Spa Touts: Billy Blake’s Late Pick 4

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Two turf mile races, including the Grade 2 Fourstardave, plus an allowance and wide-open claimer on the dirt make up the Saturday $500,000 guaranteed pick four at Saratoga Race Course. We were close to cashing the ticket last week, but Honor Code caught Liam’s Map in the final strides of the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational. No time to sulk. Back to work.

Race 8 Selections: 3, 6
The sequence begins with an allowance-optional for 3-year-olds and up. Boot Scootn Daddy (3) didn’t make his debut until May, but the 4-year-old is undefeated in his two starts. The gelding by Scat Daddy has speed and will probably face some pressure to his outside by Hollywood Idol. He’s been worth the wait for Ben Perkins. Candir (6) hasn’t lost in two tries on the turf. He broke his maiden here last July and reunites with Javier Castellano. Chad Brown barn always dangerous.

Race 9 Selections: 1, 2, 4
Plenty of talent in this one-other-than allowance. Touch the Moon (1) looked good in her debut, putting away I’ll Take Charge – who was unsuccessful stretching out to two turns Thursday – in her debut. The 1 1/16-mile races at Belmont Park can be tricky. She didn’t care the distance, and Todd Pletcher turns her back to 7 furlongs. Elraazy (2) is a nose away from being 2-for-2 in her young and promising career. This daughter of Malibu Moon is one to watch Saturday and beyond. Top Decile (4), runner up of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, is coming into this race off a layoff. Having a win at Saratoga is a huge feather in her cap and 5-furlong bullet work suggests she is ready to roll.

Race 10 Selections: 1, 3, 4
Mshawish (1) makes his first start since finishing third in Dubai back in March. His best races in the country have been down at Gulfstream Park, but he did “win” here last summer – although he was disqualified and placed third.  He ran against the best of the best at Meydan, and he is one that has the ability to get to King Kressa in the stretch. Ironicus (3) put a graded stakes win on his resume two back in the Dixie. This is his biggest test to date, but Shug McGaughey must feel he is up for it. King Kreesa (4) will be on the lead. That’s no secret. The Poker was an oddly run race where he got away with a walk in the park, but he backed it up in the Forbidden Apple. Catch him if you can.

Race 11 Selections: ALL (12 horses)
This 6 1/2-furlong claimer is up for the taking. Some horses are dropping down, others are switching from turf to dirt, and a few are back in for the $16,000 tag. Essentially, we are treating this ticket like a Pick-3 with a chance to sit back and cheer on the longshots should we get to the finale.