A pair of turf allowances and a pair of 10-horse claiming races make for a potentially lucrative Late Pick 4 payout at Saratoga this Friday. The 50-cent wager is a good starting point for an exciting Labor Day weekend of racing. Here’s a closer look:
SAR 7th race (4:34 P.M. EST) -- EXPAND THE MAP rallied for second at 7F and one mile in allowance company and appeared ready to launch a bid last out when she was bothered by a fallen rival, losing all chance. Like her the most among the favorites, but I’m also using longshot pace players SWOOP TO FINISH and I’M SO SORRY on the ticket. SWOOP TO FINISH shows two turf route attempts on firm footing. She ‘took command’ at the quarter pole in a maiden win over Buttered Toast, who made a last-to-first move at 30-1 in allowance company in her only grass start since then. Then she raced close-up throughout at 1-1/4 miles before stakes repeater Sister Seagull passed by in her turf debut. I’M SO SORRY was hustled early in a 1-3/8-mile marathon, chased the pace to the far turn and back-pedaled while the deep closers arrived. She adds blinkers in her second start for Maker, who wins at 19 percent with second-off-the-layoff types.
SAR 8th race (5:10 P.M. EST) -- AMERICAN LAW continued to burn money on the class drop from the allowance ranks last out, but he was bumped around at the start and finished with a good surge for third and good gallop out. He broke his maiden at this distance and finished second in a triple key race at 7F next out. FIGHT FIERCELY bid 3-wide to a brief stretch lead at one mile before a pair of sub 2-to-1 favorites got the money. The well-traveled 3-year-old has been dismissed at 9-2 odds or less in 10 of 13 starts but should offer better value today.
SAR 9th (5:44 P.M. EST) -- KING MOONRACER tracked a pace battle in the second flight, swung 5-wide in early stretch while the winner slipped through on the rail and finished third in a blanket finish at this distance. He is reunited with New York-bred rivals and gets plenty of pace to rally into. ICY FLAVOR went 2-for-2 on the grass in California as a 3-year-old, now makes his seasonal debut as a gelding in a new barn. He ran 1/5 slower than a same-day, $50,000 starter allowance when he broke his maiden, defeated a pair of runners-up who are a combined 19/5-5-1 with $203,000 in earnings and faces nine rivals are 12-for-78 on turf.
SAR 10th race (6:18 P.M. EST) -- JUSTICE DEPARTMENT and BROOKLYN DIAMONDS class drop for the meet’s top two trainers, but both will be undervalued in a field that is a combined 3-for-27 at one mile. Hit the ‘ALL’ button.
Suggested 50-Cent Ticket
SAR 7th Race: 5, 7, 8
SAR 8th Race: 2, 4
SAR 9th Race: 1, 3
SAR 10th Race: ALL