Another big day at Saratoga has me busy at work creating more multi-race tickets, a betting strategy that has been more than good to me in 2012. While some of the best races of today’s Woodward card are not part of the late Pick 4, you can do what I’ll be doing by taking advantage of a Pick 3 offering that includes the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch, the Grade 1 Forego, and the Grade 1 Woodward. I always feel just a little bit better when my bets are made in classier races, and so I go into this Pick 3 feeling good. Today’s play will be all about simplicity…
The 54th running of the 1 1/8 mile turf affair will have a heavy favorite in Data Link … it will also have a vulnerable favorite in Data Link. There can be no doubt that the son of War Front has the best turf form of anyone in the race, but playing a late runner from the rail, with little early speed in the race, especially at odds-on, seems like a recipe for trouble. Meanwhile, Dominus not only figures to be the controlling speed, but is a horse that I have been looking to try the grass for some time. He has turf breeding on both sides of his pedigree, and looked great in his return to the races last month. Last year he proved to be a classy sort, and if he takes to the turf like I think he will, this race could be over in a hurry. I will single Dominus.
Shackleford and Jackson Bend are an easy pair to love. Pacific Ocean already has a stakes win over the track this summer. Emcee has proven to be quality speed. Any one of the favorites could win this one, but then again, so could any of the longshots. In fact, I don’t think an eight horse field gets much more wide open than this, as all the horses that will be highest on the toteboard have the ability to rally right into this, especially if the early speed is sucking wind near the end of today’s seven panels. I will push the ALL button in this one.
Mucho Macho Man is the horse to beat, and that is exactly what I am going to try to do. Coming off his superlative effort in the Suburban, I feel like the Macho one will be bet down like a certain first-time Pletcher runner we saw this week. Well Ok, maybe not quite that much, but at 3-5 or so, I believe he offers no value in this grade 1. There are several others in here that could pop up and beat him, but I really only like one. Stay Thirsty is a real lover of Saratoga, as evidenced by his excellent races there as a juvenile, and then sweeping the Jim Dandy and Travers at three. I am willing to give him a pass on the Suburban, especially since I thought his first race this year was very good. Pletcher says he is doing better than ever in the mornings, and I expect him to sit a great trip in the middle of the pack off a contentious early pace. I will single Stay Thirsty.
The Play - $1 Pick 3 – 4 / ALL / 5 = $8
Good luck to all!