Horses breaking from post 7 outward in route races were 7-for-117 on Saratoga’s inner turf course heading into the week. It’s worth noting because this Friday’s 50-cent Late Pick 4 encompasses two one-mile allowance tests on the grass. Here’s a look at the action:
SAR 7th race (4:29 EST) -- Not sold on morning-line favorites AL QAHIRA (7-2) and GAL IN A RUSH (4-1), so opting for some price shots to lead off the ticket. FRIPPET, plagued by bad starts throughout the year, broke cleanly in her only turf try, set the pace on ‘good’ footing and held second in a longer route race behind Walkathon, who improved to 3-3 on the lawn with a recent Grade III victory. SWIFT ACTION ran away from a suspect MSW-caliber field on a sloppy main track at Laurel but the daughter of More Than Ready looked good doing it and can be excused for a troubled debut sprint on the turf. DIAMOND HANDS, second to Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Fillies champion Pizza Bianca at this distance two back, makes her first start for Pletcher after she came up short in a 1-1/16-mile allowance last out. AL QAHIRA set the pace to stretch in the G-III Lake George at Saratoga but the three rivals that passed her had early trouble lines. GAL IN A RUSH rallied closer to the outer rail to finish second in a 6-1/2F stake at Woodbine, but she had a fast pace to run at and the winner’s only other victory this year was in a $25,000 optional claimer at Turfway Park.
SAR 8th race (5:05 EST) -- THREE JOKERS hasn’t won in more than a year, but he ran his two best races off a similar-type freshening, projects a good trip off a solid pace and offers value at 6-1 in the featured Evan Shipman Stakes. BANK IT returns after a March trip to Dubai to make his third start of the year and first against New York breds since he demolished a stakes field by 13-1/4 lengths with a lifetime-best 105 Beyer last spring. He’s hard to not include on he ticket. TIERGAN, first or second in 16 of 31 starts, re-engages with stakes company off the claim after an impressive allowance romp.
SAR 9th race (5:39 EST) -- SMOKIN HOT KITTY moved up between rivals on the turn and finished willingly in mid-track in a one-mile race that produced two next-out winners and a runner-up. Her dam won turf sprints at 5F and 5-1/2F and she will try to follow suit for her new barn. She is today’s solo play in the Pick 4.
SAR 10th race (6:13 EST) – If the ticket is alive to this point, it probably will be a good one, so go ‘ALL’ in the finale, with four entrants coming off turf victories and favored SHE’S A MIA trying to end a bout with seconditis from post 11.
Suggested 50-cent Ticket
SAR 7th Race: 4, 7, 9
SAR 8th Race: 1, 3, 5
SAR 9th Race: 1
SAR 10th Race: ALL