #10, and this filly by Practical Joke is looking to come to Saratoga for the 1st time. She has faced some very stiff company at Gulfstream Park and then at Belmont last time. Her finishes look mixed, but those “OC” contests put her to the test. The last time Ortiz was aboard he won, and look for him to try and work out a trip from the rear of the field. As for Irad, he climbs aboard Peter Walder’s Mia At Midnight #12. The former Phil D’Amato trainee might look like a SoCal shipper, but she has experience running at both Woodbine and Gulfstream. A 4-yr-old filly by Midnight Lute, she has tactical ability to run against any type of crowd. Ortiz is always dangerous in situations like these, and his mount has the recent form to make her formidable. If you could get 4/1 on this entry, then that looks like an attractive price. Let’s go with both of the Ortiz fellows because I am betting that one of them has the winner! Time to head to the window!

Leg 4: 10/12 (2-Deep)

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Exacta Box, 10/12


Ticket: 4-7-9 / 10 / 5-7-9 / 10-12

.50 Cost LP4: $9.00

Enjoy some action from the SPA! The tradition at Saratoga Race Course marches on … Be sure to follow us on Twitter … @Horseracing_USA !!!

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