So the 50-cent Pick Four has finally made it to NYRA, more specifically, Saratoga. So what's the difference between a 50-cent base bet versus a $1 - a lot. For me, this means I can break more own steadfast rule on Pick 4s - I don't need to single. 50-cents also means you can spread a lot farther in all directions, if you think a longshot or two can crack the sequence. I had a $96 Pick 4 based on a dollar (something I would never play) last Saturday that was knocked down to $48 with just the 50-cent base investment. The return was still a respectable $750 with two double-digit longshots coming in. (Don't ask why I didn't make the play even though I was on track and had the cash.)
So this brings us to this afternoon with a Pick 4 surrounded by two graded, one ungraded stakes races and with a beaten claiming race on the grass. The strategy is to spread around using the 50-cent bet, hoping again, that a couple of double-digit finishes are in the cards.
Without further ado the Late Pick 4:
The Hattie Moseley for three year old fillies going a mile on the grass looks wide open. The two classy fillies on paper are Parting Words and Sassy's Dream (who are both at juicy odds) based upon facing the most stakes company and showing a good account of themselves. A grade two second place finish can certainly translate to a win at $75,000. For the bigger names and shorter prices - Juddmonte Farms sends Starformer stateside and Todd Pletcher has Artisanal breaking from the outside.
The Grade I Diana for fillies and mares going 1 1/ 8 miles on the grass is always a good race and this year's edition looks ultracompetitive, again, good for odds and playing. You should never look the other way when a horse reels off four wins in a row like Unbridled Humor has done to start her career. She steps up her, but why not a win? Aruna and Aviate look to be knocking on the door for a grade one win and both have all the right connections, which comes with lower prices that should include on your ticket. Romacaca has done everything right in her last four wins and her trainer Nick Canani does not ship without reason. At 15-1, she's the one you hope lands on top and gives some real value to the ticket.
A case can be made for all Jim Dandy entrants but I'm narrowing it down to Dominus who you should respect, Scotus who could surprise and Alternation who seems ready to explode on the scene.
The final race comes down to two for me - Free Brave, the favorite, and Saints Alive, a bomb. Got to do yard work, see ya!
The play at 50-cents is 3-5-8-10/1-6-7/2-4-7/2-10 for $48. Good luck with your plays.