With an average field size of 10 entrants and no morning line favorites at less than 2-1, Friday’s 50-cent Late Pick 4 at Saratoga could pay off big for those who correctly solve the sequence. Here’s a look at a suggested $64 wager:
SAR 7th race (4:18 EST) -- ARTORIUS was well-handled in a determined one-mile maiden victory in his second start. He saved ground until bursting through a 2-path seam in early stretch, then battled to the wire for a photo-finish victory. The third- and sixth-place finishers in that race came back with easy Maiden Special Weight scores, further enhancing Artorious’ chances despite starting outside in the $135,000 Curlin Stakes. He, like others in the race, could use it as a stepping stone to the Travers, a race his champion sire Arrogate won in 2016. WESTERN RIVER beat a suspect field to break his maiden, was compromised by a stumbled start and 5-wide stretch run in the G-III Peter Pan Stakes racing without Lasix, then controlled the pace in a 1-1/2-mile allowance romp against four rivals. His class will be tested in this spot, but he’s clearly improved as a 3-year-old and worth using at 8-1 on the morning line.
SAR 8th race (4:56 EST) -- FAUCI rallied for a win, two seconds and three thirds in his last six grass starts from 5-1/2 to 6-1/2 furlongs. He exited a triple-key race two starts back and made a late run at one of those winners, Artemus Citylimits, before that rival came back to win again in a 3X allowance with a 98 Beyer. CHUCK WILLIS won his last six starts outside of graded stakes company by a combined 18 lengths. He dueled through fast fractions before the deep closers arrived to finish 1-2-3 in the G-II Highlander. His speed is compromised with LYRICAL POET (2-2 at 5-1/2F) starting from the rail but drawing outside could suit him well in this spot.
SAR 9th race (5:32 EST) -- BALTASAR dueled to the top of the stretch while 3-wide and in-hand but settled for second best in a longer sprint last out. LIFE CHANGER finished 1-1/2 lengths behind Baltasar but he was in tight behind rivals twice in the stretch and closed well enough to suggest that he can turn the tables. ON THE HILL rallied into a fast pace for second in the same spot and could have even more of it today. VIRKAM shook a duel and beat a next-out winner, now enters a 24-percent claim barn at tempting odds. He, too, could sit a good stalking trip from the rail.
SAR 10th race (6:08 EST) – RADIANT GEM is the most accomplished turf runner in the field with back-to-back wins and $76,000 in earnings, but this is anybody’s race, so go deep in the Pick 4 and hope you’re alive going into the finale.
Suggested 50-cent Ticket
SAR 7th Race: 1, 9
SAR 8th Race: 4, 10
SAR 9th Race: 2, 3, 5, 9
SAR 10th Race: 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12