Last Saturday at Saratoga was Travers Day, but after looking at the card, I found the all-stakes $1,000,000 late pick-4 to difficult to play for the amount that I normally allocate to the bet. Though I was not as brave as one of my co-workers, I found the early pick-4 (races 2-5) more to my liking. I will discuss multi-race betting strategies in more depth later, but I usually put in multiple tickets (between 4 and 12) and play them at varying strengths in the attempt to hit the bet more than once based on the outcome of each leg.
After 3 legs, I was alive to the #9, 10, 12, and 13 for a $1 pick-4, though I was wondering what might had been if #10 Bonita Sonata had won the 4th race at $22.70-1 and not 3/5 #11 Cinematize. A win by Bonita Sonata would have left me alive to #9, 10, 12, and 13 for a $0.50 pick-4. For pick-4 purposes I liked all 4 horses in the 5th race equally, though one of them stood out slightly. By looking at the PPs of #1, 10 & 12 a pattern develops: all ran well and were ridden by Ramon Dominguez in their last start. Though #1 Cave Valley and #10 Hon. de Leon are trained by Rudy Rodriguez and Rick Dutrow Jr. respectively, Dominguez decided to stick with #12 Rigby for trainer Steve Asmussen despite moving up very sharply in class ($20K claiming to NW1X allowance). This is very important because, though Asmussen is very accomplished and a future Hall of Famer, Dominguez rides first call for both Rodriguez and Dutrow Jr. and vacated those mounts.
Rigby’s sharp class hike showed confidence from Asmussen and Saratoga’s top jockey wanting to stick with the mount was the final nudge I needed to convince me Rigby was ready to duplicate his last effort and make him the key in my exacta wagers. I only played the exacta, and it was a healthy payoff for the 1st & 3rd favorites. Though it was nothing compared to the tri/super payoffs with #1 Cave Valley and another of my pick-4 horses, #9 Cajun Breeze running 4th.
This is angle can be used in a lot of situations at any track, distance and surface. It doesn’t take a track’s top jockey to make this angle work either. In fact, I like to use it with lesser known jockeys, because everyone wants to be in the winner's circle!
Past performances courtesy of Brisnet and result chart from Equibase.
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