by Jerry Shottenkirk
August 25, 2017
Moviegoers think of a dream sequence when a film’s star conjures up either superb or horrifying thoughts while asleep or daydreaming.
Punters coast to coast see a dream sequence in the $1 million guaranteed Pick 4 for races 8 through 11 Saturday at Saratoga.
The Pick 4 races are Breeders’ Cup quality, culminating with the Travers Stakes, which would normally be the standout on the card. But it’s one of many potential knockdown drag outs, including, in this sequence, the H. Allen Jerkens, Forego and Sword Dancer – all Grade I races like the Travers – make this one not only watchable, but very, very playable.
Good for you if you can find a single in this Fab Four. And if your single comes in the Travers, you’re due a double good for you.
All three Triple Crown race winners are in it – the Kentucky Derby’s Always Dreaming, Cloud Computing from the Preakness and the Belmont’s Tapwrit. A solid dozen sophomores are chasing the $670,000 winner’s share of the $1,250,000 purse, and to call it a tough test for any of them would be an understatement.
The 1 1-4th mile race doesn’t appear to have any rabbits, but there will be enough speed to ensure a pace that will help the top distance horses make up the ground. Because of that, Tapwrit is the choice here. Todd Pletcher’s barn is nearing 30 percent success at the Spa and Tapwrit has kept in shape with once-a-week works for the past five weeks. He’ll probably be playable in the win and place pools but is by no means a single here. Gunnevera, Irap and West Coast also will appear on this ticket.
American Anthem probably has a slight edge in the Jerkens, but his connections can count on a battle from the talented Practical Joke and upstart Coal Front.
Mind Your Biscuits and Drefong will throw down in the Forego and will be a surprise if one or the other doesn’t score here.
The Sword Dancer is as tough a race and you’ll run across today, or maybe on any other day as U.S.-based turf all-stars take on proven Euro imports in Idaho and Erupt, which both are used on this ticket. Bigger Picture and Sadler’s Joy fill out the card here.
Here’s my take on the $1 million guaranteed Pick 4:
Race 8: #9 American Anthem, #7 Coal Front, #1 Practical Joke. (9-7-1).
Race 9: #6 Mind Your Biscuits, #10 Drefong. (6-10)
Race 10: #7 Idaho, #2 Bigger Picture, #3 Sadler’s Joy, #6 Erupt. (7-2-3-6)
Race 11: #4 Tapwrit, #11 Gunnevera, #10 Irap, #3 West Coast. (4-11-10-3).
50-cent $1 million guaranteed Pick 4: 9-7-1 with 6-10 with 7-2-3-6 with 4-11-10-3 ($48).