A pair of turf stakes highlight the Saratoga card Friday and both are part of the 50-cent Late Pick 4 that is sure to draw plenty of betting attention. Here’s an early look at the action:
SAR 7th race (4:29 EST) -- WILL E SUTTON rallied wide to beat steady allowance router Dust Devil ($211k) in a triple-key race three starts ago, tested stakes company to no avail two back, then faded while chasing odds-on winner Riden With Biden, who came back to run second in a $100,000 stakes. JADE’S DREAM can’t seem to avoid trouble lines, but he did get up to win a one-mile allowance the last time on the main track and must be respected if he works out a clean trip.
SAR 8th race (5:05 EST) -- Multiple stakes-winning sprinter Marissa’s Lady could make her turf debut in the $150,000 Coronation Cup Stakes and impressive first-out winner EMPRESS TIGRESS also switches surfaces. But they are among five entrants cross-entered in the $100,000 Blue Sparkler Stakes on the lawn Saturday at Monmouth Park. That being said, go deep in this leg of the Pick 4, assuming the ticket cost will be reduced with a scratch or two.
SAR 9th race (5:39 EST) -- Today’s featured Forbidden Apple Stakes is worthy of its Grade III status as the 12 entrants have combined to finish first or second in 14 of 34 graded stakes tries on the grass. MIRA MISSION rates a slight edge after he rallied alongside 5-wide winner Santin, poked a head in front at the 1/8th pole and finished second in the G-I Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic at Churchill Downs. Three runners came out of that 1-1/8-mile May 7 race to win in their next start and Adhamo ran second in the G-I Manhattan. ATONE, put on the lead for the first time in his career, couldn’t fend off the late rally of morning-line favorite SET PIECE in the G-II Dinner Party at Pimlico, but he could turn the tables with an expected change of tactics with Prat summoned to ride. GET SMOKIN set a rapid-fire pace in last year’s G-III Poker at today’s distance before fading, but he held second in his two U.S. starts since then going a longer distance.
SAR 10th race (6:13 EST) – SHESAWILDJOKER placed in three straight New York-bred stakes to closer her freshman season but was eased in her January 22 seasonal debut and hasn’t been seen since. She can use her tactical speed well from the outside and take advantage of this allowance condition if ready. No one in the field has won at 6-1/2F but Khali Magic came close two back, dueling with odds-on winner Bank of Anna (3-6, $182k) in deep stretch of a half-length setback. She was compromised by a bumpy break and extremely wide trip in a follow-up allowance setback at 1-to-2 odds.
Suggested 50-cent Ticket
SAR 7th Race: 2, 5
SAR 8th Race: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
SAR 9th Race: 3, 8, 9
SAR 10th Race: 3, 9