Last Chance Saloon: Billy Blake’s Late Pick 4

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The final Saturday late pick 4 of the 2015 Saratoga meeting features the Grade 1 Woodward and Spinaway. Throw the Grade 3 Glens Falls and an allowance-optional in the mix to complete the sequence. With a $750,000 guarantee, let’s try and connect to end the meet on a high note.

Race 9 Selections (Spinaway Stakes): 1, 2, 3, 5, 6
Two-year-old fillies are up first in the Spinaway. All six horses in the race are trying 7 furlongs for the first time in their young careers. Tonasah (3) and Constellation (5) appear to be the speed on the paper, while the other four have won from off the pace. Rachel’s Valentina (2) will appreciate the added ground, and Tap To It (1) and Banree (6) could have their work cut out for them with an honest pace to close into. We will leave Anna Rae (4) off the ticket. Although she was dominant against maiden claimers, this is a much tougher group.

Race 10 Selections (Woodward Stakes): 1, 2, 6, 7
On to the Woodward, where Liam’s Map (2) tries to get back to his winning ways after losing to Honor Code in the Whitney. He will be on the lead and try to wire the field again. Reunites with Javier Castellano as he goes for a ‘Saratoga Superfecta’ (Whitney, Alabama, Travers, Woodward). Wicked Strong (1) hasn’t won since the Jim Dandy last year, but he will have a ground saving trip from the rail and he has the talent to reel in the frontrunners turning for home. Speed is a weapon for Coach Inge (6), but wouldn’t be shocked if he rates off stablemate Liam’s Map. He did all the dirty work in the Suburban and it’s worth noting that Pletcher pointed him for this spot when he scratched him from Whitney. Not thrilled with the post for Effinex (7), but the race sets up nicely for him with Liam’s Map and Bay of Plenty (4) dueling early.

Race 11 Selections (Glens Falls Stakes): 3, 4, 6
Four fillies and mares who ran in the Waya are back at it in the 1 3/8-mile Glens Falls. Goldy Espony (6) led every step of the Waya, and she will be up close to the pace again today. Ceisteach (4) has speed of her own, but I don’t see Channing Hill and Kendrick Carmouche pushing the tempo in the long race. Eastern Belle (3) finished second to Goldy Espony, and she is still looking for her first win in America. She had a wide trip in the Waya, and a ground saving trip will help cut the gap. 

Race 12 Selections: 2, 10, 11, 12
A wide-open allowance-optional wraps up Day 38 at Saratoga. Take The Stand (2) left his race in the paddock when he made his debut in the states for Bill Mott a couple weeks ago. He adds blinkers today, and stretches out another sixteenth of a mile. With Exultation (10) ships in from Monmouth and attracts leading rider Irad Ortiz Jr. He finished second in a pair of turf sprints here last summer but has successfully stretched out in New Jersey. Adirondack Dancer (11) finally got back in the win column Aug. 15. Stalk and pounce with Jose Ortiz. Hollywood Idol (12) has been a different horse since switching to the turf. The $650,000 purchase at the 2012 Keeneland September sale is the controlling speed.